Netfirms Review: Is It The Right Host For Your Business In 2019.

Netfirms Introduction

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 Uptime/Downtime

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 Support

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.

Netfirms Extras

  • 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.

Netfirms Summary

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 center is out-of-date or inaccurate. 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 center 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 Reviews by Our Community

Overall Rating from 33 Reviews by NetFirms Customers

Support
Quality
Features
Value

Most Helpful Reviews

Denise Messenger avatar
Denise Messenger denisemessengerart.com
Oct 18, 2018

I have been a customer of Netfirms for well over 10+ years. It is really sad to see how degraded their customer service and tech support is. In years past they had the service based in the U.S.

for Any plan. Now you must pay more money for the service if you want it in the U.S. Additionally, there is not anyone you can talk to when your website content disappears at a higher level of management.

Customer service makes promises to get it resolved with tech support and Nothing happens. I am left with content missing from my website due to a software glitch on their end, no one will investigate it and they just want me to upgrade my plan for more money in order to resolve the problem. This is not the way to do business in my opinion. Very disappointing.

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Zsolt Perge avatar
Zsolt Perge wzsn.net
May 30, 2018

I’ve been using Netfirms for many years. All I have is two simple .net websites with no hosting plan. I discovered that even if you just pay for domain registration, they will give you 5MB of free hosting space, which is all I need.

I really wanted to run some simple perl scripts on my site, and they worked for awhile, but then all of a sudden they discontinued that service. I asked them why my perl scripts stopped working, and they said they no longer provide perl scripting with the free domains. That’s too bad.

I am not going to pay $5 a month just to have perl scripting on a 5MB site. You kidding me? LOL

One time I manually renewed my domain, and of course, the bank statement showed that they withdrew the money, so the transaction was successful.

But they forgot to renew my site! So, it looked like my site was gone, yet I already paid for the renewal. I guess, someone sitting in the main control room forgot to push a button or something.

That’s when I realized these people aren’t professional. This is company is a joke. A real hosting company can’t make a mistake like that!!!

Other reviewers had bad experience with customer service. Actually I had very good experience with the customer support team. They provide 24/7 Live support on their website.

You can open a chat window and ask any question anytime, and they answer or get your problem resolved immediately. They were always fast and very courteous. I had no problem with customer support.

But their overall service sucks and they charge an arm and a leg for their basic plan. I am not going to pay $4 or $5 a month just to have my personal 5MB website online. It gets maybe 5 visitors a month.

LOL Give me a break! These folks should have a basic service that costs $5 a year. I would be willing to pay that amount but not $5 a month.

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Gowtham Sen avatar
Gowtham Sen fuzure.com
Jul 23, 2018

Netfirms sucks in terms of their intelligence. I try to use same card for last 5 years on the same account. They just blocked the payment mentioning that "fraudulent detected" and blocked my account.

I am fine my account blocking and even payments blocking. But they also block all my websites launched in their domains. This is so bad.

Anyone with a sense would certainly won’t do that unless a security breach. I am super frustrated with this.

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Most Popular NetFirms Hosting Plans

Netfirms Plus Netfirms Advantage Netfirms Business
Disk Space 10GB 250GB 300GB
Bandwidth 500GB 2000GB 3000GB
Price $4.95 / mo
Usual price: Get % off!
$9.99 / mo
Usual price: Get % off!
$14.99 / mo
Usual price: Get % off!
Visit NetFirms Visit NetFirms Visit NetFirms
Plan Disk Space Bandwidth Price
VPS Hosting 512
Shared
20GB 1000GB $33 / mo Visit Host
Netfirm Reseller MultiPro 6
Reseller
120GB 4500GB $39.90 / mo Visit Host
Netfirms Enterprise One
Shared
60GB 1500GB $49.95 / mo Visit Host
Netfirm Reseller MultiPro 12
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240GB 9000GB $59.88 / mo Visit Host
VPS Hosting 1024
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40GB 1500GB $66 / mo Visit Host
Netfirms Enterprise Two
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100GB 2000GB $69.95 / mo Visit Host
VPS Hosting 2048
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60GB 2000GB $100 / mo Visit Host
More Plans +

NetFirms Frequently Asked Questions

  • What hosting products does NetFirms offer?

    NetFirms offers shared hosting across three tiers. These plans are primarily separated by how many MySQL databases can be maintained, how many domains and FTP accounts can be hosted, and the level of customer service available.

    They also offer VPS hosting via Spry.

  • Can NetFirms help with site migration?

    NetFirms does not have any formalized migration services available. However, they will help you through a transfer via their live chat system.

  • What’s Spry VPS hosting?

    NetFirms does offer VPS hosting, but they do it via Spry, an alternative hosting company specializing in VPS.

  • What applications can I use with NetFirms?

    NetFirms offers one-click installs on all major CMS and ecommerce applications via Mojo Marketplace as standard on all their plans.

  • Does NetFirms have a money-back guarantee?

    Yes. NetFirms offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. This guarantee is valid for credit card payments and excludes most added extras. See their Terms of Service for full details.

  • Does NetFirms have an uptime guarantee?

    No they do not. Their terms of service outline that they can not guarantee that the servers are always up and that they are not liable for any problems caused by them going down.

  • How does billing and payment work?

    NetFirms bills annually with a minimum one year commitment. Payment is accepted from major credit cards and PayPal only. They enroll you for continuing payment so your account will renew automatically.

  • Are there discounts for signing a longer contract?

    Yes. Users get a discount if they sign a two or three year contract with NetFirms. Discounts increase with term length and range from 15% to 24% depending on the plan and contract length.

  • What support does NetFirms provide?

    Support options include 24/7 chat, email, and phone support. They also have a knowledgebase and video tutorials as well as additional setup help. Their top tier option comes with better support.

  • Where are NetFirms’ datacenters located?

    NetFirms’ datacenters are located in Boston, US. The company itself is based in Toronto, Canada.

  • What programming languages are available?

    NetFirms provides all the standard programming languages including PHP, Perl (via cgi-bin), Python (via cgi-bin), and Ruby on Rails.

  • What security options are available?

    Their top tier plan includes a dedicated SSL certificate and all plans include a shared SSL certificate.

    All plans can purchase SiteLocker and dedicated SSL certificates as they see fit. Contact customer service for more information on security add-ons.

  • What backup options are provided?

    Shared plans do not include any backup options other than NetFirms own disaster recovery, which is only for use in the case of a hardware failure and does not guarantee a complete backup.

    However, there are backup options which can be added on for an additional fee.

  • What control panel does NetFirms use?

    NetFirms offers customers access with cPanel included in the cost of all plans.

  • Does NetFirms offer unlimited bandwidth and storage?

    Sort of. They have unmetered storage, but firm restrictions in their Terms of Service that say what you can and can’t use your unlimited storage for (eg, a backup, storing lots of media files, etc). For their bandwidth, they state much the same thing.

    Their limit is so high that 99% of customers never get there. However, if you do end up over-using bandwidth, NetFirms retains the right to throttle your site.

  • Does NetFirms provide a content delivery network (CDN)?

    Yes. NetFirms provides a CDN via SiteLock. It is available for an extra charge. It also provides additional security for your website.

  • What about at renewal? Will my monthly payments jump?

    Probably. NetFirms focuses on offering extremely competitive introductory pricing. Thus, most customers see prices increase when their contract is up for renewal.

    This increase is made up of a combination of services that are included for free for the first year (eg, domain name) and a simple increase in cost per month for your hosting plan.

  • What website building tools does NetFirms provide?

    NetFirms offers a drag and drop website builder. A free version comes with all their shared hosting plans and you have the option to add a per month charge to get access to better versions.

    Enhanced features include more ecommerce functionality, unlimited number of pages per website, and Google Analytics integration.

    They also offer an even easier option called Ready-to-go-Websites, which are designed to get you online extremely quickly.

  • Does NetFirms provide domain and domain registration?

    Yes. All their plans come with at least one free domain for the first year. After that, most domains cost $15 or so annually. They also provide domain registration and domain transfer for a price.

Claire Broadley

About Claire Broadley

Claire has been creating websites for over 20 years and has been using WordPress for over ten. She is an expert in web hosting, design, HTML, and more. She lives with her husband and son in the United Kingdom.

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