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February 15, 2011

Eco friendly websites!

You may not realise it, but the IT industry has a huge polluting impact on the world It’s estimated that 3 – 4 % of all electricity goes to running computer data centres. Data centres like these give us the internet, hosting all the different websites and allowing you to connect to them.

Being web designers, at revive have an intrinsic interest in websites, and therefore web hosting. We needed to offer webhosting to our clients as a part of our service, but we wanted an option that also gave the environment a fair go. So we were delighted to discover that it is possible to offer an eco friendly website! By choosing a web host that is powering its servers using eco friendly power, such as wind or solar, the websites that are hosted on those servers are 100% eco friendly.

‘Hmm … how does it work?’ you ask cautiously. Well, it his doesn’t mean the web host company has wind turbines sticking out of their rooftop!

One option for a web host is to purchase certified Renewable Energy Credits (RECs). Essentially, the company is paying a windfarm, solar site, or other eco provider to generate the amount of energy they need, and put that power into the grid. When the company draws that amount of power out of the grid they can rightly claim to be using renewable energy.

When you are choosing an eco friendly web host, make sure they are using eco energy to power and COOL their servers. Computers generate a lot of heat and it takes as much electricity to cool a server as it does to power it. So a company that is powering both their computers and their cooling system with eco energy is doing the whole job.

The web hosting we now offer our clients is totally eco powered. And we think it’s a great little bragging rite that our clients can put an icon on their website to tell their visitors this website is eco powered! Sounds pretty cutting edge doesn’t it?

‘Ah, but does it cost more?’ you ask dubiously. … Nope. In fact, I’ve been surprised at what some people are paying for their hosting. If you look around there are some great deals to be found.

So have a look, and make sure you compare more than just price. Always google the web host you are thinking of going with and pay particular attention to the forums where people comment on their experience with that host. Especially their customer service and track record with refunding money.

(Be aware that these forums are often biased by staff of the company giving flawless reviews, and by competitors giving miserable ones. If five people rate a web host five stars and five people rate it one star then someone is telling whoppers! But I find if you look at a number of forums and industry reviews you will get the general vibe about the place.)

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fair go!

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