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Why you should test your pages in more than one browser


I've always been an advocate of testing web pages in multiple browsers to make sure everything works.

Now there's new data to support that approach:

As of January, 2009, Safari (regardless of operating system) accounts for 8% of all page views (so one in twelve page requests comes from someone running Safari), and Firefox over 21% (more than one in five).

So if you test only in IE (68%), then it's possible that one in three of your visitors may encounter problems with your site.

Of course, that works the other way as well--don't test only in Firefox or only in Safari. (That tends to be the mistake I make.)

Also, of course, your visitor ratios may vary depending on what your site is about. I imagine that MSDN, for example, has significantly more than 68% IE users.


I wonder how many of those Safari page views are bloated stats from iPhone users. If I load a page on my PowerBook, then switch active applications to something else and come back to Safari, the page is still there. If I switch apps on my iPhone, or if it goes into standby and wakes, Safari automatically reloads the website most of the time. Between that and frequent iPhone Safari crashes also necessitating reloads, I'd guess I trigger ten times as many "page views per pages actually read" on an iPhone as on a PowerBook.

Good point, but iPhone web share (according to the article) has reached a high of 0.48%, so Safari on Mac and Windows still accounts for over 7.5% of all page views.

Of course, there are methodology problems with any attempt to measure this kind of thing. But even if the stats for Safari and Firefox are somehow inflated by a factor of two, that would still mean that about a sixth of the visitors to a given page aren't using IE.

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