The giant data centres that make the internet possible consume vast amounts of energy. Worse yet, these buildings need a massive cooling system to prevent system malfunction, furthering energy demands.
Every website on the internet emits 20 milligrams of carbon per second — the equivalent of what 13 trees can absorb in a year. Complex sites are even worse because they produce about 100 milligrams per second or more.
Being part of the SME sector, you‘re one of the driving forces of the global economy. Make use of such big influence to promote sustainability and huge environmental impact.
Here’s how you can create energy-efficient websites to reduce carbon footprint:
5 Ways to Build Sustainable Websites
1. Use the right web hosting service
All website sustainability tips out there are helpful. But without the foundation of a solid web host, they won’t be as impactful.
Many discount hosting facilities don’t have their own data centres. In result, the energy consumption is multiplied as the website data is routed and stored in multiple channels.
Using a hosting service with their own data centres reduces energy consumption. This, on top of getting efficient performance and security benefits. All these benefits are magnified when you take advantage of dedicated servers that promote the highest levels of efficiency.
2. Optimise images and videos
People love visuals. That’s why images and videos are integrated more into websites. They make your website visually appealing which encourages conversion. But they’re not that great for your site performance and efficiency.
Too many images and videos on your website increase load-time and energy consumption. What you can do is compress them to reduce file size. Don’t worry, you don’t need to sacrifice quality.
The vast majority of pictures only need to be around 1000 pixels. For banners, you’ll need to go a little larger, but blog posts can use even smaller sizes.
By the way, fancy editing software is unnecessary to do this. You can resize all images using free tools that you already have in your device or online. There are also tools for image-heavy websites, such as TinyPNG.
For videos, you can lower the resolution of what is necessary for your website to display. Or you can embed them and disable autoplay.
For extra, loading speed matters a lot to boost your SEO. So think twice before you put aside the thought of optimising your site images.
3. Enable Lazy Loading
Lazy loading is another optimization technique. It means your site only loads media when it’s required.
To expand, everything above the fold loads as normal when a user lands on your website. But all the content below only appears as a user scrolls down.
For eCommerce sites with long pages, this is particularly helpful since they may have hundreds of images that may load.
Above all, this reduces energy consumption while helping sites load faster.
4. Configure website caching
Caching allows users to store data for reuse. That’s why when you visit your favourite sites, they load more quickly than one’s you’ve never been to before.
Unless you’re cleared your browsing data, you can revisit cached data from the storage location on the local device rather than requesting it from the web server again, minimizing how much information needs to be transferred. And lessening energy consumption.
5. Do a regular spring cleaning
Websites naturally expand over time. But there may be things you no longer need. Go through this checklist and delete anything over six months old:
- Previous themes
- Unused plug-ins
- Blog post revisions
- Broken links
- Unused media
- Old categories and tags
- Spam comments
While doing this, overhaul your site’s organization. Make sure the site flows coherently from page to page. This not only reduces energy consumption but also improves user experience.
Paint your website green
It starts with you.
Help promote positive environmental change by reducing your website’s carbon emission. Doing this also shows your commitment to your customers.
Build your company brand, increase site performance, and improve SEO – all while reducing your carbon footprint. How can it get better than that?
Get started with the right hosting partner.