It’s about to be 2017 and the modern world is integrating more technology into our day-to-day activities by the minute. It can seem that living your life in an eco-friendly way, in harmony with the Earth, is impossible.
Even hosting your website can raise suspicions of excess waste and pollution, further causing harm to our planet. That’s why we’ve elected to help you find the best eco-friendly hosting company for your websites!
I’m glad to say that though many companies are not being responsible with their energy waste, a few great ones are. This article will hopefully open your eyes to some great hosting companies that are conscious of our impact on the planet and are responding with new energy sources.
While this is extremely important, performance can still be an issue. Not every web hosting company is taking both factors, earth-friendly techniques, and web site performance, as seriously as they should.
First, I will outline some hosts, on the cheaper side, that are going the extra mile to be kind to our environment with their business practices and ethics.
Cheap Eco-Friendly Web Hosting
First up is a web host that I love to hate, the dreaded iPage… I have, unfortunately, dealt with this company a few times and had nothing but horrible experiences. Not updating server software, inconsistent customer support, fixed plans with no perks, and extremely slow website speeds.
On the plus side, they are 100% wind-powered. While I appreciate this greatly, sadly, it doesn’t quite make up for the lack of performance, especially when there are many other hosts that are taking the environment seriously, as well.
Founded in 2008, GreenGeeks is powered by 300% wind energy (read: they work with environmental agencies to put 3x the amount of energy they use back to the grid, negating their carbon footprint). This is a powerful statement and shows the kind of dedication that I referred to earlier.
Performance-wise this is another standard “shared hosting” service (when many websites are housed on a single server) which will leave the majority of people wanting more speed and security.
With regards to speed, since your website is shared with many others the speed suffers greatly and can be affected by the other sites on the server. It’s a similar situation for security: if a hacker is able to get into the back-end of one website on the server, they have the potential of hacking the whole server, which can mean your website can get infected by a virus and even go offline when you or your web developer did nothing wrong.
With everything considered, if you’re looking for cheap, eco-friendly hosting (GreenGeeks plans start at $3.96/month) they aren’t a horrible option!
Check out GreenGeeks
*Sigh*… my old friend, HostGator. Once a decent host, this is one of the many hosting companies acquired by the enormous (not eco-friendly) corporation, Endurance International Group (EIG). Several popular hosting companies that seem independent are actually being run by this giant, including iPage, FatCow, HostMonster, SiteGround, Bluehost, to name a few.
One the plus side, HostGator is at least partly wind-powered and are a leader in the industry with many satisfied customers. Again, as “shared hosting” I cannot, in good faith, recommend them…
What is Wrong with Endurance International Group (EIG)?
EIG is notorious for sacrificing performance for revenue and sharing up to 1,000 websites or more on one server. Speeds are low, customer service is outsourced, and security is questionable. Most reputable webmasters do not recommend EIG owned hosting.
So, What is the Best Eco-Friendly Hosting Company?
Living an eco-friendly lifestyle has been a priority of mine since I was a teenager. My interest in the internet and building websites started around the same time. I have dealt with dozens of different web hosting companies and, in 2015, I found the host that satisfies both my Earth-first ethics and my website performance and security needs.
Cloudways is a fairly new cloud-computing web host that offers a managed (auto-updating, monitored, etc) approach to hosting on cloud servers.
They offer servers from Digital Ocean, Google, Amazon AWS, Kyup, and Vultr. Alone, these services are hard to manage, you have to update server-side software constantly and check to make sure your website(s) are running smoothly.
Cloudways simplifies this so that all you have to do is sign up, set up the server (with a month of free service), set up your application (they offer WordPress, WooCommerce, Joomla, and more), and start building!
Their pricing is set up so that you only pay for the bandwidth that you use and you don’t get billed until the end of the month. 30GB (plenty for small to medium sized sites) starts at around $15/month, which is way less than any VPS or Dedicated Server equivalent.
The speed on these servers is unmatched. You would have to pay over $100/month from one of the aforementioned hosts to even get close to the speed you get here for under $20 with Cloudways. The security is also air-tight. Since you are not sharing your server space with hundreds or thousands of other websites, as long as you take basic security measures, you should have no problems.
Now, these services aren’t marketed as “green”. They aren’t wind powered, solar powered, or anything like that. They are, however, based on cloud servers, which means that the servers and data don’t fully exist in the physical, energy consuming world. Each of these servers is occupying a digital space and not an enormous room of air conditioned computers that are only there to store files for companies and individuals.
A study (PDF) done by the Natural Resources Defense Council says hosting companies consume up to 30 percent of their energy just cooling and keeping data servers on 24 hours, 365 days a year. Cloud servers are a chance to stop wasting energy resources and lessen the impact on the planet! So, if that’s not Eco-Friendly, I don’t know what is.
I think it’s pretty obvious that our vote for the best eco-friendly hosting company goes to Cloudways.
Most website hosting companies, in my experience, are out to get a fast buck and will willingly sacrifice performance to that end. It’s important to realize that we don’t have to trade green, conservational practices for website/app performance.
So, if you think a Shared Hosting plan will do you fine, then, by all means, please check out Green Geeks. Their focus on conserving energy and giving back to the planet is unmatched in the industry and their support is very responsive and knowledgeable.
If you’re trying to step up your performance or anticipate some serious business-level traffic to your site, I highly recommend using Cloudways with a Digital Ocean server. Their interface is beautiful and simple, their performance is top notch, and the support (via live chat) has solved my issues within about 10 minutes of starting the chat.
Hopefully, this article has given you some insight into the different types of affordable hosting available and, specifically, the best Eco-Friendly Web Hosting. Best of luck with your website!
If we missed something, please let me know in the comments section below!