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5 Strategies for Sustainable Web Development.

As climate-related issues become more and more widespread, the topic of sustainability is constantly making the headlines. For consumers, it…

5 Strategies for Sustainable Web Development

15th April 2024

Web development

As climate-related issues become more and more widespread, the topic of sustainability is constantly making the headlines. For consumers, it has become a top priority – 82% want brands to embrace sustainable practices. As a result, many organizations are discovering that they have a long way to go before they can be classed as a green business. 

This has prompted an evaluation of all business processes. Web development might not seem like an obvious focus for sustainability. Dig a little deeper, though, and you may find that the task is more important than you think. 

What is sustainable web development, and why is it important?

On paper, web development and sustainability seem like completely unrelated causes. It’s true that a website, an entirely digital construct, doesn’t have any carbon emissions. But think for a moment about all the elements keeping your website online. 

You have a web server that’s hosting your site and a place to store its data. To access the site, a user needs a WiFi connection. All these factors have one thing in common: they need power. And, of course, the majority of this power will likely come from unsustainable sources. 

To build a sustainable website, you need a solution architecture built with these factors in mind. If you’re wondering ‘what is solution architecture?’, it’s the process of identifying how business challenges can be overcome through technology. In this instance, it’s considering how tech can help you build a more sustainable website. 

During development, you should be constantly aware of your impact on the environment. You’ll take all the steps possible to reduce these impacts by implementing the best technological solutions. 

5 Strategies for Sustainable Web Development

How can you ensure that you’re building a sustainable website without compromosing your digital innovation goals? Bearing the following strategies in mind will help keep you on the right path. 

1. Consider your hosting provider

You’ve secured your favourite domain name via a trusted provider like OnlyDomains. Now, it’s time to think about where to host your website. During the process of finding a third party, it’s natural to think of factors like speed and security. Try to give sustainability the same level of thought.  

When assessing a hosting provider, bear in mind some of the following factors. 

  • Certifications – The most efficient providers acquire certifications to demonstrate sustainability, such as the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification. 
  • Communication – If a provider is serious about sustainability, they’ll communicate their enthusiasm. What do they say about sustainability on their website and other platforms? 
  • Energy efficiency – Consider whether a provider’s IT systems are designed with energy efficiency in mind. For instance, are they using efficient cooling systems for their servers? Do they have an employee in charge of solar panel appointment setting to help power their systems? 

Moreover, it’s beneficial to inquire whether the hosting provider utilizes advanced tools like executive search software to efficiently manage their workforce. This can indicate their commitment to optimizing operations and reducing energy consumption through streamlined processes.

2. Create a sustainable design 

As the internet’s development continues and we transition towards Web 3.0, people are keen to utilize the latest innovative website designs.  

If you’re utilizing an ecommerce platform for your online store, ensuring that your design is both visually appealing and energy-efficient becomes crucial. Remember, when a user visits your site they’ll use power to view various media elements.

A word of warning, though: the design and layout of your website can impact sustainability. You might be tempted to include lots of fancy animations, videos, and other media elements – but leave that to the AI social media post generator. Remember, when a user visits your site they’ll use power to view this media.

Luckily, there are a few simple solutions to make a less energy-hungry website. Start by switching to smaller file sizes. Modern formats such as WebP are probably your best option. When using images, try to avoid pictures with bright colours and compress every image. 

Where possible, try to avoid the use of custom fonts or sites as this uses more power. If you include videos on the page, don’t use autoplay. 

3. Consider your SEO 

Search engine optimization (SEO) is an important practice that helps you climb the search results. No doubt you have filled your website with links to other useful resources. Think for a moment, though, how sustainable is your SEO? 

For instance, when a user follows an internal link, do they get where they need to quickly, or are multiple clicks required? Remember, the more times that a user is forced to click, the more power they’ll consume. By evaluating your SEO, you can improve your efficiency and boost the user experience. 

Start by considering whether your links take users to useful resources. If a page doesn’t bring a user value, they’ll hit the back button straight away. So, if you’ve included any low-quality links on your site, remove them. 

Additionally, ensure that your domain name reflects your brand and is easy to remember, as this can improve user experience and reduce the need for excessive clicks.

4. Shorten your copy 

Content can be the lifeblood of a website and a core part of your SEO. But be mindful that your content can have a big impact on the efficiency of your site. 

We mentioned earlier how large images and videos require extra power. Believe it or not, though, your use of text also impacts the sustainability of your site. The more text in a paragraph, the longer a user spends reading, and the more power used. 

So, when considering content marketing strategies, opt for a ‘less is more approach’. It’s better to opt for shorter paragraphs that users can skim through – try to stick to 3-4 lines per paragraph. If possible, stick with simple topics that can be explored without requiring too much detail. 

5. Compress your code 

Compressing images and videos is good practice, but did you know you can also compress code? As with compressed images, compressing code helps keep pages energy efficient. There are a variety of tools that can be added to your IT infrastructure architecture. A popular example of JavaScript compression is JSCompress. Other examples include UglifyJS3 and YUI Compressor. 

Go green 

The green revolution isn’t slowing down anytime soon. As climate issues continue to impact the world, consumers will be more and more aware of business sustainability. To keep shoppers happy, you’ll need to transform your organization from top to bottom. During this process, make sure that your website isn’t a factor left forgotten. 

The five strategies outlined above will help set you on the right path. Take each strategy one at a time, and carry out your website development as part of a wider green transformation. So, why not get to work and embrace website sustainability? 

Categories: Articles, Tech

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