Thanks to Shaun Inman’s Mint, we are able to see an extremely current and accurate snapshot of who is visiting our website. I checked out some of the user agent statistics that we collect and was pleasantly surprised with some of the figures.
Firefox is In
While Firefox is a relatively new browser compared to the ancient Internet Explorer, it is surprising to see that 41% of our visitors are using it. This is very exciting for us because Firefox has excellent support for web standards. As web developers at an educational institution, we need to develop for the lowest common denominator. When I started at Gustavus Web Services, this meant Netscape 4.7 and Internet Explorer 5 for the Mac. Fortunately Netscape 4.7 is long gone and Internet Explorer for the Mac is now officially unsupported and unavailable. As a result, we have been able to deliver a more accessible, uniform, and usable browsing experience to our visitors.
If you haven’t already made the switch from Internet Explorer to Firefox, I would urge you to consider it… Especially if you use a Mac.
Flash 7 and 8 are In
I was shocked to see that 97% of our visitors have Flash 7+ installed. While we only strategically use flash for various reasons, it is heartening to know that if we decide to use flash in the future, we will be able to choose from some of the more advanced options that the newer versions offer.
800 x 600 Resolution is Out
And finally, perhaps the most exciting statistic for me is the solid fact that a scant 6% of our visitors are using a screen resolution of 800 x 600. At 740 pixels wide, the Gustavus Template is carefully crafted to fit nicely in a browser window on a system running at 800 x 600. While 6% is still a substantial portion of people, we cannot yet move to a wider template. However, that 6% is a light at the end of the tunnel.