GreenGeeks Review

Published by Sam Wilson on

Environmentally conscious web hosting provider driven by 300% renewable energy, with shared, VPS and dedicated hosting plans to suit most needs and budgets.

GreenGeeks have only been in operation since 2006, making them relative newcomers when compared to long-tenured hosting giants such as 1&1, HostGator and GoDaddy.

In the decade that followed their initial launch, the company have gone on to earn quite the reputation for themselves, thanks in no small part to their unwavering commitment to fuelling every part of their operation -from data servers to their own offices – entirely on renewable energy.

So far, it’s been a smart move for GreenGeeks. With increasing numbers of customers seeking out environmentally-friendly businesses to purchase goods and services from, many small and medium sized outfits have latched on to the idea that hosting their websites on a green-powered web server can do much to appeal to eco-conscious audiences.

If this sounds like the kind of solution your business could benefit from, you may well find that GreenGeeks will be at the top of your ‘to consider’ list when it comes to purchasing a new web hosting package.

Of course, before you dive right in to making that big purchase, it naturally pays to do a little research. To help you out, our experts have put together the following guide on everything you could possibly need to know about GreenGeeks.

With most businesses these days seeking to prove their eco-friendly credentials, GreenGeeks have stepped in to fill the void with powerful, reliable hosting solutions driven which actually benefit the environment rather than harm it. Even if going green isn’t really on your agenda, the sheer quality of GreenGeek’s shared hosting plan makes them one well worth investigating.

Plans and Pricing

GreenGeeks give fellow eco-friendly hosting providers FatCow a run for their money by serving up a comprehensive package at a competitive $3.96 per month.

Though we’d like to see them offer different currencies for those of us not based in the United States, a little Google reveals that this works out at £2.65 per month for a first term. When it’s time to renew, you’re looking at paying more than twice that amount, with the regular term fees coming in at $9.95 (£6.67) per month.

WordPress Specialist Hosting

Whilst we tend to focus more on shared hosting packages here in our Top 10 Website Hosting Reviews, we do think GreenGeek’s WordPress-focused offering is definitely worth a mention, as investing in this, rather than the shared plan, could save some of you a chunk of money if you’re planning on using the popular CMS to drive your website.

Like the shared package, this too starts at $3.96 (£2.65) per month. However, unlike with the shared package, this rate is the full, fixed price, meaning you won’t have to worry about a price increase once your first term comes to an end.

Money Back Guarantee

If you’re not happy with GreenGeeks, the company will refund 100% of your hosting fees providing you cancel within 30 days.

This excludes any set-up and transfer fees, as well as the cost of registering your domain name. The latter works particularly in your favour, as it means you get to keep your domain name and take it to another hosting company should you choose to.

Key Features

What’s included in the GreekGeeks Shared Plan?

  • Free domain for life
  • Unlimited bandwidth and storage
  • Unlimited Email
  • Shared SSL
  • Free nightly backups

GreenGeeks features in more detail

Bandwidth and storage allowances are unlimited within the confines of the standard Fair Use Policy, as are FTP accounts, MySQL databases, and sub-domains.

The usual free domain name is included in the price. Unlike other hosting companies however, GreenGeeks will never charge you for your domain for as long as you choose to host your site with them. If you already have a domain name, GreenGeeks will transfer it over to your new hosting account free of charge.

The same goes for your website. Whether you’re simply looking for a better deal than you’re getting from your current provider, or you need a more environmentally-friendly solution in keeping with your business’ eco-policy, GreenGeek’s team will take your site from its existing home and move it to your new server at no extra cost to you.

On the email front, there’s a lot to rave about. Unlimited POP3 emails with as much as storage space as you need, IMAP email support, unlimited autoresponders and forwarding accounts are all included in the plan. You can access your email accounts through GreenGeek’s own Webmail portal, on your mobile phone or through your desktop computer, a feature not too dissimilar from other hosting plans on the market.

Among the primary additional features, the ones we’re most glad to see are nightly backups (again, this is something that a lot of other hosting companies will charge you extra for), SEO support, and the obligatory free advertising credits.

One-click installation of all the usual platforms (WordPress, Joomla, Drupal and Magento) are all here, as are forums, bulletin boards, photo galleries and scores of other free applications.

GreenGeek’s hosting runs on Linux servers, and comes with support for multiple versions of PHP (including PHP 7), Pearl, Ruby, and Python.

Building a Website

GreenGeeks plans include in a drag-and-drop website builder with their eco-friendly shared package. Alternatively, if you know this is definitely the route you’re going to take to build your website, you can actually buy this as a stand-alone package.

In our experience, the web builder is pretty easy to use, with a simple layout and intuitive controls.

Several hundred mobile-optimised website templates are available for you to customise, though from what we’ve seen, these do leave something to be desired.

If you’re using a Content Management System to create your site, you’re well catered for with support for all the usual platforms (WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Magento etc) as well as a wealth of other applications that can be used to add greater functionality to your site.

Selling online

Again, this is where GreenGeek’s all inclusive package proves its worth by negating the need to upgrade in order to run an online store, as you would with most of the company’s rivals.

Instead, there are lots of eCommerce features included as standard, including a SSL Secure Server, and support for leading shopping carts such as OS Commerce, CubeCart, PretaShop, ZenCart and lots more.

Magento is also available as a one-click installation, and Open PGP comes included in the price.

Reliability and Performance

If you’re worried that renewable energy powered servers won’t deliver the same kind of high performance as those running on traditional energy sources, allow us to put your mind at rest.

Both the shared and WordPress hosted plans utilise Dual Quad Core Frontend Servers and SSD, RAID-10 storage for optimum performance, whilst the company’s own monitoring system runs 24/7/365, checking server uptime every ten seconds and ensuring any blips are resolved in record time.GreenGeeks Uptime P

From our own trial runs with GreenGeeks, we’ve got nothing bad to say about the level of performance and reliability offered by the service. In the last sixty days prior to writing this review, we had a solid run of absolute 100% uptime, whilst throughout 2015 we only saw that level drop below 99.99% on two separate -albeit incredibly brief- periods.

Customer Service

So far, we’ve had a lot of good things to say about GreenGeeks. Sadly, we can’t speak so highly about their customer service.

We’re not saying that problems don’t get resolved eventually but we did find (and according to many online hosting reviews, so did many other people), that the customer support team weren’t always the quickest off the mark, nor the most friendliest.

Good marks for actually getting issues solved, but if doing so means you treat your valued customers with a frosty reception and a not-so-newcomer-friendly approach, it really negates the whole point of what customer service is supposed to be about.

My Opinion

The Good

There’s a lot to like about GreenGeeks, and in particular we do have to give them kudos for two key points.

The first of those is nightly backups. It’s rare to see this included in such a low-cost plan, and given that it’s one of the more invaluable features a good hosting company could include, we’re pleased to see it here.

The second point is the provider’s main USP: Green hosting. Boasting 300% renewable energy sources behind their servers and back-end functions, this is well above the average amount of renewable energy used, and should go a long way to helping eco-friendly businesses take the extra step to protecting their environment.

The Bad

As we mentioned earlier, it’s the customer service that really lets GreenGeeks down. For a company that seems to care so much about the planet as a whole, it’s unusual that they don’t seem to show the same level of concern to their customers.

Speaking of customer service, the company makes a big deal of the fact that all their operators are based in the US. Of course, this is great news for American customers, but for the rest of us, it’s hardly a major selling point.

Beyond that, we don’t have too many complaints, and would certainly recommend them to anyone looking for environmentally hosting that delivers solid performance.

Over to you

We’d love to hear your opinion. If you’re an existing -or former- customer of GreenGeeks and agree or disagree with anything we’ve mentioned above, why not drop us a note and share your hosting experience in the comments.

Categories: Reviews

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