Sustainable Web Design is a Thing

There is a lot more to green web design than speed but it is important to consider speed as an element in green web design. Many WordPress themes are incredibly fast for their bloated size but what they are missing is the incredible waste that a bloated website causes.

While speed is a key player in ‘green’ web design, it is also crucial to consider page size (aka. "page weight") as an element in the whole design. There are several WordPress themes which are extremely fast despite their bloated size and structure, but what these themes are at fault for is the extreme waste that a bloated website may cause.

Green Speed Guage Superimposed On WPTechGuru Responsive Mockups

How a Bloated Website Affects the Environment

Bloated Websites Use More Electricity Which:

    1. Requires more server space;
    2. Requires more air conditioning;
    3. Drains Mobile Phone batteries faster to load many resources;
    4. Contributes to e-waste, when users upgrade phones unnecessarily;
    5. Waste human time;
    6. etc.

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Why Are Websites Using So Much Energy?

A Major Reason is, Lack of Knowledge.

The vast majority of web designers are using heavily marketed, multi-purpose themes from Themeforest and other Theme sellers. These multi-purpose themes come loaded with resources (Javascript, Fonts, Images, CSS files etc.) to accomplish any design need imaginable. Also, they are not optimized to minimize the use of resources on pages of the website that  do not need those resources.

Often, Web Designers Neglect Making A Website Lean Because They Never Thought About It Or Haven't Been Trained To Do So.

The following points describe why designers may take a shortcut instead of steps to a leaner website:

  1. It takes extra effort and skill to research methodical ways vs. quick and dirty ways of doing things;
  2. It takes experience and testing to choose plugins wisely;
  3. It takes motivation, some web designers are just going for quick buck;;
  4. It takes skill;
  5. It takes discipline, limiting how many fonts you use for example;
  6. Sometimes it takes educating the customer. Many customers want slideshows and carousels for their image galleries in spite of the fact that studies have shown that users do not look past the first image.

The third reason is technology:

  • The accelerating use of video;
  • We are using bigger screens and therefore designers are using, larger images;
  • Companies started defining their own standards for favicons, site identity files requiring websites to save multiple and larger sizes of these icons;
  • Page builders are now the norm for web design and even more css files and javascript files are used to load a website that doesn't necessarily have extra functionality;
  • More Applications
    • Tracking software is now ubiquitous, some websites have multiple ways of tracking users to try to improve sales.
    • Live Chat Applications are more and more common

Why Should Web Designers Build Lean Websites?

  1. Principle—Lean Design is Good Design;
  2. To minimize the impact on the environment;
  3. To improve the User's Experience (especially on mobile devices and in countries where ISP speeds are slower);
  4. So client websites rank better on search engines (SEO)—it has been a ranking factor for Google for years but only recently a significant factor.
  5. To save on bandwidth on their server which could save them money.

Statistics on Web Page Sizes (Page Weight)

Website Page Weight Chart
Website Page Weight Chart Source HTTP Archive

How do Websites Built by Empowered Marketing Compare?

We make it our first priority to build lean websites.

Average Web Page Size (Desktop) 2019Typical Size of a Web Site Designed by Empowered MarketingTypical Page Size Reduction (when we take over a website on our WPTechGuru Service)
1.8MB.5MB - 1MB75%

We have many sites that are less than 25% the size of the median website being built today. Some of our WordPress sites are so lean and green they are only 10% the size of a typical website today. If you want a super lean website tell us and we'll make your site as green as possible.

My leanest WordPress website is my WPTechGuru website which is 2.5% the size of the average website today.

WPTechGuru GTMetrix PageSpeed Report

When we are hired to take over a website, we provide tech support via our WPTechGuru service. We strive to reduce the page size of every website we are asked to manage.

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