An Introduction to Green Web Hosting and How It Can Benefit Your Online Business

Web hosting is required when running an online business. Assuming your online business has its own website, you’ll need access to a server on which to host it. Converting a traditional desktop computer into a server isn’t feasible. Desktop-converted servers are difficult to set up and typically lack the processing power needed to deliver fast load times.

When choosing a web hosting service, though, you may want to go green. Green web hosting services have become increasingly popular. Like all web hosting services, they will provide you with a server for hosting purposes. Green web hosting services are distinguished by their environmentally conscious approach, which can benefit your online business in several ways.

What Is Green Web Hosting?

Green web hosting is any environmentally conscious hosting service for websites. It’s also known as eco-friendly web hosting. When you subscribe to a green web hosting service, you can rest assured knowing that the provider is using technologies and practices that are safe for the environment.

Providers of green web hosting services may deploy one or more of the following environmentally friendly practices:

•   Purchase renewable energy credits (RECs)

•   Purchase carbon offset certificates

•   Power servers directly with renewable energy

•   Use outdoor air to cool server hardware

•   Use energy-efficient lighting systems for server rooms

•   Conduct regular energy audits

•   Plant trees on behalf of their customers

While it’s been around for nearly two decades, green web hosting wasn’t immediately popular. There were a limited number of providers offering it, most of which charged a premium for it. But green web hosting has since become more common. There are now providers that specialize in green web hosting. There are also providers that offer green web hosting alongside traditional web hosting.

Benefits of Green Web Hosting

With green web hosting, you won’t have to sacrifice the environment to keep your website on the internet. The internet, of course, consumes a lot of electricity. According to a study conducted by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, it takes about 70 billion kWh of electricity to power the internet each year.

Green web hosting doesn’t eliminate the need for electricity. The servers used for green web hosting are still powered by electricity; they simply revolve around environmentally friendly practices. Some green web hosting servers are powered by electricity from renewable sources like solar or wind. Others are powered by traditional utility-supplied electricity in conjunction with RECs or carbon offset certificates.

RECs are certificates that businesses, including green web hosting providers, can purchase to fund the generation of renewable energy. Carbon offset certificates, on the other hand, are certificates that businesses can purchase to offset their carbon footprint. A carbon offset certificate states that the issuing authority — the organization that sold the certificate — has reduced a specific amount of carbon emissions. Most green web hosting providers purchase either RECs or carbon offset certificates.

Green web hosting can have a positive impact on your online business’s sales. Many consumers prefer to buy products from environmentally conscious businesses. A survey conducted by IBM and the National Retail Federation (NRF) found that sustainability is important to four in five consumers. The survey also found that over two in three consumers are willing to pay more for products if they are sold by environmentally responsible businesses.

The cost of green web hosting is comparable to that of traditional web hosting. In the past, green web hosting was notable more expensive. But you can now subscribe to a green web hosting service for about the same cost as a traditional web hosting service.

How to Choose a Green Web Hosting Service

When choosing a green web hosting service, you should check the provider’s practices. All green web hosting providers deploy environmentally friendly practices. Nonetheless, their practices may vary. At a minimum, the provider should purchase RECs or carbon offset certificates.

Something else to look for when choosing a green web hosting service is a certification badge. Not to be confused with RECs or carbon offset certificates, certification badges are offered by green web hosting providers to their customers. After subscribing to a green web hosting service, you can include the provider’s certification badge on your website. Certification badges differ depending on the provider, but they’ll typically state that your website uses green or environmentally friendly hosting.

With a certification badge, users who visit your website will recognize your business as being environmentally conscious. They’ll discover that your website uses green hosting, which may encourage them to buy products from your business. Just remember to place the certification badge in a prominent area of your website.

You’ll still need to consider the hardware specifications when choosing a green web hosting service. Some green web hosting services come with a limited amount of storage, such as 50 or 100 GB, whereas others come with an unlimited amount of storage. Make sure the service offers enough storage to accommodate all of your website’s files.

Green web hosting services are available in many of the same tiers as other web hosting services. The lowest tier is shared, which is inexpensive and easy to set up. The mid-level tier is a virtual private server (VPS). It’s more expensive but delivers faster load times. The highest tier is a dedicated server. Dedicated serves are the most expensive and the most difficult to set up, but they deliver superior load times.

Some green web hosting services come with a free Transport Layer Security (TLS) certificate or a free Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate. These protocol-based encryption certifications will protect your website from data breaches. You can use a TLS or SSL certificate to force your website to load over a secure connection with Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS). If a green web hosting service doesn’t offer one of these certificates, you’ll have to purchase one from a third party.

You shouldn’t assume all web hosting services are the same. Some of them are designed specifically to preserve and protect the environment. Known as green web hosting services, they utilize environmentally friendly practices.

Published: 12/11/2021

Last modified: 12/11/2021

Timothy Oxendale
I'm an award-winning plant-powered (Vegan) freelance WordPress Developer/Web Designer. I work with great individuals, small-to-medium sized businesses and start-ups. I aim to have a great relationship with all my clients where I can add value to their business by being dependable, honest and by doing the type of work that makes a difference.

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