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How can web hosting become more energy efficient?

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The word on the street is “energy,” and with good reason. Reduced energy use is creeping up priority lists for businesses and individuals alike, thanks to rising prices and the growing climate catastrophe. Websites have a role to play in this discussion, as data centers are expected to consume 1% of the world’s total energy consumption.

Other website priorities will almost certainly always take a back seat to performance and aesthetics. After all, what good is a website if it doesn’t accomplish its objective and appeal to the end-user? That is not to argue, however, that energy use should be ignored.

Of course, data centers bear a significant portion of the blame. However, website owners should be aware of energy-saving factors and take them into account when selecting or switching web hosting and website-building services. We need to move away from energy-intensive solutions and toward a situation where more efficient, environmentally friendly options are the norm rather than a cost or performance trade-off.

Maintaining a capacity check

When it comes to surplus capacity, you shouldn’t be burying your head in the sand. Of course, your infrastructure will always need to be flexible, allowing for traffic spikes while maintaining a consistent user experience. This, however, should not be used as a justification for continually underutilized resources.

Making sure you can see your resources and keep track of your consumption is a good place to start. Even if you’ve had your hosting provider for years and it’s been kind to you, you could be squandering a lot of resources without even recognising it.

Dedicated server hosting, for example, provides high levels of security and can be a wonderful alternative for ensuring performance if your website requires all of the available resources. However, if you notice that your site is rarely using all of your server’s resources, you should make a change. If this is the case, cloud hosting is a terrific, more energy-efficient option.

Rather than paying for the full machine and the energy it consumes, data will be kept in the cloud on a number of servers that may be split across multiple locations. You can easily scale up and down the capacity you require, so if you anticipate an increase in website views tomorrow, you may purchase additional capacity to meet that demand. Good providers will let you do this right from your dashboard, making it a simple decision.

Monitoring how much of your server capacity you actually use and understanding when this may arise during the day, week, or even year will help you better optimize how many resources you truly need. As a result, your site’s energy consumption is optimised, and you save money.

Recognising data center credentials

Energy usage connected with hosting is, to some extent, at the mercy of colocation and data center operators. There are initiatives in the industry to make data centers more efficient, greener environments, and website owners should be aware of how their selected data center operates if they wish to reduce their energy use.

Inefficient data centers can easily consume as much energy for non-computing activities, such as cooling, as they can for actually powering their computers. With advancements in cutting-edge immersion cooling technologies, the market is working hard to correct this imbalance, but not all centers are as committed to deploying this new technology as others. Check to see if your supplier is moving in this direction or has any intentions to do so in the near future.

You could also be able to find out how old your equipment is. Newer servers have newer processors, which are increasingly being designed with power efficiency in mind. For every watt of power consumed, these CPUs can perform more calculation. This not only implies that the server can give more with less energy, but it also means that the server will emit less heat and so consume less energy to cool the center.

If you can’t cut your website’s energy use any further for any reason, you can modify the type of energy it uses. There are data centers that run on renewable energy, either partially or entirely. Check your provider’s website to see if this is a service they give, as it’s a fast win that will assist you in doing your part.

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Photo by İsmail Enes Ayhan on Unsplash

Keeping up with the latest developments

There are always new, exciting advancements to be found in this space. This has included the rise of increasingly efficient microservers in recent years. You can empower yourself with the information you need to make the most energy-efficient decisions if you check in with industry advancements at least once a year.

The rise of serverless platforms has caught my attention. These let your program to automatically scale up the amount of infrastructure required when the site is busy and scale down when the site is idle, ensuring that you only pay for the resources you need. This rapid scalability will take the cloud’s energy-saving capabilities to the next level, all while making it easier for the website owner to conserve energy by eliminating the need for someone to manually log into the dashboard and make changes. In the approaching years, these kinds of advances will only become more relevant and cost-effective.

Changing hosting providers or packages every year would, of course, be a time-consuming chore. There are several obstacles to overcome, such as the risk of some website downtime while the data is physically transported to a new system. However, it isn’t as difficult as you may think. As long as the end-user is made aware that there may be some disturbance during a few specific hours, the decision to switch to a more energy-efficient solution should be met with joy rather than frustration. It’s critical to complete the motion if it’s the appropriate one.

Having awareness of resources and information on how your data is stored will assist you in making this decision. Data centres must continue to work behind the scenes to expand the availability of energy-saving solutions, and website owners should keep an eye on these credentials and the options available if they want to lower their usage. These changes will accumulate over time, and energy efficiency in web hosting could become the standard.

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