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Is NetFirms the host for you?
Last reviewed Feb 17, 2016
$ 4.95 / Month
According to my experience, I can testify that the support services is good and helpful, but I found the waiting time of the phone call was not short.
From a technical point of view, in netfirms cpanel portal I like the possibility to park other websites in my main hosting!
I've been using NetFirms for about a decade, hosting as many as 20 websites at a time. I've experienced no trouble, though I'm technically savvy and only have personal websites (self-made PHP / MySQL websites, WordPress websites, HTML websites).
Their control panel is easy to use. I was a webmaster for two clients with different web hosts and their control panel looked about the same. I suspect NetFirms is just fine for personal websites; I can't testify about advanced setups and e-commerce websites.
Recently I sued the nice feature of uploading a zip file through FTP and then using their unzip command to extract the WordPress contents: much faster than sending each file by FTP individually. This is probably a super-common feature, but thought it's nice to share.
I've worked with these guys before and it's never a pleasant experience. My latest encounter with them had to do with an SSL certificate. We automatically renewed our bill but the SSL did not load. Our site was flagged by Google as unsafe. This is an e-commerce site that generates revenue so we were losing money. I submitted a ticket on Oct 27th 2015 to find out what is going on. The issue was on their end. For some reason, the submission was not going through. After 15 tickets back and forth, it's now Dec 2nd and it's still not up. The ding dongs that work there have no idea how to set anything up. They actually emailed me forms to sign and scan and upload to the File Manager on my Cpanel!!! WTF!!! I've never had to do this before with other companies. We ended up demanding a refund and we'll be pulling all of our sites from Netfirms and go to another provider.
Do yourself a favor and stay away from Netfirms, unless you like to deal with incompetence.
Yes they offer reasonable features (who doesn't) their customer service and attitude is out of a reality tv show. I don't think anyone could orchestrate a worse experience, which has steadily degraded in the last 3-4 yrs. I have 4 domains with them and have sucked up overcharges and poor service until now. I have just paid to have them to run their new malware removal tool on my sites so they would reinstate them. Two of these sites are just pointers that do nothing except point to a third site. I find it egregious that Netfirms launches a partnership with a security provider and then forces you to subscribe to it. I have started the process to relocate my domains but it is not pretty.
I have used Netfirms since 1998. Great experiences with my many domains over the years. Their hosting plan was very well priced and reliable. I was one happy customer who recommended them to many friends and colleagues.
That was then. This is now:
Their hosting plan renewals are very expensive when compared to other hosts. I have begun migrating my domains to iPage as they near their renewal dates. I made one mistake when I transferred a domain before cancelling the hosting plan. After the domain was transferred, I was no longer able to log into the control panel to cancel the hosting plan (cancel auto-renew), and they charged me $147. for a 1 year hosting plan renewal that has no attached domain, and hosts nothing. I talked to customer service and their only reply is "Sorry, it's already been charged, so there is nothing we can do." Looks like $147. down the drain. I am really disappointed with the new Netfirms and will have nothing good to say about them when asked by friends and colleagues in the future. Apparently I am not alone.
Horrible customer support. I only stayed with them to save a couple of dollars per year, now it costed me much more because they charged me for renewing my domain but didn't renew it claiming I didn't pay and charging me again. After my site was down for a month (!) they refunded one of the charges and closed the ticket without apologizing.
Very disappointed, will not renew with them even for free. The up time of their hosting servers is irrelevant when a company paralyses your activity for a month. Don't take the risk, pay a couple of dollars more but don't deal with them.
I have three websites hosted with Netfirms (at least until I can get them migrated). In the last three days, all of those sites have been down for about 50% of the time. When I contact support they tell me they're online, which they are, for about 2-3 minutes before going back down again. Not reliable at all. Use a different host to save yourself the hassle and the lost customers and sales that accompany having a VERY unreliable website with Netfirms. Not to mention if you run Wordpress blogs as I do, you can't write or update posts without the site crashing more than half of the time during those edits. Maddeningly poor reliability. Look elsewhere.
Disappointed and Frustrated
I have been a customer of Netfirms since 2010. Things went along well, they had very good customer service and their support was exceptional. Since moving to a WordPress site and upgrading to their version of WordPress hosting, at an extra $36 dollar per year on top of the $4.99 per month hosting plan, I have had nothing but problems, crashes and a website that has been more offline than online. I have opened many support tickets, an extra $50 for a site restore took a 7 days, yes, 7 days. And after they had finished, WordPress kept crashing with an lovely "Internal Error" message that greeted me with every click on the WordPress dashboard. I have given up on their Support line, I no longer converse with them on chat because it has always ended with more frustration and zero resolution. I have decided to move everything to another host and redo my website...once again. I should have realized when I did a quick search online about their performance reviews. Hopefully, my review will be of help to others.
The host used to be very decent and reliable, we've been pretty happy with it for years.
What's going on at NetFirms now, is simply catastrophic. The blog part of one of our sites simply disappeared today.
Another website is displaying advertisement of unknown origin, right instead of our title.
Support replied today that cannot help because... there is no blog over there.
Our advice: move away from this provider!
A few months ago, we would happily recommend Netfirms to businesses. Not anymore.
We've been using Netfirms for years and were pretty happy with the services. Recently, a catastrophic change occurred: it seems that they hired an outsourcing company. All of a sudden, they sent a postfactum notification about suspending 5 (five!) our websites because of allegedly corrupted files. Postfactum means that they removed the sites first, only then they bothered to notify.
The notification was FAR from being polite, it was rather an angry order, with very little explanation and with a long (LONG, about 90 files!) list of files to be deleted. Some of the files did not even exist in the file directory. Some of our sites were not infected at all - but were suspended nevertheless.
One of the sites has been infected (allegedly, I am not sure since some of the files they ORDERED to remove did not exist at all) - so we had to uninstall the platform and start over from scratch. After 5 years online and HUGE amount of entries!!!
OK. Once in decade we considered this doable. But just one week later, they suspended all our sites again!!! Again the list contained plenty of not existing files and even directories and some of the files were just installed afresh!
Are we supposed to dedicate our professional time to fix the bugs, which Netfirms is failing to manage?!
Netfirms is a web hosting company dedicated to small businesses. It offers a compact range of options for shared hosting with unlimited disk space and bandwidth and currently hosts 1.2 million websites. Evidence suggests once offered more advanced plans, but these are difficult to locate on the website without extra help from a Google search.
The company was founded in 1998 and Thomas Savundra sat as CEO until the company was bought out by Endurance International Group in 2011. As such, it’s now part of one of the largest hosting corporations in the world, and the majority of its operations are US-based.
Netfirms Hosting Plan
As mentioned in the introduction, it seems Netfirms once offered VPS hosting, free hosting and possibly more, but as these services don’t appear to be obviously available, we’ll concentrate on the four main plans which are all Linux shared hosting services.
Netfirms splits its plans into three: Advantage, Plus and Business. On the website, the Plus plan is presented in between the other two, but it’s actually the least capable (and cheapest), so be aware of this when you’re comparing side by side.
The features on each plan scale up depending on the option you choose. All offer unlimited disk space and bandwidth. The lowest cost Plus plan offers one free domain name, the medium plan offers two and the highest cost plan offers five free domains. This top level plan also provides the customer with their own SSL certificate.
Apart from that, the plans are pretty similar. MySQL databases are very restricted on the cheapest plan, as are FTP accounts, although there would arguably be enough to go around for an average small business site. Strangely, subdomains are chargeable on all plans, and they don’t seem to be particularly well priced.
Netfirms owns and operates its own data centre, according to the website. TheiTier 1 facility includes 40,000 servers, and they utilise clustering for protect against downtime. No further details are provided about the technical team or infrastructure.
In addition, Netfirms’ support centre unhelpfully states that “all plans include uptime”. There are no figures to suggest a promise on the amount of uptime you’ll get, nor is there any information in their Terms of Service, so we’ll have to assume there is no uptime guarantee.
Netfirms offers round-the-clock support to all customers. However, customers on the top tier plan are given priority.
The company has a press release section which hasn’t been updated for almost two years. Visibility via the Facebook page is patchy; positive comments tend to receive replies, but critical comments don’t appear to receive the same attention. The Twitter feed is regularly updated in response to customer queries.
It’s not clear where the support department is based, although they provide a US toll-free number. That doesn’t necessarily mean the team is US-based, though.
Netfirms in the News
Having scoured the web, I didn’t find anything negative in the press about Netfirms. We can therefore assume it’s relatively free from controversy.
Netfirms Control Panel
On the Netfirms support portal, there’s plenty of reference to Plesk. However, I found no evidence that Plesk is still used, as all signs point to vDesk. They certainly don’t make any boasts about the control panel they use, and no references to Plesk appear on their current plans.
As the support information appears to reference a control panel that no longer exists, it was difficult to find information about vDesk on the site. We can only assume that vDesk is not the same as vDeck, although the site mixes both terms so it’s difficult to make a call.
● The most basic Netfirms shared hosting plan, Plus, comes with two free domain names. The lowest price plan, Advantage, offers one, and you can claim up to five free domains on the Business plan.
● All new clients receive $100 Google Adwords credit, $50 Facebook Ads credit, $25 for Yahoo!/Bing advertising plus a free listing on yellowpages.com.
● New users can use Ready-to-go-Websites, a drag-and-drop site builder, and a one-click app installer. Common applications like WordPress and photo galleries can also be set up with a click.
Netfirms Money Back Guarantee / Cancellation Policy
A 30-day guarantee is promised on the Netfirms website, although it’s difficult to find the terms and conditions at first glance. Again, I had to Google to find a page on the site that explained it.
Customers can claim a refund if they cancel within 30 days, regardless of the length of plan they offer. There’s no information about how refunds should be submitted or whether admin and domain name fees are deducted.
From the research I did about Netfirms, it seems like the company has been slimmed down considerably over the last two years. This may explain why content in the help centre is out-of-date or innacurate.
Additionally, the pricing pages on the Netfirms website is quite misleading. The Plus plan is the cheapest and least capable but is laid out in the centre of the comparison tables; due to the name and positioning, I assumed it was an upgrade on Advantage, but it’s not.
The general lack of information and conflicting help material didn’t fill me with much confidence, and I feel there are better website hosts in this sector. Having said that, their social media pages are active, their website is professional and the company is obviously still attracting custom.
NetFirms is a Linux only based web host services company, and only offers products built on this powerful platform.
The company is heavy on introductory pricing and you will encounter a significant increase in pricing at renewal.
This company does not provide any dedicated servers or managed services of any kind.
This provider offers free domains in their three shared web hosting plans. You can get one, two or five included domains depending on your choice of plans
The company offers domain registration services on their site for the general public as well as their customers. They have access to countless domain TLDs.
This company offers a thirty day money back guarantee for their hosting services only. Like most providers, they cannot refund on domain purchases or other similar products.
They do not have any VPS services. They do however offer specialized dedicated resources packages that act like a virtual server, but on a shared platform.
The company is available for sales support and technical support by phone 24 hours a day. They also provide a support console for technical issues and a premium support plan with faster response times.
Their support is only available in English, whether on the web, on the phone or in email.
They are headquartered out of Toronto, Canada and have been In business for over twelve years,.
Their data centers are spread across Canada and feature energy efficient technology, certified by their Green program initiatives at each location.
The supported programming languages on their shared web hosting plans include PHP, Perl, Ruby, ASP, and Ruby on Rails.
NetFirms has a wholesale reseller program that is comprehensive and offers generous discounts without any quotas or minimum clients.
The company's affiliate program has a multi-tiered payout structure that depends on the type of plan that is promoted. There are no limitations on commissions and payouts are reportedly quick.
There are no migration services to help clients come onboard to their systems. You can however look through their various knowledgebase articles for assistance and call on their support when needed.
WordPress is one of the feature software pieces that are provided with their hosted plans.
Their hosting services offer unlimited options under one plan. You can host as many domains as you need.
The company offers drag and drop software available for easy site building. They also feature a number of “ready to go” websites which are template based and only need your information to go live and look professional.
NetFirms doesn’t disclose much about their security practices and it certainly doesn’t feature their security elements on their web page. There is plenty of information on the web however that indicates that they are a fully monitored and secured environment.
PrestaShop installations are not one of the supported software types, but the prerequisites to install it are available if you wish to run it. They do have other e-commerce packages as well, so it is not outside the pale.
Joomla! is one of the most powerful and popular Open Source Content Management Systems in the world today. It is provided by NetFirms and supported by them fully.
You can migrate WordPress installations in bulk or on a site by site basis with the right tools, which are readily available with the shared hosting plans.
NetFirms provides full e-commerce support with installations available for osCommerce and ShopSite, as well as SSL certificate compatibility and integration.
Since each of their plans are unlimited, image heavy sites are easily deployed no matter which one you choose.
Magento can be installed on any of their platforms as the requirements to install it are present. There are many examples in the Magento community of NetFirms users, but it is not officially supported by them.
You can install whatever control panels you need on your dedicated systems, so you can choose from Plesk, WHM, cPanel, Parallels and more. Cloud VPS systems come with a custom resource configuration and reporting panel.
For payment, this company accepts all major credit card payment methods like Visa, MasterCard, and Discover. They also accept PayPal.
The company features a 100% uptime guarantee. They compensate service credits for any downtime that is experienced. However it is sound to always check the language in your terms of service for limitations and definitions.
They do not have any specialized security options for any of their shared web hosting plans.
They do not offer CDN services, but you will find that they are compatible with most third party CDN services.
Their pricing is set up yearly service terms, with longer term yearly service contracts getting an overall price reduction.
They do offer WHOIS domain privacy protection on their site for both the general public and existing customers.
NetFirms backs up their servers for their operational purposes only, so these are not available to clients. It is recommended that each client back up their own systems accordingly or integrate their own software that will do this for them.
Deploying five web sites is served well by any of their plans as they all provide unlimited disk and bandwidth.
Emails on their accounts are unlimited with unlimited space. This is of course defined in their legal limitation of unlimited. Which you can view on the site under terms of service, so it makes sense to validate what your purposes are for email and whether it lines up with what they provide for you.
They provide unlimited disk space and bandwidth, which is determined by the provider under their terms of service. They reserve the right to address utilization that is not in line with these terms.
This is a highly promotional site and they do have occasional promotions tailored to students, non-profits, and schools. There is no standing discount program however.
WIth every new account, the company provides a $100 Google AdWords credit with every new account as well as Facebook ads, Yahoo/Bing and Yellowpages.com.
Streaming video is not explicitly supported on their shared hosting plans.
InMotion Hosting Reviews
I've had no end of problems with NetFirms from the get-go. Their support is nearly impossible to get by phone. Chat works but they can not typically solve the problem so the issue gets "up-tiered" to "specialists" and you go on a ticket. Then some cursory ticket reply comes through which is meaningless to me. Very frustrating. I've had issues with simply installing and de-installing WP themes! And the support can't seem to solve the issue either (more tickets...)! Clearly they are interested in customers ponying up the $49 or more to have the themes installed. Sucks.
And their Control Panel?! Wow. Friends who know their stuff looked at their control panel for me and told me to go elsewhere. Makes no sense. Example: Would you ever guess that the path to WP install is via some proprietary 3rd party site called "Mojo Marketplace" ?? I'm not even kidding, can't make this stuff up. It's like their world was created by geeks for geeks. Too bad if you still maintain some sense of real-world logic outside of coding.
Avoid NetFirms unless you want to sit on domain names without being able to activate them as is my case.
I have been with Netfirms since 2002. I agree with most of the reviews on this site and that is Netfirms service, especially in the capacity of support, has steadily declined over the years. When I first started with them, I was not in need of the so much support because most of my websites pretty much ran on their own. But then I added two ecommerce websites with more sophisticated programs and plugins. I am constantly calling Netfirms to ask them to either increase my storage allocation or because my sites are being hacked. Services that were once included in their so-called 3 tier programs or advantage business plans are no longer and we have to pay for every additional service. So basically what their plans offer are storage space and a bunch of programs. We are left to make sure everything is secure. When a problem comes up, they refuse to fix it because it is not included in pricing. My most recent problem, hackers compromised all of my websites.
Instead of removing the infected files, Netfirms left them all there, and immediately suspended all of my websites, even those not infected. One of those websites is a revenue generating website. I was simply advised that I must remove the files in order to reinstate my account. So Netfirms started out as a small customer service oriented company, it is now a conglomerate. They feel they have the right to just take over your systems. I have other experiences with them wherein they installed code on my sites without my authorization.
Needless to say, I am beyond frustrated and I have had it. I have changed the nameservers on all of my sites to park my domains until I can find a hosting company that will value me as a customer going forward. I know I am not a big company. I just host a few websites and probably don't generate so much business for them. But what they did was not right.
Netfirms were used to be a good company. Now they are just flushing-off customers money. I always prefer Hostgator for hosting your site!
I've been with Netfirms since 2003. I host several sites on my domain and I haven't had many issues over that time and the few I did have were solved via support quickly in a professional manner. They've updated their back office services and applications quite a bit (wordpress, weebly, scripts, mojo, new email client) in the last 18 months and that has afforded me the opportunity to upgrade my services and consequently, my client base. I would highly recommend Netfirms to anyone that is looking for a Hosting Company that is inexpensive and has the tools a small to medium business needs to ensure a relevant presence on the internet.
Netfirms used to be a great hosting company but now they stink. I've recently acquired a problem where my website can not be viewed across 3g wireless and possibly through other services. I did not have this problem the first year the site resided at netfirms - it's only a recent issue. Over the past 2 months I've been receiving emails from multiple and various users who say they are unable to access this website both through wifi and wirelessly and I myself have not been able to access it across 3g for the past 2 months. Netfirms won't do anything to resolve the issue because they say the site works o.k. for them. I've been patient, submitted all of the screenshots and information they've requested, opened multiple support tickets, called numerous time but it's always the same end result i.e. no resolution. I've given up and am moving the site to a different and hopefully better hosting company with support services here in the USA. So long netfirms!
I've been with Netfirms for ten years. They used to be awesome. With domain registration, they used to provide free WhoIs privacy and a great file manager. Technical support was fast and friendly. The web interface for managing domains was intuitive and always worked. They had excellent sales and coupons. I'm still mourning the gutting of this once wonderful company, because....
....they're not good anymore. They were purchase by another company and immediately started to go downhill.
1. They took away the file manager for anyone not subscribed to their hosting services, without any prior notification. I called and, after a half hour wait, asked what had happened. I was told that I didn't need access to the file system because all I had was a domain. I explained that I still needed access to the system to manage the .htaccess files. I was supposed to use the new domain management panel that hadn't been implemented yet. Finally, they gave me limited FTP access.
2. They raised renewal rates and added a fee for WhoIs privacy without notifying me. When I got the bill, I called the technical support and was informed (after a 45 minute wait on the phone) by a rude representative that "It has been that way as long as I've been with the company." I asked how long he'd been there...three months. So I figured okay, I'll suck it up, it's only a few extra dollars per month, and Netfirms was such a good company for so long I didn't want to leave.
3. I let the domains auto-renew. Except the auto-renew didn't work. All of the domains went into expired status. I was pretty ticked off at this point, so I called again. After another 45 minute wait, I was told that I must have cancelled the auto-renew at some point. Um no, I didn't. They didn't believe me and told me if I wanted to argue about it, I could talk to their legal department. I had no choice but to renew the domains through them, paying the additional fees, and wait two months to transfer them.
4. I found a new host and went back to transfer the domains after the two month waiting period. Half my domains are still marked expired, even though I renewed them and have the receipts. I can't access them to manage them at any level.
Yeah. A moment of silence for a great company down the crapper.
Netfirms is pissing me off. I paid for a transfer of a WordPress site to them and after 4 days they still can't/won't get the site up and running correctly. They are telling me that the site would be up and running this morning. NOT! Then there are people in front of me. I paid for premium service. NOT! NETFIRMS why are you not getting this site up? I paid $150 for the first transfer and then another $75. Still NO SITE! I am calling them every 4 hours and sit on hold for 30 minutes before a support person answers.
I used Netfirms for many years to host e-mail and a small site-- originally chose them in part because they were Canadian, so was disappointed to see them merged with a larger US company. Since my needs were modest, I never ran into some of the issues that other reviewers have, and I never had a single instance of downtime in the 5 or 6 years I used them. The few times I called on their support I was actually surprised at how conscientious their response was-- they really do seem to be focussed on serving small business as their niche. I am leaving them only because I am migrating all my sites to a dedicated server I now have-- from my experience I would recommend them, but as I said, I never really demanded much of them.
I have owned a paintball business, still own 2 air conditioning business and just started a rental business. I have been with Netfirms for 15 years. Do I need to say more?
Netfirms has decent support, unfortunately that's about it. Here's the rundown of our experience:
- They advertise as if they are hosted in Canada using a play on words, they are NOT hosted in Canada, they are in MA, USA. Not a huge deal but still - misleading from the get-go.
- Their services are 5-15 years OUTDATED: VERY BAD. phpMyAdmin was the version I was using on web hosts 10-15 years ago, very buggy and problematic. PHP was outdated and their default php.ini had to be modified just to allow installation/function of wordpress/opencart/etc - pretty common systems these days.
- Their database server /tmp ran out of space on two occassions, this halted our website from working and caused downtime for a day on top of us losing a couple orders because people would make an order, and it would charge them, but not be able to put into the database so we didn't know of the order. Major issue, eventually the site itself didn't work in its entirety. Upon contacting support I had to google the problem and walk them through it as they had no idea what i was talking about or how to fix, they were looking at the web server saying we dont use much space so they don't know what's wrong when it had nothing to do with that.
- You need their highest/top package to get an SSL Certificate and even then you can NOT buy your own certificate, if you have a previous SSL and you're moving hosts don't bother as they won't let you install it. they ONLY give you a dedicated IP if you buy an SSL from them which seems like a great price until you look at the renewal costs way above typical retail. And as mentioned you cannot even install your own, they will only install certificates on your website that you purchased from them. I have never seen a web host do this and it's just greedy.
All in all: Greedy, decade+ outdated services, way behind the times, does not easily support present day software (WordPress/OpenCart), POOR server management (partitions running out of space causing issues) and they have no idea how to fix it, and I could go on.
Save yourself the trouble, it may seem like a good deal but look on Google and any of the results will be far better than Netfirms and at the same price, but a much greater value.
I would agree with everything the other reviewer said. I got charged for my hosting 2 weeks before they said they were going to charge me and never got a receipt. They also added domain name privacy to the cost of my domain name renewals. I've yet to see a refund for my purchase even though I downgraded well before my renewal. They have horrible customer service. Cpanel hosting is way better than Vdeck. I miss the old Netfirms. I was very happy with them until they got bought by Endurance. Now they are horrible.
Netfirms was great but exists no more. It has been bought out by "Endurance" who are of course using Netfirms good name and hiding its own in the fine print. Endurance is an American company (not Canadian) and are under American law, not Ontario law like Netfirms was. Netfirms had a reasonable user agreement whereas Endurance's is wildly unreasonable. Netfirms had full and up to date ICANN accreditation and CIRA accreditation, nothing proper anyway. Endurance has not managed to get any accreditation at all so is likely not what you want. This is very bad news for existing Netfirms customers like me but it isn't too late to move your hosting and domain name to a reputable registrar/host before the terms change on April 1 2011. One lesson to take is not to register your domain for too many years in advance, ideally just one, so you can keep control of your domain and keep it at a reputable provider even if your current reputable provider sells out to a substandard entity like "Endurance."
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