Life would be far more difficult without caniuse.com. I use it daily to check levels of browser support for new HTML5 technologies.
The site provides a useful table at the top-right of the feature description which indicates the approximate proportion of people who can use the technology. The statistics are based on global browser usage assessed by StatCounter for the previous month.
StatCounter is a great resource which analyses traffic from three million websites worldwide — I reference the statistics in my monthly browser trends articles. But it’s no substitute for traffic analysis from your own websites.
For example, at the time of writing, the CSS3
border-radius property has 84.73% global support and is primarily missing from IE8. However, what if your site is named IE8isgreat.com? (That domain is available should you wish to create it!) You would expect a higher than normal percentage of IE8 users — the border-radius support percentage would be far lower.
Fortunately, caniuse.com now allows you to import Google Analytics statistics from your own sites to verify real levels of user support and compare them to the worldwide average.
Step 1: Implement Google Analytics
You’ll need a Google Analytics account but, seriously, I’ve yet to see a site which doesn’t use it.
Step 2: Login at caniuse.com
Step 3: Choose a Profile
Now select the website profile you want to import:
Step 4: Set the Date Range
Choose the date range — the past 30 days should be adequate — and hit Import data:
Step 5: View a Feature
Search or browse for any technology and you’ll notice a Custom support column which reflects your own site’s statistics. In the example below, 47.04% of SitePoint visitors are able to use the HTML5 Full Screen API compared to 34.63% on average:
This is the best application of the Analytics API I’ve seen and a useful addition to caniuse.com. It’s easy to use and will help you assess when an HTML5 feature becomes viable on your site.
Craig is a freelance UK web consultant who built his first page for IE2.0 in 1995. Since that time he's been advocating standards, accessibility, and best-practice HTML5 techniques. He's created enterprise specifications, websites and online applications for companies and organisations including the UK Parliament, the European Parliament, the Department of Energy & Climate Change, Microsoft, and more. He's written more than 1,000 articles for SitePoint and you can find him @craigbuckler.