Netfirms Review: The Firm Favorite For Web Hosting?
Netfirms offers web hosting plans primarily targeted to small businesses.
With their shared hosting plans you can host a WordPress site or open an e-commerce store. To get your site online quickly Netfirms gives you a free domain name and their Ready-To-Go website builder.
In this Netfirms hosting review, we’ll summarize their plans and assess them against the competition so you can decide if they’re the right web host for you.
- 1 Netfirms Overview
- 2 About Netfirms
- 3 Shared Hosting Plans
- 4 VPS Hosting Plans
- 5 Domain Name Registration
- 6 Customer Support
- 7 Summary
- 8 Your Review of Netfirms
Like any hosting company, Netfirms has its strengths and weaknesses. Here’s a high-level view. We’ll delve into more detail as we go along.
- Simple plan selection
- 100% wind energy
- 1-click WordPress installation
- Free website builder
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Limited variety of hosting plans
- Website builder has outdated templates
- Can find cheaper hosting elsewhere
Netfirms is a Canadian web hosting provider that currently hosts over more than 1.2 million websites. Founded in 1998, it’s currently owned by Endurance International Group (EIG). EIG has a number of top internet firms in its portfolio including Bluehost and HostGator.
Although Netfirms doesn’t divulge where their datacenters are located, they “peer with every major Tier 1 network.”
Is Netfirms “Green” and an EPA Partner?
Google Netfirms and you’ll find plenty of links where they “certify” that other sites are 100% wind-powered and state that they are an EPA Green Partner.
However, we did not find any indication that Netfirms itself is wind-powered. Currently (2019) they are not listed as an EPA Green Partner. So, this appears to have been something Netfirms emphasized in the past.
If you’re looking for green hosting we recommend exploring GreenGeeks and 1&1 IONOS, both are EPA Green Partners.
Netfirms offers three different tiers of Linux-based shared hosting. They also offer a special e-commerce shared hosting plan with Shopsite, software that allows you to set up a simple shop on your website.
Features on All Plans
Netfirms’ most basic shared hosting plan is called the Plus plan. It includes:
- Linux-based shared hosting
- Free domain registration
- Unlimited disk space and bandwidth
- Hosting for unlimited websites
- Unlimited email accounts
- 200 MySQL databases
- One-click WordPress installation
- Proprietary Netfirms Control Panel
- Shared SSL Certificate (upgraded to dedicated SSL on Business plan)
The Plus plan starts at $4.95 per month.
Ready-To-Go Website Builder
Most web hosting providers nowadays offer a website builder with their plans and Netfirms is no exception, branded as “Ready-To-Go.” It comes free with any of their hosting plans.
Website builders use a drag-and-drop interface to make it simple to get your website online quickly. Netfirms claims that Ready-To-Go takes only five minutes to set up.
You can add a WordPress blog to a Ready-to-Go website. Your hosting plan also comes with one-click apps, many of which can be used to add functionality to their
The Ready-To-Go templates are professionally designed but they look dated and there’s no indication that they’re responsive to mobile devices. (Responsive sites are ranked higher by Google’s search algorithms.)
Additionally, the designs don’t feature some more modern elements like parallax, hero images, or semi-flat designs.
To get started with a Ready-To-Go website, you’ll need to install the Ready-To-Go app from your Control Panel via the Design Tools tab.
If you’d rather use the full version of WordPress (as opposed to using the Ready-To-Go website builder as a front end), you’ll need to install it from your Netfirms control panel.
Do They Support WordPress 5.x?
On the Netfirms Web Hosting page they indicate that their free one-click installs include a WordPress 2.x blog. WordPress 2.0 was released in 2005 — almost 15 years ago — so that raised some questions for us.
We contacted Netfirms via live chat to ask whether their hosting supports WordPress 5.x. They told us: “We do support all the version of WordPress including WordPress 5.2.” When we questioned them about the 2.x blog wording on their web hosting page, the rep stated: “You can install WordPress 5.2 without any issues.”
Netfirms doesn’t have any specific WordPress hosting plans.
Plus, Advantage, and Business Plans Compared
Netfirms offers three shared hosting plans called Plus, Advantage, and Business. The differences between these plans come down to databases allowed and number of FTP logins.
Here’s how the differences shake out by plan.
|Monthly cost (1-yr contract)||$4.95||$9.99||$14.99|
|MySQL 5+ Databases||5||200||Unlimited|
Since the plans are so similar, many personal and small business sites could start with the Plus plan.
Netfirms most expensive shared hosting plan is called Business and that’s the plan you’ll need if you want to sell products online via your website.
This plan also comes with a dedicated SSL certificate which provides improved encryption over the other two shared hosting plans.
To get started, you’ll need to install the free Shopsite app via 1-click installation on Netfirms control panel. Here are some of the features you’ll get from Shopsite:
- Physical or virtual product sales ability
- Customizable product pages
- Order status emails to customers
- Gift certificates
- Global sales ready (language, currency, shipping)
- Email marketing to customers (e.g., a newsletter)
One caution: Netfirms hosting is not PCI compliant so you’ll need to partner with an online payment gateway that can plug in to WordPress like PayPal or Stripe to protect yourself and your customers.
VPS Hosting Plans
Netfirms primarily sells shared hosting, but for those who outgrow theses plans, there’s the option to upgrade to a VPS hosting plan.
VPS stands for Virtual Private Server. Unlike shared hosting, where every site competes with others on the server for a flexible share of resources, VPS hosting creates virtual walls between sites. With VPS your site won’t be impacted if another Netfirms customer tries to hog storage, bandwidth or memory.
You get unrestricted root access to configure your server any way you like. However, because you manage your own resources, VPS hosting is best for those who have experience running Linux servers.
Netfirms has a partnership with another company, Spry, to host their VPS servers. Their plans tier along resource lines, as follows:
Domain Name Registration
Although Netfirms hosting plans come with a free domain name, you can also buy domains without a hosting plan for $9.95 per year.
Netfirms will throw in email hosting and a free website hosting when you purchase a domain name.
Netfirms has lots of ways to offer support. They maintain a helpful online knowledgebase as well as video tutorials. If you need one-on-one assistance, they are available 24/7 by email or phone.
Customer support isn’t tiered — that means everyone gets the same access to premium support.
Netfirms has a limited self-help knowledgebase but they don’t have a customer community forum.
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
If you are unhappy with your Netfirms hosting plan, you’re backed by a 30 day money back guarantee. If you close your account within 30 days of registration, you’ll get a full refund on all hosting fees, no questions asked.
Netfirms is best for those with basic hosting needs. However, their pricing is higher than some more popular — and feature-rich — hosts like Bluehost. Those looking for VPS hosting will benefit from exploring A2 Hosting.
Those looking for eco-friendly hosting offered by current EPA Green Partners should explore GreenGeeks or 1&1 IONOS.
Still interested? Visit Netfirms now.
Your Review of Netfirms
Are you a current or past customer of Netfirms? Would you recommend them? Please leave your comments below and let our visitors know what you think of Netfirms’ speed, features and customer service.
Contributing writer: Natalie Mootz