• Justin Wanstall
  • 07 Oct 2021

The key to sustainable websites

As our dependency on the internet grows, the cost to the environment is becoming greater.

Being more sustainable in web design goes far beyond the design and construction phase of your website. From cloud storage to servers, the choices we make regarding the platforms, systems, coding languages and servers we use within our web work all make a huge difference.

In this article, I delve into the more sustainable aspects of web design, and how you can make more eco-conscious decisions if you’re looking to become more sustainable.

What is ‘sustainable’ web design?

Making sure we’re more ‘sustainable’ isn't anything new, the internet is flooded with ways we are damaging our planet and as we face a climate crisis more people are committing to new ways to reduce plastic, packaging, deforestation, and CO2 emissions.

Being digital, it can be easy to suggest that web design has a low impact on the planet, however the internet and its searches contribute to the CO2 emissions more than people think.

Sustainable web design is an approach to designing websites, apps, and other digital services with a more eco-conscious initiative. According to Sustainable Web Design, the internet currently produces approximately 3.8% of global carbon emissions,

We are an 'online' generation. Everything we do has the capability to be facilitated virtually, but there is far more we can do to ensure we take the impacts of the planet into account with our choices.

In a bid to show commitment to eco-friendly practices, more big tech companies are making the effort to find greener and practical processes to help reduce their digital carbon footprints. For example, Microsoft has found that its underwater data center is eight times more reliable than those on land, offering sustainability through natural cooling and wave power, reducing the CO2 emissions created during their process.

Ways we can be more sustainable in web design

The core focus of sustainable websites is reducing carbon emissions and CO2 energy consumption to benefit the planet, and there are many ways we can achieve this.

  • Use a greener web host 

With larger tech companies making efforts to reduce their carbon emissions, there are becoming more opportunities to select a greener web hosting company or platform.

Look into how, or if, they use renewable energy. Are they using energy-efficient hardware, software, and data centers? Do they actively improve their carbon emissions, it’s best to investigate if they’re supporting climate change initiatives?

Once you know this information, you will typically be able to see which web hosts are eco-friendlier and more sustainable.

We use Microsoft Azure to make sure we supply sustainable hosting.

  • Choose an adaptable design

Choosing a bespoke system that grows alongside your business allows you to minimize the likelihood of a re-design each time your business develops.

By selecting a system, navigation and design that allows you to make changes with the support of your team, you can cut out the CO2 impacts of re-designs and web project developments.

  • Cloud storage

Cloud storage is arguably the most popular form of storing digital data, it’s easily adaptable enabling it to meet the requirements of a business and the needs of the public.

Websites – should – connect with your back-office systems. Make sure the data is stored in the cloud. Helping to reduce storage, file downloads and other tasks which increase our digital carbon footprint.

  • Improve site navigation

A key aspect of your web design is to ensure you carefully map out the navigation of your website.

Ensure that pages and information are easily found, minimizing the clicks and journey time a customer spends on your website, making sure all visitors can locate what they are coming to you for. This helps reduce loading and download time, therefore reducing co2 produced by search engines.

  • Optimise the multimedia on your site

It’s key to ensure your website remains updated and optimized, if you’re using old technology the likelihood of slow page speed and irrelevance can make the carbon impact of your website unnecessary.

Update your website to meet the standards people expect and the technology of the day.


The key thing to remember is your choices are vital. If you’re looking to make more sustainable decisions, then get to know the platforms and systems you’re using, by keeping yourself aware, the more you can do to ensure a more sustainable website that works for both the planet and your business.

Want to see how eco your website is? Why not run your URL through Ecograder and Website Carbon Calculator let us know how you get on!

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