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Top 10 rising web technologies in 2012

Posted by Matthias Gelbmann on 2 January 2013 in News, Compression, Facebook, Google +1, Google Analytics, HTML, JQuery, Nginx, PNG, Twitter, UTF-8

Summary:

We compiled the list of web technologies that saw the largest increase in usage in the last year.

It has become a little tradition to publish the top rising technologies of a year. We did this already for 2010 and 2011.

To compile the list, we compared the number of sites using a technology on Jan 1, 2012 with the corresponding number on Jan 1, 2013. We use the difference of these numbers, rather than a percentage, because that would favor technologies with a tiny user base at the beginning of the year. As in all our surveys, we restrict the numbers to the top 1 million sites, see technology surveys for more details.

These are the technologies that gained most top 1 million sites in 2012:

  1. jQuery - Web Technology of the Year 2012

    jQuery gained 117,300 additional sites amongst the top 1 million websites in 2012. It crossed the 50% usage mark in August and is now used by 54.5% of all websites. With a JavaScript Library market share of 90.2%, people start asking why not including the jQuery functionality in the JavaScript standard, so that it would be available by default in all browsers.

    Congratulations to the jQuery team for being the Web Technology of the Year the second time in a row.
     
  2. HTTP compression

    HTTP compression is an easy way to reduce the amount of bytes transferred when accessing websites. With the increasing size of web pages and libraries, this has become an important feature of modern web servers, and is now used by 52.4% of all websites, which is 91,300 more than a year ago.
     
  3. PNG image file format

    The PNG image file format is more and more used on the web for things such as logos and icons. An extra 88,000 sites use it now, and it is about to replace GIF as the most popular format for that type of images.
     
  4. UTF-8

    UTF-8 made it in this list for the third time. An additional 67,100 sites use it now as character encoding for web pages. With a market share of 74.7% it is the default encoding for most web Engineers.
     
  5. Facebook

    Social media integration has become an essential part of many websites. The Facebook social plugins are the most popular social widgets, and they gained 60,600 top 1 million sites.
     
  6. Google +1

    Google is probably now the main competitor for Facebook. An additional 43,100 sites use the Google +1 button. Google started late in that game and although the momentum slowed down a bit on the last 6 months, it was a great year for the Google to become more social.
     
  7. Nginx

    Nginx is now used by 14.1% of all sites and has also been in this list in the last two years. 40,100 sites switched to Nginx in 2012, and there is still plenty of room to grow.
     
  8. Twitter

    Twitter is the third social widget in this list with a gain of 37,300 sites last year. Twitter is now integrated in 9.7% of all sites.
     
  9. HTML

    With the increasing application of HTML 5 features in websites, one of the oldest web technologies made it in this list. 35,000 top 1 mil sites switched (back) from XHTML to HTML in 2012.
     
  10. Google Analytics

    The most popular web analytics tool is already used by 57.7% of all websites. Nevertheless, Google managed to add a further 33,400 top 1 million sites to its user base in the last year.
     

Two technologies that have been in this list in the last years are no longer represented: PHP and WordPress. The reason is not that they are less used now (quite the contrary is the case: they are more popular than ever). The reason is that they have reached a dominance in their field that makes it next to impossible to gain enough new sites to enter that list.

Interesting changes in two other categories:

  • Like last year, Russian is the fastest growing content language with 6.800 additional top 1 million sites sites in 2012, just ahead of French with 6.300 site.
  • The French top level domain (.fr) gained 2.900 top 1 million sites and was the fastest growing top level domain in 2012, with last years winner Brazil (.br) coming second and Poland (.pl) third.

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