Saturday 20th October 2018

GreenGeeks Review

Excellent features and good customer service but uptime is variable and renewal prices are excessive.

  • Uptime is variable but acceptable – it has been as low as 99.82% and as high as 100%;
  • Its renewal rates are nearly double the price of its introductory rates;
  • Domain pricing is average;
  • Its server response time is typically better than most;
  • It allows customers to host “unlimited” domains on entry-level packages;
  • Excellent features (arguably the best overall) including free SSL, free domain, SSD drives, free daily backups, HTTP/2 support and access to two CPU cores;
  • Customer service is very good.

GreenGeeks Review

Excellent features and good customer service but uptime is variable and renewal prices are excessive.

  • Uptime is variable but acceptable – it has been as low as 99.82% and as high as 100%;
  • Its renewal rates are nearly double the price of its introductory rates;
  • Domain pricing is average;
  • Its server response time is typically better than most;
  • It allows customers to host “unlimited” domains on entry-level packages;
  • Excellent features (arguably the best overall) including free SSL, free domain, SSD drives, free daily backups, HTTP/2 support and access to two CPU cores;
  • Customer service is very good.

Latest rankings

We performance test the world's biggests hosts on a second-by-second basis. The top 3 performers for July 2018 are listed below.

Host Uptime Response time
HostGator 100% 390
Bluehost 100% 502
Hostinger 100% 513

Latest rankings

We performance test the world's biggests hosts on a second-by-second basis. The top 3 performers for July 2018 are listed below.

Host Uptime Response time
HostGator 100% 390
Bluehost 100% 502
Hostinger 100% 513

Overview

GreenGeeks excels on features. Unlike a number of competitors it also allows you to host unlimited domains on its entry-level package, so if you operate multiple websites it may be the choice for you.

Its uptime is typically better than most – at its lowest it hit 99.84 percent; however, much of the time its uptime has been 100 percent. 99.84 percent downtime is equivalent to 1 hour and 5 minutes of downtime.

Meanwhile, its server response time has been as slow as 1,011 milliseconds (about average) and as fast as 576 milliseconds (among the best performers).

Unlike many, it provides free daily backups and its restrictions on entry processes and I/O are far better than most.

It also provides SSD storage for even its cheapest hosting package (the one we’re reviewing) and free SSL (which is vitally important with the advent of recent updates to Google Chrome).

Its customer support is responsive and its offers both live chat and ticketing. Its uptime and money back guarantees are standard (some hosts provide superior options e.g. HostGator, Dreamhost and A2 Hosting).

Latest uptime

Month Uptime Response time
January 2018 99.83% 719ms
February 2018 99.92% 711ms
March 2018 99.93% 609ms
April 2018 100% 576ms
May 2018 99.82% 1011ms
June 2018 100% 584ms
July 2018 100% 576ms

Key data

Click on a metric to compare the performance of all 18 hosts, or learn more.

N/A = Not applicable NS = Not specified RBNS = Restricted but not specified

Monthly price1

$9.95

Annual price2

$71.40

Bandwidth/data transfer

Unlimited

The not-so-small small print

1Many web hosts advertise monthly prices but don't allow you to pay monthly. If you can't actually pay monthly we don't display a monthly price.

2This metric lists the annual price for packages paid 12 months in advance. It doesn't calculate the cost of packages paid monthly for 12 months.

3This is what it costs to renew a package paid annually in the second year. Most hosts increase prices for the second and each subsequent year.

4A "free domain" may sound like an enticing offer but keep in mind its costs will often be subtracted from a refund and some web hosts charge significantly more for renewals than registrations.

5Most web hosts display their uptime guarantees to one decimal point e.g. 99.9% is actually 99.90%. While some uptime guarantees look more attractive e.g. 100%, it's the compensation terms - how much they pay you if they fail to honor it - that matter.

GreenGeeks alternatives

Excellent uptime and response time but offers poor customer service and lacks essential features.

Annual price

$59.88

Uptime

99.99%

Nothing spectacular, nothing truly terrible. They're expensive relative to other web hosts.

Annual price

£94.99

Uptime

99.93%

1&1

Solid uptime but limited customer service, excessive legalese and overbearing restrictions.

Annual price

$11.88

Uptime

99.97%

Good uptime, features and value for money but no free domain and response time is average to poor;

Annual price

$24.88

Uptime

99.94%

Pricing

As per most web hosts, the monthly rate GreenGeeks advertises ($3.95) isn’t available as a monthly rate unless you pay 36 months in advance. The price you actually pay if you wish to pay monthly is $9.95 and a $15 setup fee.

The cost for the same package – “EcoStarter” – is $71.40 when paid 12 months in advance. That makes its annual introductory pricing (first year) roughly $20 more expensive than that of Siteground ($47.40 per year), which is another customer-led hosting provider.

GreenGeeks increases the price of its EcoStarter to plan to $119.40 for customers who wish to renew for a second year.

This is equivalent to Siteground’s second year renewal pricing but significantly more expensive than web hosts that do not increase their prices in the second year.

However, unlike cheaper web hosts GreenGeeks provides free website migrations, daily backups and a domain name for new customers. Moreover, there are no restrictions on the number of domains you can host and  it offers other increasingly essential features like free SSL.

GreenGeeks also offers a 30 day money back guarantee and a 99.90 percent uptime guarantee, both of which are standard.

Its domain pricing is standard. It charges $13.95 for .com registrations and renewals and $9.95 for domain privacy. By comparison Hostinger, which is one of the best priced hosts for domain registrations, charges $8.99 for .com registrations and $5 per year for domain privacy.

Meanwhile, Namecheap offers free domain privacy “for life”; if you want to include domain privacy with a domain registration, we’d recommend choosing Namecheap as your domain registrar (even if it isn’t your web host).

You can review more domain pricing here.

Key data

Click on a metric to compare the performance of all 18 hosts, or learn more.

N/A = Not applicable NS = Not specified RBNS = Restricted but not specified

Annual price

$71.40

Compare web hosts

We compare 17 web hosts against 56 metrics, including monthly and annual pricing and bandwidth, CPU, read/write, storage and database restrictions.

Technical

GreenGeeks is fairly transparent about the restrictions it places on users’ accounts and it volunteers a lot more information than most (particularly in its admin panel).

It’s worth noting that all web hosts set these restrictions, it’s just some are more transparent about them than others.

It restricts I/O, read/write speed, to 4MB/s; this is significantly better than some web hosts e.g. HostPapa restricts I/O to 1MB/s.

It states in its admin panel that physical memory is restricted to 384MB – this is lower (worse) than comparable web hosts e.g. HostGator restricts at 2GB.

It also restricts entry processes to 100, which is significantly better than a number of web hosts e.g. A2 Hosting restricts at 15 and InMotion Hosting restricts at 20. “Entry processes” is a metric that limits the number of simultaneous script executions e.g. loading a PHP file.

If you exceed your entry process limit then your website could be throttled or visitors could be presented with a 508 response.

GreenGeek’s chat representatives also inform us CPU usage is limited to 20% of two CPU cores. With more cores it theoretically means more data can be processed at the same time.

HostGator also provides access to two CPU cores however many other web hosts don’t specify how many cores they give shared hosting accounts access to, and thus it makes meaningful comparisons challenging (not all CPUs are created equal).

GreenGeeks also provides a gauge in your admin panel indicating your existing resource usage (most web hosts that rely on the CloudLinux OS provide these measures).

We think it restricts inodes (meta data for a file) at 75,000. This is a lot lower – worse – than most web hosts; however, it should be more than sufficient for the average user (after a WordPress installation the standard inode count will be about 2,000)

It states it offers unlimited bandwidth, storage, databases and websites (the number of websites you can host). We didn’t find any additional restrictions on these (it’s a recurring theme with web hosts) however its terms of service state:

“If a customer’s hosting account is found to have violated the client content, excessive resource user policy and/or is storing files for archiving purposes, the contents will be removed and while we make best effort to contact customers beforehand, can occur without notice.”

According to its excessive resource user policy:

“A hosting account is considered using “Excessive amounts of resources” when it consumes 100% of the allocated resources on the subscribed hosting plan and/or subscribed scalable resource add-on(s) and/or 75,000 files…“

Key data

Click on a metric to compare the performance of all 18 hosts, or learn more.

N/A = Not applicable NS = Not specified RBNS = Restricted but not specified

CPU usage restriction?

RBNS

CPU usage restriction

20%

Number of CPU cores

2

Bandwidth

Unlimited

Storage restriction

Unlimited

RAM restriction

384MB

Database size restriction

NS

No. of websites restriction

Unlimited

Compare features

Annual price

Compare all 18 hosts by what it costs if you pay 12 months in advance.

Host Annual price
SiteGround $47.40
Bluehost $59.40
Hostinger $39.00

Free domain?

Compare all 18 hosts by whether they offer a free domain with new hosting subscriptions.

Host Free domain?
FatCow Yes
A2 Hosting No
HostGator Yes

Offers HTTP/2?

HTTP/2 was the first update to the HTTP protocol in 20 years. See which hosts support it.

Host Supports HTTP/2?
Just Host No
GoDaddy No
SiteGround Yes

Entry processes

Learn more about, and compare 18 hosts by, limitations placed on entry processes.

Host Entry processes
InMotion 20
GreenGeeks 100
Namecheap 20

Service

GreenGeeks customer service is typically responsive and polite. We’ve tested its live chat on a few occasions and received responses within at least 30 seconds. Unlike other hosts, there’s rarely a wait between responses i.e. it feels as though the operator is focused exclusively on our enquiry.

We submitted two tickets earlier this year and received responses to both within 20 minutes. Overall, its customer service is among the best we’ve reviewed.

Unlike many comparable hosts, GreenGeeks also offers a free website migration service, which can be ordered via your admin panel.

Web hosts that charge for website migrations include Dreamhost ($99) and Bluehost ($149).

Key data

Click on a metric to compare the performance of all 18 hosts, or learn more.

N/A = Not applicable NS = Not specified RBNS = Restricted but not specified

Uptime guarantee

99.90%

Live chat support

Yes

Ticket/email support

Yes

Phone support

Yes