Netfirms Full Review: Firm and Secure Hosting
Do you need a hosting provider that offers a comprehensive solution for hosting, domain registration, SSL certificate, and email forwarding? All-in-one hosting is what Netfirms resembles. Netfirms is a hosting company with more than 10 years in the field and over 1.2 million hosted websites.
It also has many solutions regarding hosting types and plans. In this review, we’ll guide you to the features, plans, prices, and ease of use. In other words, here, you’ll find all you're looking for.
Netfirms might not be one of those hosting providers that offer advanced features and multiple hosting solutions. The features are basic but enough to host a website professionally, all for an affordable price that starts at $3.49 per month. Netfirms' plans also support eCommerce and have scalable bandwidth.
In the following section, we will walk you through the types of hosting that you can choose from.
Netfirms Shared Hosting
Hosting companies compete to offer the best for their customers. Having many types of hosting means that the company can reach a broader range of customers with different purposes. Netfirms isn't the best option for multiple hosting types, but it has three main plans that are both affordable and packed with all essential features.
What types of hosting do Netfirms offer? Let's find out.
- Shared Hosting: Regardless of the fact that Netfirms doesn't have hosting solutions for other hosing types, it offers three shared hosting plans that are suitable and affordable for both individuals and small businesses. I would recommend Netfirms for customers who are taking their first steps in hosting. Also, it is recommended for personal projects, portfolios, and blogs.
Pricing and Plans
Netfirms has three shared hosting plans (Plus, Advantage, and Business).
All Netfirms hosting plans are shared, which means a customer shares the server with other customers, the thing that we consider both advantageous and disadvantageous at the same time. How? sharing the server with other customers puts less cost on the customers individually. That's why most shared hosting plans are affordable and can be a perfect fit for beginners and recently established businesses with low or medium traffic.
Well, then why do we consider it disadvantageous? Simply, shared hosting puts limitations on storage, bandwidth, resources, and traffic, which is not a desirable feature for websites expected to witness heavy traffic or for online stores and large businesses.
Netfirms' shared hosting plans are scalable and can be a good choice to start with.
It has three plans (Plus, Advantage, and Business). The table below helps you point out both different and similar features.
|Let's Encrypt SSL certificate||Available||Available||Available|
|Price per month (1-Year subscription)||$4.95||$9.95||$14.95|
|Price per month (2-Year subscription)||$4.45||$8.95||$12.95|
|Price per month (3-Year subscription)||$3.49||$7.95||$10.95|
Apart from its multiple features, including a free SSL certificate, unlimited disk space, and subdomains, Netfirms doesn't mention any straightforward information on the website regarding their money-back guarantee. But we searched more about it and found a clear term in their "User Agreement," which states that customers can ask for a refund within the first 30-day of their purchase, deducting the cost of the domain name that costs $15 besides their own costs. In other words, customers can claim a refund for basic hosting fees.
We recommend reaching out and make sure that you'll get a refund before investing your money in it.
More payment options mean more comfortable hosting for a wider range of customers. Netfirms allows paying using the majority of credit cards, debit cards, and other options, including:
Ease of Use
We're so excited to tell you that Netfirms supports its customers from A to Z and accompanies them throughout their hosting process. As a beginner, we're sure human assistance is needed to lead the first steps. That's where Netfirms customer support comes to save the day and provide onboarding assistance to get your website up and running quickly.
But is the dashboard easy and flexible to use? While many hosting services provide cPanel as their default control panel, Netfirms doesn't have it, which means your experience might not be as smooth and easy as it'll be with the top hosting services like HostGator, for example, or BlueHost.
Still, there is a WordPress 1-click installation and a Ready-to-go website. It means that your website is ready to set up and easily managed since the main steps are easily done with the customer service assistance and Netfirms convenient tools.
Besides the previously mentioned onboarding assistance, Netfirms supports customers via live chat, tickets, and phone. Moreover, if you like to read about any arising problems or technicals issues, there are in-depth articles on policies, websites, domains, databases, emails, files, etc... Besides the instructive video tutorials that help you go on any process step-by-step.
In a nutshell, Netfirms provides 24/7 support via:
- Live chat
- Knowledge base
- Video tutorial
- Onboarding assistance
Security is becoming more serious than ever, considering the number of threats that are getting larger and more malicious every day. Such threats include but are not limited to hackers, cyberattacks, malware, and malicious data traffic. You must be wondering if Netfirms is trustworthy when it comes to security. The following features can help you find out.
Luckily, Netfirms offers a free SSL certificate essential to protect the website's data, content, and files. How? It encrypts all data traffic on your website, especially if your website receives sensitive and personal information, like credit card info, bank account number, phone number, and more.
Let's not forget to mention that Google marks your website as secure when it has an SSL certificate, this feature attracts more visits to your website, unlike what happens when your website doesn't have it, which makes it appear as insecure on search engines, expectedly, your website will receive fewer visits.
Apart from the free Let's Encrypt SSL certificate, Netfirms offer other SSL certificates to help your Google rankings (Domain Validated SSL for $3 per month), protect multiple subdomains(Wildcard SSL for $9 per month), and enhanced eCommerce and payment protection (E-Commerce for $22.50).
Automated daily backups
Netfirms offers a number of security options, including automated daily backup for $1.08 per month, billed yearly for $12.95, so you don't have to worry about lost or damaged files.
IP Dedicated Address
We don't think that people who are hosting their personal website will care much about this feature. However, it is highly recommended for corporations and businesses. This feature enhances the website's security. It is available for $30 per year.
Netfirms offers the SiteLock option for advanced security features, which is available in three packages (Essential, Prevent, and Prevent Plus). Each package comes with a number of security features.
SiteLock packages comparison table:
|Daily malware scan||Available||Available||Available|
|Block automated bot attacks||Available||Available||Available|
|Automated malware removal||Available||Available||Available|
|Faster response time||N/A||Available||Available|
|Advanced web application||N/A||Available||Available|
|PCI compliance scanning||N/A||N/A||Available|
|Website CMS vulnerability||N/A||N/A||Available|
|Price per month||$3.99||$14.99||$24.99|
Load Times, Reliability, and Features
One of the main concerns is if a hosting service can guarantee an uptime average that keeps your website always up. In other words, how reliable it is in terms of speed and load time. This section mentions Netfirms load time, data centers, website builder, and other features if there are any.
Uptime and speed
How fast your website's load time affects its visits and traffic. Personally, we won't be excited to visit a website one more time if it takes forever to load or it takes me a long while to move from one section to another. Netfirms guarantee uptime on an average of %99.9, which is reliable and enough to maintain a good loading speed.
Netfirms don't make it clear about their data center. However, after talking to one of Netfirms' agents, we found out that they have two data centers in Toronto and New York.
Features with all hosting plans
All Netfirms hosting plans include the following features:
- Scalable bandwidth
- Unlimited storage
- Unlimited subdomains
- eCommerce solutions
- Let's Encrypt SSL certificate
- Marketing tools
Netfirms website builder provides many templates designed to fit most platforms, including mobile, desktop, and any other devices. Unfortunately, unlike most hosting services, it doesn't offer a free website builder. Still, there are three different affordable plans, starting at $1.99 for the starter plan. And goes up to $12.99 for the eCommerce plan.
The following table helps you find the differences between the three plans. Let's take a look at it:
|Build up to 6 pages||Available||Available||Available|
|Over 550k images available for use||Available||Available||Available|
|Pre-built sections and page layouts||Available||Available||Available|
|Chat and email support||Available||Available||Available|
|Build unlimited pages for your site||N/A||Available||Available|
|Revision history for pages||N/A||Available||Available|
|Sell products online||N/A||N/A||Available|
|Inventory management and tracking||N/A||N/A||Available|
|Offer coupon codes and promotions||N/A||N/A||Available|
|Price per month||$1.99||$6.99||$12.99|
Features included with every plan:
Social Media Sharing
Free SSL Certificate
Search Engine Optimization
The good part about Netfirms is that it offers many inviting features regarding online stores, businesses, and all types of eCommerce. As for online stores, Netfirms has very convenient and easily managed platforms. Shopsite, osCommerce, and WordPress are the three available platforms by Netfirms. These can help you create your online store and manage it from A to Z.
We recommend having a glance over Netfirms Business plan that comes with scalable bandwidth, unlimited storage, unlimited subdomains, and a free Let's Encrypt SSL certificate. Netfirms aims to make your eCommerce experience smooth and easy. To achieve that goal, it offers many eCommerce tools, including product manager, multiple currencies, languages, and payment options.
It might not be the most various hosting provider ever, but it offers three different plans that can meet any purpose, whether personal websites or businesses; Netfirms is recommended for its firm and secure plans. We also appreciate the wide range of possibilities for security features. If you choose to host with Netfirms, you can be sure of your website's performance, speed, and security.
Apart from its downsides, like not offering a full refund and having limited hosting options, we recommend using it for the number of features it offers with all plans and the multiple security options.
Give it a try and decide whether it is or it is not the right hosting for you.