Just with any commercial business, web hosting providers are profit-oriented enterprises. Their primary task is to hook you to the Internet, but your relationship with a provider can be much more complex. As you build an online business, you need to work closely with your provider. A good provider wants their clients to be successful to build up loyalty and ensure long-term cooperation. Unfortunately, some providers don’t share similar business principles and a few are even downright unethical. They can place your online business in great risks and reducing your potential successes. Concern, integrity and honesty are things you should expect from your provider.
Why green hosting?
The Earth is getting dirtier. Unrenewable energy sources will be exhausted soon and their constant use clogs our atmosphere with dangerous gasses. It’s obviously ethical to choose cleaner ways to do our businesses.
You should start looking for providers that show concern for sustainable business operations and the environment. These are a few things you should look for:
• The use of renewable energy sources such as solar panels, wind turbines and hydroelectric plants. Some companies also use cold water from nearby stream to cool servers.
• Highly efficient, Energy-Star rated servers which use electricity efficiently
• Responsible disposal of waste and outdated equipments, which can prevent toxic substance from seeping into the ground water
• A web hosting provider manages a group of servers, a huge storage farm that connect clients’ data to the Internet.
Eventually, green hosting is the only way to achieve a sustainable web hosting industry, however, to this day, only a few providers are capable of employing complete green technology solution. A commitment to cleaner future can make a strong ethical statement about what is important to a web hosting provider.
Servers and electricity cost the provider a lot of money, so they’re always tempted to cram as many as hosting accounts onto a physical server as possible. To recoup the large investment, some web host may stuff more than one thousand accounts into a server. The problem with sharing a single physical server with too many hosting accounts is limited accessibility to resources, because so many accounts share the same processor, RAM, hard drive and bandwidth. If the server is badly overloaded, clients may not get an easy access to server’s resources and neither will their audience.
For website visitors, bandwidth is a critical factor; most visitors will hit the “Back” button on the browser if the site doesn’t load completely within 15 seconds. If your site loads only after 30 seconds, you may lose as many as 75 percent of your potential visitors. It’s therefore necessary for clients to ask how many accounts that share the same server and whether the provider will put a limit on the number of servers.
An ethical provider wants a bunch of happy clients. The happier the clients the longer they will work with the provider. A provider should allow new clients to try out the backoffice capabilities while offering a money back guarantee if things don’t work out well. Providers with 30-day money back guarantee are usually confident with their level of service and they are more interested with providing better service than trying to make a few extra dollars.
These are a few things consumers should do after they choose a green web provider:
• Make sure you get support you need: Your provider should offer more than the promised server resources and bandwidth. For example, it should help you to reach your goals. One of them is by providing toll-free hotline, so you can get answers to billing and tech questions 24/7, even if it’s 2:00 AM at Christmas Eve. Help desks should be patient, skillful enough to solve problems and experienced. If it takes more than a few steps to hook up and enable a blog module, you want someone who has the endless patience and the knowledge to guide you through the process.
• Make sure the provider is reliable: Just like other providers, green web hosting companies should also be reliable and clients should be able to count on them to deliver an acceptable level of service. They should be able to offer a full bag of tools and extras that can make other providers jealous. For example, a green hosting may have higher up time because they can get power from a number of sustainable energy sources. For a green provider, it’s possible to have 100 percent up time by using redundant systems that kick in immediately when the sources of green power are down.