Green Factor – A Must Have Condition for Hosting?

When people look for web hosting services, they consider several parameters like hardware specifications of the server – storage space, processor speed, memory capacity, bandwidth, and so on.

There is however another important factor that needs to be considered, but often gets omitted from the list of requirements – that is – how environmental friendly the hosting service is?

When people think of performance, they only think in terms of computational performance. The ecological effects or green performance is never really thought about.

Do you know web hosting industry is estimated to be as polluting as the airline industry in near future?

According to Amenworld’s recent study of over 3,500 web servers, a single web server needlessly consumes 1,000 kWh on average, producing more than 630kg of CO2 annually. The figures are certainly shocking – it’s hard to believe hosting websites on the Internet can cause such damage to our earth.

Fortunately we are seeing more hosting companies taking up their responsibility in reducing the level of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere by moving towards green energies.

My writer, Timothy Shim, has found a few web hosts that offer green hosting services at reasonable prices. His list of trustworthy green hosting services is published here.

How do hosting companies turn green?

No, not this green.

When we talk about “turning green” – we think “employing natural and renewable energy sources”.

So when we say “green hosting”, the logical conclusion is that the web hosting companies are using electricity that is generated from natural resources.

But that is NOT the case for 99% green hosting companies out there.

What green web hosting companies actually do is buying Renewable Energy Certificates (REC) or Carbon Offset Certificates (VER) to offset their power consumption to reach zero carbon footprint.

Green tag = Marketing Gimmick?

The idea of green web hosting is (largely) aimed

at convincing internet users that there are no negative effects on their natural environment.

Yes, theoretically, it does reduce your carbon footprint and perhaps make you feel better, that you have done some good for the earth.

My personal opinions, with no solid fact support, the environment impact of switching to a green hosting is relative small. There are other much better ways to make our earth a better place. Small acts, such as stop using straws (yes!) and carrying a tote to grocery shopping, are more effective.


Hence – I do not take in the ‘green factor’ when I am searching for a web host. If hosting companies I picked are buying green energy credits to offset your “dirty” power consumption – GREAT. But that’s not mandatory.

Instead I emphasize on server performance, features, price, and after sales support.

Then again, that’s me.

Should you factor ‘Green’ in the checklist when shopping for a web host? That’s 100%  to you! 😉

 

Why VPS Hosting?

 

  1. Separated hosting environment with its own operating system and predefined resources. Hence, unlike shared hosting, any activities conducted by your neighbor on will not affect your site performance.
  2. Host more domains at the same time.
  3. One step below dedicated hosting. Cheaper and less tech skills required.
  4. Software flexibility – install and use custom software.

More On Web Hosting

Web hosting = Domain name?

Web hosting shouldn’t be confused with domain name.

They are two different entities.

In layman’s term, a web host is like a house where the house owner can stores furniture (web contents) in it; whereas, a domain name is like the address of the house. Web hosting is the “storage space”; while a website domain name refers to the “location” of your website.

See this.

Subdomains, top level domains, and addon domains

Google.com is a domain name.

The extension ‘.com’ is known as Top Level Domain (TLD).

Some TLDs are opened and free to be registered by the publics. For instances: .com, .net, and .info. Some TLDs, on the other hand, are governed strictly by government or cyber regulations. For example .gov can be only used by government organization. Some country code TLDs, like .co.jp and .co.uk, can be only used by websites located in that particular country. But that’s not always the case. For instance, you can get a British Indian Ocean Territory domain (.io) easily with most registrars. Personally I live in Malaysia and own a number of .io domains.

Some TLDs are intended for certain special purpose, for example .org is intended for organizations’ website. Though it’s widely misused by personal websites.

Subdomain is the name in front of a domain name.

For example ‘mail.google.com’, the word ‘mail’ is a subdomain. Subdomain is often confused with an addon domain. An addon domain is the second, third, fourth… independent domain name added in a single hosting account; a subdomain, on the other hand, is a secondary domain appears in front of a domain name.

Addon domain requires the owner to renew its registration; while creating subdomains require no cost at all.

Types of web hosting

Web hosting comes in different forms and shapes that can be categorized into five major groups, namely: shared hosting, virtual private server hosting, dedicated hosting, reseller hosting, and the cluster hosting.

Shared Web Hosting

As the name refers, a shared hosting server is shared by multiple websites. Typically, websites on a shared hosting share the same server resources (such as CPU and RAM) and IP address.

Virtual Dedicated Hosting

A virtual dedicated hosting is also known as Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting. Virtual dedicated hosting separates the server into several smaller independent servers. Each website hosted on VPS hosting will have its own isolated hosting environment (hence own root folder) and unique hosting features (such as firewalls and SSH access).

Dedicated Hosting

The entire server is used by only single website (or customer) in a dedicated hosting. A dedicated hosted website enjoys better flexibility and web security. Users get full control over the server including bandwidth allocation, server operating system, and other custom web server features.

Reseller Hosting

Reseller hosting services allow users to become a web host themselves. The server in reseller hosting is parted into smaller pieces (shared hosting) and can be sold to others.

Cluster Hosting

Cluster hosting is also known as cloud hosting. A cluster hosting is the perfect solution for websites that require massive amount of processing power (such as complex web applications or huge web traffics) as a cluster-hosted website has access to a number of connected servers’ resources.

Unix Hosting vs Windows Hosting

Unix hosting normally refers to web host running on Linux or FreeBSD operating system.

Windows hosting, on the other hand, runs on Windows OS like Windows Server 2003 or 2008.

There are both pros and cons running a website on Unix or Windows hosting – Unix OS is open-source software, thus it’s free and tested widely; Windows OS on the other hand is critical if you need to run Microsoft web applications (such as asp.net).