Building an eco-friendly website
Since the Early 21st century, going digital has seemed the ideal solution for businesses trying to go green, by reducing the consumption of information on paper significantly and consequentially reducing deforestation and the carbon footprint of the company.
However, many do not realise the environmental impact of the increased digital activity. Jack Amend, co- founder of Web Neutral project noted ‘The internet is essentially the largest coal-fired machine on the entire planet…’ A single internet search releases roughly 0.2g of Carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Now this may seem minimal, but when you consider the 4.1 billion people who use the internet in a day, it soon becomes a big concern. Tom Greenwood from Sustainable web design claims “If the internet were a country, it would be the sixth most polluting country in the world. Similar to the entire carbon dioxide emissions of Germany.”
Remove and Review
There are ways in which you can help this issue by reducing your websites carbon footprint.
To begin, a regular web audit where you remove any unnecessary images, videos, text and pages can help. The amount of data required for a page will have a direct impact on the amount of carbon dioxide release by the network, so keep pages streamlined. Reflect on your image choices, is every image needed? Can you compress those down to reduce the file size?
According to Vineeta Greenwood, account director at design agency Wholegrain Digital ‘Images are the single largest contributors to page weight. The more images you use and the larger those image files, the more data needs to be transferred and the more energy is required,” To further reduce your carbon footprint Greenwood recommends swapping custom fonts for system fonts, which are already preinstalled on most devices, to further lower emissions.
Improving your websites interface can also help, if your site is easy to navigate, users are more likely to find what they are wanting, therefore reducing their clicks, meaning less energy used.
You do not have to compromise on the aesthetic of your website by making these improvements, minimalistic, simple, easy to use websites are much preferred by a user.
Use a sustainable host
Your website host is the main contributor to your carbon footprint. Try using a host which supports natural energy resources, as this will significantly influence energy efficiency and web page performance.
There are many additional benefits to making your website more carbon friendly, it is likely to improve load time, performance and also improve your users experience whilst on the site.
Technology is a big generator of carbon emissions, and whilst building an eco-friendly site may insignificant, if every site made the suggested improvements, it could have a huge impact globally. Not only that, by making these improvements, you will also be improving your user experience.
If you require any assistance optimising your site, please contact us, we will be happy to offer any advice or assist further.