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Web Design and Carbon Impact

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Carl MH Barenbrug writes about the carbon impact of web designs. He reminds to consider that fast loading and less energy use is more important than fancy designs.

He also shares some tips on how to reduce the carbon impact of websites:

  • Reduce images (often images don’t add any value for the visitor)
  • Optimize images
  • Reduce video (and disable autoplay!)
  • Choose fonts wisely (system fonts are often enough – I’m a fan of just using “sans-serif”) and when you need custom fonts, use the right subset and try to make them as small as possible
  • Write clean code
  • Use less JavaScript (you can do a lot of things with just HTML and CSS! – and probably don’t need all those metrics collected by your tracking tools)
  • Caching

While developing my own custom CMS, I take a lot of care to do caching right; caching in the client using HTTP-Headers and server-side caching too. Each request that’s cached on the client doesn’t need to go over the network and each request that’s cached on the server reduces the amount of computations required and thus saves energy.

My favorite quote from his article is this one:

SEO

When optimising a site for search engines, we are helping people find the information they want quickly and easily. When SEO is successful, it results in people spending less time browsing the web looking for information, and visiting fewer pages that don’t meet their needs.

https://cmhb.de/web-design-and-carbon-impact

5

Jan-Lukas Else
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