Required for Wordpress web hosting

Climate protection through green hosting for WordPress!

There is a lot of discussion about climate protection at the moment and nobody can avoid the topic of sustainability at the moment. Online companies and website operators are also looking into this Green hosting. Because “the Internet”, but also WordPress and of course WordPress hosting, require a large amount of energy. Can the Internet still be ecological? Is sustainability even possible in this area and is it still authentic?

Ecological web hosting offers and their opportunities and limits

If you run a website or an online shop, you also consume a lot of resources. However, it can be controlled with climate-positive hosting for WordPress and eCommerce. Here we give you an overview of the possibilities and limits of the Green hosting.
As was clearly stated in a documentary on ZDF, the Internet, if it were a country, would be in 6th place in terms of electricity consumption among all countries worldwide. There are already several studies on how much electricity the grid actually consumes. However, it definitely became clear that web hosting needs an enormous amount of energy - and therefore it causes a very high level of CO2 emissions. Is a restriction in this area even possible?

Does WordPress have something in common with the climate?

The German-speaking WordPress scene is already dealing intensively with the topic of sustainability and WordPress. In his blog, Simon Kraft, a luminary when it comes to WordPress, deals in detail with the topic of WordPress and sustainability. He is currently giving regular lectures on how to make WordPress more sustainable. WordCamp Stuttgart 2019 also had its own compartment dedicated to the subject of “Sustainability and Performance”. Because WordPress is very important and uses a huge amount of energy to function.
Simon Kraft found that operating the World Wide Web already accounts for around 10% of global energy consumption per year. This consumption is expected to rise to more than 20% per year by 2030.
About 34% of the websites in the world are already operated with WordPress. One can say: The performance with which WordPress works can be of great importance for the future of the earth. Simon Kraft thinks we should counter the trend of increasingly complex, overloaded websites, as all the tools for the climate-friendly website are already available and known. They should only be used consistently with immediate effect. He has listed a number of measures that can be used to make websites more sustainable and to protect the climate via the Internet.
1.) Remove unnecessary ballast from your own website. Especially the areas that send a large amount of data through the Internet. These are, for example, the maps on Google Maps. But there are also the social media links. You connect to these networks with every single page view.
2.) Do you even need picture galleries or oversized featured pictures? When adding a new SEO contribution, you should turn extensive .gifs into significantly slimmer still images. They minimize the loading time and explain a topic equally well from a technical point of view. A particularly low jpg quality level is usually sufficient to depict yourself and your topic in images.
3.) Clearing out plugins makes WordPress safer and often increases the speed when loading a page.
4.) According to Simon Kraft, those who use plugins and themes should simplify the code, update existing code libraries or remove them. In his opinion, every byte not transmitted saves resources.
5.) WordPress developers are in control and can do a lot more than you think. Their source code is used on a large number of websites and generates traffic. If the code is not exactly thought out during development, the traffic multiplies many times over!
6.) Anyone who runs their own websites or an online shop with WooCommerce can make a contribution to streamlining the network.

Does the faster internet lead to more waste of energy?

Not only the servers on which the WordPress and WooCommerce projects are located need energy. The infrastructure of each of the data centers also requires a large number of resources, starting with the air conditioning up to the administration and last but not least the emergency power generator. Hosting and software providers need a lot of electricity for the following areas:

  • technical infrastructure
  • Office supplies
  • marketing
  • Office furniture
  • Food
  • cleaning
  • Mobility and travel

What does climate-positive WordPress hosting look like?

The path of information on the Internet always costs a certain amount of energy. Those who offer their customers an extra-fast portal use high-performance web hosting, which, however, requires more energy than the leaner but somewhat slower performance. With services such as websitecarbon.com or ecograder.com you can find out how sustainable your web design and the hosting of a particular website are.

It is therefore very important that you optimize a website and a shop particularly well. This is a personal contribution that you can make yourself to advance climate protection. Page Speed ​​& Performance are closely related topics that you as a website operator should be aware of.

The more performance is offered in web hosting, the more energy is required!
Can that still be climate neutral or climate positive?

Green hosting doesn't undo the energy required for web hosting. However, compensation can be provided. An operator has three options here.

1.) He can make sure that he gets electricity from so-called “clean” sources.
2.) Support projects that minimize CO2 emissions, i.e. save electricity.
3.) The general corporate philosophy should be geared towards sustainability.

There are already providers who all use these three variants for their green hosting. They are therefore gradually contributing more and more to the common good. There are also several workshops on this topic. Renaturation programs help to ensure that work is not only climate-neutral, but also climate-positive. Whoever you host with such a committed provider is already actively contributing to climate protection. In concrete terms, it means the following:

A provider has trees planted at the Eden Reforestation Projects

For every WordPress site and every WooCommerce shop that is hosted by this company, Eden plants a tree for the customer. This non-profit organization is active in regions that are particularly hard hit by climate change and global deforestation.
According to its own statements, Eden has already planted more than 300 million trees since 2004, in 5 countries and its precisely 82 projects. Eden works with local residents and workers on its projects, who are paid for by donations from the participants. Eden Reforestation Projects is an organization that makes an active contribution to climate protection and the fight against poverty on the ground.

Green electricity from hydropower

A web host, for whom climate protection is important, uses 100% electricity from hydropower. You should be aware that green electricity is always the same. Therefore, pay particular attention to the following framework conditions with your electricity provider:

  • The electricity supplied by the electricity provider comes exclusively from hydropower
  • Water flow that is not remunerated according to the EEG is included in the delivery
  • The electricity supplied comes from Germany
  • The systems are TÜV certified
  • Web hosting is therefore from hydropower
  • WordPress hosting is also powered by hydropower

Your hosting provider focuses on sustainability in all areas of his company

In addition to compensating for the green hosting, your provider works according to a corporate philosophy that is sustainable in all of its areas. The following points fall under sustainability:
a.I. Goals that do not focus on maximizing profits, but that are of benefit to customers and society.
b.) Environmentally conscious products and office materials
c.) Sustainability of the food for the supply of the employees and customers.
d.) Support for home office and remote work, which saves emissions on the way to work.
and much more
We can pay attention to sustainability in every sector of our life and therefore each and every one of us can do something to protect the climate.

Important adjustment screws for WordPress performance

You will find a whole range of tips on the Internet with the help of which the WordPress performance can be optimized. There are often no explanations or evaluations. Here are the most important starting points in a meaningful order and with the appropriate explanations so that you can determine a particularly quick success.
Most users are particularly interested in how they can reduce the page loading time of WordPress projects. Here are the measures that can be used to quickly and easily optimize WordPress performance.

1.) Caching - the most important performance factor
2.) Clean up and update WordPress
3.) Pictures slow down the loading time
4.) CSS and JavaScript - is easy to optimize
5.) hosting
6.) Render blocking
7.) .Only optimize the visible area of ​​one side
8.) Remove ballast from the database
9.) Pingbacks and trackbacks
10.) Prevent hotlinking

Optimization suggestions of the tools such as Google PageSpeed ​​Insights are easy to implement and bring a gain in loading time. Google PageSpeed ​​Insights often gives hard-to-interpret and cryptic messages. Like the ones you get about optimizing from the "above the fold area".
You should therefore first concentrate on simple optimization steps and then tackle more complicated measures in the second step.
Optimizing the loading time is not an end in itself. In addition to the improved experience for the users of a website, the shorter loading time has advantages in terms of the visibility of the offer on the search engine. You can work your way through these tips step by step and as a result your page will load faster.

The suggestions for improvement from Google PageSpeed ​​Insights,

1) caching

Caching means that a page, fully rendered, is loaded from the cache.
The advantage of caching is that WordPress does not have to recalculate the content every time a page is viewed. WordPress is based on the particularly slow PHP, so the cache is particularly important here. It prevents PHP from being read out again and again.

There are two implementation variants for caches:

a.) Faster performance via caching plugins such as W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache, which require a certain amount of manual work.
b.) Faster performance via a host that offers server-side caching. You can then do without caching plugins. In this case, the hosting provider takes over the configuration of the cache.
If the high-performance caching is set up, then more WordPress performance is already given.

2) Clean up and update WordPress

The most common cause of long loading times is the overloaded WordPress installation.
Too many plugins are usually installed in the overloaded WordPress installation. In general, fewer plugins should be installed to make the site run faster. Plugins are important and necessary, but you should only install plugins that are really needed.
In addition, make sure not only to deactivate a plugin, it should be completely deleted.
In the plugin overview you can see exactly how many plugins are installed, activated and not yet updated. The plugin overview also shows how many of the plugins are currently deactivated. So ask yourself whether you need the deactivated plugin. The same goes for themes. You don't need more than one theme. Plugins and themes add more PHP code to the page. This makes the site bulkier, slower and more susceptible to outside attacks. Since PHP is a particularly slow scripting language, it is an advantage if there is less of it in the source code.

3.) Pictures slow down the loading time.

The most effective and easiest measure to reduce page loading time is to reduce the size of images. Here you can save large amounts of data in some cases. With “lossless image compression”, the file size of your images is reduced without any visible loss of quality. The site changes little. Optimizing the image significantly reduces the size of the image.
Images usually make up the largest part of a website's data volume. So scaling down images is a very important optimization step in green hosting. The image optimization can either be done manually or via a plugin like WP Smush.

The plugin is a very convenient solution indeed. Because it not only allows you to compress the new images and their thumbnails, but also automatically button all existing images on the page. At WP Smush, however, the service must be paid for.

4.) CSS and JavaScript - is easy to optimize

JavaScript and CSS files also represent a very large amount of data on a website. If you want to optimize CSS and JavaScript, here's what to do:
a.) To summarize the CSS and JavaScript single files. Each of the files must be requested individually by the browser. What generates HTTP requests that increase the loading time of the page. If the scripts are combined, the files to be loaded and the number of requests are reduced considerably. Plugins can also do this for you.
b.) Reduce: CSS and JavaScript files enable functions and designs on one page. The code is written by a person. However, it is read by machines. The computer does not need any spaces, comments, etc. to display a page correctly. Plugins such as Autoptimize and Better WordPress Minify convert human CSS and JavaScript into machine-readable code. Individual data packets become smaller and their transmission is faster.
c.) Compress: The last step in optimization is the compression of data packets that the web server sends to a browser. The server minimizes the file size of the request and the browser can unpack and calculate it more quickly. The GZIP compression can be set up e.g. via caching plugins or via the manual setting in the .htaccess. Your hoster can also activate the compression on the server side.

The four areas mentioned above save you a lot of loading time and with relatively little effort!

5) All is nothing without hosting

The four optimization fields already mentioned promise a very large reduction in loading times, but can be slowed down by hosting. We do not mean the hardware requirement for WordPress, but rather certain technologies that enable the host to optimize WordPress.
High-performance WordPress hosting should offer the following key data:

  • SSD hard drive
  • PHP memory limit of 64MB or 128MB
  • Data center within Germany
  • PHP7
  • HTTP / 2
  • free SSL certificate

In addition, with shared hosting you don't have to share the server and thus the computing power. That offers more security of performance. In terms of performance, cheap hosting tariffs cannot keep up with a virtual server.

6) Render blocking

Tools like Google PageSpeed ​​Insights keep complaining about the loading order, which prevents rendering. These pages take longer to load. A correct loading sequence can prevent render blocking. Plugins can take over the optimization of the loading sequence, but they cannot always take over it completely. A web designer who knows the functions of the site well will achieve the best results.

7.). Optimize the visible area of ​​the page

The perceived loading time is decisive for a visitor to the relevant page. This loading time can also be shortened. The user has the impression that the page is completely set up, but calculations are still being made in the background.

When optimizing the area called Above the Fold, the loading order is important. Preference is given to content and functions that a visitor can see on their screen.
The upper area is shown to visitors without scrolling. This is the above the fold. The visitor receives all further information by scrolling. There are also plugins for this that you can use

8) Ballasting Database

In addition to the images and scripts, the database also gets bigger over time. There are also tools for this that can keep a database lean, like the WP-Optimize plug-in.

9) pingbacks and trackbacks

WordPress interacts with other sites via pingbacks and trackbacks. Whenever your website or one of your blog posts is addressed on the other side, your site is notified directly - and the database is loaded. If you don't necessarily need this feature, you should deactivate pingbacks and trackbacks on your website. WP-Optimize will help you with this. However, pingbacks and trackbacks do not lead to a significant loss of performance, so that there is rather a minor problem with them.

10) Prevent hotlinking

When someone links an image that is on your server, this is called hotlinking. This can be prevented with a special code in the .htaccess file. If your hosting provider doesn’t provide an Apache but an Nginx web server, the support will help you. There is no .htaccess file on the Nginx server that you could manipulate yourself.

Does CDN Make Sense To Me?

Does a CDN make the site faster for visitors in Germany? Why do you need a CDN? and is CDN important for your own blog or shop? ”. All of these questions can be answered with “no”.
The CDN only makes sense if the users around the world are far apart. So if you have customers in different continents, you should use a CDN to optimize WordPress performance, otherwise you can switch it off directly.

Conclusion:

With the right optimization steps, some of which seem complicated Green hosting quite possible. Users often have reservations about areas where loading time can be saved very easily. If you concentrate on the possibilities of optimization with relatively little effort, you can already make great strides in reducing the loading time of your website. Don't let advice from tools like Google PageSpeed ​​Insights fool you. (PageSpeed ​​Insights is one of the online services from Google that examines the loading time of your website in order to optimize it. In addition to the structure of the HTML, CSS and JavaScript files, PageSpeed ​​Insights also integrates the images without interlacing and the cache Specifications of the individual website). Green hosting is about reducing performance and using green electricity.

The loading time optimization happens in only a few areas:

  • Reducing the size of your website
  • Reduction of HTTP requests
  • Compression of individual data packets
  • Optimization for the user

Whoever turns the most important adjustment screws on performance can optimize his site so that it saves electricity and still works perfectly. There are providers of web hosting who have discovered climate protection for themselves and everyone is with such a provider Green hosting in connection with WordPressis close to the heart, in good hands.