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Just as you might, for example, when traveling or buying clothes have ethical qualms, being conscious of your carbon footprint while picking a web hosting platform is worth adding to your list of considerations.
After all, visiting a single web page generates around 20 mg of carbon dioxide per second! In fact, The Web Neutral Project estimates that the internet accounts for 10% of global electricity consumption. If the internet were a country, it would be the 6th largest user of electricity in the world after Russia, Japan, China, India, and the US! Not only that, but the internet produces the same amount of global CO2 emissions as the aviation industry (2 percent).
These stats are shocking.
How does using the internet lead to CO2 emissions? Well, each time you visit a website or stream data, it's transferred from the website/app across the internet to your device. This uses energy created by burning fossil fuels.
This is where the green web hosting industry comes into play.
They try to address this issue by offsetting some of their energy usage. This doesn’t always mean they’re totally carbon-neutral. Still, if you go with a green web hosting platform, your website won't contribute as many CO2 emissions into the atmosphere as, say, a traditional provider would.
So, we’ve made it easier for you to find the best green web hosting service for your business by looking at six of the key players:
In this review, we'll explore:
- Who they are, including their green credentials
- What each one offers
- Our Pick
So, without further delay, let’s dive in.
Who's GreenGeeks? What are Their Green Credentials?
GreenGeeks was founded in California 12 years ago and boasts some impressive stats:
- 40,000+ customers
- 500,000+ hosted websites
- 615,000 kWh/year replaced
The company has four data centres located across: Chicago, Phoenix, Montreal, and Amsterdam. Each data center has raised floors, climate control, 24/7 security, water detection systems, UPS, generators, and fire suppression systems. Its processors are the latest Intel, and they use Juniper and Cisco for their network routing and switching.
The GreenGeeks promises:
“Your GreenGeeks account will have a positive energy footprint on the environment as we replace, with wind power credits, three times the amount of energy your website will use.”
The platform is powered by 300% clean, renewable energy and is a recognized EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), Power Partner. GreenGeeks buy wind energy credits to offset three times the energy their data centers use from the power grid.
GreenGeeks' webmasters can publish a certificate on their website to demonstrate their commitment to green energy.
What GreenGeeks Offers:
All users get a free domain name, free website migration, and the ability to create a new website using their drag and drop editor.
GreenGeeks offers powerful shared hosting. They tell customers they'll “experience exhilarating speed” as their web files and databases are stored on the latest drives.
Customers get LiteSpeed and MariaDB for faster page loading, and Powercacher, their customized in-house caching tech so that your apps load quickly. You'll also get access to free content delivery networks powered by Cloudflare and fast in-browser load times with HTTP3/QUIC.
It's also worth noting that GreenGeeks was also one of the first adopters of PHP7.
There are four web hosting packages on offer:
- Reseller Hosting
- WordPress Hosting
- VPS (virtual private server) Hosting
All have different features and, therefore, different pricing plans and structures. Here we'll just look at GreenGeeks' web hosting.
GreenGeeks Web Hosting Pricing
At the time of writing, GreenGeeks have a sale, so we've noted both their regular and promotional prices below:
Costing $2.95/mo discounted from $9.95/mo. This includes:
- One website
- A 1-click app installer
- Unlimited web space
- Unlimited data transfer
- A free domain name for the first year
- A free Wildcard SSL
- Standard performance
- PowerCacher included
Costing $5.95/mo discounted from $14.95/mo. This includes all the above, as well as 2x performance.
Costing $11.95/mo discounted from $24.95/mo. This includes all the above plus:
- A free premium Wildcard SSL
- Free dedicated IP
- 4X performance
GreenGeeks splits its security into five areas:
- Hosting account isolation: Accounts have their own dedicated computing resources and are secured by a virtual file system so that no single user can impact another user, irrespective of site traffic, and resource demands.
- A real-time security scanner: This identifies malware in real-time that’s then isolated to stop it from spreading.
- Linux Secure VFS (virtual file system): Each user gets their own secure virtual file system to protect against malware, malicious activity, and other users seeing or accessing their account.
- Proactive server monitoring: All web servers are monitored in real-time by automated administrators, which enables almost 100% uptime.
- Advanced clustered threat analysis: GreenGeek uses its own and third-party software to identify potentially harmful attacks across its network.
At the time of writing, GreenGeeks terms and conditions state:
“GreenGeeks…offers a 99.9% uptime guarantee. This is valid for only the GreenGeeks servers and our primary co-location internet connection.”
Who's SiteGround? What are Their Green Credentials?
SiteGround hosts around 2m+ domains, and with customer satisfaction levels close to 100%, SiteGround's certainly worth considering.
Founded in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia, they've been around since 2004. SiteGround has data servers all around the world: US (Iowa, Alexandria) Australia (Sydney), Germany (Frankfurt), Bulgaria (Sofia), Eemshaven (Netherlands), UK (London) and Spain (Madrid).
SiteGround offers a choice of:
- Web hosting
- WordPress hosting
- WooCommerce hosting
- Cloud hosting
Since 1 January 2020, its platform has been powered by Google Cloud. As a Google partner, SiteGround’s green credentials come off the back of Google Cloud’s eco-friendly efforts. Namely that Google matches 100% of the energy it uses with renewable energy.
Although Google Cloud's committed to being carbon neutral, it’s fair to say SiteGround doesn’t market itself as a green web hosting platform.
What SiteGround Offers
Overall, SiteGround offers:
- Website building
- Website transfer/migration via either a plugin or with the help of SiteGround support team
- All plans get WordPress installation.
- Easy site management via content management systems like Magento, Joomla, and WordPress
- Domain management
- A reliable email service
There are three web hosting pricing plans, and at the time of writing, they were discounted:
Aimed at newbies and small business owners, StartUp costs $2.95/mo (down from its usual price of $11.5/mo).
Here you'll get:
- One website
- 10 GB of web space
- A maximum of 10,000 monthly visits
- Unmetered traffic
- Free WP installation
- A free WP migrator
- WordPress auto-updates
- A free SSL
- Daily backups (with 30 saved copies of your account)
- A free content delivery network to speed up loading times
- Free email
- WP-CLI and SSH
- Unlimited databases
- 100% renewable energy match via their primary data center partner, Google Cloud
- A 30-days money-back guarantee
If you’re planning on increasing your traffic, this is the plan for you. For a discounted $5.95/mo (down from the usual price of $19.95/mo), you'll get everything in the StartUp plan, and:
- Unlimited websites
- 20GB web space
- A maximum of 25,000 monthly visits
- On-demand backup copies of your website
- Speed boosting caching
- A staging platform where you can create a copy of your live site to test new code and designs before going live
- You can add collaborators with their own logins to help build and maintain your site
GoGeek is best for larger organizations and businesses attracting lots of traffic. This plan starts at a discounted $11.95/mo (down from $34.95/mo).
You get everything in the GrowBig plan, as well as:
- 40 GB of website space
- 100,000 monthly visitors
- A Git integration to create repositories of your website that you can access later, download, and edit on local branches
- White labeling: You can register your clients as users inside of your account, without SiteGround's branding anywhere
- Access to the highest tier of resources – access to more server resources including simultaneous connections and processes
- Priority customer support
All SiteGround customers get a free SSL certificate, and website updates occur automatically. There’s also an AI-powered anti-bot system. This blocks millions of security threats every day. Accounts are backed up daily, and up to 30 copies are kept. If there's a security issue, you can restore everything with just a click.
At the time of writing, the most recent stats show that SiteGround boasts an uptime of 99.9% with 673ms speed. Once you have a SiteGround account, you can log in and go to their ‘Server Status Update' page to see their latest stats and information regarding uptime.
Who's DreamHost? What are Their Green Credentials?
DreamHost is an independently owned and operated web host that’s been around for more than two decades. DreamHost powers more than 1.5 million websites and has high approval ratings from its users. For example, PCMag gives it an impressive four out of 5-star rating.
With DreamHost's ‘Green Hosting' the provider says it's:
“Making a conscious effort to reduce our impact on the environment with optimized facilities and policies that put respect for natural resources at the core of what we do.”
Roughly translated, this means their offices are Energy Certified facilities using LED and low mercury lighting, use balanced HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) plants, and advanced lighting controls with occupancy sensors.
DreamHost's data centers have highly efficient cooling structures; energy efficiency processors are used wherever possible, and they're powered by grids that get their electricity from renewable sources. Not only that, but DreamHost also partners with state-level wind programs.
What DreamHost Offers
As with other hosting platforms, DreamHost offers:
- WordPress and WooCommerce hosting
- Shared website hosting
- VPS hosting
- Managed WordPress hosting
- Dedicated VPS hosting
- Cloud hosting
Its most popular hosting is its shared hosting options, and that’s what we'll look at here. With its shared hosting, DreamHost guarantees 100% in-house support 24/7, 1-click installs, an easy to use custom cpanel, and lightning-fast load times.
There are two DreamHost shared hosting plans, and some prices are discounted for different periods, but after that, prices revert to the full price:
For entry-level websites, including WordPress ones, this costs a discounted $4.95/mo for the first three months and then $6.99/mo if you pay monthly. If you sign up for a year, you pay $3.95/mo. If you sign up for three years, you pay $2.59/mo.
For this you get:
- One website
- A free domain name included
- Unlimited traffic
- Pre-installed WordPress
- Free automated WordPress migrations
- Access to WP website builder
- Fast SSD storage
- A free SSL certificate
- You can add email for as low as $1.67/mo
For multiple websites and anyone who wants email hosting with their own domain. This plan costs $10.95/mo for the first three months (if you pay monthly) and $11.99/mo after that. If you sign up for a year, you pay $4.95/mo and then $9.95/mo after the first year. If you sign up for three years, you pay $4.95/mo, and after three years, you pay $7.95/mo.
With Shared Unlimited, you get all the above in the Shared Starter plan, and:
- Unlimited storage
- Unlimited email using your domain
A free SSL certificate and DreamHost’s WAF keep malware at bay. Other security features include multi-factor authentication, free secure hosting with Let’s Encrypt, and auto-enabled sFTP (secure file transfer protocol).
Dreamhost guarantees a 100% uptime. At the time of writing, The DreamHost system status page showed that the site was operational. However, there was a partial email service disruption in May, and also some network disturbance. The page also shows when there's scheduled maintenance, so if you become a DreamHost customer, that's worth keeping an eye on!
Who's iPage? What are Their Green Credentials?
The biggest thing iPage shouts about on its homepage are its prices (see below) plus all the extras each plan includes.
But, first off, who's iPage?
Initially founded in 1998, iPage boasts that their world-class technology fuels more than 1m websites “with two data centers,” both of which are located in Boston, MA.
iPage unapologetically states its mission is to help small businesses, which is why their prices are so affordable.
A quick Google search highlights several review sites that state iPage is an EPA Power Green Power Partner. But, its own website doesn’t make any reference to its green creds, and we looked pretty thoroughly! We even checked on the EPA’s lengthy list of Green Power Partners, and iPage is not there.
But, here's what an old 2014/5 iPage blog says:
“iPage purchases enough RECs [Renewable Energy Certificates] to cover double the energy that it uses. As a result, customers who host their website with iPage can display a badge certifying their site as eco-friendly.”
We quote this blog post because it’s the only piece of info on iPage's website we could find about its green credentials. Since that time, they don't say much, if anything, about their green initiatives.
What iPage Offers
All customers get:
- A free domain name
- Unlimited email accounts
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Unmetered disk space
- A 30-day refund guarantee
- Regular backups
- A drag and drop website editor/builder
- 24/7 support
- $100 worth of Google Ads
- SiteLock for Free Security Scans
- $100 Bing Ad Credits
- Free WordPress building tools
- You can host unlimited domains
- Access 1,000 + website templates
- Website analytics
- A 1-Click installer
- A free SSL Certificate
- Free email addresses
iPage has a one-size-fits-all plan, but their prices vary according to how long you sign up for. This isn’t immediately apparent unless you go through the process of choosing a domain name. You're then offered to signing up for either:
- One year: priced at $2.99/mo down from $9.99/mo
- Two years: priced at $2.49/mo down from $8.99/mo
- Three years: priced at $1.99/mo down from $7.99/mo
Once your term's up, your renewal price soars up to the non-discounted rate, and if you register a domain name with iPage and migrate to a different web hosting platform, you have to pay a $15 fee to keep your domain name.
For anyone who wants to build a WordPress site, there are two plans available:
This starts at $3.75/mo (discounted from $7.49/mo), and when you renew, you're charged the non-discounted price.
This starts at $6.95/mo (discounted from $10.49/mo), and again, when you renew, you're charged the non-discounted price.
SiteLock scans for potential malware, and its firewall ensures there are no security leaks. Lastly, iPage conducts free daily backups of your websites.
At the time of writing, over the last 24 months, iPage's uptime averages at around 99.96% with typical load times of 746ms.
Who's Greenhost? What are Their Green Credentials?
As its name suggests, Greenhost offers green and sustainable web hosting for small businesses and organizations that want a virtual private server.
They’ve been around for more than 15 years and run a climate-neutral IronMountain Data Center in Amsterdam, and their cluster runs on Dutch-produced energy generated by wind farms. Plus, Greenhost only employs local staff and serve organically sourced vegetarian and vegan food to their workers.
GreenHost also offers further green assurances:
- Their primary storage systems are built using SSD hard drives (which need less energy to run)
- They utilize centralized storage for more efficient use of hardware.
- Their flexible server capacity allows them to adjust their systems to meet demand, so servers aren’t running needlessly.
What Greenhost Offers:
Greenhost offers shared hosting and domain registration for individual sites and enterprise-level organizations. There are a variety of packages (see pricing section) to choose from, and all GreenHost users get access to website backups, unlimited email service, and access to their in-house customer service center.
For larger setups, you can use Greenhost's Virtual Private Servers. These provide a more scalable option and, again, are hosted using their sustainable data center. If you want a custom made hosting option (including managed hosting), GreenHost can do that too.
There are three plans to choose from, and prices are only available in Euros.
This costs €51/year, for which you get:
- Storage of 1000 MB data
- 10 GB a month data limit
- Email storage of 3 GB
- Databases 50 (MySQL)
- 2 Nodes
- PHP 7.3 or 7.2
This costs €108/year, for which you get everything in the Basic plan, plus:
- 5 GB of storage
- 50GB a month data limit
- Email storage 15GB
- 3 Nodes
This costs €192/year for which you get everything the previous two plans, plus:
- 10GB Storage
- 150 GB/month data limit
- Email storage 24 GB
Users get free TLS certificates with Let’s Encrypt, daily backups, and:
- DNSSEC on almost all domains (Domain Name System Security Extensions)
- Two-factor authentication
- You can reach them via GPG encrypted emails
- Whistle-blowing platforms using GlobaLeaks software
At the time of writing, Mail, Hosting, and VPS were all operational and had been for the past ten days with no previous incidents.
Who's A2 Hosting? What are Their Green Credentials?
A2 has partnered with an energy offsetting company since 2007. A2 don’t boast about their green creds, but what we can tell you is that since 2003, A2's HQ has been located in Ann Arbor or “Tree Town.” So named because there are 150 parks and 50,000 trees. This prompted A2 Hosting to launch its FutureServe Green Hosting Company initiative, which aims to protect the environment for future generations.
A2 Hosting also partners with Carbonfund.org. It supports the organization’s reforestation work and its campaigning for clean and renewable energy sources. The hosting platform tries to reuse old hardware and encourages staff to adopt green practices.
What A2 Hosting Offers
Like many of the other green web hosting platforms covered in this review, A2 Hosting offers four hosting options, each of which with its own set of pricing plans and features:
- Shared web hosting
- Reseller Hosting
- VPS Hosting
- Dedicated Server
Here we’re focussing on shared web hosting:
A2 Hosting Pricing
There are four shared hosting pricing plans. These are often discounted, but renewals are charged at the full price:
For a discounted $2.99/mo (down from $8.99/mo), you'll get:
- One website
- 100 GB storage
- Five databases
- Unlimited transfer
- 7GB memory
- Free solid state drive speed boost
- Free SSL
- Perpetual security
- Anytime money-back guarantee
- 24/7/365 support
- 99.9% uptime commitment
- Free migration
- Free Cloudflare
- A dedicated IP address for an extra cost of $4/mo
For a discounted $4.99/mo (down from $11.99/mo), you'll get all the StartUp features and:
- Unlimited websites, storage, databases, and transfer
- 1 GB memory
- Server rewind backups
For a discounted $9.99/mo (down from $19.99/mo), you'll get all the StartUp and Drive features plus:
- 2GB memory
- Turbo servers
- A2 optimized site accelerator with preconfigured site caching
For a discounted $14.99 a month (down from $14.99 a month) you get everything above and 4GB memory.
A2 Hosting Security
Aside from two-factor authentication, A2 Hosting also boasts a:
- Virus scanner
- Dual firewall
- Packman enhanced security tool that detects malware and/or infected files
A2 Hosting also offers proactive protection against malicious hackers and security threats via 24/7/365 security monitoring, server hardening, automatic and daily updates, and reinforced DDoS (Denial of Service) protection.
A2 says it commits to a 99.9% uptime. But, at the time of writing, there had been 100% uptime over the past seven days.
The Best Green Web Hosting: Conclusion
So there you have it, our guide to the best green web hosting platforms. Our favorite has to be GreenGeeks. Why? Because it offers not only competitive pricing but also an average uptime of 99.98% and it offsets its carbon emissions by a fabulous 300%. Its prices also offer great value for money. Most of all, it’s fast, secure, and provides high performing features and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
What's not to love about that?!
Which green web hosting service will you go for? Let us know in the comments box below, we'd love to hear from you!