Ways to make your website more energy-efficient
- Katherine D. Rodriguez
This article will answer that question by providing a list of top tips to help you reduce energy waste and ensure your products are as efficient as possible.
You can also find almost everything here that will make your website more energy-efficient, improve performance, and enhance user experience.
A little background information about website energy consumption
This topic may be new to you. The internet, including its data centers, telecoms networks, and end users’ devices such as phones and laptops, uses a lot. The internet consumes roughly the same amount as the UK, one the largest economies in the world when you add all of it together.
Websites use electricity from data centers, telecoms networks, and end-user devices
The amount of electricity used by the internet is increasing rapidly as we continue to use more internet data every day. Although it may seem far away, the huge internet power consumption has a large carbon footprint that must be addressed.
This is how web designers and developers can achieve their goals:
Design & Content
It’s easy to think that websites’ energy efficiency is a technical matter. But efficiency can be improved even before we build a website. The design and content of a website have a huge impact on its energy efficiency. Here are some key points to consider.
SEO may not seem to be related to website efficiency, but in reality, SEO’s goals are directly linked to energy conservation. We are helping people find what they need quickly and easily by optimizing a website to rank high in search engines. SEO success results in users spending less time on the internet looking for information and visiting fewer pages that do not meet their needs. This results in less energy being consumed, and more energy is used to provide real value to the user.
Copywriting has a similar impact on search engine optimization. It affects how people spend their time browsing websites. We want visitors to spend lots of time on websites and immerse themselves in our content. We don’t want people to spend their time reading content that is of little or no benefit to them. Clear and concise copywriting can reduce the amount of wasted time and energy on the internet.
User Experience (UX)
Reducing friction in user journeys is one of the key elements of a good user experience. People should be able find what they are looking for and take the steps they need in the easiest way possible. A good user experience makes the web more fun and easier for everyone. It also reduces the time spent navigating to pages that aren’t relevant or staring at pages trying to figure out what to do next.
Use Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
AMP is a technology that speeds up content loading on mobile devices. It removes unnecessary code and files weight and delivers a simplified version of the original website. Although technologies such as AMP aren’t really helpful if the website isn’t efficient, AMP can help to make the site lighter and more energy-efficient for mobile users.
Google prioritizes AMP content in search results for news-related topics, in particular. This can increase your content’s visibility. Your content could end up being served on a Google website. You might also lose important information. You should use it with care.
Create static web pages
CMS-powered websites query the website database to generate dynamic pages. It means that the web server must do more work to determine what information should be sent back to the user every time they load a page. This causes the server’s energy consumption to increase. A server caching technology is one solution. However, it is possible to host static web pages without any database in some cases.
You can do this by either writing static HTML files, CSS or JS pages, or using a specialist static web host or static site generator to convert your CMS-powered website into static files.
Make use of Progressive Web App technology (PWA)
Progressive Web App technology allows websites to access functionality that is only available in native apps. Chris recently wrote that one of the key features of a PWA was the ability to store files on users’ devices. This means that assets and content do not have to be loaded again on subsequent visits. This can reduce the data load by repeat visitors, particularly on mobile devices where data transfer is more expensive than wired connections. It can, like most things in life, help to improve load times and the user experience without any real downsides.
Websites use a lot of energy in their data centers and the transmission of data between them. The selection of web hosting providers can have a significant impact on energy efficiency and page speed. These are some of the most important points to consider.
Server caching is a good idea
Pages are generated dynamically for websites using a CMS like Drupal or WordPress. This is inefficient because it requires server processing for each page view. It also increases the energy consumption of your web server.
Caching technologies such as Varnish pregenerate static pages of each page to reduce server overhead for most visitors. This greatly reduces server energy consumption, and can make a significant difference in page load times.
Although it can be difficult to set up, many hosts like Kinsta or WPEngine offer this feature as an option. This means that your website’s energy efficiency and web performance can be increased with minimal effort.
Hosts with high PUE ratings are recommended
The PUE metric, which measures energy efficiency in data centres, is used to determine their energy efficiency. PUE is calculated by subtracting the energy required to operate the computers within the data centre from the energy consumed. This shows how much energy is being used for non-computational tasks like cooling. The average PUE for data centres is 1.67. This means that for every 1.67 Watts of power going into the data center, only 1 Watt is being used for the computing systems. High-efficiency data centres, such as those operated by Google, can have a maximum PUE of 1.11.
A data centre should be located near your users
The internet uses a lot of energy to transmit data over the telecoms networks. It is obvious that the longer the information must travel, the more energy it consumes on its journey. It is important to choose a data center close to your target audience in order to reduce energy consumption. You might be able to find cheap web hosting packages from US-based companies, but your visitors may be in the UK or Germany, and energy will be lost transmitting data across the Atlantic. This extra distance can also cause page loading delays. It is better for both the user experience and the planet to locate your website near your target audience.