To develop a sustainable website you will need to make sure your website is hosted on a ‘green hosting’ platform, your website code is minimised, your videos and images are optimised, and your SEO and user journeys are in tip-top shape, to make sure your users fins everything they need as quickly as possible.
Why is it important to know how to develop a sustainable website? The amount of carbon that is released as a result of internet use is astounding, yet since the internet offers so many advantages, people are unlikely to cease using it. As a result, we need to be more cautious about our online behaviour and consider the environment.
Over 70% of all businesses have a website. The chances are – if you’re reading this, then the business you own or work for also has a website. We all visit a number (quite a large number, actually) of websites each day. So, it just seems logical that we have to look for ways to minimise our digital footprint, just like a lot of us have swapped train journeys for bicycle rides and plastic cups for compostable cups, it is possible to make your website environmentally friendlier and more sustainable.
What is a sustainable web design
Sustainable web design is a method of designing and developing websites that prioritise the needs of people and the environment. It provides digital services that adhere to the Sustainable Web Manifesto’s six guiding principles: clean, efficient, open, honest, regenerative, and resilient. The goal of sustainable web design is to create websites that have no detrimental effects on the environment.
Currently, the internet contributes just under 4% of the world’s carbon emissions, a percentage that is increasing as we become more data-hungry.
What can you do to develop a more sustainable website
To develop a more sustainable website you need to minimise the data transfer whilst reducing the impact on the environment. It might be difficult at first to understand how websites ‘pollute the environment’, however, the easiest way to look at it is by understanding that the more data is being transferred the more energy is being used – thus the bigger the CO2 footprint.
Here are some simple yet significant things that your business can do to make a difference.
Green hosting. There are choices we can make in the backend of websites and web applications that can greatly minimise carbon emissions. Any type of web hosting or data centre that uses carbon offsetting techniques or is entirely powered by renewable energy sources is referred to as “green hosting”.
WeAgile is proud to state that our website is hosted on 100% renewable energy-powered servers. Our hosting company, Digital Ocean, is based in the UK and uses only renewable energy sources that have been certified as being 100 per cent clean.
Code minimisation. Any source code can be subjected to the minimisation process, which shrinks files by eliminating extraneous characters without compromising functionality. Smaller source code files mean less weight for your website and faster device processing times.
WeAgile considers minimisation to be a crucial component of our strategy because it guarantees user-friendly website loading times while also minimising its negative environmental effects.
Optimising your images and videos. There are techniques for content optimisation that can lower the overall carbon footprint of your digital product throughout the design phase of a project. To ensure that imagery and video offer value to the experience and are uploaded at the proper scale, they should be carefully selected. To make image and video content as light as feasible, file format and compression can also be used.
Simplify your user journeys. Shorter user journeys are valued by users. They increase the chance of conversions and lower the amount of time a user spends on your website before reaching their destination, therefore, keep this in mind while developing or planning your user journeys.
Eliminating obstacles like drawn-out checkout processes and cryptic copywriting results in a more effective user experience and, as a result, a website that uses less energy.
SEO – Search Engine Optimisation. You may make it easier for users to find the information they need as fast as possible by optimising your website for search engine rankings. Effective SEO causes customers to spend less time exploring for information and visit fewer pages. Because the user is concentrating on information that is pertinent to them, less energy is wasted.
Why should my website be more sustainable
Brand Reputation. Consumers are increasingly conscious of a company’s sustainability efforts. Having a sustainable website can enhance your brand’s reputation and appeal to eco-conscious consumers.
Environmental Responsibility. A sustainable website minimises its carbon footprint by using efficient coding practices and optimising energy consumption. With the increasing concern about climate change, having a sustainable website aligns with environmental responsibility.
Cost Efficiency. Sustainable websites are often more cost-efficient in the long run. They require fewer server resources, reducing hosting costs and energy consumption. Additionally, efficient code reduces development and maintenance costs.
Competitive Advantage. A sustainable website can set you apart from competitors who may not prioritise sustainability. It can be a unique selling point that attracts environmentally conscious customers.
If you want to find out more about building a sustainable website, why not get in touch with the team at WeAgile via the form below today!