Netfirms Hosting Review: Simple, Full Service Solutions at Affordable Rates
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For those looking for a simple hosting solution, Netfirms may be just what you’re looking for. With reasonable pricing and well-laid-out hosting plans, the process of getting a new blog up and running in no time is a cinch with Netfirms.
Add to that the ready-to-go websites that come included with each shared plan as well as the 30-day money-back guarantee, and Netfirms seems like a solid choice.
Netfirms was founded in 1998 and has been on a growth trajectory to this day. Currently, it hosts over 1.2 million websites across the globe. In addition to providing web hosting to everyone from bloggers to large enterprises, Netfirms also offers domain registration, e-commerce features, and marketing services.
What Sort of Hosting Plans Are Available from Netfirms?
At first glance, it appears that Netfirms is only a shared hosting provider. However, if you take a closer look at the site, you’ll find that Netfirms also has VPS hosting available. Although you’ll be able to claim more dedicated bandwidth, space, and control over your blog with those hosting plans, the price tag is cost prohibitive, at least when you’re first starting out.
So, let’s focus on what Netfirms’ shared hosting plans entail.
There are a few different plans available. While there are some upgraded security features as you level up through the plans, there really isn’t a whole lot of difference between them. That’s why we suggest you start with the most basic plan. There’s a 30-day money-back guarantee in case you’re not happy or if you want to switch to a different plan during that first month.
Here are the highlights of Netfirms’ shared hosting:
- Unlimited websites
- Unlimited disk space
- Scalable bandwidth
- 24/7 support via email, chat, or phone
- E-Commerce tools including the open source osCommerce platform and ShopSite shopping cart.
You also get a shared SSL certificate and a one-click app installer so CMS setup, like WordPress, is a breeze.
Additional features for building out your blog are included such as:
- Photo galleries
- Wikis (great for tutorials and how-tos)
- Marketing freebies like Google AdWords, Bing, and YellowPages credits
- Unlimited email with spam and virus protection.
As a blogger, you might not spend much time on your website’s control panel. And though you might not need to use it for uploading files via FTP or running scripts on the backend, you will need access to make use of the additional features above.
Netfirms has developed its own proprietary control panel software that is user-friendly and will help you get access to everything you need quickly. It is here that you’ll find:
- Control over your domain(s)
- Knowledgebase in case you want to troubleshoot before reaching out for support
- One-click app installation
- SSL certificates
- Site builder tools
- Google Analytics setup and integration
- Offers for website upgrades and downgrades.
For those of you transferring a domain from another host over to Netfirms, you can do so free of charge. For everyone else, you can register a brand new domain through Netfirms for a reasonable price.
This is another hosting “add-on” service worth noting as it will help save bloggers a lot of time in getting a site up and running.
Netfirms’ ready-to-go websites are full (yet basic) websites that come pre-populated with content, so all you need to do is click “publish” to get a site online. This might not be ideal for bloggers who are in the business of creating original content.
Then again, if you’re in a rush, don’t want to worry about design, and don’t have time to write a stellar “About” page or “Contact” page just yet, you may be happy to know you have free access to these ready-to-go websites from the start.
Website Management Services
In addition, Netfirms does offer several website management services that may be of interest to you. Here are some of the upgraded features Netfirms offers within its website management and marketing umbrella:
- Design services
- Premium marketing and SEO services
- G Suite
- PayPal integration
- Constant Contact email
- Site builder tools
- Backups and restores
- SiteLock security.
Can I Expect Quality?
Considering the features of a hosting plan is only one part of the decision-making process. You also need to think about the quality of the hosting: that means taking a closer look at the infrastructure behind it.
According to Netfirms, it’s the utilization of clustered hosting that makes its setup unique and rave-worthy. Clustered hosting is basically another way to describe load balancing. In other words, if one server unit should fail or be compromised, your site will automatically move over to a secured and live server.
Here are some other things you need to know:
- Netfirms’ datacenters are all Tier 1, which means you won’t have to worry about uptime, reliability in performance, or security
- Each datacenter comes replete with security features like video surveillance and special security access
- The datacenters are also carefully managed so as to mitigate for disaster, with redundant generators, advanced fire detection, as well as climate controls for each unit
- Each datacenter uses direct current power, too, which lowers environmental impact.
Netfirms is dedicated to providing customers with top performance. So, if you’re hoping to run a blog and don’t want to worry about your site going down from time to time, security being compromised, or large volumes of traffic slowing it down, then Netfirms’ infrastructure should do a solid job of keeping it running in top shape.
If you should ever have a technical problem and you’re concerned that the issue is not something you can easily resolve on your end, you can access the professional support team at Netfirms 24/7 via a toll-free phone line or email.
The online knowledgebase and video tutorials are useful learning tools. Topics covered include understanding web hosting, configuring your email, designing your website, and managing your hosting account.
Is Netfirms a Good Choice for Bloggers?
1.2 million customers can’t be wrong, can they?
It appears that Netfirms built out its hosting plans specifically to cater to the small business and blogger. Everything is so well-laid out and the process of getting a blog up launched is highly simplified. It would seem silly not to consider Netfirms while you’re searching for a suitable host.
Of course, don’t forget about the ready-to-go-websites that come included with its shared hosting plans. While you won’t be able to use them to write your blogs, you can use them to push your site live quickly — without breaking a sweat — while you focus on writing your blog content behind the scenes.