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July 24, 2020

Best practices to design a fast and eco-friendly website

5 actionable tips you can start using today

Did you ever feel frustrated by your website's loading speed?
Did you wonder how you could decrease your website's carbon impact?

Well, look no more. I've seen/done those mistakes, and I wanted to share this so you don't have to.

Here are 5 tips for a faster and greener website:

1. Use SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) instead of PNG

For vector illustration and logos. It's now supported by most browsers, and reduce drastically the weight of your files. Since they are vector, they always look sharp and just require a single file for all devices (in most cases).

2. Compress your images properly

Using a tool such as Tinypng. It's free and can reduce your file size by up to 80%. It works with both jpeg and png, and keeps transparency. Also pay attention to the actual size at which your image will be displayed. No need to have a 1920x1080 picture if you'll display it at 350x350.

3. Switch to a green hosting solution.

If you select the right one, the speed often matches that of standard providers. To name a few: Greengeeks, A2 hosting, in motion, and HostPapa seem to be doing a great job.

4. Remove useless interactions!

They look super fancy and beautiful in a mockup, but in the real world, they can get messy pretty quickly and disrupt the user flows, slowing down the website or rendering it plain unfunctional to most users. Remember to keep it simple.

5. Use a simpler design pattern involving less CSS classes.

By thinking your website in a systemic way, you can reduce the amount of different CSS classes, leading to a lighter weight and faster loading website. Just like the interactions, less is more! Drop me a line if you need help with that, I'd gladly help you build a better and greener website!

Bonus tip: get out of Google Analytics

By switching your analytics solution to Plausible, a light-weight and GDPR compliant solution, not only will you reduce the tracking script to less than 1KB compared to the 45KB of GA, but you will also be more ethical in regard of your users' data. Notice that I don't have a cookie policy to disrupt you as soon as you land on my website, because all that data is fully anonymised so I don't need one. A no-brainer if you ask me.

Thanks for watching

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