How is the Internet not sustainable?
Today, more than 50 million computer servers contribute 5% to the planet’s total greenhouse gas emissions. More than 100 million websites and web applications account for 9% of the United States’ total electricity consumption, which is more than the airline Industry or a small country like Sweden. While the web is certainly more sustainable than other mediums (print, etc.), there is a lot of room for improvement.
How do you qualify a hosting provider as a “green/sustainable hosting provider”?
Ecograder defines a green hosting provider as one that is 100% powered by renewable energy, including wind and solar. We also include hosting providers that purchase Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). We use the green hosting directory provided by The Green Web Foundation to rate hosting providers.
How do I submit a bug?
We appreciate your feedback! If you would like to submit a bug, please contact us.
How do you qualify a mobile-optimized design?
Ecograder analyzes the site’s contents and qualifies a site as being mobile optimized if any of the following criteria are met:
  1. The stylesheet declaration contains the term “min-width” or “max-width”
  2. The stylesheet contents reference “@media”
  3. The site returns different style.css files when the user agent string is set to emulate a mobile device.
How will you use my email address?
If you checked the subscription box, we will provide updates about sustainable web design topics and Ecograder product improvements. You will receive an email from us no more than once a month. We will not share your email address with anyone and we will not sell your email address to any other party.
What is the easiest thing I can do to increase my score?
Switching to a green hosting provider may have the most impact on your score. For more information, see our blog post on Green Web Hosting. If you are already using a green hosting provider, follow the recommendations on the results page of Ecograder to improve your score.
How do I limit/lower the number of HTTP requests?
Enable proxy caching: For resources that rarely change, set caching headers for browsers and proxies. By using CSS sprites you can combine separate images into one, lowering the number of requests needed to load the graphics of a site.
How do you calculate the final score? (How does Ecograder work?)
Ecograder analyzes a website’s contents (HTML, CSS, Javascript, images and hosting information) and runs a series of tests to compile a score. There are currently six tests that help determine your cumulative score, but we plan to add more over time. The six existing tests are:
  • Is your site hosted on a green/sustainable hosting provider?
  • What is your website’s findability according to MozRank?
  • How many HTTP requests are there upon hitting your website’s homepage?
  • What is your Google Page Speed according to Google Page Speed Insights?
  • Is your site designed mobile first or responsively according to [method of test]?
  • Did you avoid using Flash on your site?
Each of these items produces a single score from 1-10 that is then weighted to help produce the final output score of Ecograder. For more information on Sustainable Web Design principles and for a deeper explanation of why these metrics impact your website’s sustainability, please take a look at our ongoing blog series.
How do I increase my MozRank?
Quality content is the number one factor in findability, so make your content unique and compelling. Follow search engine optimization best practices such as correcting broken links, and using 301 redirects where applicable.
What language is Ecograder code written in?
Ecograder is built in PHP using the open-source CodeIgniter framework. The front-end code is written in HTML5 and CSS3.
How are you counting HTTP requests?
We are getting this number from Google Page Speed Insights.