With over a decade of experience in web hosting, GreenGeeks is a unique bastion for those looking for an environmentally friendly service (more on that later).
Founded in 2008 by Trey Gardner, the company has benefited from his extensive experience at several large hosting companies. Today, Trey and his team of experienced professionals have made GreenGeeks a healthy, stable and competitive company.
About GreenGeeks, the company
Headquarters: Agoura Hills, California
Services: Shared, VPS, Reseller hosting
The company has its roots in North America and has served over 35,000 300,000 customers with over XNUMX XNUMX websites. As an environmentally friendly hosting company, it is committed to leaving a positive energy footprint and replaces the energy used with triple the energy credits used.
If you’re wondering why this might matter, market intelligence firm IDC has estimated that over the next 10 years, data managed by businesses will increase by up to X%. That means a noticeable increase in the number of servers required to process the data, even with advances in server technology.
Let’s take a closer look and see if this service, managed by industry experts, can cut the ice as a great web host.
Benefits: what we like about GreenGeeks?
Environmentally friendly: 300% green hosting (the best in the industry)
Given the company’s name, let’s focus on green web hosting for a moment.
Not all green hosting companies are differentiated by the use of carbon offsets or renewable energy certificates. To fully understand the implications of each, read our article on How Green Web Hosting Works.
GreenGeeks claims to offer “300% green web hosting powered by renewable energy.”
This means that they purchase three times more renewable energy certificates than the services they provide.
Certified Green Company
The company is a recognized EPA Green Power partner, working with environmental foundations to purchase wind energy credits.
Besides that, there is also the fact that one of their data centers is located in Toronto. In recent years, several data centers have moved there to take advantage of a phenomenon called “free cooling.”
Free cooling in Toronto takes advantage of cold weather to help reduce the cost of operation (and carbon footprint) of data centers by up to 50%. These facilities have additional cooling circuits specifically designed to allow frigid outdoor air to supplement the traditional cooling systems that the equipment requires.
Excellent server speed – Rated A in all speed tests
Meeting the usual range of our performance tests, GreenGeeks lights up… green overall.
With our test server located in Europe, I decided to run an additional test from London as well, just to observe if it had a noticeable impact on hosting performance.
Unsurprisingly, GreenGeeks’ performance tests showed the best test speeds from EU-based tests since our server is in the Netherlands. However, it also managed to show excellent speeds in all areas from Asia to North America.
However, if you look beyond the straight A’s and dig into the numbers a bit, there is a slightly higher Time-to-First-Byte (TTFB) from Singapore. This is expected because GreenGeeks does not have a data center there.
Choice of server locations
When selecting a hosting account, you can choose where your website is hosted by selecting where your GreenGeeks account is provisioned. We have data centers in Phoenix, Chicago, Montreal and Amsterdam. You’ll get all the benefits of our hosting platform such as scaling, speed, security and environmentally friendly technologies no matter which data center you choose.
Easy for beginners and non-technical people
For a $2.49 per month signup fee (renewing at 10.95 after the initial signup term), you’ll get a virtually unlimited amount of everything, plus free domain registration and website migration services.
GreenGeeks Free Website Migration
For example, not only is there unlimited web space, but also SSD storage, which is fast. Then there’s the daily backup and free website transfer, which is hardly ever seen at this price. Round that up with everything else and you’ll be hard pressed to find a comparable offer.
WordPress hosting has some slight differences, but many of you will be happy to note that there is a free WordPress site migration service. This is something that many web hosts charge a premium for.
HTTP/2 and MariaDB
GreenGeeks offerings have HTTP/2 enabled by default and that’s a whole other story in itself. HTTP/2 can really speed up the loading of your site and is favored by Google.
It’s also worth noting that GreenGeeks uses MariaDB, which combines SSD drives, Optimized LiteSpeed caching technology and PowerCache to form a powerful frontline. This is probably a major factor in their speed performance and should not be taken lightly.
Sitepad Site Builder
GreenGeeks offers Sitepad as its de facto drag and drop site builder. Although Sitepad is slightly more complex to use than the classic website builder, you still consider it an advantage. It still requires no coding skills and is slightly more comprehensive than average.
It comes with many predefined templates (out of 300), as well as a wide range of widgets that you can use to modify them. Most importantly, Sitepad is a third-party site editor that GreenGeeks has integrated into its control panel. As such, the original developer is motivated to keep up with new technologies and tools.
Encryptons SSL Integration
GreenGeeks launched its exclusive Encryptons SSL Integration build in July 2019 for users hosted on shared and reseller platforms. GreenGeeks users can now install Let’s Encrypt Wildcard SSL with one click and renew their SSL automatically; without touching CSR / Private Key / CRT files.
This is what my GreenGeeks user dashboard looks like *. To add a free SSL to your domain, login to your dashboard> Security> Add SSL Certificate> Select a service and domain.
Extensive security features
To ensure account security, GreekGeeks takes a two-pronged approach, using account isolation as well as Secure vFS. By keeping accounts siloed, they are able to protect users from resource issues within their own server environments. For example, if another account based on the same server as yours experiences a significant usage spike, your account will not be affected.
Each account is also secured with its own real-time malware scan. This is another follow-up to the silo mentality, but it also means that your account will be protected from anything that could affect another account on the same server, such as malware.
Helpful customer support and knowledge base
GreekGeeks runs the gamut in terms of customer service, having almost everything a web host searcher would want. The company is recognized by the Better Business Bureau and currently rated “A” by users. They not only have 24/7 email support, phone support and live chat, but also some great resources you can take advantage of.
The first is the knowledge base, for quick DIY help. There are also several basic tutorials that cover everything from email setup to your account to platform-specific help (like WordPress or Drupal).
Overall, in terms of available resources, GreenGeeks easily exceeds 80 percent of the web hosts I’ve encountered so far.
In fact, the only drawback I can see is the lack of video tutorials, which are becoming increasingly important as we move toward rich media formats.
Budget friendly – Big discount for new users
Like most budget-friendly hosting providers, GreenGeeks offers a big discount for new users. If you sign up with GreenGeeks for the first time, you’ll receive a price reduction of up to 70%. Single domain shared hosting starts at only $2.49/month – which I think is very reasonable in today’s market.
Disadvantages: what is not so good about GreenGeeks
Setup and domain fees are not included in the refund
According to GreenGeeks 30 days money back guarantee policy, you can request a refund during the first 30 days trial period.
However, domain registration fees, fees for other additional features (such as SSL, CDN cost, etc.) and “free” setup fees at the time of purchase will not be included in your refunds.
It is reasonable for GreenGeeks not to refund domain registration and addon features because they have to pay for these third-party services.
However, it is unfair to charge users a 15 setup fee when they cancel their account within the first 30 days.
Price increase during renewal
Site hosting cost has always been a major concern for many WHSR readers. Cheap price tags are only available to new GreenGeeks customers.
When you renew your hosting plan after your first term, the normal rate for Ecosite Starter and Ecosite Pro plans will be $10.95/month and $15.95/month respectively.
Although this practice is common in today’s web hosting market; we feel it is important to alert our users up front. Many customers don’t realize that they will be paying higher prices and are shocked when they see the automatic billing on their credit card statement.
GreenGeeks Web Hosting Plans and Pricing
GreenGeeks offers shared, VPS, WordPress and reseller hosting solutions. WordPress and shared plans are basically the same thing – both have the same price and come with similar features in three different packages – Ecosite Starter, Ecosite Pro and Ecosite Premium.
According to GreenGeeks, Premium plan hosting accounts are placed on servers with fewer clients and also come with increased CPU, memory and resources.
GreenGeeks Web Hosting FAQ
Who is GreenGeeks?
GreenGeeks is a web hosting company founded on the principles of environmentally friendly web hosting in 2006. They are headquartered in Agoura Hills, California, but have clients all over the world with data centers in the United States, Canada, and the Netherlands.
How do I install WordPress on GreenGeeks?
Plans on GreenGeeks come with the Softaculous application installer. This click-to-install utility can help you install WordPress automatically on your hosting account.
How well does GreenGeeks host?
GreenGeeks is a good place to start and offers a relatively unique perspective on web hosting, trying to be environmentally friendly in an industry with a massive carbon footprint without sacrificing server performance.
What is green hosting?
Green hosting is when an effort is made to reduce the environmental impact caused by web hosting. This can be done in many ways, such as purchasing green energy credits or carbon offsets.
Learn more about how green hosting works.
Are GreenGeeks suitable for business use?
GreenGeeks is suitable for business use, but their focus remains primarily on shared and VPS hosting. Larger companies should be aware and cautious of possible limitations.
Our verdict: GreenGeeks = affordable green host
GreekGeeks is a bit of a mixed bag for me.
On the one hand, as a tech geek who still hopes to have the Earth (and the life on it) for a little while longer, I appreciate being environmentally friendly. On the other hand, I remain a bit wary of the one-plan tactic.
There seems to be an imbalance in the balance and I’m sure I didn’t catch everything. However, also keep in mind the excellent speed performance that the GreenGeeks servers demonstrated in our tests.
On a personal level, I feel that this is a host that would do everything admirably, whether it’s a blog or even a small business. In fact, I think it’s a great place for a beginner to host their site, given the facilities, prices and resources available.