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Green web hosting: environmentally friendly hosting providers

Green hosting

In this article, I’ve put together a list of the best green web hosting vendors. I’ll also talk about what makes the hosting green and discuss the energy issue this industry is facing.

Have you ever wondered what it takes to power the systems that store all the content you view on the internet? Is it possible to generate all that power without causing substantial damage to the environment? The whole idea of the internet is built around the ability to connect different computers in different parts of the world. In other words, all the content you see when you open a website is stored on a computer system located somewhere in the world.

But these systems are not your average laptop or desktop computer. 

These are powerful hardware that works 24/7, which, in itself, requires a lot of power. Even more power is needed for many cooling units, without which data centers would overheat.

It’s a double-faced challenge. Not just the electricity, but the heat is also an issue. 

Many providers understand the impact they have on the environment and try to reduce their footprint. However, green web hosting is becoming just another marketing tool.

While a good number of providers greenwash by making flimsy claims about using energy-efficient cooling systems and investing in recycling, other companies actually tackle the real problem. The most common ways they go about this are by:

  • Reducing their carbon footprints (purchasing green energy certificates) and;
  • Powering their data centers with renewable energy (this is often less feasible.)

This type of approach to web hosting is what I believe should be the norm in the industry. This is why I took the time to test and research a good number of web hosting providers to see how much they’re doing for the planet. 

5 best green web hosting: ranked

  1. A2 Hosting – the best green web hosting overall.
  2. DreamHost – affordable eco-friendly hosting solution.
  3. HostPapa – green web hosting with generous features.
  4. SiteGround – premium performance-oriented green web hosting.
  5. InMotion Hosting – business-focused green hosting.

If by any chance, you’re not 100% sure which provider you should consider, I have some advice for you. Jump to the end of this article where you’ll find a list of things to consider when making a choice.

1. A2 Hosting

A2Hosting
FeaturesFree SSL, and automatic backups
Uptime99.99%
Speed597ms
Best forAn overall green web hosting

A2 Hosting tackles the eco-issues of the industry on multiple fronts. It has been in partnership with Carbonfund.org since 2007 — before green web hosting started trending. In addition to this, A2 Hosting drives several other green initiatives as well as the best practices for energy efficiency. As for the hosting, the provider is a performance-focused option with a classic cPanel interface. All-time-classics here.

But we are talking green here. So what are the top things that put A2 Hosting on this list?

  • As a major part of its partnership with Carbonfund, A2 Hosting purchases carbon offsets equivalent to 100% of all the power they consume. This allows the green energy company to commit more to generating power with the use of clean, renewable sources. The web host’s donations have neutralized approximately 2.3 million pounds of greenhouse gases
  • A2 Hosting recycles its old hardware. Instead of dumping the servers, the provider uses them for clients that need fewer resources or re-sells to the public.
  • Data centers are following the latest frameworks – increasing efficiency and reducing the need for cooling. This allows for less power consumption and re-using the hot air for heating instead of emitting it outside.
  • Other green initiatives include reforestation and reducing the use of paper. More so, it supports working from home to reduce daily commute-related carbon emissions.

In general, A2 Hosting does perhaps the most a hosting provider can do in order to make its negative impact on the environment as low as possible. 

A2 Hosting pricing

A2 Hosting offers shared hosting starting from $2.99/mo. There are 4 shared hosting plans, going up to $14.99/mo with a big introductory discount on the 3-year subscriptions.

A2 shared hosting prices

All plans include free SSLs, email accounts, unlimited bandwidth, and strong security features.

  • The Startup plan is a great option for personal users. At $2.99/mo, you get 100GB storage for 1 website.
  • The Drive plan steps it up a notch. At $4.99/mo, you get unlimited websites and automatic backups.
  • The Turbo Boost plan is the cheapest plan offering all the speed perks A2 is known for. For $9.99/mo, the plan adds unlimited NVMe storage with custom caching configurations and other software optimizations.
  • The Turbo Max at $14.99/mo includes the same features as Boost. However, you get more server resources as the servers are hosting fewer accounts on them. This means even better performance.

One interesting thing is that A2 Hosting allows you to cancel the account at any time. For 30 days after the purchase, you’ll get a full refund. After that, you’ll get a refund for unused services.

Best Value

Shortly, A2 Hosting best plans are Turbo Boost and Turbo Max if you’re looking for top performance. Choose them with a 3-year subscription to get the biggest discount and postpone the renewal as much as possible. More so, be aware that seasonal discounts are also available.
Check A2 Hosting Pricing Now

A2 Hosting performance

When it comes to performance, A2 Hosting proved to be highly reliable and fast, just as promised.

In 2 months’ time, the host kept a very admirable 99.99% uptime. This is much more pleasing than the official guarantee of 99.9%.

A2 Hosting uptime

Now when it comes to response time, the host is still pretty good but could be even better. The average response time comes up to 597ms, and it is just a hair away from the market’s average of 600ms. 

However, you can potentially improve your site’s performance if you choose a server location closest to your audience. And A2 Hosting allows just that. You can either go with Arizona, Michigan, Amsterdam, or Singapore.

With the website hosted and tested from the US, we get very good page load times. A2 Hosting loads a built WordPress site in 1.4 seconds.

A2 Hosting fully built website loading speed test

Considering that 3 seconds is the maximum most visitors like to tolerate, we even have a lot of room for occasional slowdowns. 

Altogether, A2 Hosting is not just a green hosting provider – it also manages to deliver good performance.

So, what’s my final verdict? From all my test markers, the vendor came off as an all-around performer. You get top-level eco web hosting combined with a classic interface and speedy servers.

Pros

  • Great eco-friendly corporate ideology
  • Good introductory discount
  • Impressive storage and features on all plans

Cons

  • Renewal prices are quite high
  • Requires to pay upfront

2. DreamHost

DreamHost
FeaturesFree SSL, domain, website builder, domain privacy, and daily backups
Uptime>99.99%
Speed231ms
Best forSmall-to-medium websites looking for green solutions

DreamHost is among a few providers that have been participating in green initiatives and is still introducing new ways of making web hosting more planet-friendly. The approach of that is pretty vague, yet the provider proves its worth in offering high-quality services.

So, in terms of eco-friendly web hosting, what is DreamHost doing?

  • Before, DreamHost has successfully offset more than 35,000 tons of CO2 by buying Renewable Energy Certificates. However, the provider has withdrawn from this practice a couple of years ago.
  • Currently, the host is trying to power its services with as much renewable energy as it is possible. This means shifting from its own operated data centers to AWS, which has a commitment to go 100% renewable until 2025. 
  • The data centers that are still in use are also equipped with efficient hardware and cooling solutions, so only the required power is used. 
  • Other than that, corporate politics are also shifting towards green – reducing commute due to work-from-home, electronic paperwork, recycling, and composting in the office are implemented.

So while DreamHost might be vague, I wouldn’t call these measures greenwashing. More so, the provider is experimenting in finding the best ways to reduce its footprint on the planet.

DreamHost pricing

DreamHost is very transparent with its pricing and plans. There are just 2 plans available — the Shared Starter plan and Shared Unlimited plan starting at $2.59/mo and $3.95/mo, respectively.

DreamHost shared hosting plans

With both plans, you get a free domain, its privacy, SSL certificates, and automatic backups, as well as unlimited bandwidth.

  • Shared Starter ($2.59/mo) comes with 50GB SSD storage for 1 website. It’s a good plan for personal use as email accounts cost extra.
  • Shared Unlimited ($3.95/mo) provides unlimited storage for unlimited websites and email accounts. That’s the best plan overall for both personal and business websites.

The pricing policies are great, and the plans are affordable with both 1-month, 12-month, and 3-year subscriptions. A pretty long, 97-day money-back guarantee is also available.

Best Value

You’ll get the best price by picking Unlimited with a 1-year subscription. It lowers the monthly rate to $2.95 for generous features.
Check DreamHost Pricing Now

DreamHost performance

When I saw DreamHost’s 100% uptime guarantee on their website, I was almost sure it was unrealistic. While I still hold that opinion, the vendor actually held up convincingly well in my time of testing. It scored >99.99% uptime with just one minute of downtime.

DreamHost uptime and response time monitoring

The average response time was also pretty impressive. 231ms is as good as shared hosting goes, really.

At the same time, you’ll only see such a good speed in the US, as that’s where the websites are hosted. The further your audience is from the server, the longer distances data needs to travel, meaning slowdowns.

However, the page loading speeds are great. DreamHost loads a WordPress site in 1.6 seconds.

DreamHost built website loading speed test

All of the metrics are great, honestly. Fully Loaded Time should not exceed 3 seconds, and it doesn’t, with a pretty big gap to spare. The Largest Contentful Paint at 1.4 seconds is also lower than the max recommended 2.5 seconds.

So as far as performance is concerned, DreamHost doesn’t brag but surely delivers.

All things considered, DreamHost is an excellent web hosting option. If you can tolerate slightly less than transparent green web hosting practices, you’ll get great performance at a very good price.

Pros

  • Highly affordable and transparent pricing
  • Great storage capacity across the board
  • Solid performance

Cons

  • Green web hosting practices are a bit vague

3. HostPapa

HostPapa
FeaturesFree domain, SSL, email accounts, and RECs
Uptime100%
Speed1.19s
Best forBeginner-friendly hosting for environmentally conscious

If you want to build a business website that requires tons of features and resources, then, HostPapa may just be the stuff for you. By partnering with Bonneville Environmental Foundation, the vendor is also charting the green web hosting course quite convincingly. 

HostPapa claims to be one of the first web hosting companies to go green:

  • The company presently purchases green energy tags (RECs) worth 100% of its total energy consumption. The resulting effect is the neutralization of thousands of tonnes of CO2 and greenhouse gases.
  • One interesting initiative was to donate $5 to the Save the Elephants foundation for every client that wanted to migrate from GoDaddy. That was a response to the former GoDaddy CEO sharing a video from an elephant-hunting trip on Twitter. 
  • Regular Earth Day initiatives and reforestation efforts are also on HostPapa portfolio.

We have to be critical here – HostPapa is not a 100% green host, and most of its efforts are marketing tactics. At the same time, it does try to minimize its negative impact on the planet and proves to care about the environment.

HostPapa pricing

HostPapa has 3 plans with prices starting at $3.95/mo and going up to $12.95/mo for shared hosting. That’s not the lowest offering, but features and server resources are generous.

HostPapa shared hosting pricing

There are 3 plans, and all of them include free SSL, domain name, and email accounts.

  • Starter ($3.95/mo) – 100GB SSD storage for 2 websites is a lot. You can host a couple of business websites with room to spare.
  • Business ($3.95/mo) – unlimited storage and websites are great for those that might need more than 2 sites. Keep in mind the renewal pricing will be much higher than the Starter.
  • Business Pro ($12.95/mo) – adds a dedicated IP, malware protection, DDoS protection, automatic backups, and domain privacy. It’s the best option for business websites that deal with sensitive data.

Overall, the plans are very well-equipped. The best part is, you won’t have any extra expenses related to hosting. On the other hand, it’s the introductory discount and renewals will be higher.

Best Value

To get the most out of your purchase, choose the Starter plan. 2 websites and 100GB storage are more than enough for the majority of projects. Plus, it will keep your renewal relatively low later.
Check HostPapa Pricing Now

HostPapa performance

Performance is not among the top features of HostPapa, but results are steady nonetheless.

Uptime remained at 100% with 0 outages. Which is an excellent first impression.

HostPapa's uptime and response time monitoring

At the same time, the average response time was 1.19s. Yes, seconds, not milliseconds as we are used to. That’s pretty slow, but the trend is improving a bit, so I’m giving HostPapa the benefit of the doubt until the next check later.

To compensate, there’s a huge bonus to HostPapa. When purchasing, you can choose server locations from the US, Canada, and Europe locations. This way, it’s possible to get closer to your audience for better performance.

And that proves to be helpful. While the server itself wasn’t fast, HostPapa loaded a WordPress website quickly – in 1.5 seconds.

HostPapa's fully built website loading speed test

This result proves that HostPapa’s performance is on par with other contenders on this list.

So, let’s keep HostPapa on the radar – the reliability and page loading speed compensates for a slower server well enough.

The final verdict is that HostPapa is a good green web hosting option for businesses that need it all in one place. Features are generous, eco-initiatives are active, and performance is on the positive side.

Pros

  • Feature-packed plans require no further investments
  • 100% uptime result
  • Green Energy Tags (RECs) to cover energy usage

Cons

  • Higher renewal prices
  • Server speed is questionable

4. SiteGround

SiteGround
FeaturesFree SSL, daily backups, managed WordPress, and Google Cloud servers
Uptime99.99%
Speed217ms
Best forLarger environmentally-conscious business sites

SiteGround is one of the best web hosting providers in the market. The host is packed with business, performance, and security-focused features to make the hosting experience very pleasant. Sure, you need to be willing to invest to get all these features. However, on top of great resources, the provider is also green-minded, which is exactly what landed it on this green web hosting list.

So what kind of nature-conscious solutions has SiteGround implemented?

  • In 2020, SiteGround started using Google Cloud servers to host part of its infrastructure. Google purchases green energy tags (RECs) worth 100% of its total energy consumption. This way, it helps to reduce the CO2 levels in the atmosphere.
  • The host is constantly optimizing its server software to reduce clients’ resource usage. The fewer resources are used, the more efficient are the servers, and the less power they need to process the same task.
  • SiteGround’s headquarters are built in compliance with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) requirements. It is a worldwide known green building certificate stating that the construction is built sustainably. This only further proves that the host is environmentally friendly as a whole.
  • SiteGround also encourages its employees to live a greener lifestyle. The host offers e-cars, e-bikes, and free e-charging stations for the employees to run any work errands. More so, plastic use reduction rules are also in place.

In terms of green web hosting, SiteGround has already implemented quite a few environmentally responsible measures and is constantly improving its efforts.  

SiteGround pricing

Looking at shared hosting options, SiteGround offers 3 plans priced between $6.99/mo and $14.99/mo. While these are more of a premium option, the resources you get are quite inclusive.

SiteGround shared hosting prices and plans

All SiteGround plans come with a free SSL, daily backups, CDN, email accounts, managed WordPress, and caching. None of the plans include a free domain.

  • StartUp ($6.99/mo) – comes with 10GB SSD storage for a single website, which can uphold 10 000 monthly visits. This plan will be most fitting for personal use or a smaller project.
  • GrowBig ($9.99/mo) – allows hosting an unlimited number of websites and gives 20GB SSD storage for it. The site will be capable of handling up to 25 000 monthly visits. There are also a few additional perks like on-demand backups, Ultrafast PHP, staging, and a collaboration tool. This can easily support a small-to-medium business website’s needs.
  • GoGeek ($14.99/mo) – supports unlimited websites and gives 40GB SSD storage for it. The site can handle 100 000 visits/mo and also comes with on-demand backups, Ultrafast PHP, staging, collaboration tool, as well as a white-label panel for clients and priority support. This can be used as reseller hosting or for medium business-oriented websites.

In short, plans are very well equipped in terms of freebies like SSL, automated backups, or custom caching. However, the prices are on the premium end, and the storage limitations are pretty big.

Best Value

To get the best of both worlds, go with GrowBig. Not only can you host more than 1 website but also get additional tools like staging, on-demand backups, and improved performance. With a 3-year billing cycle, the price will come up to $629.64. No renewal rates. Don’t forget to check if there’s a discount available too.
Check SiteGround Pricing Now

SiteGround performance

Looking at SiteGround’s performance, it is clear that the provider has it all – reliability, power, and speed.

After almost 2 months of examination, the host kept a very reliable 99.99% uptime. Which is much higher than the official 99.9% uptime guarantee.

SiteGround uptime and response time monitoring

And the host keeps on giving. Talking about the response time, SiteGround falls among the speediest shared hosting providers with an average response time of 217ms.

To maintain good results regardless of your target audience’s location, SiteGround allows you to choose a server location closes to them. You can choose to go with either the US (Iowa), Europe (UK, Netherlands, Germany), Singapore, or Australia. 

Now the page loading speed is just as great. SiteGround loads a fully build WordPress site in 1.1 seconds.

SiteGround page loading speed of built website

And that, without a doubt, is a great result. All the metrics are really good and leave you some generous wiggle space before you hit the recommended maximums. The Largest Contentful Paint standing at 872ms is far from the threaded 2.5s. The Fully Loaded Time of 1.1s is also very far from exceeding 3 seconds. 

In short, SiteGround’s performance is top-notch. The host is reliable and fast, which is what the site at its core needs to be.

All things considered, SiteGround is a premium hosting provider with many business-oriented tools to offer. The host is also green-minded and is aiming to convert its whole infrastructure to renewable energy.

Pros

  • Hosts its infrastructure on Google Cloud servers
  • Generously equipped plans
  • Very reliable and fast performance

Cons

  • Premium prices
  • Free domain is not included

5. InMotion Hosting

InMotion
FeaturesFree SSL, emails, security features, green data center
Uptime99.98%
Speed759ms
Best forGreen security-oriented hosting

InMotion Hosting is a pretty business-oriented provider that offers powerful plans for those looking for security. It also includes a widely bellowed cPanel for site management. Now talking about the host’s contribution to the planet, it is concentrating on reducing its energy consumption rather than offsetting it. This is pretty clear just by looking at the host’s green data center.  

Let’s look at all the green solutions, InMotion takes to be environmentally conscious: 

  • InMotion has a green data center in Los Angeles, which is a first of such kind. It uses an  Outside Air Cooling technology, which reduced InMotion’s carbon output by more than 2,000 tons per year. 
  • The host has partnered up with Trees For The Future. It is a nonprofit organization for sustainable agroforestry. Throughout this partnership, InMotion has planted around 5 000 trees.
  • More so, InMotion also implemented green tactics in its offices. It reduces waste, increases recycling, and aims to lessen paper usage where it’s possible.

While the provider showed some innovative thinking with its first-of-a-kind green data center, it could do significantly more. It is apparent that InMotion cares about the environment, but the lack of renewable energy certificates (RECs) is a little upsetting.

InMotion Hosting pricing

InMotion Hosting offers 4 shared hosting plans with prices ranging from $2.49/mo up to $12.99/mo. Overall the prices are pretty average, yet what you get is quite generous (although storage could be better.)

InMotion Hosting shared hosting plans pricing

All plans include a free SSL, email addresses, security suite, marketing tools, and unlimited bandwidth. All plans apart from the entry one also include a free domain.

  • Lite ($2.49/mo) – includes 10 GB SSD storage and an email account for a single website. This plan is meant for personal use or very small projects.
  • Launch ($4.99/mo) – this plan allows you to host 2 websites and gives 50 GB SSD storage and 10 email accounts for it. This makes it a pretty good option for a small-to-medium-sized website.
  • Power ($4.99/mo) –  takes a step further from Launch and allows hosting up to 50 websites. Alongside that, you get 100 GB SSD storage and 50 email accounts. This plan will be best suited for small to medium-sized business websites.
  • Pro ($12.99/mo) – allows hosting up to 100 websites and includes 200 GB SSD storage, unlimited email accounts, and an SLA-backed uptime guarantee of 99.99%. This will be best for a business website looking for good performance and security.

One more thing to note, InMotion has a pretty generous money-back guarantee. While the standard time is 30 days, the provider gives you 90 days to change your mind. The domain fee, however, is not compensated.

Best Value

To get the best value for money, opt for the Launch plan with 3 years subscription. You will get 2 websites and 50GB of storage, which is great if 1 site is too limiting for you. Additionally, the renewal rates will be much lower than with Power.
Check InMotion Hosting Pricing Now

InMotion Hosting performance

When it comes to performance, InMotion showed good reliability and very impressive loading speed, while response time could be better.

In 2 months of examination, the provider had 16 minutes of downtime, which came up to much better than promised 99.98% uptime. After all, the official guarantee only promises 99.9%.

InMotion Hosting uptime monitoring

Although uptime is very good, the same cannot be said about the response time. While it’s far from terrible, an average response time of 759ms is noticeably higher than the market’s average of 600ms. 

This, combined with the fact that InMotion has data centers in the US alone, suggests that this host will serve you best and deliver the best performance if your audience will be located in the US too.

Keeping this in mind, I tested the fully built website’s speed from the US, and the results were unexpectedly great. The host loaded a fully built WordPress website in 0.8 seconds.

Testing fully built InMotion Hosting website's loading speed with GTmetrix

The Largest Contentful Paint is barely 663ms, very far from the undesirable recommended maximum of 2.5s. More so, Fully Loaded Time is far from the recommended maximum of 3s.

In short, InMotion’s performance is good. The host is very reliable, yet the response time is not very impressive. However, the real show stopper is an impressively fast site’s loading speed.

All in all, InMotion Hosting is a slightly more premium hosting option for businesses that need security and reliability. The plans are generously equipped with many features, and the performance is reliable. The provider also shows good initiatives towards greener hosting by running a green data center.

Pros

  • Generously equipped plans
  • Green data center in LA
  • Very fast page loading speed

Cons

  • Prices are slightly more premium
  • Green hosting initiatives are on the basic side

Green web hosting: final recommendations

Since massive data centers all over the world are responsible for a large portion of energy consumption, it is important that the providers set eco-friendly measures into place. While, sadly, green web hosting seems to be more of a marketing strategy than the real deal, some providers are truly putting their efforts into being greener. As there are many hosts that have some nature-conscious features in place, you can pick and choose how green you want your provider to be.

Here’s a recap of the 5 providers I’ve covered in this article:

  • A2 Hosting is a great green web hosting solution if you’re looking for an overall environment-conscious host.
  • DreamHost offers very resource-rich plans and very speedy performance. Plus, it’s taking quite strong measures to be more environment-friendly.
  • HostPapa provides green web hosting for small businesses. The plans are very generous and you can choose from multiple server locations.
  • SiteGround is a premium hosting solution that uses 100% renewable energy for its server infrastructure.
  • InMotion Hosting is mainly a business-oriented host packed with security measures.

What to look out for when choosing green web hosting?

Green web hosting is the new approach web hosting services engage by using eco-friendly initiatives to reduce the impact of web hosting on our environment. Though many providers only use this tag as a trendy marketing tool, some vendors actually implement real measures that result in a safer, greener society.

But how do we cut through all the heavy advertising and discover which companies are truly minimizing their carbon footprint?

Is my provider actually “green”?

The simple fact is – green web hosting is trending now. Almost every industry is talking about going green and imploring companies to take appropriate measures. Sustainability is also a word that doesn’t leave trends for several years now. So, if a web hosting provider is actually green, then they will definitely let you know. And they’ll most likely do so on their website’s homepage. 

But it might be illogical to simply take them for their word. There are two tangible proofs of how green a vendor is — Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) and Carbon Offset Certificates (VERs.)

Also commonly referred to as a green energy certificate, a Renewable Energy Certificate provides reliable proof that a web host’s data center generates its power using renewable energy sources. When a vendor purchases RECs, it is guaranteed that a full 1MWh of electricity will be generated from a renewable source. This green electricity is then passed into the main electricity grid that supplies the web hosting company.

RECs providers

On the other hand, instead of guaranteeing green energy generation on your behalf, Carbon Offset Certificates (VERs) certify that all the greenhouse gases emitted in data centers are being offset somewhere else. A typical VER tells how much CO2 has been neutralized (in tons) and what percentage is electricity-related and otherwise.

VERs providers

Another way a web host can be green is to generate its own electricity using renewable sources (a microgrid). The most popular renewable ways of generating electricity include solar, wind, hydroelectric, and biomass energy. But this approach is less practical since a good number of the biggest hosting companies do not own data centers. As a result, they cannot dictate to the data centers how to generate electricity.

Energy-efficient data centers and hardware

With each passing year, computer hardware keeps improving. One of the major areas in which modern data storage hardware improves over its older counterparts is energy efficiency. Some of the ways data centers can be more energy-efficient include the use of newer storage devices (SSDs), better DC voltage regulators, and more efficient power-saving technology.

  • One great way to conserve energy is to use power-efficient computer room air conditioning (CRAC) fan units with varying speeds. Since server loads in data centers fluctuate, variable-speed fan drives (VSDs) are a great innovation for conserving energy. By reducing a fan’s average speed by 10%, its energy consumption rate can be reduced by as much as 25%.
  • Another equally effective strategy is to decommission servers that are no longer in use. It is quite common to find unused servers still running in many data centers. Comatose servers, as they’re commonly called, make up 8 to 10% of the total number of servers in some data centers. Data centers are thereby always encouraged to remove obsolete servers from service. This will save costs in terms of hardware maintenance and energy consumption.
  • Data centers can also conserve more energy by virtualizing their servers. Server virtualization makes it possible for operators to run multiple application workloads simultaneously on one physical host server. Unlike in the past, when as many as 3 to 5 servers were dedicated to different stages of an application, multiple virtual servers can now run effectively on one physical host server. What this means is less energy to power fewer physical servers.

In 2018, the United States Department of Energy revealed that data centers consume approximately 3% of all the electricity used in the US. A handful, you’ll agree! Therefore, making them more energy-efficient will definitely have a significant positive impact on our ecosystem.

Energy-efficient software

Hardware components aren’t the only responsible factors when it comes to energy consumption. Good software i.e. light software also plays a major role in deciding how hardware consumes energy. Smart software applications can handle useful storage practices like data compression, deduplication, automated storage provisioning, and storage tiering. Servers with power saver (standby) modes and energy monitoring software also come in handy in eco web hosting.

  • Data compression is easily one of the most important factors when it comes to software energy efficiency. It affects power consumption in two major ways. Data compression not only reduces the amount of data that is stored but also minimizes how much traffic is transmitted. The less the data stored and transmitted, the less energy is used. 
  • Deduplication software is a very useful resource for conserving space on servers. It can help to find and eliminate unnecessary copies of files, saving energy in the process. One important deduplication technique is snapshotting. Here, instead of taking up extra storage space for live data copies, snapshots retain temporary copies of data consisting only of data changes.
  • Storage tiering helps to migrate older content to low-performance drives that consume less energy. By doing so, high-priority data can be stored on higher latency equipment and low-priority data on more energy-efficient, lower latency hardware. Automated storage provisioning follows a similar principle. It detects and reassigns storage not in use, thereby increasing storage capacity.

The extra mile: supporting green initiatives

A handful of web hosting providers do not merely approach web hosting as a marketing necessity. Their ideology actually incorporates environmental preservation. So, apart from purchasing renewable energy and carbon offset certificates, they also partner with other organizations on climate change programs. These programs include the likes of Carbonfund.org, Bonneville, etc.

The sponsors of these climate change initiatives work very closely with governments and communities to keep up with the increasing eco demands of climate change. They do this by integrating effective industry measures and studying how human responses to climate change affect our ecosystem and wildlife. By supporting these initiatives, web hosting providers become a part of a bigger planet preservation scheme.

So, it is actually very possible to know what to make of a vendor’s claim on green web hosting. The most reliable indicators are green certificates. But, generally, it also makes sense to look out for providers who make use of energy-efficient hardware and software and support climate change campaigns.

Green web hosting FAQs

Should I use green web hosting?

You should definitely use green web hosting! Green web hosting is the only sustainable approach to web hosting. By patronizing vendors who make use of renewable energy sources, either directly or indirectly, you help the world edge closer to a completely green and healthier planet.

How much does green web hosting cost?

The cost of green web hosting will depend mostly on the vendor you opt for. In general, a shared hosting (which is the optimal choice for energy efficiency) is always cheaper than other types of hosting. Among the vendors I tested, green web hosting costs range from $2.59/mo to $13/mo.

Is green WordPress hosting available?

Green WordPress hosting is available. Thanks to the content management system’s popularity, all the providers on this list support WordPress sites.

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