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Browser market share is important to a webmaster, or at least it will be until IE6, 7 and 8 disappear (my guess is the year 2532, more or less).

What is the most trustable, versatile and ultimately useful source of browser market share data? Bonus points if:

  • It's updated more than once a year
  • Data is segmented geographically
  • Data is segmented by site category / area of interest
  • Data is segmented in other ways (age? that'd be awesome!)

I don't think that the site with the “most” data is necessary the best - but feel free to prove me wrong!

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As an aside. Most of the market share data is collected from different analytics services. Personally I have used stat counter and google analytics. If you wanted really accurate numbers you'd have to include google analytics (since they are the most widely used analytics service). Unfortunately, Google doesn't share their global aggregate analytics data. –  Evan Plaice Jul 12 '10 at 10:55
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3 Answers 3

up vote 8 down vote accepted

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage_share_of_web_browsers

This page list the best and most reliable source of information on the market share of browser. Pretty much everything that people will answer is listed there.

Here's the list :

And to answer the question, which one is the best ? In term of global statistic, I would say the pie chart they have on Wikipedia would be the most reliable since it's an average of the 5 sources of information.

If you want to compare them, one by one, I would say Stat Counter seems to be the most accurate source of information. His numbers are the one that are the closest to the mean and the median or all the 5 sources of information.1

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+1 nice answer. I knew about a couple of these but I failed to notice the wiki article article about it. Good source... –  Evan Plaice Jul 12 '10 at 10:56
    
Really nice answer! Thanks a lot. StatCounter is really nice, accurate, and easy to use :) –  Agos Jul 15 '10 at 17:05
    
The problem with the wikipedia page is that it doesn't (currently) split out different versions of IE - so you can't see the usage of problem browsers like IE8. The statcounter link works great though if you choose the "Browser version" option in the dropdown menu (especially ticking the "Combine chrome and Firefox 5+" option, and choosing your country). –  user568458 Apr 1 at 10:35
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A lot of great resources listed in the answers so far, great question.

To me, the only reliable source of data you should look at for browser usage, and thus, what you need make sure you're supporting well, is your own site. Keep an eye on those breakdowns and you'll have a sense of your actual audience. If you get spikes in traffic because of news or organic growth, keep an eye on how those numbers change, as that may indicate that you need to change your own emphasis. Now, that's all presuming you have a track record of maybe 6 months you can draw on. If you don't, using the resources suggested is perfectly fine.

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Agreed, the audience that matters the most is your own. If you're starting from scratch, use the other references as a general guideline - but your audience will tell you what they're using, and design for them. –  Boylan Jul 11 '10 at 21:34
    
+1 insightful ;) I always keep an eye on my sites' analytics, which is of course very important. Since I'm keeping “small” sites only these days, I was looking forward to a more robust data source, trying not to deviate too much from my expected audience (e.g. looking at data from my continent only) –  Agos Jul 15 '10 at 17:10
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I think this site is about the best you will get http://gs.statcounter.com/.

  • It is updated at least once a week
  • It allows you to choose country or region
  • It lets you look at mobile or desktop and browser version
  • And it shows you the data over time so you can see trends and changes in usage

Getting data tied directly to usage by age group and area of interest is going to be very tough. Especially age as how would they know how old the user on the computer is?

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