GreenGeeks Shared Website Hosting
For the very first review on this site I might as well start at the beginning, the building of this site itself. I’ll do a review of the hosting, and then the theme as the 2nd review, from there on it’s open to anything we decide on.
As you might know, I build websites for a living. Yup, I’m a web developer but I hate being in front of a computer all day. You can read About Us for more on that kind of stuff.
If you are looking to build your own website and looking to do it right you’ll need to start out with a web hosting company.
If you’re new to all this, let me be the first one to say those commercials you see on TV for building your website… they’re fluff advertising, it’s never that simple.
Having a website is a combination of owning a domain name and then pointing that domain name at a server (think computer in the cloud) that has the files on it that create your website.
In plain math, it’s Domain Name + Hosting Account = Website.
Does that make sense? You need both. So let’s start out simple and get a little deeper as we go along, ok?
#1 The domain name. If you already own one and let’s assume you bought it after watching Danica do her thing during Superbowl owning a domain name at GoDaddy isn’t bad. However if you need a domain name to begin with… STOP!
Don’t go to GoDaddy. Why? Because while GoDaddy is a perfectly good place to buy a domain name they are not so good at the hosting part. In fact there’s ample reason why people in the tech biz refer to them as NoDaddy. Now combine that with the fact that with a new hosting account, many hosts will give you a domain name free and now we’re talking!
This site is hosted on GreenGeeks servers. While I personally rent out server space what you need for most of your sites is just simple “Shared Hosting”. This means that on a given server, your site files will live in harmony with a bunch of others.
GreenGeeks provides this but they do it unlike any others out there. If you know about servers, they are huge suckers of power. All those racks of servers create heat and so they also need to be cooled. GreenGeeks has a NEGATIVE 300% Carbon Footprint! Through the magic of wind and solar they actually put 3 times the power of what they use back into the grid! How cool is that, Greta?
To start out, just click on the image above or one of the links like: THIS ONE. You’ll automatically get a pretty hefty discount for the first year or more with our affiliate link.
If you don’t have a name yet, start with the box on the left. If you already own a domain name (see the GoDaddy discussion at the top) fill that in on the right side. Easy Peasy – right?
Initially they’ll offer you one of three packages. Chances are you’ll need just the base (cheapest) to get started. Next you’ll be shown a number of options and honestly this is where they’ll try and sell you things you might not need. Besides, you can always add them on afterwards.
Once your account has been created you’ll receive a series of emails with login credentials. It’s from these that you can go in and start building your website! Go You!
WHAT DID WE LIKE?
Global warming aside, in this day and age, anything you can do to reduce the impact on the grid is a good thing. I live in Northern California and yes, we have been getting those planned blackouts but they are different. The way I think about it is I need to have a hosting account somewhere – why not have one that is also trying to do something positive as well.
Here’s another thing we like. Customer Service! I can pick up the phone or I can chat online with their CS people and let me tell you as a web developer who sometimes has to call other companies from time to time – GreenGeeks Customer Service stands way above the rest! I don’t have to wait on hold for long, when I talk to a person I get nice people (always) and most importantly I get the correct information I need the 1st time.
WHAT DID WE NOT LIKE?
File this under more of an annoyance but sometimes I am on chat or the phone later in the day I end up with a bit of a language barrier issue. They have a distributed workforce and so often at that time I’m connected to someone in an eastern european country and it makes it kind of hard to get my message across.
“Shared Hosting” is the cheapest form of hosting there is, and there’s nothing wrong with that. There are no fewer than a zillion shared hosting companies out there. Typically, a Shared Hosting plan should run you around $10 a month. Above that is “Managed Hosting”, “VPS”, “Dedicated Hosting” and up and up. These plans are always going to cost more.
GoDaddy: The elephant in the room. In my opinion, if you didn’t pick up on it before, try to avoid them. They spend a huge mount on advertising and very little on tech support. Now it’s true that they answer the phone with a real human being pretty quick but they are not trained anywhere near to the degree that you’ll find other places. They do have online manuals and specific instructions that will get your issue fixed most of the time but when they are wrong, boy do they get it wrong.
EIG: Never heard of them? There’s a giant out there called EIG. The knock on them is that they buy up smaller hosting companies, hollow them out, and then operate them while making a higher margin. They own brands like BlueHost, HostGator, and many many others. Here’s an article that lists all the known EIG companies that might be worth a read… “As Full As Possible List of EIG Companies and Brands With Details (Beware EIG Hosting!)“. That said, I have a account at BlueHost and have dealt with client account issues at a lot of their companies and haven’t had dramatically bad problems with them. Your mileage may vary.
WPEngine: This was my super secret for a long time. If you need something better than “Shared Hosting”, or want a lightning fast website, I recommend WPEngine. I’ll have an upcoming post on them soon. They are specifically built for WordPress and have incredible customer service. They also cost about twice as much for a simple plan but sometimes that’s worth it.
Website Builders: The big one you’ll have seen would be wix. I’ve seen a few commercials from squarespace as well. These are drag and drop builder sites that while they look super simple, don’t have the fire power you probably need, cost a bunch more, and are pretty good source of income for me when you have to call someone to fix what you broke (part of what I do for a living).
- Powered by green energy (or at the very least offset by it)
- Reliable uptime
- Built for WordPress
- Great Customer Service 24/7
- Shared Hosting
- Language Barrier at times
Web hosting is pretty simple and pretty cheap these days. Programs like WordPress.org have made it super simple for most any one to create something beautiful. The uptimes of most hosts are incredible.
It’s still true that every now and then something does go wrong and you might still lose your website but there are also ways to protect yourself.
If you need a website, don’t go with a drop and drag builder like wix – do it right and build your own, starting with your hosting account.