Why Opera browser is less supported by web sites than IE, FF and Chrome?

IE understanding, but why less than FF and even Chrome?

  • Define "less supported". Do you mean why do few people use it, or why do few websites test for compatibility? – dkuntz2 Mar 13 '11 at 20:34

It all depends on what part of the world. Overall, yes Opera is the least used browser, but there are places like the Ukraine and Belarus, it's the most used browser. You can see some stats here: http://gs.statcounter.com/

Also, Opera is used a lot on mobile and console devices because of their compression services.

In my opinion, I think the 2 biggest reasons it's not used a lot is because it used to be paid (while everything else was free or included) and they haven't put as much into advertising. Although, it's funny because it's often been the first to add features, like tabs, speed dial and a blazing fast JavaScript engine and everyone else pretty much copies them. Oh well, still love it and use it all the time because other browsers just don't make browsing as fast (like no ctrl or alt tab through tabs in any of the others).

  • "No ctrl or alt-tab through tabs"? Sorry, am I misunderstanding something? What does crtl/alt-tab do differently in Opera from the other browsers? – Matt Gibson Mar 14 '11 at 10:09
  • According to statcounter.com in Russia Opera and FF go neck to neck. It's very interesting why only this 3 slavian country use this browser. For other ex-USSR countries such Estonia or Latvia pro cent of Opera usage is low as in another world. – nahab Mar 14 '11 at 12:12
  • @darryl-hein I forgot times when you should pay for Opera. So maybe this is an answer. – nahab Mar 14 '11 at 12:15
  • @nahab, that was over 5 years ago. Both Safari and Chrome have "broken through" since then so that's really not the reason. – DisgruntledGoat Mar 14 '11 at 15:35

Opera is generally less supported because it has a lower market share. It has stayed consistent around 1% for the past 5 years while other browsers have been released and "broken through".

Many people don't see a reason to invest time into testing in Opera. It's also a singular entity in its own right - IE obviously has a lot of market share, and the Gecko and Webkit engines cover a huge ground. You can test in Chrome and assume it will look the same in Safari. But Opera is on its own.

As for why people don't use Opera, there are many schools of thought on the issue. Often it's attributed to the browser being very user-unfriendly and only for power users. Sometimes it's attributed to a lack of advertising.

IE and Safari have it easy since they come with everyone's computers. Firefox became popular via the open source movement (and is standard for all Linux installs). Finally, Chrome has the biggest internet company in the world behind it and advertising it.


Opera's market share is even lower than that of Chrome. So many people find it unnecessary to make sure their website works well with Opera.

In my experience, however, Opera is doing a pretty good job in terms of compatibility.

  • 1
    Chrome has a higher browser share than Safari, so why are you attempting to make it seem like chrome is second worst? – dkuntz2 Mar 13 '11 at 20:32

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