Internet Explorer 6 hangs on
Following an analysis by Shapeshed, I have carried out an analysis of the browsers used by website visitors to a local website that I maintain. The website in question gets around 5000 unique visitors per month, which is not a huge number admittedly, but it is a website used by the general public, rather than a particular audience with web design or geek leanings, so I reckon that it is partly indicative of websites that I build for clients. My main aim here was to see whether I could abandon web design support for Internet Explorer 6 any time soon.
For this study, I used Google Analytics and the figures are for the six months ending 10th June 2008. Firstly, no surprises that Internet Explorer is the dominant browser (81.2%) with Firefox following in second place with 12.2%. I was mildly surprised by the Firefox figures because I imagined that the general public’s exposure to Firefox was quite low, certainly lower than some of the headline figures that are often cited. I was half-expecting Firefox to be 10% or less but it is easily in double figures.
Subsequently, I looked at the IE usage in more depth to see what proportion of visitors used IE6. In fact, at least a third or more (38.8%) used IE6 compared with IE7 (61%). This IE6 usage was higher than I expected considering that IE7 was released in late 2006.
I also compared the above six-monthly figures for IE with the past month’s figures [not shown] where IE6 has 36.5% and IE7 has 63.5%. This means that there is only a very slow decline in IE6 usage. With IE8 due for release before the end of the year, I was hoping that IE6 usage was in freefall. But no.
It looks like I need to retain an old PC with IE6 installed for testing purposes for some time yet.