We know it is Green, But Does It Mean It’s Good?
Trey Gardner founded GreenGeeks in 2008, and it now hosts nearly 300,000 sites, with data centers available US, Canada as well as the Netherlands).
Trey’s experience with eight different hosting providers is valuable, as he has operated with iPage, Dot5Hosting, iPowerweb,Globat, Lunarpages, Hostpapa, StartLogic, and now GreenGeeks.
On their website, GreenGeeks makes two bold claims:
– 99.9% uptime
– 100% customer service
So, what’s the final word? Is their wind-powered uptime and help excellent? Or are their marketing statements just a bunch of nonsense?
We bought GreenGeeks’ ‘Shared Plan’ and set up a simple WordPress test website to run performance tests for over a year and see for ourselves.
Be sure to read on to find out if GreenGeeks has our full recommendation.
General Information & Hosting Overview
Our rating: 4 1/2
SPEED: 451 ms
SUPPORT: 24/7 Live Chat
APPS: WordPress, Joomla, PrestaShop, and WHMCS
PROPERTIES: Unlimited bandwidth, storage and email accounts, free domain 1st year, backups, free SSL.
HOSTING PLANS: Shared, WordPress and Reseller
SITE TRANSFER: Single free site transfer
PRICES: from $2.49 / mo (renewed at $10.95 / mo).
Alternative Hosting Providers
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3. A2 Hosting
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13. site5 submit
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Advantages of using GreenGeeks Hosting
GreenGeeks has many good things going for it. These include solid uptime, support, and an important mission-driven service. Here are the details:
1. Solid uptime performance.
GreenGeeks has made the bold claim of 99.90% guaranteed uptime.
Could they live up to that claim?
Yes. Our in-depth 12-month analysis backs this up with an average uptime of 99.95%.
During the 12-month tracking, GreenGeeks had a total of just over four hours of downtime (and 113 failures).
Last 12-month average uptime:
- November 2020: 99.99%
- October 2020: 99.99%
- September 2020: 100%
- August 2020: 99.96%
- July 2020: 100%
- June 2020: 99.78%
- May 2020: 99.85%
- April 2020: 99.94%
- March 2020: 99.90%
- February 2020: 100%
- January 2020: 100%
- December 2019: 99.99%
2. Good page load time (451 ms).
During our 12-month analysis period, we also checked GreenGeeks’ page load times.
Their response time is faster than the industry average, at about 451 milliseconds.
Although GreenGeeks’ speed has slowed down over the year, it’s still fast enough to get a thumbs up.
3. Good support with quick responses
The remaining “big” component to examine was customer service.
We tried GreenGeeks’ live chat and were linked to a customer service representative in less than a minute, who answered questions easily and succinctly.
Users can also browse for answers to their questions in GreenGeeks’ vast knowledge base.
This is a great advantage if you prefer self-help rather than asking a customer service representative for help.
GreenGeeks’ article categories and subcategories include sales questions, general hosting, reseller hosting, VPS hosting, billing questions, video tutorials, and more.
If you don’t find your answer in the categories listed, you can use the search bar.
This way, even if GreenGeeks’ live chat feature is unavailable for some reason, you’ll still be able to get the support you need.
GreenGeeks offers phone help in addition to live chat and a knowledge base.
4. Free domain names and website migration
GreenGeeks provides free registration and transfer of domain names. If you buy a domain name from them, they will keep it for you for free as long as you are using their services – in any way. For more details, see the disadvantages section.
It’s worth noting, though, that the domain name is only free for the first year. Following that, you must pay the renewal fee, which starts at $13.95 USD per year for.com,.net, and.org domains.
They will assist you in transferring your website to their servers for free if it is currently hosted elsewhere.
5. Environmentally friendly
GreenGeeks claims to be well green. What exactly does that mean?
Here’s how you explain it:
GreenGeeks buys three times the wind energy credits to offset the energy their services use to power your site.
They replace more than 615,000 kWh per year. To state clearly, the average American uses 12,000 kWh of electricity per year.
GreenGeeks is an approved green power partner with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), too.
6. 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee.
If you are unhappy with switching to GreenGeeks, they have a full 30-day money-back guarantee with most hosting plans, no questions asked.
However, there are some exceptions. Read more in the cons section.
7. Nightly backups
Sometimes bad things happen.
It could be self-inflicted, or it could be a malicious hacker attempting to gain access. GreenGeeks, on the other hand, provides free nightly backups (in addition to SSH access). This way, even if anything goes wrong, you can rest happy knowing that your data is regularly backed up.
They also have real-time security scanning, automatic brute force detection, spam protection, SSL Secure Server, and the ability to password protect your folders as additional security measures.
8. Multiple high-quality server locations
GreenGeeks offers data centers in four locations:
– Amsterdam, NL
– Chicago, US
– Phoenix, USA
– Montreal, CA
The location of your server can have a significant impact on your website’s SEO. You can get better speeds if you pick a server that is closer to you.
GreenGeeks also guarantees that their servers will be kept up to date with the following specifications:
- Gigabit connectivity
- Never oversold
- Latest generation energy-efficient Intel Xeon processors.
- At least 64 GB of DDR3 ECC-registered memory
- No desktop hardware to delete
- For example, BGP4 gigabit connectivity to multiple fiber GigE Tier 1 backbones
- SSD data arrays with RAID-10 for optimum capacity and redundancy
- So with GreenGeeks, you can be sure that your data is stored on high-quality, state-of-the-art servers.
- Name marke server parts
- Solid-State Drive (SSD) Acceleration
9. Free CDN
Every day, everybody communicates with a Content Delivery Network (CDN) when browsing the internet, whether it’s for news, social networking, or online shopping.
Users who are sponsored by Cloudflare will use GreenGeeks’ CDN. This is great news for your website’s SEO, particularly if you have a global audience.
What’s the best part? It is completely free.
Cloudflare helps users to store content and serve it from servers that are nearest to website guests. As a result, visitors to your website can have a much faster browsing experience.
Disadvantages of using GreenGeeks hosting
Unfortunately, all that glitters is not gold.
Despite all the advantages for GreenGeeks, there are some things you should consider before making a final decision.
1. Industry standard pricing (higher renewals).
GreenGeeks uses the tried-and-true business strategy of promoting a low monthly rate of $2.49 on their website, only to reveal that you must sign up three years in advance to receive it.
Otherwise, you will be refunded $10.95 per month if you want to pay weekly.
2. Questionable refund policy.
Many web hosts give a domain name for free when you create a new account with them.
GreenGeeks also provides a free domain name with you.
Otherwise, the cost could range from ~$3.00 – $9.99 for the year.
But note the fine print:
If you take advantage of the above money-back guarantee for this “free” domain name bid, your refund will be deducted from the $24.95 USD domain name registration fee.
This means that the domain name isn’t really free, and the money-back guarantee comes with certain conditions.
GreenGeeks prices, hosting plans and fast facts.
Here’s a brief overview of GreenGeeks’ shared hosting plans:
WordPress host: Its WordPress hosting is essentially the same as their shared hosting plan, but it appears to be optimized for WordPress in particular. We haven’t put it to the test yet, but we will do so soon.
– Free domain? Yes.
* Easy signup: simple signup process.
– Money back: 30-day money back guarantee.
* Credit card and PayPal are accepted as payment methods.
* Hidden fees and clauses: To avoid account termination, your account must not use more than 100% of 1 CPU core and/or 1 GB of memory, 20 concurrent connections, or 75,0000 files. Your account will be deleted if a bill due is not paid within four days, and you will be charged a $15 reactivation fee to get it back online.
- Upsells: No upsells.
- Account activation: Fast account activation.
- Control panel and dashboard experience: cPanel.
- Installing apps and CMS (WordPress, Joomla, etc.): 1-click installation tool, easy to install popular apps and content management.
Do we recommend GreenGeeks?
Yes, we do.
GreenGeeks has a larger purpose than just providing web hosting, which we appreciate.
They aren’t the best we’ve seen, but they provide reliable speed, uptime, and customer service.
For these reasons, you should consider giving them a look.
Be aware that if you want the lowest price, you’ll have to sign up for the long term. And that your “free domain” and “money back guarantee” may not be so ironclad if you decide to get a refund.