Earth Day 2022

I wrote a post last year that covered a number of energy hog issues that affect websites. Most of those issues are still valid. Many web platforms, like WordPress and Wix, use excessive amounts of JavaScript to do basic layout functions. Being lean makes pages run faster, perform better in search engines, use less bandwidth which is both green and a courtesy to all of your visitors (especially those on mobile devices or in rural locations).

In 2022 we have updates on a few green initiatives.

Solar Hosting

Version2 is now an AISO customer. So far solar hosting has been fantastic. It’s speedy, easy to use, and the team at AISO has been very friendly. You can see an updated link to their solar panel webcam here.

The hosting environment is ideal for our lean, Elevator Sites. If you’d like to move your site to greener pastures, please contact us.

Lean Framework Case Study

We’re testing out a new lean CSS framework for building websites. With a clean framework, websites are just better. Here’s why:

  • Easier to code. Less clutter in the code makes it easier to write, edit, customize, and track down bugs.
  • Load faster. There’s literally less stuff to move across the Internet to make your site work. 
  • Perform better. A lightweight framework needs fewer supporting files so there are fewer “moving parts” which leads to greater efficiency.
  • Better SEO. Google hates slow and sloppy websites. Checkout Google’s PageSpeed Insights. It’s a way to test your website (or your competitor’s website) to see how well your site is doing and what you can do to improve performance.

The world of SEO leads us straight back to our lean framework test project. Our first website to be run on a solar powered server is an SEO tool we’ve put together. One of the key parts of SEO is making sure your page is doing a good job with the last step in the process: Getting people to click on your link. That means having good, compelling text display in the Search Engine Results Page, or SERP. is a tool to see how your website displays on a Google SERP. We’ve pulled it up a few times to test the title and description of sites that we’re building. So it’s pretty handy. But it’s also a crazy lightweight. Here’s a highlight from PageSpeed Insights:

web design page speed insights

A big part of what makes uSERPr so fast is that it’s built on the Skeleton CSS framework. It’s a perfect example of having everything you need and nothing you don’t. In fact, they don’t even use the term “framework” to describe it. It’s more like scaffolding, if that makes sense. Which is pretty great. I find that I spend a ton of time fighting to undo the assumptions made by frameworks. Having a clean canvas to work from is pretty wonderful.

Doing more with less

Efficiency and using less energy has always been a good idea. Why be wasteful? And the reality of climate change has made being efficient an even higher priority. But in 2022, we have even more motivation to be green. The war in Ukraine has drastically increased fuel prices across the globe. Coupled with very high inflation as a result of the financial recovery from the pandemic, the cost of everything has gone up. So now you can take your pick for reasons to be efficient. Do you have to save money to stretch your household budget? Do you want to do your part to mitigate climate change? Or do you want to be socially responsible and use less so that there’s more left for others, and other countries that might be having a hard time weaning off of Russian oil? There’s lots of reasons to make an effort this Earth Day.

The perks of efficiency

Being efficient can have some pretty amazing perks. Aptera is an electric car company in California. But they aren’t just throwing batteries into a Lotus like Elon did. They are obsessed with efficiency. Which leads to a pretty spectacular design. But when you maximize efficiency, there are some killer perks. It has built in solar panels, and instead of just running the AC or the radio like other electric vehicles, the Aptera can generate 40 miles of range just by sitting outside. It also starts at $25,000, which is proof that if you use less you can charge people less. It also has a composite roll cage, AC, and airbags. So it hasn’t cut corners, it’s just rethinking what corners are actually needed.

This Earth Day, take a moment to re-think some of what you do. Getting away from the clunky things that weigh us down isn’t just being efficient; it can be elegant.

Web Design