Why web designers need to think about sustainable web design


Sabrina is the founder complex creativeNo Bullsh*t Agency, a full-service creative agency in London specializing in WordPress.

“If the Internet were a country, it would be the seventh largest source of pollution in the world.”

Such strong language in the Sustainable Web Manifesto should encourage us to be cleaner, more efficient, and more open about how we build websites.

It’s amazing how much carbon dioxide is emitted by using the Internet. The problem is that having the internet has so many benefits that people don’t want to stop using it easily. Therefore, we need to be smarter about how we do things online and think about the environment.

I think website designers have a lot of responsibility because of their ability to create low carbon websites for their clients.

Why no-code websites are bad for the environment

No-code website solutions are absolutely huge today. Anyone can create beautiful websites without knowing anything about how websites work. Great for entrepreneurs on a tight budget, but terrible for the environment. For more information, visit It calculates the carbon score of websites, including those developed with no-code templates.

The reason these no-code websites work so well is that they come pre-packaged with almost every feature imaginable. In other words, your website is cluttered with pages of unnecessary code and emits more carbon than trees can absorb.

I don’t deny that these providers create beautiful websites that work perfectly for anyone who needs a web presence but doesn’t know how to code. I just want people to be aware of the negative environmental impact of including unnecessary code in popular website templates. On the flip side, this means website developers have an opportunity to make a real difference.

What can website developers do to help the environment?

First of all, I would like to build a website from scratch if possible. This way, you can include only the code you actually need to power each website. An example of how a low carbon website is built can be found at lowwwwcarbon, a great inspirational site. All of these examples use sustainable web design techniques to make the website as lightweight as possible.

However, from a commercial standpoint, we understand that not all clients have the budget to cover the time it takes to do this. I need some kind of content management system (CMS) so that I can manage it in the future.

In short, you need to find a CMS that allows you to fully customize your technology. My agency chose to use WordPress (I have no business relationship with them). If you need to get started with themes, we also offer some ultralight themes such as Susty WP, which weighs only 6KB.

Learn more about sustainable web design

Sustainable web design is the adoption of practices that help design websites that have no negative impact on the environment. Most of these practices are very “technical”. That’s one of the reasons I think her web developer is responsible for making sure these things happen.

There are two books on this topic that I consider a must-read. by Tim Frick Designing for Sustainability and Tom Greenwood sustainable web designBoth of these guys lead sustainable web design and you can learn a lot from these two resources.

Another great resource for further reading is The Green Pages.


If you’re looking for quick tips on how to create a greener, lower-carbon website, here are my five recommendations.

1. Use Green Hosting: Switch to a hosting company that uses renewable energy to power your website.

2. Minimize video usage: Videos are very attractive, but they are one of the biggest causes of slow and sluggish websites. So think about whether you actually need to use that video on your website.

3. Optimize the image. We know that most people don’t upload huge images to websites, but you can use online tools like TinyPNG to further optimize your images and export them in formats like WebP to save files without quality loss. You can reduce the size.

4. Minify the code. A lot of the code you use loads unnecessarily and impacts performance and page sure to shrink Remove all extra characters with this code and reupload to your website to improve page speed.

5. Use lazy loading. Only load assets after the user scrolls to that section of the page. This reduces unnecessary resources loaded when not needed.

Why not try the above steps on your website to test your new carbon score? And web developers you know can use these techniques to help the environment through sustainable web design. and resources.

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