I am a partner at dynanti web design consultants and we host many web sites for our clients. We track the users of these web sites so that we can determine what the most popular browsers and operating systems are, what the most popular screen sizes are, etc.

Today we looked at 4 of our sites which totalled over 2,000 visits between them since the 23rd October.

Search engine popularity

Interestingly, more visitors to two of our sites arrived there direct (by entering the web address in to their browser) than by using a web browser. However, by far the most popular search engine is Google with between 30% and 40% of users using it to arrive at our our sites. The nearest competitor is Yahoo with no more than 5% of visitors using it. Google rocks as a search engine.

Browser war

There’s no let up in the browser war and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer still claims the lion’s share of the market – polling over 85% for three of our sites and 60% in the fourth. Of Internet Explorer users, it appears that the majority use Internet Explorer 7, only one site polled less than 72%. FireFox is the best of the rest with between 6.25% and 13% of the user base.

Has Vista woken up yet?

Erm, no.  Microsoft Windows failed to poll less than 91% of user base and of the Microsoft Windows users at least 91% used Windows XP.

Worryingly, several visitors accessed these web sites from their Windows 2003 server – a server should never be used to access public web sites. It’s mission critical network component and might crash, taking down the whole network, if the browser were to fail.

Despite the claims of Apple, the Macintosh doesn’t seem to have make much impact on the market place and, once again, this has failed to prove to be the year of Linux (every year we’re told that this is the year of Linux – maybe next year).

Screen sizes

800 x 600 pixel screens belong to the dark days of 14/15″ monitors and we had expected the number of visitors with these screens to be very small – however two sites polled over 30% of visitors with this size of screen and this highlights the importance of making sure our sites continue to be compatible with them.

We had expected wide screen LCD panels to figure quite highly since you can’t buy an old tube monitor now and we see loads of them waiting to be disposed of at the tip every time we visit. They feature quite highly, but the different resolutions available means it’s difficult to ascertain how many users there are – we would take an educated guess that around 40% of visitors to our sites use wide screen LCD monitors, or laptops.

Despite being old hat, there are plenty of 17″ tube monitors out there together with a sizable number of 14/15″ laptops. This showed through in our poll with about 30% of all visitors using 1024 x 768 resolution screens.

Test results

This is not a scientific study, but we believe our figures to be in line with those obtained by other studies.

Web site 1 2 3 4
Search engines
Google 41% 4% 47% 30%
Yahoo 2.6% 0% 4.5% 5%
Internet Explorer 90% 60% 84% 84%
Of these, IE7 75% 75% 72% 32%
FireFox 6.2% 35% 9% 13%
Operating systems
Microsoft Windows 97% 91% 93% 97%
Of these, XP 83% 79% 65% 84%
Screen sizes
800 x 600 35% 2.8% 4.5% 30%
1024 x 768 28% 33% 30% 30%
1680 x 1050 2.3% 24% 11% 2.3%
1280 x 800 14% 10% 31% 6.7%

Site 1 – www.beaufort.uk.com
Site 2 – www.sosradioweek.org.uk
Site 3 – www.blukangaroo.co.uk
Site 4 – www.sadarc.org.uk

Test result Copyright © 2008 – dynanti LLP. All rights reserved.

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