GreenGeeks In-Depth Review: A Real Eco-Friendly Web Hosting Provider?
Nowadays, every business – be it small or large – needs a website in order to thrive in the competitive market. Without an online presence, you’re leaving a lot of great opportunities on the table. A well-designed, professional-looking website is an important factor to attracting customers and prospects; which in turn can translate into big revenue. You don’t want to miss out on this potentially powerful income-generating opportunity, right? This makes choosing a web hosting provider that can help set up your website, all the more important. With the right service, this process can be made simple and cost-effective to boot!
There are hundreds of web hosting providers out there and they offer varying amounts of disk space, bandwidth, email solutions, and other important features. But while these hosting packages come in various sizes, most of them offer pretty much the same set of features. Plotting out the specific needs of your business in order to succeed online is time-consuming yet essential. But imagine if your needs involve running your website in an eco-friendly hosting environment? Your choice of web hosting providers gets even narrower at this point. If you’re looking for a reliable, budget-friendly, AND eco-friendly host that’s proven and tested by thousands of successful brands and businesses, then GreenGeeks is the way to go.
Today, we’re going to put the spotlight on GreenGeeks, which is one of the first companies to offer “green” web hosting services. I, for one, am glad that such a company exists and that the green movement is finally gaining traction in the hosting industry. So upon discovering this web host, I immediately signed up with them, specifically for my smaller niche sites. What you’re about to read in this GreenGeeks in-depth review is based on my personal experience and how you, as a website owner, can benefit from their services, too. Is it really a real eco-friendly web hosting provider? Let’s find out.
Why Choose GreenGeeks?
GreenGeeks may be one of the newest kids on the block, but it’s a true up-and-comer that has steadily (but somewhat quietly) built a solid reputation among web developers and business owners alike. It started off as a company that specializes in shared web hosting, but eventually expanded to provide more comprehensive hosting solutions like VPS hosting and dedicated hosting to cater to large-scale businesses. Today, their main selling point is taking advantage of wind energy credits to counter-balance their carbon footprint. After all, according to various studies, the web hosting industry is on track to becoming one of the world’s biggest contributors to pollution; with servers accounting to more carbon dioxide output annually. For people like me, this is very important, and GreenGeeks provides a solution for us to help Mother Nature in some way.
Claiming to be the world’s leading web hosting provider that runs on “green energy”, GreenGeeks has been in business since 2006; with a goal to provide the best, most affordable hosting solutions while being environmentally responsible. The company is said to be backed by their 300% renewable energy commitment, but how is that even possible? I was skeptical at first (and you probably are right now) but I eventually found out that GreenGeeks had purchased 2.3 million MW of clean energy back into the grid. That in itself speaks volumes! Isn’t it comforting to know that, while you’re blogging or running your business online, you’re helping the environment at the same time? And with a whopping 300% carbon offsetting, your carbon footprint is almost negative! It’s a win-win situation, right?
Want more green hosting options? Make sure to check out other budget-friendly web hosting services offered by iPage and eHost!
GreenGeeks Web Hosting Plans
Besides giving clients a green solution for their web hosting needs, GreenGeeks’ primary focus is to provide unlimited resources such as storage space, bandwidth, add-on, domains, email addresses, and more. Combined with lightning-fast speed and reliable performance, this web host really aims to become the most powerful yet cost-effective choice for anyone who’s looking to build a website.
As with any other web hosting provider, GreenGeeks offers shared, VPS, reseller, dedicated server, and WordPress hosting plans for those who are just starting out, all the way up to large-scale businesses and professionals who need more extensive features. All of their servers run on Linux/UNIX operating system. Unfortunately, GreenGeeks does not offer Windows servers hosting or any other hosting that would require Windows-based technologies, include ASP, .NET, Cold Fusion, MS SQL, and MS Access. If you need a web host that can easily work with both Linux and Windows, consider checking out iPage.
GreenGeeks Shared Hosting Plan
Are you a freelancer, creative professional, or small business owner who’s looking to build a personal website? Take advantage of GreenGeeks’ shared web hosting package and get a whole slew of incredible features and options. The company has a simple, competitively priced shared hosting package that already includes unlimited disk storage and bandwidth; and allows for unlimited domains. Take note, however, that while GreenGeeks uses the term “unlimited”, they still do impose limit on computing resources, including the number of emails you can send per hour and connections made to a server.
The shared hosting plan is perfect for small business owners and individuals who need a fully loaded, budget-friendly hosting package. The key features include the following:
- Unlimited domains (1 account only)
- Unlimited disk space
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Secure IMAP/POP3 email accounts
- FREE marketing and SEO tools
- FREE domain name registration / transfer
- FREE website-building tools
- FREE website migration
- 24/7 US-based support
And for those who are looking to build an eCommerce site, the shared hosting plan comes with the following eCommerce features:
- SSL Secure Server
- Magento Shopping Cart
- OSCommerce Shopping Cart
- PrestaShop Shopping Cart
- Support for CubeCart, ZenCart, Agora, etc.
- Password-protected directories
- Open PGP/GPG encryption
And guess what? If you sign up today, you can get their shared hosting plan for a much lower price. From a regular monthly price of $9.95, you can get this plan for only $3.96 per month. That’s hundreds of awesome features for one very low price – up to 60% OFF!
GreenGeeks also lets you stream video or audio on your website. Take note, however, that it prohibits file-sharing and archiving because this could put a strain on a shared server. At the time of writing, the memory limit default is 64 MB, although you are allowed to set the limit to 256 MB without incurring extra fees. Also, since each shared server has a limit of total memory, GreenGeeks may slow your website’s loading times if you reach beyond the max limit. They may even take it offline if it affects other websites on the server. If this happens to you, it may be time to either optimize your site’s code or upgrade to a higher plan, like a VPS or dedicated server.
For potential resellers, GreenGeeks offers 5 different reseller hosting packages to suit your budget. Starting from $19.95 a month, these plans all come with unlimited disk storage and monthly data transfer, but are priced based on the number of resold accounts. The plans begin with the Seed account, followed by Sprout (the most popular choice), Plant, Tree, and the high-tier Forest account.
Here’s a comparison chart to guide you:
|Storage Space||50 GB SSD Web Space||80 GB SSD Web Space||120 GB SSD Web Space||160 GB SSD Web Space||200 GB SSD Web Space|
|Bandwidth||500 GB||800 GB||1,200 GB||1,600 GB||2,000 GB|
|Provision||USA or Canada||USA or Canada||USA or Canada||USA or Canada||USA or Canada|
Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting
Want a more comprehensive, more scalable hosting package for your growing business? GreekGeeks has you covered with their VPS hosting plans, complete with SSD and cPanel / WHM. For those who don’t know, VPS is an advanced hosting technology that allows you to get your own dedicated resources of a server. It’s a lot like getting a dedicated server, only that it’s more cost-effective!
GreenGeeks offers 5 different VPS hosting packages, starting from $39.95. The plans range from 1 GB RAM to 8 GB RAM, as seen on the comparison chart below:
|1 GB RAM||2 GB RAM||3 GB RAM||4 GB RAM||8 GB RAM|
|Storage Space||25 GB SSD RAID-10 Storage
|50 GB SSD RAID-10 Storage||75 GB SSD RAID-10 Storage||100 GB SSD RAID-10 Storage||125 GB SSD RAID-10 Storage|
|Bandwidth||1,000 GB||1,500 GB||2,000 GB||2,500 GB||3,000 GB|
GreenGeeks’ VPS plans come with carefully crafted hardware and software that deliver optimum performance and reliability. Each VPS container is on local RAID -10 SSD Storage Array, thus ensuring the fastest and more reliable storage structure for your sites. And for enhanced security, your VPS container is also armed with CSF Firewall, LFD, Mod Security, and loads of other Apache configurations and built-in PHP/MySQL optimizations. Top it up with tier-1 bandwidth and your VPS container will be connected to the Internet at 1GB per second, on a premium Multi-Gigabit network!
GreenGeeks’ VPS hosting plans are fully managed, as long as you use the built-in cPanel/WHM. Take note that this web host doesn’t not provide technical support for non-cPanel supported applications. And if you’re ever wondering whether you’ll get root access to your VPS, the answer is YES. As a VPS client, you have full root access to your server.
Have a VPS elsewhere? No problem, GreenGeeks will take care of the migration for you – completely FREE of charge – under their site migration service. And if you ever plan to downgrade or upgrade your VPS resources, doing so is easy. Simply contact GreenGeeks’ support team and they’ll handle it for you.
For large businesses and enterprises that need the most powerful hosting plan, GreenGeeks is proud to offer dedicated servers. They offer this on a case-to-case basis and you need to contact one of their dedicated server specialists to assist you in making the right choice. The price for dedicated hosting starts at a monthly fee of $169. At the time of this review, you have 4 different dedicated hosting options: Entry Server, Standard Server, Elite Server, and Pro Server.
|ENTRY SERVER||STANDARD SERVER||ELITE SERVER||PRO SERVER|
|Processors||Intel Atom 330 Dual Core||Xeon E3-1220 3.1Ghz||Xeon E3-1230 3.2Ghz w/HT||Xeon E5-2620 2.0Ghz w/HT|
|RAM (Memory)||2 GB DDR 3||4 GB DDR 3||8 GB DDR 3||16 GB DDR 3|
|Hard Drive||1 x 500 GB SATA Drive||2 x 500 GB SATA Drive||2 x 500 GB SATA Drive||2 x 500 GB SATA Drive|
|Bandwidth||10,000 GB||10,000 GB||10,000 GB||10,000 GB|
All dedicated servers use server-grade Intel processors, memory, hard drives, and equipment; thus providing dedicated power for your websites. And of course, GreenGeeks’ dedicated servers are also offset 300% by wind energy; making them not only green but carbon reducing, as well.
Managed WordPress Hosting
Who doesn’t love WordPress? After all, it’s today’s most powerful content management system; with over half of today’s websites being powered by this platform. And of course, who doesn’t love the hundreds of thousands of WordPress themes and plugins that you can use to build any type of website? If you want an all-inclusive, secure, reliable, and lightning-fast WordPress hosting, then GreenGeeks’ Managed WordPress Hosting plan is your answer.
Just like their shared web hosting plan, GreenGeeks’ Managed WordPress Hosting is currently on sale. From a regular monthly price of $9.95, you can now get it for as low as $3.96 per month. That’s 60% OFF!
Whether you’re WordPress newbie or a seasoned WordPress developer looking for a fully loaded WordPress hosting service, GreenGeeks will deliver the performance and reliability you need, at a very affordable price! Their Managed WordPress Hosting plan comes with everything you could possibly need for your WordPress website, such as the following:
- Unlimited disk space and bandwidth
- FREE one-click WordPress installer
- FREE WordPress migration
- FREE domain name registration or transfer
- FREE blazing fast SSD RAID-10 storage
- FREE enhanced security
- WordPress optimized servers
- Custom PHP and PHP.INI
- Pre-installed Git (for managing workflow)
- WP-CLI and SSH (Shell) included for direct command line access to your hosting account
GreenGeeks follows a security-first approach to WordPress hosting, so they conduct real-time security scanning to prevent and block known vulnerabilities in order to protect your website (Brute Force and DDoS protection). And with account isolation, you’ll have the peace of mind knowing that your site is in good hands as it’s isolated from other customers on the server. If that’s not enough, they also automatically update your WordPress core, adding an extra layer of protection to your site. Talk about enhanced security!
Instead of offering a custom control panel, each of GreenGeeks’ hosting package comes with the latest version of the much-loved control panel, cPanel. If you’ve had experience developing and managing a website before, I’m pretty sure you’re already well-versed with this control panel. It’s pretty much the industry-standard among control panels, and I definitely prefer it over anything else.
Its graphical and user-friendly interface is simple and allows you to manage a website with ease. GreenGeeks’ cPanel hosting gives you a variety of options to easily manage your files on your site, email accounts, additional domains and sub-domains, MySQL databases, FTP accounts, and a whole lot more. From cPanel, you can render the statistics of your site; as well as install popular scripts like Drupal, Magento, Mambo, and of course, WordPress. You can do this with just a single click, with the help of Softaculous, a utility software application that lets you install various open source apps, as well as smoothly handle your domain.
Some of the cPanel add-ons and applications include:
- Joomla for better management of content and applications
- WHM Complete Solution (WHMCS) for setting hosting accounts
- X-Cart for eCommerce sites that want to provide a shopping cart to customers
- Installatron for supporting a lot of other apps and for automatic updates
- WebMail Pro for rendering an interactive interface for mailing purposes
- Dolphins for building social networking sites and web communities
Long story short, cPanel makes it easy for you to manage complex tasks with just a single click, in a single interface. Tasks like website maintenance, daily backups, monitoring web directories, calculating disk space, and many more can easily be done with cPanel. You can even add your favorite plugins for cPanel to make it a better experience. It’s the perfect solution for those who want to manage their websites without the help of a professional.
Uptime and Performance
As with any great web hosting provider, GreenGeeks promises a 99.9% server uptime. However, the company has not yet published any uptime statistics on their site to prove this claim. There’s a 99.9% uptime service level agreement found in their Terms and Conditions, although there’s no indication of a refund should this be breached. So far, I have not experienced any lengthy downtime with GreenGeeks (average downtime is 2 hours max), which means GreenGeeks is truly keeping up with their uptime guarantee.
The company’s data center is located in Chicago, IL. They’re equipped with Supermicro rack-mountable servers, combined with the latest power-efficient Intel quad-core processors. The data center is constantly monitored 24/7/365 and backed up on a nightly basis. GreenGeeks also equipped their data center with 24/7 on-site security and uses a robust UPS system to provide emergency power in the event of power failure.
Standard 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
Still not sure if GreenGeeks is the right one for you? GreenGeeks offers a standard 30-day money-back guarantee for their hosting services, so it’s possible to cancel at any time, within the first term of service. If you don’t like what they have to offer, you can simply cancel and get your money back –no questions asked. Take note, however, that the money-back guarantee does not cover domain name registration. A domain fee will be charged because this is a cost for GreenGeeks, too.
Premium Customer Support
GreenGeeks is invested on their clients’ success, which is why customer satisfaction is their top priority. They’re not a company that’s just out to look for a quick buck (like so many other web hosts out there) – they understand the importance of providing high-quality service and strive to do so to the highest standards possible. It’s not like you get an account with them and be left on your own to figure out everything. With GreenGeeks, support is there for you 24/7!
I found this company’s customer support quite extensive, with round-the-clock live chat and phone support. They even have email support, with a 15- to 20-minute average resolution time for an issue. GreenGeeks has a team of expert technicians spread across the US, as well as those employed directly by the company. The support departments are headquartered in Chicago, Los Angeles, and Toronto.
For those who require a quick solution, GreenGeeks also has a Help Center that contains huge amounts of video tutorials covering various aspects, from managing your hosting account, down to migrating your domain. They even have a knowledgebase that contain additional information. If these aren’t enough, GreenGeeks is also active in various social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. So yes, you’re definitely in good hands with this web host!
- Eco-friendly web host that tries to minimize carbon footprint by using energy-efficient hardware
- Offers a wide range of hosting plans at competitive prices
- Ideal for both beginners and professionals
- Easy backup and restoration procedures
- High bandwidth for shared hosting plan
- Uses the latest version of cPanel
- Free domain name registration / migration
- User-friendly interface
- Offers reseller hosting
- Offers 30-day money-back guarantee
- Extensive customer support
- Informative video tutorials and helpful knowledgebase
- Shared hosting plan may not be enough for those who want to stream audio/video
- High-tier hosting plans are more expensive than the competition
- Limited email address
- Limited IP addresses even on high-tier plans
- Limited resources on dedicated servers
- Costly renewal rates
- Does not offer cloud hosting
- No Windows hosting
Final Verdict – A Real Web Hosting Option
GreenGeeks offers feature-rich yet competitively priced hosting services that are ideal for any hosting purpose. You have the option to purchase shared, reseller, VPS, dedicated, and even WordPress hosting. But what really makes them stand out from the crowd is their eco-friendly slant. Their green credentials give them an edge over many other hosting providers, which will appeal to individuals and businesses that want to make a difference by supporting green initiatives. I love the idea of helping Mother Nature through innovation; and if you’re given options for affordable and eco-friendly web hosting, I think it’s a no-brainer to spend your money on this one. They pave the way to a more socially and environmentally conscious web hosting, and is proving to be a trailblazer in the green web hosting scene, which is what this world needs so desperately.
If you need a stable web host with all the bells and whistles, along with the best marks in reliability and performance, then GreenGeeks is where you need to head to. Armed with a friendly and knowledgeable staff; easy-to-use tools and technologies; and renewable energy and green initiatives, GreenGeeks is poised to be a top runner in the web hosting industry. So what are you waiting for? Go for a real, eco-friendly web hosting provider and build your next big Web project with GreenGeeks today!