The 5 Best Green Web Hosting Providers

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The internet is responsible for roughly 300 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions every year. A large portion of that comes from the energy-hungry data centers which house the machines that websites are hosted on.

But what if you don't want your websites to further contribute to this horrifying number?

The answer to that is green web hosting. There are some excellent ecological hosting companies out there!

The recommended green hosting platforms listed below either use renewable energy to power their data centers or offset their fossil fuel usage through other methods:

  • A2 Hosting (Green hosting with blazing fast servers)
  • GreenGeeks (Invests more in renewable energy than it uses)
  • DreamHost (Great green WordPress hosting)
  • Sustainable Hosting (Hosting that's dedicated to improving the environment)
  • AISO (Great environmentally conscious hosting for eCommerce sites)

1. A2 Hosting

Price: from $3.92/month

Recommended for: those who seek blazing fast, green servers.

Green Web Hosting A2 Hosting HomepageA2 Hosting traces its green policies back to its roots in its home city of Ann Arbor, Michigan – an extremely green city lush with parks and its recycling program running since the 1970s. A2's home inspired its founders to make their company as environmentally friendly as possible.

All A2's data center energy usage is offset with donations to Carbonfund.org, a nonprofit that promotes reforestation and energy efficiency.

But that's just the start of A2 Hosting's green policies. The company also encourages telecommuting to prevent unnecessary commuting emissions and recycles outdated server hardware. 

And, although they're commonplace now, to reduce its energy usage, A2 was one of the first web hosts to make the switch from inefficient HDD hosting to SSD based servers. This way, the hardware uses less power.

That SSD storage also helps to make any website you host with A2 super fast. Load times are also reduced thanks to A2's SwiftServer optimization and its choice of different data center locations.

Picking one near to your target audience is an effective way to reduce latency, and increase your overall website performance. The reduction effect those features have on server response times was evident in my tests, with results of page-loading times averaging around 200ms.

Plans begin at just $3.92/month, which includes unlimited storage and bandwidth, letting you upload and share as much content as you like through your server. The only drawback is that the starter plan is limited to single website hosting. Consider upgrading if you'd like to take advantage of that unlimited storage to host more than one site at a time.

PROS

  • Makes an effort to be green in many areas
  • 24/7 support through live chat and Skype
  • Free SSL certificates included
  • SSD storage and optimization helps sites load fast

CONS

  • Starter plan only includes one website

2. GreenGeeks

Price: from $2.95/month

Recommended for: those looking for a hosting company that is investing more in renewable energy than it uses.

Green HostingIf you didn't already guess from the name, GreenGeeks is a hosting company that puts environmental friendliness at the very heart of its corporate philosophy.

For every amp used in one of GreenkGeeks data centers, it invests triple the equivalent in renewable energy. To do that, it partners with the Bonneville foundation, a green power nonprofit organization that provides carbon offsetting services.

But GreenGeeks is by no means a one-trick-pony. Its hosting services are all-around great packages that include free domain registration and SSL certificates, along with free site building software.

Packages begin at just $2.95/month which will bag you unlimited SSD space and unlimited bandwidth.

GreenGeek's servers are super fast, thanks to its use of CloudFlare CDN technology which caches your site at multiple locations around the world to improve loading times for global traffic. And if you pick GreenGeeks, you can rest assured your data will be secure.

How do we know this? With GreenGeeks, nightly backups are free, so you'll be able to restore your site to working order with a single click if something goes wrong.

PROS

  • More renewable energy invested than used in data centers
  • Unlimited storage & bandwidth
  • CloudFlare CDN to speed up your site
  • Free daily backups
  • Free domain registration

CONS

  • Site builder not as fully-featured as the competition

3. DreamHost

Price: from $2.59/month

Recommended for: users looking for great green WordPress hosting.

Green HostingTackling environmental impacts is a challenge, so it's great to see a web host that seriously cuts back on its resource use.

DreamHost performed an in-depth study to calculate the total energy used by their hosting service (data center and office use combined), and invested in different global renewable projects to offset the energy consumed.

That has allowed it to gain carbon neutral certification. 

DreamHost servers are simple to set up too, thanks to the inclusion of a 1-click installer package.

It only takes seconds to add common CMS packages like WordPress, Joomla or Magneto to your DreamHost server.

Prices start at just $2.59/month which includes unlimited bandwidth and storage. However, if you do intend to run your site using WordPress, I highly recommend you consider the 'DreamPress' package which costs $16.95/month. This will mean your server is based on a cloud rather than a shared architecture, resulting in a more reliable hosting experience.

But whichever plan you go for, DreamHost is a great money saving option, as all packages come with free domain registration which other providers often charge extra for.

PROS

  • Offsets entire company's energy use
  • Fast cloud-based WordPress plan available
  • Free domain registration included
  • 24/7 live chat and ticket support

CONS

  • No dial-in phone support (a call-back service is available)

4. Sustainable Hosting

Price: from $10/month (+ a $25 setup fee)

Recommended for: those who are looking for a company that takes green hosting very seriously.

Green HostingOffsetting used fossil fuel based energy is no match for utilizing renewably sourced energy in the first place.

That's why Sustainable Hosting stands out from the crowd. The company uses energy efficient servers which run partially on wind-generated energy. 

Sustainable Hosting has been carbon neutral (GreenAmerica certified) since its beginning and is careful to offset all its corporate activities, including travel.

It tries to minimize other environmental impacts, too, with paperless offices and a partnership with Wainright Bank (a financial institution committed to environmentally sustainable practices).

Unfortunately, there are some costs involved in taking eco-friendliness this seriously. One example of this is that packages start at $10/month and include a setup fee of $25 which gets you a minimal 250MB of storage and just 3GB bandwidth.

Therefore, I highly recommend choosing Sustainability Hosting's $25/month professional package which comes with 2GB of storage and 10GB bandwidth instead. But whichever plan you choose, your server will be extremely reliable with a 99.9% guaranteed uptime rate, and 24/7 ticket support. 

PROS

  • Takes being green more seriously than other hosts
  • Carbon neutral for the company's entire life-span
  • Reliable hosting with a 99.9% uptime rate
  • 24/7 ticket support

CONS

  • More expensive than the competition
  • No phone support with the two lower-tier plans

5. AISO

Price: from $5/month

Recommended for: users who seek environmentally conscious eCommerce solutions.

If you're looking for an environmentally friendly web host for business or eCommerce sites that won't compromise on the security of your website, AISO is certainly worthy of your consideration.

AISO's tagline is 'web hosting as nature intended', and while I've never seen a National Geographic documentary about web hosting, I can see why it chose such a slogan. Why? Because every AISO server is powered by AISO's solar farm.

AISO estimates its solar power saves nearly 35,000lbs of CO2/year, along with 50lbs of smog.

AISO also cuts down its energy requirements by using solar tubes for daytime lighting, and high-efficiency servers that consume around half the energy of a typical stack.

But despite its energy source, AISO manages to provide an extremely reliable hosting experience with a 99.99% uptime rate. And if your server experiences a technical malfunction, you'll be able to restore it immediately thanks to the hourly backups included in every package.

What's more, all AISO's high-efficiency servers are PCI compliant, so you can use them for hosting eCommerce stores and receiving or transmitting cardholder data. AISO doesn't compromise on support options either – you can get in touch with customer service rep 24/7 through phone or live chat. 

AISO pricing is on the expensive side  - there isn't a free option, but the lowest-tier plan costs $5/month when billed annually. However, the cheapest option will provide you only with 1GB of storage and 5GB bandwidth. Seeing these numbers, updating to a mid-tier plan that costs $9.50/month seems like a better deal.

PROS

  • Takes being green more seriously than other hosts
  • Carbon neutral for the entire history of the company
  • Reliable hosting with a 99.9% uptime rate
  • 24/7 ticket support

CONS

  • More expensive than the competition
  • No phone support with two lowest tier plans

How to Choose the Right Green Web Hosting Package?

Thanks to the number of green hosting companies, you can now get virtually any standard hosting feature in a climate-conscious package. So make sure you take your own needs into account when deciding between the 5 hosting choices listed:

  • A2 Hosting is a great choice for quick loading sites;
  • GreenGeeks generates three times the amount of renewable energy it uses;
  • DreamHost offers excellent green cloud-based WordPress hosting;
  • Sustainable Hosting is totally dedicated to environmental issues;
  • AISO's PCI compliant servers make it a great choice for green businesses;

Remember, choosing a green host won't just be good for your conscience, it'll also be good for your bottom-line – you'll be able to use your green credentials to win more clients.

If you think I missed an amazingly eco-friendly host, please comment below to let me know!

An experienced content professional with a creative mind. If I'm not writing, you can probably find me in the backyard playing with dogs or at some weird art show.

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