2019 October 4th
Netfirms is a simple web hosting provider. It focuses on affordable shared web hosting services for all types of users.
Since 1998, Netfirms provider has been providing web hosting solutions to bloggers, entrepreneurs, and small businesses across the globe. Netfirms claims to be one of the leading web hosting providers and to currently powers over 1.2 million websites around the world.
And also, they've probably kept the same page design for 20 years.
I am pretty sure, that this is not how PayPal logo looks anymore
But let's leave that aside. For this Netfirms review, take look at the pros and cons of Netfirms shared hosting quality and features.
Perhaps the two decades of industry experience makes this provider a good choice for you?
Netfirms web hosting has a couple of good points. Being a small provider, it doesn't bombard you with complicated plans and choices. And also, puts some effort to provide you decent customer service.
So to review Netfirms, let's take a closer look at the pros.
1. Good support system
Netfirms offer 24/7 support for its customers. That is very convenient, as you never know when the issues occur.
You can reach the technical team via email, live chat, or phone. The agents are polite and informative, and there's close to none of the wait time. Although I must mention, that the agents take time to get the details for more complicated questions. But eventually, you get thorough explanations.
Also, there's a knowledge base with all the topics you might need. So if you're more of a self-learner, you can easily find the answers here.
2. Simplified hosting plan choice
Netfirms has three simple hosting plans for shared hosting. Starting from as little as $4.45/mo (with 2 yrs subscription term), all the plans have unmetered disk space and scalable bandwidth.
Here's a table with the main details of the three hosting plans provided by Netfirms:
|Customer support||24/7 email, chat, phone||24/7 email, chat, phone||24/7 email, chat, phone|
|Free Automated back-ups||No||No||No|
For hosting panel you get the most popular among hosting users - cPanel. This one is intuitive and easy to use even for beginners.
Moreover, if you already have a website and think of transferring, Netfirms offer assisted website transfer for free.
Looking at Netfirms plans, you can see that they have the basic features covered. This shared hosting can be suitable for a blogging website as well as small businesses.
Netfirms shared hosting review has to mention all the problematic areas. Unfortunately, there's a longer list here. And it includes important things like weak performance and hidden charges.
So, let's get to it.
1. Poor server performance
Netfirms’ speed and uptime are nothing to be happy about. The slow response time and frequent downtimes can become a significant setback for your website traffic.
For this Netfirms review, website response times were tested in areas all around the world. And the result's aren't optimistic:
Netfirms has servers in USA and Canada, so naturally, the speed in North America is the best. And 27ms is a good result. However, if you expect visitors from other locations, the response time is very disappointing. In Bangladore region it gets as slow as 760ms!
Also worth mentioning, that Nerfirms uses HDD for the servers. And those are the slower option compared to SSD technology.
Talking about the uptime, Netfirms promises a 99.9% uptime guarantee. Although this number looks big, in terms of server uptime 99.9% is actually unacceptable. The thing is, this means that your website is down almost an hour each month.
Also with Netfirms, you don't get unlimited bandwidth. There is a scalable one, meaning if you get too much traffic within a month, the site might not be available for everyone. So that's another thing that might disturb the accessibility of your website.
2. No advanced hosting packages
Netfirms does not offer advanced hosting packages such as cloud hosting, dedicated hosting, or reseller hosting. It offers three hosting packages:
- Domain Names
- Shared Web Hosting
- VPS Hosting
With this in mind, Netfirms hosting services are just not enough for high-performing sites. Although having only a few options can relieve users from complicated product lists, this does relate to the performance flaws. This provider seems really small, and not investing much in high-quality servers. And that shows in Netfirms servers' performance.
3. Unclear pricing
Although there are just three hosting plans, Netfirms has a complicated pricing system with many upsells.
Basic hosting features are charged as separate products and the renewal rates are much higher. So eventually, the promoted low prices quickly bloat up.
Let’s run through the three Netfirms hosting plans:
- Plus Plan - starts at $3.49/mo (when subscribing for 3yrs term). The plan features unlimited disk space, unlimited Email addresses, scalable monthly bandwidth, 24/7 customer support, and 5 MySQL 5+ Databases. This plan is suitable for individual websites.
- Advantage Plan - price starts at $7.99/mo (when subscribing for 3yrs term). The plan comes with an additional 200 MySQL 5+ databases. This plan is a choice for small businesses.
- Business Plan – starts at $10.99 (when subscribing for 3yrs term). The hosting plan targets medium to large businesses and, along with the above plan's features, it has unlimited MySQL 5+ Databases, dedicated SSL certificates. This plan targets medium to large businesses.
Upon taking a closer look at the plans, you see that they don't have many differences. Basically, with each, you get more MySQL databases and the Business plan has the SSL certificate included. As for Plus and Advantage, you have to purchase that SSL additionally.
There are three billing cycles: 1 year, 2 years, and 3 years. The point is, with a longer term your monthly price gets lower. Although you have to pay all in advance.
Here's a pricing breakdown for each Netfirms hosting plan and subscription period:
|12 Months||$59.40 ($4.95/mo)||$119.88 ($9.99/mo)||$179.88 ($14.99/mo)|
|24 Months||$106.80 ($4.45/mo)||$215.76 ($8.99/mo)||$311.76 ($12.99/mo)|
|36 Months||$125.64 ($3.49/mo)||$287.64 ($7.99/mo)||$395.64 ($10.99/mo)|
The prices are quite high for shared hosting packages and that's just the tip of an iceberg.
The must-have essentials for your website such as website security or backups are not included. You have to purchase them separately. So try adding up the domain registration for $9.99/yr, domain privacy $9.99/yr, Sitelock $19.95/yr, website backup $14.99/yr, and so on.
Keep in mind, that most website hosting providers include these features for free.
Another thing to consider before signing up is renewal prices. And with Netfirms, it's no surprise that those are not promoted. Turns out, that for renewals charges jump up significantly.
For example, the first 2-year term of Plus plan costs $106.80, and after that, you'll pay $238.80 for the update. That's more than double!
And don't forget to add your costs for the domain, backups, SSL and other items to update as well.
Should I mention the money-back guarantee? Netfirms claim the 30-day guarantee. However, if you signed up for hosting services and a domain, there is a non-refundable $15 domain fee.
Considering all that, Netfirms hosting pricing is far from tempting.
Netfirms Review - Should You Give it a Chance?
Netfirms offers simple shared hosting for an affordable price. However, upon looking closer, there are some strong flaws with this provider.
And unfortunately, those flaws outweigh the advantages.
Performance is slow and unreliable and the plans are missing some basic features. On top of that, the pricing is shady. Those promoted charges quickly increase to something you don't want to spend on shared hosting.
I sincerely recommend checking other hosting providers before you make a decision. You will definitely find something cheaper and more powerful for your website.
- Free site migration
- Unreliable performance
- Limited bandwidth
- Way too many upsells