Last updated: February 19, 2019
NetFirms In 2018: What Do NetFirms Client Reviews Say?
Netfirms IntroductionNetfirms 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 PlanAs 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/DowntimeNetfirms 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 SupportNetfirms 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 NewsHaving 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 PanelOn 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 PolicyA 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 SummaryFrom 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 31 Reviews by NetFirms Customers
Most Helpful Reviews
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Most Popular NetFirms Hosting Plans
|Netfirms Plus||Netfirms Advantage||Netfirms Business|
|Price||$4.95 / mo||$9.99 / mo||$14.99 / mo|
|Visit NetFirms||Visit NetFirms||Visit NetFirms|
|VPS Hosting 512
|20GB||1000GB||$33 / mo Visit Host|
|Netfirm Reseller MultiPro 6
|120GB||4500GB||$39.90 / mo Visit Host|
|Netfirms Enterprise One
|60GB||1500GB||$49.95 / mo Visit Host|
|Netfirm Reseller MultiPro 12
|240GB||9000GB||$59.88 / mo Visit Host|
|VPS Hosting 1024
|40GB||1500GB||$66 / mo Visit Host|
|Netfirms Enterprise Two
|100GB||2000GB||$69.95 / mo Visit Host|
|VPS Hosting 2048
|60GB||2000GB||$100 / mo Visit Host|
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.