Speed Impact of India's Disparate Browser Market Share


Nov 2, 2018



The composition of India’s browser market share is notably different from the global share. As of Sep 2018, UC Browser and Opera Mini together hold nearly a third of the Indian browser market - notably higher than these two browsers’ global share of 8%. A side-effect of this disparity is that certain web standards and features not supported by these browsers may not benefit a large number of Indian visitors. As a website owner, you may be left blindspotted with features and optimizations that work on globally popular browsers like Chrome but not on India popular browsers like UC Browser.


Browser Market Share - India and US - Sep 2018

Disparity in Browser Market Share - India and US (Sep 2018) Source : Statcounter report


As a website owner, you may be left blindspotted with features and optimizations that work on globally popular browsers like Chrome but not on India popular browsers like UC Browser.



Lack of support for some important web features

Some important web standards like HTTP/2 and features such as resource hints, woof2 fonts, etc are not supported by UC Browser and Opera Mini. Lack of support by these browsers, combined with their popularity in India, causes a notable difference in coverage for certain standards and features in India and globally:


www.caniuse.com usage statistics (as of 20 Oct 2018)

Source : www.caniuse.com


As can be seen in the chart above, nearly half of Indian visitors may not experience speed benefits from improvements like HTTP/2. In fact, as a website owner, you may give up on older optimizations like clubbing files together since your website is now HTTP/2. This may cause your website speed to degrade for visitors on browsers like UC Browser.


Nearly half of Indian internet users do not experience the benefits of HTTP/2, resource preloading or woff2 fonts.



What can a website owner do about it?

First thing first - have a look at the browsers your visitors use to access your website:


Google Analytics : Visitors Browser Usage

Google Analytics : Audience > Technology > Browser & OS



If browsers such as UC Browser and Opera Mini are used by notable share of your visitors, you may want to only go for optimizations that work on these browsers. Like always, www.caniuse.com is the best place to extract coverage information before investing time and resource in any particular feature. Avoid investing in a web feature or a standard that won’t benefit majority of your visitors.


Know the browsers your website visitors use to access your website. And, do not invest in a web feature or a standard that won’t benefit majority of your visitors.



Blog Post by Punit Sethi




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