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How to make an environment-friendly website?


 How to make an environment-friendly website?

 How to make an environment-friendly website? A few months ago we asked you how much does your website costs the planet? . I hope you already have, at least some, indicators that allow you to evaluate the ecological footprint that your website leaves on the planet.

Today we continue to talk about the environment and websites, performance and some technical solutions that allow you to create or make your website an environmentally friendly website.

How to make an environment-friendly website?
How to make an environment-friendly website?

What is the problem?

The problem is that the network, by its nature in 2020, in addition to being obese, is negative for the environment, as we have already commented on different occasions. The network grows exponentially, and on a scale probably inconceivable for the planet.

Change is always a possibility, someone would say, but at the moment we consume more than five years ago and we use more energy. In addition, we use digital media for this, and due to personal whims and sector interests we continue to bet on digital technologies with little use to date and that consumes a lot.

What is one of the solutions?

In the midst of all this, as a programmer or developer, how could you reduce the existing damage, how could you develop or make your website or your web application not so bad for the environment? You could do it by having, among other things, those that I comment below.

Is dark mode really positive?

The next time your client or users ask for “ dark mode” for your application, think about the following: black does not mean that the screen is off and you are using less energy in an absolute way.

It turns out that LED screens can do this effect, which we like so much - at least to me - but these screens still use light to show black, right?

Also, most dark mode themes are not pure black. These are darker gray combinations that reduce eye strain.

Therefore, as a designer and/or developer, I believe that you have the responsibility to alleviate the problem from its initial context before it reaches the end-user. You will be developing a better, faster, more reliable, more robust website with a great digital experience for your end-user!

What else can I do to help the environment?

Obviously, having to decide whether or not to use dark mode is only a modern part of the problem. You can also consider the following actions:

Audit the carbon footprint of your website

In the article in which we reflected on whether this, the current one, is really the WWW we want, we made reference to a website that allows us to estimate the carbon footprint of your website. Use this website to understand if you are doing it right. :)

Take care of servers and work with them

Modern servers are very well optimized and designed to send dialing to your users' devices. This means that they will know - or should know - process your business logic and show the results to users.

Your server providers want to give you an efficient service - with energy savings - that's why you should take care of them and work with them, or let them work for you.

You should also invest time in solutions that prevent your user's device from doing the job. Sure there is some way that the server does the job.  

One way to know and ensure it is by doing tests and user tests to optimizing, program what is necessary, and discard what does not make sense. The 80/20 Universal Design Principle or MVP can help you in this process, and remember that the less the processing, the less the environmental impact.

Use “real” static websites whenever possible

The point is that not all products or services need a CMS to inform their clients or potential clients. The same applies to Single Page Applications (SPA); in some contexts, a CMS may be useful and sufficient for the project, or even a simple static "life long" web page.

Therefore, if your website is from a foundation or a restaurant that simply has to inform its users or customers about their hours, phone number and addresses or Menu, it is very likely that you do not need a Single Page Application with everything a system of modules, plugins, and states behind.

Thanks to these modern approaches, paradigms, and frameworks it is very easy not to want to be out of fashion. But, if you want to respect the environment, a static website, professionally developed, is much easier to render for the device, then much more user-friendly.

Both the server and the devices will have to do less work and naturally use less power to display your website.

If you do not see it clearly, having you as a user, think about the number of times you access a website that consumes a lot of data during a day, extends this thought to all the other users who do the same. How do you think the infrastructure is configured to support this work? Will it waste energy?

Simplify your JavaScript

Some websites can survive - even the businesses they represent - using pure Javascript. However, once again, modern frameworks are too conspicuous to be ignored, and it is very easy to start developing web applications with them.

The Javascript pure you can control from the start, the amount of code required for functionality. But if you are creating static websites it is very important to take into account what you are writing, from the beginning, and how it behaves in your users' browser.

Also, it is true that minified ( compressed ) JavaScript helps with load times, but the browser must decompress to process it, and in some cases it can have side effects from a computational and environmental point of view, since more processing means more expenditure of Energy.

Remove dependencies

How many times have you done “ yarn add ” or “ npm install ” and you have forgotten which package you have installed. These actions also generate CO₂.

If you really want to make an environment-friendly website, I recommend setting aside some time on your to-do list, or even a budget to clean packages and dependencies.

Even analytical scripts that you have used in a marketing campaign, but have never used them again. This also applies to your A / B tests, your content fed by cookies or those beautiful fonts on the web, which have come with the template and you no longer use, because the client wants to use theirs.

Also, inquire if the dependency you want to install is no longer a native functionality in all modern browsers. As we saw last week, CSS for example has grown a lot this year of 2020 and allows you to program with less verbosity after integrating new functionalities and properties that before you could only use through libraries, or plugins.

Use CDNs near your users

We have commented different times on this blog that " the further your data has to travel, the more energy it will use ." With CDNs, you can efficiently send data to your users using the shortest possible route, if they have servers nearby. This improves latency, performance, and thanks to edge computing you can go one step further.


These are just a few ways that you can use to make your website a friend of the environment. You can implement them for 2021, or you can do many other things, how to delete your personal website if you no longer use it, and nobody visits it. If you need one for testing, you can have a very cheap local server. :)

If you have other formulas to help alleviate a global problem such as the ecological footprint left by websites on our planet, feel free to comment below!  How to make an environment-friendly website?

Do you think your website has any responsibility for climate change?


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