Green Web Hosting

What is green web hosting?

Green web hosting for websites means using a data centre which is powered by renewable energy, for example from solar or wind power. By switching to a green web hosting provider like Open Web Systems’ WordPress hosting service you can reduce the carbon impact of your business and support the transition to net zero.

A lot of companies, and even ones which are working towards net zero, often fail to consider their online carbon footprint. But if your organisation is working on sustainability or environmental issues shouldn’t you also make sure your website is not creating carbon emissions?

The internet consumes a huge amount of energy, estimated at roughly 800TWH of electricity in 2022, which is roughly 2.5 times the total annual electricity consumption of the UK! If that energy is not from renewable sources it creates carbon emissions which contribute to global warming. So, to help reduce global warming it makes sense to use a green hosting provider to minimise your website’s carbon footprint.

Why choose green web hosting?

Switching your website to a host powered by renewable energy is very easy and has many benefits including:

  • Aligning your organisations business practices with your mission and values
  • Supporting the development of renewable energy projects
  • Reducing your businesses carbon footprint
  • Showing your customers and partners that you care
  • Attracting and retaining customers


Green web hosting vs carbon neutral hosting

Carbon neutral web hosting is different to green hosting because the energy powering the data centre may not be from renewable sources. Instead the hosting provider buys carbon offsets (for example, from tree planting projects) to mitigate the impact of their carbon emissions – but offset schemes are fraught with issues, so it makes more sense to choose a hosting provider which is verified as using renewable energy.


How can I check if my website uses green web hosting?

The Green Web Foundation maintains the world’s largest open dataset of websites that run on green energy. To check if your site is powered by renewable energy, visit type in your URL.

If your site is powered by renewable energy you will see a page like this:

green web hosting proof

You will also be offered a badge like below, which you can use on your site to emphasize your green credentials:

green hosting - open web systems badge

If your website fails the test you will be presented with a page like this:

green hosting fail

Switch to green hosting now

If your site is not powered by renewable energy, we can help.

We’ll even transfer your existing site to our green web servers for free!

Contact us for more info, or set up a new WordPress site now.


What else can I do to minimise the environmental impact of my website?

It’s very hard to reduce the other environmental impacts of a website, because all websites require servers and their design and manufacturer is not something which is simple to influence. So the main things you can do to reduce the impact of your website is to reduce its energy consumption and make sure the energy which it uses comes from renewables.

The best things you can do to make your website green are:

  • Switch to a green hosting provider
  • Use a lightweight website framework which avoids excess code
  • Optimise cache settings to reduce page loads
  • Resize and compress images so they load faster
  • Use lazy load so your site only loads necessary resources
  • Only use video when essential because videos consume more energy
  • Delete old and unnecessary files

Once you’ve switched to a green hosting provider, all of the other steps above will have a double benefit because, as well as reducing the energy required to run your website they will also make your site run faster, providing a better experience for your sites’ visitors.