One site – many ways to view it

Here at Aylesworth Fleming we build websites of all shapes and sizes. From large scale responsive sites, with dozens of templates and hundreds of content pages, to simple landing pages and campaign microsites. We’re able to satisfy wildly varying requirements and we use data analysis to ensure that we’re producing the best project possible for our clients, with the budget we have available.

While the sites we build vary massively from project to project, the devices being used to view them will also vary. Everybody views printed material in the same way. The ways people access online content can be very different. You may view a site on your desktop monitor, a laptop, a tablet, mobile phone or even your television.

Within each device category, there’s a vast range of browsers available for a person to use. You may like Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Safari on a Mac. The fun doesn’t stop there… which version of Internet Explorer are you running? Are you up to speed on IE11? Happy still running with 10 or 9? Not upgraded in years and using 8 or even (shudder) IE7?

As you can imagine, providing a consistent experience across all devices and browsers can be difficult. We use analytics to find out if we really need to create compatibility with older browsers or if it’s better to use your budget and resources to just target the newer generation of internet browsers. Google analytics will pinpoint exactly how many of your visitors are viewing the site on a specific device and even an individual browser. If the vast majority are using modern browsers then backwards compatibility can be costly and needless step in the project process. You can see long term browser trends emerging if you look at the W3 Schools website on browser statistics.

Google Chrome dominates these days, with almost two thirds of users accessing the web with this browser. Internet Explorer has fallen from grace. All versions account for just 7% of web visits and only 2% if we look at IE9 or older versions. This analysis indicates that the budget needed to make a site compatible with IE7 has a constrained benefit so might be better spent elsewhere.

While these are worldwide trends and the statistics will almost certainly vary from sector to sector and region to region, it’s worth looking at these trends to see how the consumption of content has changed over the years. This analysis will help you to save money, improve existing project and plan better for the future. Food for thought.