Which 4 browsers are important?
You only need to worry about the below four browsers when it comes to testing your website’s rendering in. . I have listed them below in descending order of their importance:
- Internet explorer
These 4 browsers account for over 97% of all web users. No other browser has more than 1 percent market share. I have gathered this data from a case study conducted by me. I am providing below an image (screenshot) which shows details of browsers used by visitors on a test website.
Please note that this data is only a suggestion of the overall visitor analysis. Based on the demographic and Geographic data of your visitors, it may vary and you may need to analyze the data of the particular project to further customize. Mostly, there may be minor or no variations from this list.
Why are these 4 browsers important?
The browser market over the years has stabilized and we can safely expect no surprises or new entrants in the short to medium term. We have populated this list from a case study. An analysis of each browser below gives us a fair signal about the future. We analyze each browser in the list briefly to learn their past performance and what we can expect in the future.
Google Chrome may be the latest entrant in the browser market, however, in a short span of time it has gained importance and use. Because Google owns Chrome and they are commitment to make browsing experience better for everyone. We expect Google to continue leading and innovating.
Firefox is an old player in the browser market. It has preserved its market share and acceptability by users. We can safely expect Firefox to continue to hold its position in the short to medium term.
Internet explorer is one of the pioneers in the browser market, however over the years, it has consistently lost market share to new entrants and because of Microsoft’s policy to stick with older versions for long. However, they have been catching up and corrected their errors. Today, Internet explorer’s market share has stabilized and if they continue innovating and updating, they can expect to uphold their current position.
Although, opera has a low market share of around 3%, we do not want to leave out people who use it. We do expect opera to continue dwindling their market share because of lesser acceptance and because of gaining importance of Google chrome and Firefox. However in the short and medium term, can’t ignore opera.
What will be the future browser use trend?
Although it is difficult to predict future trends, we can divide the future trends into 3 main parts. We will try to advice what changes you can expect in the future:
Short-Term (3-6 months): We don’t expect much to change in the short-term. Although, as more people shift and start using their mobile devices for browsing, we can expect the android and other mobile based browser use to increase. Chrome & Firefox can uphold and better their positions comfortably. Internet Explorer and Opera will find it difficult to preserve their market share.
Medium Term (2-3 years): Both chrome and Firefox are present in the mobile devices market. They will keep upholding their position in the future as well. Internet explorer and opera may lose their market share.
Long-Term (3 years +): Browser markets have seen shifts in use in the past and new browsers keep replacing older ones all the time. Netscape is an example to consider. If browsers don’t adapt to changes, they do become obsolescent and people move on to better alternates. It is thus important that browser providers expect market changes and adapt to them. We can most expect new entrants this list in the long-term.
Conclusion: 4 main browsers to render for
Web designers need to pay importance to above 4 browsers in the short and medium term. Although minor changes may occur, we do not expect any drastic changes in the browser market over the short and medium term, keeping up-to-date with visitors’ data is important. In the long-term, changes may be necessary to cope with changes in browser use.