Network Solutions is, in my opinion, a decent hosting provider on the market, both due to its moderate price (starting at $2.99 per month or $35.88 per year) and the comprehensive features they offer with all of their plans, which includes but is not limited to: website creation tools, varied e-mail marketing capabilities and comprehensive e-commerce tools.
There are a few downsides to using them, but I’ll cover them later on. For now, the essential piece of information you need to bear in mind is that they offer a total of 2 hosting solutions which are industry-standard. Let’s delve into them for you to determine which one suits you best.
Table of Contents
- Network Solutions Hosting Plan
- Customer Support
- Pros & Cons
- Should You Sign Up with Network Solutions?
The shared web hosting plan is both cost-effective and qualitative and is surely bound to provide at least the essentials of shared web hosting in general. The “Essential Hosting” plan starts at only $2.99 per month and is designed for small businesses on the lookout for a simple yet versatile way of ensuring their online presence. Among this plan’s features, you can get 300 GB of storage, 1,000 email mailboxes and unmetered monthly bandwidth. The Professional Hosting plan, on the other hand, costs $3.99 per month offers 500 GB of data storage, 2,500 email mailboxes and, of course, unmetered monthly bandwidth. The pinnacle of their shared hosting services is, however, the Premium Hosting plan which starts at a whopping $36.95 per month and mostly caters to medium-sized businesses that need to manage multiple high-traffic websites – everything is unlimited.
All plans benefit from a versatile in-house website builder, an impressive collection of templates, FTP access to upload files and images, a comprehensive catalog of stock images and the ability to make use of essential open-source tools such as PHP, Joomla and Drupal. If you commit to at least a year worth of web hosting, you’ll receive the domain name associated to your website for free. If not, you’ll be prompted to pay $15.
Although this is a rather obvious upsell, they also offer a “basic marketing package” for $3.99 per month which basically claims to submit your website to local search engines results. The Hosting, Marketing and Store package offer, for $4.99 per month, the ability to sell products on your website, create promotions and accept online payments via major payment processors, such as PayPal.
Although I firmly believe there’s usually no need for the average customer to upgrade to anything beyond shared hosting, there are however some businesses that need additional resources that shared servers are not capable of offering for obvious reasons. The main difference between shared and VPS hosting is that, with the latter, there are way fewer customers sharing the server than there are in an average shared server. Obviously, the costs are way higher as a result.
There are two main VPS plans: Essential (starting at $40 per month) and Professioanl (starting at $80 per month).
The Essential plan offers a virtual CentOS Linux-based server with 512 MB of RAM, 10 GB of disk space and 500 GB of monthly bandwidth.
The Professional Plan, on the other hand, builds on the Essential plan and offers 1 GB of RAM, 50 GB of disk space and 2 TB of monthly bandwidth. These features are not that impressive to say the least, considering the price.
Setting Up a WordPress Plan
Network Solutions allow you to install a little over a dozen of open-source CMS such as WordPress, Joomal, Drupal, Owl, SugarCRM, Magento, PhpBB and many others. The basic hosting package comes with a MySQL installation, so the process of getting these applications up and running is fairly easy as far as I’m concerned.
The installation process is straightforward indeed, but many customers complain about having to pave their way through the fancy features a lot until actually being able to find their desired applications. The WordPress installer is featured on the first page, so it is easy to find it if that’s the only CMs you’re interested in. For any other, well, you’ll have to search a lot unfortunately. Things are so bad that you’ll actually even have to resort to reading the FAQs at some point, as I did. Aside from this rather stupid issue, the installation process is pretty standard for each separate CMS – there are no technical skills required as expected.
I’m not sure if I haven’t spent enough time trying to learn the ropes of their customer service, but the overall feeling it gave me was pretty negative. First of all, navigating through the pages related to their customer support is very stiff. Secondly, the customer representatives themselves don’t seem to be up-to-the-minute with many of the site’s features. One customer rep was not even aware of a very basic shared hosting feature, which leads me to believe they outsource their customer support abroad. It wouldn’t bother me if they knew the company’s offer by heart.
There are a few pros here and there, but most of them are pretty industry-standard: decent pricing, consistent server reliability, website builder, domain transfers, custom and advanced options to name a few.
The lack of skilled customer support is astonishing. On top of that, they always try to upsell you a lot of fancy features you will most likely won’t even need. The lack of Windows-based servers is also upsetting; while it’s obvious that Linux-based systems are more reliable in many ways than Windows systems are, some prefer the latter for their own reasons, so it’s not really fair not to provide services for a very numerous potential clientele.
There are many reasons I would not consider Network Solutions. First of all, they have many annoying upsells which, to me, really unveils a lot of negative aspects about them. Secondly, their VPS plans are mediocre given the price/quality ratio. I’d suggest looking at what Arvixe have got to offer instead.
Still, their shared hosting plans are interesting to look at given the fact they’re probably among the cheapest on the market. Do prepare for the inherent upsells though. Good luck!
If your websites’re currently hosted at Network Solutions, please tell us your experience with Network Solutions on the comment session below. Thank you!