Though one might think about sustainability in web design and development role, the truth of the matter is that all digital processes make an environmental impact. This is why there’s an absolute need for a sustainable web manifesto focusing on creating data-efficient content for the internet.
So, why is sustainability in web design and development important? Sustainability in web design and development is essential because not all dematerialisation is suitable for the internet. There’s already a lot of junk filling up the web, taking up huge bits.
This massive energy consumption boosts the internet’s carbon footprints, endangering the planet. So, it’s now in the hands of web designers and developers to create and implement sustainable web design projects.
You can check whether your website is considered ‘green’ via the Green Web Foundation tool. With this, you can determine if you have green web hosting services. Sustainability in web design and development helps prevent unnecessary energy consumption.
What is Sustainability in Web Design and Development?
Sustainability in web design and development means producing web content that completely aligns with the user’s current need without impeding the capacity of those needs to be gratified again in the future.
A sustainable web design and development follows six principles of the sustainable web design practices, which are the following:
Use clean, renewable energy to power services provided or used by web designers and developers during the design process.
Use only the least possible and most necessary energy and resources amount in creating the web content or web pages to contribute to a sustainable future.
The products and services offerings should never mislead or exploit the user.
Make products and services accessible to web users and allow open information exchange.
The services and products given will support the economy and always put the benefit of people and the planet first.
The products and services offered won’t lose their value regardless of the time and places most needed by the user.
How to Design Sustainable Websites?
A skilled and up-to-date web designer and a developer always follow the principles of the sustainable web manifesto to implement the right strategies to build a sustainable website.
Start by ensuring your business is run and maintained sustainably by:
- Decreasing your energy consumption to contribute to reducing global carbon emissions
- Lower the use of paper in the office to help save the trees
The company can then focus more on design and SEO, which are the two primary areas of web design and development. These two require optimisation to deliver a sustainable, high-performance and user-friendly website experience for your customers.
Web Design Optimisation
For sustainability in web design and development optimisation, you have to guarantee the following:
Efficient code is used for sustainable web design and development.
Web designers follow sustainable practices and are efficient with their codes to create a sustainable website. This helps ensure that a website will not be overloaded with codes, which will slow up your website.
While working on projects, most companies use simple codes and try to avoid complicating work with many codes. This approach is crucial since it allows an easy future update implementation.
The website and other assets’ weights should be lightweight as possible.
During designing and development, you need to ensure that frontend codes are lightweight so that only the least and the necessary energy amount is consumed to keep it running.
If you have a ton of icons or images, you can look into CSS sprites. They work pretty similar to sprites found in computer game development. Here, images are integrated once each sprite sheet.
Afterwards, the CSS will determine under which coordinates which image is located.
The number of web pages.
A website with fewer pages means lesser data was used. This will also allow the page to load faster, increasing the site’s sustainability. So, only create relevant pages for your website for more straightforward navigation and improved user experience.
Search engine optimisation for sustainable internet and excellent website performance.
The importance of SEO in websites is enormous. It helps reduce the carbon dioxide emissions amount and makes your website more crawlable by search engines.
This makes it easier for web users to quickly search and find the information they need on the internet.
Hence, the best web designers and developers ensure to implement SEO during the developmental stages of web design to achieve a sustainable website. These sites are programmed in a way that desktop versions don’t have to be overwritten and are directly optimised for smaller devices.
A lazy loading website is not an option.
A faster loading website significantly improves user experience, resulting in less data consumption needed to display the relevant pages for the user. Doing this improves the overall user experience, leading to lesser carbon gas emissions and making our planet a much safer place to live.
Mobile-friendly website optimisation.
The majority of internet usage is made via mobile phones. Thus, a sustainable website must be optimised for mobile devices to meet consumers’ needs.
A mobile optimised website reformats itself to cater to mobile devices and other smaller screen devices. It ensures the proper content display on smaller screens, making the site easier to navigate.
Why Go for a Sustainable Web Design?
The Internet consumes a lot of energy. Less energy will be used with a sustainable web design, ultimately reducing energy consumption. You can also try switching a proportion of your electricity to green power —even for only 20 per cent, to reduce your carbon footprint.
A sustainable web design puts people and the planet first, making it ideal to use for your business practices. It delivers digital goods and services using the principles of the Sustainable Web Manifesto, which are—clean, efficient, open, honest, regenerative, and resilient.