The following links jump to the updates on this page:
12-21-2008 Creation of Green Internet at green-net.org.
12-23-2008 Some 'green' sites are not green.
01-15-2009 Thoughts on how the Internet helps to lower pollution.
01-31-2009 The 'real green' grade is eliminated.
02-01-2009 How to measure a site's weight.
04-25-2009 A on-going discussion of HTML and CSS coding.
06-10-2010 Acceptance of CSS in the header.
03-29-2011 Opening comments about wireless Internet.
05-13-2011 Updated browsers permit further acceptance of CSS.
05-14-2011 The green-internet site is updated to reflect the new changes.
09-12-2011 Dial-up Internet Access.
09-12-2011 Excessive Ads.
An Internet search for green websites did not find any organization devoted to the actual practise of establishing guidelines of what might be considered a 'green' website. This site was created with the design to help spark additional interest among webmasters to build websites that are user friendly and bandwidth green. Please contact us with any suggestions and/or information about other green websites or organizations that might be interested in helping to establish a web-wide guideline for green.
This website is new and it will receive frequent updates and redesigning in the months to follow.
The current grades of green are preliminary guidelines that will be further defined in the future. A guideline is currently being devised for green business websites, forums, blogs, and other sites that require high bandwidth and scripting beyond HTML.
Webmasters that submit their web pages for certification will have a link to the pages placed here at green-net.org. Regardless of whether a webmaster links to green-net.org or not, the goal is to increase an online awareness for webmasters to design and create low-impact websites.
Ideally, in the future a web page with the 'green-Internet at green-net.org' certification will signify to the public that the web page loads quickly, is safe from possible virus threats, is safe to view by all ages, and contains information that is of a positive and useful nature.
Additional research produced good references for illustrating one of the main problems with the green movement: too many of the 'green' sites are not green. Comscore is currently #2 on a Google® search for "green internet." Comscore® itself is a good site with less than a 200kb page weight. The three sites that Comscore lists as popular green sites are the EPA at around 375kb, and two other sites that weigh in at over 1 megabytes each (as measured by the Firefox® "page info" tool at the time of my viewing the sites). It is hoped that green-net.org will help increase awareness that bandwidth-heavy web pages are unnecessary and un-green.
Web surfing leaves trail of pollution : "That's among the findings of a recent study by Harvard physicist Alex Wissner-Gross on the environmental impact of Internet usage... In a yet-to-be published study, Wissner-Gross found that roughly 20 milligrams of carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere for every second that an average website is viewed. ...At an individual surfer scale, the impact is not that large – about 50 per cent larger than a human exhaling," said Wissner-Gross yesterday."
There is no question that the Internet saves many of us the cost of fuel to drive to libraries and stores, and for those of us who have lived off the grid with solar power, as well as for everyone that chooses laptops instead of desk-top computers, the quantity of energy consumption is far less than average. But though some of us have purposefully lowered our energy consumption, there is still much that can be done. A lean Internet, capable of someday being completely powered by solar energy, is the desired goal.
The real-green grade has been eliminated in favor of simply having two primary grades, that of green and mega-green, plus the ultra-green for sites without graphics. Discussions are still debating favorable standards for commercial websites that rely on high bandwidth and various scripts.
"Internet Bandwidth Usage" (currently a dead link as of 02-28-2013) at Lamar University has two excellent graphs that illustrate the bandwidth being used. "If you are like most people you wonder why the Internet seems to be so slow at times." Follow the link on the page to "Why Is The Internet So Slow?" (also now a dead link) that better explains why the problem exists, and why green-net.org is pushing for lighter weight websites.
Individuals interested in supporting the greening of the Internet are encouraged to investigate the page sizes of their favorite websites. In Firefox click on the "Tools" menu and choose "Page Info." The "General" tab will show the page weight, and the "Media" tab will show the graphics weight. Perhaps the fastest and easiest method to measure a web page's weight is to save the page to a folder on your hard drive and to then right click on the folder and choose "Properties" to find the total KB.
If the web page is more than 200kb it might be useful to contact the website's webmaster and politely ask if it is possible for the site to be lightened to support green Internet bandwidth conservation. Many webmasters are undoubtedly unaware of how large some of their web pages have grown, so surely many webmasters will happily reconfigure their sites to be bandwidth friendly.
At present the mega-green may use script in the head similar to what this page is using. Since there are no graphics involved, there is a much lower possibility of the text losing its format when zoomed to larger sizes. If the results remain positive, script may become permanently accepted in the future. (Correction 5-14-2011: the mega-green allows graphics; the update of 06-10-2010 was not careful to explain that the second sentence was referring to ultra-green, and, well, the update was just not well worded.)
It is difficult to speak of being green when we participate in activities that knowingly cause large-scale damage to the environment. Although many of us have long objected to wireless cell phones and towers, the problem of EMF radiation continues to escalate. In the near future we will be including a few updates on the negative impact of wireless Internet.
After over two years of improvements in the several different browsers' ability to read and display CSS correctly, we have now concluded that CSS is acceptable for all green sites. In the past it was necessary to purposefully program a website (including this one) with HTML errors so that the site would display correctly in all browsers, but the use of CSS too often caused major display problems that could not be worked around regardless of the changes in coding.
At present our only continuing concern is with the older versions of Microsoft's Internet Explorer. Although everyone can download and update their browser for free, there are still a lot of people using IE version 7, version 6, and earlier versions. As an example, of 5603 visitors to The Logics site this month who used IE, 290 used version 9, 3117 used version 8, 1209 used version 7, 967 used version 6, 4 used version 5.5, 9 used version 5.01, 4 used version 5, 2 used version 3.02, and 1 person used version 2. There were 16 visits from people using Netscape 5.0, 1 with version 4.79, 2 with version .91, and 1 with an unknown version. Oh yes there are people still using the older browsers! It is suspected and hoped that the person using IE version 2 is a delightfully excentric computer geek who enjoys toying with old software (the idea of using an old IE is appealing.... hmmm, let me check my old discs to see if I still have version 2...).
Firefox and Opera users tend to upgrade quickly, but Safari users tend to upgrade very little. Chrome has had so many new versions that there is not yet a good indication of whether Chrome users will update their browsers on a frequent basis, although it is expected that the users will tend to use the latest versions by next year.
While it is important that we build websites that are viewable by as many Internet users as possible, a point is reached where we must accept the reality that it is impractical to limit a website's design to be compatible with IE 2 and Netscape .91. If a corporation is restricting its employees from using a modern browser, or if a person's computer is too old to use newer versions of browsers, then it becomes their responsibility to accept the burden of their software being too old. Everyone else is free to download and install an updated browser, and we have reached the date when we must say goodbye to old browsers.
We suggest that small sites — those of less than around fifty pages — place the CSS styling in the head of each page. While linked style sheets are acceptable, we still have a fondness for the speed and dependability of CSS being placed in the document's head.
Effective immediately all new sites requesting certification will have the sites tested by W3C for HTML and CSS accuracy. Older sites with purposefully bent coding for reasons of browser compatibility will continue to remain certified, but we do ask that the sites are updated when convenient.
After more than a decade of having to fiddle with code to force a website to display correctly in different browsers, it is actually a nice feeling to finally be free to program without worry. Many thanks to the folks who create the different browsers!
The pages on this site have been updated to reflect the new changes including links near the bottom to validate HTML and CSS.
Dial-up Internet Access - October 12, 2011
It appears that many websites continue to be aimed at the relatively few individuals with the highest speed cable Internet access. Even at 2mbps many sites now take half a minute or longer to load, which means that individuals using dial-up would have to wait almost 25 minutes to load the same page. One reported web page is over 60 megs in weight, and the site is apparently only aimed at visitors who can afford the most expensive Internet access.
When designing your website take into consideration who you want to attract. Do you want visitors from rural areas where there is no cable or DSL? Do you want visitors who may not use the Internet much and thus may only use dial-up? Is your site so special that a visitor with dial-up will want to wait half an hour for one page to load?
One of the most pleasurable things on the Internet is to click on a page and watch it load almost instantly. By keeping your website lightweight you will not only please your visitors, you will also be doing the green thing.
Excessive Ads - October 12, 2011
One of the reasons why some websites are so slow to load is because the sites have a large number of advertisements. It appears that it has become common for most of the advertisements to be linked from the advertisers, which simply means that each individual ad must be downloaded from different servers. The higher the number of servers, the more likely it is for one of the servers to be busy and for your page to load slowly.
It is best to use few or no ads, and if possible have the ads load from the same hosting server that your website is on.
It is not uncommon for visitors to not click on any ads, and for most websites it is a waste of time and bandwidth to include ads. Too, many Internet users are now so tired of seeing ads that most of the individuals will simply click back out of a site when too many ads are seen.
Whether humorous or sad, some websites that promote themselves as being experts in their trade will also have Google® ads on their sites. How professional can the business be if the company is hoping to earn an extra two dollars a month from ad commissions? Little degrades a website faster than having too many advertisements.