GreenGeeks Review

Reviewed by: Jerry Low . .
  • Review Updated: Jul 26, 2021
GreenGeeks
Plan in review: GreenGeeks Ecosite Pro
Reviewed by: Jerry Low
Rating:
Review Updated: July 26, 2021
Summary
Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF) certified, 300% eco-friendly, excellent shared hosting performance, and affordable signup price ($2.49/mo) - GreenGeeks is *the* best green hosting providers in market. However, while almost everything looks bright - the hefty renewal cost is a turnoff.

With more than ten years in the business of web hosting, GreenGeeks is a unique bastion for those seeking a service that is eco-friendly (more on this later).

Founded in 2008 by Trey Gardner, the company has benefited from his extensive experience in several large hosting companies. Today, Trey and his experienced core team of professionals have built GreenGeeks into a healthy, stable and competitive company.

My GreenGeeks Story

Long time WHSR readers should be no stranger to Trey Gardner. We have done two interviews with the CEO in 2000's and published multiple reviews on his projects in the past.

At this time of writing, we are hosting a test site (see it here) on GreenGeeks shared hosting platform and monitoring its performance consistently using our in-house system called “HostScore”. You can check out the GreenGeeks' latest performance review here.

In this review – using my personal account, I will take you behind the scenes and demonstrate what's it like to host your website at GreenGeeks.

About GreenGeeks, the Company

  • Established: 2008
  • Headquarter: Agoura Hills, CA
  • Services: Shared, VPS, reseller hosting

The company’s roots lie in North America and has served over 35,000 customers with more than 300,000 websites. As an eco-friendly hosting company, it has dedicated itself to leaving a positive energy footprint and replaces used energy with triple the energy credits that are used.

If you’re wondering why this might be important, market intelligence firm IDC has estimated that over the next 10 years, data managed by businesses will increase by as much as 50 percent. This means a notable increase in the number of servers required to handle the data, even considering advances in server technology.

Let’s take a closer look and see if this service, run by industry experts, can cut the ice as a great web host.

In this GreenGeeks Review…

 Review Summary

 

GreenGeeks Hosting Signup Discount

New GreenGeeks users enjoy a one-time 70% discount on their first GreenGeeks bill, EcoSite Lite Plan (single site hosting) costs $2.49/month after discount.  Promo coupon will be auto applied to your cart once you click here (new window, affiliate link).

GreenGeeks Signup Discount
New users save $250+ on GreenGeeks Triennially Hosting Plans, click here to order.

 

 


 

Pros: What We Like about GreenGeeks?

1. Environmental Friendly: 300% Green Hosting (Industry's Top)

Given the company name, let’s focus on Green Web Hosting for a moment.

Not all green hosting companies but two key differences are whether they use Carbon Offset Credits or Renewable Energy Certificates. To fully understand the implications of each, read our article on How Green Web Hosting Works.

GreenGeeks lays claim to offering “300% Green Web Hosting Powered by Renewable Energy”.

This means that they buy three times more the amount of Renewable Energy certificates than is being used by the services they provide.

Certified Green Company

The company is a recognized EPA Green Power Partner which works with environmental foundations to purchase wind energy credits.

greengeeks green certificate
GreenGeeks green certificate issued by EPA and BEF.

Aside from that, there is also the fact that one of their data centers is in Toronto. In recent years, several data centers have been moving there to take advantage of a phenomena called “free cooling”.

Free cooling in Toronto leverages on the chilly weather to help reduce the operational cost (and carbon footprint) of data centers by as much as 50 percent. These facilities have additional cooling circuits specially designed to allow the freezing outdoor air to supplement traditional cooling systems that the equipment demands.

 

2. Excellent Server Speed – Rated A in All Speed Tests

Running the usual gamut of our performance tests, GreenGeeks lights up… well, green across the board.

With our test server located in Europe, I’ve decided to throw in an additional test from London as well, just to observe if there’s any noticeable impact on hosting performance.

Not surprisingly, GreenGeeks performance tests showed best speeds from EU-based tests since our server is in the Netherlands. However, it also managed to show excellent speeds across the board as well – from Asia to North America.

However, if you look past the straight ‘A’s and dig into the number a little bit, there is a slightly higher Time-to-First-Byte (TTFB) from Singapore. This is expected since GreenGeeks has no data center in this location.

BitCatcha Speed Test (July 2021)

greengeeks bitcatcha test results
GreenGeeks rated “A+” in recent Bitcatcha speed test (see actual test result here). Server response time is fastest for test node in Germany (9ms) and slowest in Australia (277ms).

WebPage Speed Test – from London, United Kindom (July 2021)

GreenGeek speed test at WebpageTest.org.
GreenGeek speed test at WebpageTest.org. TTFB from server located at United States = 413 ms (see actual test results here).

 

3. Choice of Server Locations

GreenGeeks Data Centers Location
GreenGeeks' data centres are in Chicago, Montreal and Amsterdam.

When selecting a hosting account, you can choose where your website is hosted by selecting where your GreenGeeks account is provisioned.

The company has data centers in Chicago, United States (test IP: 216.104.36.130); Montreal, Canada (test IP: 184.107.41.68); and Amsterdam, Netherland (test IP: 198.20.98.2). You will enjoy the same benefits and hosting features such as scaling, speed, security, and eco-friendly technologies with GreenGeeks regardless of which data center you choose.

 

4. Easy for Newbies and Non-technical People

For a sign-on fee of $2.49 per month (renews at $10.95 after initial sign-up duration), you’ll get practically unlimited amounts of everything, plus even free domain registration and website migration services thrown in.

GreenGeeks Free Site Migration

For example, not only is web space unlimited, but it’s SSD storage, which is fast. Then there is the daily backup and free website transfer, which is practically not often seen at this price point. Round that up with everything else and you’ll be hard pressed to find a comparable offering.

WordPress hosting comes with slight differences, but many of you will be pleased to note that there is a free WordPress site migration service. This is something that many web hosts charge a significant amount for.

greengeeks migration
To initiate your free site migration request at GreenGeeks, log in to your GreenGeeks Account Manager > Support > Site Migration Request > Select a Service.
greengeeks migration
Once you have selected your service, you'll need to submit some basic information and migration instructions. It is ideal to provide GreenGeeks with your previous hosting primary control panel or account management login – which is everything they need to complete your migration request.

HTTP/2, HTTP/3, LiteSpeed, MariaDB, and PHP 8 

The GreenGeeks offerings are HTTP/2 and HTTP/3 enabled by the default and that’s a whole other story in itself. HTTP/2 and HTTP/3 are the new transfer protocols that can make your site load much faster.

It’s also worth noting that GreenGeeks is using MariaDB, which when combines with SSD hard drives, Optimized LiteSpeed and PowerCache caching technology to form a powerful front line. This is probably a big factor in their speed performance and isn’t to be taken lightly.

Sitepad Site Builder

GreenGeeks offers Sitepad as its de facto drag-and-drop site builder. While Sitepad is slightly more complex to use than the average drag-and-drop website builder, I’d still consider this a plus point. It still requires zero coding skills to use and is slightly more comprehensive than average.

It comes with many pre-designed templates (over 700) plus a wide array of widgets 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 has the motivation to keep it current with new technology and tools.

sitepad site builder
GreenGeeks users can build a website easily with the built-in SitePad Builder. There are more than 700 pre-built website themes available at time of writing.

Let's Encrypt SSL Integration

GreenGeeks launched their proprietary built Let’s Encrypt SSL Integration in July 2019 for users hosted on shared and reseller platforms. GreenGeeks users can now one-click install Let's Encrypt Wildcard SSL and renew their SSL automatically; without touching a CSR / Private Key / CRT files.

GreenGeeks SSL
This is how 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.
Adding a free SSL to your domain at GreenGeeks is super easy with the new dashboard. Simple select the domain you wish to install the Let's Encrypt SSL and click “Confirm and Create”. Your site will be secured by Let's Encrypt within seconds.

* Note: Existing GreenGeeks users – switch to the new GreenGeeks AM control panel to access this SSL tool.

Extensive Security Features

To ensure account safety, GreekGeeks takes a two-pronged approach, making use of account isolation as well as Secure vFS. By keeping accounts siloed, they are able to protect users from resource hogs within their own server environments. For instance, if another account based on the same server as yours has a massive usage spike, your account won’t be affected.

Each account is also secured with its own real time malware scanning. It’s another follow up on the silo mentality, but also means that your account will be safe from anything that may affect another account on the same server, such as malware.

 

5. Helpful Customer Support and Knowledgebase

GreekGeeks runs the gamut in terms of customer service, having almost everything a web host seeker would want. The company is recognised by Better Business Bureau and currently rated as “A” by the users. They not only have 24/7 email support, phone support and live chat, but also some interesting resources you can leverage on.

First is the knowledge base, for quick DIY assistance. There are also several basic tutorials to supplement this, covering everything from how to set up email on your account to even platform-specific help (such as for WordPress or Drupal).

Overall in term of resources available for help, GreenGeeks surpasses easily 80 percent of the web hosts I’ve encountered so far.

In fact, the only drawback I can see is the lack of video-based tutorials, which are becoming increasingly important given our leanings towards rich media formats.

GreenGeeks support
Overall in term of resources available for help, GreenGeeks surpasses easily 80 percent of the web hosts I’ve encountered so far.

 

6. Budget Friendly – Big Discount for New Users

Like most budget hosting provider, GreenGeeks holds big discount for new users. If you are signing up on GreenGeeks for the first time, you'll get price discount for up to 70%. Single domain shared hosting starts at just $2.49/mo – which I think is very reasonable in today's market.

* Important: However note GreenGeeks prices will increase after first term, see Con #2 below for more details.

New users save $250+ on GreenGeeks Triennially Hosting Plans, click here to order.

 

Cons: What's Not So Good with GreenGeeks

1. Prices Increase During Renewal

Website hosting cost has always been a major concern for many WHSR readers. The cheap price tags are only available for GreenGeeks first time customers.

When you renew your hosting plan after your first term, the regular rate for Ecosite Lite and Ecosite Pro plans will be $10.95/mo and $15.95/mo respectively.

While this practice is common in today's web hosting market; we think it's important alert our users upfront. A lot of customers don’t realize they are going to pay higher prices and they get sticker shock when they see the auto-charge on their credit card statement.

 

GreenGeeks Web Hosting Plans & Pricing

GreenGeeks Shared Hosting

GreenGeeks offers Shared, VPS, WordPress, and Reseller hosting solutions. GreenGeeks WordPress and Shared Plans are basically the same thing – both were priced the same and come with similar features in three different packages – Ecosite Lite, Ecosite Pro, and Ecosite Premium. Premium plan hosting accounts, according to GreenGeeks, are placed on servers with less customers and also comes with increased CPU, Memory & resources.

FeaturesEcosite LiteEcosite ProEcosite Premium
SSD Storage50 GBUnlimitedUnlimited
Addon Domains1UnlimitedUnlimited
Email Accounts50UnlimitedUnlimited
WP Repair ToolNoYesYes
Dedicated IP$48/year$48/yearFree
Object CachingNoNoYes
Signup (12-mo)$4.95/mo$6.95/mo$10.95/mo
Signup (24-mo)$3.95/mo$5.95/mo$9.95/mo
Signup (36-mo)$2.49/mo$4.95/mo$8.95/mo
Renewal Price$10.95/mo$15.95/mo$25.95/mo

 

GreenGeeks VPS Hosting

GreenGeeks VPS comes in three packages – 2GB, 4GB, and 8GB. Below are some quick highlights of their VPS plans.

Features2 GB4 GB8 GB
SSD Storage50 GB75 GB150 GB
Data Transfer10 TB10 TB10 TB
cPanel/SoftaculousIncludedIncludedIncluded
Memory2 GB4 GB8 GB
CPU Cores4 vCPU4 vCPU6 vCPU
Signup$39.95/mo$59.95/mo$109.95/mo

 

Notes on Server Limitations

While GreenGeeks lays claim to offering unlimited space and bandwidth, there is that pesky line in the ToS that spells out an “Excessive Resource User Policy”:

A hosting account is considered using “Excessive amounts of resources” when it consumes 100% of the allocated resources on the subscribed hosting plan and/or subscribed scalable resource add-on(s) and/or 75,000 files also known as “Computing Resources”, and/or “Resources”, and/or “Resource Usage”.

Normally, all web hosts have this in place, but GreenGeeks doesn’t set a time limit. It is usual to complete that statement with something like “for periods longer than 15 seconds” or similar. This means that any time you hit the limits set, even for a second, they have the right to force an upgrade on you.

It’s also worth noting that maximum files/inodes are capped at 75,000 which is not all that great to be honest (in contrast both InMotion Hosting and Hostgator allows up to 250,000 inodes on paper; A2 Hosting allows up to 300,000).

 

 

FAQs about GreenGeeks Web Hosting

Who is GreenGeeks?

GreenGeeks is a web hosting company founded on the principles of environmental-friendly web hosting in 2006. Their headquarters are located in Agoura Hills, California but they have clients all over the world with data centers in United States, Canada, and Netherland.

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.

Is GreenGeeks hosting good?

GreenGeeks is a good place for beginners 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 the server performance.

What is Green hosting?

Green hosting is when an effort is expended on reducing the environmental impact caused by web hosting. This can be done in a number of ways, such as the purchase of green energy credits or carbon offsets.

Learn more about how Green hosting works.

Is GreenGeeks suitable for business use?

GreenGeeks is suitable for business use, but their focus remains mostly on shared and VPS hosting. Larger businesses should be aware and exercise caution on possible limitations.

 

GreenGeeks = Great Eco-Friendly Host but Pricey in the Long Run

GreekGeeks is a little of a mixed bag of tricks to me.

On one hand, as a technology geek who still hopes to have Earth (and the life on it) around for quite some time more, I appreciate the eco-friendliness. The excellent speed performance that GreenGeeks servers have shown in our tests and the easy Let's Encrypt free SSL management are nothing but aces.

On the other hand, however, the hefty renewal fee is a big turn off.

In overall, I feel that GreenGeeks is a host which would do admirably with anything from a blog all the way even to a small business. In fact, I think it’s an ideal place for a beginner to host their site, given the facilities, pricing and resources available.

GreenGeeks Seal
GreenGeeks prepared various”seals” for users who wish to show off their environmentally friendly-hosted website. Visitors will be able to verify that you host green by clicking on the GreenGeeks Seal. To get code for these seal, login > Dashboard > Profile > Greengeeks Seal.

Alternatives to GreenGeeks Hosting

In case GreenGeeks is not for you, here are other two green hosting companies offering similar plans:

  • A2 Hosting – Fast loading server at a reasonable price – $3.92/mo.
  • HostPapa – Shared hosting plans start at $2.95/mo.

Side-by-side Comparison with Others

Click Here: Get GreenGeeks hosting at 70% discount now

About Jerry Low

Founder of WebHostingSecretRevealed.net (WHSR) - a hosting review trusted and used by 100,000's users. More than 15 years experience in web hosting, affiliate marketing, and SEO. Contributor to ProBlogger.net, Business.com, SocialMediaToday.com, and more.