You take your reusable coffee cup everywhere. You’re a stickler for recycling. You’ve denounced ‘fast-fashion’ and only buy clothes made from natural, sustainable fibres. You’re pretty conscious about the environment, but have you ever considered how eco-friendly your website is? It’s not something that immediately springs to mind when going green, but it can and does have an impact.
The fact is, everything we do online – every click, every Google search, is using energy.
By 2025, it’s estimated that the communications industry could be using up to 20% of the world’s electricity. Add it all up, and the world’s carbon footprint gets worse every time someone scrolls through your site. So, what can you do to make sure that your website is as sustainable as possible?
Choosing a green web host
This is step one. As you know, hosting a website means that it is linked to a server somewhere in the world – and these servers are always on, using up energy to keep your website online. The hosting company you choose can have an impact on how environmentally friendly your site is.
More and more people are becoming conscious of what an energy-drain websites can be, and so there are a whole array of green web hosting services available that can help you to limit this environmental impact. Book a meeting with us to find out about the various options available.
How do they do it?
Most green web hosts use renewable energy to power their servers as much as possible. By purchasing Renewable Energy Credits, web hosts gain a certificate stating that they have been responsible for the production of a certain amount of renewable energy. Similarly, a VER certificate states that greenhouse gases of a certain amount have been offset elsewhere.
Create an efficient website
Once you’ve got some green web hosting on board, what’s next? Well, it might surprise you, but there is such a thing as sustainable website design. Think about it. Every click and search on the world wide web uses energy. Not a lot, but it all adds up when you have so many people online. If your website is easy to find, and easy to navigate, then this results in less clicking, searching, confused emails, and general disorder. And that means less energy.
The secret to sustainable web design is simplicity. This means fewer plug-ins, fewer redirects, and a stripped-down mobile layout. The best part of it? All of this is good practice for a website in general, and as your website’s organic SEO is improved when it loads more efficiently – which will happen when unnecessary site features are removed – you could increase your search traffic too.
Your site should be easy to navigate. This means clearly labelled sections, a good internal search function, and no pages that are four clicks deep. By making it obvious where a visitor should go to find what they are looking for, they are much more likely to convert.
MAD Ideas and sustainable web design
At MAD Ideas, we try to do everything we can to be environmentally sustainable in all of the marketing and design work that we do. That’s why we use carbon neutral hosting for our websites, as well as working within our local community.
- We offer all of our clients a vegetable ink alternative when printing – it’s renewable and sustainable, meaning better for the environment! We also love to use recycled paper when we can.
- Our office recycles everything it can, including any waste materials. As well as this, we donate IT equipment to charity so someone else can use it instead of it going to landfill.
There is so much that you can do to offset the impact your website has on the environment – much more than you might at first realise. From choosing your web host carefully, to the actual layout of your site, everything makes a difference.
If we all enact small changes, we can help to reduce our reliance on non-renewable energy, while still enjoying the web in the same way – just with sustainability in mind.
If you’d like more information on sustainable and efficient web design or marketing, contact MAD Ideas today.