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Choosing a website hosting company can be a daunting enough process on its own. But if you’re a new blogger, it can be all the more of a challenge.

Let’s face it. There are a great number of options for hosting services available, and different ones may better suit different needs. But in this article I’m going to focus on one that I have had two years of personal experience with called GreenGeeks, and share three reasons to consider them as you shop for a hosting service, while also presenting some of the potential downsides.

1. GreenGeeks Are an Environmentally Friendly Hosting Option

First thing I want to acknowledge is GreenGeeks commitment to the environment.

If you’re in the dark like I used to be, you may not have known that the internet is responsible for a great amount of pollution. In fact, data centers (the places that store your website content and make it accessible on the web) are responsible for 2% of the world’s carbon emissions, and that number is anticipated to increase to 14% by 2040.

This is due to the fact that data centers around the world require energy to power and cool the servers that store all the information we’re uploading to our websites. The more information we upload and download, the more energy is used to transfer from the data center to our computers and vice versa.

The way GreenGeeks has addressed this issue is by purchasing three times as many Renewable Energy Credits as they consume. This means whatever they do not use as green energy themselves, is put back into the grid as green energy.

They also have been a Green Power Partner since 2009 with the United States Environmental Protection Agency. So for those of you who want to use environmentally-friendly hosting, GreenGeeks has built a reputation for this very thing.

2. Their Plan Features Unlimited Web Space, a Free SSL Certificate, and More

Moving on to the more technical aspects of GreenGeeks, as of February 2021, their Lite plan offers unlimited web space for one website, a free SSL certificate (I’ll explain this one in a moment), unlimited email accounts, and they give you a free domain name for the first year.

If you need more than one website, their Pro plan offers the same benefits, but with unlimited websites. Their Premium plan adds in a free dedicated IP if that’s something you need for your business.

You can view their current promotions if any of this info becomes outdated.

Web Space and Inodes

One thing I want to mention is that unlimited web space (how much storage is available for you to use on your site) is not the same thing as unlimited inode space (GreenGeeks calls inode space “file usage”).

This kind of thing can take a person by surprise if they are not familiar with how this works, so my goal is to prepare you for if–or when–you see this, no matter which hosting service you decide to go with.

Also, it is important to know that this type of file limit is not exclusively a GreenGeeks thing. Other hosting companies may have an inode limitation, and others may not, so be sure to check and compare the various options if this is important to your website needs.

Now what exactly is an inode?

Let’s imagine you have an image of your pet saved on your computer. This image can be high resolution, super high quality editing, and therefore also take up more hard drive space because it is a larger file, but it is just ONE image at the end of the day.

Imagine you took thirty photos of your pet: some of them are very small, low resolution images, while others are the larger, higher resolution, and others fall somewhere in between. What you would have is a mix of how much hard drive space each image takes up; they would vary with the quality and resolution of each photo.

Now let’s pretend you have unlimited hard drive space. Technically speaking, each one of the images you save could be taking up a great deal of hard drive space and it wouldn’t matter too much, because you have unlimited space.

But what if someone told you that you could only save thirty files, and no more? And what if they told you that the folder your images are stored in is also counted as a “file”?

At this point, you would probably be deciding which photos are really important, which ones you want to discard, etc.

This is similar to how inodes work. It doesn’t necessarily matter how much information (web or “storage” space) the file itself contains if you are given unlimited space; but there is a limit on the number of actual files you can use.

So inodes are essentially index files. Working together, these inodes locate the data or contain the metadata for things that are on your website or even within your email for your domain.

Now practically speaking, is this a significant problem when you are first starting your WordPress website or blog?

Maybe not, but just in case you plan on scaling a few sites on the same host; having several subdomains; using a lot of plugins, images, or complex themes; or creating regular, downloadable content for your users, it is a good thing to at least have a good understanding about.

Keep in mind that clearing out any spam or unnecessary emails can help free up inode space, as can deleting old CMS installations, according to GreenGeeks.

SSL Certificate

An SSL certificate stands for Secure Sockets Layer, and at its basic level, it acts as a type of site verification. Essentially, it says that the website you are visiting is owned by the person or company it says it is owned by.

On a more complex level, it provides the ability for encryption of sensitive data entered in on your site. So a name, login, credit card information: those are all examples of users’ sensitive data.

GreenGeeks includes a free domain validated (DV) SSL certificate to their hosting plans which, once installed to your site, will provide a 256 bit encryption, your website URL will have an https:// preceding the domain name instead of http://, and the security lock will appear in the URL field of your web browser.

Keep in mind that websites that do not have an SSL certificate will be flagged in Chrome as “not secure.” Users want to know that their information is safe, and if you are requesting personal information such as their email for your marketing or newsletter list, they may be less likely to provide that information if your website is not secure.

For someone trying to start a WordPress blog, capturing emails is regarded as one of the main ways to promote affiliate marketing, so keep in mind that not having that SSL certificate on your site can be a deterrent to some people.

Content Delivery Network (CDN)

GreenGeeks also offers a free CDN (Content Delivery Network) through Cloudflare. One of the reasons this is useful is that it helps with speed in loading your site.

The way this works is that normally, when users access your website, the information from your site is traveling from your website host’s servers to a person’s computer.

But what happens when your host server is based in the US, and the person viewing your website is based in another country (or a similar scenario)? The information may not be loaded as quickly!

Pretend you have a warehouse about an hour from where you live, and you have the main factory that is located 3,000 miles away.

If you place an order with the company, it would make little sense for them to ship directly to you from their main factory if they have plenty of the items you ordered in stock at the warehouse closer to your home.

The idea is to get your order to you faster, so that you’ll likely be a happier customer.

Applying similar logic to CDN, there is the main hosting provider’s server, and then several cloud servers that have copies of certain information that is on your site.

When a user goes to your site, that information is pulled from whatever cloud server is closest to their location, in an effort to make the page load faster.

Using a CDN also helps reduce the potential for server crashes, so that’s a plus in my opinion. Fortunately, GreenGeeks also offers a 99.9% Uptime Guarantee..

3. Their Technical Support is Available 24/7

Another aspect I appreciate about GreenGeeks is that they offer 24/7 technical support, which I have found to be quite helpful when I’m working on my site at 1 in the morning.

I’ve found assistance when I’ve needed it by using GreenGeeks online chat feature. They also provide assistance by phone, but I haven’t used that method since I prefer using chat.

Additionally, they have a support ticket system that works similarly to an email. You submit the request after logging in to the GreenGeeks dashboard, and a representative at GreenGeeks will respond at a later time. This is especially helpful if you aren’t able to stick around for a live chat, or if the request is perhaps not as urgent.

I won’t say that technical support is flawless. Sometimes there are wait times, but I’ve personally found it to be reasonable. Last time I needed assistance I only waited a minute or two before someone greeted me, and I was through with the chat around ten minutes later.

However, there are times where the representatives using the chat feature may have to escalate your support request through their ticketing system. From my experience in using chat tech support, I found this would occur if I had a more complicated issue that needed to be resolved.

More Things to Consider With GreenGeeks Hosting

At the time I am writing this article, GreenGeeks is offering a special introductory price.

One of the things I would like to point out is that if you sign up under the promotional price, once it expires you will receive an automatic renewal invoice at the current full price.

From what I can tell, you can not be removed from automatic renewal using the dashboard. (I was unable to locate any place where you could remove your credit card information.)

However, it appears you can send a support ticket to the billing department seven business days before your renewal date should you not want to renew. Here is an article from GreenGeeks that gives more up-to-date information on this process.

So in review, some of the advantages to choosing GreenGeeks hosting are: they are environmentally friendly hosting, provide unlimited web space and email accounts, free domain name for the first year, free DV SSL certificate, free CDN, 24/7 technical support including online chat, a 99.9% uptime guarantee, and a 30 Day money back guarantee.

Potential disadvantages include: inode limitations (if this is relevant to your company or blog’s needs), support chat may have a wait time, and automatic renewals are not refunded.

If you are interested in learning more about GreenGeeks, more information can be found on their site. You may also want to check out my YouTube video walkthrough on how to set up an account if you have any questions on the process.

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