GreenGeeks is not your average web host. Why? The answer’s in the title: they’re green. They heavily promote themselves as a green web host and I feel this is very important to mention. I found it to be a very interesting read learning all the ways that they promote themselves as a green company. Through wind power, they replace three times as much of the energy used by their servers. They save resources by promoting recycling in the offices and they don’t waste additional resources by going out for lunch (cue the mass amounts of take-out boxes). Trey Gardner seems to really believe in promoting a green environment and I admire his mass dedication and interest within it all. Now let’s get to the good stuff. I’ll break this review down into a few sections:
- Features and Pricing
- Terms of Service
- Customer Support
Features and Pricing
The GreenGeeks.com website at first glance seems a little out-of-place. It isn’t messy, there’s just too much on display. It seems they need to figure out a proper placement strategy so important content is easier to find. They are throwing too much content in the way of their potential customers and that may well throw them off guard and make them simply move on to someone else.
Design aspects aside, GreenGeeks do not offer plans of any kind. They are purely an ‘unlimited’ host. Like every other unlimited host, you get unlimited disk space and bandwidth, databases, FTP accounts and everything else. The only thing they allow their potential customers to do is choose how long they want to be hosted with them. Of course, you need to pick the longest-term plan to receive the cheapest monthly plan. So how much of those green bills in your pocket does GreenGeeks want? The terms are as follows:
- Monthly – $14.95/mo with a $15 set-up fee
- Yearly – $7.95/mo
- 2 Years – $6.95/mo
- 3 Years – $4.95/mo
A free domain is included with every pricing term except the monthly payment plan, therefore it may make more sense to stick with them for at least a year if you don’t mind long-term commitments.
If you don’t like what you see for the first 30 days, then you can request a full refund. They offer a no-questions-asked guaranteed refund. They also state that you get to keep full ownership of your domain name regardless of whether they are your hosting provider or not.
If you’re un-knowledgeable about site transfers, they claim to transfer your website over for absolutely free. In the case that you are creating a new website and you do not know where to start, they also offer free website builders too.
A nice offering from GreenGeeks is nightly back-ups. You don’t have to pay any additional costs for this feature, as it comes included with the plan. This ensures the protection of your data.
Terms of Service
GreenGeeks have a fairly small terms of service agreement which is always beneficial as it does not force you to read mass amounts of legal jargon. The terms themselves are fairly easy to comprehend so you don’t have to worry about not being to understand what you are agreeing too.
It states the usual: no spamming or exploiting the services, no illegal content and reselling. It also comes packed with the 99.99% uptime guarantee and the genuine 30-day money-back guarantee.
The agreement doesn’t stray too far away from what you would usually agree to when choosing a web host, it’s pretty much textbook.
After initial sign-up, I was up like a flash on the internet. They instantly sent me an order confirmation e-mail and an invoice acting as my receipt. Then under two minutes later, I received an e-mail containing my account information. The e-mail contained information such as my FTP details and control panel logins. They also supplied me with their nameservers. I can’t stress enough how important it is for a web hosting company to include their nameservers in welcome e-mails. It saves new customers a lot of time as they won’t have to spend ages digging for them. GreenGeeks really won me over by including that small, but vital piece of information.
I logged into the FTP account with no issues. In the welcome e-mail, I was given login details to the FTP account, as well as the direct server IP in case I faced any problems, which is always handy. The account posed no issues and worked flawlessly.
GreenGeeks, much like several other webhosts, use one of the industry’s best control panel’s cPanel. I logged into the control panel without any issues and everything looked fine from within. They also didn’t lack any specific control panel features such as the ability to create error pages, or uses services such as Cron Jobs. I installed a handful of services from the Fantastico script installer including Drupal, Joomla, WordPress, SMF and more and they all worked seamlessly without a hitch. As far as installing software goes, everything should work fine. There are no bugs and issues to report on that side.
Within cPanel, I also noticed another script installer by the name of Softaculous. I decided to see if there was any difference between this and Fantastico yet there is no difference. They both work flawlessly however Softaculous offers a wider range of scripts such as polls, calendars, and media tools and so on.
I also monitored the uptime of the website using a service called Pingdom. GreenGeeks are similar to most other webhosts by guaranteeing 99.99% uptime, but they sure beat their guarantee, that’s for sure. According to the results, in the first hosting week, there was 100% uptime. I guess this goes to show that being green helps solidify servers.
GreenGeeks offer a wide support system ranging from e-mail support to live-chat services. Both are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They also offer technical phone support during their business hours. The number is also toll-free.
I decided to look into their live chat service to review the quality of information provided and the time in which I received a valid response.
Once clicking on to the live chat service, I was prompted to enter my full name, the department I required assistance from, and my domain name. I was connected in a few seconds to a support representative. A few seconds had passed and I was greeted by a friendly member of staff asking for my name and why I require assistance. I felt it unnecessary to state my name twice, nevertheless complied and asked a question regarding using custom e-mail addresses with Google Apps. I specifically asked this question as I could verify if the information given was accurate and helpful.
Around one minute had passed and suddenly a vast amount of information filled up the live-chat dialog box. The representative responded saying in order to do what I wanted, I was required to change the MX records within my cPanel interface. I was given very concise and accurate step-by-step instructions.
He continued by saying the instructions he had given were in full compliance with Google’s instructions and had been adapted to work with their services.
They’re live chat service carries small response times, typically 45 seconds to one minute, dependant on the issue, and the amount of information given.
The only way GreenGeeks could make their support channels better are by supporting their customers worldwide by phone, such as webhosts like MyHosting.
GreenGeeks is a ‘green’ company promoting the safety of the environment through their services. They give more back to the environment than what they use. This does not affect the stability of their servers however, as they provide a very reliable service with no downtime at all. They offer an unlimited features plan designed to suit the requirements of the common website structure. They offer quick and accurate support along with a toll-free U.S. support number. I guess being green can really have its advantages, as GreenGeeks is one of most reliable unlimited webhosts I have certainly ever come across.