Graphing the impact of Firefox releases on SUMO traffic

Cheng Wang

2

For a few days now, we’ve been noting that the Firefox 3.6 release went smoother than 3.5. Now we can quantify it. By looking at the amount of traffic to SUMO, we expect a spike every time there’s a release — especially if there are issues that affect a large number of users.

The following chart shows number of daily unique visitors for release day and 3 days after each release relative to the exact same figure for a week prior. The blue band represents the mean of the data for non-release days ±1 SD.

Support increase by release

As you can see, we got a large increase in traffic from the 2.0>3.0.1 major update and the 3.5 release. (Since 3.0 was the first Firefox version to link to SUMO for help, there was not much SUMO traffic prior to 3.0 and the spike around the 3.0 release was over 500%). However, the recent 3.6 release resulted in a significantly smaller traffic jump. This suggests that there were fewer major issues around the 3.6 release — Firefox 3.6 is definitely the best Firefox yet.

Of course, the baseline daily unique visitor count has increased from 180,000 after the 3.0 release to around 400,000 before 3.5 to over 750,000 before the 3.6 release. So while the Firefox developer, QA, release engineering and support teams have been doing a great job making sure these releases are smoother and smoother, we are still getting a lot of traffic and we can still use your help! Learn how here.

2 responses

  1. Justin Dolske wrote on ::

    That’s a great visualization.

  2. Jesse Ruderman wrote on ::

    Do you think the relatively small 3.6 bump means that 3.6 is especially stable? Or do you think it just means 3.6 didn’t change enough from 3.5 to confuse existing users and warrant heavy promotion to new users?

    Any idea why the first major-update offer in the graph was a huge spike, while the others didn’t even leave the blue band?