Firefox an Important Browser

Firefox has moved out of just being considered an alternative browser. Now Firefox has real market clout and a loyal following.

WC3 reports that in January 2008, Firefox had cornered 37.2% of the browsing market. IE still dominates with 54.7% of the market. This is a huge drop for Internet Explorer. When I first started designing websites seven years ago, Internet Explorer owned 98.9% of the market. Now if you are note testing your website for compatibility with at the very minimum on Firefox, you may be in for real problems.

If we look at the break down in Internet Explorer, we can see that IE 6 still has a strong following with 32% of the browser market wit IE 7 only cornering 21.2% of the market.

Here’s my tip for all website owners:
1. Test your site in Firefox. Make sure that you have a relatively good match with what viewers using Internet Explorer will see. Although you cannot match appearance exactly in many cases between the two as these two browsers identify the box model differently, you should definitely not see a broken layout.

2. Make sure to test your site in both Internet Explorer 6 and Internet Explorer 7. I personally was surprise to see that Internet Explorer 7 had not been widely embraced, and so it is still a very important browser for testing.

3. Make sure that not only your website looks good in Firefox and IE, but make sure your programatically rendered website sections like client order areas look good in Firefox as well. Don’t just review your front end, but your store, client’s area, and all customer use areas look good.