Sustainable website: How to make your website greener
Digitization has made many things easier and more environmentally friendly in our everyday life: digital communication channels reduce paper consumption, working from home and online meetings eliminate the need to drive to work, and digital recordings of product life cycles reveal resource savings in production and transport.
Environmental pollution caused by the Internet
What most people don't take into account: every click, every data transfer, every search query has consequences for the environment. Because: The huge infrastructure that makes all this possible in the background, such as servers and data centers, consumes enormous amounts of energy, for example because the power supply has to be maintained permanently and the systems have to be secured and cooled.
If the Internet were a country, it would rank third behind the US and China in terms of electricity consumption. With CO2 emissions of 800 million tons worldwide, it comes in 6th place and thus accounts for 3.7 percent of global CO2 emissions - more than aviation!
But while more and more people are now trying to improve their CO2 balance and many retailers and brands are also relying on recycled materials, energy-saving shop concepts and climate-friendly supply chains, for example, sustainable use of one's own online shop or website is hardly discussed. Even green brands like Frosch and Patagonia do not operate sustainable websites, as the sales industry recently found out.
What does a sustainable website look like?
Running a website costs energy. In general, if less data is used on the site, less energy is used.
Here are tips on how to make your website greener:
Use light code
Program the front and back end as lean as possible. Smaller scripts and compressed files and downloads reduce data overhead, making the website more energy efficient. You can avoid unnecessary server requests and renewed data transmissions by setting caching times, because then the data and content remain in the cache for the specified period and are still available to the user.
Question which content actually offers the user added value, because images, videos and animations increase the amount of data considerably. Generally, you should compress images. You could reduce the video quality and only increase it at the request of the user. Videos should also only be played after a click and not automatically. In addition to relieving the user's nerves, this also saves energy resources.
The content should provide comprehensive information so that users do not have to call up any other pages to get the information they need, because that would also mean additional data overhead.
Design the website sustainably
In addition to user experience, usability and aesthetics, you should consider ecological aspects of your design. Use a design that is as timeless as possible and can be adapted with little effort. Because: CO2 emissions are also caused by a redesign.
In addition, the design should guide the user so well that he does not have to jump back and forth between pages unnecessarily.
Find a green host
A green host uses electricity from renewable sources, which doesn't reduce electricity consumption, but it does reduce your carbon emissions.
Where does your website stand?
The following tools can help you rank your own website:
- You can have your website's carbon footprint estimated at websitecarbon.com. For this purpose, data volumes, the energy source of the data center and the monthly visitors are used. The websites tested have an average CO2 emission of 1.76 g per page view. With 10,000 visitors per month, you get 211 kg of CO2 per year.
ecograder.com also analyzes how green your website is based on factors such as loading speed, mobile optimization, UX and hosting. As a result, you will receive a score between 0 and 100.
Green website: more than sustainable
A sustainable website saves energy and improves your company's carbon footprint - which in turn saves money and protects the environment at the same time. Another plus: the data savings result in a faster load time. This pleases the user and also contributes to search engine optimization, because faster websites are rewarded by Google with a better ranking.