It’s easy to underestimate the strain that websites can put on the environment. According to some research findings, the internet alone yearly produces about a billion tonnes of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions — roughly 2% of the total amount.
However, given the crucial role that the internet plays in our lives, one good reaction to the situation would be re-engineering existing websites for improved eco-friendliness. Here are some steps you could take to help lower your own website’s ecological impact…
Strip out superfluous elements of your website
Reassuringly, many principles of green web design are also, quite simply, principles of good all-round web design. In other words, concern about the state of the planet wouldn’t be the only compelling reason for you to follow tips included in this article.
Going through your web design with a fine comb, you could pick out certain elements — like duplicated content and broken links — that don’t serve the user experience and, in left in, would unnecessarily weigh down the site’s carbon footprint.
Replace high-resolution images with less energy-intensive alternatives
Your website might look good as a result of detailed photos being placed across its interface, but there’s an environmental cost here. That’s because, by dint of taking longer to load than lower-resolution pictures, these photos use up a lot more energy.
One shrewd response to this dilemma could be asking graphic designers from our team to create illustrations that would replace these photos but still look just as good or possibly better.
Say no to video — or too much of it, anyway
Forget about video killing the radio star (ask someone who grew up in the ‘70s if you don’t get the reference) — it’s the planet that video is really in danger of killing.
When included on websites, videos might be exciting and dynamic, but loading them consumes even more energy than high-resolution images.
It would therefore be wise to use videos only sparingly — and embed them into the site in such a way that the footage does not play automatically.
Reduce how many pages your site’s visitors need to load
If these visitors have to keep clicking through multiple pages just to find what they came to the site for, this can be a sign of bad web design.
Your website should be designed to ensure that people can find what they want on it as time-efficiently as possible. Our web designers can give your site a logical navigation structure as well as a search box where users could simply input certain keywords to find relevant content.
Make use of ‘lazy loading’
This term is used for when parts of a webpage are loaded only when they come into view as a result of the visitor scrolling down.
Implementing lazy loading on your website can thus rein in the carbon emissions generated from people visiting the website. If you are unsure how to handle the technical side of ensuring your website can lazy load, don’t be afraid to contact our web design specialists for guidance.