Step 1: Choosing a Suitable Web Design Platform - or Otherwise: Content Management System
Choosing which platform is right for you is crucial, whether it be e-commerce, blogging or educational. It needs to be something that you can stick with for years to come, one that allows you to grow and develop.
When aiming for ‘green’, some crucial factors also come into play:
WordPress is far more flexible and adaptable than its competitors: it is an open source tool with virtually unlimited themes and features, making it possible to opt for a lightweight template with plugins that support a low carbon set up. In the meantime, with a bit of custom coding, templates can easily be modified to suit your business as it changes, grows and develops over time, without needing to start fresh. Other platforms, such as Squarespace, are not open source and are much more limited in terms of their features and functionality. Another very important feature of WordPress is that you can easily move your data to another Content Management System (CMS) or hosting, which is not possible with platforms such as WiX, Weebly or Squarespace.
As hosting is the most energy demanding part of a website, it is crucial to use a host that operates on low carbon energy. Several platforms have hosting included within their package. Although they make life easier, their hosts more often than not, cannot verify to use renewable energy sources. When using WordPress you can choose a certified green host that best serves your needs (note, in this article we talk about WordPress’ self-hosted version, not WordPress.com).
Step 2: Finding A Green Host
However, as you have probably already suspected, it is not as simple as it sounds. There are different ways of claiming to be green, and not all claims are equal. When choosing an all round, reliably green host to work with, these are the points to consider:
Although we are not specifically endorsing any hosts specifically, we found that Krystal was one that suited all our needs and we started our green journey with them.
Step 3: Getting The Design And Content Right
Achieving success at this stage of the website building process requires innovative and knowledgeable individuals drawing up creative solutions that suit both your company image and your customer’s needs. Creating a well thought through site architecture, or otherwise user journey will enable your site visitors to find what they are after with as few clicks as possible. This in turn reduces the number of times your site loads, whilst also improving user experience. We use technologies such as wireframing to configure the structure best suited for your product.
Clear and efficient messaging and copywriting reduces wasted time wading through content that offers little or no value to your customers, and at the same time optimises your website for search engine rankings (SEO).
When it comes to the look of your website, there are some key points we keep in mind to minimise page weight.
Step 4: Rethinking Plugins And Coding
Step 5: Final Touch Of Website Optimisation
At this stage we ensure that the site is as compressed and optimised as it can be; we further reduce HTTP requests with tools such as CSS Sprites, and set up the right cashing.
Once all is done, another great green website is ready to launch!