Lies, Damn Lies and More Server Statistics | December 31, 2005

I almost never look at my server stats, so despite some great services such as Mint and Measure Map, I doubt I would get much use out of them. However when Google bought Urchin – effectively removing my hosting companies stats package – I decided to sign up for a free account and give it a whirl.

Google Analytics is a bit of a beast of a package, with far more information that I’d ever need. I have issues with the IA and usability of the package as well as it’s limited support for Safari, which makes Mint and Measure Map seem a lot more attractive. However as a FREE stats package, you can’t really complain.

I was looking at some the stats for this site the other day and thought I’d share some of the information with you.

For the month of December this site attracted a total of 63,716 visitors, working out at an average of 2,123 visitors per day. My highest spike was on the 9th where the site attracted 3,820 visitors while the lowest was on the 24th where the site had 1,142 visitors.

Site visitors for Dec 05

The readership of this site mostly comes from the US (35.49%) and the UK (15.62%), with a smaller proportion from Canada (5.06%) and Germany (5.05%). However the long tail is well in effect on this site, with the remaining countries making up 26.06% of the readership.

Country statistics for Dec 05

The majority of people visiting this site use Firefox (42.32%). However Internet Explorer usage is still surprisingly large at 37.85%. Safari comes in at a fairly respectable 14.39% with Opera coming in fourth at 2.98%.

Browser version statistics for Dec 05

55.74% of Firefox users are using version 1.5 while another 34.49% are using either 1.0.6 or 1.0.7, leaving 9.77% of people using Firefox 1.0.5 and older.

Statistics for Internet Explorer are very interesting, with a whopping 95.78% of visitors using IE6.0. Only 1.07% of people are using IE5.5 and 1.37% using IE5.0. That still amounts to 626 visitors over the course of the month, but is good news if and when I decide to redesign.

The majority of Opera users (90.58%) are using Opera 8.0 or greater, but that still means 191 Opera users are below that threshold. I had expected the majority of Safari users to have been on the latest version, but surprisingly version numbers were all over the place, one of the problems with having so many updates combined with versions being tied into OS versions.

browser/platforms statistics for Dec 05

Lastly I’m going to mention screen resolutions. It is evident that the readers of this site like their larger screen resolutions, with only 5.57% of visitors viewing this site on 800×600. Such a low percentage could make me tempted to optimise any redesign for 1024×768, but 5.57% amounts to a lot of people; 3,790 to be exact.

The most popular configuration is still 1024×768 at 39.77%, with 1280×1024 the second most common at 24.83%. However it was interesting to see that 29.83% of visitors view this site on one of 126 different resolutions. I honestly never knew there were so many resolutions available. The highest screen resolution recorded in December was a whopping 3840×1200. That’s over 4.6 million pixels of viewing pleasure!

Screen resolution statistics for Dec 05

If you’ve got a blog, why not post up your stats?

Posted at December 31, 2005 11:50 AM


Nihad Eminović said on December 31, 2005 3:03 PM

Interesting article, as always. I often wonder who’s visting my sites, but never did much about it. As default my hosting comes with some statistic tools but it’s kind of limited to visits, location and referers, nothing this detailed.

Hopefully with the New Year just around the corner, Google will release Analytics to public again and I will be able to see stats like this. :)

Happy New Year to everyone.

Nick Cowie said on December 31, 2005 3:34 PM

Top three resolutions on my blog
1280×1024 36.68%
1024×768 24.62%
1280×854 5.53%

Largest 1920×1200
Smallest 800×600 4%

Michel Fortin said on December 31, 2005 5:07 PM

Screen resolution statistics may be more misleading than you may think. My screen resolution is at 1024×768, however the size of my browser window is always smaller (currently 813×703) because I like to have space around to see other things happening in the background. And I’m sure I’m not the only one.

So which should you take into account when doing a redesign — window size or screen resolution? And does Analytics gives you that information?

Eddie Sowden said on December 31, 2005 5:54 PM

I also have a screen size of 1024×768 but I only browse at 800px wide. I would take any stats with a pinch of salt as they can often only tell you half of the story.

Tanny O'Haley said on December 31, 2005 7:06 PM

I have a screen resolution of 1280×1024 but I browse at the odd number of 1080×990. I guess that I like my browser to look like a page. I’m with Michael Fortin, does Analytics give you window size? I think that information is more important for designing a page than screen resolution which only tells me the potential browser resolution, not actual used resolution.

Does anyone know of a public site that has window resolution statistics?

Nathan Smith said on December 31, 2005 8:15 PM

^ Those are the stats for my website. They’re pretty comparable to yours as far as browser usage and screen resolution percentages, with of course significantly less overall traffic! :)

Miladysa said on December 31, 2005 8:33 PM

Congratulations, those are impressive traffic stats. As a novice I would be interested to know if you have any tips for increasing blog visitors?

Jeff Hartman said on December 31, 2005 11:28 PM

Did I miss something? What are the “Lies, Damn Lies” to which you are referring?

Georg said on January 1, 2006 6:05 AM

Lies and statistics… :-)
Better ignored, I think.

I have screen resolution 3840×1024.
That equals 3 ordinary screens at 1280×1024 and a Matrox Parhelia card. It is a pleasure and makes for an efficient workspace - in addition to confusing some of the “smart” sites that adjust layouts to resolution.

Jeremy Keith said on January 1, 2006 7:28 AM

As others have pointed out, screen resolution does not equal browser resolution.

Dave Child said on January 1, 2006 1:15 PM

Well, let’s see. 66,716 visitors over December, with 38% of those from search engines and the rest from links and bookmarks. Of the search engines, Google sent along 94% of all referrals.

The US provided 46% of traffic, the UK 9% and Canada 5%, with the rest being made up of just about everywhere.

I’ve had 889 visitors pottering around at 5am, but the popular time to visit seems to be between 11am and 4pm.

I’m running a home-grown stats package, which doesn’t include browser data or screen resolution data. It’s something of an experiment - I’m curious as to whether monitoring browser and resolution stats actually makes life harder. At the moment, I design everything using standards and then test in everything I can find. All bugs are equal. And because I don’t know about resolutions, I have to test with lots of those as well.

Shaun Inman said on January 1, 2006 3:49 PM

Mint actually offers a Window Width Pepper that shows you what size window visitors are browsing—with regardless of screen resolution. It was created as a reaction to a comment Jeremy made on one of those “smart sites” George mentioned (if I’m not mistaken).

Andrew Phillipo said on January 9, 2006 12:49 AM

Sorry to be so rude, but do we really care about the few percent of a few percent who browse with a smaller window at 1024×768. We have to play the percentages and most web developers will be able to move over to designing for 1024×768 in the next year or two I hope!

jr said on January 10, 2006 12:53 AM

interesting stats

gaston said on January 10, 2006 6:07 PM

I had posted about the stats of IExplorer users: Internet Explorer Stats.

Kevin Hall said on January 13, 2006 3:24 AM

In the last few weeks I’ve stopped by two separate client’s offices and found most users using 800×600 resolutions. When I asked why they would possibly do that I found out that they had no idea you could change the screen resolution or even what screen resolution was. There appear to be a number of people out there that work on whatever the monitor was set at out of the box.

We web designers are not the norm, we are freaks in the world of everyday computer use.

Rod Pascoe said on January 13, 2006 10:38 AM

I have an Apple Cinema Display and I too browse at a smaller size than my screen allows. You know what they say about asumption……… ;-)

alank said on January 13, 2006 5:14 PM

As designers, we need to remember that these stats will be skewed because only designers (and other like minded people) are viewing these pages. Therefore the screen resolutions will be proportionally large, as most designers have whopping big screens (or wide-screen laptops). What we need here is window-width stats from a page like Google!

victor said on January 16, 2006 5:10 PM

Andy dixit:
If you’ve got a blog, why not post up your stats?

Because they pale in comparison. I don’t get much traffic these days (as compared to, say, a couple of years ago)

Richard Fay said on January 18, 2006 10:02 PM

Several very good points have been made already.

I think it’s important for web developers to remember that many people are web- challenged for a number of reasons, including: physical conditions, cultural or economic disfavor, and a rather normal disinterest in complexity.

The reality is that there is no ‘standard’ window size in which people view the web. And, as we move toward more mobile devices, the one-size-target solution gets even less desirable.

Luckily, with the slowly increasing implementation of CSS standards, developers have much greater latitude in their ability to present to all manner of screens.

Although we may tend to design to the most standards-capable browser and generous monitor size, that does not preclude making our pages perform optimally under lesser conditions.

The audience matters, and most of them will never tell us what they think of our work.

Eric said on February 4, 2006 5:56 PM

Current screen resolution: 1024×768
Why? A lot of the newer installed programs on my computer insist I use a resolution higher than 800×600 otherwise they won’t load up. I actually prefer to browse at 800×600 fullscreen.

Nino said on March 2, 2006 10:35 PM

I recently went ahead and designed a site for one of my clients at a width of 1000 because he had a 1024 × 768 screen and didn’t like the extra white space on the right side of the site when I originally did it for 800×600 screens.

I mistakenly thought that the majority of users still were at that level, but after doing research I found that the majority actually are at resolutions higher than 800×600. So, now I will start designing at 1000 width all the time.

However, an interesting thing to note is that when people are older (as some of my grey haired executive clients are) they like the words to be a bit bigger on the screen and thus naturally are inclined to stay at 800 × 600 because they can see it better. Just something to consider if your intended audience are the grey hairs.