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GreenGeeks Review 2018

Is GreenGeeks a good web host? Read our full, unbiased GreenGeeks review with pros & cons, recommended use, performance stats, screenshots, FAQs, coupons, & more.

GreenGeeks Review

Server O/S:Linux
Control Panel:cPanel
Auto-Installer:Softaculous
Data center #1:Chicago, IL
Data center #2:Phoenix, AZ
Data center #3:Toronto, Canada
Data center #4:Amsterdam, Netherlands
Shared Hosting:Yes
VPS Hosting:Yes
Dedicated Hosting:Yes
Reseller Hosting:Yes
Cloud Hosting:No

View Hosting Plans

www.greengeeks.com is an independently owned web hosting company that provides shared, VPS, dedicated server, and reseller web hosting services with an emphasis on being “eco-conscious” in all aspects of business operations. All their web hosting plans are based on zero-emission, renewable energy sources. We’ve found GreenGeeks to be a very professional organization with excellent data center resources and helpful technical support agents. We really like their shared and reseller hosting, although upgrading to a VPS or dedicated hosting platform can get costly. They are a great choice for individuals, small businesses, start-up companies, non-profits, and anyone else who needs an affordable and reliable shared web hosting platform. They have a good mix of features on each plan and stand out against the competition in many ways.

Why choose GreenGreeks:

  • A wide range of hosting plans suitable for all-purpose hosting
  • Recently upgraded server hardware & improved network infrastructure
  • Free domain name registration & unlimited domains on each account
  • Unlimited web space & data transfer for shared hosting plans
  • State-of-the-art, innovative data center based on renewable energy
  • Great for Reseller hosting – 5 different plans available
  • Customer support via an email ticket system, live chat, or phone
  • Helpful video tutorials explaining how to do many popular tasks

What are the disadvantages:

  • Relatively expensive VPS and Dedicated hosting plans
  • Phone support number is hard to find for logged in customers
  • GreenGeek’s Website Builder is unique, yet not the best choice
  • Repeated user complaints over fraudulent billing issues
  • Hefty renewal rates on shared hosting after initial sign-up

The bottom line:

GreenGeeks is a good, all-purpose web host with a variety of web hosting plans to choose from that fit the needs of every type of web publishing. We would recommend GreenGeeks primarily for their basic shared hosting plan as it offers great performance and features at a decent price. GreenGeeks Ecosite Starter plan is a good value, but customers should be aware of the increased renewal rate at the end of the initial sign-up term. Furthermore, their VPS & Dedicated plans are expensive compared to other web hosting companies. GreenGeeks has mixed reviews of customer satisfaction ratings and a history of billing issues. Customer support is generally swift and efficient, and they also offer helpful video tutorials with a knowledge base that customers can refer to for solving problems. As usual, clients may end up paying slightly more for “environmentally friendly” services.

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Company Overview – The History of GreenGeeks

GreenGeeks originally started off small in Southern California and grew to become a globally recognized web hosting company with over 300,000 client websites running on their servers today. GreenGeeks was founded in 2008 by Trey Gardner who had a mission to “offer the most feature rich web hosting products and services available anywhere on the internet” with an emphasis on environmental ethics across all aspects of business operations. As their name suggests, GreenGeeks is an eco-friendly company and their data center operations are powered by 300% wind energy. As a matter of company policy, they put back into the grid 3 times the amount of energy that their web servers consume, primarily through donations to sustainable energy projects worldwide and carbon trading programs. According to the latest environmental science reports, the web hosting industry will become as big of a polluter internationally as the airline industry by the year 2020, due to the electricity consumption required by cloud data centers. Today, GreenGeeks is known as one of the world’s most eco-friendly web hosting services with a reputation for excellent customer service & technical support.

Plans & Features – A Review of GreenGeeks's Available Web Hosting Services

GreenGeeks is primarily known for their shared web hosting. The company offers a large introductory discount when signing up with with the ability to pre-pay for one, two, or three years in advance. GreenGeeks also offers several VPS, reseller, and dedicated hosting plans. Here’s a quick overview of the hosting types they offer:

Available Hosting:

Shared web hosting

VPS web hosting

Reseller web hosting

Dedicated web hosting

Shared Web Hosting Plans

The Ecosite plan from GreenGeeks provides a managed cPanel web server environment running on CentOS Enterprise Linux with unlimited domains, MySQL databases, SSD disk space, and monthly data transfer – at a low introductory cost. GreenGeeks also offers a managed WordPress hosting plan with an optimized cloud server environment for websites that run exclusively on the popular CMS. While the basic configuration of the WordPress plan is the same as the Ecosite Starter, the addition of pre-installed developer tools is helpful for small business owners and independent web publishers. All of these shared hosting plans include a free domain name registration on sign-up. GreenGeeks will migrate your website from another hosting company for free, including the site files and database. All shared hosting accounts include 24/7/365 technical support with quick replies to support tickets averaging 4 to 6 hours. GreenGeeks runs an enhanced version of cPanel on shared hosting accounts with all of the standard features including Softaculous and Fantastico for “one-click” script installation. FTP, email accounts, MySQL databases, and server administration is done through the cPanel interface. GreenGeeks shared hosting is developer-friendly with SSH access, customized .htaccess support, automatic website back-ups, and enhanced security features included on all accounts. Like most web hosts, GreenGeeks offers a 99.99% uptime service guarantee.

Shared Plans:Introductory Price:Renewal Price:Compare:
Ecosite Starter$3.95/mo$9.95/moView Details
WordPress Hosting$3.95/mo$9.95/moView Details

Key Features We Like:

  • CentOS Enterprise Linux with unlimited bandwidth, domains, MySQL databases, & SSD disk space
  • Multiple PHP Versions (7.1, 7.0, 5.6 and more)
  • Optimized LiteSpeed and MariaDB for fast page load speeds
  • Scalable computing resources for hybrid cloud like performance
  • Exclusive PowerCacher
  • Free website migration to GreenGeeks from another web host

What We Don't Like:

  • The renewal on both plans are expensive
  • The WordPress hosting plan is essentially the same plan as the Ecosite, just re-branded for WordPress

ALSO SEE: Check out our guide to VPS web hosting to learn more on this type of web hosting

VPS Hosting Plans

GreenGeeks VPS hosting runs on OpenVZ, which provides a managed cloud platform with the same operating system and developer stack that is found on the Ecosite plans. Currently GreenGeeks runs CentOS Enterprise Linux on all VPS accounts with cPanel and WHM licenses included for free. GreenGeeks have developed a proprietary control panel for managing VPS settings in real-time, monitoring resource usage, and ordering seamless service upgrades, all without ever needing to restart the server. As an added bonus, GreenGeeks VPS users get a free eNom domain reseller account, so that the company is providing all of the tools except for ClientExec that they normally include with their popular Reseller plans for shared hosting. In comparison, a cPanel license for VPS normally costs $20 per month and the eNom reseller account is valued at $995 per year. Under the managed VPS platform format, GreenGeeks will also provide regular security upgrades, network firewall configuration, advanced web security features, and nightly website back-ups for extra layers of insurance that lessen the need for dedicated systems administrators in managing high-performance web hosting requirements in production.

VPS Hosting Plans:Introductory Price:Renewal Price:Compare:
1GB RAMNone$39.95/moView Details
2GB RAMNone$59.95/moView Details
3GB RAMNone$79.95/moView Details
4GB RAMNone$99.95/moView Details
8GB RAMNone$159.95/moView Details

Key Features We Like:

  • cPanel/WHM license is included, which is a $200/yr value
  • All data on your VPS is backed up nightly for free
  • Root access is available so that developers have the full freedom required to configure the server environment using command line tools for installing additional needed extensions or programming languages

What We Don't Like:

  • No introductory pricing or special offers for first time purchases
  • VPS plans do not offer the ability to install other versions of Linux or Windows as the bootable OS
  • Plans are pricey when comparing the server specs with what other companies offer

ALSO SEE: Check out our guide to VPS web hosting to learn more on this type of web hosting

Reseller Web Hosting Plans

The Reseller accounts at GreenGeeks are primarily designed for web professionals, web design agencies, and social media marketers who need a way to host multiple client domains under a single framework, while also billing independently for add-on services. The main advantage of the GreenGeeks Reseller hosting plans are the included licenses for cPanel/WHM, eNom, and ClientExec which are relatively costly when purchased outside of the bulk-discounting facilities of a web hosting company. Professional users can also run an independent “white label” web hosting company using the same set of tools. While there is not a lot of mark-up opportunity on eNom reseller domains, the ability to offer domain registration services and web hosting accounts as part of annual contracts or monthly service fees to clients is valuable to many independent web publishers, designers, and developers.

Reseller Hosting Plans:Introductory Price:Renewal Price:Compare:
Seed$15.96/mo$19.95/moView Details
Sprout$19.96/mo$24.95/moView Details
Plant$31.96/mo$39.95/moView Details
Tree$47.96/mo$59.95/moView Details
Forest$79.96/mo$99.95/moView Details

Key Features We Like:

  • Wholesale pricing on domains and web hosting
  • It's scalable – you can create 10 accounts by default, but more accounts can be supported on demand
  • Free migration to GreenGeeks if you are moving from another web host
  • Nightly backups included for free
  • Scalable resources built in
  • White label with private name servers and customized control panel to match your brand's logo and colors

What We Don't Like:

  • The plans are pricier if you have fewer than 10 clients, yet still not too bad

ALSO SEE: Check out our guide to Reseller web hosting to learn more on this type of web hosting

Dedicated Server Hosting Plans

GreenGeeks does offer dedicated servers, although the cost is fairly pricey. We probably wouldn't use them ourselves for a dedicated server simply because of cost vs specs. However, the main advantage of the dedicated server plans at GreenGeeks is based in the standards of their data center technology and renewable energy pledges. As dedicated server hardware is considered as a commodity in the web hosting industry and data center companies receive bulk-rate, wholesale discounting from vendors, the expertise behind the data center management teams and their proprietary network optimization systems has become the determining factor for choosing which dedicated server plan to purchase in long-term contracts. Because there are so many uses for dedicated servers in IT which include cloud computing applications, web hosting, mobile apps, and multi-domain portfolio management, GreenGeeks encourages all prospective buyers of dedicated services to contact their technical department directly to discuss needed configurations and support requirements.

Dedicated Plans:Introductory Price:Renewal Price:Compare:
Entry Server$135.20/mo$169/moView Details
Standard Server$215.20/mo$269/moView Details
Elite Server$255.20/mo$319/moView Details
Pro Server$351.20/mo$439/moView Details

Key Features We Like:

  • Not much.

What We Don't Like:

  • Dedicated server plans are fairly pricey when compared with other companies.
  • No introductory pricing or special offers for first time purchases

ALSO SEE: Check out our guide to VPS web hosting to learn more on this type of web hosting

Screenshots – A Glimpse at GreenGeeks's Account Management & Control Panel

Managing your account with GreenGeeks is fairly simple and straight forward. You’ll first login to the GreenGeeks Account Management Panel (AMP) to get started (they’ll email you your login info after you sign up). Below is a screenshot of what it looks like.

Screenshot of the GreenGeeks AMP (Account Management Panel)

You can easily manage your account and billing info from here. Notable features include easy access to customer support and free site migration. For new customers with existing sites, you can request a GreenGeeks site migration from the Support tab. This is a handy feature for users who do not wish to do all the “work” involved when transferring a website from one host to another. You can also easily contact customer support from the AMP interface by clicking “Open Ticket”. Unfortunately, for those who prefer phone support, their support telephone number is inconveniently absent. You have to really look around to find it. On the other hand, it is simple to contact the GreenGeeks team via chat for an immediate response and they usually respond within 4 to 6 hours on support ticket requests.

Review of the Control Panel

GreenGeeks uses cPanel, the same industry standard control panel that most web hosts use. They have no custom branding or colors on their cPanel and use the default Paper Lantern or X3 theme. If you’re familiar with cPanel, you’ll feel quite comfortable with GreenGeeks. It's quite clean and has no (or very little) advertisements. Here’s a screenshot of the GreenGeeks control panel:

Screenshot of the GreenGeeks control panel (cPanel)

Performance Stats – Servers, Network, & Uptime Monitoring

Performance is key for any web host. Below is an overview of what you'll get with a base GreenGeeks account.

Servers

GreenGeeks currently uses Supermicro servers with Intel Xeon processors and 64 GB of DDR3 ECC RAM on most of their shared web hosting and VPS plans. These web servers include SSD storage on RAID 10 arrays with multiple copies of website data stored in case of unit failure and also to optimize network load balancing on available hardware. GreenGeeks dedicated servers are configured according to the user requirements and with SATA SSD storage rather than RAID configurations. With the dedicated servers, there will not be a guaranteed mirroring or back-up of website data in storage unless the customer configures the services in administration.

Below is a breakdown of the basic hardware configurations currently used on their shared and cloud hosting plans.

Server Specs:

  • CPU: Intel Xeon processors
  • RAM: 64 GB of DDR3 ECC RAM
  • Storage: SSD storage on RAID 10
  • Type: Enterprise Level SSD Database Storage
  • Connectivity: BGP4 Gigabit connectivity to multiple Fiber GigE Tier 1 Backbones
  • Other: No desktop hardware what so ever
GreenGeeks web server specs

Network

GreenGeeks offers decent performance & reliability – especially with the recent improvements to their data center technology that were made. As a GreenGeeks customer, you are allowed to choose from 1 of 4 different web server locations – Chicago, Phoenix, Toronto, and Amsterdam. Each data center is SAS 70 Type 1 certified, 300% wind powered, running on Cisco and Juniper routing technology, while connected internationally through a BGP4 Gigabit multiple Fiber GigE Tier 1 “backbone” system.

Uptime Monitoring

We continually test and monitor the performance of GreenGeeks with Pingdom site monitoring tools to get a more technical measure of performance data. The results below are dynamically pulled from Pingdom:

Uptime:
Uptime Report for GreenGeeks: Last 30 days
Response time:
Uptime Report for GreenGeeks: Last 30 days

NOTE ABOUT TEST STATS: Keep in mind the above data is not fully representative of all the websites hosted on GreenGeeks. There are too many factors that influence performance stats – including the specific server the site is hosted on, the web hosting plan chosen, the optimization of the actual website, scheduled maintenance, geolocation, etc. Our tests are performed on the base shared hosting accounts for each web host reviewed to showcase the most modest performance stats.

Tech Support – A Review of GreenGeeks' Customer Care

GreenGeeks customer support team is overall excellent and in repeated service requests with the company, we have been overall completely satisfied by the professionalism of their staff, the quickness of their attention to issues, and the knowledge provided to solve problems. GreenGeeks offers customer support through email tickets, live chat, and toll-free telephone lines. On average, email tickets were answered within 15 to 20 minutes, with approximately 1 to 5 minutes wait time required on the browser chat and phone services. GreenGeeks also has an online knowledgebase that can be searched to solve frequently asked questions or common problems with configurations, web development, email, FTP, etc.

GreenGeeks tech support review

Key Customer Support Features:

  • Friendly and helpful Helpdesk team with detailed knowledge about web server configurations
  • Abundant materials available on the Knowledgebase to solve common problems quickly
  • No charge for premium support and little hold time when contacting phone reps directly
  • Email tickets answered very quickly, although sometimes unable to debug development issues

DID YOU KNOW? On average, GreenGeeks serves over 60 million unique visitors per month across all its servers.

Security – How GreenGeeks Keeps Your Website Secure

GreenGeeks has a hybrid network security program in their data center designed by in-house technicians and constructed primarily from publicly available third-party software utilities. For customers on shared, VPS, reseller, & dedicated plans, all of the platform security is managed by data center staff. Site owners can enable additional web security measures on their sites such as SiteLock, which will scan for malware and protect production sites from MySQL injection attacks. The cPanel login and FTP server access is protected by IP address blacklisting to prevent brute force password hacking attacks. GreenGeeks also provides utilities for email anti-spam that can be enabled in cPanel for webmail or SMTP/POP accounts. Some of the main advantages & disadvantages of the GreenGeeks Customer Care facilities are:

  • Managed cloud approach eliminates the need for regular server patches & OS upgrades
  • CentOS Enterprise Linux & cPanel are widely tested by peer review for exploits & bugs
  • Dedicated IP Addresses and SSL Certificates are expensive & free options not provided
  • Softaculous will regularly notify users when CMS updates are available for auto-installations

FAQs – Helpful Answers About Purchasing from GreenGeeks

Here are some frequently asked questions you may have about GreenGeeks Hosting:

You can order a web hosting plan from GreenGeeks by visiting their website, www.greengeeks.com. You can also order over the phone, via their sales department at 877-326-7483.

GreenGeeks accepts all major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, & Discover) as well as PayPal.

You can cancel your account at any time. Simply call their billing department or send a cancellation email.

Yes. GreenGeeks offers a 30 Day No Risk Money Back Guarantee. This means that there are no time limits or contracts and you can cancel at any time. However, you have 30 days to receive a full refund. If you cancel after 30 days, you’ll receive a pro-rated refund (basically a refund for the time left that you didn’t use). Also note, if you register a domain name through GreenGeeks, there is a non-refundable $24.95 fee. So be careful! Because their domain cancellation fees are overpriced, we recommend purchasing a domain name through another provider after the initial free offer.

Yes, they will do 1 cPanel migration for free. This means all domains, Addon Domains, Subdomains, email accounts, and cPanel settings are included. They will also do their best to migrate a non-cPanel hosted site as well. If additional work is needed, they may charge an extra fee. In most cases, site migration should be free.

Conclusion – To Host or Not to Host?

Choosing the best web hosting company to host your website is an important decision with a lot of factors to take into consideration. Be sure to carefully compare what GreenGeeks offers to see if their services are right for you.

For a full list of all GreenGeeeks supported features, you can visit their website at www.greengeeks.com.

Ready to Buy? Use a GreenGeeks Coupon!

Check out our GreenGeeks coupons page with an up-to-date list of special offers and the lowest prices GreenGeeks is currently offering.

Let Us Know Your Thoughts

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