Environmental concerns may not be at the top of your list when hunting for a web hoster, but there’s no doubt that the millions of data centres running 24/7 to serve up websites have a big impact on the environment. What if you could have a web hosting service that works to minimise the effects of running a website? This is the promise of GreenGeeks hosting.
Can you get eco-friendly web hosting with all the features you need at a reasonable price? In our GreenGeeks review, we put the claims to the test and evaluate whether it’s a valid option for website hosting for creative professionals. For more web hosting options, see our web hosting services buying guide.
GreenGeeks review: Plans and pricing
Though GreenGeeks offers a range of web hosting products that include private servers and dedicated servers for large businesses, we’ll focus on the GreenGeeks products that will be of most interest to creatives.
GreenGeeks has three eco-friendly web hosting plans. Each one can be paid for monthly, annually, biennially, and triennially, with significant discounts for paying years in advance. Note that although GreenGeeks splits WordPress hosting into a different section of its site for marketing purposes, all shared hosting plans include WordPress and cost the same as the WordPress plans.
The cheapest option is the Lite plan, which costs from $2.95/month if you pay triennially to $9.95/month if you pay monthly. It includes everything a small website could need: unlimited web space, unmetered bandwidth, free domain name for the first year, SSL certificate (which provides authentication), unlimited email accounts, unlimited databases and free CDN.
So, why might you upgrade to the Pro plan, which costs between $5.95 and $14.95 per month? You get support for unlimited websites and double the performance. The Premium plan, which bumps the price to $11.95-$24.95/month, doubles the performance again and includes a dedicated IP address.
For most people, the Lite plan will be more than enough, and if you’re willing to pay years in advance, it comes at a great price too.
GreenGeeks review: Features
GreenGeeks offers WordPress hosting and a website builder on its eco-friendly web hosting. You can use the GreenGeeks web administration panel to install other software, such as Joomla or Magento, if you prefer.
300% renewable energy investment
GreenGeeks’ USP is its 300% renewable web hosting. This means that every unit of energy consumed serving up your website is matched by GreenGeeks in the form of renewable energy credits. This way, you’re not only minimising the environmental impact of running a website 24/7, but you’re also actively helping the environment by having one.
Like most web hosts, GreenGeeks offers WordPress hosting as part of all plans. GreenGeeks uses SSD drives and the LiteSpeed web server, which should result in faster WordPress sites. In our testing, GreenGeeks’ websites perform about average compared to the competition.
SitePad Website Builder
GreenGeeks offers a website builder as part of all plans, so you can build a website without touching a line of code. SitePad is easy to use. You can just drag and drop features onto your pages. There are over 600 themes from which to choose, and regular updates are performed by the hosting provider.
However, SitePad isn’t as flexible as some of the best website builders, such as Wix and Weebly, so it won’t be the best option if you want to make extensive changes to the template designs.
GreenGeeks review: Interface and in use
Setting up on GreenGeeks is straightforward. Choose a plan and make your payment, and within a few minutes, you’ll receive a welcome email with login information.
Though GreenGeeks’ administration panel is simple, it gets the job done well. The industry standard website management software cPanel is available if you need anything more complex, but web hosting newbies will appreciate GreenGeeks’ pared-down control panel.
In our performance testing, GreenGeeks performed in the middle of the pack for response times, speed and uptime.
GreenGeeks review: Support
GreenGeeks has a well laid-out online knowledge base, but the information on offer isn’t particularly useful. There are a few “getting started” guides that you’ll find on any web host, but most articles lack depth.
Fortunately, there are multiple ways to contact support for help. There’s 24/7 live chat, email support, and phone support (Monday-Sunday, 9 AM to 12 AM EST). In our testing, we found all support channels to be manned by knowledgeable agents and the response time to be quick.
GreenGeeks: A solid eco-friendly web hosting provider
GreenGeeks’ most interesting feature is the 300% renewable energy investment, which is a unique selling point that might make it your top choice right off the bat.
Putting eco-friendliness to the side for a moment, GreenGeeks is a fine web hosting provider. The Lite plan stands out as particularly good value, with unlimited disk space, bandwidth, email accounts, and databases for $2.95/month if you’re willing to pay three years in advance. Shorter terms are much less competitively priced.
Besides that, though, GreenGeeks doesn’t offer much that makes it stand out. It performs well enough, but its feature list is quite short. However, if you just need a web host for a simple WordPress creative site, choosing GreenGeeks will give you everything you need, and you’ll be helping save the planet at the same time.