What do I do for my own website to be green?

While creating and maintaining this website I tried, rethought and iterated so much that my friends jsut roll with their eyes when I say “I’m gonna’ redo my website. Again.”. But I can tell you, I learned so much about green webdesign for small business websites build with WordPress, as my own website is as well. So let’s get started.


Let’s talk about the base

WordPress

For convenience and as I’m not a web developer I used WordPress as CMS base for my website. WordPress itself adds quite a bit of weight and requests to the website but, well, that was the price to pay. On top of the CMS comes the theme for which I had a look into themes with super duper great performance and low weight and requests. Neve was the one that struck out the most for my use case so it became my companion.


Editor

As the third base I actually opted in for an editor, in this case the Elementor, with which I’m not super sure to use or not to use. I tried the in-built Gutenberg but it lacked of some elements I wanted to integrate. I wish it would’ve worked as it would have been much more lightweight. Elementor definetely adds some weight to the page and it sometimes feels like Elementor remembers old color choices way to long so it needs more time to load just because not overwriting correctly. But in the end it seems to be the best deal of the popular big editors out there. If anyone has a suggestion of what else to use pleeeeaaase let me know!


Plugins

To tweak WordPress a little bit you get thousands of plugins that help reducing the page weight. So I definitely recommend plugins for caching, for compressing CSS and JavaScript, for carbon tracking and for image optimization and compression. Other than that I try to limit the amount of plugins I have installed so it won’t slow down my pages and add kilobytes to it where I don’t need it.


Let’s talk about green content

I wanted to create a sleek, still balanced and a little edgy website. Not too many pics. Not too many animations. So I decided to work with colors. Dark colors in fact, as I was reading so much about increasing accessebility and for some devices decreasing energy consumption with dark colors.

I try to use my own icons wherever possible (or where I had time to create them) and make all the UX principles happy as if they were at a kids birthday party. You won’t find full width images on my website or disturbingly long “have you seen this offer of mine” funnels. I reuse modules, elements, CSS and other kind of design principles so it saves data weight. There is also no Instagram plugin that loads new posts from the platform but therefore an image of some of my posting as a teaser.


What I still want to do

I feel like there is still a lot of potential in the technical structure that I haven’t figured out yet. I want a true dark theme you can toggle back and forth from. I’d like to tell you more about my personal and business habits I have in the topic of sustainability. And as I can’t reduce the CO2 that’s being emitted with this website to zero I will definetly implement a tree planting project that’s corresponding the websites activities. And be sure, there will come lot’s more along the way. I’m happy to explore all of them.


And now?

Please feel free to let me know of your websites, your sustainability approaches and your opinion on it. And share it. Share the article. Share the love for green webdesign.

I’m happy to hear from you!

Your Sandy


Sandy Dähnert

Hi, I’m Sandy, the author of this blog and Green UX/UI designer with the vision of a green web. Come with me on this wonderful journey!