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Andrew Gregory's Web Pages

View from Mt Beadell, 25°32'1"S 125°16'37"E

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Statistics


Introduction

I've decided to publish some of my web site statistics. Except I'll do it a little differently.

Most statistics reports summarise their data on User Agent - quite natural as the User Agent is the primary method of identifying browsers. For web site designers, that's not what they're really interested in, which is of course the rendering engine.

I'm currently using awstats to analyze my server logs. Don't bother looking for the reports yourself. I FTP my server logs from my ISP to a local computer and generate the reports there.

In fact, I don't have access to my real server logs, but generate artificial logs in the scripts that serve my web pages. That means that only actual web page requests show up in my logs. Requests for images, style sheets, scripts, etc don't count.

After using awstats for many months, I obtained a Google Analytics account and started tracking those.

The major difference between the two is that awstats counts hits in relation to user agents, while Google Analytics counts visits. A hit is recorded for each page accessed, while a single visit may comprise many page accesses. My site seems to average about 3.5 hits per visit.


Monthly Summaries

awstats

Not all the rendering engines listed below are shown here. In particular "Trident-Old" and "Mozilla" are put into "Others". As mentioned below, awstats does not provide enough information to distinguish the Opera "Presto" and "Elektra" engines from each other. Being more recent, "Presto" vastly outnumbers "Elektra", so I've allowed the latter to be counted as the former. Google Analytics statistics for all of 2006 show that non-Presto Opera browsers comprise approximately 0.08% of visits.

Source: awstats
Month (Hits)Rendering Engine
Trident Tasman Gecko Webcore KHTML Presto Others
IE7 IE6 IE5
2007-12 (29814) 16.2% (4833) 18.3% (5444) 0.3% (102) 0.4% (131) 33.0% (9845) 3.0% (895) 0.1% (34) 26.4% (7859) 2.3% (671)
2007-11 (61558) 13.9% (8569) 25.8% (15853) 0.4% (253) 0.3% (167) 28.4% (17456) 2.0% (1228) 0.2% (108) 26.5% (16330) 2.6% (1594)
2007-10 (45847) 9.6% (4389) 33.2% (15242) 0.6% (271) 0.8% (360) 19.6% (8971) 1.0% (460) 0.1% (61) 30.7% (14059) 4.4% (2034)
2007-09 (54220) 8.6% (4676) 39.8% (21560) 0.4% (222) 0.8% (437) 18.7% (10117) 1.1% (587) 0.1% (63) 26.5% (14361) 4.1% (2197)
2007-08 (68646) 10.0% (6897) 35.6% (24415) 0.4% (248) 0.2% (119) 23.0% (15763) 1.8% (1240) 0.1% (91) 24.8% (17015) 4.2% (2858)
2007-07 (74474) † 10.7% (7937) 38.5% (28674) 0.6% (433) 0.5% (397) 24.4% (18174) 2.1% (1596) 0.1% (88) 20.1% (15002) 2.9% (2173)
2007-06 (73207) 11.3% (8274) 34.6% (25338) 0.6% (454) 1.4% (1000) 26.5% (19418) 2.4% (1757) 0.2% (156) 20.2% (14808) 2.7% (2002)
2007-05 (85929) 10.8% (9238) 37.7% (32387) 0.5% (453) 0.8% (708) 24.3% (20872) 1.9% (1640) 0.2% (152) 19.9% (17139) 3.9% (3340)
2007-04 (73428) † 11.1% (8173) 34.6% (25402) 4.5% (3334) 1.2% (879) 26.2% (19210) 2.2% (1636) 0.2% (166) 17.6% (12895) 2.4% (1733)
2007-03 (104051) 10.4% (10870) 39.4% (41034) 5.6% (5846) 1.3% (1367) 22.8% (23749) 1.7% (1764) 0.1% (149) 16.1% (16770) 2.4% (2502)
2007-02 (102429) 10.9% (11161) 39.7% (40645) 1.9% (1908) 1.2% (1277) 23.2% (23800) 2.0% (2044) 0.2% (183) 17.8% (18265) 3.1% (3146)
2007-01 (120543) 9.7% (11642) 41.0% (49405) 1.2% (1486) 1.0% (1250) 23.8% (28664) 2.0% (2408) 0.1% (136) 18.5% (22321) 2.7% (3231)
2006-12 (116095) 7.8% (9101) 40.6% (47141) 2.2% (2550) 1.2% (1362) 23.1% (26769) 1.9% (2172) 0.2% (206) 19.6% (22810) 3.4% (3984)
2006-11 (123201) † 4.7% (5767) 43.9% (54103) 2.2% (2768) 1.4% (1784) 22.3% (27488) 2.0% (2458) 0.1% (156) 19.6% (24147) 3.7% (4530)
2006-10 (118010) † -.-% (-) 50.5% (59632) 0.9% (1060) 1.0% (1188) 22.9% (26997) 2.1% (2449) 0.1% (124) 18.7% (22039) 3.8% (4521)
2006-09 (108577) -.-% (-) 55.6% (60343) 0.6% (628) 1.1% (1207) 24.0% (26079) 2.0% (2147) 0.1% (115) 13.3% (14492) 3.3% (3566)
2006-08 (109333) -.-% (-) 51.9% (56743) 0.7% (817) 0.8% (826) 25.7% (28119) 2.1% (2336) 0.1% (152) 15.0% (16390) 3.6% (3950)
2006-07 (105031) -.-% (-) 51.3% (53931) 1.1% (1125) 0.6% (584) 26.1% (27386) 2.4% (2555) 0.1% (147) 15.1% (15891) 3.2% (3412)
2006-06 (110757) -.-% (-) 50.4% (55801) 2.2% (2443) 0.6% (661) 25.5% (28214) 2.4% (2695) 0.1% (158) 15.6% (17282) 3.2% (3503)
2006-05 (116520) -.-% (-) 52.4% (61102) 2.5% (2881) 0.7% (837) 25.7% (29942) 2.5% (2868) 0.1% (136) 13.5% (15728) 2.6% (3026)
2006-04 (118612) -.-% (-) 48.1% (57041) 2.2% (2581) 0.6% (759) 30.1% (35711) 2.5% (2925) 0.1% (171) 13.1% (15493) 3.3% (3931)
2006-03 (123180) -.-% (-) 52.0% (64055) 2.1% (2641) 0.5% (637) 30.0% (36898) 2.7% (3359) 0.2% (222) 10.0% (12267) 2.5% (3101)
2006-02 (113223) -.-% (-) 53.6% (60692) 2.0% (2265) 0.7% (802) 28.6% (32336) 2.9% (3340) 0.3% (303) 9.4% (10613) 2.5% (2872)
2006-01 (130507) -.-% (-) 53.3% (69552) 1.5% (2008) 0.8% (995) 29.6% (38662) 3.0% (3872) 0.2% (232) 8.6% (11191) 3.1% (3995)
2005-12 (118281) † -.-% (-) 52.8% (62432) 1.2% (1373) 0.6% (652) 31.1% (36754) 2.9% (3468) 0.3% (326) 8.5% (10024) 2.7% (3252)
2005-11 (116634) -.-% (-) 52.6% (61386) 1.6% (1889) 0.5% (634) 29.3% (34201) 2.9% (3374) 0.2% (219) 9.6% (11237) 3.2% (3694)
2005-10 (76753) -.-% (-) 60.0% (45780) 2.4% (1870) 0.7% (512) 22.0% (16849) 2.3% (1787) 0.2% (170) 8.1% (6179) 4.7% (3606)
2005-09 (55371) † -.-% (-) 51.1% (28312) 2.3% (1266) 0.9% (499) 24.2% (13419) 2.7% (1471) 0.2% (122) 11.2% (6216) 7.3% (4066)
2005-08 (95907) † -.-% (-) 50.3% (48285) 2.4% (2313) 0.9% (837) 26.9% (25837) 3.3% (3178) 0.2% (202) 11.6% (11082) 4.4% (4173)
2005-07 (79523) -.-% (-) 43.1% (34237) 1.9% (1547) 0.8% (670) 29.6% (23569) 2.9% (2303) 0.2% (176) 16.1% (12778) 5.3% (4243)
2005-06 (53186) † -.-% (-) 37.3% (19858) 1.6% (851) 0.7% (368) 26.0% (13819) 2.3% (1220) 0.3% (134) 23.1% (12287) 8.7% (4649)
2005-05 (64262) -.-% (-) 34.7% (22317) 2.9% (1839) 0.7% (479) 23.2% (14887) 2.2% (1428) 0.3% (173) 31.2% (20081) 4.8% (3058)
2005-04 (62750) -.-% (-) 33.2% (20853) 4.4% (2768) 0.8% (502) 23.9% (14980) 1.7% (1067) 0.3% (159) 30.0% (18810) 5.8% (3611)
2005-03 (56520) -.-% (-) 40.7% (22982) 3.7% (2106) 1.2% (661) 25.4% (14349) 2.3% (1277) 0.3% (159) 21.2% (11999) 5.3% (2987)
2005-02 (45582) -.-% (-) 35.5% (16191) 2.7% (1210) 1.2% (528) 27.8% (12658) 2.7% (1210) 0.4% (203) 25.7% (11708) 4.1% (1874)
2005-01 (38053) -.-% (-) 34.7% (13217) 3.4% (1303) 1.2% (472) 27.5% (10468) 2.2% (854) 0.3% (122) 23.3% (8868) 7.2% (2749)
2004-12 (12219) † -.-% (-) 30.1% (3682) 1.3% (163) 1.1% (129) 36.4% (4447) 2.1% (251) 0.1% (10) 25.2% (3074) 3.8% (463)

†Notes

Google Analytics

Source: Google Analytics
Month (Visits)Rendering Engine
Trident Tasman Gecko Webcore KHTML Presto Others
IE7 IE6 IE5
2007-12 (16995) 15.8% (2693) 13.6% (2309) 0.1% (13) 0.1% (9) 28.2% (4790) 2.8% (469) 0.1% (11) 38.3% (6502) 1.2% (199)
2007-11 (17933) 15.6% (2797) 15.6% (2794) 0.1% (12) 0.1% (14) 28.5% (5104) 2.4% (436) 0.1% (24) 36.6% (6571) 1.0% (181)
2007-10 (9979) 12.8% (1274) 16.8% (1675) 0.1% (10) 0.0% (4) 21.7% (2168) 1.5% (147) 0.1% (9) 46.7% (4661) 0.3% (31)
2007-09 (11358) 13.3% (1510) 19.1% (2171) 0.1% (8) 0.1% (8) 22.9% (2604) 1.9% (215) 0.1% (13) 42.2% (4793) 0.3% (36)
2007-08 (16597) 14.4% (2394) 20.2% (3346) 0.1% (15) 0.1% (11) 27.1% (4491) 2.3% (383) 0.1% (19) 35.3% (5851) 0.5% (87)
2007-07 (17793) † 15.5% (2753) 22.6% (4030) 0.1% (18) 0.1% (23) 28.4% (5059) 2.8% (507) 0.1% (19) 29.8% (5311) 0.4% (73)
2007-06 (18391) 15.3% (2808) 22.3% (4100) 0.2% (34) 0.1% (17) 29.4% (5409) 3.1% (570) 0.2% (42) 28.9% (5315) 0.5% (96)
2007-05 (21299) 14.9% (3173) 23.0% (4903) 0.1% (30) 0.1% (27) 27.1% (5778) 2.9% (611) 0.1% (26) 31.5% (6703) 0.2% (48)
2007-04 (18365) † 15.1% (2767) 24.4% (4489) 0.2% (31) 0.1% (23) 29.2% (5356) 3.1% (571) 0.2% (41) 27.4% (5039) 0.3% (48)
2007-03 (22697) 15.8% (3584) 27.9% (6324) 0.2% (40) 0.2% (36) 29.6% (6714) 3.1% (695) 0.1% (30) 22.9% (5207) 0.3% (67)
2007-02 (22098) 16.0% (3537) 28.2% (6231) 0.2% (37) 0.2% (42) 30.4% (6707) 3.3% (722) 0.2% (47) 21.3% (4698) 0.3% (77)
2007-01 (25942) 14.4% (3729) 30.3% (7869) 0.2% (57) 0.2% (42) 30.5% (7911) 3.4% (872) 0.1% (30) 20.6% (5333) 0.4% (99)
2006-12 (25310) 11.6% (2948) 33.1% (8384) 0.2% (51) 0.2% (50) 28.8% (7280) 3.3% (832) 0.2% (46) 22.2% (5618) 0.4% (101)
2006-11 (26975) † 6.9% (1853) 38.0% (10248) 0.3% (75) 0.2% (58) 27.7% (7482) 3.2% (857) 0.1% (31) 23.1% (6231) 0.5% (140)
2006-10 (27711) -.-% (-) 43.9% (12161) 0.3% (95) 0.2% (60) 27.8% (7703) 3.2% (882) 0.1% (33) 23.6% (6530) 0.9% (247)
2006-09 (26738) -.-% (-) 44.4% (11869) 0.3% (72) 0.2% (50) 27.8% (7428) 3.0% (808) 0.1% (39) 23.4% (6261) 0.8% (211)
2006-08 (29272) -.-% (-) 44.8% (13104) 0.3% (86) 0.3% (75) 28.1% (8230) 2.9% (859) 0.2% (55) 23.1% (6761) 0.3% (102)
2006-07 (28706) -.-% (-) 45.0% (12905) 0.4% (125) 0.2% (61) 27.8% (7989) 3.1% (888) 0.1% (38) 23.1% (6624) 0.3% (76)
2006-06 (30539) -.-% (-) 44.9% (13702) 0.5% (160) 0.4% (109) 27.9% (8523) 3.0% (925) 0.2% (50) 22.9% (6991) 0.3% (79)
2006-05 (31061) -.-% (-) 47.0% (14592) 0.5% (167) 0.3% (101) 29.0% (9006) 3.2% (1007) 0.2% (47) 19.5% (6052) 0.3% (89)
2006-04 (31016) -.-% (-) 47.8% (14824) 0.4% (125) 0.3% (107) 28.8% (8947) 3.3% (1032) 0.2% (50) 18.8% (5844) 0.3% (87)
2006-03 (2227) -.-% (-) 49.6% (1104) 0.9% (21) 0.8% (17) 29.8% (663) 3.6% (81) 0.1% (2) 15.1% (337) 0.1% (2)

†Notes

Trends

There are 14 more months of awstats data than for Google Analytics.

awstats trend graph
Google Analytics trend graph


Caveats

Web site statistics are notoriously unreliable. Mine included! Many browsers are able to "spoof" their identity. Opera, Safari, and Konqueror have this capability built-in. Mozilla and Firefox require an easy to install extension. Internet Explorer requires some registry hacking.

Statistics are also only relevant for the site in question. My statistics are not relevant to your site (whoever you may be).

Case in point is this site, the one I'm reporting the statistics for! I'm an active member on the Opera Community Web Forum and get lots of people visiting my site from there. Naturally, Opera is the predominant browser there, which leads to Opera being over-represented here, compared to the average.

Dangers

The biggest mistake you can make when looking at site statistics (other people's or your own) is to use them as a guide of what to support. For example, if your current statistics show you that Opera and Safari visitors are tiny, then you might decide not to worry about them. Consequently, your site may fall over or look incredibly ugly to people using those browsers. They'd hardly be likely to come back, would they? The result being that Opera and Safari visitors would continue to be a small proportion of your total visitors - entirely due to your own actions (or lack thereof).

Mis-representation

Google has recently implemented "prefetching" for some of their results. That causes Gecko browsers to visit links on the Google results page automatically, with no user intervention. The user may not realise what's happening and may not even visit the site in question. Nevertheless, the site was visited by the browser and that visit will be incorporated into the site statistics. Given the traffic Google represents, this could result in a significant over-reporting of Gecko browsers all over the web.

Another factor to consider is that Opera (and soon Firefox) aggressively caches pages in memory, so that going backwards and forwards doesn't re-request web pages, making for much faster surfing. Fewer requests means lower stats.


Rendering Engines

There are many web browser rendering engines in use. In the table below I've listed the name of the engine, some comments, and the awstats Browser Names I've assumed correspond to that engine. Some Browser Names are obviously bogus.

Engine NameCommentsawstats Browser Names
Trident-IE7 Windows Msie. An improved version of the Trident-IE6 engine, with some additional standards support, and quite a bit of bug-fixing. Msie 7.x, Msie 8.x, Msie 9.x.
Trident-IE6 Windows Msie. Important in that it supports a Standards mode. Msie 6.x.
Trident-IE5 Windows Msie. Permanently in Quirks mode. Msie 5.0, Msie 5.5.
Trident-Old Windows Msie. Quirky, old. Msie ?, Msie 3.x, Msie 4.x.
Tasman Apple Mac Msie. Msie 5.01, Msie 5.05, Msie 5.1x, Msie 5.2x.
Gecko Standards compliant. Netscape 5.x, Netscape 6.x, Netscape 7.x, Netscape 8.x, Netscape 9.x, Firefox, Firebird, Mozilla, Camino, Galeon, Multizilla, K-Meleon.
Mozilla Quirky. Netscape ?, Netscape 1.x, Netscape 2.x, Netscape 3.x, Netscape 4.x.
Webcore Standards compliant. Safari, Omniweb.
KHTML Standards compliant. Konqueror.
Presto Standards compliant. Used by Opera 7, 8, 9. Not distinguished by awstats from earlier Operas. Opera.
Elektra Weak scripting support. Used by Opera 4, 5, 6. Not distinguished by awstats from newer Operas. Grouped with Presto stats. Opera.

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