How GreenGeeks Makes Hosting Simpler, Cheaper, and Greener: COO Kaumil Patel Touts the Platform's Security, Speed, and Scalability

How GreenGeeks Makes Hosting Simpler, Cheaper, and Greener: COO Kaumil Patel Touts the Platform's Security, Speed, and Scalability

TL; DR: Celebrating a decade in business, GreenGeeks leads the charge in sustainable web hosting. The company returns three times as much renewable energy to the grid as it consumes — without sacrificing hosting performance and reliability. Powered by solid-state RAID-10 storage arrays, LiteSpeed web servers, advanced security tools, and proactive monitoring, GreenGeeks capitalizes on in-house technologies to improve customers’ hosting experiences.

As concerns over climate change soar along with the rising temperatures and sea levels, web hosting companies, such as GreenGeeks, are trying to change how we consume energy.

Recognized as a Green Power Partner by the Environmental Protection Agency, GreenGeeks reduces its carbon footprint by working with environmental foundations to purchase wind energy credits to supply three times more energy than the company consumes with its energy-efficient hardware and datacenters.

The typical web-hosting server produces about 1,390 pounds of carbon dioxide, the primary greenhouse gas people emit. The Natural Resources Defense Council compares one pound of CO2 to the amount of air inside a large rubber exercise ball. By comparison, making and using a personal computer creates roughly 60 pounds of CO2 over its lifespan, according to the EPA.

With tens of millions of servers running around the world and the hosting industry expected to grow 400% each year for the foreseeable future, GreenGeeks CEO and Founder Trey Gardner points to research that shows information technology will meet and surpass the airline industry’s consumption of energy by 2020.

“In effect, GreenGeeks not only wipes out our carbon footprint, but we’re also negating the carbon footprint of two additional companies of our size,” he said. “We are the most eco-friendly web hosting service in existence today.”

10 Years of Green Hosting and Giving Back to the Environment

Before starting GreenGeeks, CEO and Founder Trey Gardner worked for and helped build several prominent hosting brands: iPOWER, iPage, StartLogic, Dot5 Hosting, Globat, Lunarpages, and HostPapa. An avid surfer, hiker, and skier, Trey wanted to create his own hosting company that introduced sustainability to industry tenets such as performance, security, availability, and customer service.

“His mission has always been to create a better world and leave it in good hands for generations to come,” said COO Kaumil Patel, who joined GreenGeeks a year later.

Images of Trey Gardner and Kaumil Patel with the GreenGeeks logo

For 10 years, Trey Gardner (left) and Kaumil Patel have grown GreenGeeks into a leader in eco-friendly web hosting.

Frequently recognized as one of the 5,000 fastest-growing companies in the country, GreenGeeks now serves more than 35,000 customers and hosts more than 300,000 websites — and has replaced more than 3.75 million kilowatt-hours of energy.

While the company is headquartered in California and operates from five datacenters, Kaumil told us GreenGeeks doesn’t maintain a physical office. Operating 100% by remote talent further supports the company’s mission to spread environmentally conscious practices around the world.

“It’s cool that, hundreds and even sometimes thousands of miles apart, we all work in unison,” he said. “It’s even cooler that we get to work with people located all around the world, learning different cultures and languages. Our mission to go green is global.”

Combining Sustainability With Solid Web Hosting

Eco-friendly web hosting is becoming less and less noteworthy, Kaumil said, adding that implementing energy-conscious processes and practices is “not hard at all.” The GreenGeeks engineering and development teams focus on maximizing usage and efficiency.

“With the rest of the world also joining the movement, it’s becoming easier and easier to go green,” he said.

In 2017, GreenGeeks and its customers offset nearly 3,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide, equivalent to:

  • 599 passenger vehicles driven for one year
  • 974 tons of waste added to landfills
  • 314,536 gallons of gasoline consumed
  • 3 million pounds of coal burned
  • 1 year of electricity use for 410 homes
  • 93,550 incandescent lights switched to LED bulbs

Kaumil credits research, development, and customer feedback as critical components to the evolution of GreenGeeks products and services. While being a leading green-energy hosting provider is a major selling point, he said the needs and expectations of customers extend well beyond that sole advantage.

“Many people in the past just wanted web hosting to have impeccable uptime at a cheap rate,” Kaumil said. “Now, customers want seamless workflows, speed, uptime, and scalability all wrapped up in a pretty package. Users are now more knowledgeable, quicker, and know what they want. We need to be able to give it to them.”

How GreenGeeks Sets Up Customers for Success

In response to the growing demand for more resources and easier hosting solutions, GreenGeeks has revamped its shared hosting platform to be more performant and scalable. Customers can now add computing resources, including CPUs, RAM, and I/O capabilities in a pay-as-you-go fashion that eliminates the need to upgrade to VPS or cloud solutions.

“We take great care in identifying our customers’ needs and then guiding them into the right product from the beginning,” Kaumil said. “From there, we do whatever it takes to educate and reassure them that we have their back with our technical and customer support teams.”

Screenshots of the GreenGeeks knowledgebase

The GreenGeeks knowledgebase is packed with FAQs, how-to guides, and online tutorials.

In addition to the hands-on sales and onboarding experiences, GreenGeeks communicates with customers through newsletters, tutorials, and phone calls to ensure their needs are met and to gather feedback on ways the company can improve its offerings.

“We actively engage our customers to gauge their experience with us,” he said. “We listen to feedback and we take action on that feedback. That’s what sets us apart — we actually listen.”

2018 Brings More Security, New Caching Tools, and SSL Certificates

GreenGeeks is perpetually on the lookout for ways to improve the platform’s performance and scalability, according to Kaumil. Already in 2018, the company has implemented modern speed-boosting and scaling technologies, introduced free SSL certificates, and launched a proprietary caching system.

The company started the year by unveiling WordPress Protect to help customers better protect their sites from brute-force attacks. Earlier precautions had included a second login-prompt that customers weren’t fond of.

In response, GreenGeeks system administrators and third-party vendors developed a system that tracks failed login attempts and throttles back the connection speed from those specific visitors. During testing in late 2017, the new system filtered out more than 180,000 daily attempts (more than 54 million attempts per month) — and also reduced page load times by up to 13%.

Shortly after WordPress Protect launched, GreenGeeks upgraded most customers to PHP 7 to further increase site performance, up to twice as fast for most applications and scripts. The company also began offering free Let’s Encrypt Wildcard SSLs to customers once it engineered a more efficient system to manage implementations and renewals.

“We’re working on a lot of things to make our hosting experience the best in the industry,” Kaumil said. “We’ve always got more coming.”

Laura Bernheim

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