Around 10 percent of global electricity consumption is due to the use of the Internet, as the constant growth in data requires more and more technology and storage capacity in data centers.
Sustainability: what role does the website play?
Many people are not aware of the impact that information and communication technologies have on the environment. The share of the web in the global energy demand is approx. 2% and is therefore the same as that of the entire aviation industry. Calling up a YouTube video causes an average of 2.8 grams of CO2 emissions, an hour of video streaming is the same as driving a kilometer in a car and, according to Google, a search query produces around 0.2 grams of CO2. 3.45 billion googles are made every day. All Google searches cause so much CO2 per month, like driving over 1,000,000 km by car, 5,000,000 loads of laundry could be washed every month or a light bulb could be supplied with electricity for 4,500 years. Against this background, it becomes clear that sustainability and efficiency are important for websites and web design.
Energy consumption can be reduced through efficient web design
The more data that is transferred, the higher the energy consumption. The performance of the website plays a central role in this. Fast websites make the web greener and more sustainable. The loading times can also be shortened by using modern front-end technologies. At the same time, this improves the user experience for the user.
How can you make your website more sustainable? We give you four tips:
1. An important first step is to reduce the website.
Photos, videos and animations increase the amount of data, which increases energy consumption and thus emissions. The size and quality of the files should therefore be adapted to daily needs. Compressing images or reducing the video quality and only increasing it at the request of the consumer have two implementation options. The image compression reduces the file size, but not the resolution. There are numerous programs and tools for compressing images, but you can also use free offers. In addition, always ask yourself whether the content made available on your site offers additional benefits for the user. In this way, you make sure to forego unnecessary data.
Lean, more sustainable websites can reduce data transfer and thus CO2 consumption. A timeless design and the absence of complex graphics, videos and image files saves energy and is more sustainable.
2. For a sustainable website: effective code design.
Optimize the front and back end by programming lean and sustainable. The data overhead can be reduced by the scripts and the compression of downloads and files. The website is becoming more energy efficient. You should also define suitable caching times (times in which content / data that has already been accessed once remain in a cache in order to be available more quickly). This avoids unnecessary data transfer and server inquiries.
3. Design the website sustainably.
With a timeless, long-lasting design, you prevent the page from having to be completely reloaded every six months. In this way, you avoid costs as well as CO 2 emissions. Aesthetics, functionality, ecology and user-friendliness should be considered equally during the design process. More and more web designers offer sustainable designs.
4. Switch to a green host.
Green web hosts generate their computing power with electricity from renewable energies. Although this does not reduce energy consumption, it does improve the carbon footprint. Providers are, for example, Avalon Networks, BioHost and Greensta. Click here to compare web hosting services. In addition, the website’s CO2 emissions should be offset, for example by planting trees.
Your advantages through a sustainable website
Sustainable websites have a significantly faster loading time thanks to smaller file sizes. This not only improves user satisfaction, but also SEO and thus the ranking of the page on Google. A green website also uses less energy and is therefore more cost-effective for your company. Last but not least, you reduce the consumption of resources and CO2 emissions, thereby protecting the environment.