GreenGeeks Review: Eco-Friendly Web Hosting for Bloggers
Editor’s Note: Updated November 2018
Good customer service is a hallmark of a reliable company that cares about its customers.
Have you ever called customer support only to be handed off to another agent over and over again? Or left on hold for unreasonable amounts of time?
It’s refreshing to speak with patient and knowledgeable customer support reps, mainly when you are in a jam.
GreenGeeks Web Hosting does a solid job of maintaining high-quality service.
Whether you messed up something with your database or are having problems migrating a website, their customer support reps are courteous and understanding.
Also, GreenGeeks offers support through live chat, email, phone, and various other support resources.
- About GreenGeeks
- How Does GreenGeeks Stand Out?
- GreenGeeks Offerings for Bloggers & WordPress
- Performance and Site Security
- E-commerce Platform
- What’s the Support Like?
- GreenGeeks Pricing and Guarantees
- GreenGeeks FAQ
- Who is GreenGeeks Best For?
The energy efficiency model is what makes GreenGeeks truly unique. That said, the company has an interesting history with a wide variety of founders and workers who brought the company to fruition.
GreenGeeks was founded in California, and it mainly has a North American hosting presence.
Over 35,000 customers use GreenGeeks hosting on a daily basis, and that number appears to be growing consistently, especially as more website owners become energy-conscious.
The websites hosted by GreenGeeks number more than 300,000.
How Does GreenGeeks Stand Out?
GreenGeeks is one of the few hosting companies that has built its business entirely around the idea of energy efficient hosting.
The people running GreenGeeks have decades of experience in hosting and energy efficiency, so they’ve developed a system where the amount of energy used by your website is replaced with wind power credits.
According to GreenGeeks, the company replaces over 615,000 kWh/year.
Each Website has a Carbon Footprint
The company was founded in 2008 by a management company trying to offer both affordable and eco-friendly hosting.
This was accomplished by utilizing some of the most energy-efficient, state-of-the-art data software programs and server hardware. Therefore, customers are actually getting some of the best hosting tools when going with GreenGeeks.
Protecting the environment was the main goal, but quality customer service seemed to pair with that rather nicely. Therefore, GreenGeeks made it part of the mission to offer the best customer service possible.
Each web server produces 1390 pounds of Co2 each year, according to GreenGeeks.
GreenGeeks is committed to mitigating the impact of web hosting on the environment.
Over the next few years, the new number of web hosting services will grow by 400% each year. To help save the world from web hosting, GreenGeeks is 300% green.
How’s that possible?
GreenGeeks buys wind energy credits to put back into the grid three times the amount of energy it consumes.
In addition, the hosting company uses energy-efficient hardware in its data centers.
GreenGeeks Offerings for Bloggers & WordPress
The standard web hosting from GreenGeeks is delivered via shared hosting. This means that it’s affordable for bloggers, yet the servers are strong enough to support your website traffic.
The GreenGeeks shared hosting service gets you a free domain name for launching your site quickly and maintaining your brand in the URL.
The free website migration is certainly helpful when you’re moving from a different web host, while the one-click installer is great for quickly installing apps like WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal.
The advanced security and super fast performance come in handy when you go with GreenGeeks, and the scalable “elastic” platform allows for quick and easy upgrades to your hosting resources.
This GreenGeeks review examines how these features work together to get your blog online. This GreenGeeks hosting review is based on our own performance data, research, and personal experience using GreenGeeks.
Shared Hosting Plans
Overall, the shared hosting plan from GreenGeeks is pretty impressive. You’ll receive adequate SSD web space and data transfer, a domain name registration or transfer, a website builder, custom email addresses, marketing tools, and SEO options.
GreenGeeks hosting plans offer the following features to help improve performance and security for your blog:
- Unlimited bandwidth to improve the speed at which your sites loads
- Unlimited email accounts give you professional email addresses attached to your domain
- Unlimited domains so you can host as many sites on one account
- Free domain – an awesome bonus if you’re new to blogging and don’t have a domain yet
- Free SSL certificate to secure the connection between your blog and your reader
- cPanel and One-click installer for easy installation of applications like WordPress
- Nightly backups so you have a copy of your site if something goes wrong
- Cloudflare CDN to improve speed so your blog will rank better
- Certified green badges you can display on your site
In this GreenGeeks hosting review, we’ll take a closer look at these shared hosting plan features and how they benefit your blog.
Managing Your GreenGeeks Site
If you’re new to blogging, but even if you’ve been running your own site from a while, ease of use matters. A simple, intuitive interface makes all the difference in managing your site.
How to Navigate the cPanel
For your GreenGeeks account, you’ll manage all your settings from the cPanel.
cPanel is the industry-standard control panel. Even if you’ve never used it before, it’s easy to navigate.
One of the things you can do from the GreenGeeks cPanel is to set up a business email address with your domain.
An email address with your domain – firstname.lastname@example.org – is a great way to promote your blog and adds credibility to your engagements.
It helps to portray a sense of professionalism when you engage with other bloggers, readers, and potential business partners.
To create an email address from your cPanel, follow these steps:
- Login into cPanel
- Click on the Mail category and select Email Accounts
- Enter the username and pick the relevant domain
- Enter a password
- Set a quota for the account or opt for Unlimited
- Click “Create Account”
Keeping Your GreenGeeks Site Secure
You might have noticed a padlock on the browsing bar of a website you’re visiting.
Here’s what you don’t want to see: “Not Secure” alert.
A secure site lets your readers know their private information is protected on your site. If you have any kind of form that collects reader information like an email list, an SSL certificate helps to encrypt this data.
Not only that, but sites without SSL protection will also rank lower, according to Google.
GreenGeeks comes with the free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate.
You get unlimited domains so you can host as many sites as you’d like from a single GreenGeeks hosting account. The shared hosting package also comes with one free domain.
Bloggers on WordPress might find GreenGeeks WordPress hosting is perfect for them.
This specialized hosting focuses only on WordPress, with support from the one-click WordPress installer, a pre-installed workflow management tool for Git, and custom PHP support.
The enhanced WordPress security is one of the main benefits of this plan. You receive automatic updates, real-time security scanning, and brute force protection.
Along with that, GreenGeeks packs things like daily backups, malware monitoring, and a content delivery network (CDN) into this plan.
The best thing about the WordPress hosting is that it’s made for both beginners and full-fledged WordPress developers. In addition, the pricing remains reasonable.
Most of these features come with GreenGeek’s shared hosting plans, but we’ll discuss some of the WordPress-specific features and how they can benefit your blog below.
In addition to the features you get with the shared hosting plans, GreenGeeks offers WordPress specific features that will:
- Improve your WordPress blog’s security
- Increase your blog’s speed
- Make it easy to manage your WordPress blog
We’ll dive into the specific features below.
WordPress Enhanced Security
WordPress is the world’s most popular content management system (CMS), and this makes it a frequent target for hackers.
Why would hackers want to break into my WordPress blog?
Cybercriminals hack sites for different reasons:
- To gain access to private financial data
- To deface your site
A hack is bad news for your blog and your business.
It kills your reputation, and research shows some hacked sites never recover – suffering low search engine rankings.
How does GreenGeeks keep my WordPress site Safe?
GreenGeeks WordPress-hosting plans come with:
- Brute Force Protection to prevent hackers from breaking into your site with repeated login attempts
- Real-time security scanning to identify threats as they occur
1-click WordPress Install
You can easily install WordPress from the cPanel:
- Login your cPanel
- Scroll to the Softaculous Apps Installer
- Click on WordPress
- Select Install Now
- After this screen, you can configure your WordPress site’s settings including plugins, themes and your admin details.
WordPress-specific Support to Troubleshoot Problems
It doesn’t matter whether you’ve been blogging for years or days: good support matters.
It makes it much easier to manage your site if you can easily access support and resolve your problem promptly.
WordPress is an open-source CMS so you will find several online forums to help guide you. But GreenGeeks has 24/7 technical support to help with the harder problems.
Other Hosting Options from GreenGeeks
All of the hosting plans from GreenGeeks come with a 30-day money back guarantee. This way you can test out the service to see if it’s right for you.
Shared hosting is typically the most popular for small businesses and bloggers, but GreenGeeks also provides a few specialized hosting options.
The first is reseller hosting, where you become a hosting vendor yourself, using the GreenGeeks datacenter and infrastructure to bring in new clients.
You receive plenty of SSD web space, bandwidth, and cPanel accounts.
It’s an entirely white-labeled solution with a free hosting billing system. This means that you already have a built-in invoicing system, and you can launch a help desk to support your own customers.
The other form of hosting is called a VPS, or virtual private server.
The VPS is more expensive and powerful than shared hosting. It’s meant to mimic the environment of a private server, but without the high cost.
GreenGeeks has fast and reliable VPS options with multiple cores, premium bandwidth, and SSD RAID-10 storage.
The free nightly backups ensure your data is continuously safe, and GreenGeeks even offers a completely free migration service for those coming from other hosts.
Performance and Site Security
When you sign up for a web hosting company, take a look at what they offer with regards to speed up your site.
A faster blog will rank higher in search engines, and it provides a better experience for your readers.
How does GreenGeeks make my site faster and improve security?
Have you ever uploaded a piece of content (video, image) and waited as it buffered?
Annoying, isn’t it?
GreenGeeks can help reduce this delay for your blog readers with:
- Data Centers
- Cloudflare CDN
Data Centers are where your servers are hosted and it’s best to select one nearest to your audience.
GreenGeeks lets you choose from the following data centers:
In addition to this, you also get the free Cloudflare CDN that brings content closer to your reader.
A CDN works by caching pieces of content to networks of servers across the world.
When your blog reader requests a specific piece of content from your blog, the CDN fetches it from the server closest to the reader, dramatically reducing the load time.
WordPress-Specific Speed Technologies
Like support, speed counts. We’ve already discussed features like the CDN that bring your content closer to your reader by caching copies of files.
You can also improve speed for your WordPress site using plugins and the GreenGeeks blog often has articles that will recommend things like installing the W3 Total Cache plugin to improve speed.
How Fast and Reliable is a GreenGeeks Website?
We use Pingdom track a GreenGeeks test site speed and uptime. (You can use Pingdom to perform uptime and server response time checks for your website).
The reports drill down to the country-specific stats to help you identify any potential problems which may be hampering the quality of your web experience.
Uptime: GreenGeeks Real Stats
If you’ve been researching web hosting services for your blog, you may have across this term: uptime.
Uptime describes the amount of time your web host’s server is operational, and your website up and running.
Some web hosts will offer an uptime guarantee expressed as a percentage. If they fail to meet the target, you can get reimbursed.
Green Geeks offers a 99.9% uptime guarantee.
We also studied the data to determined GreenGeeks average response time over the past six months.
Response time is calculated from the moment a reader on your blog requests any type of content from your site. This request is sent to the web host’s server, and the response time is the amount of time it takes for the server to start responding to your reader’s request.
What’s GreenGeeks Uptime Record?
Again, we’ve used Pingdom to measure GreenGeeks uptime and speed to provide an accurate reflection of its performance. According to our own Pingdom test, GreenGeeks maintains a high standard of uptime over the past six months.
We calculated the averages for GreenGeeks uptime and response time over the past six months to determine its performance.
A study of the data shows GreenGeeks maintained a 99.9% uptime guarantee over this period and a 367ms average response time. Based on this, we see GreenGeeks a reliable host with above average performance.
Integrating with WordPress or Joomla is no problem, but some blogs and startups would rather launch directly with an e-commerce platform. This includes options like PrestaShop, Magento, and ZenCart.
GreenGeeks assists in configuring an e-commerce site like this, and you’re able to protect customer information with full PCI compliance.
What’s the Support Like?
If you want to call GreenGeeks on the phone, have at it. If you’re more of a live chat person, that’s available as well. If you’re more interested in sending in a ticket or email, GreenGeeks has you covered.
Not only do you have all sorts of outlets for customer support, but the GreenGeeks support team members are highly-trained, compassionate, and understanding of your problems.
A full knowledgebase is also provided for searching keywords and sifting through articles previously written about various issues you may need to troubleshoot.
GreenGeeks continues to add to its online resource center, with a large collection of website tutorials and articles. You can also check out the GreenGeeks blog.
GreenGeeks Pricing and Guarantees
When signing up for any new hosting package for your blog, take care to read the terms of service.
While GreenGeeks pricing seems low, this is only applicable to longer-term contracts. This structure is common across the web hosting industry. A shorter contract is significantly more expensive.
Save on your web hosting with this GreenGeeks coupon: TAKE60OFF. Enter at checkout to redeem your discount.
Money back guarantee
It’s important to note that some customers are unhappy with GreenGeeks terms on its money-back guarantee. You won’t be refunded any set-up fees and the cost of the domain (which comes free with the hosting package).
We answer the most common questions about GreenGeeks.
Where are GreenGeeks data centers located?
GreenGeeks has data centers in Chicago and Phoenix in the United States. If your blog readers are based in Canada, there’s a data center in Toronto. There is another in the Netherlands if your readers live in Amsterdam.
When you select a data center location, make sure to choose one that’s closest to your blog readers to improve loading time.
Does GreenGeeks come with cPanel access?
GreenGeeks comes with industry-standard cPanel access. If you’re new to web hosting, cPanel is the dashboard from where you manage your site.
You can set up email accounts, create mailing lists for your blog subscribers and monitor your blog traffic.
How does GreenGreeks compare to SiteGround for WordPress hosting?
GreenGreeks offers WordPress hosting that comes with many of the standard features offered with their shared hosting packages.
You’ll get 1-click WordPress installation, extra security for your site and automatic WordPress updates.
While this isn’t a bad deal, SiteGround offers optimized WordPress hosting. WordPress comes pre-installed and they’ll even update the plugins.
Does GreenGeeks offer reseller hosting?
Greengeeks entry-level reseller hosting plan comes with support for 10 cPanel accounts and increases to 50 on the top end.
GreenGeeks lets you brand your hosting offering as you wish through their white label offering.
While GreenGeeks will provide with you with support via phone, email or live chat, you will be responsible for your own customer support.
Who is GreenGeeks Best For?
If you’re interested in energy-efficient hosting, GreenGeeks offers solid options to get your site online.
You might figure you won’t notice much of a difference (since the “green” part of hosting is all on the backend) but green hosting means better hardware and tools in general. In addition, you get access to a responsive support team.
GreenGeeks offers a capable WordPress hosting option. It’s a useful hosting platform for e-commerce sites, seeing as how several e-commerce platforms integrate. These benefits provide a decent hosting offering worth considering.