Most people don’t think about web hosting when they make decisions about sustainability. However, it is an important factor for companies to consider. In addition, it’s easy to be environmentally conscious when selecting a hosting plan.
Understand Your Web Hosting Needs
The key to sustainable web hosting is to select a plan that matches your needs, with a little room for growth. However, do not select a plan that overcompensates for your requirements. The key to sustainability is to limit energy usage.
Shared Web Hosting Works for Most Small Websites
A shared web server is one that hosts many websites on a single machine. Think of it like running multiple programs on your computer, each in a separate window. On a shared server, often hundreds of websites share the same processing power, memory, and storage space. If the websites are relatively low-traffic, then this is all they need.
VPS / Cloud Hosting Works for Higher Traffic Websites
A Virtual Private Server, or VPS hosting account is similar to a shared server in that you can host many websites using shared hardware. The difference however, is that each hosting account is guaranteed a minimum amount of resources. This is better than a shared hosting account in that different websites are not competing for resources. So, if one website on the server has a lot of traffic or makes a lot of database queries, it will not slow down the other websites. VPS accounts are generally a bit more expensive than shared accounts, and usually require more maintenance. However, they are much more reliable. Generally, VPS hosting accounts are a sustainable choice. The key is to select the container size that matches your needs. If you only need one or two processor cores to handle your website, then select a plan at that level, rather than a larger plan that uses more energy. You can always upgrade in the future.
Dedicated Servers Use the Most Energy
Enterprise-level businesses often require dedicated servers, or large cloud hosting accounts. If this is unavoidable, then just be mindful of your needs and choose an appropriate plan. If you can get away with a smaller VPS account, however, then it would be a better choice for the environment. You’ll use less energy, and your costs will be lower as an added benefit.
Choose a Hosting Company That Uses Renewable Energy
It can be difficult to find a sustainable hosting company, but they’re out there. For example, Mighty Bytes offers green hosting accounts. This may be a little misleading however. It sounds like they power their servers using renewable energy, which would mean that you can get maximum computing power without burning a lot of carbon in the process. This isn’t entirely true.
They resell web hosting accounts on Google Cloud. Google is a major investor in renewable energy sources. So, they deduce that a portion of the money you spend on hosting will support new research into renewable energy. Therefore, your hosting account is “green” because the company that owns the servers invests in green energy. If you see value in this, then go for it.