Google’s Baseline: A New Way to Adopt Features Safely

Last updated on Feb 15th, 2024 | 5 min

TL;DR: Google's Baseline initiative aims to standardize the adoption of web features, ensuring developers can safely integrate new technologies. It provides a clear reference for the readiness of features across browsers, aiding in decision-making and feature implementation. 

In response to the rapid feature releases across web platforms, Google announced its latest concept, “Baseline”, at Google I/O in May earlier this year.

Read on to explore how to leverage Baseline 2023 and what to expect for next year!

What is Baseline?

Baseline is an initiative by Google aimed at providing a clear reference point for developers and site owners on whether web platform features are ready to be safely adopted.

It functions as a standardized marker, offering real-time insights into the availability and support of various features across browsers.

Using Baseline, development teams and site owners can better assess when it’s viable to integrate new features into their projects, allowing for a fast decision-making process.

Google’s Baseline Initiative: A Timeline

The Baseline project didn’t come to be overnight.

In fact, developers started talking about their pain points and the lack of clarity around new browser features and APIs as early as 2021.

Developer Paint Points Feature Adoption Google Research

In short, developers had to make sense of all the moving pieces like standards, browsers, frameworks, APIs, CMSs, and more on their own.

Google’s Documentation Updates

To better differentiate between experimental features and stable content, Google streamlined their information across several platforms:

Additionally, Google teamed up with partners from other browser vendors and formed the WebDX Community Group to work on a feature set, allowing for better web platform feature categorization and support status.

Baseline: Evolving Definition

Originally, Baseline was meant to include features once they become available for current and previous versions of all major browsers—Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Edge.

After the dev community outlined a big gap in this approach, Baseline was redefined to reflect two key points in the lifecycle of a feature:

  • Newly available: All items that are interoperable across the main browsers.
  • Widely available: The moment at which the feature is generally safe to use (usually within 30 months after the newly available point when most features become available to about 95% of users globally).

The core browser set is now also expanded to include mobile versions, meaning for a feature to become part of Baseline, it needs to be available in:

  • Chrome (Desktop and Android)
  • Safari (macOS and iOS)
  • Firefox (Desktop and Android)
  • Edge (Desktop)

Thanks to the newly introduced iteration, Baseline will help developers and stakeholders better prepare for when new features become widely available for larger audiences making feature adoption much easier than before.

Exploring Features in Baseline 2023

In less than eight months, the Baseline initiative has not only gained traction among in-house teams but also the recognition of the web development community.

To further enable the project’s momentum, Google pushed Baseline’s integration with Can I Use on December 12th– the place where you can find up-to-date browser support tables for support of front-end web technologies on desktop and mobile web browsers.

Some pages in the Can I Use website now feature “widely available” and “newly available” badges, along with the year that they became available.

Google Baseline Widely Available Badge in Can I Use

Google Baseline Newly Available Badge in Can I Use

Some of the notable performance-related features in Baseline 2023 are:


Baseline: What to Expect in 2024

In 2024, the initiative has set a goal to popularize the Baseline status and display it across MDN,, and

Google’s team shares the following information:

“...we need to map all of the features of the web platform in the Web Features dataset. This work is still ongoing, and we expect to be complete during 2024.”

MDN is already working on the Baseline badges and slowly rolling them out for pages on the platform.

MDN Web Docs Experimenting with New Google Baseline Badges

Lora Raykova
Web Performance Buff

Lora has 7+ years of experience developing in-depth, specialized content for SaaS companies in the CEE region. She has sourced and collaborated with subject-matter experts on site speed optimization for WordPress, Core Web Vitals, and the future of web performance. "If you can't explain it to a 7-year-old, you've not researched it well enough" is Lora's guiding principle when publishing professional insight for complex technical topics.