Web Sustainability - Practical Solutions for your website
Posted on Wednesday, Apr 21, 2021 by Ricardo Moreira
Last week, I talk about what is web sustainability and why we need it. I also mention some of the problems that affect the internet to become more sustainable.
Today I will talk about the good parts. The solutions, the small steps that can lead to a better website that can lead for a better company that leads to the benefits.
- Green Hosting
That is given, you need a green host, a hosting service that is 100% powered by renewable energy and/or carbon offsets.
The decision to choose one might be trickier than you think. You can find a green hosting data center but it’s on the other side of the world. So all your data has to travel around the world to be accessed ending up not be really energy efficient. You can check here to find green hosts around the world. They try to become updated as some hosting might stop becoming green hosting or can start become one.
One of the great ways to achieve a website more sustainable is building with a modern tech stack or in case you use Wordpress for example, use a newer version and updated plugins.
For example, PHP 7 ( Wordpress is based on PHP) is almost twice as fast as PHP 5.6. The faster website delivers better performance do more efficiency.
One of the best if not the best way to start thinking about a website focusing on sustainability is building for mobile. By focusing on mobile-first, you focus on what is important for the customer saving them time. The content needs to be easy to find, never use “dark pattern” systems( Have you tried to close your account to Amazon?).
A more accessible website is also a great way to a website more sustainable. Why? By reducing inequality you are checking a sustainability goal from United Nations. The truth is that web sustainability is not closed only to how to make a website more efficient but is related to anything related to sustainability as a global goal.
- Images and Videos
Are also a big topic when it comes to planning a website. Many believe that a website with lots of images and videos in the background is pretty and it’s what the customer wants but, most of the time the simpler the better. If you need to use images and /or videos, if you think that they add value to the user, take always into consideration compressing images and reducing the videos.
Fonts can make your website look prettier but you know you can achieve a great design with fonts build up in the system and that you don’t need many different fonts for your website?
One, a maximum of two is more than enough.
Around 20% of the internet uses wordpress and sometimes is there that some of the problems exist. There are some ways you can achieve a better and more sustainable website with wordpress. Take into consideration that all that was said above is also 100% useful to Wordpress sites:
- Fast and light theme
- Limit Plugins – choose the necessary ones.
I could go deeper (I will in the future) about more solutions and how to implement them, but this is a short series about a huge topic so I want to mention and talk about the most important.
Next week will be my last about this topic and I will focus on the benefits and resources to put in practice sustainable web development.
I am here if you want to follow or just have a chat.