Carbon Friendly WordPress with Susty on Shifter

Daniel Olson | June 04, 2018

While we gear for up WordCamp Europe, we’ve been various testing themes and plugins to explore the full scope of what Shifter can do.

In this update we wanted to share Susty WP, a WordPress theme and site created by Jack Lenox focusing on delivering WordPress with a minimal carbon footprint.

You don’t have to go to a data center to know they use a lot of energy. In Inside of a server farm, you’ll find rows and rows of high energy rack computers that work round the clock to deliver everything from your favorite gifs to your WordPress sites.

The idea is, the more energy it takes to process your data the more heat is created from those servers, the more energy it takes to cool them and so on. Each factor is compounded into the overall carbon footprint of your site.

While in the grand scheme of things a small WordPress blog may require insignificant resources. However, WordPress is the most used CMS in the world, so the number of total WordPress blogs is anything but insignificant.

For example, imagine if every WordPress site required half the power it currently has available to run. Our sites would run faster and the data centers would be happier. Assuming, data centers have emotions like happy, or sweaty, or sad.

This idea of an eco-friendly web is something we’ve thought about a lot and we recently came across a blog post and project that shares these same ideas.

The contributing factors that go into this are not just the size of the site but the hosting platform as well.

The rendered page size of the Susty WP theme is just about 7kb. At that size, this theme should load fast over any connection and even faster in any region running on Shifter.

We’ve tested Susty WP theme on Shifter and the load time felt like localhost. As if static WordPress sites on Shifter were not already fast enough, using the Susty theme for this demo the load times were a snap.

Building sites and theme with a carbon footprint in mind doesn’t just lend itself to performance, it can also save you development time. Building Shifter most of our work focuses on the serverless framework and writing functions to power the platform.

If we build lightweight functions that perform well, that performance and overall resources needed are reduced. This allows for our Dashboard to runs smoother and gives our team more time to work on new features!

We recommend checking out the full post on Susty and giving it a try on Shifter!

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