GreenGeeks is an American web hosting (opens in new tab) provider with 55,000 customers, managing 600,000 websites, and a lengthy 14 years of experience in green hosting (opens in new tab).
The company goes well beyond the simple energy-saving tricks of other web hosts. It calculates its energy consumption each year, then pays for three times that in green energy and puts it back into the grid. That’s not just carbon neutral, it’s carbon reducing.
If that’s not enough, GreenGeeks has another simpler and more straightforward way to showcase its economic credentials: for every hosting account set up on the platform, the company plants one tree.
What types of hosting does GreenGeeks offer?
GreenGeeks (opens in new tab) offers low cost shared hosting (opens in new tab), ideal for personal users and simple business websites.
WordPress and WooCommerce hosting (opens in new tab) allows you to build anything from a personal blog to a small web store.
VPS (opens in new tab) (Virtual Private Server) hosting is a powerful technology which gives your site access to more CPU, RAM and other system resources. It’s a smart choice for large or high-traffic sites, where top speeds are vital, and downtime could be a disaster.
GreenGeeks also offers dedicated server hosting (opens in new tab), where your server gets an entire site all to itself for the maximum performance.
Next, we’ll break down GreenGeeks’ various hosting types, find out what they have to offer, and which might be the best solution for you.
GreenGeeks shared hosting
Opt for shared hosting and your website is stored on a single web server along with several others. The benefit of this scheme is it’s easy to use, and because everyone shares the server costs, it can be very cheap ($2 a month or even less.) But the disadvantage is all sites share the server’s CPU, RAM, network connection and more, reducing speeds.
GreenGeeks starter shared hosting plan more than covers the basics, with 50GB storage, unmetered bandwidth, free SSL, a free domain, a free migration to import your current site from another host, nightly backups, and top-quality industry-standard hosting tools including Softaculous to automatically install WordPress and 150+ other apps, and cPanel for all your other hosting management needs.
It’s a decent package with enough power for personal users and small websites, and is priced low in the first year at $2.95. But costs jump to $10.95 on renewal, at little more than the best of the competition.
The mid-range plan adds unlimited storage and support for unlimited websites, along with on-demand backups (save a copy of your site whenever you like) and a WordPress repair tool. It’s more capable, but at $4.95 a month in year one, $14.95 on renewal, it’s still priced above average.
The Premium plan is aimed at small businesses with high traffic sites or web stores. It adds extra resources and high-end business-friendly extras, including premium SSL and smart object caching (a clever technology which uses the Memcached and Redis tools to accelerate website speeds). It’s a capable package, worth considering for demanding sites, and looks fairly priced at $8.95 a month in year one, $25.95 on renewal.
GreenGeeks WordPress hosting
WordPress is one of the most popular website creators around, and it’s easy to see why. Its huge range of add-ons can handle the most advanced of business and web store projects, yet it’s also accessible enough for home users to build simple family sites.
GreenGeeks’ WordPress hosting (opens in new tab) is essentially the shared hosting plan – same names, same prices – with a little extra focus on some helpful WordPress-related features.
The plans include free migration of your WordPress site from a previous host, for instance. You get daily backups, with automatic updates of WordPress and its plugins. GreenGeeks uses the LiteSpeed server and LS Cache plugin to optimize speed. Unusually, the company doesn’t just offer to scan your website for malware: the website says it’ll help clean your site if anything malicious shows up.
The malware pledge is unusual for a budget hosting plan, but otherwise there are no real surprises here. If you’re happy with GreenGeeks’ shared hosting and only need the WordPress basics, these plans have you covered. But if not, take a look at IONOS (opens in new tab). It starts from only $0.50 a month in year one ($8 on renewal), but other plans have more advanced features, and the WP Pro range uses VPS hosting to accelerate performance and support business-critical sites.
GreenGeeks VPS hosting
VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting is a system which divides one physical server into several smaller private pieces. Each gets its own set of server resources, not shared with other users, making for a far more powerful setup. A good VPS can run a large blog with hundreds of thousands of visitors monthly.
GreenGeeks has only three VPS plans. The cheapest is $39.95 billed monthly for 2GB RAM, 4 CPU cores and 50GB RAM. The top-of-the-range plan has 8GB RAM, 6 CPU cores and 150GB SSD storage for $109.95 billed monthly.
There are a lot of positives here. These are managed plans, which means GreenGeeks maintains the server for you (updating the operating system, installing security patches, monitoring the service for issues.) A strong set of features includes free SSL, a free migration, cPanel (opens in new tab) server management and the excellent Softaculous (opens in new tab) to automatically install WordPress or 150+ other apps. All plans have a generous 10TB bandwidth allowance, and prices are low considering what you get.
If you’re looking for a lower to mid-range VPS, or new to this type of hosting and unsure exactly what you need, GreenGeeks is well worth considering. But with only three plans, and no configuration options, there’s not a lot of choice, and many users will be better off elsewhere.
Hostwinds has a far wider range of plans, including budget $4.99 a month unmanaged setups ranging up to far more powerful 16 CPU core, 96GB RAM system. There’s a choice of operating systems (including Windows), and a speedy 1Gbps network connection. If you’re a seasoned VPS user with a demanding website, or you’d like more of an upgrade path if the site outgrows your first VPS, Hostwinds may be the better choice.
GreenGeeks dedicated hosting
Opt for dedicated hosting and you get a web server for your site alone. That means no more sharing resources with others, no unexpected slowdowns because a neighboring site is suddenly busy: you just get the best speeds your hardware can manage, all the time.
GreenGeeks has only four dedicated plans. They start with a budget 2GB RAM, Intel Atom 330 Dual Core CPU system for $169 a month. At the top of the range, a 16GB RAM, 6-core Xeon E5-2620 2.0Ghz, 2x 500 GB SSD is $439, again billed monthly.
These prices are higher than most, a surprise considering how GreenGeeks offers such great deals everywhere else. We found we could save $100-$150 a month or more on some plans by choosing comparable servers at Hostwinds.
As with GreenGeeks’ VPS products, its dedicated hosting range is a little small. It covers the lower middle range of the market, but there’s plenty of gaps elsewhere. IONOS has some value unmanaged deals for experienced users, for instance, with prices starting at under $50. Or if it’s power you’re after, Liquid Web has dedicated servers for enterprise users, with as much as 32 cores and 128GB RAM.
Does GreenGeeks have a website builder?
GreenGeeks’ shared hosting packages include a free version of Weebly (opens in new tab) Site Builder. At least, that’s the idea. It’s not installed by default, and we didn’t see it mentioned in the dashboard, so many users may never even realize it’s available. But if you raise a support ticket, GreenGeeks will activate the free version for you.
Weebly works much like many other website builders. Choose a starting website design from a selection of around 100. Then customize basics like colors and fonts, if you like. Or just drag and drop blocks of content onto the page – text, photos, forms, maps, more – and then add your own text and photos, just as you would in any other editor.
This is easy to use, and has a few more features than we’d expect for a free tool. There’s no limit on the number of pages your site can have, for instance. You can even create a tiny web store for up to five products.
Weebly Free is a fun app, and could be perfect for, say, allowing your kids to build their own personal sites. But the basic templates, limited features and Weebly ad on each page footer mean this isn’t something we’d recommend for serious use. And although you could pay to upgrade, Weebly isn’t the best website builder (opens in new tab) around, and we’d recommend you consider some alternatives.
HostGator’s Gator website builder (opens in new tab) is priced from just $3.84 a month for the first two years, for instance ($7.68 afterwards), but it’s easy to use, with a gorgeous stock image library, and also supports a simple web store with a maximum of three products.
Wix (opens in new tab) is a power-packed alternative with far better templates, vastly more features, a well-designed editor and the ability to create truly professional business sites. It’s also way more expensive, but a free plan gives you plenty of time to try before you buy.
Can I build a web store with GreenGeeks?
GreenGeeks has a WooCommerce hosting (opens in new tab) range which is very capable of building a top-quality web store (WooCommerce is one of the best ecommerce platforms around).
As with GreenGeeks’ WordPress range, though, this is really just the shared hosting range underneath, with the same names, features and prices.
This isn’t necessarily a problem. The plans can automatically install WooCommerce for you within seconds, and it really does have the power to handle even the largest and most demanding stores. But because these are general-purpose shared hosting plans, GreenGeeks doesn’t offer you any helpful ecommerce extras or specialist WooCommerce support. That makes these more suitable for experienced users with some ecommerce experience, who are happy to set up and learn WooCommerce largely on their own.
If that’s not you at all, there are other options. As we discussed above, website builders are not only the easiest way to create a site, but many also support adding a web store. Most builders have only a fraction of the power of WooCommerce, but they’re enough for many stores. HostGator’s Gator website builder and Hostinger’s website builder (opens in new tab) can build basic stores from a few dollars a month, while GoDaddy and Wix cost more but include many extra features.
How easy is GreenGeeks to use?
The GreenGeeks control panel launches with a simple startup wizard, giving you useful advice on migrating or building your site, then getting it up and running.
Elsewhere, the control panel is refreshingly simple. Technical language is kept to a minimum, and sensibly-named options in a left-hand sidebar (Hosting, Domains, Security, Support) make it easy to find what you need.
Even when you drill down to more complicated areas, GreenGeeks does its best to keep life straightforward. Create an email account at DreamHost, for instance, and it prompts you with 12 options, including some you may never know existed (do you want to get daily warnings if your Inbox is nearly full?) GreenGeeks just asks you to enter an email address and password. You can still tweak more advanced settings, they’re just not displayed up-front.
Best of all, GreenGeeks provides users with top-quality, industry-standard tools to manage all the most complex tasks, including Softaculous to automatically install WordPress and other apps, and cPanel to keep it running smoothly.
Hosting can still be tricky at times, and you’ll have the occasional complicated challenge to overcome. But that’s the same with every provider, and GreenGeeks does a better job of simplifying the process than most.
How fast is GreenGeeks?
Web host performance matters, even for simple and low traffic projects. If your site is slow or regularly down then you’ll annoy your visitors, and some may leave and never come back.
To find out how a provider performs, we sign up for a shared hosting package, set up a simple WordPress site using a standard template, then run various tests and compare the results with others. (Although this gives us useful information, keep in mind that we’re comparing basic shared hosting plans; our results can’t tell us anything about a provider’s VPS, dedicated or other plans).
We measure a host’s uptime by using Uptime.com to check our test website every five minutes over 14 days. GreenGeeks scored a perfect 100%, which means Uptime.com was able to access our test page every time it tried (that’s zero fails out of 3,744 tries).
Uptime.com also logs how long it waits for the server to respond to a request. GreenGeeks was speedy at 0.302 seconds (some providers took a second or more), and even better, response times were very consistent, varying by only 0.032 seconds across all 3,744 tests (only GoDaddy and SiteGround scored better in our last 15 tests). That’s good news, as it suggests GreenGeeks’ shared servers aren’t overloaded, and they have enough resources to cope with the websites they’re hosting.
We check website performance by using GTmetrix to load a test WordPress site and calculate how long it takes to load the main page content (in technical speak, it’s called Largest Contentful Paint, or LCP). The lower your LCP, the snappier and more responsive your site feels, and the more likely it is that your visitors will stick around.
GreenGeeks’ LCP was a decent 0.691 seconds, similar to top names like Bluehost (0.603) and GoDaddy (0.667), and far ahead of budget providers such as Domain.com (1.5 seconds) and iPage (1.6 seconds).
Finally, we use the online service k6 to measure how our test WordPress site handles many visitors at the same time. GreenGeeks fractionally underperformed here, with our site able to cope with a peak 19 requests per second and an average of 15 (most providers managed a peak 20 and an average of 15). But that’s not a difference you’re likely to notice in real life, and overall GreenGeeks performed very well.
What is GreenGeeks support like?
GreenGeeks offers 24/7 support via live chat, ticket, telephone and a website knowledgebase.
The support site isn’t very well organized, and it can be difficult to find the content you need. Fortunately, there are some useful all-in-one tutorials.
For example, the Getting Started with GreenGeeks guide links to articles on registering and setting up domains and DNS (opens in new tab), creating email accounts, building your website, and managing your bills and accounts. That’s good to know and will point you in the right direction, but these articles are often short, and may not include all the information you need.
If the knowledgebase leaves you confused, then you can always contact the support team. We raised some test questions to see how it performed, and the results were excellent.
Live chat (opens in new tab) responses were quick and helpful, and even opting for ticket support (often more appropriate with complex problems) didn’t leave us waiting for long. GreenGeeks’ free Weebly version isn’t enabled by default, for instance, and you must raise a support ticket to ‘activate’ it.
We did, and GreenGeeks read our request, activated Weebly and replied to let us know, all in just a fraction under 50 minutes. That’s a very acceptable response time, and suggests to us that GreenGeeks has plenty of support staff available to deal with questions as they arrive.
GreenGeeks’ has excellent shared hosting, with the features and speed to handle most personal and many SMB sites. It’s weaker on WordPress and ecommerce, and the VPS and dedicated hosting plans don’t have the power for the most demanding sites, but there’s still plenty to like here (and of course helping to save the planet is pretty important, too).
What payment types does GreenGeeks support?
GreenGeeks accepts payment via card only.
Does GreenGeeks offer refunds?
GreenGeeks has a simple 30-day money-back guarantee for all its main hosting products, regardless of the length of subscription. Unlike some providers, there’s no 30 days for this hosting product range, 15 days for that, something else again for monthly plans (GoDaddy only gives you 48 hours for subscriptions of less than a year). It’s 30 days and that’s that.
There are some restrictions for add-on products. You won’t get your domain registration or SSL certificate fees back, for instance, but that’s common to most hosts. (Although, as a plus this time, GoDaddy does offer refunds on some domain purchases.)
More significantly, renewal fees aren’t included. At SiteGround, you can cancel 15 days after renewing, and the company will give you all but your first month’s fees back. At GreenGeeks, the small print warns you must cancel your account at least five days before the renewal date ‘to ensure the billing date can stop any renewal charges’, and if you forget, and you’re charged, you’ve no right to a refund.
Does GreenGeeks have an uptime guarantee?
GreenGeeks claims to offer a ‘99.9% uptime guarantee’, but that’s no more than a hope, or a goal. If your site is down for more than 0.1% (or 43.83 minutes a month), you won’t get any form of compensation.
Some hosts do significantly better. SiteGround also has a 99.9% network uptime guarantee, for instance, but if your downtime is actually 99%, you’ll get a month of free hosting, and there’s another free month for every further 1%.
Where are GreenGeeks’ data centers?
Sign up with GreenGeeks and you can choose whether your site will be hosted in its US, Canadian or Netherlands data centers.
That’s better than many providers, and good news for performance. If your website has a mainly European audience, for instance, hosting your site in the Netherlands means visitors are closer to your server, automatically giving you a little extra speed.
What is my GreenGeeks IP address?
Log into the GreenGeeks control panel.
Click Hosting, find your hosting account in the list and click Manage.
Your website server’s IP address is displayed as ‘IP’ in the Server Information panel.
What are GreenGeeks’ nameservers?
GreenGeeks shared hosting nameservers are chi-ns1.websitehostserver.net, chi-ns2.websitehostserver.net and ams-ns1.websitehostserver.net.
How do I cancel a GreenGeeks product?
You can cancel a GreenGeeks hosting plan from the website cancellation request form (opens in new tab).
Choose the service you’d like to cancel, complete and submit the form. You’ll receive an email from GreenGeeks, click the Confirmation link, and your request is processed within seven days.
Although this sounds simple enough, there are a couple of potential gotchas.
First, the company automatically renews your package 24 hours before the hosting date, so don’t leave this until the last minute.
And second, when you’re prompted to enter your email address in the cancellation form, you must enter the same address linked to your GreenGeeks account. If you don’t, the cancellation won’t be accepted, and if the renewal date is close, there’s a chance you’ll be billed again before you realize there’s a problem.