There’s a lot to consider when choosing a web hosting provider. You need to find one that’s reliable, offers excellent performance, fits into your budget, and much more. However, what if you’re also concerned about the impact of your site on the environment? In our GreenGeeks review for WordPress, we’ll share one potential solution!
GreenGeeks is a hosting platform that prides itself on delivering eco-friendly service at affordable prices and offers a WordPress-specific plan with lots of features. It’s an appealing option for the environmentally conscious, but you may wonder whether its performance is up to par.
GreenGeeks review for WordPress – specific features
GreenGeeks offers both standard and WordPress-specific hosting options. As its name suggests, GreenGeeks’ key selling point is that it aims to provide an eco-friendly service. It achieves this both by designing its platform to be extremely energy efficient and by investing heavily in renewable energy.
This is great news for the eco-conscious. However, it’s also important that the hosting itself is top-notch. This means we need to conduct a thorough GreenGeeks review for WordPress.
Fortunately, this service includes a number of useful features for WordPress users, including:
- A one-click install option, to get your site set up quickly.
- Automatic updates, so your site remains secure and stable over time.
- WordPress-optimized security features, such as WordPress Protect.
Overall, GreenGeeks has covered all the necessary bases when it comes to general and WordPress-specific features.
GreenGeeks offers three primary support channels:
- Live chat
Phone support is available throughout the week and on weekends, and email tickets boast a fast resolution time. As for the live chat, it’s available every day of the year, 24/7.
We tested out the live chat personally:
The support staff were friendly and helpful and seemed able to answer our WordPress questions easily. Even better, we got a response within a few seconds each time.
If you prefer to figure things out on your own, GreenGeeks also offers a variety of support documentation. There’s a knowledge base with some helpful articles, although it’s admittedly a bit sparse. The detailed website tutorials are more helpful, however, and there’s also a blog you can check out with both informative and instructional content.
Now, we come to perhaps the most important section in our GreenGeeks review for WordPress. Excellent performance is essential if you want to provide a quality user experience on your site. Your hosting provider has a huge impact in this area, so let’s see how GreenGeeks stacks up.
It offers a number of features designed to keep your site fast. For example:
- All of its servers use Solid State Drives (SSDs), which has a positive impact on loading speeds.
- Its service includes customized caching technology, so pages can be served more quickly.
- If you really want to improve your site’s performance, you can integrate with Cloudflare easily and for free.
Finally, GreenGeeks offers several data centers, which are based in the following locations:
- Chicago, US
- Pheonix, US
- Toronto, CA
- Amsterdam, NL
As you can see, this provider doesn’t offer much in the way of global data centers. You can offset this downside by using Cloudflare or another Content Delivery Network (CDN), but it still means that GreenGeeks is most applicable for sites with a largely North American audience.
Page speed tests with Pingdom
Of course, excellent performance in theory doesn’t always translate to reality. So we tried GreenGeeks ourselves, setting up a basic website and testing its loading times.
We got the following results by using Pingdom to run tests from three different servers:
- San Jose: 2.70 seconds
- New York: 1.60 seconds
- Stockholm: 0.87 seconds
As you can see, the results were mostly good, although there’s a lot of variation between locations. The Stockholm time was excellent, for example, but the San Jose test was surprisingly slow.
Page speed tests with Load Impact
To get a closer look at our GreenGeeks site’s performance, we also tested it on Load Impact. This tool puts more stress on the site, simulating the impact of many concurrent users. Our results were as follows:
Load Generator: Frankfurt, DE
Test Server: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Minimum Response Time: 0.16 seconds
Maximum Response Time: 111 seconds
These response times are very inconsistent, and in some cases very high. Ideally, you want the green line to remain flat (and low) as the number of visitors (the blue line) increases. As you can see, this wasn’t the case in our test.
However, keep in mind that this test is a simulation, meaning that while it does attempt to replicate a real use case scenario, it’s not entirely accurate. The huge times reported by Load Impact might be a result of GreenGeeks’ mechanisms for spam protection or other such measures. Still, we’re hesitant to recommend GreenGeeks in regards to performance.
GreenGeeks keeps things simple in terms of pricing. There’s a single WordPress hosting plan, which will cost you $9.95 per month (or as low as $3.95 per month, if you sign up for three years’ worth of service). When it comes to WordPress hosting, there are cheaper options, but this is still on the affordable end.
Fortunately, GreenGeeks is fairly generous about what it provides with this plan. You’ll get space for unlimited data, domains, and databases, access to a free Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate, and quite a bit more. This makes GreenGeeks a flexible service that provides you with everything you need to get started, and offers more than enough resources for small to medium-sized sites.
Overall pros and cons
At this point, let’s take a moment to sum up the most important advantages and drawbacks of this service:
- Offers an eco-friendly service that offsets your website’s footprint by investing in renewable energy.
- Includes plenty of WordPress-specific features.
- Provides a lot of options and resources for a reasonable price.
- Performance appears to be inconsistent.
- Is less suited to sites based internationally because most of its data centers are in North America.
Overall, GreenGeeks is an intriguing option if you’re looking for a hosting provider offering something unique. Its WordPress plan is fairly cheap, provides plenty of resources and features, and comes with lots of helpful support. Your mileage may vary when it comes to performance, however, which is worth bearing in mind.
If you want to check out some other hosting services in comparison, here are a few of our past reviews:
- Flywheel Review for WordPress: A Reliable Managed Hosting Option?
- A2 Hosting Review for WordPress: Fastest Hosting You’ve Heard Of?
- HostGator WordPress Hosting Review: A Surprise Turnaround