The internet is growing at rates never seen before. With user-generated content now consisting of various forms of rich multimedia such as video and audio, the servers that need to back all of this up are using ever-increasing amounts of energy.
The internet is now using a vast amount of electricity and a large percentage of this energy is being used in data centres where information is stored and processed. Web hosting providers consume a huge amount of this energy to power their servers and keep websites online 24/7. The servers have to be kept cool all of the time, all of which takes up a lot of energy. We all know that such a large amount of energy usage can harm the environment. Green web hosting, as the name suggests, is the web hosting solution that’s run on renewable energy like solar power.
Another technique that green web hosting companies use is to invest in a carbon offsetting scheme, so for every unit of energy they consume, they will pay to generate the same amount of energy (or quite often more) from a renewable source that then supplies that back to the grid.
By using a green web hosting company to host your website, it will mean that you’re reducing the negative impact you’re having on the planet. Picking the best web hosting company usually involves weighing up the pros and cons of each company you’ve decided to compare. You’ll probably consider the price, their features, the online support and reliability. Not very often do people consider a web hosting companies environmental impact. This is something that companies are becoming increasingly self-aware about.
A quicker loading website means less energy is required to display it, pretty obvious when you think about it. If you consider all of the images, CSS files, scripts and so on that render your website, if you don’t optimize these as much as possible, your website is going to slow down and in turn, use more power to load it.
Not only will improving load times help your search rankings it will also be beneficial to the environment, win-win! If your website is built using WordPress, there are some free and easy ways to help. Smush is a plugin that will lazy load your images rather than the server downloading every image as somebody loads your site. This means only the images required as served to the user. There are other plugins available that help with caching CSS files and scripts, all free for WordPress.
Another quick win is to scan your website for out of date or redundant content and delete it. Removing irrelevant content and old pages will make your site more efficient. You may also start noticing that making your site more eco-friendly goes hand-in-hand with SEO, you could say that it should be part of any SEO strategy these days.
You can also use useful and insightful tools such as websitecarbon.com to see how your website impacts the planet.
If you are interested in making your website more efficient, please get in touch with us today, we will be more than happy to help.
Article Written by Matt Partridge
Web Developer & Digital Marketing Specialist