Netfirms.com is a web hosting provider that also dabbles with domain name registration, website building, email marketing and eCommerce services, but their primary services are centered on offering shared hosting and VPS hosting. Dedicated hosting plans don’t feature among Netfirm’s hosting catalogue, which is a sign that the company dedicates its services mostly to small and medium-sized businesses.
Continue reading our Netfirms Review for up-to-date information on the hosting features and hosting plans available at Netfirms.
You may not have heard of Netfirms before, but they have been present in the web hosting industry since 1998. In 2011, the company was acquired by the Endurance International Group, thus, becoming part of one of the largest hosting corporations in the world. Netfirms powers over 1.2 million websites around the globe, however, most of their operations are based in the US and target a US customer base.
Plans & Pricing
Netfirms offers a respectable range of shared hosting plans with unlimited disk space and scalable bandwidth. VPS plans are offered by Netfirms.com in partnership with SPRY, a hosting company specialized in VPS hosting. Let’s see how each of these hosting options are configured and how much can you expect to pay for them.
Shared hosting plans are split into 3 – Plus ($4.95/mo with yearly billing), Advantage ($9.99/mo with yearly billing) and Business ($14.99/mo with yearly billing). While the Plus plan is singled out as the plan with the lowest price – as low as $3.49/mo if you choose the 3-year billing option – it’s also the plan with the least number of features.
The Advantage plan costs $7.99/mo with 3-year billing, and it’s configured as follows: unlimited disk space, scalable monthly bandwidth, 2 free domains, multi-website hosting, eCommerce ready, 1-click applications, free Google AdWords credit and Bing credit ($100 each), unlimited emails, 200 MySQL 5+ databases, shared SSL certificates, web-based control panel, 24/7 email, chat & toll-free support, and 30-day money-back guarantee.
The Business plan is the most expensive shared hosting plan, costing $10.99/month with 3-year billing, and unlike the Plus and Advantage plans, it comes with a dedicated SSL certificate, unlimited MySQL 5+ databases, and premium support.
VPS hosting plans are also split into 3 plans. The entry-level plan costs $33/month and features 512 MB RAM, 1000 GB bandwidth, 20 GB disk space, 2 dedicated IPs, Linux OS and OpenVZ Platform. The second Netfirms VPS plan costs $66/mo and doubles RAM and disk space and comes with 1500 GB bandwidth. The VPS plan with the biggest punch costs $100/mo and features 2048 MB RAM, 2000 GB bandwidth, 60 GB disk space, and 2 dedicated IPs.
While VPS plans can be paid for on a monthly basis, shared hosting options don’t have a month-to-month billing option, the shortest contract time is 1 year. Customers do have a 30-day money-back guarantee, but this falls behind the more generous money-back guarantees in the industry, which can be an upwards of 90 days.
eCommerce hosting is also among the services offered by Netfirms. eCommerce plans start at $12.99/month based on a 2-year plan, and include Shopsite, 5 free domains, unlimited disk space, scalable bandwidth, and several eCommerce features like multi-language support, multiple payment methods, product categories, shipping and payment management, customizable templates and various customer retention tools.
Although VPS plans figure among the hosting services offered by Netfirms, they are offered through a partnership with SPRY, a VPS hosting company. It seems like this is a way for Netfirms to retain customers that outgrow their shared hosting plans or a way to not drive away shared hosting customers who are looking for a web host with upgrade options. It’s clear, however, that Netfirms is first and foremost a shared hosting provider. That being said, here are the most important features of their shared hosting plans:
- Unlimited disk space and scalable bandwidth;
- Up to 5 free domain names;
- Personal and business ready-to-go website templates;
- Email, chat and phone support offered 24/7;
- Free marketing credits (Google, Bing, yellowpages);
- Unlimited email hosting, spam filtering and virus scanning;
- Full DNS management;
- Python, PHP 4 / PHP 5, Perl, MySQL support;
- WordPress, WordPress multisite, Drupal, Joomla support;
- osCommerce and Shopsite eCommerce features;
- Forum features (bbPress, phpBB), photo gallery features;
- Security features (password protected, .htaccess, shared and dedicated SSL certificates, secure FTP access);
- 30-day money-back guarantee;
- Web-based control panel.
Unfortunately, Netfirms does not offer the industry-standard cPanel control panel and instead offers the less popular, vDeck control panel, the same offered by iPower hosting. The Netfirms website design is also quite outdated by today’s standards.
Even though there are many ways one can reach customer support at Netfirms – email, chat, toll-free phone – there are many complaints about its quality. A keyword searchable knowledgebase and user guides are also available, although they are not very well maintained.
Complaints about Netfirms are not limited to customer support, but problems with cancelling auto-renewal and uptimes also figure among the list of complaints associated with Netfirms.com. Their website does not feature any uptime guarantees, which is a big minus considering that many other hosting providers in the same price bracket provide SLA backed uptime guarantees.
Pros & Cons of Netfirms
As for the advantages and disadvantages of Netfirms.com, here’s what we think:
- Up to 5 free domains
- Free online marketing credits
- Free Ready-to-go Websites
- eCommerce optimized hosting
- Dedicated SSL certificate with Business plan
- No month-to-month billing option (only 30-day money-back guarantee)
- No dedicated hosting options
- VPS plans are offered through a third-party hosting
- Outdated website
- No cPanel
- No uptime guarantees
- Terrible customer support
Netfirms.com Review Conclusion
Netfirms.com’s vendor lock-in problems, lack of uptime guarantees and low money-back guarantee period position them behind many hosts within the same price bracket. Based on long-time customer accounts and existing customer reviews, Netfirms.com’s services appear to have degraded over the last few year’s. All in all, there is a good chunk of positive reviews and positive reports about the services offered, especially from long-time customers.
If you are looking for a reliable hosting, please consider InMotion, which is one of the best business hosting providers around.