Everyone wants to switch to a green web hosting provider as it is becoming need of the hour. Internet users are now concerned about the adverse effects of carbon (emitted by the internet industry) on the environment. According to Gallup polls, 1 out of 3 American citizens are affected by extreme weather.
Since the internet is one of the biggest contributors to pollution, the best place to get started is by switching to a green web hosting provider. People are hesitant to shift from conventional hosting to green hosting because they don’t know how this process works.
Don’t worry because you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll be discussing about “how to switch to a green hosting provider?” Before we move on it’s important to know what exactly green hosting is and why you should switch to it.
What Is Green Web Hosting?
Green web hosting is a type of hosting provider company that uses renewable energy sources to generate electricity for running their data centers. This helps them in becoming carbon neutral and doesn’t pollute the environment.
Renewable energy sources such as hydro power, aqua power, and solar power are used instead of burning fossil fuels like oil, coal, and gas. Conventional hosting providers power their data centers by burning fossil fuels that leave a huge carbon footprint and impact the environment negatively.
Some web hosting providers become green by carbon offsetting instead of using renewable energy. This is an alternate process to becoming a green hosting company. Such companies plant enough trees to compensate for the carbon emitted by their data centers.
A green web hosting provider that does carbon offsetting can verify itself by Carbon Offset Certificate (VER). While hosting company that uses renewable energy sources will have a Renewable Energy Certificate (REC).
Why Should you Switch to Green Web Hosting?
There is not one but many reasons why you should switch to green web hosting. We are on the verge of an environmental crisis and the trend has shifted significantly towards green web hosting.
UNESCO chair for sustainable digital development, Divina Frau-Meigs said “Environmental concerns will be the major problem everybody will want to solve in the next 50 years. There is no planet B.”
It is not only beneficial for environment but also for the users and hosting providers as well because green hosting providers don’t have to pay hefty electricity bills. This means it is cost-efficient for both users and companies.
Many experts are predicting that if we don’t change the trends in digital world then our planet would be unlivable in 2069. It’s our responsibility to make the shift towards sustainable internet by switching to green web hosting as soon as possible.
How to Switch to Green Web Hosting Provider?
If you don’t have your website already hosted, then you can simply register yourself to the green web hosting provider of your choice and integrate your domain name. However, if your website is already being hosted with some conventional hosting provider then you should follow this step-by-step guide.
There are two ways for switching to a green web hosting provider. The first is a manual process and the second is an automated process. We’ll discuss both methods so follow the steps mentioned below.
Step#1: Choose and Signup with Your Green Hosting Provider
The first thing you have to do is find the right green web hosting provider and then signup with them. Finding the perfect green hosting company is the tricky part because you need to compare between several options available. You can shortlist the options by answering a few questions:
- Is your web hosting provider certified (REC or VER) to be green?
- Is that hosting company reliable to be trusted with your website?
- Does that company provide good customer support services?
- Do they follow green business practices and use energy efficiently?
- Which green web hosting provider is budget-friendly based on your requirements?
Once you have finalized your green hosting provider signup won’t take more than 2 minutes. You just need to provide them with your credentials and create your profile.
Step#2: Backup Your Database, Files, and Emails
Backup is very important when switching from one hosting provider to other. Even if you follow every step correctly and don’t make any mistakes it’s always better to be safe than sorry. You must backup all your files, database, and emails just in case anything goes wrong.
Another important thing to keep in mind is that you shouldn’t cancel your hosting plan from your old hosting provider. Although you’ve backup for everything don’t make the mistake of showing your intention of canceling their hosting plan. This can result in downtime and the old hosting provider might not be willing for any further cooperation in any situation.
Step#3: Transfer Your Files, Email, and Database to Green Hosting
If you have a static website without any database, then you should download all your files from your old hosting and upload them to your green web hosting with the same folder structure. You can use FTP (File Transfer Protocol) agent such as FileZilla to speed up this process.
However, if you have a dynamic website with a database then you’d be required to do some extra work. For such websites that have a database like MySQL, you must export the database from your old hosting and import it into green web hosting.
If you have access to cPanel you can use phpMyAdmin to perform this step easily. But when your website is using CMS (Content Management System) like WordPress, Shopify, and Joomla then you are required to install some applications.
For CMS platforms like WordPress, you can use useful plugins to export all your data to new hosting (green web hosting). Some of the plugins are listed below:
- Migrate Guru
- Migrate DB Pro
- WP Migrate Lite
- All in one WP Migration
- WordPress Backup & Migration
Step#4: Change your DNS to green web hosting
The next step is to change your DNS and point it to your green web hosting. It is a very important but simple step. All you need to do is get the DNS information (Nameservers) from your new hosting provider (green hosting) then visit your domain registrar and replace the old DNS info with the new one.
Step#5: Troubleshooting and final checks
Once you’ve performed all the steps mentioned above now you need to do some final checks and make sure that your website is working properly. You can see if your website is accessible on the exact URL, if all pages are working, and doesn’t have any broken links.
If your website is still loading from your old hosting provider even after changing the DNS, then you must wait for around 48 hours. It can take around 48 hours for changes to appear. So, ideally, you can start the troubleshooting and final checks after DNS changes have been applied.
Step#6: Cancel your hosting plan with the old hosting provider
Now you can safely cancel your hosting plan with your old hosting provider without worrying about any downtime. But make sure that you keep a copy of your backup just to be on the safe side. After completing the 5 steps mentioned above, we recommend you immediately cancel old hosting to avoid any extra charges.
What Is Website Migration?
Website migration as the name suggests is the process of changing the website hosting from one provider to the other. This could also include the transfer of your domain. Website migration can also be referred to in terms of changing website platform, design, content, and structure to enhance search engine visibility.
Steps for Website Migration to Green Hosting
This is another way for switching your website hosting to green web hosting. It is the best option for those who don’t have enough time to do the manual process or beginners who don’t know much about the process.
Since web hosting is a very competitive industry many hosting companies including green hosting provide free web hosting migration services. It includes just 3 simple steps that are mentioned below.
Step#1: Register with your green web hosting provider
The first step is the same as the manual process with one change where you need to find a green web hosting provider that offers free migration services. After that just enter your credentials and signup with that hosting provider.
Step#2: Request & share your website details with them
Now you need to visit the green web hosting dashboard and request for website transfer. After requesting the transfer, you’d be required to provide them with your website details (e.g. logins etc.)
Step#3: Wait for the website migration to take place
Just sit back, relax, and wait for the website migration process to complete. Once the process is done you can confirm it on your end. This means no backing up the data, transferring database, DNS transfer, and troubleshooting.
How Much Does It Cost to Switch to Green Hosting?
Switching to green web hosting is normally completely free whether you do it manually or avail the website migration services from the hosting provider. However, if you hire someone to transfer your website from one hosting to other it can cost you around $150-$200 based on the complexity of your website.
Will Switching to Green Web Hosting Affect SEO?
Yes and No. If you don’t change your website content, structure, design, and platform then there won’t be any effect on the SEO of your website. However, switching to green web hosting that has better uptime, and loading speed can positively impact the SEO of your website.
Switching to green web hosting might seem to be a hectic task at first but when you follow the process, you’d know it’s as easy as it gets. We’ve mentioned both ways that you can opt for and hope it will help you in transferring your website. If you still have any questions, please do let us know and we’d be glad to help.