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3 Simple Changes for “Green” Sustainable Websites

Ways to make your website less resource heavy and to improve performance.

As the world population continues to grow and technology advances, it’s becoming increasingly important to find ways to reduce our carbon footprint. One of the best ways to do this is by creating a greener website. Three simple things that you can implement in a day are: switching web hosts, optimizing your images, get a caching plugin. Of course, I have my favorite tools and platforms to recommend so we’ll get into that below.

How to Find Out How Green Your Website Is

First, you may be wondering how you can find out if your website is green. You can get a good idea how eco-friendly your WordPress website is by using the ecograder tool created by Mightybytes. This test evaluates your website on several factors including: your hosting provider (25% of your score), page size (50%), and user experience (25%).

Ecograder will score how green your website is based off of 3 metrics: your hosting provider, user experience, and page optimization.

1. Change your Hosting Provider

The first step in making your WordPress site greener is choosing renewable web hosting services. Look for web hosts that use renewable energy sources such as solar or wind power or who offset their usage with environmental initiatives. The Green Web Foundation maintains a directory of green web hosting options organized by country. There are several green web hosting companies in the US that offer shared hosting, however for large WordPress websites a cloud-based option will offer better performance and security. Some of the most popular shared hosting options are: Dreamhost, Green Geeks, and Siteground.

Using Google Cloud Platform is a great option. Google has made noteworthy environmental changes including leading the way in becoming carbon neutral. I recommend using a Google Cloud server at Cloudways. Many of my website that are hosted at Cloudways load in under 1 second which for me was massively important. Website speed is essential not just for sustainability, but for conversion optimization.

2. Optimize Your Images

When it comes to creating a greener website, optimizing images is key. Optimizing images means compressing them so they load faster on your site, which reduces the amount of energy needed to display them on screen. You do not need images with massive file sizes online. You can greatly reduce the file size while preserving the same quality of image. You can run your images through TinyPNG before uploading them to your media library. Additionally, I recommend using a plugin such as Imagify to optimize all the images already in your media library.

3. Utilize Caching Plugins

Caching plugins are another great way to make your WordPress site more eco-friendly by helping it run more efficiently. Caching plugins store frequently accessed information in memory so that it can be quickly retrieved when needed instead of having to access the database each time a user visits your website. This improves loading speed and also helps reduce the amount of energy used by your site since it doesn’t have to access the database as often. My favorite caching plugin to use is WP Rocket which is integrated with Imagify for image optimization.

Taking steps towards greening up your WordPress website doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive, It just takes a bit of effort and know-how. You can make a big difference when it comes to reducing your carbon footprint while also providing a pleasant experience for users visiting your website.

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Designer & developer focused on sustainable web design and improving user experience as well as achieving significant revenue growth for clients.