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How Green Is Your Website?

Website carbon calculator

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Are you concerned about the environmental impact of your website? Find out what you should be looking for when evaluating your site’s sustainability.

The web has become an important source of information for many people, and that means there are also many opportunities for businesses to improve their websites’ sustainability.

Have you ever thought of how green your website is? This carbon calculator will help you work out how your website is impacting the planet.

The internet uses a lot of energy, over 416TWh per year, that is more than the whole of the United Kingdom. This figure is climbing day by day as more and more devices are used.

This calculator uses five key pieces of data to make a pretty good estimate of the energy used by your website:

Keep content off your website

“The growth in webpage size over the years has been astounding,” says Gerry McGovern, author of World Wide Waste.

It’s easy to create content, and even easier to let it go out of date. The more you have, the harder it is to keep track of, update and improve it.

Reduce the size of files which need transferring. Images can be reduced in file size but not quality by using software like RIOT and also by using a more energy-efficient format like .webp.

And of course, using less images and videos will help greatly.

Use system fonts

Use system fonts, again each font used means a ‘weight’ added to your file transfers.

If you really have to use custom web fonts, use them sparingly.

Drop third party scripts and add-ins

Third party scripts from video embeds, chat widgets, or social sharing buttons can dramatically slow your site down, eating up energy and adding to the strain on servers. Remove them and your users should enjoy speedier loading times.

Do you really need tracking via Google Analytics? Perhaps, if you’re making frequent, meaningful changes to your website based on that data, so you can serve your users much more effectively. Otherwise, you may just be tracking vanity metrics.

Build websites using a Jamstack build as these give very fast load times.

Switch to Renewable Energy

Sustainability starts with the energy your website uses.

Go with a hosting company that uses all or part of it’s energy from ‘green’ sources, and has it’s servers close to where your target audience is, for instance if you have built a website aimed at a French audience, then it makes more sense to use a hosting company in France rather than the USA.

I personally use Clook as my hosting provider as I and they are based in the UK. They clearly state their Environmental Goals on the first page of their website.

There is an article here which gives 17 ways to make your website more energy efficient.

There is another great article here which has some fantastic infographics on website and IT energy consumption amongst other things, it’s well worth a read.

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