Do More Savvy Internet Users Prefer Firefox?

Posted on12 CommentsCategoriesGeneral Discussion

A couple of days ago, as I was analyzing my blog’s visitor statistics, I discovered something that couldn’t go unnoticed for me. In the data on browsers used I did expect to see Internet Explorer, Chrome and Firefox among the top browsers that my blog’s readers use, but the order in which the list appeared was what surprised me. Here are the top 5 browsers that my blog’s visitors use (percentage values rounded up):

  1. Mozilla Firefox – 44.8%
  2. Internet Explorer – 27.5%
  3. Google’s Chrome – 16.3%
  4. Apple’s Safari – 8.2%
  5. Opera – 1.3%

Here’s also a broader/full screenshot from my Google Analytics’ reporting dashboard:

If we look at Wikipedia’s Usage share of web browsers article, the distribution is actually somewhat different. Namely, Internet Explorer takes 43.8%, while Firefox (which follows IE in popularity) has 29.7% of users. In case with my blog and website, it looks like these two switched places.

Thinking of why this is so with my blog, I can’t help but presuppose that more savvy Internet users (which comprise the vast majority of my blog’s readers) prefer Firefox. What do you make of it? And what browser do you prefer?

12 thoughts on “Do More Savvy Internet Users Prefer Firefox?

  1. I can’t imagine doing anything serious on the internet like marketing or trying to run a website using explorer. It would drive me crazy.
    I’d HIGHLY recommend any one that works online and still uses explorer to consider switching to either Firefox or chrome.
    I like Microsoft and have used windows forever but there are some things they just don’t do very well and an internet browser is one of those things.

  2. After being a stalwart, holding on to FF for a long time when everyone I knew was going Chrome, I finally switched to Chrome. Here are some reasons why:

    1. It loads faster.

    2. I can watch a video, then drag the tab out into a new window. The video continues playing without stopping, and the animation of the tab into its own window runs smoothly. FF doesn’t do so well. The video stops and I have to start again from the beginning. The animation of the tab to window thrashes the hard drive.

    3. Doing normal things with it doesn’t thrash the hard drive.

    4. I can pin a tab.

    5. The concept of toolbars in a browser is bad for the web. It makes it hard to market to users when I can’t predict how many toolbars they have loaded, pushing the “above the fold” marketing even into fewer and fewer pixels. So, I’m glad that Chrome uses extension icons, instead.

    6. I learned the other day how to make Google Chrome Extensions. It’s painfully easy if you know a little jQuery, AJAX, HTML5, and optionally some PHP. You can do some amazing things with these things. For instance, the other day I made something that connects through a proxy, checks how ads might display in a particular country, and reports the results back to my PHP server. It lets me check whether or not I’m being cheated by a content provider on my ad rotation stats in a particular country. See, Chrome Extensions can insert content in ANY web page, including Javascript.

    I just wish FireFTP was ported to Chrome, and wished that the autosense on typing in a URL could be turned off.

  3. I am a Chrome user too – the browser tool bar takes up less real-estate on the screen, loads faster and all the things Martin mentioned as well. Every now and then I need to use FF for something and it looks more an more clunky to me. It is probably like someone who used to use IE and now uses FF. I hate giving all my business to the Google, but they make good stuff and the costs are hard to beat.

    Currently, we run Google Apps (email, calendar, docs, gtalk) at Impact Radius. Throw in Google Voice and Chrome and there isn’t much left to buy. We do prefer MS Office (2011 for Mac) over Google Docs but Google Docs is convenient for file sharing and collaboration – so we use both.

    1. Thank you for your comment, Todd

      Google is doing some things indeed. While I still haven’t tried out Chrome, besides search, on a daily basis I use Google Analytics and Website Optimizer. I still can’t figure out why anyone would let people use such top notch tools free of charge.

      Besides Chrome, Google Voice is something I’ve been meaning to try out for some time.

  4. My website visitors are a mix, heavy on the basic pc user who know how to turn their computer on and off, and to use it for email and browsing the internet. Most of them are mothers whose most advanced internet related skill is uploading an image for their blog or facebook.

    That was a short introduction just to tell you the top 5 browsers that my visitors used during the past year. =)
    This is around 2.5 mil visits

    Internet Explorer 59.46%
    Firefox 21.73%
    Safari 11.74%
    Chrome 6.06%
    Opera 0.35%

    I’ve used Firefox for many years. I’ve tried Chrome, but I am so used to FF that I haven’t given Chrome a fair shake yet.

  5. Donna, thank you for this comment. In a way, it (and the stats/observations you’ve quoted) supports my presupposition that it is more savvy web users that go with Firefox (or Chrome, as Martin and Todd above), but those who, as you put it, just “know how to turn their computer on and off, and to use it for email and browsing the Internet” just go with their OS’ default browser which in the vast number of cases will be the Internet Explorer.

    Once again, thank you for analyzing your site’s traffic from this perspective for this.

  6. I can’t imagine doing anything in IE or Chrome. Always use FF.

    Not sure about you guys, but I wasn’t able to locate homepage button on Chrome. This is very uncomfortable when browsing. I could probably always use bookmarks.

    But Firefox has plugins. For A to Z. It’s like using WordPress vs. all other blogging platforms. Nothing beats that. FF is more flexible to use for sure. With all addons it’s slower than Chrome, but still faster than IE for me.

    Long live FF 🙂

    1. Interesting feedback, and thank you for it, Monty. I’m intrigued by everything I hear about Chrome’s speed though. Will definitely try it out soon.

  7. Interesting stats there. I’ve long preferred Firefox, and would certainly consider myself to be web savvy. It would be interesting to see the data for other websites to do a comparison.

    1. Yes, from Donna’s comment above (and her website audience is very different from mine), FF is only 2nd, and IE is leading the way. I too would love to see more stats (from other websites), but it seems that my presupposition is close to the truth.

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