Is Green Web Hosting The Future of The Web? Count On It

Is Green Web Hosting The Future of The Web? Count On It. Internet Future: Green Web Hosting

The world wide web runs on electricity, though we don’t usually think about it. But the fact is, without electricity you wouldn’t be reading this. You’d hunker down in front of the fireplace and read the newspaper by the dim light of a lamp fueled by whale oil. Sound like fun?

It wasn’t. It was actually pretty boring compared to today’s instant information available only on the W3. If it happens any where – from Teheran to Terre Haute, it spreads virally across the digital landscape in seconds. That news bit also gobbles up electricity like nobody’s business.

So, is green hosting the wave of the future web? Yes. And if you aren’t riding the crest of that wave, you’ll be left behind in the digital dust. An energy munching web site is sooo “last millennium.”

The Ever Expanding World Wide Web

Some facts about green hosting:

  • There are more than 125 million web sites on line today.
  • Each day, 6,000 new web sites launch, carrying with them the dreams and visions of web-preneurs looking to become the next Amazon.
  • Each web site sits on a server that requires electricity to run it and cool it. That requires a lot of electricity.
  • The electricity bill for a successful web host would make a grown man cry. It’s HUGE. Many web hosts pay thousands of dollars monthly to keep their servers juiced.
  • The consumption of electricity used by web hosts doubled in just five years.
  • With the advent of Web 2.0 features like videos, VoIP, streaming TV and other “must-haves,” the web will only expand the demand for more and more electricity.
  • Experts suggest that energy consumption by web hosts will continue to double every five years and studies show these web pros are actually being conservative. Some “green” bloggers suggest the amount of electricity consumed by web hosts will double every 30 months.
  • Energy consumption to power the W3 grows exponentially, doubling then quadrupling and so on. The demand for power from web hosts will increase at a phenomenal rate.
  • As the world wide web grows in both size and features, web site owners will require increasing amounts of bandwidth to avoid long download times.

What Are Web Hosts and Why Do They Gobble Up Energy?

Conduct a Google search of web hosts and see what pops up.

You’ll get 149,000,000 search results for web hosts. Now, not all of these SERP links are for actual web hosts. Some are for reviewing sites (that use web hosts), blogs about web hosts (that use a web host to get their blogs out to the masses) and even SERPs links to sellers, resellers and re-re-sellers of hosting services.

Hosting is a commodity on the web. You or I can buy space from a web host and open up our own hosting company. The mother host provides all the tools and support you need to build your own hosting company in the basement office. (The one that floods occasionally. Ooops.)

A web host can be a kid down the street or it can be a huge, physical plant with chipheads tending to racks of servers, customer support taking calls from subscribers and office people tending to routine business matters – like paying the electric company.

What’s a server? Well, in simplest terms, a server is not much more than a humongous hard drive in a box. Your web site (or future web site) resides on one of these server hard drives, along with hundreds of other web sites. Today, server disk space is measured in terabytes.

What’s a terabyte? A measurement of bits and bytes on steroids. A terabyte is the equivalent of 1,000 gigabytes. More dramatically, a terabyte equals 1,000,000,000,000 bytes or 10 to the 12th power of bytes.

That brand new computer you just bought MIGHT have a 500 gigabyte hard drive. A server has dozens of terabytes of storage. It also has tons of RAM (128 gigabytes of RAM isn’t unusual) so that the server can deliver the bandwidth required for fast downloads of all the sites stored on that server.

In other words, web hosting companies consume a lot of electricity with rack upon rack of servers all sucking up electricity from the grid.

Facebook, alone, employs 30,000 servers as of October, 2009 and that number grows daily as more and more of us connect through this social media site. Amazon employs thousands of servers. Microsoft, Verizon and all of your other favorite sites employ thousands of servers strung together in arrays,

In other words, there are millions of servers storing terabytes of information available to you on the W3. Yep, even your little blog gobbles up electricity.

Green Hosting

So, even though we may not think about energy consumption when we stake a claim to some digital real estate, build and launch web site, we are adding to the demand for more and more electricity.

Now, along comes green hosting – hosting companies that employ “green” technology to lower the demand for electricity generated by coal- and gas-fired electricity generation plants. These businesses recognize that green hosting is inevitable as energy costs rise and we continue to pump tons of air-borne pollutants into the atmosphere every day.

Things ain’t going to get better, folks, unless our corporate culture does an about face and stops drawing down available energy. Major cities, like Los Angeles and Phoenix, already experience rolling blackouts as parts of the energy grid are shut down for a while. New York City broadcasts “please turn off your air conditioners” on the hottest summer days and brown-outs are almost routine.

Green hosting is leading the way in how U.S. businesses conduct on-line business by employing green sources of energy to power their servers.

A green host doesn’t add to the demand for more electricity from traditional sources. Instead, these far-sighted companies employ new technology – solar power, wind power, deep core earth energy, hydro-electric (where available) and bio-fuels that can be regenerated with another harvest of corn.

But there’s a lot more to web hosting than just storing web sites on gigantic hard drives. It’s not just about ROM. It’s also about RAM, which translates into the speed at which your web site interacts with site visitors. It better be fast. Studies reveal that 90% of us will sit through a 10-second download while only 10% will sit through a 30-second download. We’ve become that impatient.

From a site owner’s perspective, that stat translates into a loss of 80% of your prospects in that 20-second download window. So you want more RAM, more bandwidth and unfettered access to the server’s CPU and other shared assets – server parts you share with other sites.

Hosts employ the latest in fiber optic technology, they boost RAM and deliver quick downloads even quicker. Green web hosts do this without further straining the energy system that we rely on to log on, watch TV and cook dinner by using non-traditional resources to power up your web site whenever a site visitor stops by.

Cool It

In addition to delivering more bandwidth to you and your site visitors, and easier access to the server’s CPU, servers need to be cooled.

Even your PC pumps out a lot of heat and heat is the enemy of all those circuit boards, CPUs and other electronics inside the box. Now multiply that by thousands – tens of thousands of servers all humming along pumping out heat. To keep these servers happy, they need to be cooled.

Traditional hosts add to the demand for more energy by cooling servers with cold air. The server room in a hosting company is kept cool – so cool you could probably store sides of beef in there if the racks of servers didn’t take up so much space. That cooling requires energy and plenty of it.

Green hosts, once again, employ state-of-the-art tech to cool those thousands of servers. They use cold water, flushed through a water-tight system, to cool the server room, lessening the demand for more and more cold air from the local coal-burning energy plant.

Make a Statement: We’re Green

Getting a little recognition on the W3 is hard, even in a niche market (especially in a niche market). You have less than 10 seconds to convince a site visitor to stick around long enough to learn about the quality of your services, your products or your message. Web surfers are jagged out on information overload. If they don’t see what they want to see on your home page or a landing page, they bounce.

So, making a statement about your corporate culture and your business’ core values has to happen in the blink of an eye. Visitors will never even see the “About Us” page if you don’t create a good impression – in 10 seconds!

An emblem or banner proclaiming that you employ green hosting makes an immediate statement about your on-line business. It says you care about the environment. It says you care about the future of the planet and our children and grandchildren who will populate Earth 25, 50 or 100 years from now.

That “green” badge of honor also bestows a cache of cutting edge tech-iness. You get it. Your on-line business uses green hosting because you recognize the importance of this fledging movement.

There aren’t a lot of green hosts even today. However, more hosts will soon recognize that green is the only way to go. And those few green hosts out there now?

They’re making a statement about their business culture – a statement that passes on to your business when you display a green host emblem or banner.

Who said it isn’t easy being green? Today, green hosting makes a statement about you and your business – a positive statement.

And with less than 10 seconds to make a good first impression, that “green” host emblem goes a long, long way in making the right statement quickly.

Yep, we get it. We’re green. Stick around and learn more.

How To Choose A Reliable Web Host For Your Website

A client of mine paid for a solo advert to promote
his website in the newsletter I publish at
e-bizministry about two months ago. As I
was about to send his advert to my list, he called
me up on phone and told me not to send it yet.
Naturally, I asked him why. His reply shocked me out
of my wits.

He said he had just discovered that his website had
disappeared from the net. He even said the same thing
had happened to the same website earlier in the year
when it disappeared in January only to reappear for
just one week in May. I could not help but laugh
because I knew his problem. He had made a wrong
choice of web host.

Your choice of web host can either promote your business
or ruin your business. You have to be very careful
when choosing your web host or you will be consistently
losing up to 80% of your income due to your web
host’s inefficiency.

Here are a few quick tips on how to know which
web host is reliable, affordable and right for your
website.

1. Check if the web host has a web presence. Face it,
if a company claims to be a web host and they don’t
have a functional website of their own, then they
have no business hosting other people’s websites.
Any web host you will use must have a functional
website where you can check for domain availability,
get support and order for their hosting services.

Additionally, you should conduct random checks on
their website. If you visit their site randomly ten
times and the site is not available more than once in
those ten times, forget about that company except you
want your own website too to be unavailable almost
all the time.

2. Any web host you will use must have an appreciable level
of relevant experience. A minimum of a full year of operation.
A new web host will only experiment with your website and
the result may not be good for your business. Visit
the web host’s website and read about them. If they
don’t talk about their experience, then they don’t
have it. Just leave them alone.

3. Look out for their present clients’ testimonials
on their website. Call or email the clients and ask
them questions. If they confirm that the web host is
good, then the company has passed this test. However,
if you don’t even find a single testimonial on their
website, they probably don’t have any satisfied client.
What to do? Just leave them alone.

4. How fast or how well does the company respond to
support emails? You can find out by conducting this
small test. Visit the web host’s website and submit
or email an enquiry to them. If you don’t get a
response in 24 – 48 hours, please run away as fast
as your legs can carry you. Why? When you host
your website with them and you have a problem,
it will take them more than a month to respond to
your support emails or requests.

5. You should not forget to check out their prices.
The prices must be within reasonable limits and
their packages must have the features you desire;
adequate monthly transfer, email addresses,
MySQL databases, CGI bin, FTP access, control
panel etc. Very high prices don’t necessarily
translate into very good services. Don’t be
fooled by high prices. It’s a common trick,
please don’t fall for it.

6. It must be easy and secure to make payments
to your web host. It is not advisable to fill
in your credit card details when making your
payment. You should rather use a web host that
accepts other forms of payment that do not
require you to fill in your credit card details
e.g. paypal and egold. If you are in a country
where you don’t have easy access to credit card
facilities, it is even better to use a web host
that accepts payment in your local currency.
This will ensure that you won’t have any
problems when you want to renew your domain
and your hosting accounts.

7. Use only web hosts that give 24 hour online
access to your account. With that, you have
total control over your domain and your website
and you can change anything including your
name servers (DNS)whenever you want.

8. It is better to use a web host that offers
additional web services such as web design,
website promotion, search engine submission
and website management. They can be of help
to you in future if you have any problems
with your website or you need any additional services.

9. Before you make your payment, read the
terms and conditions of the company carefully.
If you don’t understand or agree with any
of their terms contact them for more explanations.

10. Finally, I know it may be very time consuming
for you to conduct these tests on the hundreds
of web hosts out there before choosing one. I
have therefore taken the pains to analyse
hundreds of them. I recommend two web hosts
that have passed our simple tests. I can put
my reputation on the line and guarantee their
efficiency, reliability and affordability.

What Every Marketer Needs To Know About Web Hosting

Choosing your web hosting provider is the next logical step after you have registered your domain name. However, it is not easy to find the right web hosting deal. There are many companies that offer web hosting services. If you make a search on Google for the keyword web hosting you will get more than 100 million results!

If you want to have a successful online presence you need to have reliable web hosting. Your web site has to be always online and accessible. Otherwise, you will loose clients and prospects. Let’s compare this with a traditional business. If you have a shop in “offline” business name of the shop is your domain name and business space and infrastructure is your web hosting. Imagine a cafe that don’t have electricity once a day for one hour or a fast food service where there is only one employee instead of four!

WEB HOSTING TYPES

You have to choose your web hosting deal depending on type of your site. You won’t choose the same web hosting deal if you have a personal web site, web site for email newsletter subscription and archives, e-commerce site or web forum. There are 4 main web hosting: virtual (shared) hosting, dedicated server, collocation server and reseller hosting. The two most used are virtual (shared) hosting and dedicated server.

Virtual (shared) hosting is the situation where many web sites reside on one web server. This is the cheapest web hosting because many users split the cost for web server. You can find quality virtual hosting from $100 per year.

Dedicated server represents a hosting where company lease the whole web server from web hosting company. That web server is located in the web hosting company. Dedicated server is the right choice for company that doesn’t want to share there server with other users. Dedicated server can be managed and un-managed. In the first case web hosting company will take care about setting up and constant updates and upgrades of your web server while you will have to do that in the second case. Advantage of this type of web hosting is that you can completely accommodate your web hosting to your needs. Also, dedicated server is the only logical choice for web sites with lots of visitors. Because of costs for a dedicated server that start from $100 per month, usually this hosting is chosen only by companies which take their Internet business very seriously.

Collocation server is similar to dedicated server. Difference is that company doesn’t lease a web server. They place their own web server in the web hosting company. Also, company has physical access to their web server while it is not the case in using a dedicated server.

Reseller hosting is targeted to companies that want to start their own web hosting business.

Useful web site where you can find a web hosting that will fit your needs is http://www.webhost.thelist.com

FACTORS YOU HAVE TO CONSIDER

You have to take several factors in consideration in order to be satisfied with your web hosting.

Web space

Web space is determined by the type of your site. Certainly, if you want to have a web site with basic information about yourself and your work without using web applications that 50 MB of web space will be enough. On the other hand, if you want to have complex e-commerce site with several thousand products in your database or web site with members, you don’t have to take anything less than 1 GB.

Bandwidth

Bandwidth represents data that has been transferred from your web site and that include graphic details, images, banners, files for download etc. Content is very important for planning your bandwidth. For most sites, 10 GB monthly bandwidth is more than enough while for some other sites like desktop wallpapers sites bandwidth can be often even several hundred GB per month.

Up-time or visibility

Up-time or visibility represents time expressed in percents that show how much is one site online. Don’t be fooled because someone guarantees for example 98% up-time because it is not enough. You don’t have to take anything les than 99.7%. Believe us, that difference is very big. Useful site checking your up-time is http://www.netmechanic.com

Email accounts

It is important to know what you will get in your web hosting package regarding email accounts. Will you get only a so called catch -all forwarding which means that all emails sent to [email protected] will arrive to your email address or you can set-up email accounts for several users? For how many? Is it for 5, 10, 100 or unlimited email accounts? Also, it doesn’t hurt to check do you get a so called POP3 email address (“real” email address), web mail or both? Having a POP3 email address you will be able to check your emails using your favourite email client and web mail enables you to check your emails at any place that has computer and Internet connection.

Server type, tools and control panel

The two most often used hosting are on Unix-based or Windows platform. That fact has for the result program languages, databases and scripts that you will be able to use. On Unix-based platform, usual choice is PHP language in combination with MySQL while on Windows platform ASP or ASP.NET language in combination with SQL Server. You have to check do you get a database in your package and how many. Today, modern web site has to be database-driven.

Also, it is recommended to be informed about tools that you get in your web hosting package, no matter if they are applications for web statistics, file manager and things like that. Best solution is if you get a cPanel along with Fantastico. Using Fantastico, marketers without technical knowledge can install most popular web applications within 2-3 clicks.

Technical support

Technical support is one of the most important things in choosing your web hosting, especially if you are a marketer without technical knowledge. You have to be sure that your technical support will answer your emails within 24 hours. This is not only important for choosing your web hosting company, it is important to literally any company that sells products and services, for example software company.

Some companies are so well organized that you will receive response from them within 1 hour! You can get an image about your future technical support about the way they can be contacted. Is it only via email or they have a support phone, too? Do they have a toll-free number? Do they have trouble-ticket system? Also, very important thing is their working hours. Do they provide technical support only during their working hours from 9 to 17 or they offer 24×7 technical support? The best way to see how professional they are is to make a list of questions, contact them and – wait to get the answer.

Testimonials

It is a common practice that web hosting and software companies have Testimonials section where you can read recommendations from their happy customers. Don’t rely only on that section. Many web hosting companies offer you to see their portfolio of web sites that they host. Contact several webmasters and ask them about what they think about their web hosting provider. Very useful thing in finding best web hosting deals and recommendations is to visit popular web forums like http://www.webhostingtalk.com and http://www.sitepointforums.com

You see that there are several factors that influence in choosing your web hosting package. You have to be aware that like with everything else, when we come to web hosting you usually get what you pay for.