GreenGeeks Review

GreenGeeks has been around since 2008 and hosts over 500,000 websites. The company is based in California, but has data centers in Chicago, Montreal and Amsterdam. Their team is scattered across the globe.

These facts aren’t particularly exciting. I can name a dozen solid web host services which fit that exact mold.

So what is it that separates GreenGeeks from the pack?

Well, it’s in the name really: GreenGeeks is all about sustainability. For all the energy this host consumes, it invests 3 times as much back in green energy.

This is great of course. But it still leaves us with a vital question: is GreenGeeks a viable hosting provider for your website?

Let’s find out.

 The most sustainable hosting provider
 Amazing 24/7 customer support
 Easy-to-use dashboard
Automatic daily backups
 Sign up today

The best green hosting provider

As applies to every hosting provider, the most important criteria are uptime, speed and customer service. How does GreenGeeks fare here?

Excellent uptime

With a hosting service, everything hinges on uptime. When a website is offline, speed and customer service and all other factors become totally irrelevant.

GreenGeeks guarantees a 99.9% uptime rate. But do they actually accomplish this?

Well, in general they do. If we look at what Pingdom has to say about a test website in 2020, you can see they dipped slightly below 99.9% in May and June. However, keep in mind this could have been caused by the exceptional increase in internet usage in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak which led to more server outages than usual.

GreenGeeks speed and uptime in 2020.

As you’d expect from a reputable company, you’ll get compensated in case they fall below their guaranteed uptime threshold. You’ll receive credits, depending on how severe the downtime was, which you can use to pay for your future bills.

All in all, GreenGeeks does incredibly well when it comes to uptime. Of the last 24 months there were 10 months with a perfect 100% uptime rate. You don’t see that very often.

Fast loading times

As soon as your web pages take over two seconds to load, your visitors will start leaving your site in droves. On top of that, search engines definitely have a distaste for slow websites.

There’s a ton you can do in order to speed up your site: compress your images, use a caching plugin and remove CSS bloat. But at the end of the day, all of that will be for naught if you’re hosting is slow. Slow web hosting = slow website.

As you can see on the previous image, GreenGeeks’ speed is in the 327-558 millisecond range. To put this into context, your average hosting provider hoovers around 800-900 milliseconds.

This puts GreenGeeks among the fastest hosting providers in the industry.

Fantastic customer support

I always felt SiteGround’s customer support was blazing fast. That was until I experienced GreenGeek’s customer support, who with their less than a minute of waiting time make SiteGround look like a sloth.

GreenGeeks customer support.

Aside from being fast, GreenGeek’s support team is technically savvy, polite and empathetic.

Developing your first website can be a daunting process. And when it comes to hosting, you’ll definitely stumble upon things which you won’t know how to do at first. To have someone out there who within a couple of seconds helps you to get the ball rolling again, is super valuable.

I’ve asked GreenGeeks how to install WordPress, how to use their dashboard and how to speed up my website. I’ve asked them where their servers are located, how their money-back policy works and what exactly makes them the best web hosting service for my website. Every question I fired at them got answered swiftly and satisfactorily.

On top of that, GreenGeeks has an extensive knowledge bank with guides on WordPress, cPanel and pretty much any website builder you can think of. So if you prefer a DIY approach with regards to solving any hosting challenges, they got you covered.

GreenGeeks knowledge base.

The most sustainable hosting provider in the world

According to the Web Neutral Project, the internet is responsible for over 10% of worldwide electricity usage and emits more CO2 than the airline industry. The data centers of hosting companies are using 10s of thousands of high-end computers. These are on 24/7 and generate an incredible heat, which in turn requires giant cooling systems.

Imagine this. According to Web Neutral Project founder Jack Amend, the average website emits 2000 kg CO2 per year. So does driving an average new car for 16,000 kilometers. What Amend exactly means when he’s talking about an “average website” isn’t entirely clear. The underlying message is though: web hosting is an incredibly polluting industry.

As the name “GreenGeeks” somewhat gives away, they are aware about this problem. The company was founded in 2008 with the goal to become the world’s most sustainable web hosting provider – and right now, they are. For all the energy GreenGeeks consumes, it puts back 3 times as much in the grid in the form of wind energy.

You can read more about GreenGeek’s green philosophy right here.

GreenGeeks dashboard, costs and other considerations

So GreenGeeks passes with flying colors when it comes to uptime, speed and customer support. On top of that, they are the greenest hosting company in the world.

But how do they fare when it comes to ease-of-use, the extras it provides and costs?

Dashboard

The account section of the dashboard (where you manage your hosting plan, can check your invoices and reach customer support) has been designed and developed by GreenGeeks. It looks sleek, is easy to navigate and you’ll manage to find your way around it within a manner of minutes.

All of your other hosting needs run through good ol’ cPanel. If you’ve used cPanel before, you’ll know what to expect. But don’t worry if you haven’t: there are manuals on it all over the internet, including GreenGeek’s knowledge base.

With GreenGeeks you can easily install your web applications through Softaculous. For instance, if you’re looking to install WordPress, you can do so in just a manner of minutes.

Free domain, website migration, SSL-certificates and backups

All of GreenGeeks plans offer a free domain for 1 year, an SSL-certificate, CDN and daily backups.

The daily backups in particular are a fantastic feature. Whether you cause a problem yourself or whether someone manages to hack your website, it’s good to know that a previous version of your site is never farther removed from you than a day. This should definitely help you sleep peacefully at night, knowing that if disaster strikes, the damage to your site will be minimal.

GreenGeek’s website migration is also a delightful feature. If you’re already using a different hosting company, then GreenGeeks will help you migrate your site for free.

It’s a big plus that these premium features are present with all of their hosting plans, including their cheapest ones. This ensures it never feels as if you’re building your site on a heavily dressed down hosting plan. You won’t have to worry about drawing your wallet for a bunch of add-ons just to get yourself to an acceptable level of hosting.

Costs

You might be wondering whether GreenGeeks’ commitment to sustainability leads to high prices. Luckily the answer is no: GreenGeeks’ plans all come with a super reasonable price tag.

Monthly costs

Like most hosting companies, GreenGeeks too has promotional rates. So expect a price hike after year one (or year two or 3, depending on how many years you pay in advance).

Here’s how much GreenGeek’s shared hosting plans will cost you per month:

  • Lite. $2.95 ($9.95 after renewal)
  • Pro. $5.95 ($14.95 after renewal)
  • Premium. $11.95 ($24.95 after renewal)

Given the quality of the service, these costs are more than reasonable.

30-day money-back

In case it turns out GreenGeeks isn’t the right web host for you, you can get your money back within 30 days.

However, you won’t get your money back for the free domain name:

Terms of service on getting money back.

De kosten van een .nl domein bedragen $13.95. Dat bedrag zul je dus niet terugkrijgen. Is dit een issue? Ik vind van niet. Uiteindelijk bezit je namelijk nog steeds wel deze domeinnaam. Je kunt hem dus gebruiken bij een andere hostingdienst.

The cost of a domain is – depending on the domain extension – around $12. So you won’t be getting this back. Is this unreasonable? I don’t think so. At the end of the day, the domain will be still yours. This means you still get to use it with a different hosting provider.

GreenGeek’s hosting plans

GreenGeeks has got shared hosting, VPS hosting and reseller hosting on offer. Let’s take a look at each of these.

Shared hosting

GreenGeeks has different sections on their site for shared hosting and WordPress hosting. In reality, you’ll be getting the exact same hosting plan with either.

Managed WordPress hosting is a concierge service in which your host takes care of all technical aspects of hosting a site. Think about security, speed, WordPress updates, daily backups and website uptime.

All of GreenGeeks’ hosting plans contain this service.

Let’s take a look at each of them:

Lite

  • Starting at $2.95 a month ($9.95 after renewal)
  • 1 website
  • Unlimited email accounts
  • Unlimited web space
  • Free SSL-certificate and domain
  • Standard performance
  • Daily backups

Pro

  • Starting at $5.95 a month ($14.95 after renewal)
  • Unlimited websites
  • Unlimited email accounts
  • Unlimited web space
  • Free SSL-certificate and domain
  • 2x performance
  • Daily backups

Premium

  • Starting at $5.95 a month ($14.95 after renewal)
  • Unlimited websites
  • Unlimited email accounts
  • Unlimited web space
  • Free SSL-certificate and domain
  • 4x performance
  • Daily backups
  • Free dedicated IP
GreenGeeks shared hosting plans.

What you can see here is that their shared plans are quite similar when it comes to features. The differences lie in the number of websites you can host and performance.

The more advanced plans do get more dedicated resources (RAM and CPU) which leads to better speed and better uptime.

Unless your website is a hobby project with no commercial intend, I recommend picking at least the Pro plan given its superior performance.

VPS and reseller hosting

On top of shared hosting, GreenGeeks also offers VPS hosting and reseller hosting.

Simply put, a VPS is a server within a server. You’re sharing a physical server with other websites, but within that you’ve got a virtual compartment which is all yours and isolated from the others.

With reseller hosting you can start your own hosting company or easily offer hosting to your clients.

Honestly, if you want to go this route, I’d look elsewhere. GreenGeeks is really best known for its shared hosting plans.

What about cloud hosting and dedicated hosting?

GreenGeeks is somewhat limited in their hosting plan variety: they don’t offer cloud hosting or dedicated hosting.

Cloud hosting a sensible next step for when you’ve outgrown shared hosting. This usually happens around the 50.000 visitor a month mark.

So if you’re planning on getting a decently sized website and you don’t feel like swapping hosting providers at some stage, then GreenGeeks isn’t the best option for you.

For a hosting company which caters both to small and big websites, I’d recommend checking out SiteGround.

Conclusion

GreenGeeks is a great web hosting provider, especially for hobbyists and small business owners.

GreenGeeks was one of the very first hosting services which dedicated itself to sustainability. They leapfrogged a carbon-neutral approach and instead settled for something much better. When using GreenGeeks you’re not only not harming Mother Earth, but you’re actually making her better off.

But despite GreenGeeks’ commitment of putting 3 times the energy they use back in the grid, they’re still affordable. GreenGeeks’ plans have no trouble competing with those of other hosting companies when it comes to price. On top of that, GreenGeeks offers the cream of the crop when it comes to uptime, speed and customer support.

All of this has propelled GreenGeeks to become one of the best webhosting services in the industry.

However, if you’re looking to build a really big website (50.000+ visitors per month) then GreenGeeks isn’t your best choice. They don’t offer cloud hosting and are really best known for their shared hosting plans.

For pretty much any other website however, GreenGeeks is a fantastic option.   

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