How to make your website kinder on the planet

Kevin Barter

Website Kinder

Climate change has become an increasingly pressing issue and businesses are now more conscious of their environmental impact and how they can do their bit. Whether they are looking to become a B-Corp organisation or just do their bit to reduce their footprint. 2% of global carbon emissions come from the electricity used by the internet, and According to HTTP Archive, the average web page is now 4 times the size they were in 2010.

We have had more and more clients asking us, “How can we make our website greener?” So here it is, let's delve a little deeper into the technical aspects of web design and development that can help reduce the carbon footprint of your website.

1. Optimise Images

Images are an essential component of web design, but they can also have a significant impact on its carbon footprint. Large image files take longer to load, which increases the amount of energy consumed by the server and the client's device. Therefore, it is essential to optimise images to reduce their file size while maintaining image quality. Ensure images are uploaded to your website at the correct size so they are not being resized by CSS, Vector images should also be used where possible as these are much small than traditional JPEG’s or PNG’s. Your developer can also add automatic conversion of all your images to WebP images which is Google’s new(ish) file type that offers lossless compression and reduces file size by approximately 25% over a JPEG or PNG.

2. Efficient Code

Inefficient code can again cause your website to load more slowly than it could. Minification, which removes unnecessary characters, spaces, and line breaks from the code, can help reduce the size of files and speed up load times. In addition, it is important to ensure that the code is properly organised and follows best practices to avoid redundancy and improve its efficiency.

3. Green Web Hosting

The choice of web hosting provider can have a significant impact on the carbon footprint of your website. Web hosting providers that use renewable energy sources to power their data centres have a lower carbon footprint than those that rely on fossil fuels, which means they are using the electricity that comes from natural resources that are replenished naturally, such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides and geothermal heat. At Klutch Studio we use Site Ground for our web hosting and they are dedicated to both reducing the impact of their servers and their footprint as a company.

4. Sustainable Design Practices

Sustainable design practices can also contribute to reducing the carbon footprint of a website.

  • Using a minimalistic design that eliminates unnecessary elements and reduces the website's weight.
  • Choosing a colour scheme that uses fewer colours, as this reduces the amount of data that needs to be loaded.
  • Using sustainable web fonts for your designs that are optimized for speed and reduce the amount of energy needed to load them.
  • Avoid autoplaying videos, so the user choices when to watch if at all
  • Designing for accessibility, as this can help reduce the number of unnecessary elements on your website, each website we design undergoes strict tests to ensure it is WCAG AAA compliant.

We hope this helps, there is a long way to go for companies and their websites, but if everyone does their bit it will make a difference.