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5 best green web hosting of 2018

5 best green web hosting of 2018
Web hosting is very energy-intensive. Data centers may have tens of thousands of high-powered computers, most of these with permanently high CPU and drive usage, generating so much heat that the provider will usually need a massive cooling system to keep temperatures manageable. The math can be surprising. Web Neutral Project founder Jack Amend calculates that powering the average website produces 4,500 pounds of CO2 a year, equivalent to driving the average new car for more than 10,000 miles. We're not quite sure what ‘average’ means in that context, but whatever the precise details, the message is clear: hosting has a very real environmental impact, and it's much more significant than you might think.
Green web hosting companies try to address this issue by investing in some form of carbon offsetting scheme, so that for every unit of energy they use, they pay to generate the same amount of energy from renewable, and pump that into the grid. This doesn't negate their environmental impact entirely building and disposing of all those computers produces issues of its own but it does at least mean that your individual website isn't adding to the problem. Going green does tend to have some hosting consequences, in particular with the price: it's often a little higher than the competition. That's no surprise when a company is paying a second energy bill to generate renewable power, though, and the extra cost usually isn't significant. Read our pick of the green hosting to find out more.

5 best green web hosting of 2018

1. DreamHost
DreamHost says its data centers are powered by grids that obtain electricity from many renewable sources. Cooling systems are designed for efficiency, and the evaporation cooling plants use both municipal and reclaimed water. The company offices are LEED Platinum and EnergyStar-certified. Optimized heating, ventilation and air conditioning plants keep energy demand down all year round, and the working environment is designed with sustainability in mind: recycling bins everywhere, electronic forms to reduce paper usage, disposable cups and plates replaced by ceramic, financial incentives to use public transportation and work-from-home policies to keep some people off the roads entirely. All this environmentally-friendly infrastructure powers a good-looking range of highly specified and fairly-priced products.

2. iPage
Green web hosts make all kinds of claims about their Eco-friendliness, but it's not always easy to figure out what these mean. A provider might say it's using an energy-efficient cooling system, for instance, but how does that compare to the rest of the industry, and what could the savings be, if any? There's no way to tell. iPage sidesteps this problem by avoiding the usual vague chat, and instead presents a clear and definitive green policy in a single sentence: For every KWH of energy that iPage uses, the company purchases Renewable Energy Certificates to offset that amount with wind energy by 200%; Simple, straightforward, and it outperforms most claimed carbon-neutral providers by offsetting twice its energy usage.

3. A2 Hosting
A2 Hosting is another provider that doesn't boast about its green credentials. There's not a word about the topic on its website's front page, and unless you're in the habit of browsing web host 'About' pages you might never know anything about A2’s green-friendly aspects. A2 highlights some of its green hosting practices, too, covering everything from using coffee mugs instead of disposables, to allowing telecommuting for its staff as much as possible. Whatever you think of its environmental attitudes, A2 Hosting's plans have a lot of appeal. Starting prices are a little higher than some, but that's mostly because the company is focused on delivering power and functionality, rather than barebones products which only exist to create a low headline price.

4. HostPapa
HostPapa was one of the first hosting companies to commit to going green, and we're not just talking vague claims about energy-efficient data centers: it's making real and significant promises. The company explains that it "purchases ‘green energy tags’ or certificates from a certified green energy supplier. That supplier calculates the total energy consumption of our operation and uses their suppliers of green energy to pump in 100% equivalent energy back into the power grid." Essentially, although HostPapa's operations aren't directly powered by green energy, it purchases the equivalent amount from green providers, a carbon offsetting system which balances out emissions overall.

5. GreenGeeks
The best renewable investment scheme in the hosting world 300% energy offset scheme. Founded in California back in 2008, GreenGeeks now proudly claims to be the world's #1 green energy web hosting provider. The company doesn't just say that its platform has been designed for maximum energy efficiency, it also promises that "for every amperage we pull from the grid, your hosting isn't just carbon-neutral, it's carbon-reducing. GreenGeeks' hosting range isn't quite as impressive. There are the usual set of plans – shared products, application hosting, VPS, dedicated – but there isn't much choice, and what you do get is mostly very average.

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