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What is a sustainable web design agency?

sustainable web design agency

As more and more people become aware of the climate crisis and urgent need for degrowth, the need to live more sustainably grows. As a small business you might want your website to be more eco friendly, and if you’re using an agency how can you tell how eco minded they are? A sustainable web design agency is one that focuses on minimising its environmental impact while creating effective & functional websites.

Client List

Is your web design agency saying it’s eco friendly but still working with people doing environmentally or socially damaging things?

We take a strong stance on this, and while we would never even be asked to work for BP or Shell, we have been asked to work on projects that contribute to environmental destruction via support services to oil and gas companies, or are sponsored by banks that invest in fossil fuels.

We also decline anything for religious or political clients, as well as large sports organisations due to financial corruption and human rights issues. Anyone that turns up to a meeting in a Range Rover also won’t be working with us.

We’re part of the Clean Creatives movement which aims to remove the support of the design profession from environmentally damaging industries.

Ethics

As well as who your web design agency works with and what technology they use, their day to day ethics can be important to a small business. I’ve seen that the approach to project pricing, gouging for basic work and outright lying to people is sadly commonplace in design agencies.

Web design and development can be complicated and jargon packed, so make sure there’s a level of trust with your agency.

Also consider the marketing of your website – will your agency be manipulating search engines to try and get you “NUMBER 1 ON GOOGLE”, spamming people via email or pulling stunts on social media in your name?  Watch out for getting locked into privacy invasive website analytics or social media platforms too as you may well be annoying people as well as breaking the GDPR rules.

Eco Web Design Practices

When it comes to actually designing and building your shiny new website, there are eco web design practices that can have a huge difference on the impact of your website.

Keeping designs clean and using fast loading code reduces server and end-user device power consumption. We’ve all been on websites that make our phones red hot – that’s avoidable.

While it’s not strictly an eco thing, making websites accessible to people using all devices and those with limited eyesight/colour blindness is important. Firstly it’s just the right thing to do to include as many folks as possible, plus it’s good for business and it means your website will last longer.

Technology

Is your web design agency locking you into corporate technology like Microsoft/Amazon servers, Adobe design packages or big hosting companies that only care about profits?

The technology we choose can have a huge impact on direct carbon output but also social factors. Corporations are killing the planet for shareholder profit while blatantly lying about what they do (aka ‘greenwashing’). Luckily there are alternatives for all these corporate options and we choose better suppliers and more sustainable technology.

We use as many open source technologies and programs as possible to keep your costs low and try and avoid situations where big companies buy up smaller companies to extract profits and/or trash their products. This can be disruptive to small business and/or end up costing you a pile of unnecessary monthly fees.

We also use green web hosting which is an easy way to make your website more sustainable.

Summary

Overall, a sustainable web design agency should prioritise environmental, social & economic sustainability in all aspects of its business including the client roster, technology choices, ethics and the web design process.

If you’re an eco minded small business looking for a WordPress website, drop us a line today!

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