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Written by Kia Irving | UK
on December 15, 2023

As we continue to face the challenges of climate change, it's important for all industries to take steps to reduce their carbon footprint and operate in a more sustainable manner. One industry that is often overlooked is the world of websites and online platforms. However, there are several ways that your website's sustainability can be improved. In this article, we'll explore some actionable steps you can take to reduce the environmental impact of your website.

Optimize Images

One of the most common ways websites consume energy is through the loading of large image files. High-resolution images use more processing power to load, translating to higher energy consumption. They also slow your site down and it harms everyone! 

By optimizing images for web viewing, you can reduce their file size without sacrificing quality. There are several tools that can help with image optimization, such as TinyPNG, Compressor.io or Pixlr.Reduce Server.

Response Time

The longer it takes for your website to load, the more energy it consumes. One way to reduce load times is by optimizing your server response time.

There are a few ways to do this:

  • Choose a high-performance web hosting service
  • Minimizing the number of plugins and scripts on your site
  • Compressing files to reduce their size

Additionally, using a content delivery network (CDN) can help to distribute your website's content across multiple servers. This helps reduce the load on any single server and improves performance.

Use Renewable Energy

One of the simplest and most effective ways to reduce the carbon footprint of your website is by using renewable energy sources to power it. Consider using a web hosting service that uses renewable energy or offsets its carbon emissions through other means. At UP for DIGITAL, our primary hosting partners are all run using 100% renewable energy.

Choose Sustainable Web Design Practices

There are also several web design practices that can improve your website's sustainability. Here are just three examples that drive a big impact:

  1. Opting for a simple, minimalist design can reduce the amount of energy required to load your site.

  2. Considering a dark mode theme can reduce the amount of energy consumed by displays. This can also help reduce eye strain.

  3. Audit your site pages regularly. If it’s not needed or negatively affects your SEO, remove it. We’re all guilty of adding that extra page! 

Streamline Your Code

The way your website's code is processed can also make a big impact on its sustainability. By streamlining your code, you can reduce the amount of energy required to load and run your site. We overcome this using the following methods:

  • Minimizing the use of unnecessary plugins and scripts
  • Simplifying your code syntax
  • Using caching to reduce server requests.

Optimize for Mobile Devices

In September 2022, statisticians found the split across mobile, desktop and tablet users worldwide was 58.7%, 39.1% and 2.1% respectively.

Optimizing for devices not only improves user experience but also reduces energy consumption. With smaller screens and lower processing power, mobile devices generally need less energy to load and run websites. Consider using responsive design techniques and minimizing the use of large media files.

Monitor Your Energy Consumption

Finally, one of the most important steps to improve your website's sustainability is to track your energy consumption.

There are several tools available online that can help track energy use and identify areas where you can improve. By monitoring your energy consumption over time, you can track your progress and adjust your sustainability strategy as needed.

Summary

Improving the sustainability of your website requires a multifaceted approach. Optimizing your design and coding practices takes know-how but shouldn't be out of anyone's reach. If you are interested in how we can make your online presence more environmentally friendly, get in touch.


Let us help!

We think it’s excellent that you’re thinking about your website user journey! It’s a great step in making your marketing customer-centric and should help you to convert more leads to customers going forward. But if web design isn’t your forte, that’s fine, that’s what we’re here for. Simply reach out and we’ll be in touch to help.

 

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