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The State of the Web survey results

We’ve just published the report from our first (hopefully) annual “State of the Web” survey.

Some surprising results from the survey include

  • Nearly half the respondents use Mac OS X Leopard, and over half use a non Windows Operating system. Windows XP still outweighs Windows Vista among these users by a factor of 4 to 1 as their operating system of choice.
  • Just a small majority, less than 5%, use any version of Internet Explorer as their primary browser, while Firefox dominates as the browser for choice, with over 60% market share. Safari 3 follows with 21%, and the much talked about Chrome on just 4%.
  • Only a tiny handful use Internet Explorer 8 beta as their browser of choice.
  • Despite the hype of the iPhone, less than 20% of respondents use the mobile web, and a similar number develop sites optimized for mobiles.

Web Development technologies

When it comes to web technology use, standards based technologies dominate.

  • Only 3% of respondents say they never validate their sites while 70% say that they frequently or always do.
  • Only 10% of respondents say they use tables for layout, while well over 90% use CSS for styling their pages.
  • 35% of respondents say they use microformats in their markup.
  • 95% of respondents use JavaScript, and of these, almost all use libraries.
  • JQuery is the dominant library used by some way, with 60% of respondents saying they use it.

With plug-in technologies, Flash continues to dominate, with a market share of around 60%. Silverlight still has a lot of work to do to catch the long time industry leader, with a bare 2%, little more than the Real format. Apple’s Quicktime has a surprising 20% of the market.
Java applets have all but disappeared from the toolset of these early adopter developers.

On the back end, open source accounts for the majority of technologies used. Among server operating systems Linux at nearly 60% is used more than twice as often as Windows at 28%, with Unix also well represented at 17%. Even Mac OS X, which is usually far down survey lists for server OSs, is used by 5.5% of respondents.
Apache at 70% is the dominant web server, with IIS at 23%.

Over 90% sites are database driven, with the open source MySQL at 70% and PostrgeSQL at 10% together accounting for the significant majority of sites by respondents. Microsoft’s SQL Server at 22% and Oracle at 9% were the other widely used database systems.

With server side programming languages, PHP is the most commonly used, at 63%, with JavaScript at 55%, ASP.NET at 17% and Python at 15%. Despite its flavor of the month status, Ruby comes in at 14%, with Java at 12%, indicating that the language which came to prominence with the rise of the web is well and truly being challenged from all sides when it comes to web back end development.

Developers, developers, developer

The day of the web developer has well and truly arrived, with a significant majority of respondents describing themselves as “developers” rather than designers, or a combination of the two. 95% or more or respondents use JavaScript, and over 90% of their sites are database driven.

Read this, as well as all our conclusions, download the complete (anonymized) set of responses as a CSV, see tabular results to all the questions, the questions asked, or dive into our detailed analysis.

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Dave Greiner Founder, Campaign Monitor