Why I Switched to GreenGeeks
by Bernd Hansen
I’ve used a number of web hosting companies in my work as a web designer/developer. and have also left several because of poor service, slow servers, downright screwups, and/or lack of some basic webmaster tools.
My worst case was a company I had sent a server to – a service known as co-location. One day, both hard drives on the server failed, and remote tech support couldn’t seem to get a handle on why, or fix the problem. I suspected a motherboard issue. I asked them to ship the server back to me; when I got it back, I found the problem – the server had been dropped, there was a big dent that had deformed both hard drives mounted in the case.
My last “go to” web hosting company had been 1and1.ca – they had an aggressive first year discount, good service, good value, and decent tech support. But over the past year, they’ve been bought out (or merged) with a larger company, and also made a number of changes to their webmaster control panel – some of which have been downright irritating. I’ve also noticed more periods where server response time has slowed to a crawl.
So, on the hunt again, I spent a few hours researching Canadian web host companies. There’s a wide variety of value, with some having tight restrictions on bandwidth or other features. GreenGeeks.ca ended up as one of the final 3 on my shortlist, and I set up a test account with one of my new clients.
How did it make the short list? These reasons:
- VERY healthy discounts for new signups:
for the first 1 to 3 years of hosting. (Most web hosts provide their “new” discounts for the first year only). For example, the WordPress Hosting Starter Plan offered a signup of $105 U.S. for the first 3 years TOTAL – vs $120 per year ($360 for 3 years) regular price.
- 30 Day Money Back Guarantee:
This gave me enough time to get a handle on whether they delivered as promised, before I committed to the full term
- Montreal data center:
although the parent company is U.S. based, one of their 4 data centers is based in Canada.
- Eco-driven mission:
the company is a recognized EPA Green Power Partner, and buys electrical energy units specifically generated by wind power. A mission to reduce carbon footprints is present throughout their operations.
- BBB accredited:
since 2009, with a A rating
- no-nonsense hosting specs:
just about unlimited everything – SSD disk space, bandwidth, email storage, and so on. The starter plan only permits one domain (plus any aliases), but the Pro plan allows unlimited domains and websites, up to a 150,000 node limit (files and folders). I suspect that if a customer REALLY took this to the extreme, they might try to find a reasonable middle ground, but I find this approach actually makes common sense – for the huge majority of clients, who are looking for is something where we don’t have to be nickled and dimed if we need a bit of extra space or power.
- Free SSL:
they offer both free and paid SSL. For sites that do ecommerce, the paid version offers real advantages. But for sites just wanting to meet Google’s guidelines of having a secure business site, the free one works just fine. I LOVE this feature – a real money saver year after year.
- cPanel webmaster control panel:
a standard in the industry, and one of the best host management interfaces period. I’ve dealt with a number of web hosting companies that have their own custom interfaces, and they usually make managing a site harder, and less intuitive.
- Daily backups:
it’s rare to have this included in a starter plan. Most companies charge extra. LIFE SAVER if a site gets hacked.
- Cloudfare CDN:
stands for “Content Delivery Network”, its a system of distributed servers that significantly improve the delivery speed of your site’s content. It’s a feature normally found in higher price plans only, or as an optional paid addon.
Real world experience
I’ve had great experiences since I started dealing with GreenGeeks. Tech support has been consistently speedy and high quality, page loading times on hosted sites are consistently fast, and the interfaces are easy to navigate and use. I’ve set up a few of my clients so far, and plan to talk to those currently with my old host, and find out if they’d like to switch (a move that could save each approx. $240+ over 3 years). I’m also getting ready to port over my own business WordPress hosting account currently with 1and1.
Lastly, in the interests of full disclosure, I DO belong to GreenGeeks affiliate program. But in weighing this on the scale, just about EVERY web hosting company has affiliate programs to help with marketing, so there’s not much advantage in promoting a particular firm, unless there’s a particular allegiance to it. So that being said, give your own objective weight to the factors I mentioned above if you’re looking for a reliable, good value web host. And feel free to email me if you have any questions. I’ll do my best to be up front. And if GreenGeeks ever does join the ranks of hosting companies I’ve moved away from, I’ll let you know in my blog.
For now, using them makes that part of my life SO much easier.
Latest Update June 6/2019
I just discovered that 1and1 hosting has been charging clients (and myself) an extra $9 per month, starting in February, for “Php support”. Grrrrrrr. They’ve added on the charge WITHOUT getting express approval for it from clients. Did some Google research, and it seems their web hosting contract gives them the power to tack on extra charges without client approval. BAD practice! #@!^&%%. I’ve accelerated the process of moving clients from 1and1 – this is NOT the kind of ethical practices I expect from a reputable company.
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