GreenGeeks review: should you go green?
In this GreenGeeks review, I’ll go through everything that it has to offer in terms of pricing, ease of use, performance, security, customer support, and more.
In the crowded web hosting industry, it’s no easy feat to stand out. But GreenGeeks seems to be doing a pretty good job.
Much of this is because the provider is one of the more eco-friendly hosting solutions – a maximum use and no waste of resources company. More so, it also purchases 3x the electricity that it consumes in the form of Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) to offset carbon output.
But beyond its commitment to green hosting, GreenGeeks has also garnered much attention for its hosting services. “Fastest speed, best security, easiest scalability, and exceptional support” – pretty bold claims, yet the host promises it all.
Now whether it lives up to these claims or not, that’s what I aim to find out in this GreenGeeks hosting review. So let’s jump right into it.
|Price:||Prices start at $2.95/mo|
|Hosting type:||Shared, WordPress, VPS, and reseller hosting|
|Server locations:||The US, Canada, and the Netherlands|
|Support:||24/7 live chat, email, and phone (9 AM – 12 AM EST)|
|Current deal:||Get up to 73% OFF GreenGeeks!|
Pros and Cons of GreenGeeks
- Easy to use cPanel integration
- Robust security package
- Datacenters in the US, Canada, and the Netherlands
- SSL certificate is not activated automatically
- Customer support is not very helpful
GreenGeeks pricing & plans
GreenGeeks pricing is rather affordable, with its cheapest shared hosting plans starting at just $2.95/mo. While shared hosting is the most popular solution, GreenGeeks also has other hosting options like WordPress, VPS, and reseller hosting.
|Hosting type||Best for|
|Shared hosting ||Beginners, small businesses, bloggers, and more looking to build small to medium-sized websites.|
|WordPress hosting||Those looking for a managed WordPress-optimized hosting solution for small and medium-sized websites.|
|VPS hosting||Experienced users in search of better resources, control, and performance.|
|Reseller hosting||Developers, web designers, agencies, and more who want to resell websites.|
It’s obvious that while GreenGeeks’ selection of hosting services isn’t very big, it covers most users’ needs. In any case, shared hosting is still its most sought-after hosting option. So, I’ll be focusing on it for this GreenGeeks web hosting review.
GreenGeeks has 3 shared hosting plans, with prices ranging from $2.95/mo to $10.95/mo.
Talking about the plans, all come with unmetered transfers, unlimited bandwidth, and databases, managed WordPress convenience, caching plugins, and multi-user access. Plus, GreenGeeks also throws in multiple freebies, including an SSL certificate, a domain for a year, daily backup, and CDN.
But, of course, there are distinctive features, too:
|Lite||Can host 1 website and includes 50GB storage, as well as 50 email accounts.||$2.95/mo|
|Pro||Offers unlimited disk space and websites, as well as unlimited email accounts. Also comes with on-demand backups and WordPress repair.||$5.95/mo|
|Premium||Includes everything in Pro, as well as free dedicated IP, AlphaSSL, and object caching.||$10.95/mo|
From the looks of it, GreenGeeks is very liberal with its resources and features. Sure, the entry hosting plan (Lite) is a little short on disk space, but even then, 50GB should be more than enough for most basic websites. Plus, GreenGeeks more than offset that drawback with generous freebies like domain names, daily backups, and built-in caching despite its fairly affordable price tag.
To secure the best value, opt for the Pro plan with a 3-year subscription. For just 3 bucks/mo more than Lite, you get on-demand backups and a WordPress repair tool in addition to unlimited websites, email accounts, and storage.
Before you check out, there are a couple of things to note. First, GreenGeeks has an unconditional 30-day money-back guarantee, which is always handy in case you aren’t satisfied with the host.
Plus, while GreenGeeks isn’t very in-your-face with its upselling attempts during checkout, it isn’t entirely above it, either. Make sure to uncheck some checked-by-default add-on options like WHOIS privacy before payment if you just want hosting.
All things considered, GreenGeeks is an affordable and generous hosting service provider. For a reasonable price, you get good server resources, advanced features, and a well-rounded security package.
Hosting management: is it easy to use?
When it comes to ease of use, GreenGeeks hosting is as easy as it can be. The provider has a straightforward yet modern-looking dashboard that it pairs with the powerful cPanel. The combo makes for an intuitive yet functional management experience for everyone from rookies to seasoned users.
Here’s a look at GreenGeeks’ main dashboard:
It’s easy to see why so many users praise the dashboard in their GreenGeeks hosting reviews.
The dashboard is contemporary, neat, and intuitive. But, above all else, it’s extremely functional. Here, you can set up email accounts, activate SSL, connect domains, access and manage databases and files, track resource usage, and access cPanel. Essentially, you can manage the site with just this panel.
However, for users who need to tackle more advanced and diverse tasks, GreenGeeks also offers cPanel. And, let’s not forget that cPanel is the only place where you can install a CMS of your liking if WordPress isn’t your first choice.
GreenGeeks control panel
GreenGeeks uses the standard cPanel but jazzed things up with a custom skin. Despite the design change, the control panel is intuitive, clean, and well-organized. So even complete newbies will master it in no time.
To your right, you’ll find the sidebar with your site’s general information and statistics. But, right smack in the center is where you’ll easily find all the tools that you need to run your site.
Since we’re on the subject, let’s talk a little about what you’ll need cPanel for:
- WordPress installation – cPanel is where you can install any CMS, including WordPress. You can do this very quickly and effortlessly with the Softaculous one-click app installer.
- Setting up professional email accounts – under the Email section, you’ll find all sorts of email-related tools and features. Whether you’re looking to create new email accounts, manage existing ones or add email boxes, all of these tasks are just a click away.
- Domain management – everything you need to manage your domains is under, well, Domains. From here, you can add multiple new domains, create new subdomains, manage aliases, and more.
- Other GreenGeeks web hosting management tasks, including database management, file management and edit within File Manager, SEO tools configuration, and more.
In short, GreenGeeks made a checkmate move by including a cPanel for hosting management. It’s straightforward and intuitive but also powerful enough to contain everything you need for hosting management.
Adding an SSL with GreenGeeks
Unfortunately, GreenGeeks doesn’t activate an SSL on your behalf automatically. However, you can easily do that yourself.
To enable your SSL certificate, you’ll first need to head to your main control panel. On the left side menu, click on Security. From here, you just need to click on Add SSL Certificate in the upper right-hand corner.
You have the option to either go with the free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate or shell out for the Premium AlphaSSL, which comes for an extra fee.
Once done, just refresh the My SSL Certificates status to check whether the certificate is now active. Not too much of a hassle, eh?
Overall, while it’s a bit of a bummer that GreenGeeks SSL isn’t automatically activated, the process to do so yourself is very straightforward time-efficient.
As a whole, GreenGeeks web hosting is very easy to use. With an intuitive user interface and a user-bellowed cPanel, GreenGeeks effectively delivers both simplicity and functionality.
GreenGeeks remains at the top of its games even when it comes to performance. The host is both very reliable and fairly fast. Plus, even on its cheapest plan, its servers deftly handled some serious traffic without a hitch.
GreenGeeks uptime and response time
For the first test, I’ve checked the provider's reliability in terms of keeping your site up and running.
For that, I’ve monitored GreenGeeks for 2 weeks. In this time, the provider had 2 outages or 4 minutes of downtime. This has resulted in a very reliable 99.98% uptime.
Keeping in mind that the host issues a 99.9% uptime guarantee, the actual results are very pleasing indeed.
Now talking about the server response time, GreenGeeks has averaged at 773ms. While this is notably higher than the market’s average of 600ms, there’s no need to worry just yet. Based on the graph, it’s clear that the slow response time has improved significantly.
All in all, GreenGeeks proved to be a reliable provider. While the response time could be improved, there is no reason to stress about that.
GreenGeeks website speed
The next test for this GreenGeeks review is a speed test to find out how fast the host can load up an empty and fully-built site.
Before we get right down to the nitty-gritty, there are 2 important measures you should know to understand the results:
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) – this is the time it takes to load the largest chunk of the page, and it’s one of the many things that Google takes into account when ranking sites on its search result page. For best results, keep the LCP below 2.5s.
- Fully Loaded Time – this specifies the time it takes for the site to be fully loaded. The time shouldn’t be longer than 3 seconds to ensure a good user experience and low bounce rates.
To start, I tested an empty WordPress site’s load time from 3 different locations. Since my site is hosted in the US, that’s also where the best results were seen. The LCP in the US was only 530ms.
Meanwhile, the GreenGeeks UK and India results were, expectedly, less impressive at 627ms and 2s, respectively. But, even then, all 3 had no problem passing Google’s 2.5-second benchmark.
But what would happen if I switch the empty site to a fully-built one?
Well, with the fully-built site, the LCP went up to 1.2s. Considering that the unwanted maximum stands at 2.5 seconds, this leaves generous wiggle space.
Now looking at the Fully Loaded Time, the site got loaded up in just 1.6 seconds. That’s just a half of the recommended max of 3 seconds. Fast indeed.
To maintain good page load speed, it is important to opt for a server that is closest to your target audience. GreenGeeks offers 3 datacenter options to choose from – Chicago (US), Montreal (US), and Amsterdam (NL).
To sum it all up, GreenGeeks absolutely thrived when it comes to speed. Both its LCP and Fully Loaded Time came in well under the set benchmarks.
GreenGeeks stress testing
As the final quest for this GreenGeeks review, I tested the host’s ability to handle intense traffic surges. And, GreenGeeks sailed right through the test without breaking a sweat.
To set the scene, I sent 50 virtual users to my site. Bear in mind that this is actually some serious traffic. After all, 50VUs every minute would equal around 50,000 monthly visitors, and for a shared server, it’s a massive load.
Well, GreenGeeks handled the 50VUs unflinchingly and passed the test without any issues whatsoever.
Its response time (blue line) remained stable and very speedy despite the increasing number of users on the site (grey line). Plus, there were zero signs of failure (red line).
Overall, GreenGeeks has no problem handling traffic spikes and remains fast whether you have 1 visitor or 50,000.
All things considered, GreenGeeks gets 2 thumbs up for passing all my performance tests. It’s very reliable, fast, and has no trouble handling huge surges in website traffic.
Security: is GreenGeeks secure?
When it comes to security, GreenGeeks doesn’t play around. The provider has full-stack protection that covers both basic and advanced security solutions. Among the measures included are free SSL certificates, daily backup, DDoS protection, and more.
Here’s a breakdown of some of GreenGeeks’ main security features:
- SSL certificates – all shared hosting plans come with a free Let’s Encrypt SSL Certificate, which can be easily activated on the main panel. Meanwhile, its Premium plan also includes the more advanced AlphaSSL certificate for free. Alternatively, AlphaSSL is available for purchase.
- Automatic backups – all plans come with free nightly backups. On-demand backups are included in the Pro and Premium plans.
- Server monitoring – its servers are monitored every 10 seconds by automated software and every 30 minutes by a human server engineer.
- Malware scanning and cleanup – real-time security scanning to protect against malware. In case of a hack, its support team will also clean up your site without extra charges.
- Website Application Firewall – AI-based WAF to protect against application-layer attacks.
- Distributed denial of service protection – free DDoS protection with its network-level mitigation services managed internally by its staff.
- Other security measures – include hardware and power redundancy, container-based technology, hosting account isolation, spam protection, and automatic app updates.
All in all, GreenGeeks’ security is extremely robust and well-rounded, making it a good candidate for one of the most secure hosts out there. The provider has ample essential and premium security measures to protect against all vulnerabilities.
Will GreenGeeks support help me?
GreenGeeks offer 3 different support methods: 24/7 live chat, email with approximately 15-20 minutes of wait time, and phone support from 9 AM to 12 AM EST. Additionally, it also has a well-stocked knowledge base.
Live chat is the provider’s main support option. Here, typically, a customer service agent will jump in to assist almost immediately. And from my experience, the agents were professional and eager to answer your questions.
However, I did experience an unfortunate event at the time of writing this review. I was informed that malware of some sort had affected my site. However, shortly after, this was flagged as a false alarm. Sadly, the alarm was pretty real (which became apparent only the following day), and to solve this issue GreenGeek’s agents took 2 days. It’s a little bittersweet. The issue was solved, yet it could’ve been speedier.
Now if you wish to skip human interaction altogether, head straight for GreenGeeks’ humongous knowledge base. There are hundreds of very well-written articles here covering a wide range of topics. So, whether you need help with GreenGeeks nameservers or need a guide to clear Litespeed cache, you’ll find all the answers here.
To sum up, GreenGeeks’ customer support is a solid A. Its agents are swift and effective with a deep understanding of hosting. Plus, its knowledge base is absolutely extensive.
GreenGeeks review: the final verdict
The bottom line from all my research and testing for this GreenGeeks review is that the host has every right to brag. It’s one of the most well-rounded providers out there, ticking all the right boxes. It’s affordable, easy to use, fast, and super secure.
|Feature||Environmentally conscious hosting provider|
|Pricing||GreenGeeks is very affordable, with its prices starting from just $2.95/mo for shared hosting. Despite the low prices, the host offers very liberal resources and features. |
|Ease of use||The provider absolutely nailed ease of use. It has an intuitive yet functional custom dashboard that it pairs with a standard cPanel. |
|Performance||GreenGeeks demonstrated a very reliable 99.98% uptime, very speedy website loading speed, and great abilities in handling increased traffic on the site. |
|Security ||GreenGeeks offers a wide variety of security tools. You can expect anything from a free SSL and daily backup to WAF and malware scans.|
|Support ||The host provides 24/7 live chat, email, and phone support (9 AM – 12 AM EST). However, the support is not very helpful when faced with an issue.|
Who do I recommend GreenGeeks to?
All things considered, I’d recommend GreenGeeks to beginners, budget-conscious experienced users, and those looking for a no-fuss good-quality hosting solution. Brimming with features, easy to use, fast, and extremely secure, GreenGeeks is at the top of the scoreboard.
Alternatives to GreenGeeks
While the many glowing GreenGeeks reviews proved that this host is a top-notch option, it might not be your cup of tea. Worry not. there are many great hosting solutions out there, with the 3 best alternatives being Hostinger, Bluehost, and DreamHost.
Hostinger is well-known in the market for offering excellent hosting services at very cheap prices.
You can expect good performance, great ease of use with its custom control panel, essential security features, and extremely efficient customer support.
One of the biggest hosting companies out there, Bluehost offers a wide selection of hosting solutions, many of them WordPress-centered.
And, to rake in the users, Bluehost keeps its prices low, prioritizes beginner-friendliness, and delivers outstanding performance. Its plans start from $2.95/mo for shared hosting.
DreamHost is an affordable and highly reliable WordPress-oriented host, with prices starting from just $2.59/mo.
And, just like GreenGeeks, DreamHost has many things going for it: ease of use, good performance, rich security features, and much more.
Is GreenGeeks com legit?
Yes, GreenGeeks com is legit. The provider has over 14 years of experience in the business and over 55,000 customers.
Is GreenGeeks fast?
Yes, GreenGeeks is fast. Its website loaded very quickly with its LCP at a very swift 1.2s and its Fully Loaded Time at 1.6s.
How much does GreenGeeks cost?
GreenGeeks’ cost starts from $2.95/mo for shared hosting if you sign up for 3 years.
What makes GreenGeeks stand out?
GreenGeeks stands out mostly because of its eco-friendly hosting. Some of its most well-known carbon footprint offset steps include a 300% green energy match, planting a tree for every account provisioned, and energy-efficient data centers.
How does GreenGeeks keep your site secure?
GreenGeeks keep your site secure by providing rich basic and advanced security features. This includes a free SSL certificate, DDoS protection, WAF, malware scanning and cleanup, and many more.