While shopping for a car, some of us are concerned about the environment and make wise choices in order to make a humble contribution to the planet we live on.
However, while selecting a web host, this is not one of our concerns on the list.
Many of us don’t know we could make a difference by selecting an eco-friendly web host. Yes, you read it right; GreenGeeks is an eco-friendly web host service provider. A unique web host in the business.
Now, you must be wondering how could a simple web hosting provider be polluting the environment. Here’s how; Across the globe as of now, the number of data centres we have is eight million, that’s right, a whopping eight million!
These data centres emit tons of carbon, contributing to over 2% of carbon emissions in the world. The airline industry also contributes around the same amount. Imagine that! Some of us may be oblivious of this fact.
Anyway, moving forward, it is time we all contribute to the planet we live on. So GreenGreeks is here to assist us in running our business successfully along with giving back to mother earth.
Trey Gardner founded GreenGreeks in 2008 and has successfully hosted more than 300,000 websites. They have their data centres in Canada, America and Netherlands.
They believe in giving their clients the best quality service but never neglecting and overlooking their social responsibility.
Every time they pull amperage from the grid, they return three times the amount in renewable energy. All this is done through Bonneville Environmental Foundation.
Before Trey could start GreenGreeks, he worked with multiple web hosting companies like HostPapa, Lunarpages, Globat, Dot5Hosting, StartLogic, iPage, iPowerweb and at present GreenGeeks.
If you check their official website, you will read more about them and various claims they make like;
- They guarantee an uptime of 99.99%.
- They claim to have 100%, satisfied customers.
So are they true to their word? Do they offer excellent support and uptime that is wind-powered? Or are they empty promises?
It was time for us to decide for ourselves. To do so, we got the ‘Shared Plan’ from GreenGreeks and set a WordPress test site, a very basic one, and we conducted various tests over a year.
Keep reading to learn more about their service and if it would suit your needs.
- 1 General Overview
- 2 GreenGreeks Subscription Options
- 3 Account Setup
- 4 Creating Site
- 5 Support
- 6 Performance
- 7 Pros – Things we loved the most
- 8 Cons – A few things they could do better
- 9 Quick Facts
Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5
|Mar 2020 to Feb 2021 487 ms||Mar 2020 to Feb 2021 99.95%||Live Chat 24×7||Joomla, WordPress, WHMCS, PrestaShop|
|Features||Web Hosting Plans||Pricing||Site Transfer|
|Unlimited Database, Unlimited Bandwidth, Free SSL, 1st-year free backup, email accounts, and 50 GB Storage||WordPress, Shared and Reseller||$2.49 per month – Starting Price||Free transfer of a single site|
Alternative Web Hosting Provider
|Key Features: Excellent Uptime, Beginner-friendly, Customer Support 24×7||Key Features: Very Affordable, Best Load Time, Their support is multilingual||Key Features: Quickest Provider, Great uptime, Site Migration – Free|
GreenGreeks Subscription Options
For Canadian users, GreenGreek provides Shared Hosting, VPS Packages, Reseller hosting Packages and WordPress Hosting at very economical prices.
In the web hosting industry of the many web hosts, GreenGreeks specializes in WordPress. They offer a dashboard that is user-friendly, and you can get your website running in no time by using the cPanel dashboard.
With regards to the uptime of the server, GreenGeeks hosting is the best in Canada. Many of their servers have unlimited bandwidth.
They are built to help Canadian users save energy and make a substantial contribution to the environment.
All their customers from their various web hosting packages are 100% satisfied, especially with the green setup. Let us take a quick look at the various packages;
|Plans||Monthly Price||Website||Web Space||Data Transfer||Email Accounts|
|Lite: Starter Plan||$2.49||One||50 GB||Unmetered||50|
|Pro: Very Popular||$4.95||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unmetered||Unlimited|
GreenGeeks Hosting Service:
- WordPress Hosting
- Dedicated Server
- VPS Hosting
- Reseller Hosting
- Shared Hosting
GreenGeeks Benefits Offered:
- E-commerce Friendly
- Advanced Security
- Super Servers
- Single- Click Installs
- Website Migration – Free
- Free Domain
- Full Money Refund in 30 Days
- Uptime Guarantee of 99.9%
- Customer Support 24×7
GreenGreeks pricing is standard, so when you decide to renew your plan, you will not have to pay anything above the original prices.
Many hosts offer the opportunity to renew their packages but at a higher cost. This, most of the time, comes as a shocker and a major bummer too.
They provide their customers with excellent customer assistance. Their executives are available 24×7, 365 days.
So if you need help with troubleshooting, you can reach the team anytime through Live chat and email. You can also call them anytime between EST – 9 AM to 12 AM, throughout the week.
If you wish to upgrade and you feel you need more resources and speed, go in for the Pro package. With this package, there is no cap on the webspace and email accounts.
It’s unlimited and that too all this for just $4.95 per month. It’s a good deal; however, if you have an e-commerce store or a small business and your website seems to be very busy, then we suggest the Premium Plan.
This plan offers you everything from the Pro plan, and they also give you a Dedicated IP and Premium SSL certificate for free.
If you happen to visit GreenGeeks, you will find a page that speaks about WordPress hosting. This is similar to the shared plans. This is an excellent baseline product.
However, they don’t have optimized- WordPress site staging, server caching and none of the advanced extras that are mostly found with WordPress Hosting Specialist Plans commonly found with web hosting providers like; A2 Hosting, Bluehost and IONOS.
GreenGeeks hosting has a VPS hosting plan that is of great value as they offer bandwidth of 10 TB, 50 GB storage, 4 core, 2 GB RAM and they are fully managed.
On the other hand, their dedicated servers look expensive with 2 GB RAM and Dual-core entry-level Intel Atom Version.
When green hosting is a priority, then this shouldn’t be a concern because using a CPU with lower power is an obvious choice. I agree they are no competition to many web hosting providers who are power-driven in terms of cost. But if contributing towards the environment is high on your list, they are worth a try.
GreenGeeks hosting has a very simple signup process. To begin with, you must select a plan most suitable for your project. If you already have a domain, use it, or else you can register for a free one.
Next, to create your account, you will have to enter all your contact details. Choose a method of payment, and they support PayPal and Credit Card. As soon as you make your payment, your account will be activated.
GreenGeeks hosting conducts an internal check for all their new registrations. This step is done in order to prevent fraudulent orders.
If any new registration fails the registration process, GreenGeeks hosting will complete the process over the phone.
In my case, within minutes of me making the payment, I received a welcome mail that had all my login details, a start-up guide, and other important information.
The console that the web account has is very simple, and you can with much ease navigate through it. You don’t need to pass through the never-ending ads that push you towards buying multiple add-ons.
On the top of your page, you will find your web hosting plan with links to handle the account, raise a support ticket or launch cPanel.
You can use GreenGeeks site builder or auto-install your WordPress.
You can use the web dashboard to launch cPanel, and it opens a cPanel full-featured setup that offers multiple ways to manage and create your website.
GreenGeeks permits Softaculous that enables fast installs for Joomla, WordPress, Drupal, MediaWiki and over hundreds of popular applications.
We have seen powerful installs around IONOS and GoDaddy that are overloaded with various features; however, Softaculous assists many apps with functionalities that many users prefer.
GreenGeeks cPanel permits customers access to website builder – SitePad. When you launch SitePad, you get various templates that can be customized using the drag and drop feature.
You can change the default images and texts, add page widgets like; contact forms, maps, media links, multimedia, buttons, more, and you will have yourself a site that meets all your requirements.
We have noticed that many websites have a cap on the size or pages of SitePad. They do this to lure you into upgrading your package.
GreenGreeks doesn’t have a limit on the size or the total pages. You can go ahead add images, pages and other elements without being stressed about having to limit your usage.
The other option you have is to upload the site files either through FTP or getting it done manually through the file manager that is browser-based.
They also offer you bonus options that include Cloudflare CDN integration. To be honest, it doesn’t do much, and your account will have to be set up separately. It gives you an icon that makes it simple to access the account.
The time it saves is little, but we do appreciate it, and we are glad it is included in our package.
They offer a website migration for free; it may be a tad time-consuming and complicated. They won’t cover huge web stores, but it is helpful if you own a simple blog or static site.
Upon sign up, you will need to let them know. The basic support site has some valuable setup tutorials.
cPanel will assist you in managing your site. You can create it the way you want to, and GreenGeeks has the fantastic cPanel to assist you in managing the site.
In our case the account installation was standard and had various options to help us control security, creating email accounts, we could view our server status and much more, just as we had expected.
All of us need help, you could be an expert in the industry or a novice, so we were very curious to check the support team.
GreenGreeks has a rich knowledge base that arranges the content into segments like; cPanel, Email, Domains and more. If you’re a newbie, you can check it out later. And if you’re an experienced user, you might want to look at the other topics depending on your requirement.
To make your search simple, you can use a keyword in the search bar of your site. I had found it helpful when I was trying to learn more about the service.
We also tried keywords like; change PHP or Import WordPress. This search got us plenty of articles that came in handy.
When you go to the cPanel section, you will expect to see some advice about the important modules on cPanel.
Instead, you will find small articles related to very specific tasks that are not very interesting to most users. There is no much depth here. The initial screen displays titles like; Allowing Remote MySQL Access, How do I change DNS For MX, CNAME and A Records.
But, we do feel the support site has plenty of information to help you get your site working.
In case if your concern requires additional assistance, you can get in touch with the support team through email, ticket and live chat. When we connected with them, we got a helpful and quick reply. They are also available 24×7.
As much as we want to contribute to the environment, but we also need to feel confident about the host. Is GreenGeeks reliable? When your visitors try to reach your website and fail to, I don’t see the point of having such a website.
This is vital, especially if you have an e-commerce store. The person trying to visit your site was probably looking at making a purchase. When such a thing happens, it leaves your website with very bad credibility.
For a period of one week, we tested the uptime every 10 minutes. We checked the login to see if it was a success or a failure, the response time of the server and most importantly, the main page uptime downloads. We have seen 100% uptime, with more than 2000 checks.
We never face any downtime; that’s excellent! Many web hosts offer an uptime of 99.99%, which means a 0.1% downtime. It may not seem much, but when you apply it to a weekly downtime, it amounts to 10 min a week. So, 10 min loss of business.
GreenGeeks delivered a response time of 2.92 ms. We have also noticed that most shared hosting providers offer 200 ms to 400 ms.
So GreenGeeks seem to have found a spot in the centre. Also, note that this test is conducted using their starter basic plan, so if you manage to upgrade your plan, you could see better results.
GreenGeeks’ consistency got our attention. The highest response time logged was 939 ms. However, we have seen very few results that were above 500 ms. Most of the times were recorded at 300 ms. Keeping the price in mind, this is good result.
Pros – Things we loved the most
GreenGeeks are getting a lot of things right, like; their vital mission-driven service, excellent support and great uptime.
Excellent Uptime Performance
While selecting a web host, one of the essential factors that we look into is uptime. A strong uptime reflects reliability. Uptime also contributes to the experiences of the visitors of your site, and the bounce rate too can be a loss of profit.
GreenGeeks has pleasantly surprised us in this segment. While the test lasted for a year, by the end of it, we had an uptime average of 99.95%. Below is the average uptime;
|March 2020||April 2020||May 2020||June 2020||July 2020||August 2020|
|Sept 2020||Oct 2020||Nov 2020||Dec 2020||Jan 2021||Feb 2020|
Note: December 2020 we faced an outage on account of internal issues.
Page Loading Time
Server speed is also another vital factor to pay close attention to. I had read the findings of Google’s research that said you would have a 32% increase in the bounce rate for your website will take 3 seconds to load.
This will also have a negative rating on your website. This has happened to me as well, and if a site takes too long to load, I move out. With the fast pace of lifestyle, we expect everything to be quick.
This will not be an issue with GreenGeeks; we have never been let down by them. It is higher than the market average. We have seen an average of 487 ms load time. These consistent load times throughout the year increase our faith in their service.
Customer assistance is a big element for us, so let’s take a deeper look into it.
We wanted to check them out, so we reached out to their live chat service, and within a couple of minutes, we had an executive connect with us. The executive was very courteous, concise and quick in addressing the issue.
They also give their customers an extensive rich knowledge base with helpful articles. This makes you independent, enabling you to manage the concern immediately without getting in touch with customer support.
As I mentioned earlier, every article is categorized to make it convenient for users like; video tutorials, billing questions, VPS Hosting, Reseller Hosting, General Hosting, Sales Questions, and more.
Then they also have a search bar that helps you to enter keywords to pull up articles relevant to your issue. Besides the knowledge base and live chat, you can also reach out to them via phone as well. Phone support is available throughout the week – EST 9 AM to 12 AM.
Free Website Migration and Domain Name
GreenGeeks offer their customers domain names for free; they also help you transfer your website without any additional charges. If you don’t have a domain name, you can get one from them. Till you use GreenGreek services, the domain name remains free.
I must mention, for the 1st year, the domain name has no charges. After the 1st year, if you wish to continue with it, there is a yearly renewal fee of $13.95 for the .org, .net and .com domains. If your site is hosted elsewhere, they will transfer the site to the server at no additional charges.
GreenGeeks claims that they are green. What does it mean?
Here’s the explanation;
The amount of energy they use to power your site, GreenGeeks will buy the wind energy credits three times that amount.
They replace over 615,000 kWh every year. To understand it better, an average Canadian uses 12,000 kWh of electricity every year.
GreenGeeks is a Green Power Partner, recognized by the EPA – the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
30 Days Full Refund Policy
After using their services, if you feel they don’t match your business needs, you can inform them about the same within the initial 30 days, you get a refund with no questions asked.
We have to be ready with the worst-case scenario. If you are planning to host your site, you must also go with the possibility that your site could crash. There are various reasons such a thing could happen; one of them could be a malicious hacker trying to hack into your site.
Regardless, GreenGreeks offers their customers nightly backups that are free apart from SSH access. In this way, you will get a good night’s sleep knowing that GreenGreeks is backing up your data and has got you covered.
They also offer other security measures like; directories that can be password protected, SSL server, spam assassin, auto brute force, real-time security scanning.
Their data centres are as follows;
- Montreal, Canada
- Chicago, USA
- Amsterdam, Netherlands
If you’re web hosting your site for Canadian users, then getting a server closest to you will give your customers better loading time. This will give the site’s SEO a positive and huge impact. They also keep certain specifications of the server up to date like;
- SSD (Solid State Drive) Acceleration.
- For maximum redundancy and performance, they have an array of Raid 10 Solid State Drive Storage.
- Branded server parts.
- They don’t have desktop hardware.
- Registered Memory – DDRC ECC Min 128 GB.
- The processor is Energy-efficient Intel Xeon, Latest Gen.
- Gigabit connectivity.
- Never oversold.
Overall you can be assured that your information is saved on state-of-the-art, best-quality servers.
Everyone uses CDN (Content Delivery Network) on a regular basis, especially if they are browsing through the web looking at shopping online, pages from social media, or news sites.
GreenGeeks offers a Cloudflare-powered CDN to its customers. If your work is at a global level, then this is going to be amazing for the site. And the cherry on top, it is free!!
Cons – A few things they could do better
We have noticed GreenGeeks has a lot of benefits for its users; however, there are a couple of things I feel they can do better.
GreenGreeks follows the industry standard advertising practice on their site. They offer a very low monthly price of $2.49; you will later find out that you need to sign up for an advance term of three years to avail this price. You will also notice the rates are very steep for shorter terms:
- Monthly price – $10.95
- Annual price – $4.95
- Biennially price – $3.95
So, give it a good thought before making a commitment.
Refund Policy – Questionable
We have noticed this with many web hosts in the industry; as you get a new account with them, they will also offer you a free domain name. GreenGeeks also does the same. However, please be sure to read the fine prints.
Now, if you claim the refund policy and you ask them for the free domain name, you will realize it’s no longer free. They will let you keep the name; however, they will charge you for it by deducting the amount for the refund fee.
So what do you understand by it? It means the refund policy has strings attached. The free domain is actually not free. But I wouldn’t stress it, as this seems to be a very common practice in the industry. Be sure to always read the fine print, so nothing comes as a shocker.
- Signup: GreenGeeks has a very simple sign process. It is done within a few minutes.
- Free Domain: GreenGeeks offers free domains.
- Refund Policy: Like many other hosts in the market, GreenGeeks offers a 30 days refund policy.
- Payment Methods: PayPal and Credit card
- Hidden Clause and fees: You must be careful not to exceed your quota; you cannot use 100% of the one CPU core, the memory of 1 GB, 750,000 Files, concurrent connections of 20, or your account can be suspended. When your invoice is due, you must pay it within four days, or your account could get suspended. You will then be entitled to clear the invoice and pay an additional fee of $15 to reactivate your account and get it back online.
- Upsells: They do not have any upsells.
- Account Activation: The process to activate the account is very fast.
- Dashboards and Control Panel Experience: Like most hosts, they also use cPanel.
- Installation of CMS and Apps: They offer a single-click installation tool to help their users to install popular apps with much ease. This also helps them easily install popular CMS like; WordPress, Drupal, Joomla and more.
GreenGeeks underpowered and basic range of products is unsettling. However, the company has shared hosting, a full-featured plan that is definitely of good value.
The power offset of 300% with renewable energy is something we have never come across yet. We find it to be a wise choice, especially for eco-friendly warriors.
An overview of the things that we are For and Against
- The great value.
- Their multiple data centres in Canada, America and Netherland.
- Multiple features.
- Power offset of 300% with energy that is renewed.
- Underpowered Dedicated hosting, VPS hosting and WordPress hosting server plans.
- Phone support is for a limited time only. They should make it 24×7.
- The support doesn’t have as much content as you would expect.
- The shared hosting plans are billed monthly with a free setup.
Do we suggest GreenGeeks?
GreenGeeks is set apart from the other web hosts in the market because they are on a mission. Its mission is to offer eco-friendly services. So, they are not a part of the cut throat battle of high-powered services at the cost of polluting the environment.
Yes, I do agree they are not the best in terms of customer support, uptime and speed, but I can say they are not the worst either. Their awareness to give back to the environment and to make it a social responsibility is simply commendable.
Today, many are aware of the responsibility they have towards global warming, and I see many businesses opting in for eco-friendly options, be it with buying a car or a web host.
If you’re keen on it but have a few doubts, you can always go ahead and give it a try; if it doesn’t match your requirements, you are covered with 30 days full refund policy.
However, do read the fine print because, as discussed, for the cheapest plan, you need to commit to a longer term, and the refund policy may not be iron-clad as you would expect. But all in all, we had a pleasant experience with GreenGeeks. Please do share your comments and experiences with us.