Best for the Environment
GreenGeeks serves over 55,000 customers through its four data centers and performed well in our hosting research with an overall score of 3.5 out of 5. But what really sets GreenGeeks apart from the pack is its commitment to the environment. For every amperage that GreenGeeks uses, it matches three times that amount in the form of renewable energy.
Web servers are housed in data centers, which pull energy from whatever power grid they rely on. Data centers generate a lot of heat – this means heavy air conditioning, which in turn requires a lot of electricity. Today, data centers account for 2% of the world’s carbon emissions, which puts their footprint on par with the airline industry.
To help combat this problem, GreenGeeks calculates its yearly energy consumption, and then purchases Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) equal to three times the amount of energy consumed by its data centers (you can learn more about RECs here). GreenGeeks then puts all of that energy back into the grid. In short, this means that your website will be carbon-reducing if you host it with GreenGeeks.
Thanks to this hard work, GreenGeeks has been officially recognized by the US Environmental Protection Agency as a Green Power Partner since 2009.
GreenGeeks is an incredible hosting choice for the environment – but how does it perform in other areas? We’ll cover all of that in detail below, but if you’re in a rush, check out this quick snapshot:
- Pricing – GreenGeeks’ price range, number of plans, money-back guarantee, billing cycle, and more.
- Performance – This is the amount of storage space, bandwidth, cores, threads, RAM, and how fast the server response time is for each hosting type we test.
- Features – The extras GreenGeek adds in, such as migration, backups, security, domains, control panel, green hosting, and more.
- Help and support – This is testing how good the hosting provider’s knowledge base is and what support options are available.
- Market analysis – What consumers say about the provider, as well as competitor reviews, search volume, etc.
We focus on these categories because we believe it’s what is most relevant and popular to you, our readers.
We test all hosting types through the same categories, as oftentimes there can be quite a difference in scores. For example, GreenGeeks scores 4.8 out of 5 for features in shared hosting but only 1.9 in the same category in VPS hosting.
We go in-depth so we can make sure you have all the knowledge you need when you make your decision. Check out our How We Conduct Our Hosting Research page if you’d like to know more.
Now, let’s dive in!
GreenGeeks Hosting Pros
- Free website transfer service: If you’re switching to GreenGeeks from another hosting provider, GreenGeeks will handle the entire process for you at no cost.
- 300% renewable energy match: GreenGeeks lives up to its name by restoring three times the amount of energy it consumes, so your website will be carbon-reducing.
- 98% uptime guarantee: This is well above many top hosts, and amounts to just about one hour and 45 minutes of downtime per year.
GreenGeeks Hosting Cons
- Pricing could be better: GreenGeeks has some value-for-money issues. In shared hosting, it only scored 2.5 out of 5, and across our eight research categories, GreenGeeks came in the bottom three for five of them.
- No cloud hosting: If you’re looking for a cloud hosting provider, GreenGeeks is not for you, as it doesn’t currently offer this plan.
No provider can offer a 100% uptime guarantee, but you’ll ideally want to aim for an uptime somewhere between 99.97% and 99.99%. Hundredths of a second might not seem like a lot, but actually, even upgrading from 99.95% uptime to 99.96% uptime means about one hour less downtime per year.
GreenGeeks uses an optimized LiteSpeed web server to ensure fast page loading times, without eating into memory or CPU. In our research, Green Geeks scored 3.5 out of 5 for performance in both shared hosting and Managed WordPress hosting, while fairing a little worse in VPS hosting with 3.2 out of 5.
Why? Well, two of GreenGeeks’ four data centers are in North America. This is a reliable situation for people based in North America, while those in Europe and Asia have a center each, but those in Africa or Australia are left without. If most of your website visitors are located elsewhere your server response time could be slightly slower for them.
It makes up for this with free CDN integration. Every GreekGeeks hosting plan includes a one-click integration with a free Content Delivery Network (CDN), which allows pages to load faster via a more geographically distributed network of proxy servers.
All of GreenGeeks’ servers are housed inside climate-controlled data centers with generators, fire suppression systems, and water detection systems, which means your website’s data is well protected from unexpected physical threats.
Types of Hosting
GreenGeeks offers five different types of hosting: shared, WordPress, VPS, dedicated, and reseller. With no cloud hosting, GreenGeeks is lacking behind top competitors like Bluehost or HostGator. Because of this, GreenGeeks sadly only scores an overall score of 2.3 out of 5 for types of hosting.
However, the individual scores for shared, VPS, and WordPress hosting tell a different story. GreenGeeks’ strongest hosting type is Managed WordPress with a score of 4.1 out of 5, coming in 5th overall in the total ranking for that research category.
GreenGeeks fairs a little less well in shared hosting with a 3.7 out of 5 and VPS is GreenGeek’s weakest hosting type – second from the bottom with an overall score of 3.6 out of 5.
|Cheapest Introductory Price:
|Cheapest Renewal Price:
|Shared plans are best for small to medium-sized personal websites, and small business websites. Each plan includes unlimited bandwidth and SSD storage, which means your site can accommodate a lot of traffic and will have plenty of room to grow. You also get free domain name registration for the first year of any shared plan.
|WordPress plans come with the same features as shared plans, and go for the same price. This is because shared hosting is a platform on which WordPress can operate, so shared and WordPress plans are essentially the same. WordPress plans are simply optimized specifically for the CMS, so they’re best for anyone hosting a WordPress website.
|VPS plans are best for medium to large-sized websites and online stores. VPS plans offer more dedicated resources than shared plans, but you’ll definitely notice the price increase as a result. Depending on which VPS plan you choose, you’ll get 2-8 GB RAM and 4-6 vCPUs.
|Reseller plans allow you to purchase web hosting space and then resell it to a client (or use it for your own multiple websites), almost like renting space out on the internet. Reseller accounts let you easily deploy WordPress and (other CMSs) with one click, and GreenGeeks will also help you register wholesale domains for your customers.
In our research, GreenGeeks scores a 4.8 out of 5 for shared hosting features, the highest in our research! Every GreenGeeks hosting plan (regardless of hosting type!) includes:
- 300% match with renewable energy: Every GreenGeeks plan is eco-friendly.
- Drag-and-drop website builder: All the basic functionalities of a website builder, including hundreds of customizable templates to choose from.
- Unlimited email accounts: Create an unlimited amount of email addresses in the format email@example.com.
- Unlimited MySQL databases: Create as many databases on one plan as you like.
- cPanel control panel: Easily manage and organize your website and email.
However, even all these great features can’t help GreenGeek’s VPS hosting, which as well as having a third party take over backups also has no free domains on offer. It only gets a 1.9 out of 5 for VPS features, which compared to shared is a decrease of nearly 58%!
Overall though, GreenGeeks actually still maintains a strong feature score of 4.5 out of 5, the joint-highest in our research. If quality features are your deciding factor, you can’t go wrong with GreenGeeks.
GreenGeeks’ cheapest shared plan starts at $2.95/month, and its priciest VPS plan costs $109.95/month. Within that range, there’s a best-fit plan for every budget, and we’ll cover each one below. Every GreenGeeks plan also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
GreenGeeks earned a 3.2 out of 5 overall in the value-for-money category of our research. This is due to some of the types of hosting not bringing as much value with their prices as others. For example, while GreenGeek’s shared hosting features are the best in our research, it’s not as value-packed as Bluehost, with expensive renewal prices and not much variety in plans. It gets a value-for-money score in shared hosting of 2.5 out of 5.
Even though they are the same price, Managed WordPress actually scores higher than shared hosting, with a 3.9 out of 5. That’s because the price doesn’t always mean the best value, so we’ve worked hard to make sure our value calculations reflect the quality and features you get for each price, and GreenGeeks WordPress has a lot of great features for a good price (second overall in our ranking).
Each different hosting type (shared, VPS, etc.) comes with a few different pricing plans to choose from, so we’ve compared the cheapest plan for each type below and their renewal prices:
What are renewal prices?
Like most hosting providers, GreenGeeks often advertises cheap introductory prices that seem too good to be true. And they are – after the first year or so, anyway. Renewal prices are the regular price that you’ll have to pay after the first introductory period.
Here’s where it gets complicated: Introductory prices often decrease depending on the amount of time you sign up for in advance. For example, GreenGeeks’ cheapest shared plan has an introductory price of $2.95/month if the first three years are paid for in advance. The introductory price jumps up to $10.95/month if only one year is paid in advance.
That is why, here at WebsiteBuilderExpert, we like to show the 12-month prices on all our articles. 36-month contracts can be misleading in price and additionally is a large commitment to make for a hosting provider. We believe 12-month prices offer the best value for the customer and are the best representation of what that particular hoster provides.
GreenGeeks Pricing vs Competitor Pricing
As you can see, GreenGeeks is fairly outpaced when it comes to pricing, especially for VPS. Yet, GreenGeeks offers good value for this price, as it and HostGator achieved the same score of 3.1 out of 5 in value for money in VPS.
GreenGeeks’ Virtual Security
GreenGeeks plans come with:
- A free SSL certificate via Let’s Encrypt, with automatic (free) renewal every 90 days
- Automatic app updates for software such as WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla
GreenGeeks also offers free nightly backups to keep your data safe – but customers don’t actually get access to the backups. And if you need GreenGeeks to recover files for you, you get one free restoration per month. Any more than that will cost you $25 per restore. GreenGeeks does not back up VPS servers.
Like most hosting providers, GreenGeeks provides basic spam protection and proactive server monitoring to help prevent attacks and detect malware, which is a great start. But if you’re handling payment cards or other sensitive information through your website, you’ll want to invest in some more advanced security measures. You can upgrade from the basic Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate to a Premium AlphaSSL Wildcard SSL Certificate, which costs $99.95/year and provides a 256-bit encryption.
GreenGeeks’ Physical Security
GreenGeeks prides itself on its data centers, which are not only green, but also well protected. There are four data centers in total, located in Chicago, Montreal, Amsterdam, and Singapore. Each one is staffed 24/7 by technicians and engineers, and they are all equipped with a biometric and key card security system.
GreenGeeks’ security measures are definitely up to standard – but if security is a top priority for you, then you might want to look into A2 Hosting, whose in-house Perpetual Security Initiative sets it apart from the crowd.
During our research, we found that GreenGeeks struggles in the help and support category – in fact, it only scored 2.3 out of 5 overall. For shared hosting, it scored 3.6 out of 5 and its highest score was for VPS help and support with a 4.2 out of 5. So why the low overall score?
GreenGeeks actually has decent support services – but compared to other top hosting providers, you won’t enjoy the same level of instant help. For example, GreenGeeks offers 24/7 live chat. But HostGator (our top scorer for help and support) offers 24/7 live chat and phone support, meaning you can always speak directly to an agent if you want to. GreenGeeks just doesn’t offer the same level of accessibility.
Here’s what GreenGeeks’ support does offer:
- 24/7 live chat
- Phone support from 9AM – 12AM EST
- Email support with an approx. 15-20 minute wait time
If you’re not too fussed about 24/7 phone support, then you’ll be fine with what GreenGeeks already has to offer. Debby, a current GreenGeeks customer, had this to say about her experience with the support team:
“I have been extremely pleased with the customer support I get from GreenGeeks. They don’t just try to get you off the line (or off chat, which is my preferred way of contacting them). They answer your questions, and send you instructions that are easy to follow.”
It’s worth noting that, like most hosting providers, GreenGeeks also offers an extensive knowledge base full of articles and tutorials that you can search through whenever you like!
GreenGeeks is primarily a hosting provider, and you can’t really make use of any additional services unless you’re already signed up to a GreenGeeks account. However, once you do have an account, there are three convenient services to think about.
The first (and the most useful) service is domain registration. Once you have a hosting account, GreenGeeks will act as a domain name registrar that lets you purchase a domain name right from your GreenGeeks account (and don’t forget, you’ll also get a free domain name for the first year of your hosting plan).
Make sure to do some research on the cost of a domain name, so that you won’t be surprised when it comes time to buy! You typically won’t be paying more than $10-20/year for a domain name, but it’s always worth investigating.
When you register a domain name, your contact information is listed in the WHOIS database, which is a publicly accessible record of domain name owners. In order to hide your contact information, you’ll have to purchase WHOIS privacy from GreenGeeks for an extra $9.95/year.
This last add-on is free with a GreenGeeks hosting plan. GreenGeeks offers an optional, drag-and-drop website builder with hundreds of templates to choose from.
The builder is convenient, because you can get a hosted site up and running without any design skill at all – but since GreenGeeks is primarily a hosting provider, its website builder is more like an afterthought than a fully fledged tool (with GreenGeeks, you’re better off using a CMS like WordPress). However, if you’re interested, you can learn more from our ranking of the top 10 website builders on the market.
Read our GreenGeeks vs Bluehost guide to see how GreenGeeks compares to another top provider.
If green hosting is a priority for you, GreenGeeks is the best provider available – its 300% renewable energy match is something you can feel really good about!
While GreenGeeks is great, it’s not the best fit for everyone. It has some of the worst performance for VPS posting and in general, the value for money for its different hosting categories is uneven at best.
But it has the joint best overall feature score out of 13 providers, and the best features for shared hosting specifically. For Managed WordPress users, its hosting comes in 5th overall in our rankings. If you want a reliable hoster for a small website while having the satisfaction that you are helping the environment, then GreenGeeks is for you!
What do you think? Let us know in the comments. Till then, happy hosting!