How to check if your website is sustainable and environmental friendly with Ecograder

If you just learned about sustainable web design, or maybe you just want to check up on what grades your website has, then Ecograder is a great tool. Ecograder is not only checking how sustainable your website is, but also your page speed, findability, design and user experience. In this article we will talk a bit about the categories Ecograder looks at, and why it is important to make your website sustainable.

Why should my website be sustainable?

The servers running your website is powered on 24 hours every day to make it accessible to the world. As you can imagine, this requires lots of electricity and if you look at the whole picture, then there are over a billion websites and all of them requires a server to be running 24/7.

The internet is a huge polluter and it is no secret that if the internet was a country, it would be the 6th biggest polluter in the world. Not many people are aware of this, cause the pollution is not visible whenever we are visiting a website or streaming a movie from Netflix, but note that it does in fact happen. As our internet speeds become faster and our devices become faster we tend to create more demanding websites instead of doing the opposite. When we create more demanding websites we automatically cause more pollution since both the server has to work harder but also the device visiting the website.

By making your website sustainable you are not only bringing down the overall pollution, but you are also making your website more accessible to people living in areas with slow bandwidth. Believe it or not, but there are still many places around the world with 3G as the fastest available option.

Get started with Ecograder

Start by heading over to Ecograder’s website. Here you will be asked for the link to your website and then your email address. Once you have filled in the needed information, Ecograder will check your website and deliver the result to you in your web browser.

The results coming from Ecograder contains information about Google Page Speed Insight Score, HTTP requests, Shared resources, MozRank, Mobile optimisation, Flash and Green hosting. All of these combined are tools you can use to make your website more sustainable. To give you an example: Google Page Speeds will give you good grades if your website loads fast. Your website will only load fast and receive good grades if you have optimised your content.

Another example will be the mobile optimisation: When you optimise for mobile devices you are resizing images to fit the device and also making your design responsive. Resizing images means lowering the file size and also the overall pixel size so that images are loading faster on mobile devices even with bad internet connection.

When checking if your website is hosted by a hosting company running on 100% renewable energy Ecograder is checking The Green Web Foundation. The Green Web Foundation is a directory with green web hosts from all around the world. If your website has an IP that is known to the green web foundation, it means your website is running on 100% green renewable energy.

Please note that if your website doesn’t check the green hosting, it is not 100% sure your website isn’t running on renewable energy. The Green Web Foundation is a work in progress and therefore they don’t have all current green hosting companies around the world. Each green web hosting company have to add themselves to the database and before that is done your website won’t be checking the green hosting.

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Michael Andersen
Michael Andersen

Michael Andersen is the author of Sustainable Web Design In 20 Lessons and the co-founder of Sustainable WWW (World-wide-web), an organization teaching sustainable practices. With a passion for web design and the environment, Michael solves puzzles to make the internet more sustainable.

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