Using analytics to make web development decisions

figure out what you can used based on your audience

I’m always wondering whether I can use the latest and greatest in web technologies on things that I make, and while the real answer to this is to use progressive enhancement, in some cases this isn’t possible due to constraints beyond your control.

However if you use Google Analytics, I recently found that you can plug your analytics code into (an excellent site telling you what CSS and web properties can be used in various browsers) and it will tell you based on the audience of your own site. Click the ‘Settings’ cog link, then on the left hand side there’s a link that’s ‘From Google Analytics: Import

You can then compare the audience of the thing you are making with your own country statistics to decide whether you should use something, and how much you need to work on a fallback. Super useful if you want to see if you can use specific CSS selectors that might not be supported in all browsers.

Bonus: looks like Can I Use has released a nifty command line tool so you can look things up without having to open your web browser.

As part of National Blog Post Month (#NaBloPoMo) the spin off from the novel writing month that writers often partake in November, I thought I would try and write a few more quick and short posts for November - lets see how far I can go with this.