Firefox Remains the Most Popular Development Browser

Contributing Editor

The results are in from last week’s SitePoint poll. We asked: “What is your primary web development browser?”

3,126 people voted:

  • 67.7% use Firefox
  • 20.1% use Chrome or Safari
  • 8.5% use Internet Explorer
  • 3.7% use Opera

We all expected Firefox to do well. Actually, it’s not Firefox but its range of excellent extensions which developers really want. Firebug was quoted as one of the main reasons to use Firefox, but there are many other extensions to choose from.

However, Chrome is beginning to encroach on Firefox’s territory. The Webkit Inspector is a good alternative to Firebug and great extensions are appearing. Chrome cannot complete with the range or power of Firefox’s extensions, but they are getting better and developers particularly like the browser’s speed.

Almost 1 in 10 people continue to use IE as their main development browser. That makes sense if you’re developing internal intranet applications for a company where IE is the default/enforced browser. IE8′s tools are no match for some of the competition, but they’re good enough for most problems.

I thought Opera’s percentage would be higher, although it’s double the browser’s market share. Opera offers some powerful development tools, but perhaps they’re not compelling enough to entice people to switch?

For now, Firefox retains the web developer crown. But Mozilla should be wary — Chrome is catching up fast.

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  • USPatriot

    3,100 votes is all SP can muster? LOL. Their are wrestling websites I go to that get 10,000 – 15,000 votes per poll. SP not as popular as I thought.

  • FF

    FF-Forever! Firefox the best! It’s Win! :]
    Opera? [*] lol ;p

  • imtiaz wazir

    I love Opera.. and voted for Opera. Opera is the only browser, which is always being underrated. Opera has the most powerful Javascript engine. It is simple, and the fastest.
    I always use Opera for development. :)
    Best of luck to you Opera for a good future.

  • http://www.optimalworks.net/ Craig Buckler

    @USPatriot
    Not everyone votes, especially on a poll that lasts less than a week. And remember that it was primarily of interest to web developers: not designers or business owners. Other polls have larger responses, others less.

    Remember also that wrestling is followed by millions (which brings 10,000 – 15,000 votes into context). 90% of people don’t even know what a browser is.

  • http://www.jonathanpenny.co.uk jonpenny

    I use Firefox for development because of Firebug like most people but use Chrome to browse. If Chrome gets an extension as good as Firebug however without eating up RAM like Firefox does I will switch to Chrome for both browsing and developing. I just hope Chrome can get extensions as powerful as the extensions for Firefox without bogging down my system. No problems with my home machine as it’s very powerful but my work machine is not. I have to close Firefox after a couple of hours because it’s taken up so much RAM.

    @USPatriot English is clearly not as popular either judging by your grammar. It’s “THERE are wrestling websites” not “Their”…