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.
The three sites: my site (www.graphicpush.com), 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
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
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
|Site||Visitors with Flash Disabled||800×600 or Lower Resolution|
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.