How exactly is a website harmful to the environment?
The internet is an underrated massive pollutant. Internet use produces 3.7% of the world’s carbon emissions. Overall, it consumes 416.2 terawatt-hours per year which is more than all of the UK’s electricity consumption!
On average, a website produces around 1.76 grams of CO2. That doesn’t sound like much, right? But if you have at least 20,000 monthly page views, your website would total 422 kilograms of carbon emission annually. And that’s just one! Imagine what harm the world’s 1.18 billion websites altogether can do.
If there’s one way you can help lessen the world’s digital carbon footprint, start with your website. Explore these tips on how you can create sustainable web designs.
4 Ways to Design an Eco-Friendly Website
Speed up your page load times
The higher the load times, the more energy is consumed.
Optimising for speed isn’t only crucial in keeping your visitors from dropping off your page. It also adheres to Google’s ranking factors while significantly reducing your website’s carbon emissions.
There are numerous practical ways to elevate your website’s performance. You can enable caching, remove unnecessary plugins, compress website files, and avoid URL redirects. Above all, choose a fast and reliable hosting solution that fits your business’s online needs.
Ensure easy page navigation
It’s frustrating to go through a website that doesn’t immediately take you where you want to. Each detour means more unnecessary clicks. The more unnecessary clicks, the more pointless data requests are made. Besides increased energy consumption, you’d most likely lose potential conversions.
Prioritise easy navigation when designing your website. Here are some quick tips for you:
- Keep your menu button easily noticeable.
- Clearly specify all your categories and subcategories.
- Place your search bar at the top right or top center.
- You can also provide a recommendation section to readily direct visitors to relevant pages. This is also a great technique to keep them on your website longer.
Reduce page count
Few web pages mean less data requests and faster page loading speed. Needless to say, this is among the best first steps you can take to have an eco-friendly website.
Aim to save space when deciding what to put on your website but don’t compromise quality content and smooth navigation. See if it’s possible to compress several pages into one. Plan a layout that already presents what your audience needs to see without having to jump from one page to another.
Look into your media
Media often takes a large portion of your storage. They also take the most time to load. But they’re a crucial part of your branding and retaining your user’s attention, so removing them isn’t an option. Instead, implement sustainable ways to integrate them into your website.
Here are three starter ways to optimise your media:
- Compress images. You can use tools such as TinyPNG or TinyJPG to easily reduce your photos’ resolution without compromising their quality.
- Embed videos on external sites like YouTube or Vimeo instead of storing them on your site.
- Enable lazy loading to avoid slowing down your website when too many images load all at once.
Win Online Sustainably
The moment you set up your website, every second of its running time transmit greenhouse gases. It’s impossible to fully eradicate these harmful emissions. However, there are surefire ways to cut down on their impact.
All ways to create a sustainable website sum up to one thing: have the best user experience. A fast and efficient website doesn’t only result in a higher SEO ranking and increased traffic. You’re also making meaningful strides towards making our planet a healthier place to live in.