Born in 1998, Netfirms is a publicly traded domain registrar and web hosting company. As of now, there are over 1.2 million websites hosted under this company globally. Besides, its ranking in the Google search results page is not bad, which shows the company has put serious effort in advertising. However, once explore deeply, we can easily find out its customer base is not that large as is reported.
As a matter of fact, Netfirms has steadily declined over the years especially in the capacity of customer service. In more recent years, a horde of customers choose to opt out the service after this company is acquired by another American company named as EIG (Endurance International Group). In this Netfirms Review, let’s have a deeper look at this company as below.
Taken as a whole, Netfirms used to be a great company whose primary mission is to offer webmasters affordable solutions and sage advice to help them succeed. It’s a pity that this company has been going downhill and losing creditability from customers. Based on online feedbacks and voices, following are the cons and pros of Netfirms web hosting.
Pros of Netfirms Web Hosting
The basic features offered by NetFirms are worth to be mentioned. Apart from unlimited disk space, monthly bandwidth, website and email account, clients can also enjoy at least one free domain and $175 worth of credits, including Google Adwords, Yellopages.com, Yahoo and Bing. In the meanwhile, MySQL 5 databases, multiple programming languages and email advanced features (such as spam filters and email forwarding) come standard in all web hosting packages. Here is a feature comparison table of this company.
|Key Features||The Advantage Plan||The Plus Plan||The Business Plan|
|Drag and Drop Builder|
|cPanel Control Panel|
|Money Back Guarantee||30 Days||30 Days||30 Days|
Whether it is for personal use, company or business promotion, security is one of the must-have factors in choosing a hosting provider. In this regard, Netfirms gives a nice shoot. All of the shared packages come with password protection, .htaccess file, shared SSL certificates as well as secure FTP access. With all those given features, customer websites can basically free from malicious hackers. Below is a screenshot of this company’s security features.
Note that, the dedicated SSL certificate is only included in the most expensive Business plan. However, if buyers want a higher level of security, they need to do more, such as using security tools like SiteLock or just choosing a reliable hosting provider.
Satisfying Uptime & Speed Record
Performance is also an important factor to consider. As such, Netfirms makes use of tier-1 data centers to enhance the scalability and reliability of hosting service. What makes a difference is that this company uses DC (IDirect Current) power to produce significant power savings and improve the levels of efficiency. However, there is no document mentioning the uptime guarantee.
To figure out the actual page loading time of Netfirms, we’ve used a powerful speed testing tool – Pingdom. As is shown, its response time averages 3.31s with a total of 69 requests. This is just up to the mark.
Cons of Netfirms Web Hosting
Useless Website & Database Management Tools
Without doubt, an easy-to-follow control panel makes website management simple and time-efficient. At this point, Netfirms uses a self-developed control panel rather than the well-accepted cPanel, which means users are bound to spend much more time to get familiar with its inbuilt functions. For instance, customers will have to install WordPress via a proprietary 3rd-party site called as “Mojo Marketplace”.
Though phpMyAdmin comes standard in each plan, users still complain that its version is outdated and the default php.ini needs to be manually modified to allow the installation of online applications. By the way, Netfirms tends to take away the file manager without any prior notification.
Unreasonable Pricing & Cancellation Policy
Generally Netfirms owns three web hosting plans (Advantage, Plus and Business), each of which comes bundled with 1/2/3-year contract. The Plus Plan is attached with the lowest price of $4.95/mo for a one-year contract. Even if the company boasts this is the most cost-effective price in the current industry, we can easily find a much cheaper replacement with same or better services.
According to the TOS policy, this company reserves the right to increase the renewal rates and product fees at any time or just after expiration of the initial term. Some customers even say their domains will be auto-renewed without any approval.
Non-Existent Support & Social Activities
Netfirms promises round-the-clock support via phone call and live chat, but only the clients on the top-tier plan are given priority. In most cases, their support is nearly impossible to get by, and the wait time for live chat may range from 10-15 minutes during the peak hours. When a problem comes up, they usually refuse to fix it because this is not included in the pricing.
On the homepage of Netfirms, there is a “Press Releases” section which seems to be unchanged for many years. Also, visibility via the Facebook and Twitter pages is patchy, and only positive comments can get replies.
Conclusion – Not Recommended
To sum up, Netfirms offers rich features, solid security and satisfying performance for website owners. However, the company fails to be a trustworthy option when taking price, usability and support into account. Picking out an appropriate hosting solution is not easy, but we’ve still searched out the following recommendable companies that are unbeatable in the above-mentioned aspects.