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GreenGeeks was founded in 2008 by Trey Gardner, and they’ve now shot up to hosting over 300,000 websites (with data centers in the U.S., Canada, and the Netherlands).
On their website, GreenGeeks goes on to make two bold claims:
- 99.9% uptime
- 100% customer satisfaction
So what’s the verdict? Do they have excellent, wind-powered uptime and support? Or are their promotional claims just full of hot air?
To see for ourselves, we purchased the GreenGeeks ‘Shared Plan’ in June of 2015. We set up a basic WordPress test website to run performance tests for over 24 months. Detailed performance stats, like uptime and speed, can be viewed by clicking here for more information.
General Info & Hosting Overview
|OUR VERDICT:||Best Green Web Host|
|SPEED:||445ms (February 2018 to January 2020 average)|
|UPTIME:||99.98% (February 2018 to January 2020 average)|
|SUPPORT:||24/7 Live Chat|
|APPS:||WordPress, Joomla, PrestaShop, and WHMCS|
|FEATURES:||Unlimited bandwidth, storage, and email accounts, free domain 1st year|
|HOSTING PLANS:||Shared, WordPress, and Reseller|
|SITE TRANSFER:||Single Free Site Transfer|
|PRICING:||Starting at $2.95/mo (renews at $9.95/mo)|
Pros of Using GreenGeeks Hosting
GreenGeeks has a lot of good things going for them. This includes solid uptime, support, and important mission-driven service. Here are the details:
1. Above Average Uptime
GreenGeeks has made the bold claim of guaranteed 99.90% uptime. Have they been able to live up to that claim?
Yes. Our in-depth, 24-month analysis backs this up, showing an average uptime of 99.98%.
During the 24 months of tracking, GreenGeeks impressively had a total of only 4 hours of downtime (46 outages). They have performed especially well in the past 12 months, keeping the uptime in most months between 99.98-100%.
Take a look:
Last 12-month average uptime:
- January 2020 average uptime: 100%
- December 2019 average uptime: 99.99%
- November 2019 average uptime: 99.99%
- October 2019 average uptime: 99.98%
- September 2019 average uptime: 99.98%
- August 2019 average uptime: 100%
- July 2019 average uptime: 100%
- June 2019 average uptime: 100%
- May 2019 average uptime: 99.99%
- April 2019 average uptime: 99.94%
- March 2019 average uptime: 99.98%
- February 2019 average uptime: 100%
2. Good Page Loading Time (445ms)
We also tested GreenGeeks’ page load times during our 24-month review process.
Their speed is better than the industry average, clocking in around 445ms.
This places GreenGeeks easily among the top 10 fastest hosts we’ve reviewed.
GreenGeeks average load time:
3. Good Support with Quick Answers
Customer support was the final ‘big’ element to review.
We were connected to a customer support agent within a minute, who then answered questions quickly and concisely.
The only issue?
There were a few grammar mistakes along the way. From our previous experience, we can into that a little bit. Support might be outsourced to non-native English speakers, or their customer service reps might be overworked and stretched thin.
Whatever the case, overall, we were happy and satisfied with our experience. And a background check revealed that other customers are happy with GreenGeeks’ support too.
GreenGeeks has a responsive 24/7 customer support team and an extensive knowledge base where users can search for answers to their questions.
That’s a great perk if you prefer self-help over asking a customer service representative for assistance.
GreenGeeks has a ton of different article categories and subcategories to select from, including sales questions, general hosting, reseller hosting, VPS hosting, billing questions, video tutorials, and more.
You can use the search bar in case you can’t find your solution within the above-mentioned categories.
That way, you always have access to the help you need, even if GreenGeeks’ live chat feature is offline for some reason.
4. Free Domain Name & Website Migration
GreenGeeks offers free domain name registration and transfer. If you get your domain name through them, they will keep it free for as long as you use their services – kind of. See the Cons section for the details.
If your website is already hosted elsewhere, they can help you transfer your site to their servers for free.
GreenGeeks claims to be – well – green. What does that mean exactly?
Here’s how they explain it:
GreenGeeks will purchase 3 times the wind energy credits to make up for the energy used by their services to power your website.
They replace more than 615,000 kWh a year. To put that in perspective, the average American consumes 12,000 kWh of electricity per year.
GreenGeeks is a recognized Green Power Partner with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), too.
6. 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
If you’re unhappy with moving over to GreenGeeks, they have a full 30-day, ‘no-questions-asked’ money-back guarantee on most hosting plans.
There are a few exceptions, though. Read more in the Cons section.
7. Nightly Backups
Sometimes, bad things happen.
Maybe it’s self-inflicted, or it could be someone with malicious intent trying to hack their way in. Regardless, GreenGeeks provides free nightly backups (in addition to SSH access). This way, you can sleep soundly, knowing that even if something goes wrong, your data is backed up regularly.
For additional security measures, they also offer real-time security scanning, automatic brute force detection, Spam Assassin protection, SSL secure server, and the ability to password-protect your directories.
8. Multiple High-Quality Server Locations
GreenGeeks offers data centers in four locations:
- Chicago, US
- Phoenix, US
- Montreal, CA
- Amsterdam, NL
Choosing the right server location can have a huge, positive impact on your website’s SEO. Plus, if you pick a server closer to you, you’ll experience faster speeds.
GreenGeeks also promises customers that they will keep servers up to date with the following specifications:
- Never oversold
- Gigabit Connectivity
- The Latest Generation Energy-efficient Intel Xeon processors
- Minimum of 64 GB DDR3 ECC-Registered Memory
- No desktop hardware whatsoever
- BGP4 Gigabit connectivity to several Fiber GigE Tier 1 Backbones
- Name brand server parts
- RAID-10 SSD Storage Arrays to give you maximum performance & redundancy
- Solid State Drive (SSD) Acceleration
It doesn’t stop there. Each data center includes the following features:
- Biometric and key card security system with man-traps and a rack-level locking mechanism
- SAS 70 Type 1 certified (with audit report available on request)
- FM 200 server-safe fire suppression system that has an early pre-fire detection mechanism
- Dual-city grid power feeds, plus battery backup that includes an automatic transfer switch and a diesel generator on-site
- Staffed 24×7 by SingleHop data center engineers and technicians and monitored remotely
- Automatic climate control and temperature system with temperature and humidity sensors throughout the facility
So you can be sure with GreenGeeks that your data is stored on high-quality, state of the art servers.
9. Free CDN
Everyone interacts with a Content Delivery Network (CDN) on a daily basis if they browse the web, whether they’re looking at news sites, social media pages, or shopping online.
GreenGeeks offers a CDN to users that are powered by Cloudflare. That’s great news for your site optimization, especially if you’ve got a global reach.
The best part? It’s absolutely free.
Cloudflare allows users to cache content and use servers closest to website visitors to get it delivered. As a result, web surfing is much faster for those who come to your website.
Cons of Using GreenGeeks Hosting
Unfortunately, all that glitters is not gold.
Despite all of the upsides to GreenGeeks, there are a few things you should be aware of before making a final decision.
1. Industry-Standard Pricing Manipulation
GreenGeeks follows the tried-and-true industry-standard practice of advertising a very low monthly rate of $2.95 on their website, only for you to find out that you actually have to sign up for three years in advance to get it.
Otherwise, if you want to pay monthly, it’ll set you back with $9.95 each month.
2. Questionable Refund Policy
Many web hosts will throw in a domain name for free when you create a new account with them.
GreenGeeks also offers you a free domain name with them.
Otherwise, the cost might range from ~$3.00 – $9.99 for the year.
But be aware of the fine print:
If you request the aforementioned money-back guarantee and you took them up on that ‘free’ domain name offer, your refund will be deducted by $24.95 for a domain name registration fee.
This means that the domain name is not really free and that their money-back guarantee has some strings attached.
GreenGeeks Pricing, Hosting Plans & Quick Facts
Here’s a quick overview of the hosting plans offered by GreenGeeks:
Shared Hosting: Unlike most other web hosts, GreenGeeks has just one shared hosting plan. The plan costs $2.95 if you pay for 3 years in advance (the actual cost is $9.95 per month if you pay monthly). It comes with unlimited web space, unlimited data transfer, support for unlimited domain names, and unlimited email accounts and MySQL databases. This plan also comes with a free domain name and free nightly backups. It is powered by RAID-10 SSD storage for performance.
WordPress Hosting: Their WordPress hosting is basically the same as their shared hosting plan, but it seems to be especially enhanced for WordPress. We haven’t tested it yet but will do it soon.
- Free domain? Yes.
- Ease of Signup: Easy signup process.
- Payment Methods: Credit Card, PayPal.
- Hidden Fees and Clauses: Your account must not use more than 100 percent of 1 CPU core and/or 1GB memory, or 20 concurrent connections or 75,0000 files or you will risk account suspension. If a due invoice is not paid within four days, your account will be suspended and you will need to pay a reactivation fee of $15 to have your account back online.
- Upsells: No upsells.
- Account Activation: Quick account activation.
- Control Panel and Dashboard Experience: cPanel.
- Installation of Apps and CMSs (WordPress, Joomla, etc.): 1-click install tool to easily install popular apps and CMSs.
Do We Recommend GreenGeeks?
GreenGeeks has a bigger mission than just simply providing web hosting, and we like that.
They’re not necessarily the best we’ve seen, but they do provide solid speed, uptime, and good customer support.
For those reasons, you should consider giving them a look.
Just be aware that you’ll need to sign up for the long-term if you’d like their lowest rate. And that your ‘free domain’ and ‘money-back guarantee’ might not be so iron-clad if you decide to ask for a refund.