Netfirms is a host with a proud history – but what about its future?
Canadian website hosting company Netfirms was set in 1998 and went on to host 1.2 million domain names, prior to being acquired by tech giant Endurance International Group back in 2011. Some Endurance businesses keep their profile HostGator, Bluehost — but Netfirms differs, and appears to have been left to drift since the acquisition.
The web site has altered since 2012. The Site Builder page has the headline:’In 2013, build your site in only 11 minutes’. 2010 has been nothing created after by the Press Releases webpage. The Twitter accounts contains three tweets in the past two years, along with the Facebook page articles endless’special deals’ than news or any useful content on business activity. None of this proves anything, but it does not signify a business that’s pressing making changes, or attempting to maintain what it has already.
Our corporate worries aside, the base Plus program appears to offer price. Spending from $3.49 (#4.35) a month provides you with a free domainname, unlimited web space, bandwidth, websites and email accounts, together with a drag-and-drop website builder and more straightforward installs for WordPress and many others.
The drawback is a max of 50 FTP accounts, and a substantial limitation of 5 MySQL databases. If that’s an issue and price is crucial, Namecheap’s Worth plan provides you up to 50 databases to get a lower cost, though it has other restrictions of its own.
- You can sign up for Netfirms here
The $8 (#10) a month Advantage plan lifts the database limitation to 200, supports 200 FTP accounts, and — remarkably — gives you a second free domain (just about everybody else gives you one only).
The $11 (#13.75) a month Business plan provides you unlimited everything and give complimentary domain names. There’s a lot of appealing competition 15, if you don’t need the domains. By way of example, HostGator’s $12 (#15) a month Company program involves a dedicated IP and SSL certificate.
There are a few other products — a simple e-commerce plan out of $13 (#16.25) a month, $33 (#41.25) VPS program which seems to be reselling Spry — but no dedicated servers or anything else that might make Netfirms stand out from the crowd.
Netfirms provides a 30-day money-back guarantee on your hosting charges, and that’s some security if you’re not happy with the service. But beware: the stipulations state that applies to credit card payments only, not PayPal (that isn’t made apparent on the purchase page). The site claims you have to call the support, which seems costly and unnecessarily inconvenient to be canceled by a US service number.
After picking a strategy, define one you own already , or you’re prompted to register a new domain name.
The following step displays various add-ons, with a couple being sneakily added by Netfirms to our cart. These included fundamental managed WordPress functionality for $3 (#3.75) per month, an SSL certification for $1.67 (#2.10) a month, SiteLock malware scanning for $1.67 (#2.10) per month, G Bundle for $5 (#6.25) a month, and daily backups for $1.45 (#1.80) per month.
Delete the defaults it is on into the Billing page and should you prefer. Here we found that there’s no monthly billing — the shortest term for the Plus program is one year for an effective $4.95 (#6.20) a month.
Payment options are PayPal or credit card. We picked a charge card to preserve our right for a refund and continued.
Netfirms was not completed. Can we fill out a survey? No, thanks — following page.
Did we wish to register another domain name? No, thanks — a different page.
Did we want to spend $99 (#124) per month on an search engine optimization package. No! On to another page…
And there was more: add-ons for yet another SSL alternative with no explanation on how it differed from the first, search engine submissions, and mobile website building. No, no, and no more.
Then another page seemed ofto offer professionally designed website for $399 (#499). We clicked Whatever.
Yet another page followed together with the SiteLock and options we turned back on the second page, and another SEO add-on. We clicked No — once more — then Netfirms gave us links to our own control panel and tutorials, and we all believed our upsell-hell was finished…
But not quite: after setting an account password the company had one more attempt, requesting us to move them our domain. We clicked No and eventually made it. Phew.
Creating a site
VDeck is used by netfirms because its frontend that is own hosting. We would like cPanel — it’s more of a standard, people know it and it has more features and add-ons — but its heart works are different, and experts and novices alike will have the basics sorted out.
A number of them are executed, although the panel provides multiple website development alternatives and tools.
For example, we attempted’WebSite Creator for CM4all’ using Google Chrome, just to be told:”You’re using a non-supported browser. Please use current version of one of the supported browsers — Internet Explorer or Firefox.” So the browser in the world isn’t supported? Really?
Once the disbelief had worn off we attempted it using Internet Explorer, also this didn’t work, either. An error explained that the site needed also to fix this we had to add its domain to the Trusted Sites of IE, and also to use ActiveX controls. Just in case this wasn’t bad enough, we had been advised to disable the default Internet Explorer’need HTTPS…’ setting for Trusted Sites, since the creator website was HTTP only.
We continued with Netfirms clicked a WordPress icon and have been shipped to the marketing-heavy Mojo Marketplace site, where it asked us to choose the domain for installation. As the domain list was empty except we couldn’t. We changed back to Chrome and it worked.
It’s not all bad news. We are not lovers of Mojo Marketplace as it is more interested in selling you stuff than anything else, but there is nothing wrong with all the installer technologies that is basic, and it’s going equip your site with WordPress or among different programs.
There’s also an additional Website Builder which enables building up to six pages, and does operate. These are limited and comparatively plain, but the machine is easy-to-use and you could have something ready to go within an hour or two.
The control panel provides a file manager along with FTP tools for uploading a website that is pre-built. Normally that will not matter, although these are simpler compared to equivalents that are cPanel. The File Manager provides you an perspective of your website, empowers creating folders and most going to need.
Our Netfirms testing began with a look. This starts with a Support link on the vDeck control panel which opens a page at a’support console’. There’s a search box, buttons representing shared themes (Email, WordPress) plus some useful-sounding’popular topics’ (‘FTP: How to connect to a website’,’Navigating File Manager’).
We fits and typed into the search box appeared. We can click one of them to exhibit it, or press Enter to conduct a search on but this didn’t work consistently. Occasionally pressing Enter would do nothing — we never figured out why — and we noticed a keyword matches did not possess a corresponding post. We typed SSH, for example, and strikes for’SSH’ and’SSH Terminal’ seemed, but choosing either of those told us”there are no posts matching your query”.
Running our standard’import WordPress’ search returned one or two articles. There was a few helpful info on offer, and article sorting left them difficult to discover, although there weren’t nearly as numerous as using the companies that are best.
It was a similar story with our general, solitary key word searches (MySQL, PHP and so on). Netfirms has some advice to offer on most subjects, although less (or as good quality) as we’d like. Some of this content is dated. Having’Configuring Outlook 2003 as your e mail client’ as a tutorial is ridiculous, with lots of movie and tutorials being at least three years old however there are other issues.
Service is better. Both chat questions answered and were met with speedy responses. But even here, there are limited choices. Despite a ‘support tickets’ link in the bottom of the webpage, the ticket system has been disabled. It’s live chat or the US support telephone number .
We completed our tests with a few quick benchmarks of server performance, using Bitcatcha and a few other tools. Our host based on the eastern side of the United States was registered to Endurance International Group, and gave us acceptable performance for UK and US connections. Rates were average overall, but that was nothing out of the normal, although response times dropped for distant links.
UPDATE March 9, 2018: Following the review was complete, we requested Netfirms to cancel our account. We presumed the account could be shut, and the business sent an email saying it’d do this, and our payment refunded. Regrettably, we didn’t check this, and failed to observe that Netfirms left our account open and didn’t return our cash.
We were sent the following email about our account renewal, which alerted us to the issue by Netfirms, 11 months. We contacted assistance, clarified that we’d cancelled the accounts and that we had proof the firm had acknowledged this at the moment, therefore our money should be returned by it. Support simply said account renewal had turned off to ensure there would be no additional charge, but wouldn’t be issuing any refund.
We’ve seen reports from others about billing issues that are similar, although there’s no way to tell how common a problem this might be. If you inquire Netfirms to close your accounts, we’d recommend you don’t presume the firm will do so if you’ve received a confirmation email. Examine the account frequently and follow up with Netfirms support if nothing happens within a couple of days.
Netfirms offers value, but content that is dated, web support and a product variety suggests this is a company lacking investment and being compelled to fade off.