How do visitors access your website?
In a relatively short period of time, smartphones and tablets have completely changed the way we access the web. Long gone is the assumption that each user has a desktop PC. It’s hard to imagine a world now where people don’t spend time glued to the smaller screens of their phones or tablets.
While responsive website design now allows the same site to adapt to the different devices, it’s always useful to know how users are accessing a website. Greater prioritisation can be given to the various design elements if we know that, for example, the site is being heavily used by smartphone users or still has people using older browsers.
The latest 12 monthly stats from netmarketshare.com shows that globally, desktops and laptops are still the most common way of accessing a website, accounting for 52.06% of the total. Mobile comes second with 42.48%. The market share of tablets is comparatively small, at just 5.41%. Other devices, such as Games Consoles and TVs, make up the remaining negligible share.
In the UK and other develop countries the market share of smartphones is thought to be much higher. A report by eMarketers in 2017 found that UK adults spend an average one hour and 59 minutes a day mobile browsing, one minute more each day than they spend on Desktops and Laptops. This follows on from previous increases, and smartphones usage is predicted to continue to go up.
The choice of web browser has also been changing. Google’s Chrome browser is still by far the most popular, with 59.32% of the market over the last 12 months according to netmarketshare.com. However, Firefox has been staging a bit of a comeback following the release of a major update called ‘FireFox Quantum’.
The new version of Firefox has been well received – it is faster and uses RAM more efficiently, something Google Chrome often gets criticised for. It has overtaken Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser with 12.87% compared to 12.71% of the market share respectively. Other popular browsers include the Windows 10 Edge browser (3.89%) and Apple’s Safari (3.47%).
Most websites have an analytics service installed, such as Google Analytics or Piwik. These can tell you what devices and browsers your visitors are using. I’d recommend checking in on this data regularly, as I’s always good to know how these behaviours are changing.