Which is Your Primary Browser?

I did a REALLY informal poll on Twitter to see which browser people consider their primary browser. I’ve listed the results below. The “Browsing” category is what I consider results for a “primary” browser in terms of general day-to-day use while “Development” is the primary browser used to build web applications or help you in your job:


Firefox: 9
Chrome: 25
Safari: 10
IE: 2 (including @getify)
Opera: 1


Firefox: 10
Chrome: 0
Safari: 0
IE: 1

Again, this was a totally unscientific and informal poll but the results were surprising. I would’ve expected Firefox to be ahead of Chrome & Safari in the “Browsing” category, especially since add-ons are such a huge benefit. I know that Chrome for Windows now has extensions but nowhere near the number of add-ons Firefox offers & their currently not available on Chrome for Mac or Linux. I guess it may not be too off base considering that most of the people that follow my Twitter account would be considered advanced users who tend to be early adopters. I remember Firefox going through the same adoption process with techies leading the charge.

Unsurprisingly, Firefox still rules the roost when it comes to a development browser. Add-ons like Firebug, Web Developer Toolbar, TamperData & ColorZilla really make a HUGE difference in getting work done. Other browsers are catching up (Safari Web Inspector & Developer Tools for Google Chrome) so it’ll be interesting to see how that evolves.

Rey Bango


  1. I just recently switched to using Chrome fulltime for browsing as I was having a lot of performance problems with Firefox.

    For development though, nothing beats Firefox/Firebug/Web Developer! Chrome’s developer tools have a long way to go before I’d use it solely.

    • Re: Chrome’s developer tools and Safari Web Inspector, that’s the same feedback I’ve heard from others and kind of the way I feel as well. They’re getting better but they’ve got a ways to go.

  2. Not surprising at all. And this is pretty much the case for me as well. Firefox for development and Chrome for casual browsing.

    Would have expected more Opera love though since it’s quite a nice middle ground browser between development and casual browsing.

  3. I was using chrome/ff browse/develop combo but switched back to ff fulltime because I can’t live without the delicious plugin

  4. I just want to say, for the record, that I use both IE7 and Chrome for browsing. And I don’t expect anyone to understand why, but I have my reasons, and it’s not just insanity or ignorance. :)

    — @getify

    PS. thanks for calling me out, Rey. :)

  5. my os is MacOSX .
    i run regularly:
    Firefox, Safari, and Chrome .
    i prefer a particular browser for particular sites, because of passwords, bookmarks and “look and feel.” ;-)

  6. For banking: Opera, best password management
    For QA: Opera, vertical preview tabs, automatic reload
    For development: Firefox, firebug, validator plugins (Opera has that too, but I don’t like Dragonfly)
    For surfing: Firefox, adblock, extensions
    For mobile: Opera mini/mobile, quick and full view

    I also have (tried) IE, Chrome, Epiphany, Skyfire, O3, Bolt and Lynx, but never use(d) them regularly.
    As a last point: I like to try out new or old browsers, just to see what features I might be missing or from where we came. Just try Netscape 4.8 and you’ll see how much that is.

  7. I have an interesting twist on this one. I use Firefox for my day to day browsing and for web development. When I’m doing extension development I use both Firefox and Chrome since I’m developing for both. I use Safari for streaming Netflix since having the stream open and all my browsing tabs hangs Firefox.

  8. I have been using safari for both browsing and developing since 4.0 was released. I keep firefox around in case I really need firebug, but I find safari’s dev tools are enough for my day to day.

    oh yeah i keep IE around if someone starts screaming at me.

  9. I must be out of the ordinary ;-). Not only my “primary browser” is SeaMonkey (Sm 2.0.3pre, at the moment) but for “development” I use, well, “none of the above”, i.e., bash, ftp, some other command-line tools, and gvim. I would maybe also use make, gcc, and maybe autoconf — if only I were still into programming.

  10. Dropped Firefox for browsing before Fx 2.0 was ever released in favor of Camino. I also use Safari and sometimes Chrome. For webdev, Safari/webkit inspector and sometimes Firebug running on nightly Minefield builds.

  11. Small corrective note: Chrome does support extensions on both Mac (in the Dev Channel) and Linux (In both Dev and Beta Channels).

    • Hi Peter. So the version I’m running on Mac ( can run extensions right now as is or do I have to install a Chromium version?

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