Sunday, April 14, 2024

Practically Living Green

Showing practical reasons to live green.

At the Office

What Makes GreenGeeks a Green Web Host?

There are all kinds of ways a small business can be more green. But what about being green in the digital space? In my opinion, few companies compare to what GreenGeeks can offer you in terms of a website.

And unlike a lot of other “green” products, it’s not going to cost you much more than the competitors.

What is GreenGeeks?

GreenGeeks is a web hosting company that prides itself on being 300% “green.” This is achieved by putting 300% of the energy the data centers use back into the grid through renewable sources.

It’s a privately owned company that pushes performance over profit. And it shows when compared to speed among many hosting competitors.

How is GreenGeeks Green?

While some companies tout being eco-friendly, GreenGeeks takes it to a whole new level. Instead of just having “green” practices in the company, which could mean simply replacing bulbs with LEDs, this company goes further.

Don’t get me wrong, any web host committing to anything to improve the environment is awesome. For instance, some companies have an initiative to plant trees.

Unfortunately, some of these tree-planting initiatives are not panning out all that well. For example, some trees are being planted because they’re cheap, but not indigenous to the areas of which they’re being planted.

More on that in another blog post. But, for now…

What makes this web host a particular interest?

Web Hosting Consumes A LOT of Power

No matter how you slice it, web hosting companies are going to consume an incredible amount of power. And I’m not just talking about the massive amounts of kilowatts being fed into servers.

Lights, security systems, and cooling platforms are just a few of the extra power needs of any data center. And to keep servers nice and cool, the facility has to remain a temperature between 68 and 71 degrees Fahrenheit.

Consider how much heat your computer provides and amplify that by several hundred. Without a cooling system, server rooms can become exceptionally hot.

Even with energy-efficient hardware.

I used to work in a few of them for the school district. Just a single rack of servers generated an incredible amount of heat.

As heat is the number one killer of computers and networking equipment, you gotta keep ’em cool.

3x Renewable Energy Back Into the Grid

To offset the amount of power GreenGeeks consumes in their data centers, the company calculates how much is used and then purchases three-times that amount in renewable energy.

This means that for every kilowatt-hour that is used to power GreenGeeks’ servers, three go back into the grid from things like wind energy.

This means that the company is not only paying for its own power (essentially twice; once for the grid and another in renewables), but also that of two other similarly-sized web hosts.

In reality, this means GreenGeeks is forking over an incredible amount of money just in power alone. Just so you can say your website is driven by green energy.

That’s incredibly generous, if you ask me.

What Attracts Me to GreenGeeks?

I’ve had a website up and running here and there since 1998. Over that time, I’ve used several web hosts to varying degrees. But, I have found using GreenGeeks to be of significant benefit.

Green Energy, Of Course

I’m very anti-oil and coal. Mostly because I believe it’s an archaic form of generating electricity in any regard. Any company that commits itself in such a way to offset the damage web hosts do to air quality ranks highly for me.

Think about it; every second your website is live on the Internet, it’s consuming power in the use of a server in a data center. In most instances, this power is drawn from the grid, which is mostly powered by CO2-emitting generators.

So, even if you commit employees to a green practice in the workplace, your online presence could still contribute to greenhouse gases.

Much Faster than Alternatives

One of the main reasons behind moving my websites over to GreenGeeks is the fact the servers were superior in terms of speed. I even took the time to clock them using GTMetrix and PageSpeed Insights.

A couple of years ago, I noticed my websites started getting slower and slower. When I contacted Hostgator about the problem, their solution was to upgrade to their “cloud hosting” service for nearly twice what I was already paying.

After testing my sites before and after the move, I found GreenGeeks servers to be three times faster in most cases. Instead of one of the most popular posts taking up to 15 seconds to load, it was down to 5!

To get an accurate average, I tested several pages on each blog 10 times before and 10 times after the move during peak visitation…across several days.

It’s Not Owned by Investment Groups

One of the worst things about investment groups is that they’ll cut whatever corners and features necessary to make as much money as possible. In fact, a lot of web hosts have fallen victim to this practice over the last couple of decades.

GreenGeeks is privately owned and doesn’t have to answer to an investment group. This means the company can still push out what they believe is beneficial to the customer without squeezing every penny out of them.

It also means they don’t create problems so they can sell a “solution” to make a few extra bucks.

It’s a Selling Point for New Customers

Consumers nowadays are buying more sustainable products and are willing to pay extra from a company that demonstrates a green initiative.

When you use something like GreenGeeks to power your online presence, you give your business a boost to that consumer base.

You can go so far as to put a suitability graphic on your site and write about your commitment by using a green web host. For example, I have a sustainability badge on my sites.

The bottom line is any small business looking to connect with the next generation of buyers needs to have some sort of plan for sustainability in place. It’ll help you make more money in the long run.

But, Don’t I Work with GreenGeeks?

For clarity, I admit, I do work closely with GreenGeeks. I’m the Content Marketing Team Lead, and we push out a lot of posts every month.

But, I wasn’t a customer until a year and a half into my contract.

I’m the type of person who doesn’t fix something unless it’s broken. I don’t buy the latest and greatest gaming consoles or phones simply because it’s a new version.

But when my sites became so slow that it was frustrating just to write a new post, it was time to look for another host.

I knew our servers were fast, but I had no idea that it would make so much of an impact on my sites. So, yes, I’m kicking myself quite a bit for not moving them over sooner.

It’s Really Not Self-Serving…

Even though I work closely with GreenGeeks, I’m still an avid customer for a reason. In fact, I had my websites on a competing web host for the longest time.

But after experiencing the speed difference and the ease of use, I switched over. I mean, shifting from a 15-second load time to just under 5 is an incredible difference!

Especially when you consider how Google pushes faster content higher in the search results.

Besides, it’s practical to use GreenGeeks if you’re looking to set up a sustainable business online.

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Michael Brockbank

Michael has been interested in the practicality of living green for quite some time. He works closely with GreenGeeks Web Hosting as the Content Marketing Team Lead and an author of various articles.

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