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Five Easy Ways to Go Green on the Web

Posted on 4.21.2012

Happy Earth Day, loyal Website Magazine readers!

Some say that it ain’t easy going green, and that sentiment certainly rings true when you’re talking about a Web business. However, if you know where to look, there are actually plenty of ways that you can curb your energy consumption and make your website more environmentally friendly.

Green Hosting
Most of the energy consumption that takes place on the Web comes from hosting. After all, it takes a lot to host and manage all of the data from all of the websites out there on the ‘Net. However, some more forward-thinking hosting companies have begun to turn to green hosting, wherein they purchase Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) that are powered by wind energy to offset the amount of energies used by their servers.

Don’t know how to find a green hosting provider? Never fear, our editorial staff compiled a list of some of the best right here.

Green Partners
Businesses can also take steps themselves to curb their energy use. Two of the best are by working with the EPA’s Green Power Partnership and the Energy Star program.

The Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program in which partnering businesses can buy green power to reduce the environmental impact of their purchased electricity use. The EPA provides the businesses with expert advice, tools and resources and credibility through publicity and recognition for their green-inspired efforts.

Energy Star is a joint program from the EPA and the Department of Energy that partners with businesses to offer an energy management strategy that measures their current energy performance, sets goals, tracks their savings and rewards their improvements.

Simple Site Design
It’s no secret that the more bells and whistles you add to your website, the more energy it is going to take to display it. So why not tone it down, cut out the unnecessary frills and keep your design as simple as possible so that your business’ message is still clearly stated and your site is still interactive and useful for audiences.

One of the easiest ways to do this is to keep as much of the content of your Web pages above the fold, because then users won’t have to continue to scroll down and continue rendering the page, which constantly increases the amount of energy needed just to view a single page.

Printer-Friendly = Environment-Friendly
Sometimes people just need to print things out, and with stellar content like yours, it’s bound to happen. However, you can lessen the environmental impact and save a few trees by designing a printer-friendly version of your Web pages, especially those that you think are more likely to be printed.

You can do this by making an alternate version of the page that users can click on before printing. Some characteristics of a printer-friendly Web page are: They are black and white only, use a small-sized, serif face font, free of unessential images, JavaScript, Flash, animation and navigation (and sometimes advertising) and include a copyright notification and the original URL at the bottom of the page.

Be a Green Advocate
If nothing else, it probably doesn’t take much to put an image on your site encouraging and reminding your visitors of the importance of going green. A simple, tasteful logo will show off your commitment to an energy-conscious future, and hopefully influence your visitors to do the same.


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