GreenGeeks

GreenGeeks Review

The GreenGeeks was founded in 2006, and this hosting company is environmentally friendly and focuses on it which makes it all the more impressive. The company has grown to host over 300,000 websites and to serve over 35,000 customers which have made a name for itself as the industry-leading and green hosting provider.

The company’s website and its hosting services cater to both the beginner and the intermediate website owners. It acts as a solid fit if the customers are looking forward to starting their site and easily scale up with a single host.

The core offering of GreenGeeks to the beginner is the shared hosting plan, which can also be expanded into the customized hosting environment that is perfect for the user’s site. Apart from this, the customers can also find a dedicated WordPress hosting along with the higher-end plan like the VPS and the dedicated servers.

The GreenGeeks manages to set itself apart from the others by offering a uniquely scalable hosting, that which is accessible to the beginner hosting packages, and the solid WordPress hosting.

All of the plans which are mentioned come with backup and security features, and also it provides the users an ability to choose their own datacenter along with the dedication to eco-friendliness.

Green Hosting:

The company’s commitment towards sustainability outshines on what most of the other green hosts have committed at present. They stand out from others with a 300% renewable energy commitment, which makes it one of the cleanest hosting technology on the market.

This 300% renewable energy helps to make up for the rest of the hosting industry, which is far more than the resource-intensive that most people actually realize. People easily overlook the environmental and energy resources that take to the host websites.

The hosting industry ranks up equally with industries like air travel when it comes to energy use. By seeing such a huge discrepancy, has caused CEO Trey Gardner to start the GreenGeeks.

GreenGeeks is an EPA Green Power Partner which delivers a strong eco-friendly green operation with no sacrifice of performance and the quality. Indeed, its high technology performance is the core focus of GreenGeek’s.

The carbon footprint of GreenGeeks is zero, and it also negates the energy use of the other two companies which are of the same size.

Efficient Infrastructure:

The extensive purchase of the wind energy credits to an offset energy use where the server facilities used are already incredibly energy efficient and are up to the mark of the latest energy efficiency standards.

The GreekGeeks is taking the lead to charge when it comes to the green web hosting and It hopefully continues to set as an example for the rest of the industry to follow the same.

Hosting Plans:

Let’s discuss different types of hosting plans offered by GreenGeeks:

Shared Hosting:

If the user is just getting started online then the last thing that he wants to have or to do is spend some time in managing all the technical elements to get his site online.

The shared hosting provides the best place to start and put the user’s efforts on the web.

Shared Plans:

The GreenGeeks offers its users three shared hosting plans; all the plans offer unlimited bandwidth, storage, domains, and email accounts. These plans also come with one free domain name which is valid for the first year.

The cheapest plan amongst all is the Eco site Starter which comes for just $2.95/month if the user signs up for a long contract.

The next reasonable plan up is the Ecosite Pro. It provides everything which the starter plan offers and it is hosted on a better server with the caching. The GreenGeeks claims that it has twice the performance.

The top plan is the Ecosite Premium which comes with everything that is seen in the other plans. Adding to that it performs at four-times more that of the Starter plan. It also includes the premium SSL certificate and the PCI compliant.

Features of Shared Hosting:

With the basic shared hosting plan the users will get all the things that they have come to expect from the host:

  • The unlimited server resources
  • The unlimited bandwidth
  • The MySQL database creation
  • An Email account creation
  • A Free Cloudflare CDN
  • The unlimited domains with one account
  • The free marketing and the SEO tools

Adding to this they also have the option to register the free domain name with the GreenGeeks upon the creation of their account.

And this is not the actually recommended option to take, as it can get pricey too. But yes it is a nice add-on to have for the users who do not mind the costs and would like to take care of the entire website set up in a single place.

The above-mentioned features are nice to have, but they are not something which makes the GreenGeeks stand out. Apart from the over-the-top green commitment, the GreenGeeks also excels in:

  • The Speed technologies
  • The Security and Reliability technologies
  • The Datacenter options
  • The website Speed

The importance of the speed for the user’s website cannot be overemphasized. There is plenty of research which shows that if the user’s site loads in more than 2 seconds, then they are losing the readers and the buyers.

This is because the general public is getting used to the top-of-the-line websites and checkout experiences. They become impatient when the sites load slower and chose to move towards these top performers.

The google recommends the user’s site which loads in no more than 2-3 seconds. The speed is also a factor for the search engine ranking.  If the site takes a long time then Google may limit or slow down the crawling of the user’s site, which is the bad news for them.

Speed Stack:

The GreenGeeks offers a speed stack in which a geeky term is meaning the set of technologies.

The Speed Stack includes:

  • The LiteSpeed web servers
  • The SSD hard drives
  • The Fast MariaDB
  • A PHP7
  • The Content Delivery Network (CDN)
  • A HTTP/2.

Security:

The GreenGeeks offer several tools to make the users site a secured one. These include:

  • The Real-time file scanning
  • A Pro-active server monitoring
  • The clustered threat analysis
  • The Secure vFS
  • Hosting account isolation

Datacenter Options:

At present GreenGeeks has its state-of-the-art datacenters in 4 places. It allows the users with the shared hosting plans to pick on which datacenter they would like to be hosted on which is an unusual bonus.

Scaling Up:

The GreenGeeks allow the users to scale up with their shared hosting by providing them with a greater performance in the higher-level of plans.

As the user’s site grows, their traffic levels also improve, and they can demand more from the host and will start to see how valuable it is.

For example, rather than getting the basic dedicated server, or having to upgrade to the VPS, the users can also upgrade to the higher shared plan or add the computing resources that they require like the additional RAM, CPU, or the other features which makes it very easy for the beginners to run the sites on the custom and on the powerful server environments.

Higher-Level Hosting:

There are few other hosting packages provided where the users can still upgrade to like the VPS hosting, dedicated server packages, or even the reseller packages.

But the users need not have to if they do not want to take on the additional tasks like managing their own server and keeping the environment secure.

WordPress Hosting:

The user needs to know for the fact that if he wants to use WordPress as a foundation for their new website. Then WordPress is awesome and also a great option. But, if the user is looking to enhance its site performance and make their life a whole lot easier, then they will go for the WordPress hosting.

The WordPress plans which are offered by the GreenGeeks all depend on the shared hosting which means they will be sharing the server real estate with the other WordPress sites.

But, in most cases, this kind of setup will be more than enough.

Managed WordPress Hosting:

This plan is for the managed WordPress hosting, which means that all the technical parts of getting the users server to setup are handled for the user, which includes:

  • The WordPress migration
  • The free domain name registration or transfer
  • The WordPress core is automatically updated
  • The site security scans are taken care
  • The user’s site will be protected from brute force and DDoS attacks
  • The user’s site is isolated from the other sites on the shared server, adding to the protection level.
  • The users can have access to 24/7 US-based support.
  • In simple words, the user’s site will be a secure one; it will run in the optimized WordPress environment and it will be online when the users need it the most.

cPanel:

Like many of the beginner-friendly hosts, the cPanel reigns are supreme. If the customers have used a shared hosting environment in their past, then they have probably come across the cPanel, or they are at least aware of the existence.

The GreenGeeks cPanel is equipped with all the features that the users might be familiar with.

In addition, there are few other customizations that make it, even more, easier to get to the user’s site setup and also have few additional features. For the beginners, the cPanel is very intuitive and also organized. The cPanel is worth exploring one as it has a ton of hidden gems that will help the users to build and grow their site.

cPanel Features:

Few of the additional features that the users will find in the GreenGeeks control panel are as follows:

  • The site builder and the theme installer are seen if the customers are using the website builder
  • The ever-popular software called Softaculous is a one-click installer
  • The cPanel account migration
  • Enhanced security options
  • The video tutorials made available on everything related to the hosting
  • The database performance tweaks
  • The search engine submission and the SEO tools
  • The Polls and the survey software
  • The form generators
  • In a typical cPanel the users can find all the apps they need by searching around the control panel or by using the search bar to save some of the time.

Statistics and Account Management

The users will also find their website stats on the left-hand side which shows them their current CPU, storage usage, and the other account data.

On the account management screen, they will be able to handle all the other requests like:

  • Managing their domains
  • Purchasing a few additional services
  • Opening the support tickets
  • Handling their billing requests
  • Accessing the cPanel
  • The Backups

The users would like to think that they would be proactive about backing up their site, just in case if something unfortunate will happen.

But, no matter how solid their intentions are it is usually something that does not get done reliably. That is why having mighty automated backups is an awesome feature, especially for the basic plans like shared hosting.

There are a few handfuls of starter hosts that add backups to the list of features, but as a whole, it is still a rarity and definitely worth highlighting.

Uptime:

Initially, when the company has started the server if it wasn’t performing very well. In particular, it had an uptime of only 99.89%.

This has represented 25 outages for a total time of about 49 minutes. Most of the outages were very brief and just one or two minutes. But one of the outages has represented 10 straight minutes of the downtime.

The good news is that the more recent uptime data is the much better one. Over the last six months, the user’s server was up to 99.97% of the time and roughly has 13 minutes of downtime per month.

Uptime Guarantee:

The GreenGeeks has a 99.9% uptime guarantee. Similar to most of the hosting industry guarantees, there are few specifications attached to it.

The cases in which the GreenGeeks does not guarantee the uptime is just common sense and It includes:

  • Vendor hardware or the network malfunction which is outside the GreenGeek’s control
  • The Downtime which is caused by the client error, including the spamming activity
  • The Downtime which is caused by the cyber-attacks

This uptime guarantee is also good enough to make its way to the terms and conditions, which means one thing, that they take the uptime seriously.

Speed:

In spite of the same problem with the early data, GreenGeek’s server will provide an excellent overall page load speed. The average speed was only 419 ms for 12-month and 367 ms for the last 6 months.

These speeds are better than the ones seen with the SiteGround and are almost as fast as the wp engine, which is known for the excellent server performance.

Additional Features:

The GreenGeeks packs in some of the additional features which are more than the fluff they include;

Security Features:

The security features are robust ones. The servers are under 24/7 monitoring and it includes a built-in firewall that protects against the DDoS, the brute force attacks, and the other cyber threats.

In addition, they can do things like to use the Spam Assassin tool for email protection, and even the password to protect the user’s directories.

Site Builder

If the user is very first to the site and he wants to get it online as soon as possible, then he may want to use the free website builder tool such as the SitePad.

The builder is equipped with hundreds of different mobile-friendly themes where the customers can customize up to their liking with the drag-and-drop builder available.

Site Migration:

If the users have an existing site that they want to migrate over, then the GreenGeeks team will help them do this for free of charge, and all with minimal downtime.

Datacenters:

GreenGeeks has four datacenters located in:

  • Chicago
  • Phoenix
  • Montreal
  • Amsterdam

All these data centers offer a high level of security and the redundancy which includes:

  • The Network connections to multiple to the Tier 1 backbone
  • The FM 200 fire suppression
  • The climate control for temperature and humidity
  • The dual-city power grid feeds
  • The backup battery power
  • The backup diesel generator
  • The Biometric and the card security
  • The Onsite technicians available 24/7
  • The Audited  SAS 70 Type 1 standards

The GreenGeeks has recently upgraded its data center servers. In particular, to be noted is its server drives which have been upgraded to the SSD Raid Storage Arrays.

This upgrade is made system-wide, which means that even the customers who are on the shared hosting plan will benefit from SSD Raid Storage Arrays.

With most of the shared hosts the customers get stuck with which datacenter they choose for themselves, which can mean that the user’s site’s files are stored in Seattle, Washington while most of the user’s site’s traffic comes from the Paris, France. And this is not a good thing for improving the user’s site’s performance and loading the speeds.

But, GreenGeeks does offer its users the choice of the four data center locations which are already mentioned.

While choosing the datacenter, the users need to make sure that they select the location which is the closest to where their website’s traffic is coming from, and not where they are presently located.

Domain Registration

If the user has decided to register the domain name with the GreekGeeks then he won’t be refunded with the domain registration fee.

Also, the domain registration fees are very high, therefore the users may not end up in getting that much of a refund anyway.

The best course of action is to use the host just for the hosting purpose only and use a separate domain name to get registered. This way, if the user does not want to cancel within the 30-day window then he will be subjected to a full refund.

If the users want to continue with the domain registration, then the yearly pricing is quite an expensive thing.

If their focus is not on being a domain name registrar, then this can make sense. However, while focusing on providing beginner hosting they have to assume that there is a solid chance that the users will want to pick up a domain name for them too.

But, its steep pricing will probably cause the users to go somewhere else for the domains, which will add an extra step in getting the users site to get ready, but to avoid any kind of complications with the refund, or paying the high prices, it is best to look for some other place for the domain.

Customer Support:

  • The customers can reach customer support through live chat, email, or phone.
  • The GreenGeeks offers a 100% customer satisfaction. It does offer a wide range of support methods to the users.
  • For example, if the users can reach customer support through live chat, email, or phone.
  • The Phone support is made available only during the business hours, but the live chat can be accessed 24/7.

Self-Help Resources:

If the user is the type who likes to work out the technical issues alone, then there is a large knowledge base source and a tutorial section which will help him to work through any kind of issue.

If he is looking forward to growing the site and learn more about online marketing, SEO, security, and much more, then going through the blogs is definitely a worthwhile investment.

Pros of GreenGeeks:

  • It is one of the best environmentally friendly hosts
  • It is a scalable shared hosting service
  • It has fast servers
  • The company has bundled backup features
  • It provides high-security protection.
  • The carbon credit buybacks offset the company’s footprint by 300%
  • It has a top-notch security measure which means that the user’s site is safe
  • It has an automated backup to protect the user’s content

Cons of GreenGeeks:

  • To lock in with the cheap monthly rate the users need to sign a 3-year contract
  • The money-back-guarantee has few limitations
  • The domain name registration is very pricey after the first year validity of the free domain.
  • It has no Asian datacenters
  • Few of the other hosts are cheaper

Conclusion:

The GreenGeeks prides itself on the environmentally friendly web hosting by offsetting to 300% of the carbon from the energy that they use. They also have a separate section of budget-friendly hosting plans, including the WordPress optimized plans.

When the customers use the special GreenGeeks discount links and the promo code which are available then they can get a good percentage of off on their monthly hosting fee.

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