You and I both know that there’s no shortage of web hosting providers on the market today.
And, though often overlooked, it’s important you understand that web hosting is one of the most important aspects of running a successful website.
But with all the options available, complete with different features and price points, picking the right web host for your needs can be difficult to say the least.
Unfortunately, I can’t take away any web hosting options out there that are not worth your time or money. But what I can do is share with you everything there is to know about one of the most unique web hosting providers there is: GreenGeeks.
This is what you’ll learn from this review
- GreenGeeks Pros
Here I take a closer look at the pros of using GreenGeeks. Because there are loads of good things about this web host.
- GreenGeeks Cons
But there are a few downsides to GreenGeeks as well. Here I take a closer look at what the cons are.
- GreenGeeks Plans & Prices
Here in this section I will cover their plans and prices in more detail.
- Do I Recommend GreenGeeks?
Here I tell you if I recommend them or if I think you are better off with an alternative to GreenGeeks.
Founded in 2008 by Trey Gardner (who happens to have experience working with several web hosting companies around like iPage, Lunarpages, and Hostpapa), GreenGeeks aims to not only provide stellar web hosting services to website owners like yourself, but do it in an environmentally friendly way too.
But we’ll get into that soon enough.
Right now, all you need to know is that we’re going to take a look at everything GreenGeeks has to offer (the good and the not so good), so that when it comes time for you to make a decision about web hosting, you have all the facts.
So, let’s get started.
The Pros of GreenGeeks
GreenGeeks has a solid reputation for providing exceptional web hosting services to website owners of all kinds.
1. Environmentally Friendly
One of GreenGeeks most standout features is the fact that they’re an environmentally friendly web hosting company. Did you know that by 2020, the Web Hosting industry will surpass the Airline industry in Environmental Pollution!
The moment you land on their website, GreenGeeks jumps right into the fact that your web hosting company should be green.
They then go to explain how GreenGeeks is doing their part to reduce their carbon footprint.
Recognized as an EPA Green Power Partner, GreenGeeks claims to be the most eco-friendly web hosting provider in existence today.
Not sure what that means?
Take a look at what GreenGeeks is doing to help you become an eco-friendly website owner:
- They purchase wind energy credits to compensate for the energy their servers use from the power grid. In fact, they buy 3x the amount of energy their datacenters use. Want to learn more about renewable energy credits? Look here and have all your questions answered.
- They use energy efficient hardware to host site data. Servers are housed in datacenters designed to be environmentally friendly
- They replace over 615,000 KWH/year thanks to their eco-conscious, loyal customers
As you can see, being a part of the GreenGeeks team means you too are doing your part to make the world a better place to live in.
Here’s what they have to say about it …
It is important to preserve as much of our environment as we can. We have to consider our own well-being and the well-being of future generations. Web hosting servers worldwide are powered by fossil fuels. Just one individual web hosting server produces 1,390 pounds of CO2 per year.
GreenGeeks is proud to provide our clients with web hosting powered by renewable energy; up to 300%. GreenGeeks helps create three times the amount of energy we consume by working with environmental foundations & purchasing wind energy credits to be put back into the power grid. Every aspect of our hosting platform and business is built to be as energy efficient as possible.
Mitch Keeler – GreenGeeks Partner Relations
2. Latest Speed Technology
The faster your website loads for site visitors, the better. After all, most site visitors will abandon your website if it fails to load within 2 seconds or less. And, while there are plenty of things you can do to optimize the speed and performance of your website on your own, knowing that your web host helps is a major bonus.
Speed is such an important features so I asked them about it …
When you sign up with GreenGeeks, you will be provisioned on a hosting server with the latest and most energy efficient setup possible.
Many industry experts have highly rated both our overall hosting performance and speed. In terms of hardware, each server is setup to use SSD hard drives configured in a redundant RAID-10 storage array. We deliver customized in-house caching technology & were one of the first to adopt PHP 7; bringing our clients both web and database servers (LiteSpeed and MariaDB). LiteSpeed and MariaDB allow for quick data read/write access, allowing us to serve up pages up to 50 times faster.
Mitch Keeler – GreenGeeks Partner Relations
GreenGeeks invests in all the latest speed technology to ensure your web pages load at lightning fast speeds:
- SSD Hard Drives. Your site’s files and databases are stored in SSD hard drives, which are faster than HDD (Hard Disk Drives).
- Fast Servers. When a site visitor clicks on your website, the web and database servers deliver content up to 50 times faster.
- Built-in Caching. GreenGeeks uses customized, built-in caching technology.
- CDN Services. Use the free CDN services, powered by CloudFlare, to cache your content and deliver it fast to site visitors.
- HTTP/2. For faster page loading in-browser, HTTP/2 is used, which improves client-server communication.
- PHP 7. As one of the first to provide PHP 7 support, GreenGeeks makes sure you are taking advantage of the latest technologies on your website too.
The speed and performance of your website is paramount to the user experience and your ability to establish yourself as an authority in your industry.
GreenGeeks Load Times
Here is my test of GreenGeeks load times. I created a test website hosted on GreenGeeks (on the EcoSite Starter plan), and I installed WordPress on it using the Twenty Seventeen theme.
Out of the box the site loaded relatively fast, 0.9 seconds, 253kb page size and 15 requests.
Not bad .. but wait it gets better.
GreenGeeks already uses built-in caching so there’s no setting to tweak for that, but there is a way to optimize things further by compressing certain MIME file types.
In your cPanel, find the software section.
In the Optimize Website setting you can optimize the performance of your website by tweaking the way Apache handles requests. Compress the text/html text/plain and text/xml MIME types, and click update setting.
By doing that my test site load times improved considerably, from 0.9 seconds down to 0.6 seconds. That’s an improvement of 0.3 seconds!
To speed things up even more, I went and installed a free WordPress plugin called Autoptimize and I simply enabled the default settings.
That improved the load times even more, as it reduced the total page size to just 242kb and reduced the number of requests down to 10.
All in all, my opinion is that sites hosted on GreenGeeks load pretty fast, and I’ve shown you two simple techniques on how to speed things up even more.
3. Reliable Infrastructure
When it comes to web hosting, you need power, speed and security. That’s why GreenGeeks built their entire system using reliable infrastructure powered by 300% clean, renewable energy.
They have 5 datacenters for you to choose from based in Chicago (US), Phoenix (US), Toronto (CA), Montreal (CA), and Amsterdam (NL).
By choosing your datacenter, you make sure your target audience receives your site’s content as quickly as possible.
In addition, you can expect datacenter features such as:
- Dual-city grid power feeds with a battery backup
- Automated transfer switch and on-site diesel generator
- Automatic temperature and climate controls throughout the facility
- 24/7 staff, complete with datacenter technicians and engineers
- Biometric and key card security systems
- FM 200 server-safe fire suppression systems
Not to mention, GreenGeeks has access to most major bandwidth providers and their gear is completely redundant. And of course, the servers are power-efficient.
4. Security and Uptime
Knowing that site data is secure is one of the biggest concerns people have when it comes to choosing a web host. That, and knowing that their website will be up and running at all times.
In response to these concerns, GreenGeeks does their best when it comes to uptime and security.
- Hardware & Power Redundancy
- Container-based Technology
- Hosting Account Isolation
- Proactive Server Monitoring
- Real-time Security Scanning
- Automatic App Updates
- Enhanced SPAM Protection
- Nightly Data Backup
To start, they use a container-based approach when it comes to their hosting services. In other words, your resources are contained so that no other website owner can negatively impact yours with a spike in traffic, increased demand for resources, or security breach.
Next, to ensure your site is always up to date, GreenGeeks automatically updates the WordPress, Joomla, or other content management system cores so that your site never becomes vulnerable to security threats. Adding to this, all GreenGeeks customers receive nightly backups of their website.
To fight malware and suspicious activity on your website, GreenGeeks gives each customer their own Secured visualization File System (vFS). That way no other account can access yours and cause security issues. Adding to that, if something suspicious is found, it’s immediately isolated to prevent further damage.
In addition, you have the chance to use the built-in spam protection GreenGeeks provides to reduce the number of spam attempts on your website.
Lastly, GreenGeeks monitors their servers so all problems are identified before they affect customers and their websites. This helps maintain their impressive 99.9% uptime.
5. Service Guarantees and Customer Support
GreenGeeks offers a number of guarantees to customers.
Check it out:
- 99% uptime guarantee
- 100% satisfaction (and if you’re not, you can activate their 30-day Money Back Guarantee)
- 24/7 email support
- Live telephone and Live Chat support
In an effort to gather some uptime statistics to show you just how serious GreenGeeks is about their uptime guarantee, I reached out to the Live Chat support team and got an instant answer to my initial question.
When the customer service rep could not help me, he immediately directed me to another team member that could, who then answered me via email.
Unfortunately, they do not have the information I requested. So, while they promise websites will have 99.9% uptime, there is no way of actually knowing this to be true without conducting a personal experiment, such as this one performed by Hosting Facts:
While I did received quick support answers, I am a bit disappointed GreenGeeks doesn’t have data to back up their claims. Instead, I am supposed to rely on their written email:
My question: I am wondering if you have your uptime history? I am writing a review and want to mention the 99.9% uptime guarantee. I have found other reviewers that have conducted their own research and tracked GreenGeeks on Pingdom … but I am wondering if you have your own list of monthly uptime percentages.
GreenGeeks answer: GreenGeeks maintains our 99.9% server uptime guarantee each month of the year, by ensuring that we have a dedicated team of server technicians monitoring, updating, and maintaining our systems 24/7, in order to provide such a guarantee. Unfortunately, at this time, we do not have a chart such as the one you have requested available.
I guess you’ll have to be the judge on whether that’s enough for you or not.
GreenGeeks also has an extensive Knowledge Base, easy access to email, live chat, and phone support, and specific website tutorials designed to help you with things like setting up email accounts, working with WordPress, and even setting up an eCommerce shop.
6. eCommerce Capable
GreenGeeks hosting plans come with many eCommerce features, which is great if you run an online shop.
To start, you’ll receive a free Let’s Encrypt Wildcard SSL certificate to reassure customers that their personal and financial information is 100% secure. And if you know anything about SSL certificates, you’ll know that Wildcard ones are great because they can be used for unlimited subdomains of a domain name.
Next, if you need a shopping cart on your eCommerce site, you can install one using GreenGeeks one-click install software.
Lastly, you can rest assured that GreenGeeks servers are PCI compliant, which further secures your site data.
7. Exclusive Website Builder
With GreenGeeks hosting, you have access to the built-in GreenGeeks Website Builder to make site creation a breeze.
With this tool, you receive the following features:
- 100’s of pre-designed templates to help you get started
- Mobile-friendly and responsive themes
- Drag & drop technology that requires no coding skills
- SEO optimization
- 24/7 dedicated support
This website builder is easily activated once you sign up for GreenGeeks hosting.
The Cons of GreenGeeks
There are always downsides to everything, even good things like GreenGeeks web hosting. And, in an effort to let you know everything, we have compiled a few disadvantages to using GreenGeeks as your web host.
1. Misleading Price Points
There’s no denying that cheap web hosting is easy to come across. However, inexpensive hosting services are not always available from high quality hosting companies. Remember, you get what you pay for.
Upon first glance, it would seem that the reliable GreenGeeks hosting company does indeed offer inexpensive web hosting. And, based on the previously mentioned pros of using GreenGeeks, it would seem too good to be true.
And technically, it is.
Upon further investigation, I found out that the only way you can get the seemingly amazing $3.95/month web hosting from GreenGeeks is if you agree to pay for three years of service at that price.
If you want to pay for one year’s worth of service, you’ll pay $5.95/month.
And, if you’re new to GreenGeeks and want to pay monthly until you’re sure they’re the hosting company for you, you’ll end up paying a whopping $9.95/month!
Not to mention, if you want to pay on a month-to-month basis to start, you also the setup fee isn’t waived, which will cost you another $15.
2. Refunds Don’t Include Setup and Domain Fees
Under GreenGeeks 30-day Money Back Guarantee policy, you can receive a full refund if you are at unhappy, no questions asked.
However, you will not be refunded the setup fee, domain name registration fee (even if when you signed up it was free), or transfer fees.
Though deducting domain name fees may seem reasonable (since you get to keep the domain name when you leave), it doesn’t seem fair to charge people the setup and transfer fees if they were ultimately unhappy with the services being provided.
Especially if GreenGeeks is going to offer a money back guarantee with no questions asked.
GreenGeeks Hosting Plans
GreenGeeks offers several hosting plans based on your individual needs. That said, we’ll look at the shared and WordPress hosting plans so you have a good idea what to expect when you sign up to use GreenGeeks hosting.
The shared hosting landscape has changed considerably. Many people in the past just wanted web hosting to have impeccable uptime at a cheap rate. You have your small, medium and large plans, slap cPanel on a server and you were done. Today customers want seamless workflow, speed, uptime and scalability all wrapped up in a pretty package.
Over time – GreenGeeks have optimized the Ecosite Starter hosting plan to have all the features that 99.9% of hosting clients want. That is why they provide clients a direct path to sign up for that from the website.
Rather than an expensive hosting plan with extra features the average Joe on the street knows nothing about – they’ve tried to cut the fat and bring customers a more optimized hosting experience.
GreenGeeks vision as a hosting provider is to allow their customer to focus on deploying, managing and growing their websites without having to worry about the underlying technology.
The hosting platform should just work.
Their scalable hosting feature was introduced earlier this year and allows clients to easily add computing resources such as CPU, RAM and I/O in a pay-as-you-go fashion — eliminating the need to upgrade to a Virtual Private Server.
With their plans, you receive features such as:
- Unlimited MySQL Databases
- Unlimited sub and parked domains
- Easy to use cPanel dashboard
- Softaculous that includes one-click installs of 250+ scripts
- Scalable resources
- The ability to choose your datacenter
- PowerCacher caching solution
- Free CDN integration
- eCommerce features like SSL certificate and shopping cart install
- Free SSH and secure FTP accounts
- Perl and Python support
In addition, you’ll receive a free domain name upon setup, free site migration, and access to the exclusive GreenGeeks drag & drop page builder for easy site creation.
The shared pricing plan starts at $3.95/month (remember, only if you pay for three years in advance). Otherwise, this plan will cost you $9.95/month.
They also offer Ecosite Pro and Ecosite Premium as upgrade options for hosting clients who need it. https://www.greengeeks.com/kb/4873/greengeeks-shared-hosting-pricing/
GreenGeeks also has WordPress hosting, though save for a few features, it seems to be the same as the shared hosting plan.
In fact, the only difference I can spot is the fact that GreenGeeks offers what they call “FREE WordPress Enhanced Security.” It’s unclear what that enhanced security includes however, so I am unable to comment whether it’s a benefit or not.
Everything else, including the one-click WordPress install, comes with the shared hosting plan. In addition, the price points are the same, again making it unclear what the differences really are.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions:
- What is GreenGeeks? GreenGeeks is a web hosting company established in 2006 and its headquarters is in Agoura Hills, California. Their official website is www.greengeeks.com and their BBB rating is A.
- What type of hosting plans are available with GreenGeeks? GreenGeeks provides Shared hosting, WordPress hosting Reseller hosting, VPS hosting and Dedicated servers.
- What kind of control panel is used? The commonly used cPanel.
- How does the free site migration work? Once you sign up for GreenGeeks hosting, simply submit a ticket to the migration team so they can help you out.
- What forms of payment does GreenGeeks accept? All major credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, and American Express), and PayPal.
- Are there any premium addons available? Yes, including multiple WHMCS licenses (billing software), backup restores, manual backup requests, and complete PCI compliance. See the list of addons here.
Do I Recommend GreenGeeks?
Since 2008, GreenGeeks has been an industry’s leading eco-friendly web hosting provider. However, that is not the only hosting feature that sets us apart from other web hosts. The GreenGeeks hosting platform is faster, scalable and engineered to deliver a better hosting experience.
Our hosting platform delivers scalable computing resources, eliminating the need to upgrade to a virtual private server. Each account is provisioned with its own dedicated computing resources and secured virtual file system. You can choose a hosting location that is geographically close to you. GreenGeeks can get you setup on a server in the United States, Canada or Europe.
There are many more features to choose from – but I would suggest talking with our live chat team or give us a call. Our support specialist would love to share more great reasons to give us a shot.
Mitch Keeler – GreenGeeks Partner Relations
In short, GreenGeeks is a more than adequate web hosting solution. They offer a variety of features, have good customer support, and make sure your website and site visitor data is safe and secure.
Not to mention, if you are someone that wants to be environmentally friendly, GreenGeeks takes it upon themselves to help you be more eco-conscious in this highly technological world. Which is great!
However, there are some things to consider before signing up. Be aware that pricing is not what it seems, that their guarantees are hard to validate, and that if you change your mind after signing up, you’ll still lose a fair amount of money.
So, if GreenGeeks sounds like a web hosting provider that you want to check out, be sure to check out their website, and all they have to offer, to make sure they are providing you’re the hosting services you really need at a price you really want to pay.