As part of our search for the best web hosting services, we took a closer look at eco-friendly hosting solutions. With its 300% renewable energy match and other green actions, GreenGeeks is a clear leader in this space.
GreenGeeks review: Snapshot
GreenGeeks offers competitively priced hosting solutions backed by excellent security and a range of other neat features. You will have to sign up for a long-term plan to access the best prices, though, and the self-help resources on offer are very basic. Competitors like Hostinger certainly offer much more budget-friendly hosting, which is worth keeping in mind.
We also monitored GreenGeeks’ performance over a two-week period, and the results were generally positive. Creating a new WordPress site is quite straightforward, and in general, there’s a lot to like about this company and its web hosting solutions—particularly if you’re concerned about the environmental impact your website may be having.
Read on for the full review.
|Pros||- Leading eco-friendly hosting services - Great value for money - Data centers in the US, Europe, and Canada||- Excellent budget hosting solutions - Backed by great security tools - Uses an advanced hPanel control panel||- Commitment to sustainable business practices - 97-day money-back guarantee - Decent performance|
|Cons||- Complicated price structure - Support site is a little basic||- Resource limitations with some plans - Deceptive price structure||- Limited configuration options - Below-average control panel|
|Verdict||It’s not the most powerful web host we’ve used, but GreenGeeks’ advanced features and 300% renewable energy match make it an attractive option.||Hostinger offers some of the best budget shared hosting we’ve seen, and it’s backed by great security and a suite of advanced features.||DreamHost offers a range of hosting products backed by decent performance and a commitment to sustainable business practices.|
|View deals||Visit site||Visit site||Visit site|
Although it’s mainly known for its eco-friendly hosting solutions, GreenGeeks still offers numerous attractive features with its hosting products. One notable absence is the lack of an native website builder, but the inclusion of a basic Weebly-based builder means that this certainly isn’t a dealbreaker.
GreenGeeks markets itself as the world’s leading environmentally friendly web hosting provider, and we’ve found nothing to suggest that this isn’t the case. A huge amount of energy is used across the globe to run and maintain the data centers required for the internet, and this can have significant environmental impacts.
In an attempt to create the most eco-friendly hosting possible, GreenGeeks uses a 300% green energy match strategy. Basically, this means that the company purchases and injects three times as much renewable energy into the grid as it uses. It also works with One Tree Planted to plant a tree for every new hosting account started on its platform.
All websites built with GreenGeeks hosting will benefit from a number of integrated security tools. The shared hosting plans come with a free SSL certificate and automatic backups, as well as proactive security scanning and server monitoring.
If malware or other security issues are found, the team will work with you to ensure they’re dealt with as soon as possible. There’s a powerful firewall protecting all servers, which is designed to reduce the risk of hacking and other security breaches. All of the company’s hardware and infrastructure is fully redundant, ensuring your site remains online as much as possible.
GreenGeeks: Key features and highlights
Another thing that stands out is GreenGeeks’ range of data center locations. It boasts three data centers in the USA, one in Canada, and one in the Netherlands. By selecting a center that’s close to your main audience, you can ensure your site's performance and reliability will be as good as possible.
All GreenGeeks users can take advantage of a number of attractive guarantees. For one, there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee, which essentially means that you can test the platform without risk. However, note that you won’t be refunded any domain registration, setup, or transfer fees.
There’s also a neat 99.9% uptime guarantee. This is quite normal across the hosting industry, but it’s still something that’s good to see. The quality-of-service guarantee also promises 24/7 email support and live chat and telephone support.
Unfortunately, GreenGeeks doesn’t release specific information or make large announcements when it updates its products. This can make it a little difficult to keep track of recent changes.
In saying that, it’s immediately obvious that the company is committed to staying at the forefront of the hosting industry. It’s a leader when it comes to green hosting, and it offers a suite of advanced features that are up there with the best in the industry.
The bottom line: you can rest assured that GreenGeeks will continue to integrate new tools to ensure it grows as a hosting provider.
GreenGeeks offers a selection of hosting products, including shared, VPS, dedicated server, and reseller hosting. There’s also a Weebly-based website builder (from $2.49 a month), and all shared hosting plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
The most basic shared hosting starts at just $2.49 a month, but you will have to sign up for three years to access this price. Monthly payments are much higher at $10.95 per month.
VPS hosting ranges from $39.95 to $109.95 a month. Dedicated servers range from $169 to $439 a month. Both of these options are only available with monthly billing, which essentially lets you pay as you go. In the table below, we’ve taken a closer look at the three shared hosting plans.
|Plan type/feature||Lite||Pro||EcoSite Premium|
|Cost per month||$10.95*||$15.95*||$25.95*|
|Cost per year||$59.40*||$83.40*||$131.40*|
*GreenGeeks offers monthly, annual, biannual, and triannual billing with its shared hosting products. Monthly prices decrease with longer subscription terms.
In order to comprehensively compare GreenGeeks to the competition, we analyzed a series of its features and tools to see how it performed. This included creating a WordPress website, and checking its server response times.
How do you create a WordPress site with GreenGeeks?
Before you can create a website with GreenGeeks, you will need to register a new account. This is quite a straightforward process, and you shouldn’t have too many problems if you follow the prompts.
Once you’ve signed in to your account, you will find that there are a few different options for starting a WordPress site. There’s a Quick Launch Wizard available via the GreenGeeks dashboard, or you can head to your control panel and use the Softaculous one-click installer to get started.
Softaculous can be used to install any of a great number of apps and other programs with the click of a button, making it a great option for beginners with limited tech skills. But we took advantage of the Quick Launch Wizard, and we were very impressed with how easy it made things. First, follow the prompts and specify that you want to build your site on WordPress.
Then, you can choose whether or not to have a Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate installed, select a theme from the WordPress.org template library, and add any of a number of popular plugins. Hit the "Create My Website" button, and you should have access to your new WordPress site within minutes.
The entire process took us no more than two or three minutes, and then we were able to access the WordPress management dashboard and all of the editing tools that come with it.
How does GreenGeeks perform?
When you’re choosing a web hosting provider, it’s extremely important to consider its performance record. To test GreenGeeks’ performance, we created a simple WordPress website and monitored its uptime and server response times using Pingdom.com’s monitoring tools.
Over a 14-day period, there were a few interesting things to note. For the first two or so days, the average server response time sat around 1500ms, with a maximum of 1580ms. This is extremely slow, and represents terrible performance and very slow servers.
However, after the first two days of testing, the average server response time dropped significantly, hovering consistently at less than 350ms. The minimum response time was 241ms, and the overall average came in at 407ms. This is okay, and the results look much better if the first two days are discounted as anomalies.
Now, our WordPress site was offline for a total of one hour and 22 minutes, which gave an uptime of 99.59% across the test period. This outage occurred at the end of the first two days, coinciding with the decrease in server response times. Because of this, we can assume that the GreenGeeks team switched our website to a different server, or made significant configurational changes to improve overall performance.
Alternatives to GreenGeeks
If you’re looking for a hosting provider with a commitment to environmentally friendly business practices, you just can’t go past GreenGeeks. It boasts a 300% renewable energy match, which basically means that for every unit of energy it uses, it injects three renewable units into the grid via various methods.
GreenGeeks is a little expensive, though, and Hostinger certainly takes the points if you’re looking for a budget solution. Its cheapest shared hosting plan comes in at just $1.39 a month, and the selection of tools on offer has to be seen to be believed.
For example, Hostinger is known for its excellent security features, which clearly eclipse GreenGeeks’. Its shared hosting plans are a little underpowered, with limited storage and bandwidth, but the sheer value for money here makes it a great option for small websites. Read our full Hostinger review to learn more about the service.
DreamHost is another popular alternative to GreenGeeks, particularly for those who are concerned with environmentally-friendly hosting. Although the company doesn’t advertise it heavily, a closer look at DreamHost’s business practices reveals a commitment to sustainability—even though it’s certainly not as active in the field as GreenGeeks.
In addition, DreamHost offers a decent selection of hosting products, with its cheapest shared plans starting at just $2.59 a month. All shared hosting plans come with a free SSL certificate, generous storage, and unmetered bandwidth, although it’s worth noting that customer support is a little limited. Take a look at our comprehensive DreamHost review to find out more about the web host.
|Free SSL certificate||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Support||Phone, email, 24/7 live chat||24/7 email and live chat||Email, business-hours live chat|
|Basic Plan||From $2.49 per month||From $1.39 per month||From $2.59 per month|
All things considered, GreenGeeks’ web hosting solutions are among some of the best on the market. Its price structure is a little complicated, but it offers some of the most affordable shared hosting available.
In addition, it’s extremely easy to sign up for a new account and start your first website. The Quick Launch Wizard will guide you through the process of creating a WordPress site.
The performance of our test site was a little interesting. After the first few days, it was almost flawless, although the high server response times and significant downtime at the beginning of the monitoring period was a little concerning.
The bottom line here is that we’d highly recommend considering GreenGeeks if you’re looking for a competitively priced, reliable hosting provider. Its eco-friendly solutions are an added bonus, particularly for those concerned about their impact on the environment.
Further reading on web hosting
Find out more about what web hosting is, how it impacts security, and the most common mistakes to avoid when choosing a web hosting provider. It's worth looking at our range of buying guides for advice: we've evaluated the best web hosting, the best cloud hosting, the best unlimited hosting, and the best WordPress hosting, and the best free web hosting and best cheap web hosting for those on a budget.