Why you should integrate sustainability into your website lifecycle.
Chapter 2 – Six guidelines to eco-conceive your website.
It’s time to raise awareness about website pollution. Discover our first series on sustainable web design. Our team will be taking you from the importance to act now to key best practices to implement on your website!
How to integrate sustainability into website development? Today we’re zooming in on the core guidelines shaping the concept of website eco-conception.
Starting with the basics.
When it comes to developing an e-commerce, a corporate website or even a personal blog, the same pattern is always replicated.
We summarized this process in six steps:
Defining the purpose of the project, schedule, technology, framework, etc.
Designing the website layout, functionalities, templating, etc.
Coding, plugin installation, access to database, etc.
Making sure everything works.
Launching the production of the website.
Auditing and maintaining the whole website lifecycle.
The 6 eco-conception guidelines you need to keep in mind.
Integrating sustainability into a website development lifecycle would result in integrating the notion of efficiency in each of the previously listed six steps.
In website eco-conception, efficiency would refer to the 6 following guidelines:
Be straight to the point and remove all unnecessary elements. Running a CRO or UX audit can help you identify unused features.
Always be mindful of “nice to have” elements and question their added-value (images, videos, design effects).
Make sure your website is accessible to all. Can it be loaded by people with slow internet connection? Can people with all kinds of disabilities experience it?
Because website eco-conception is a journey, it is important to be open for improvements. Learning from each other, collaborating with experts from different fields and participating in making important information and knowledge accessible to everyone (with open source projects for example) are key success factors.
It is not only important to reduce the amount of resources needed but also to make sure that those technical resources are powered with renewable energy.
As you may have already understood, website eco-conception is not only a concern for a front-end developer or a back-end developer. It is about getting everyone in the same room, working together.
Indeed, software and hardware are tightly linked and the way you code and use the software will have a direct impact on the hardware.
Zooming in on business benefits.
“Achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 isn’t just an aspirational goal—it’s an economic growth imperative”. According to a recent Deloitte study, acting now will not only save the United States from the economic cost of unchecked climate change, but could also lead to a $3 trillion increase in GDP by 2070.
Website eco-conception follows the same dynamic. If it is about to become a mandatory constraint, as more and more laws and regulations are being implemented to make us move towards digital sobriety (for example, France recently passed a law “Climat et Résilience” to adopt sustainable advertising), there are tangible business opportunities to seize.
Starting with saving costs. For example, earlier this year, French company Greenly asked several companies if running a carbon footprint assessment resulted in savings. The answer was yes by 78% of respondents and the digital was the fourth pillar to see its spending being reduced. Indeed, reducing website carbon emissions result in the need of less functionalities, less requests, less physical infrastructures, and more bandwidth. Concretely, it can mean saving money in data storage.
Additionally, it is also synonymous with business growth. Faster load speed means a website that is delivered to the end user faster. And we know nowadays that website speed has a direct impact on user experience – meaning remaining on your website – which results in more qualified sessions and more revenue at the end.
Stay tuned for chapter 3. We’ll be sharing best practices and quick wins to implement on your website and get started with website eco-conception.
Product Director at footsprint.
Throughout his more than 10 years of experience in environmental sciences and global warming, Juan has worked in both private and public sectors, and more specifically for the Toronto Atmospheric Fund as carbon and co-benefits analyst. He joined footsprint in order to help the industry accelerate the transition towards digital sobriety. His expertise in carbon measurement and GHG protocols will contribute to develop and strengthen industry frameworks.
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