A website that is leaner on scripts and plugins frees up your time to focus on accessibility, improving engagement and conversion rates.
User experience is actually enhanced with clever use of typography, low bandwidth images and simple navigation devices. So much more success can be achieved with fewer assets.
That also happens to tick many boxes when it comes to performance and emissions reduction. The added bonus of this economic approach is a greener, more Eco Friendly website.
Develop From The Ground Up
Don’t be tempted to install an advanced CMS theme or plugin that will likely come packaged with lots of features and bandwidth hungry scripts you will never need. Instead, it makes more economic sense to start from scratch.
Never think too far ahead. Future proofing is sensible up to a point, but you can overcomplicate the project by thinking too much about what-ifs. All of your creative energy should be focused on what you need right now.
Future proofing is really a job for developers and designers, who should be making system choices that are scalable, rather than a catch-all solution. A content management system is scalable and provides flexibility when the need arises.
Prioritise User Experience and Accessibility
A digital product can be designed in many different ways and be equally as effective. You should be focusing on the simplest route to success, which requires the least amount of code, and is a better experience for users.
Think more empathetically about your audience and think less in terms of systems and internal processes. Thinking too deeply about organisation dynamics leads to scope creep and inevitably a resource heavy product.
Good accessibility practices also forces you to consider less code. Leaner HTML mark-up puts less pressure on the server, speeds up your pages and ensures you appeal to a much wider audience.
Choose A Responsible Hosting Provider
You can only go so far in reducing your websites demand on users data allowance or bandwidth. You also need to choose the right hosting company, that has a sound environmental policy.
Are the hosts servers powered by renewable energy sources? Do they invest in fossil fuel companies?
Before buying hosting read the small print carefully. Data technologies are currently off the radar a little when it comes to carbon emissions. The data centres that house web servers consume a monumental amount of energy.
Website Emissions Are Less Obvious
The first activities we think about, that are most damaging to the environment, are flying, car travel or emissions through meat consumption. Of course, these are the activities most reported by the media.
However, internet usage accounts for 3.7% of global emissions, which is on a similar scale to the airline industry. It’s hard for website owners to consider this problem. The assumption might be that digital is totally clean.
More energy efficient websites are actually more economical. Using fewer assets directs your energy creatively towards designing accessible, engaging experiences for your audience.