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portalZINE NMN | Development meets Creativity | 9ce22c41603c3109cda1ab2d9218329c
portalZINE NMN | Development meets Creativity | 9ce22c41603c3109cda1ab2d9218329c

Building energy efficient websites.

These days we are all talking about reducing the carbon footprint of everything. I am glad that we finally reached the point were everything gets questioned and reviewed!

When using the Internet we normally do not think about carbon emissions. For us the Internet is mostly clean,  something immaterial, with no real carbon footprint.

But that is far from the truth, the internet has a very real environmental impact.
Energy consumption and emissions from pure internet usage are huge.

Electricity is required to power servers, data centers, computers, telecommunication, networks and all the smart devices that access the Internet. By accessing a single website between 20 – 300mg of CO2 are emitted.

About 2% of global carbon emissions come from electricity used by the internet (830 million tons of CO2 every year). Electricity mostly produced through coal, natural gas and oil. That is comparable to the aviation industry, that is constantly named the worst polluting industry.

Germany is currently on place 11 within Europe, when it comes to its pollution index.

Every possible angle should be used, to improve carbon emissions in the future, which includes the internet, websites and devices used.

Data Consumption

One critical aspect of carbon emissions, are the increase of data consumption. All of us do more and more Youtube, Amazon and  Netflix streaming. Most of the websites today are 4-5 times as big, as they were back in 2010.

This shows us , that things have to change and  that trend can not continue.

portalZINE NMN | Development meets Creativity | website size 2010 2019
The sum of transfer size kilobytes of all resources requested by the page (Source: HTTP Archive)

How can I measure the carbon emission of my website

You can use the free tool at WebsiteCarbon.com to estimate your CO2 emissions per page view.

portalZINE uses around 0.41g – 0.47g of CO2 per visit.

The website provides you with a yearly estimate and what that effectively can be compared to!

portalZINE NMN | Development meets Creativity | carbon footprint
Website Carbon Calculator

What does that mean for you and how I can help ?

Having benchmarked your website or your competitors website, you get a pretty good idea how much carbon is emitted by using the website.

What I can help you with, is reduce the size of every current page. You have to know, that optimizing old pages is always limited by the current host and tools in use.

If you want to start fresh, its even better as that will lead to the highest size & weight optimisation possible.

What are Your Benefits ?

  1. Lower carbon footprint
  2. Reduced page weight
  3. Faster loading pages
  4. Better user Experience
  5. Improved SEO for search engine ranking
  6. Reduced data for users on limited data connections (mobile)

How do I accomplish this ?

The goal is to make the website as light and small as possible, only loading what is needed, without compromising aesthetics and functionality. Many talk about the <1MB limit, but that has to be judged case by case.

  1. Clean & efficient code
  2. Vector graphics / Image Optimization (WebP delivery where possible)
  3. Highly optimised CSS, that replaces some of the images in use
  4. Responsive Images, that scale with the screen and are reduced in size / dimension
  5. Better Compression of images / fonts / javascript and css
  6. Lazy load images / videos and parts of the page
  7. Reduce third party scripts and only load scripts & styles where they are actually needed
  8. Offer specialized delivery for mobile devices using AMP pages.
  9. Add caching to every piece of your website, so that resources are only loaded once and when they have changed.
  10. Page speed and performance review, before going live (Google Page Speed and similar tools)

Climate neutral webdesign.

GREENTONIC is my partner of choice, when it comes to sustainable / low carbon webdesign.

We have worked together on many projects. They know how a modern, fresh and slim website should look like and perform. They use the right tools to work efficiently and deliver stunning results.

portalZINE NMN | Development meets Creativity | Greentonic Schriftzug
Grüne Website

We both signed the Sustainable Web Manifesto.

  1. CLEAN –  The services we provide and services we use will be powered by renewable energy.
  2. EFFICIENT –  The products and services we provide will use the least amount of energy and material resources possible.
  3. OPEN – The products and services we provide will be accessible, allow for the open exchange of information, and allow users to control their data.
  4. HONEST – The products and services we provide will not mislead or exploit users in their design or content.
  5. REGENERATIVE –  The products and services we provide will support an economy that nourishes people and planet.

How important is Green Hosting ?

Another important point is your hosting provider.

You should use a low carbon / green hosting provider. A host that is using green energy / compensation for its services.

portalZINE is hosted at Hetzner,which is part of the Green Web Foundation. You can check, if your hoster is part of the Foundation.

This website is hosted Green - checked by thegreenwebfoundation.org

Don’t be fouled, there are many green hosting providers out there, but many are expensive and often provide limited performance & features. There are many server-side features, that help optimise websites and deliver with a lower carbon footprint. So less is not always better.

I can help you to find the green host that best fits your website or project.

What ever you do, a low carbon website is a win-win for you, every web user and the environment in total.