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Firefox Remains the Most Popular Development Browser

By Craig Buckler

Programming

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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.

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.

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