Second only to Internet Explorer in the UK, Mozilla’s Firefox browser has been the top choice of ‘techy types’ for many years now. Its popularity is primarily down to the features it provides that Internet Explorer doesn’t.

One of its biggest features is the ability to install a wide rage of user created add-ons. These add-ons come in many different shapes and sizes, providing a multitude of features. Some add-ons, like ‘Play drums!‘, are simply a bit of fun where as others, for example ‘Firebug‘, offer the user serious benefits.

Here at Cool Blue, our web team use Firefox as their main browser primarily due to add-ons such as Web Developer. Such tools comes in handy when checking for errors, quickly identifying elements, and calculating object sizes amongst other things.

However, in July 2011, Google Chrome overtook Firefox, albeit marginally, to become the second most popular browser in the UK. Its boost in popularity comes on the back of Google’s first advertisement on British TV.

Chrome has been a relatively popular choice of browser for the last few years due to its speed. As the World Wide Web has developed into a more interactive experience Internet speeds have become increasingly important. Think about it; 10 years ago you would have accessed a web page, read its static content, viewed its images and left. Today, with the popularity of social media sites, browsers have to cope with constantly updating page content and an increasingly impatient audience.

Lars Bak, the engineer responsible for Chrome, said the goal was never to attract a large user base, but to energise a dormant browser market:

“Speed is a fundamental part of it, but it’s also about the minimal design and the way it handles security. If you as a user try [to load] a web page and it feels snappy, it’s really hard to go back [to another browser]. It has shown that people spend more time interacting with the web.”

Unless you’re a ‘techy type’ though you probably hadn’t looked much further than the pre-installed Internet Explorer (or Safari if you’re an Apple user). This advert cleverly focuses on the social aspect of the web, rather than the technical, and by doing so appeals to the casual surfer.

It’s worth remembering that there are a multitude of browsers out there, all with their own pros and cons. As the vast majority of browsers come free of charge it’s worth trying a few different ones to find what’s best for you.

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