I originally built this website for the contest 10k apart. The goal was to go back to the basics of web development and build a website that can be delivered in less than 10 kilobytes (10 kB). The original version of this site is delivered in about 8 kB. As for comparison, an empty Word document is around 11 kB. An average webpage is nowadays more than 3 MB (or 3000 kB)!
The original idea was simple: a site with a small size, and thus a low footprint, about global warming.
However, the content of the original version of the site was not as easily manageable. And of course, it needed a blog. So, I re-built the site using WordPress and it is now significantly more user-friendly to manage. WordPress is the most popular content management system at this moment, powering more than a third of the web. I can now easily manage the structure, build pages and create content with the blog that we get with WordPress out-of-the-box.
In this version, a webpage is delivered in about 20 kB. This is 150 times smaller than the size of an average webpage. So, we have a little blog with information about global warming and climate change.
Why another blog about global warming?
You may ask yourself: are there not enough websites about global warming? Probably you are right, there are. But this one is different, of course. It is about the possible harmfulness of the internet and related technologies of which most of us think as harmless. And about how we build it and (ab)use it.
The internet impacts our environment
Oh, did I mention this already?
The internet needs electricity. If it is not coming from renewable resources, it negatively impacts our environment.
But you knew that already, didn’t you? We are using the internet every day. At work, on our way to work, at home, even in the night while asleep with our smart devices. Only, we forget that the internet consumes electricity. It would not even exist without it. The websites we visit on our computers, the apps we use on our smartphones obtain data that is transferred from a server on which they are kept and backed up continuously and eternally. All of which requires a lot of energy and if it is not coming from renewable resources, it negatively impacts our planet and environment.
We build large websites, because we can
Yes, we build oversized webpages. We all do sometimes.
Why? Because we can. Because it is faster and easier to do so. Because we think about the short term that can be literally translated to time and money. But we let the visitors wait and download all these data.
We should think long-term when we have the privilege. We should think and care about the time of our visitors and about the impact that an oversized website potentially has on our environment. This will also benefit the client, the owner of the site on the long-term.
We can build websites responsibly. And I built this site to show that.
I don’t mean to set any kind of standard. I just want to show that it is possible using basic and proven web technologies. It can be further optimised and made faster. And I will try to do that. I only wanted to have a real world example, a site that is user-manageable, slim and user-friendly, built according to the current best-practices for WordPress sites. You can read about the technical details here.
A blog to raise awareness
So, is there a better way to let people know that the internet impacts our environment and that we should build websites responsibly than via the internet through yet another (WordPress) site? I don’t think so. So I set up this blog to do that, to raise awareness.
Off(line) we go
So there you have it, I built this site to blog about how we can make our internet slim and sustainable. Because, admit it, we all love the internet.
Well, hopefully enough to start and maybe keep you coming back. Oh, don’t forget to join and be the change you want to see in the world. Or just go offline for a while and do something else purposeful and pleasant.
This page is is loaded in about 38 kb.