Sustainable Web Development?

Post by 
Last Updated: 
March 23, 2023

ith climate change becoming an ever pressing issue, it is important to consider the carbon footprint of all aspects of our lives, including our jobs online. While it may not seem like websites have a direct impact on the environment, they actually contribute to a significant amount of carbon emissions. As a web developer, you will most likely be online a lot and could influence the ability for your company's website to be more sustainable. 

The Climate Impact of Website Pages

Many of us won’t know how our day to day lives unknowingly damage the environment. Simply by loading a website page releases carbon emissions. When you enter the URL of a website in your browser, the request is sent to a server, which then sends back the website's HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files. These files are downloaded onto your device, and your browser then renders the website. All of these actions require energy, and that energy often comes from fossil fuels which contributes to climate change. Research by the Shift Project reported that the internet and ICT industry accounts for 4% of global greenhouse gas emissions - which is the same as the aviation industry. So what can web developers do about it?

What Web Designers Can Do to Lower the Carbon Footprint of Their Web Pages

Fortunately, there are steps web designers can take to reduce the carbon footprint of their web pages. Here are a few examples:

  1. Optimise Images

Images are one of the largest contributors to the size of a website page, and larger file sizes require more energy to transmit. By optimising images, web designers can reduce the size of website pages, which in turn reduces the energy required to transmit them. There are several tools available to help with image optimization, including Adobe Photoshop and online tools like Smush which we used for this blog.

  1.  Minimise HTTP Requests

HTTP requests are the number of requests a browser makes to a server to retrieve all the files necessary to render a website page. The more requests a browser has to make, the more energy is required to transmit the data. Web designers can minimise HTTP requests by reducing the number of files needed to render a page. This can be done by combining CSS and JavaScript files and reducing the number of images used.

  1. Use Efficient Code

The code used to build a website can also impact its carbon footprint. Inefficient code can result in slower loading times and increased energy consumption. Web designers can use efficient code by following best practices for HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. There are several online resources available to help with this, including Google's Web Fundamentals and Mozilla's Developer Network.

  1. Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)

A CDN is a network of servers located in different parts of the world that can deliver website content more quickly to users. By using a CDN, web designers can reduce the distance data has to travel, which in turn reduces the energy required to transmit it. CDNs are available from companies like Cloudflare and Akamai.

  1. Use Green Web Hosting

Green web hosting is a type of web hosting that uses renewable energy sources to power the servers that host websites. By using green web hosting, web designers can ensure that the energy required to host their website pages comes from renewable sources. Green web hosting is available from companies like GreenGeeks and HostPapa.

No items found.

Free Tips & Advice Newsletter

We never share your info. View our Privacy Policy
Thanks for joining our mailing list
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Join our Amazing
client list
THere's More

Post You mIght Also Like

All Posts
Planning & Strategy

More bang for your bucks

Tips and strategies for making your web design budget go further. Whether you're a small business owner, a startup, or an individual looking to establish an online presence, there are ways to make your website design budget go further.
Member Management

10 Killer Features for a Best-in-Class Membership Website

In the dynamic digital landscape, membership websites have become pivotal for organisations aiming to build a dedicated community and provide exclusive content or services. To stand out as a 'best in class' platform, a membership website must offer a range of features that cater to both members and administrators. Let's delve into 10 killer features that can elevate your membership website to the next level.

Choosing the Perfect Web Designer in Edinburgh

f you're conducting a search of Edinburgh web designers consider both ends of the service spectrum: Bespoke Solutions vs. Cheap WordPress Services

How to reduce your online carbon footprint?

Technological advancements within the 21st century are allowing us to be increasingly connected with people around the world. But at what cost? 
Member Management

How far can you push no-code?

No code website and web apps have been a big deal in 2022. And as 2023 get underway we look at just how far no-code has come, and more importantly, how far it can take you.