Selecting a web host provider usually involves considering several factors, such as price, features, support, uptime, etc. One thing that people seldom consider is the environmental impact of a web host. Web hosting is very energy-intensive. Data centers often have tens of thousands of servers that generate so much heat that they require a large cooling system to keep things operational. As a result, powering the average website can produce over 4500 pounds of CO2 a year. Needless to say, this has a negative impact on the environment.
Green web hosting companies are attempting to fix this issue by investing in carbon offsetting schemes. This means that they pay to produce that same amount of energy from renewables for every unit of energy they use and put it back into the grid. Essentially, this helps negate some of the energy use, so your website isn’t contributing to the problem.
If you want to host your site in an eco-friendly way, check out our picks for the best green hosting companies out there.
Beginning in 2008 in California, GreenGeeks is entirely dedicated to green causes. The company’s platform has been designed for maximum energy efficiency. They promise that they will invest three times that amount in the form of renewable energy through the Bonneville Environmental Foundation for every amperage they pull from the grid. This means that their hosting is not only carbon-neutral but carbon reducing.
GreenGeeks offers various hosting plans, including shared products, application hosting, VPS, and dedicated hosting. Of note is their shared hosting plan, which offers unlimited websites, emails, databases, webspace, and bandwidth. It also includes a free domain, shared SSL, Cloudflare CDN integration, nightly backups, Softaculous one-click app installer, a simple website builder, and 24/7 support.
Dreamhost is considered a green web hosting company because their data centers are powered by grids that get their electricity from various renewable sources. They are a partner in state-level ‘clean wind’ programs, their cooling systems are designed for efficiency, and the evaporative cooling plants use both municipal and reclaimed water. Furthermore, the company offices are LEED Platinum and EnergyStar certified. They have optimized heating, ventilation, and air conditioning plants to keep the energy demand down all year round. In this way, Dreamhost is working to reduce its environmental impact.
Dreamhost offers shared hosting, VPS, managed WordPress hosting, cloud hosting, and dedicated hosting. Their hosting plans provide unlimited websites, unlimited traffic, and unlimited email accounts. Furthermore, these plans include a free domain, fast SSD storage, and a free SSL certificate.
iPage’s green policy is simple; for every kilowatt of energy they use, the company buys Renewable Energy Certificates to offset that amount with wind energy by 200%.
iPage’s hosting products feature cost-friendly introductory deals such as three years of feature-rich shared hosting for $1.99 a month, renewed at $8. These features include unlimited disk space, unlimited MySQL databases, unlimited domain names, scalable bandwidth, free domain for one year, and a free SSL certificate. They also offer managed WordPress, VPS, and dedicated hosting options.
A2 Hosting has a Carbonfund.org energy offset scheme, which has allowed them to be carbon-neutral as of 2007. In addition to buying energy from wind farms, Carbonfund.org also works on reforestation and promoting energy efficiency in other areas.
A2 Hosting’s plans all offer free site migration, SSL, Cloudflare CDN integration, and regular virus scanning. They also feature performance-boosting AnyCast DNS and one-click installs for WordPress, PrestaShop, and others. They also have data centers in the US, EU, and Asia, allowing you to select the center closest to your customers.
HostPapa buys “green energy tags” or certificates from a certified green energy supplier. This supplier calculates the total energy consumption of their operation and then pumps the equivalent green energy back into the power grid. This is a carbon-offsetting system that balances out emissions overall.
HostPapa’s products include shared hosting, managed WordPress hosting, and a website builder. Of note is their extensive VPS plans. Their VPS plans provide enhanced SSD servers, free VPS migration, Let’s Encrypt SSL, private nameservers, and wholesale domains.