How Successful Is Mozilla's Plugin Check?
Article by George Norman
On 27 Oct 2009
A while back the Mozilla Foundation launched Plugin Check, a webpage were users could go and check to see if their Adobe Flash Player plugin is up-to-date. Earlier this month, the Mozilla Foundation enhanced the functionality provided by the Plugin Check webpage so that it could check a lot more plugins. The reasoning behind this decision is quite simple: old plugins can cause the browser to crash, can make the browser become unstable, and pose a security risk as they can be exploited by people with malicious intent.

“Our web team has just pushed the full plugin check page live, checking the status of more than 15 popular plugins, with more still in the works. Visitors to the page can see which plugins they have installed and, for any that are outdated, follow an easy link to the update site. In the upcoming release of Firefox 3.6, we’ll also include built-in support for helping users keep up to date. When you visit a page with Firefox 3.6, we’ll use this same service to let you know if any of the plugins used on the site have updates available,” explained Mozilla Security’s Jonathan Nightingale at the time.


October is almost over now, so how’s Plugin Check fairing? Has it been a tremendous success? Has it helped Firefox users update their plugins? The simple answer is YES. Plugin Check has helped quite a few Firefox users update their plugins. Here are the numbers the Mozilla Metrics team released:

Page views: 459,000
Visits: 10,000
Clicks on “action” links: 218,000

“Considering that this page hasn’t been directly pushed to users, these numbers are significant. There are a couple spots within where users can click to find this page, but otherwise, our web analytics reporting tells us that about 90% of the traffic has been coming from news and technology related web sites,” explained Mozilla’s Ken Kovash.

You can visit Mozilla’s Plugin Check webpage

Tags: Mozilla, Firefox, Plugin Check
About the author: George Norman
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