GreenGeeks Review: Cheap and Eco-friendly Web Hosting?
Product Name: GreenGeeks Shared Hosting
Product Description: GreenGeeks was founded in 2008 by a core team of individuals who had one thing in mind—to offer a hosting solution that had a positive impact on our world.
Offer price: 2.95/mo
Offer URL: https://www.greengeeks.com/
GreenGeeks Review: Summary
If you are transferring from a different hosting company, GreenGeeks will transfer your site completely free of charge and throw in a free domain name if you are rebranding or are starting your very first website.
- Prices from $2.95
- Good Uptime – 99.99%
- A carbon-neutral company
- Choice of data center
- Newbie-friendly hosting
- Expensive Renewals
- Questionable Refund Policy
GreenGeeks was founded in 2008 by a core team of individuals who had one thing in mind—to offer a hosting solution that had a positive impact on our world. Most people don’t realize just how much energy is consumed by data centers hosting websites, however, GreenGeeks is carbon-neutral.
Founded in 2008, GreenGeeks has been in the hosting game for over ten years. Today, it is a stable and healthy hosting company that provides its services to hundreds of thousands of websites worldwide.
With a team of dedicated staff at the core of this independently-owned hosting company, you are in safe hands.
Although we don’t want to spoil the review for you, we will say that we have plenty of good things to talk about. So, if you are in the market for a new hosting provider and want to know whether GreenGeeks are up to the task, carry on reading to find out more.
In our review, we have explored the GreenGeeks service, noted down everything that stood out to us, and organized it into a “pros” and “cons” format. This makes it very easy to gauge your own opinion and make an informed decision.
What Makes GreenGeeks Unique?
As you may have guessed by their name, GreenGeeks is an eco-friendly hosting company. If the environment is important to you, you may already be sold on this point alone!
As an eco-friendly company, GreenGeeks’ core mission is to have a positive impact on the environment while still providing leading hosting service.
They do this in many ways, one of which being the sourcing and using of renewable energy for their data centers.
Why is this important, though?
Well, given the current exponential growth of the internet, the amount of data being created, processed, and handled by us all, hosting companies especially, is expected to skyrocket.
This, of course, means a huge increase in the number of servers and, therefore, the energy that is used; something that will have an obvious environmental impact.
We should all be going greener wherever we can, and that includes transacting with eco-friendly companies online.
- What Makes GreenGeeks Unique?
- GreenGeeks Review : What We Love About GreenGeeks
- A Choice of Four Data Centers
- A Convenient Services for Newbie Webmasters
- Very Strong Uptime
- Secure Hosting Environment
- Lots of Support Options
- Free Domain and Migration
- Reliable, Nightly Backups
- 30-Day Money Back Guarantee
- An All-Around Great Company
- Things GreenGeeks Can Improve On
- GreenGeeks Pricing
- GreenGeeks Review: Final Thoughts
GreenGeeks Review : What We Love About GreenGeeks
The fact that they are an eco-friendly company aside, this is what we love about GreenGeeks.
A Choice of Four Data Centers
What’s better than a hosting company that has more than one data center? A hosting company that lets you personally choose a data center.
Choosing the right physical location for your web server can have a huge impact on your website in the long-term. Plus, if you choose a data center that is closer to you and your target audience (if it isn’t global, that is), you will have much faster loading speeds.
At the time of writing, GreenGeeks has four data centers:
A Convenient Services for Newbie Webmasters
If this is your first time launching a website, you may (understandably) be feeling a little confused, hesitant, or nervous. That’s totally normal—after all, it is completely new to you.
GreenGeeks makes it a lot easier for people such as yourself, though, by providing a service that is easy to understand and convenient to use and deploy.
For as little as $3.95, you get unlimited reign over their shared hosting services. This gives you plenty of resources you can utilize while you experiment with your new website and hosting ecosystem.
In addition to this, daily backups, a free domain name, and their Sitepad website builder give you peace of mind, save you money, and make building a beautiful, modern website simple.
So far as being newbie-friendly goes, GreenGeeks definitely is up there.
Very Strong Uptime
When choosing a web host, one of the most important metrics to look out for is uptime. If your host is constantly offline due to technical problems, your website will suffer and be unable to rank well in Google.
Just because GreekGeeks is eco-friendly does not mean they will be unreliable, though! Quite the opposite.
Between April 2019 and July 2020, GreenGeeks’ uptime stood at an impressive 99.99% figure. GreenGeeks regularly has an uptime of 100% month after month with only the odd discrepancy here or there,
While we prefer hosts to have 100% uptime, this is a very difficult figure to achieve (almost impossible, actually). Downtime can happen due to several factors, many of which lay beyond the control of the hosting company in question.
As a general rule, we recommend never choosing a hosting company that has uptime below 99.95% if long-term success and site viability is important to you.
Secure Hosting Environment
GreekGeeks takes the security of its customers’ accounts and websites seriously.
To that end, GreekGeeks uses account isolation and Linux Secure vFS.
By isolating accounts, GreenGeeks protects its customers’ websites safe from people who hog resources within a particular server environment.
Remember, with shared hosting your website is hosted on the same server as several other websites.
Account isolation means that if another website on your server has a huge spike in resource usage, your own website will not be negatively affected.
All accounts also benefit from real-time virus and malware scanning.
We cannot think of any other hosting companies who market themselves as doing both of these things together in such a manner.
Lots of Support Options
GreenGeeks offers customer support to current and prospective customers 24/7 through all their support channels. Speaking of support channels, there are a few to choose from. These range from your typical email-based ticketing system to a phone line and live chat.
It is worth noting that their live chat is meant for basic-level queries; live chat agents are unlikely to be able to assist you with more complex and technical issues, they will simply pass your issue on to the appropriate department.
Email tickets are typically responded to well within 24 hours.
Going green has never been so easy for customers.
Free Domain and Migration
All customers get a free domain name with shared hosting plans. As with most hosting companies, the domain name is free for the first year. After this time, you will need to pay for it. There are a few hosting companies that offer a free domain for life (or, for as long as you stay with that hosting company) such as Midphase.
Also, if you are currently hosting a cPanel website elsewhere, GreenGeeks will transfer it over for you, for free.
This is a standard in the industry, and we’re happy to see GreenGeeks hosting providing this level of service as well.
Reliable, Nightly Backups
GreenGeeks don’t just try to prevent bad things from happening, they also put measures in place to ensure that if things do go wrong, you have some recourse. After all, bad things do sometimes happen, often unexpectedly.
This is done with automated nightly backups.
If something does go wrong, you can rely on these backups to restore order to your site and roll it back to a point in time within the previous 24 hours.
Make sure to time your changes so you can have a backup!
30-Day Money Back Guarantee
Like most other hosts, GreenGeeks offers a money-back guarantee. While it is not as long as some others—some can go on for as long as 97 days!—it still gives you a reasonable amount of time to test GreenGeeks’ service out.
If you are dissatisfied, you can simply cancel your account and get a refund within 30 days of your initial subscription. Only first-time customers can take advantage of this offer, though.
An All-Around Great Company
GreenGeeks is simply an all-around good, honest hosting company. Independently-owned with a 300% renewable energy commitment, they are a refreshing entity in an industry dominated by huge corporations, bad practices, and sub-par services.
Their carbon footprint is zero and they are an EPA Green Power Partner. Despite this, they deliver powerful green services that do not sacrifice on service quality or power.
If all of this is important to you, you have certainly found a worthy candidate.
Things GreenGeeks Can Improve On
There were a few things we thought GreenGeeks could do better.
Have More Transparent Pricing
Unfortunately, GreenGeeks follows the typical hosting company pricing model.
Yes, ultra-low prices are advertised and available, but there is a catch. To get the cheapest possible price, you must subscribe for a long-term plan, typically three or four years.
We don’t have a problem with this.
After all, there is no point subscribing for a year if you plan to run a serious website and scale it up. What we do have a problem with, however, is not stating clearly that the ultra-low price only applies to long-term, up-front subscriptions.
While you can get hosting for as little as $2.95 per month—more on this later—you will be paying $9.95/month if you want a monthly rolling subscription.
Some Costs Deducted from Refunds
Again, this is another industry-wide practice. If you subscribe to a GreenGeeks plan and then ask for a refund (unlikely, but still worth mentioning!) then you will have certain fees deducted from your refund.
GreenGeeks deduct a whopping $24.95 as a domain registration fee from all refunds when a customer has taken advantage of their “free domain” offer.
$24.95 is well above the odds in terms of domain cost. We wouldn’t mind so much if GreenGeeks only deducted the raw cost of a domain, that’s understandable, but $24.95 is pushing it. Domains typically cost between $10 and $15.
Pricing Increases at Renewal
Although you can subscribe as a new customer at an ultra-low monthly price point, you cannot renew at this price.
At the end of your initial subscription—whether it be 12, 24, or 36 months—it will renew at their regular price which is a bit steep.
While this practice is common throughout the hosting industry, it is important to let customers know that this is the case up-front during the registration process. Many customers think that the price they are paying is the price they will pay for life. That is not the case.
GreenGeeks have three shared hosting plans—Lite, Pro, and Premium.
These can be used for both regular website hosting and WordPress hosting with a one-click install. Although their website has two separate pages for web and WordPress hosting, the plans, pricing, and features are all the same.
Hosting packages are also named after how eco-friendly they are. This, in our eyes, is blatant extreme copywriting.
All plans come with “unlimited” domains, storage, bandwidth, and subdomains subject to their fair usage policy. If you don’t abuse your unlimited resources, you won’t have any problems.
The only difference between the plans is the amount of power you get, how much power your web server has, and how many emails you can send per hour.
Let’s look at these plans and their price levels in more detail.
|Disk space limit||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Performance||Standard Performance||2x Performance||4x Performance|
|Customer Support||24/7 live chat, phone, email||24/7 live chat, phone, email||24/7 live chat, phone, email|
|Free Automated Backups||Nightly||Nightly||Nightly|
Lite’s regular price is $9.95 per month when you don’t commit to a long-term contract. Once you start subscribing for longer periods of time, however, you can get it for as little as $2.95 per month.
Pricing is as follows:
- $9.95 per month on a rolling basis;
- $4.95 per month for 12 months;
- $3.95 per month for 24 months; and
- $2.95 per month for 36 months.
When you subscribe for 3 years, you pay a measly $106.20, no taxes on top. This is an incredible value for money when you factor in all the above and the fact that the Lite plan is enough to get a new website off the ground and see it through the initial growth phases.
$2.95 per month is an awesome deal by any hosting standards. Definitely worth it if you simply want to have some testing environment.
Regular pricing for Pro is $14.95 per month. Again, when you subscribe for longer, you save more money per month.
Pricing is as follows:
- $14.95 per month on a rolling basis;
- $7.95 per month for 12 months;
- $6.95 per month for 24 months; and
- $5.95 per month for 36 months.
If you are transferring an existing site instead of starting a brand new one, Pro will be your best option. With this plan, as a small-to-medium-sized website, it should have enough power in place to handle your site in its current state with enough left over to allow for further growth.
Finally, we have GreenGeeks Premium.
Month-to-month, this plan costs $24.95. This may sound expensive, however, it is their powerful top-level hosting plan that is designed for larger sites with lots of traffic. It is the next step before taking the plunge and getting a dedicated web server.
Pricing is as follows:
- $24.95 per month on a rolling basis;
- $13.95 per month for 12 months;
- $12.95 per month for 24 months; and
- $11.95 per month for 36 months.
While $11.95 per month over three years is attractive, the monthly subscription ($24.95) after the initial 3-year period is a bit scary.
We are also glad to see that GreenGeeks have waived their $15.00 setup fee for their plans. This is something that has been the subject of controversy in the past.
GreenGeeks Review: Final Thoughts
So, there we have it, that’s everything you need to know about GreenGeeks. We were certainly impressed, how about you?
We appreciate that the company is independently owned and has true, core green values. Personally, we feel that GreenGeeks’ shared hosting plans are perfect for a whole host of people (see what we did there?).
Whether you are starting up a blog or are looking for a home for your small-to-medium-sized business website, you can rely on GreenGeeks.
We must be honest, though—GreenGeeks is not ‘the’ best by far, there are better hosts out there. So far as eco-friendly hosting goes, though, GreenGeeks is definitely up there.