Thoughts on branding, design, writing and life by Kevin Potts. Established 2003.

Statistics: For What It's Worth

For fun, here are some stats I compiled about three websites I track: this site you’re reading, a large B2B site, and a large consumer site. They paint an admittedly anecdotal but still encouraging picture of browser versions, Flash, and screen resolution. Don’t write a thesis based on it, but feel free to use the numbers to back up whatever business case you may be pitching to your boss or client.

Just for the heck of it, I compiled some stats about three sites I track closely. For the benefit of web designers/developers, I aggregated browser usage, Flash, and screen size. Since I am using Google Analytics, I sadly could not track JavaScript usage for obvious reasons.

The three sites: my site (, a large corporate site that is primarily B2B, and a large consumer-focused site. My site does not get nearly as many unique visitors as the other two, but I assure you the visitor count for all three is high enough to make this statistically relevant.

Browser Breakdown: All Browsers

Browser usage breakdown for three websites

These numbers are from January 2010. Not unexpected results. My site has a far more progressive user-base because of the type of visitor it attracts.

Browser Breakdown: Internet Explorer Year-Over-Year

Browser breakdown for Internet Explorer

These numbers compare usage of IE between January 2009 (left column) and January 2010 (right column). Several interesting things came from this exercise. First IE 5.5 is virtually non-existent, which is great news. Second, IE8’s growth is encouraging, especially in the consumer sector. Finally, IE6 is holding on like a barnacle to its eroding but stubborn install base; the B2B site, which is largely trafficked during work hours by large businesses, is particularly telling — a lot of companies simply have not upgraded their machines.

Two Other Interesting Stats

SiteVisitors with Flash Disabled800×600 or Lower Resolution
My Site5.17%2%

So a steady percentage of people have Flash disabled entirely. It’s interesting to note that the B2B site was the lowest; not too many organizations are disabling it for their workers. (And for the Flash column, I left in mobile devices on purpose, since these are visitors are as legitimate as their desktop brethren.)

In the last column, I excluded screen resolutions that were obviously mobile devices — it largely constitutes 800×600, 640×480, and so forth. This is really good news for all the web designers (like me) who build for 1024×768 — your site is being seen by just about everyone.

Do with these numbers what you will. I aggregated them more out of curiosity than anything. I am working on a fairly complex site now that uses a lot of jQuery, and we are outright ignoring IE6 users. You are correct in assuming I am ignoring progressive enhancement in this instance — this is by choice, because the functionality is just too good to waste on derelict software.

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