6 Best Green Web Hosting Providers
We all know very well that we are exhausting the earth’s natural resources more than ever before. It has left some serious environmental changes and we’re looking to face more in the future. We even have to question what kind of Earth we will leave for our children in the future. So we have to switch to green alternatives and live more efficiently wherever we can. One of those areas is what we choose to power our technology with.
Web hosting is a massive business and its power consumption is just as massive. Big companies have hangars filled with roaring servers that just burn through power to keep going. Keep in mind that in order for your website to be available all day, the server has to be working all day. An average server uses about 20.4 kilowatts per day. Large web hosting companies have at least 1000 servers going all day, which makes their daily power consumption 20,400 kilowatts. That can power a few neighborhoods and more. The power it takes to run all the servers in the United States is equal to the amount 5 nuclear power plants could produce. So it’s pretty easy to grasp how much damage having internet really does to our environment.
Even though going green is a popular phrase these days, it has some serious environmental effects. Going green is a choice one can make to positively impact the environment. But what changes does it really make? More importantly, what direct benefits does it have to offer you? We’re looking to answer these questions and see what else this sustainable form of web hosting has to offer. So, without further ado, let’s get down to it!
You Can Make a Powerful Environmental Impact
Let’s start with the first and most obvious benefit of choosing eco-friendly web hosting. Going green is something you can do to take your part in protecting the environment. As I mentioned above, your website is constantly draining our environmental resources. Green hosting makes sure that all the energy the company’s servers need to host websites comes from a renewable source. So by choosing it, you’re choosing to go easy on the environment.
It Benefits Your Company’s Reputation and Marketing
Anything green has positive associations with it and builds a good public image for your company. You can improve your public image simply and easily by gaining green credentials. A company that works to make changes and reduce the impact they have on the environment is usually more popular which in turn gains them more environmentally conscious customers and clients.
Going green is incredibly popular right now, so it is also becoming a choice in marketing as well. If you publicize the fact that your company invests into and supports green solutions, you’ll attract more people. By clearly defining why you work to protect the environment you’re very much likely to appeal to an environmentally conscious audience you wouldn’t have appealed to otherwise.
It’s also true that numerous customers are willing to pay a bit of extra if they know that they’re buying „green” services. So green hosting definitely has the potential to improve your profit margin by attracting more clients and allowing you to slightly elevate your prices.
It’s More Affordable
With no utility company to pay for the energy that hosting your website consumes, it instantly goes a lot easier on your wallet. When companies produce their own energy from renewable sources such as wind power and solar panels, they have a lot less expenses. They can save a lot of money even though it requires an upfront investment associated with a green energy source. Green hosting is either cheaper or costs the same price as regular hosting. So you, the client can also benefit from all the money that’s being saved. You not only place your company in good image, gain customer trust and spare the environment, but also make a wise financial choice.
How To Choose a Green Hosting Provider
If you’re looking to opt for a green hosting solution, you’re in the right place. There are numerous companies who already established themselves as amazing service providers and go green supporters. Choosing a green hosting provider works the same way as choosing a regular provider. You only need to know your budget and the quality of service you’ll be getting. The second is a more complex question than the last, so we’ll work our way around that first. There are a few basic characteristics you have to keep an eye on in order to make a choice that you will be satisfied with in the long term.
- Uptime – Your website has to be available throughout the entire year. If the servers are down even for a short while, nobody can access your website, which means you’ll be losing out on business for that time. Most companies state that they have a 99% rock solid uptime, but why wouldn’t they? You should trust your own gut first and read a couple of reviews about them. Good hosting review sites measure a company’s uptime the same way we do. So always look at a review before you trust what a company says about their uptime.
- Page Loading Speed – Once your website is up and running, it has to be fast. Page loading speed is an independent ranking factor for Google and incredibly important from a user experience standpoint as well. People won’t stick around on your website if it takes more than 2 seconds to load. In fact, you should have a hosting provider that enables you to load your website within 1 second. That way, you can ensure that your users have a truly satisfactory experience. You can see how fast a company’s servers are the same way you would with uptime. By reading a review and looking at measurements.
- Customer Support – Running a website can sometimes be problematic, especially if you’re not used to the hosting service you’re using. You might run into problems as well and you’ll want to have someone at your back who can help you solve it. That someone should be one of your hosting company’s customer support representatives. Most of the frustration involved with web hosting comes from bad or non-existent customer support. You should make sure that you experience the best customer support possible, so do your research. See what people say on forums and in comment sections. An honest user experience is your best guide when trying to find out what kind of support a hosting company has to offer.
- Freebies – A good hosting company doesn’t just offer you a good service and a good customer support, but a good deal as well. Plenty of services are overpriced and ask you for more money if you want to use basic features and services. If you can, choose a company that offers free site migrations, free backups along with free security features and spam protection. The more free stuff you get, the better your deal will be, obviously. Keep in mind that high quality hosting companies do indeed go the extra mile to satisfy you with numerous free services. While others just seek to get your money and just give you something to continue paying for.
- Apps and Features – You’ll want content management systems such as WordPress and Drupal to be easily accessible and installed within a single click. A proper hosting service with cPanel will be easy to navigate and use. So make sure that you that what you’re buying into can be managed through the open source cPanel.
Best Green Hosting Services
As with anything out there, there are some companies who have outdone their competition. They currently offer the best green web hosting services. Here are the 6 best players on the field of green web hosting providers.
GreenGeeksVisit Host »
GreenGeeks is one of the most popular names in the green web hosting industry. They are on a mission to provide awesome web hosting services that are purely powered by the sun and the wind. The company was launched in 2008 and is now home to more than 300,000 websites. They make bold claims like 99.99% uptime and 100% customer satisfaction. Do they really offer the quality to back up these claims? Well let’s find out!
The bold statement about their uptime sounds just about right. They offer a rock solid 99.91% uptime throughout the entire year. This will ensure that your website is constantly available and ready for business. You can rely on it without ever having to worry about stupid things like server failure.
When it comes to website loading speeds, things aren’t as glamorous. But by no means are they bad. GreenGeeks’ servers are just a bit slower than I would expect. Their website loading speeds move between 600 and 1200 milliseconds, which can be considered average.
Their customer support is also great, which further backs up the statement. It didn’t take more than a minute to get connected with a customer support agent and we got our questions answered really fast. Their answers were also correct and helpful. The agent was friendly all the way. But even though we experienced all this positivity, we noticed a slight issue. We noticed a few grammar mistakes and some of the sentences weren’t completely comprehensive. This is because their support was probably outsourced to non-native English speakers because it allows them to save a lot of money. It might also be the thing that enables GreenGeeks to have such quick responses. Because with more customer support representatives standing by, there’s a greater chance that someone will respond to your query within seconds.
In addition to the reliable customer support team that you can always reach, GreenGeeks has a pretty extensive knowledge base as well. There you can find answers to the most common questions and problems you might cross as you set up your website. If you want to figure problems out yourself than it’s a great option. You can find answers to question regarding general hosting, VPS hosting, billing, reseller hosting and more. They also have numerous video tutorials you can use.
When it comes to freebies, GreenGeeks has things in check. They offer a free domain name and a free website migration. This can spare you a lot of cash if you already have a website. But if you don’t, you cut a bit off from your initial costs. GreenGeeks also provides free backups every night. So you can rest assured that all your data is safe and sound and you can always revert to one of the previous versions of your website in case something happens to it. Additionally, you also get security measures such as Spam Assassin and SSL, so you’re pretty much set with everything you need.
GreenGeeks also follows the usual pricing manipulation tricks within the industry. They advertise a $3.95 per month initial price but you’ll have to sign a three year contract for it. If you don’t, the price will instantly go up to $9.95 per month. That’s almost three times as much.
The funny thing is that there is a 30 day money back guarantee. You can bail out at any time, but if you took them up on the offer for the free domain registration you’ll have to pay for it. The domain registration fee will cost you $24.95. So, it seems that GreenGeeks is hell-bent on getting their money.
Even though GreenGeeks isn’t perfect, it will keep your website running pretty decently. They have a rock solid uptime and a very good customer support that you can rely on. Website loading speeds aren’t that fast, but they are still fast enough to make your website comply with today’s standards. For more information, go check out Green Geek’s official website!
iPageVisit Host »
iPage became very popular in the blogging space and among people who are looking to start their websites as inexpensively as possible. They are insanely inexpensive, as they offer plans as cheap as $1.99 per month. It’s owned by the Endurance International Group, which is a company that owns numerous other hosting companies such as BlueHost, VPSLink, FatCow and so on.
iPage goes easy both on your wallet and the environment at the same time. You can have the low $1.99 per month introductory pricing for only a 12 month long subscription. This really appeals to me because it is up front and honest pricing that the web hosting industry is in dire need of right now. It’s quite decent, but I suggest that you should subscribe for a longer term if you go for iPage. Not because you’ll do better business for them, but because your monthly price will go up to 8$, which is a 350% price jump. You’ll probably want to avoid that for as long as possible. Other than this old pricing trick, iPage is pretty decent.
Their server uptime is 99.96%, which will ensure that your website runs safely and consistently throughout the entire year. Their page loading speeds are 884 milliseconds. That’s fast enough to make web pages load instantly, unless you’re looking to run a large eCommerce site. So, iPage basically has the server requirements in check. But what about the rest?
Well, iPage’s customer support could use a little work. They are not bad by any means, because the 20 minute response time is pretty solid compared to others that take hours and days to respond. After 20 minutes they responded with answers to our questions, but that still didn’t fully convince me. Mainly because there are a lot of inconsistent reviews about iPage’s customer support all over the internet. Some got their problems fixed without any problem or having to wait too much, while others wrote their reviews out of sheer dissatisfaction. So it’s best to look around and see what you find before you go ahead and buy the service.
If you’re a fan of green web hosting, rest assured that iPage is an EPA Green Power Partner because web servers and datacenters that make iPage’s services possible run on wind power. The company purchases so much renewable energy that it offsets their energy consumption by 200%! So you’ll be doing the planet a favor too if you work with iPage.
Along with a very good price, iPage also offers plenty of freebies to sweeten the deal. You’ll get enhanced security options from one of the company’s partners SiteLock. Their software helps in fortifying your website to prevent any security breaches. It will regularly scan it for malware and other harmful software. To make it even better, iPage also offers free backups, which is the best security measure you could make for your site. Most companies charge an extra fee for this, so it’s great to have it completely free.
Their services also play well with other third party apps and eCommerce platforms. You have integrations for payment gateways like PayPal, Google Apps and a lot of others. Finally, you’ll also get 200$ worth of marketing credits that you can spend on Google AdWords, Bing or Yahoo! to market your site.
Though this all sounds really sweet, iPage still has a couple of unpleasant surprises. One being the fact that they use vDeck instead of cPanel. vDeck is a lesser known alternative used for managing servers, which you can get used to. But it isn’t as good and comprehensive as cPanel.
Overall, iPage is a solid choice for anyone who is looking for a stable hosting service while still going easy on their wallet and their environment as well. For more info about iPage’s services, check out their official website!
InMotion HostingVisit Host »
InMotion is my favorite hosting company, hands down. So my opinion might be a bit biased, but I’ll keep it grounded in reality.
InMotion has been around for more than 10 years and they provide home for more than 300,000 domains. They are getting increasingly more popular because of the consistent quality of their services and because they offer some incredible deals. InMotion became my favorite because it’s a company that has managed to avoid numerous pricing tricks that the entire industry uses. They are instead operating based on an upfront pricing structure which everyone likes.
InMotion has made great investments into going green. They have an entire data center that relies solely on green energy and work to convert the other ones as well. They also have great policies within their company offices. It involves reducing waste and putting an increased emphasis on not using many paper products and recycling all their trash.
InMotion has the technicalities of a proper web-hosting business in check. No matter what plan you choose to buy at InMotion, you can rest assured that it will handle your site without any problems. It will be reachable throughout the entire year and run at high speed. This is thanks to the fact that InMotion’s servers have an uptime between 100% and 99.97%, so they are available through almost every second of the year. But not only that, they have short loading times as well. You can expect your page to load between 460 and 700 milliseconds which is remarkable.
Adding to the speed and stability is the fact that all your data will be stored in an SSD architecture. Most hosting providers ask for an extra monthly fee to store your website on SSDs but InMotion provides it for free.
To better the deal, InMotion has plenty of freebies to throw into the deal as well. For example, if you would like to move your already existing website onto one of InMotion’s green data centers, they’ll do it for you for free. You’ll have access for a couple of hours and they will do the site migration for you. You can also expect to have free regular backups. Getting your website backed up on a daily basis is the greatest security measure you can make. Also, to be able to completely fortify your website with security measures, InMotion also offers the Sucuri plugin for free. It’s an amazing plugin that constantly scans your website for potential risks and exploits that hackers might take advantage of. You would be paying $16.66 per month for this plugin, but here you get it for free.
To top all of this off, InMotion has an award winning customer support team. They call themselves the friendliest humans on earth, and that remains to be true as far as I can tell. Calling their support team for help is a blast. You get connected to a support representative within 2 minutes in live chat and they either answer your question or get right onto solving your problem. InMotion easily has the best customer support among all the hosting providers I’ve reviewed so far. It’s something that very few companies get right actually.
InMotion has everything that you would want from a hosting company. It’s consistent and reliable too, so you can rest assured that they’ll have your back at all times. Although their shared hosting plans aren’t the cheapest, they are well worth their money. You can get your hands on their basic shared hosting plan for $5.99 per month. It’s a pretty decent deal, considering all of InMotion’s offers. You can find out more about it on the official website!
FatCowVisit Host »
FatCow has an unexpected name for a webhost and it’s quite creative as well. But by no means is FatCow among the best on the market. This is simply because some of their services live up to the company name. They are as slow as a fat cow. Yet FatCow is still filled with numerous positive surprises that make it worthwhile to join them.
This FatCow has been alive and kicking since 1998 and have been performing admirably ever since. The company wouldn’t win medals for speed but the slow and steady approach has worked well for them too.
FatCow is also an EPA partner, which supposedly means that all of their data centers are powered by wind energy. But I can’t say that for sure unless I ever visit it personally. Being an EPA partner means that they are pretty legitimate.
I liked FatCow’s approach to pricing, because it’s upfront and honest. Most companies lack that, so it’s always great to see it. You can get your hands on their basic plan for an annual $49, which is very good. FatCow has a lot going for them in terms of pricing. This simplified hosting plan costs $4.83 per month, but it is by no means permanent. Once you renew your plan after the introductory period, the price will go up to $10.99 per month. Which is an insane 250% jump. That’s still an annual $131.88, but it’s still too much if you consider that you can have a $6 InMotion plan that does a much better job.
But the big surprise is that FatCow also offers the cheapest hosting plan, probably in the entire web hosting space. It costs $0.75 per month, which will cost you $9 annually! That’s insane. Even if you renew that plan, it will cost $20 per year. So if you’re looking to just test some stuff or have a simple portfolio website, this plan will do the job with minimal cost.
When it comes to technical details, FatCow has stability but lacks speed. With an uptime of 99.90%, you can rely on it to run your website, but it will be pretty slow. The average page loading speed of FatCow’s servers is 1500 milliseconds. That’s pretty slow.
Finally FatCow’s customer support is quite decent in our experience, but it seem inconsistent when we look at user submitted reviews. They offer live chat and will either answer you within a few minutes or make you wait about an hour. You can also look at their knowledge base that provides you with numerous tutorials and the most frequently asked questions. You know, the basic stuff.
Overall, if you’re looking for something ridiculously cheap that will get the job done, FatCow is good. It provides an option to spend 9$ per year for your hosting plan, which is amazing. But if you’re looking to opt for something more powerful, then it’s best to look at what other companies have to offer.
For more information about FatCow’s services, check out their official website!
HostGatorVisit Host »
HostGator now powers 1.3 million websites with the power of Texas’ wind. They are one of the biggest web-hosting companies in the world and they are still growing pretty fast. It’s good to know that most of that growth is backed up with green energy, because hosting your website with them is much more compelling when you know that it won’t damage the Earth. But HostGator has a lot of other great things going for it as well. They have some really good services that you should check out.
HostGator offers the most affordable Cloud hosting plan on the market right now. It’s cheaper than most shared hosting plan yet twice as fast. You can subscribe to it for $2.99 per month and reap benefits such as a rock solid 99.99% uptime and the lightning fast 520 millisecond loading speeds. HostGator’s services are more than enough to run your website at a cost effective and incredibly efficient manner.
HostGator’s customer support is also pretty decent but users had a lot of inconsistent opinions about it. To us it seemed fine. It took about 5 to 10 minutes for their support agent to respond to our questions. But don’t take my word for it. Considering that HostGator has tens of thousands of clients, it is worth doing a thorough research on their support services before you buy.
HostGator also offers good free stuff such as free site migration and powerful security measures too. You’ll have free access to automated malware removal, automated website backups, protection against DDoS attacks with every premium plan. So, it’s obvious that HostGator went out of their way to offer you a solid deal. You can get your hands on cloud hosting at an insanely low price and enjoy a consistent service by subscribing at HostGator. For more information, check out their official website.
HostPapaVisit Host »
HostPapa is a successful web hosting company that provides home to over 500,000 websites. They operate in the US and Canada but have thousands of clients in Europe as well. They have seen rapid growth over the past 10 years and it’s interesting to look at what contributed to their success. Maybe it’s the fact that they offer phone support to native speakers of numerous languages including German, English, French and Spanish. HostPapa also prides itself for investing in renewable energy. They are among the small percentage of hosting companies that power their architecture through renewable energy sources, so thumbs up for that. They are doing pretty well for themselves that’s for sure, but let’s see exactly how they got here and what they provide.
Once you sign up through the easy two-step process, you’re greeted with support options to choose from, which very few if any other hosting company offers. Once you’re set, it’s time to test their servers.
Stability comes first and HostPapa has that in check. Their servers have a 99.99% uptime throughout the entire year. Even some of the top dogs in the hosting business can’t say this about themselves. HostPapa is truly reliable in keeping your website up and running without wavering even for a second.
Their average page loading speed however isn’t so outstanding. It’s average at best. You can expect a 900 millisecond loading time on average, which can sometimes go up to 1500 milliseconds. So it isn’t lightning fast but will still load a website smoothly.
When it comes to customer support, it’s hard to say anything bad about HostPapa, which is definitely one of the contributing factors of their success. They provide phone support in 18 countries and in 4 different languages, which definitely appeals to a wide range of people. To top it off, they also provide their own unique support feature. A session with a „Papa Squad Expert’ which is the greatest form of handholding I’ve ever seen. They guide people through specific problems and processes through video chat or telephone. It’s pretty amazing.
We also received a response from one of their customer support representatives within less than 4 minutes. The service rep answered all our questions in no time and the conversation we had seemed real. It wasn’t robotic by any means. HostPapa really deserves a cookie for having an outstanding support team.
HostPapa has a few great freebies too. With their shared hosting plans, you get anti-spam protection, a server firewall, intrusion detection and monitoring. These are pretty solid security features that will protect your site.
HostPapa’s pricing has something I didn’t appreciate. The same old pricing tricks that every other company uses. You’ll have to sign up for as long as three years to get the low advertised price of $3.95 per month. Nothing new about this, but it’s still a shame. Because the price will go up to $4.95 if you choose the 24 month or 12 month period. But you’re actually better off signing up to one of their long term deals, because you’ll want to make sure that your plan renewal comes as late as possible. When it does come however, the price will go up to more than $6 per month. That’s about a 150% to 200% price jump from what you were expecting initially.
There’s more. You have a tricky 30-day money back guarantee period like at any other hosting provider. The problem is that you won’t get off free even if you cancel within those 30 days. If they did set up your website for you, they will charge you a $29.95 setup fee when you cancel.
Even with these finances in mind, HostPapa can be quite decent. But it’s important that you’re sure that you will be able to stick with them for at least a year and that you’ll have no problem with the original price being doubled at renewal. Because you can still get off pretty inexpensively. For more information, check out HostPapa’s official website.
If you’re ready to make an environmentally conscious choice for hosting your website, then one of these will do just fine. Each of these companies do their best to minimalize their carbon footprint on the planet. But even though all of them do well for the environment, I wouldn’t recommend all of them for hosting your website. The best ones you could go with are InMotion and HostGator. Both are reputable companies that are inexpensive and offer a high quality service to their clients. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading through this article and that we helped you learn something new today!