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How to be eco-friendly and have a website?

Being eco-friendly and having a website can sound contradictory, however, with some actions and optimizations, it is possible to make your online shop or website eco-friendly.

I had already addressed the website of the web and ecology in a personal capacity in a dedicated article : Lower your digital carbon footprint with a few simple gestures!

This is not an exhaustive list and everyone at their level can participate in making their site greener, as far as possible. E-retailers are not the only ones concerned, bloggers of which I am a part but also (and in the first place), the developers of these sites who must have in mind the notion of performance, we are then called eco-design.

Take an eco-friendly host

The first step is “essential” if you want to make your site greener. Indeed, accommodations are the basis of our websites and a bit of everything around us.

If you don’t know, your host has what’s called a Datacenter (or rents one) that hosts millions of websites, applications of all kinds. Yours is one of them. These data centers are energy sinkholes and with the digitization of just about everything around us and the multiple services of cloud, read are more and more numerous.

That’s why it’s important that your host has a first-rate environmental policy. Infomaniak for example is a Swiss host with a very strong and committed CSR policy. The environment and data protection are the host’s priority.

For my part, I regularly work with Nexylan, an excellent host in the Lille region and who uses data centers that meet higher environmental standards.

Avoid unnecessary e-mail

Over time, the mail has become the preferred medium for communication between users and the site, whether it is an e-commerce, a showcase site or other.

The problem is that each email consumes on average 19g of Co2… Given the millions or even billions of emails sent every day, it’s starting to weigh.

For an e-commerce, for new customer who will make his first purchase, it can go from 3 to 5 emails in a few minutes depending on the case. On Prestashop for example, since this is a subject I know well, emails are legion:

  • A welcome email to registration
  • An order confirmation email
  • An accepted payment email
  • A product mail on order or in a break-up depending on the case

In the list above, we can go down to 2 emails… A welcome email is essential, but you can collect order confirmation emails, accepted payment and product availability information by maximizing information during the shopping cart and in the summary mail.

Also, try to simplify your transactional emails as much as possible, avoid too heavy attachments, too many images, etc.

Optimize images

The images represent 90% of the web… I’ll let you imagine how a minimum of optimization of your images can have positive consequences.

The images are both heavy to store and also the heaviest items to transfer when loading a web page. That’s why it’s important to optimize the images that make up your site. If you use WordPress, I recommend a plugin that fulfills this function in my article dedicated to the best WordPress plugins.

If you use another CMS such as Prestashop or a framework like Laravel, solutions exist and perform this function very well.

Generally, good compression does not alter the quality of the image (at least with the naked eye) and optimizes the weight of the image up to 50%.

Optimize code

This is perhaps the darkest and most complicated point to set up.

Indeed, the execution of the code (thus loading a web page in bulk …) consumes the server resource, and therefore energy. The heavier your site’s code is to run, the more resources the server will need and use energy to overcome it.

This allows you to optimize the code as much as possible by removing unnecessary parts or rewriting parts that are counterproductive to make them faster to run.

Also, if your site runs on PHP and you use PHP 5.6 in particular, switching to version 7.1 or more will allow you to both gain performance but also allow you to “be greener”.

Beware all the same, a change of version PHP is not without risk and can “break” a site. Check with a developer that this won’t be a problem.

Also, feel free to optimize SQL queries, it’s good for everyone :D!

Hide and minify static files

This part is a bit of an extension of the previous point. To avoid consuming unnecessary resources, feel free to apply a cache policy that will make your site faster and more environmentally friendly because you allow browsers not to load static items such as CSS/JS files and images a second time every time your visitors go to the same page. The browser will use in its cache to reuse them.

Also, feel free to minify your CSS/JS files, this will save you a little more in resources.

If you use WordPress, I’ve listed several plugins that do this very well in my article dedicated to the best WordPress plugins.

Carbon offsetting🌳

It has several ways to offset the carbon emissions associated with your site. You can donate to an association that fights global warming, whether it’s a one-time or regular. Some companies/brands reserve a percentage of their annual turnover that they reserve for this purpose.

It is also possible, as an e-trader, to offer your customers to make one of which to an association or to participate in reforestation through an implementation of Reforest’Action or others.

There are plenty of other possibilities, some companies specialize in the field, don’t hesitate to find out! 🙂

I hope I made you discover that it was not necessarily complicated to make some efforts to make voting site more “sustainable” / “green” and have an eco-friendly website. Generally, these points will also allow you to enjoy a more efficient site optimized for SEO.

🌳 Finally, if you want to know the carbon footprint of your website, you can visit WebsiteCarbon. The site you are reading is 85% cleaner than all the pages tested! Yes!! 🌳 WebsiteCarbon Score WebsiteCarbon Score

Don’t hesitate to share your WebsiteCarbon score in comment!

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