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All browsers are not created equal

web design | August 12, 2010 | 0 Comments

browsersBrowser wars have been going on for quite a while and it doesn’t look like it’s going to stop anytime soon. New browsers and updated versions of our current browsers are coming out all the time, allowing us to have greater security, increased functionality, better ease of use, and more options. Are all browsers the same in this respect though? As it turns out they aren’t. They all handle things differently, everything from fonts, images, and spacing to security, updates and support. Are you using the best browser out there or are you stuck with an old, outdated browser that is only causing problems? Read on to find out the truth.

There are tons of browser choices out there, how is one to choose the best one? I’ve set out a list of the top browsers out there today, as determined by W3 Schools Browser Statistics, and listed here in order of visitor statistics to the Snoack Studios site.



W3 Schools says this browser is being used by 46.4% of users on the internet today and receives the award of the most popular browser of all. It’s fast, efficient, and encourages its users to update regularly. As a webkit based browser, it supports many CSS3 and HTML5 functions (the newest coding languages out for CSS and HTML), allowing its users to see websites as developers intend for them to be seen.

Firefox has tons of add-ons which are helpful in extending the user experience. As a web developer, there is an actual Web Developer Add-On that allows me to see more things, test easily and fix bugs. It’s a great tool to have. There are many more add-ons to check out here.

Security is also a big plus with Firefox. It comes with some great security functions as they take many precautions to keep your information safe.



Google Chrome is the newest browser in this group and has risen in the ranks very quickly. W3 Schools say it only has 16.7% of the market share, but that still places it as the number 2 browser on this list. According to Snoack Studios’ Analytics, 23.4% of our users browse with Chrome, including both PC and Mac Chrome.

Another webkit browser, Chrome supports HTML5 and CSS3 functionality. There have been some complaints about some things, mostly because it’s so new and all the bugs haven’t been worked out: few add-ons, less history power, and small bugs. However, it’s been raved about because it’s lightweight and quick, with increased control over tabbed browsing.

Overall, it’s a great choice, although it’s still very new so it has a ways to go. Check out more benefits and drawbacks here.



Safari is available for both Mac and PC computers, although it comes standard on all Mac computers, making it an easy option for those users. It only has 3.4% of the browser market according to W3 Schools, but is more dominant on Snoack Studios’ site with 15.9%.

Safari is my browser of choice. I love how lightweight and quick it is, as well as user-friendly for a developer. I clear my cache on a daily basis (sometimes more like each minute) and it’s quick and simple with Safari. I also enjoy the feature that allows you to email a website inside an email (apple + I for mac users).

Plugins are also scarce for Safari, but it is a webkit browser so it supports CSS3 and HTML5. Security is also great for Safari.


Internet Explorer

IE is the only browser on the list that isn’t a webkit based browser (although IE9, which is still in beta, has implemented webkit). The major complaint on the web today is that Internet Explorer hasn’t pushed for it’s users to update and therefore has many outdated versions still in use today. IE6 (first released in 2001) is one of the buggiest, least secure, and most troublesome browsers on the market. It has 7.2% of the market share according to W3 Schools, but only 1% of Snoack Studios. IE7 (first released in 2006), has 7.6% of the global market share, and 2% of Snoack Studios. It’s certainly a step up from IE6, although they are both very outdated, and it’s still very buggy. IE8 (first released in 2009) has the biggest usage at 15.6% and 6% on Snoack Studios. IE8 is a very big step up from the other two, but it still has a long ways to go to compare to the other browsers on the list.

IE9 is looking to be a great step forward for Microsoft’s browser. Web developers are certainly looking forward to the implementation of webkit, which will allow for better support for CSS3 and HTML5. Security is also supposed to increase, but these are all still up in the air until it’s final release.



Last on the list, Opera is also a webkit based browser. It only captures 2.3% of the global market share and 1.64% on Snoack Studios. Although it seems to follow many of the modern browser standards it hasn’t managed to have a large audience over the years.

It has several nice features though: mouse gestures, thumbnails in tabbed browsing, and it’s also very lightweight. They’ve also implemented some add-ons that allow for increased speed and usability. More information can be found on it here.

More Resources
W3 Schools Browser Statistics
Browser Wars on Wikipedia
The Modern Browser Wars

As you can see there are many differences in browsers, and it’s not something you should miss the opportunity to become educated in. Knowing that your browser is updated, secure and reliable is the smart way to protect yourself and to ensure your browsing experience is all that it can be.

Please share in the comments below: what browser are you using and are you satisfied with it?


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