Network Solutions is a company owned by Web.com, who offers basically every service related to website development that there is.
Domain registration, website builders, marketing, design, and of course, web hosting.
The advantage with that is that Network Solutions is well established, you don’t have to worry about them suddenly shutting down. Also, if you’re interested in purchasing help for related services, it’s right there.
The big disadvantage is that Network Solutions is so diversified, that they don’t specialize in anything. Personally, I like to host my websites on hosts that only do hosting, and make sure they do it well.
It’s not a deal breaker, but something to keep in mind throughout this review.
I’m going to specifically focus on the hosting services that Network Solutions offers, to help you decide if it is or isn’t the right host to build your website(s) on.
Who is Network Solutions Hosting Good For?
The biggest thing that sets Network Solutions apart from competitors is the price. It’s not the cheapest, but all the packages are relatively low cost.
It’s clear that Network Solutions caters towards people building a website for small businesses. People who just need a very simple website (usually static) up for the small amounts of traffic that look for it.
Or, perhaps you’re just practicing web development skills, and want a cheap hosting account to practice on.
If you fall into one of these 2 categories, I think Network Solutions can be a good choice for you, although you have plenty of other options as well. There are many hosting companies trying to compete on price.
From here, we can dive into more specifics about Network Solutions to see how they differ from those other low-cost hosts.
The Three Types of Hosting Plans
Network Solutions offers 3 main types of hosting. Compared to those types at competing hosts, the quality and prices are competitive.
It should be easy to see which type of plan is right for you after we quickly go through what they offer.
1. Standard Web Hosting
This is your standard shared hosting.
You’re given resources on a server, along with other customers, and you split the cost.
You get plenty of disk space, as well as a free domain name.
There’s no mention of the hardware used in these plans anywhere on the website. In other words, it’s nothing special. Don’t expect blazing fast website loading speeds.
That being said, depending on the package you choose, you can get access to a CDN to help speed up load time.
Like most other shared hosting options, Network Solutions supports all the major content management systems (CMSs), like WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla.
They also support other programming languages like Python and Ruby.
One important note is that despite SSL being free on most hosts (through Let’s Encrypt), it’s only on the higher tier plans here. Essentially, you’re paying for it. It’s not a big deal for a personal hobby site, but businesses should have SSL available.
Finally, one nice feature is that all shared hosting packages come with a technical adviser for free. They can help you get started migrating an existing site or configuring FTP to upload files.
2. VPS Hosting
Your next option, which is a level up in terms of performance is a VPS.
This gives you root access to a virtual server of your own. It also comes with a free domain name as a bonus.
Just like a VPS on most hosts, you can host multiple websites, and have multiple email boxes.
A VPS comes with a minimum of 1GB of RAM, which is more than enough for most websites and simple web applications. It also has a minimum of 10GB of disk space, enough to host several small to medium sized sites with no issues.
If the site(s) you’re planning to build is resource intensive, and you find that it runs too poorly on the shared plan, it’s a good idea to upgrade to a VPS. Although that comes with a significantly higher cost.
3. WordPress Hosting
The final type of hosting is geared towards WordPress.
It has a similar price for the standard web hosting plan (which you can install WordPress on) but has a few tweaks to make it more specific to WordPress.
Again, it comes with 1 free domain, sufficient disk space for a WordPress site, and up to 10 email boxes.
The more significant differences revolve around security.
It starts with having on-demand backups available. If you’re building a website for a business, backups are a necessity. If you’re just playing around with a site to learn, security issues are usually not as big of a concern.
There are multiple plans for WordPress hosting here. As you pay more, you get more security features.
This includes features like:
- Malware detection and removal.
- Basic server security to prevent common hacks.
- An SSL certificate.
- Website vulnerability detection.
The less risk you want to take of losing your website in an accident or hack, the more you should value these features.
Even with those features included, a lot of hosting security lies on you. Will you keep plugins updates? Will you make those regular backups?
Network Solutions offers a fixed fee managed WordPress service. A managed service basically means that they will take care of all that security work automatically.
Most hosts either offer completely unmanaged hosting or only with managed hosting. Network Solutions is one of the few that offer both, which gives you a nice flexibility.
The Trade-off of Inexpensive Hosting
You can’t have everything you want. If you want cheaper hosting, you need to give up something else.
Typically, that comes in the form of performance and support.
We’ve looked at performance a bit in the packages. It’s not bad by any realistic standards, especially for the small and relatively simple sites that we’re looking to host here.
The support is in a similar place. It’s better than a lot of hosts, but it’s not amazing either.
When you run into problems, as everyone does when they’re building their first few sites, you have a few options.
You can contact Network Solution’s support staff through phone or email. They operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
That sounds amazing until you realize that the only guarantee you have is to get a response in 24-48 hours. Not horrendous, but not exactly instant support.
Your other main option is to search through the knowledge base for helpful articles and guides.
Network Solutions might have the best knowledgebase I’ve seen.
It’s very well organized and easy to navigate, and most guides have clear pictures and steps to follow.
If you’re the type of person who would rather follow guides than email or phone a person for one-on-one help, Network Solutions will fit you quite well.
Overall, Network Solutions has a solid variety of web hosting services that are ideal for hosting a small number of simple websites, for a relatively low cost.
In my mind, the biggest positives are:
- The price.
- The flexibility. You can get additional security and space as needed.
- The knowledgebase. One of the best I’ve seen, with great guides and tutorials.
On the other hand, the biggest weaknesses are:
- Not suited for sites.
- Not likely to get instant support if needed.
- SSL is not automatically included, it’s an additional paid feature. This is getting more and more unusual as time passes.
Your Network Solutions Review
Are you a current or past customer of Network Solutions? Would you recommend them? Please leave your comments below and let our visitors know what you think of this host's speed, features and customer service.