If you’re looking to build a website, or perhaps revamp one you already have, you’re going to need a hosting service. The hosting service is the backbone of any website. It provides the storage space for all the related files as well as the bandwidth for the activity on the page. Today’s websites feature high-quality graphics and interactive elements, and these all require bandwidth and a good data transfer speed. All of these things are crucial to creating a website that’s user-friendly and keeps people scrolling and clicking rather than navigating away. There’s nothing more frustrating than a website that constantly spools while trying to load graphics or update your shopping cart. There’s too much online competition to have a website that is poorly managed. For these reasons, good hosting is key. NetFirms is one of many companies that offer online web hosting. Let’s take a look at how they measure up.
Netfirms is a Canadian company that was founded in 1998, right at the beginning of the web boom. They have hosted 1.2 million domains and were eventually bought by Endurance International in 2011. They offer some great deals on hosting with a lot of included features, but their own website hasn’t been updated since 2013. The company seems to have become stagnant since the acquisition by Endurance. This could affect your ability to receive quality customer service or for them to stay current on the technical requirements of today’s websites. Let’s take a closer look at what Netfirms offers their clients.
Netfirms offers some great hosting deals, including the Plus plan for $3.49 a month. This plan comes with a free domain, unlimited web space, bandwidth, websites, and email accounts. You also get access to a drag-and-drop website builder with one-click install for things like WordPress and other add-ons.
NetFirm offers low prices compared with other hosting sites. You can build a site for a little as $3.49 per month.
How It Compares
We picked a few similar products available on the market to see how they compare.
Netfirms offers hosting for a very reasonable price compared with other sites. Hosting begins at $3.49 per month.
Netfirms offers several hosting plans on their site. These are the plans offered as well as what they include:
The Plus Plan
This plan costs $3.49 per month. You get a free domain, unlimited web space, bandwidth, websites and email accounts, and a drag-and-drop website builder. You also get one-click installs for add-ons. There is a limit of 5 MySQL databases and a max of 50 FTP accounts.
The Advantage Plan
This plan costs $8 per month and includes everything in the base plan, plus 200 MySQL databases and 200 FTP accounts. It also includes a second domain for free.
The Business Plan
This plan includes an unlimited amount of everything listed above as well as 5 free domains.
Netfirms offers a basic e-commerce plan if your site needs an online store. Their plan goes for $13 per month.
Netfirms comes in at average when it comes to server performance. Their speeds are compatible with other hosting services. Things slow down a little for very distant customers, but that is normal.
Ease of Use
The Netfirms website is relatively easy to navigate, however, there are several pages that currently give a “404” error. It seems like the site hasn’t been properly reviewed in some time. The process to set up a plan is relatively simple, but it involves a lot of upselling that can get frustrating. Setting up your website can be a little more complicated. The website building tools often give errors regarding which browser you are using. One error stated that Google Chrome isn’t supported, which seems like a bad marketing decision. Once you get things going, Netfirm does have decent FTP tools and a file manager. For those who are website savvy, it may be frustrating that Netfirm uses vDeck instead of cPanel.
A review of Netfirm's technical support showed that the searchable database has a decent amount of information, but some of the articles are very dated. Also, sometimes the results that are returned from a search include articles that are blank. There is an option to chat with someone, and they are prompt in their response. The support ticket system has been disabled, so if you have a problem you must rely on the live chat or call the listed phone numbers. Overall, they are responsive but their information sorely needs to be updated.
InMotion is a long-standing web hosting company that routinely receives excellent reviews online. They have been in business for 15 years and have a large assortment of hosting plans. They offer plans starting a $6.39 per month and routinely offer discounts and deals. Each type of plan they offer has multiple price points beneath it, creating a plentiful assortment of choices. They include a lot of great extras in their plans, including things like malware and DDoS protection. If you’re not satisfied with their service, they also offer a 90-day money-back guarantee.
InMotion hosting starts at $6.39 per month and increases depending on the type of plan and features you need. Dedicated server plans can cost as much as $519 per month.
InMotion offers one of the broadest assortments of features of any web hosting provider. Here’s a listing of the types of plans they offer and a sampling of what is offered with each type.
These plans include at least 1 website, 40GB+ of SSD storage, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited email accounts, and access to a website builder.
Starting at $7.26 per Month
VPS Hosting Plans
These plans offer managed hosting or cloud VPS.
Starting at $21.04 per Month
Dedicated Server Plans
These plans start out offering 3.9GHz Turbo 4C/8T with 8GB of DDR3 RAM. They include 500GB SSD or 1TB 7.2K HDD. You’ll get 6TB data transfer and 5 free IPs. This is the base plan and the features increase with the more expensive plans.
Starting at $105.69 per Month
Reseller Hosting Plans
These plans start out offering 80GB of disk space and 800GB of bandwidth. You’ll receive a free dedicated IP and unlimited cPanels. More expensive plans offer more features.
Starting at $25.39 per Month
Business Hosting Plans
The base plan offers a free domain, 2 websites, unlimited disk space, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited emails, marketing tools, a security suite, and free SSL. The features only increase with the more expensive plans.
Starting at $6.39 per Month
InMotion is known for providing customers with excellent performance.
Ease of Use
Their website is very easy to navigate and all the information regarding plans is clearly laid out. The website builders are easy to use and produce great results.
The customer support provided on the InMotion website is extensive. There are multiple ways to contact the company, as well as articles, a support center, tutorials, and email support.
1&1 Ionos is the biggest hosting company in Europe right now. They are currently competing with GoDaddy for the most well-known hosting service. They have lots of plans and services that start out at $0.99 per month. There are lots of great freebies, such as domains, unlimited storage, and SSL certificates. They have free web design software and lots of customer support options. They also offer a massive 300Gbps network connectivity.
This company is very competitively priced, although some offers expire after a year and the price will increase.
1&1 Ionos offers tons of plans and products to choose from. Their homepage lists options including:
- Web hosting
- Website builders
- IONOS cloud
- Enterprise cloud
- Dedicated server
- WordPress hosting
- Online store builder
- S3 object storage
- Cloud apps
Their web hosting starts at just $1 per month for the first year and then increases to $8 per month. They also offer Pro and Expert plans for promotional rates of $5 and $9 per month. These plans offer great features, such as 100 GB of storage, 25 databases, 25 email accounts, and a free domain. This is not as competitive as some sites that offer unlimited emails and storage, but it’s close.
1&1 Ionos delivers excellent performance across all of their hosting plans.
Ease of Use
Their website and tools are generally easy to use, however, there are a lot of options on the main site. It can feel a little overwhelming for a new user to tackle a site with so many choices. However, the tools themselves are very user-friendly.
This company offers several modes of support should you need help. Their site includes phone support, online support, and a Help Center where you can find answers to a lot of questions.
HostGator is known for providing great budget web hosting. They offer low prices and lots of unlimited features. Every plan comes with cPanel management and a 99.9% uptime guarantee. You also receive $200 in Google and Bing Ads credits. The downsides are they don’t offer free domains and the basic plan only has 1 website. However, there’s a 45-day money-back guarantee and free transfers for new accounts within the first month. Overall, HostGator is definitely worth checking out.
HostGator offers some of the lowest price hosting plans available. They offer their basic plan at just $2.43 per month for the first year and $6.95 per month after that.
HostGator offers a reasonable number of plans that are easy to understand and choose between. Most of the categories offer 3 tiers of options, so there’s something for everyone without being overwhelming. Here’s a sample of what they offer:
The Hatchling Plan
This starts at $2.43 per month and increases after the first year. You’ll receive a single domain, one-click installs, unlimited bandwidth, and a free SSL certificate.
The Baby Plan
This plan starts at $3.48 per month and increases after the first year. It includes unlimited domains, one-click installs, unlimited bandwidth, and a free SSL certificate.
The Business Plan
This plan starts at $5.23 per month and increases after one year. It includes unlimited domains, one-click installs, unlimited bandwidth, a free SSL certificate, a free upgrade to Positive SSL, a free dedicated IP address, and free SEO tools.
HostGator has an excellent record of performance when it comes to sites hosted through them.
Ease of Use
The HostGator website is very well designed and simple to use. Anyone can navigate through their options and easily find a plan to suit them. Their information is straightforward and their tools are easy to use. They also have a fun theme that makes them memorable.
The support page at HostGator is full of useful information and ways to solve any problem. You can contact them by phone, chat, email, or read through the forums, tutorials, and articles. You can also share your screen if there’s a problem on display.
While Netfirm may have hosted 1.2 million websites, other companies are quickly moving in to take over the space they once occupied. Their website is no longer up to par with other hosting sites and they don’t have competitive features anymore. The only thing Netfirm still has in their corner is that they offer low priced options with unlimited features. For this reason, Netfirm may still work as a host for your website. However, they seem to be on their way out. If you are looking to host a website, we highly recommend HostGator. They offer easy-to-understand choices that won’t overwhelm. They have competitive pricing, even after the promotional period ends. In a review of NetFirm, they just aren’t competitive in today’s market.