Since changing my analytics tool to Cabin, I have been doing a lot of page optimization, especially on the homepage. If you haven’t looked at Cabin, one of the features they include is an energy consumption metric that shows your site’s impact on the environment. We often forget that it takes a significant amount of energy to run a website, and adding weight to your website in the form of images or unnecessary code can play a role.

Day 1

When I first installed the code and started getting site traffic I was appalled that my site was rated as 91 percent dirtier than the average. While I am not what you would consider a “tree hugger,” this was unacceptable. The data showed a huge number of requests and a significant size per visit. I immediately went to Lighthouse and looked at performance – a 57 on desktop and a 12 on mobile — ugh. Apparently, it had been a while since I looked at this. I started going through older metrics to see which sections actually had clicks and I removed two sections that had not generated any activity. I also looked at plugins that I had added for demo purposes and found they added scripts on every page — that really annoys me about plugins — and the reality is that they were only used once, so they could go. I then took a look at some images that had not been optimized. Within an hour, I had pushed the Lighthouse score to 87 on desktop and 58 on mobile — not perfect, but passable.

Day 3

Now it has been three days since implementing Cabin and I took a look at the energy metrics again. I am pleased to report that my page is now 61 percent cleaner than the average, and as you can see by the graph below, the file size of the homepage has dropped by 60 percent.

Measures showing energy impact

Not everybody can or will want to switch to Cabin, but you should find a way to measure your energy impact and reduce it as much as possible. Even if you can’t optimize or make any changes, it is nice to know how your site is performing in a way that actually matters.

Originally published on Dec. 28, 2022

Analytics Alternative: Cabin.
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