How to Make Your WordPress Website Greener
Here are a few simple ways to make your website less taxing on the environment
Did you know the Internet contributes two percent of global carbon emissions? That number might sound small but it’s actually the same as the greenhouse-gas emissions of the aviation industry. It’s difficult to imagine something as non-tangible as the internet effects the environment negatively.
The two main factors that contribute to the effect the web has on our environment are:
- The devices we use to surf online – how and who manufactures the computers, mobiles and IPads that we use and all their components.
- The server farms and data centers that store websites, process search queries and hold the web’s content. This uses energy and, consequently, produces harmful emissions.
What Is An Eco-Friendly Website?
An eco-friendly website partners with hosts that operate sustainably and is designed to run fast. Speed is crucial to lowering usage, thus site speed can be achieved a number of ways – one of which is to have a simpler design and less photos and animation which tend to load slower and slow down website speed.
“Does this mean I have to forego a stylish and professional looking site?” Absolutely not! You can still have the sleek and amazing site you want…..but it will be optimized and designed for efficiency and speed.
Why Should You Have A Website That Is Friendly To The Environment?
We all do our best to buy organic and eco-friendly products, recycle, reuse and support sustainable businesses because we know this has a positive impact on the environment.
However, information about the environmental impact of websites, the Internet and online activity is not readily available to the public but is equally important and is easy to achieve. For that reason, just like in the real world, it is important to take measures to reduce the impact the web has on the climate and environment. And the only place where you can start is with yourself.
Running An Eco-Friendly Website Isn’t Complicated
Due to its virtual nature, it’s easy to forget that the existence of the Internet has real-life consequences. Since all that data has to live somewhere, everyday technology usage is ramping up its environmental toll.
With more and more people accessing the web and creating new online businesses, this will only increase. As a consequence, there has never been a better time to take steps to reduce your personal footprint and that of your site.
Here’s What You Can Do:
- Choose an eco-friendly web host and work with an eco-minded web designer.
- Use an Eco-Friendly website design.
- Increase the speed of your website.
- Educate others about their carbon footprint
- Monthly Maintenance of your website for continuous optimum performance
5 Ways to Create an Eco-Friendly Website
1. Choose an Eco-Friendly Web Host & Web Designer
One of the biggest steps you can do to reduce your website’s environmental impact is to find a web host that has the same goal.
Hosting companies own the physical data centers that contain your and other people’s websites. How they choose to get their energy needs met has a direct impact on how environmentally friendly your own website is.
The first step in improving your site’s carbon footprint is to choose a green host. That means, their servers are powered by renewable energy, the companies make use of energy use offsets, and adhere to other environmentally-conscious practices.
(Green Geeks is a popular choice among many green website owners.)
Also, working with a web designer that is knowledgeable about building greener websites is key. They will design and build website for less energy consumption without sacrificing design and function. Choosing a designer that partners with other like-minded businesses (copywriters, graphic artists, etc) can help to create your website dream team!
2. Use an Eco-Friendly Website Design
Here’s the long and the short of it: The more complicated your site design is, the more energy it consumes when loaded.
In addition to that, by focusing on what is absolutely necessary, you might just make your site more user friendly in the process. Studies have shown that users prefer less complicated websites as they’re easier to navigate.
3. Improve Your Site Speed
As already mentioned, a slow website is one that uses a lot of energy. Besides that, users also really hate slow-loading websites. So much so, that page speed is a ranking factor to Google, including for mobile.
If that is not going to convince you to make page loading speed a priority, I don’t know what will. Bottom line, fast speed = more sales and growth + decreased global footprint. Whether your motivation is based on sustainable practices or not, a faster site will always win and make the sale.
4. Educate – Spread the Word about Eco-Friendly Websites
The thing about trying to save the planet is that you can’t do it alone. There are over seven billion of us and we can only make significant changes if we do it together. So, besides making your own eco-friendly website, another step you can take is to make your users aware of their own carbon emissions and let them know what they can do on their behalf.
5. Monthly Website Maintenance
It’s not enough to build your website and then just abandon it to do its job. Monthly maintenance is crucial. You need to update any apps and plugins, check for any error messages or broken links that cause user problems and make sure you have the most up to date version of your website theme. If your site is updated running smoothly it will perform better and everything is will run faster.