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Evatech Computers is a 100% Australian owned & operated custom PC provider, specialising in gaming, workstation, and home office PCs tailored and built to order to suit clients' exact needs and budgets.

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How the Evatech Website & Online Store is Sustainable

Published 29th Apr 2024 - 6 minute read

While you might not think a website is an area that can be environmentally conscious, with so many customers using our website it's not an area we could continue to ignore. With that said, some of the topics we'll be touching on have been in effect for many years, while others were more recent and intentional – but they all serve the same goal.

Australian datacentre

When Evatech first opened in early 2013 our only choice for a powerful, reliable, and fully self-managed hosting location that did not cost the earth meant our website was hosted in the USA. Some years ago, we were able to move that over to a fresh Sydney datacentre, and the benefits exceeded our expectations. Due to the much lower latency, page requests were made and returned in less time that just the request used to take when in the USA. This means less networking hardware is processing our customers' requests for our only priority (Australian based customers) and faster page loads.

Our web host & their network in 2019 achieved over 90% renewable energy use which was up from 34% in 2015. Due to their scale and efficiency, having them host our website instead of doing so in-house is vastly more power efficient and reliable which makes it a great choice for something that runs 24/7 as our website of course needs to do.

Aussie-made, purpose-built website

Since early 2018 our website has been hyper-focused and streamlined to deliver the best possible version of exactly what serves our customers best when shopping for custom & pre-built Gaming PCs, Workstation PCs, or Home/Office PCs. Both the front-end & back-end were overhauled at the same time. Bespoke functionality that only apply to PC-focussed businesses, such as:

  • Custom PC builder with in-line hardware conflict notifications, including in-line power supply calculations
  • Games database to inform customers what key hardware selections are needed to suit their favourite games at certain settings
  • Dynamic "Get to know your PC" section on PC Summary pages to help customers understand their selections
  • After ordering a PC, customers gain access to a PC tracking page to stay updated on the status of their PC build with a little explainer on what it means, which borrows from data used for our internal Order Tracker which keeps Evatech staff informed on all the PCs and parts orders in our queue
  • Once a PC order ships, an informative & dynamic email depending on the hardware present in the PC is sent to prepare the customer for the PC they'll be receiving

With the previous iterations of the website being built upon off-the-shelf solutions, there was a lot of unnecessary bloat for both our web server and on the client side which resulted in a perceptibly slower experience for customers. This problem was fixed with the 2018 version of our website which is mostly in effect still today.

Converting images from JPEG to WebP

We've seen some heated posts & complaints about WebP images, but after converting our massive product image database of over 50,000 images, plus our thousands of blog images, and various other website assets over to WebP… we're completely sold on it. The complaints seem to be entirely from the point of view of the people being frustrated that they can't open/manipulate the images without special/updated tools, but once you get around that, the advantages are real.

Adobe & Google seem to support the idea that WebP images can be 25% to 35% smaller in file size than a comparable JPEG file, and with our web team informing us that our images folder shrunk by over a third of the file size (perhaps due to the large amount of white space present in product images?) we'd definitely say it is a claim that holds up.

Our hosting plan has plenty of spare storage space, and an almost infinite amount of data transfer per billing cycle, so it wasn't those points that drove the decision to switch. Considering the end result means that customers still get nearly the exact same details as they did before from the images, and the download size is much smaller for those on slow internet connections, or those browsing on mobile plans that aren't unlimited, it's definitely a win in our books, and it should be for all of our customers!

Wide range of detailed information

We maintain a lot of informative pages on topics that we know well, but might leave some customers confused and wanting to know more from a reliable source. We do our best to provide the information in an unbiased and balanced way so that customers can be comfortable in their informed one-stop shopping decisions.

Our Help Docs is one densely populated knowledge base designed to assist customers with PC troubleshooting if they experience issues. Additionally we have the Use Cases category containing information about the best hardware for particular uses, and explaining why you might want particular hardware over another choice, pros & cons, etc. while the General category acts a bit more like a long-form FAQ section, explaining the ins and outs of our website, processes, and your options. But we also sprinkle bits of informative advice where it's most useful, such as while customising a PC we'll explain how to make a suitable choice, and on our PC Summary pages we'll tell you all that we know about your hardware selections in the "Get to know your PC" section!

Ambitions

Not yet content with what we've achieved, we have plans that are underway for an updated website to achieve even more to help our customers (past, present, future) with features that make sense:

  • Customers can generate their own quotes for approval from their accounting/finance departments (rather than emailing us currently)
  • Customers can download their own invoices once order is complete (currently we provide a physical copy with the order, with a digital version available upon phone/email request)
  • Streamlined & integrated warranty application & handling process
  • Power supply calculator interface (we already have the necessary data which powers our custom PC builder)
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