Are You Concerned About Having a ‘Green Website’?


Is your blog’s web hosting company environmentally friendly? It wouldn’t normally occur to me to determine whether I have a ‘green website.’

I’ll be honest: I had no idea how to tell whether a website I visit is a green website. The “green” refers to how environmentally-friendly the website happens to be.

The Green Web Foundation says the internet is the world’s largest coal-powered machine. Who would have thought? It’s calling for a fossil-free internet by 2030. That’s probably a lofty goal. But most environmental goals sound lofty. 

More on the foundation in a minute.

In the meantime, the obvious question I immediately asked may be the question you’re asking now.

What makes a website green to begin with?

No, I’m not talking about a website that posts a lot about helping the environment. That would be far too easy. A green website is one whose hosting company employees certain strategies to reduce its carbon footprint on planet Earth.

WebsiteBuilderExpert says there are three ways hosting companies can go green: Hosting providers can use any one or a combination of the following three methods:

  1. Purchasing Renewable Energy Certificates – Providers buy “credits” for green energy to offset their carbon footprint by helping to provide equivalent green energy (wind, solar etc.)
  2. Practices to minimize carbon footprint – These include using more efficient software and hardware, having a robust recycling process, and encourage working from home.
  3. Supporting green initiatives – Such as tree planting.

Frankly, I wholeheartedly support any business doing any of those. Anything they can do to help delay the damage we humans are causing on our planet is a good thing.

WebsiteBuilderExpert actually listed the Best Green Web Hosting Providers. My current hosting provider is not listed. One of the companies that is listed gave me a horrible customer service experience; I would never even consider returning to them.

So an eco-friendly web host does not automatically guarantee good customer service. Would that it could work that way!

I checked my hosting provider’s website and there’s no mention of green initiatives. That doesn’t mean they don’t have any or that they aren’t about to roll out some. It does mean, however, that if they have them, they haven’t made finding word of them all that simple.

I wouldn’t drop them because of that. But I might have an even better impression of them if they added them.

You can check your web host through the foundation’s database

As promised, I’ll return briefly to the Green Web Foundation site. They have a form where you can enter your web domain and it will check to determine how green your site is.

When I entered my domain, I actually received two different answers. In the big headline, it said this website “is not hosted green.” But then below that, it elaborated:

Unfortunately, this website is hosted grey or we are not sure about the greenness of the hoster.

Well, that’s two very different answers!

“We can only show green results for infrastructure where we have some evidence we can refer to when people ask about the basis for listing a site as running on green energy,” the site states. “For this reason, you might be using a provider who is using green power – we just might not have the information listed with us yet.”

So this site may be green. My hosting provider may be doing things to reduce its carbon footprint.

We just don’t seem to know for sure at the moment.

It’s an interesting thing to keep in mind. It’s certainly worth considering when I’m ready to shop for a new web host, although I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

How likely would a web host’s green policies affect your decision to hire them to host your website? Would you avoid doing business with a web host that wasn’t green?

the authorPatrick
Patrick is a Christian with more than 30 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.