GreenGeeks and Bluehost are both quality, reliable hosting providers – but if you’re on this page, you probably already know that. Rather than recommend them both, we’re going to cover each provider’s strengths and weaknesses, and give you all of the info you’ll need to decide which is the better host for your site.
Before we get started, here’s a quick summary of how GreenGeeks and Bluehost each performed in our web hosting research:
We then measured each hosting provider’s performance across 21 different areas, and condensed our findings into these five most important research categories:
- Disk Space
- Help and Support
Every provider we analyzed – Bluehost and GreenGeeks included – has earned a score out of five in each of these categories. These providers also got an overall score out of five, which equates to the average of all of its category scores.
Bluehost is the best provider for WordPress sites, and for people who value ease of use. GreenGeeks is the best provider for the eco-conscious, and for websites with a lot of email accounts. But which provider is the overall winner? Read on to find out!
GreenGeeks Pros and Cons
- Most eco-friendly host: GreenGeeks’ 300% renewable energy match means your website is carbon-reducing
- Free site migration: If you switch to GreenGeeks, the team will migrate your site for free, with no work involved on your end
- Great email tools: An impressive 50 email accounts come included on the cheapest plan
- Fewer support options: No 24/7 phone support
- No cheap VPS plans: Unlike Bluehost, GreenGeeks doesn’t offer discounted pricing for the first term of its VPS plans
- Servers on only two continents: GreenGeeks doesn’t have data centers in Asia, South America, Africa, or Australia, which means potentially slower load times for visitors based there
Bluehost Pros and Cons
- Easy to use: Bluehost’s dashboard is easy to navigate, and offers helpful tips throughout the website setup process
- Seamless WordPress integration: Bluehost is an officially recommended host by WordPress, and for good reason
- Quality support: Bluehost offers 24/7 phone and live chat support, and its customer service exceeded our expectations by 9%
- Sales-y checkout process: A few optional costs will be added to your cart at checkout, which you’ll have to unselect yourself
- No monthly payment option: You have to commit to paying for at least a year in advance
- No guaranteed backups: Bluehost encourages customers to make their own backups manually
The Signup Process
Once you get started, Bluehost will ask you to set up your domain, either by using one you already own or creating a new one (you’ll also have the option to do this later).
Then, you’ll enter account information like your name, your address, and the type of Bluehost plan you want.
The only thing to be wary of during the signup process is that some “package extras” will be automatically added to your total – you can uncheck these whenever you want, but make sure not to scroll past and leave things you don’t want in your basket!
GreenGeeks will also start off by asking for your domain name – however, unlike with Bluehost, you won’t have the option to skip this step and save it for later.
Managing Your Site
Both Bluehost and GreenGeeks use the popular cPanel control panel, which works as a centralized dashboard where you can easily manage your website(s), server functions, and web files.
Bluehost’s cPanel impressed us because it’s so customized for WordPress websites. Bluehost even automatically installs WordPress for you when you activate your account, and it’s an officially recommended hosting provider by WordPress itself – a title that GreenGeeks just can’t claim.
Bluehost also helps you start off on the right foot with an easy-to-follow checklist on your dashboard home page, which we really liked:
In short, while GreenGeeks is by no means difficult to use, Bluehost just goes the extra mile in our eyes!
Bluehost and GreenGeeks both make life even easier because they don’t just offer hosting – they also act as domain name registrars, meaning you can browse and purchase domain names without the need for a third-party service. This means you can manage your domain registration and hosting services, all from the Bluehost dashboard.
What Types of Hosting Do They Offer?
Bluehost and GreenGeeks differ slightly in the types of hosting they offer.
- Both providers offer shared, WordPress, and VPS hosting
- Bluehost offers dedicated hosting
- GreenGeeks offers reseller hosting
What Features Come Included?
Each hosting provider offers a range of features on each of its paid plans. GreenGeeks scored a perfect 5/5 in the “features” category of our research, while Bluehost earned a still-impressive 4.3/5.
GreenGeeks beats Bluehost for features because of its daily backups and generous email tools. And if eco-friendly hosting is important to you, then GreenGeeks is definitely the way to go…
GreenGeeks’ Renewable Energy Match
GreenGeeks is the most environmentally friendly hosting provider that we’ve researched, and we’re not the only ones who think so – this provider has been recognized as a Green Power Partner by the Environmental Protection Agency since 2009!
GreenGeeks restores three times the amount of energy it consumes, which means your website will actually be carbon-reducing.
- Bluehost’s introductory prices start at $2.95 per month, and its renewal prices start at $8.99 per month.
- GreenGeeks’ introductory prices start at $2.49 per month, and its renewal prices start at $10.95 per month.
Introductory prices are discounted rates that last for the first term of your hosting plan. They’re a pretty standard practice throughout the industry, and they have to be paid for in advance. For example, if a discount lasts for three years at $2.95 per month, you’ll have to pay for all three years up front to get that discount. Renewal prices are the regular rates you’ll be paying for every year after that.
Bluehost wins in terms of the value that you’ll get for your money. It offers introductory prices on its VPS plans, while GreenGeeks charges renewal rates from the get-go. And Bluehost’s dedicated plans are better value simply because they… exist.
Bluehost’s seamless WordPress integration is what really pushes its value over the top. Bluehost has you covered, whether you need:
- Automatic installation of the latest version of WordPress
- Automatic WordPress updates
- Secure setup of WordPress login credentials
Both Bluehost and GreenGeeks offer 30-day money back guarantees, so if you’re not happy with your choice, you can change your mind for free.
Both providers have great uptime, great SSL security, and mediocre backup policies.
Bluehost and GreenGeeks both score 4.0/5 in our research for uptime, putting them ahead of most competitors. Both Bluehost and GreenGeeks have 99.98% uptime guarantees.
This amounts to less than two hours of downtime each year – which becomes even more impressive when you consider that a 100% uptime guarantee is impossible.
Both Bluehost and GreenGeeks include free SSL certificates on all of their plans. These certificates are available through Let’s Encrypt, a nonprofit certificate authority that makes it possible to encrypt the information that’s shared between your server and your website visitors.
SSL was an important factor among the users we spoke to – like Amy, a freelance writer who chose Bluehost “because of its low rates on hosting packages that include an SSL.”
That said, like most hosting providers, Bluehost and GreenGeeks only cover the basics of SSL security for free. The SSL certificate that comes included in your account will be enough security for many websites, like personal blogs or local business pages.
But if you’re selling online – especially if you’re running a larger ecommerce store – you may want to think about taking some extra security measures. This is because you’ll want to make sure customers know their information is safe, especially if they’re going to be entering payment details on your website.
If you’re considering that extra level of security, Bluehost and GreenGeeks both have options at an additional cost. Bluehost’s cheapest option is the PositiveSSL certificate, at $49.99 per year. GreenGeeks only offers the AlphaSSL Wildcard certificate, which costs $99.95 per year.
Backups and Updates
Neither provider has a very good backup policy.
GreenGeeks performs daily backups on your website, which are retained for 24 hours and then replaced with the most recent backup. The catch is that customers don’t usually have access to those backups – they only exist to protect data in the case of hardware or software failure.
If you do need access to a backup, GreenGeeks offers one free restoration per month. After that, you’ll have to pay $25 per restore.
Bluehost creates backups on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis, but they’re “not guaranteed in any way” – and Bluehost recommends that customers create and manage their own backups, too. Then again, it’s wise to do this no matter which hosting provider you use!
GreenGeeks offers free migration for any website. Bluehost is offering free migration for a limited time, and its paid service is really high quality for those who want it. GreenGeeks’ migrations are usually quicker, but Bluehost’s paid service guarantees no downtime.
If you already have a website and are thinking of switching to either Bluehost or GreenGeeks, this section is for you.
Migrating to GreenGeeks
GreenGeeks offers free website migration for every new customer. Once you’ve signed up for a GreenGeeks account, all you have to do is provide the details of your current hosting account (i.e. the account you want to switch from).
You can do this by logging into your GreenGeeks account and submitting a migration request, using the Account Manager part of your dashboard. Just go to Account Manager > Support > Migration Request Form.
Migrating to GreenGeeks can take anywhere from one hour to two days, and the team will make sure that your site is transferred without “an extended period of downtime.”
Migrating to Bluehost
Since April 2020, Bluehost has temporarily started offering free website migrations for most WordPress sites within 30 days of sign up. You’ll also get to review the site before it goes live.
Once you give Bluehost the credentials of your previous hosting account, the transfer will take about 2-3 days.
Your site won’t qualify for a free Bluehost migration if:
- It runs a WordPress version older than 4.7
- It runs a PHP version older than 7.0
- The file size is larger than 2 GB
- The database is larger than 20 MB
In that case, you can either pay Bluehost to migrate your site for you, or transfer your own hosting manually without assistance.
Bluehost’s paid migration option costs $149.99. For that price, the Bluehost team will move up to five websites and 20 email accounts for you. Bluehost guarantees no downtime during this process, and there’s no work involved on your part – so some people may find it worth the investment. Just note that this migration service is not available for VPS or dedicated plans.
What About Migrating Domains?
Migration isn’t just about websites – you’ll also want to transfer your domain name to the new hosting provider that you choose, and this process is actually separate from website migration. Luckily, both GreenGeeks and Bluehost make domain transfer pretty simple.
Top Tip: Make Sure Your Domain Can Be Transferred
Before you get started on this process, just note that a domain is not eligible for transfer unless it’s been registered for at least 60 days! Similarly, domains within two weeks of their expiration date are also not eligible for transfer.
GreenGeeks also offers a free domain name transfer, which is separate from its site migration service. All you have to do is prepare your domain name for transfer, and then submit the request to GreenGeeks. Once you’ve completed the request, GreenGeeks will transfer your domain from its current registrar to the GreenGeeks registrar.
If you’re switching to Bluehost, you can transfer domains with the following extensions: com, net, org, us, co, info, and biz.
If you want to transfer a domain with one of these extensions, then all you have to do is prepare the domain and initiate the transfer from your Bluehost dashboard.
In our research, Bluehost scored a perfect 5/5 for help and support, while GreenGeeks came in second to last with a measly 1.3/5.
Why Is Bluehost’s Support So Good?
Bluehost offers 24/7 phone support, but that’s not the only reason why it impressed us. When we tested out Bluehost’s live chat and knowledge base for ourselves, these features exceeded our expectations more than any other provider we tested.
We found that the support team got back to us really quickly over live chat, compared to other providers that left us hanging. And we thought Bluehost’s knowledge base covered all the bases in terms of helpful guides and tips.
Why Is GreenGeeks’ Support So Bad?
Honestly, GreenGeeks actually offers decent support – it’s just that it falls behind in comparison to other providers. The lack of 24/7 phone support is the biggest deal breaker here, but when we tested its 24/7 live chat ourselves, we were still impressed by the quality of the support team’s responses.
Now that we’ve taken a close look at GreenGeeks vs Bluehost in all the most important categories, we can definitively say: Bluehost is a better overall provider than GreenGeeks.
That said, just because Bluehost is the better provider in general, that doesn’t automatically mean it’s the better provider for you.
You Should Use Bluehost If:
- You’re running a WordPress site
- You want an easy setup process
- You want a really responsive support team
You Should Use GreenGeeks If:
- You want eco-friendly hosting
- You need a lot of email accounts for your site
- You prefer live chat support over email support
In most cases, web servers are housed in physical data centers, where the hardware tends to get very hot – enter air conditioning, and lots of it. Web hosting actually accounts for 2% of the world’s carbon emissions, and Bluehost contributes to that stat!