Network Solutions reviewPosted by WebHostsReview
|Editor's Overall rating|
Network Solutions was best known as a domain registrar in the 1990s. The company has been in existence since 1979. In the initial days it was a consulting company, which later moved into domains. Web hosting was added into its product range in 2005. The company has been sold and purchased many times. Currently, it is a part of the Web.com group, which bought it in 2011. NetworkSolutions is based in the US and manages over seven million domains and over 350,000 websites.
Network Solutions web hosting products and features
There are many hosting plans and options, which allow the company to cater to a wide variety of customers.
1. Do-it-yourself plan:
This is a site builder based package. There are two plans: Small and Large. Each plan comes with a free domain for the initial term if the customer subscribes for at least 12 months. Both plans include customizable templates, an easy drag and drop website builder and free access to a large collection of stock images. Add-ons such as, maps and calendars, can easily integrated.
The Small plan offers 5 GB of storage, 50 GB/month of bandwidth and 10 email boxes. The Large plan provides 300 GB of storage, 3000 GB/month of bandwidth and 2500 email boxes. Limited money-back guarantee is offered for the first 30 days.
2. Do-it-for-me package:
This package offers a comprehensive solution that includes professional web design using the website builder, monthly updates, search engine submissions and visitor statistics.
3. Mobile website package:
This product is aimed at customers whose focus is on mobile websites. Owners of retail businesses will find it very attractive because these days people use mobile phones to search for outlets, goods and services while they are on the move. Sites are powered by dotMobi and the packages include hosting, tools to design and set up an easy to navigate mobile website with mobile-friendly features. The service can be tried without payment for one month and a money-back guarantee is applicable for paid subscriptions.
4. E-commerce package:
The e-commerce package is an easy and fast solution for those interested in selling online. Subscribers can quickly set up an e-commerce store with all essential features like online catalog, store templates, customizable store design, real time shipping cost calculator and payment processing. Besides the standard features, the company provides marketing tools. The store is designed to work on portable devices like smartphones and tablets. A store can also be added to an existing website.
The e-commerce package is offered in three plans: Starter, Standard and Premium. Here are the features:
- Number of products allowed: 25 to 100,000.
- Storage: 1 to 5 GB.
- Unlimited bandwidth.
- Email boxes: 5 to 100 (1 to 2 GB storage per email box).
- Inventory control is available only in the Premium package.
- Free domain name for the initial term for subscriptions of one year and above.
- There is a transaction fees of 0.75 to 1.25%.
- Payments can be processed via PayPal, Google Checkout and credit cards.
Initial store set up service is available for a one-time fee. Custom e-commerce store design is also available at a one-time charge.
5. Shared web hosting:
Shared web hosting is offered in three plans: Essential, Professional and Premium. For new subscriptions of a year or more, a free domain name is provided for the initial subscription term. Both Unix and Windows based hosting is available in each plan.
- Disk space: 300 GB to unlimited.
- Unlimited bandwidth.
- Up to 3 domains can be hosted and up to 100 domains can be parked.
- Email boxes: 1000 to unlimited with 1 GB storage.
- Email alias and auto-responder is available. IMAP access is available only in the Professional and Premium plans.
- Visitor statistics.
- Scripting and databases:
Unix- Ruby, PHP5, Zend libraries, Python, Java servlets, JSP, MySQL, phpMyAdmin and Cronjobs.
Windows- PHP5, Python, ASP, ASP.NET 2 & 4 and MySQL.
- Search engine submission, marketing and e-commerce services are available at additional cost.
6: WordPress hosting:
This package offers an easy solution for those who want to build their sites with WordPress. The hosting is optimized for WordPress and offers a variety of free themes and plug-ins. As usual, a free domain is offered to new customers who subscribe for at least one year. The plan comes with 50 GB of storage, 500 GB bandwidth, 10 email boxes and traffic reports.
7. VPS hosting:
VPS hosting is offered on the CentOS platform. There are two plans: Essential and Professional.
Here are the major features:
- Support for many applications.
- Guaranteed RAM of 512 MB with option to upgrade this to 1 GB.
- Free domain name with annual subscription for new customers.
- Up to 100 GB of storage and up to 2000 GB of monthly bandwidth.
- Plesk control panel
- Up to 200 email accounts.
Infrastructure, reliability, support and user experience
The company guarantees an uptime of 99.99% for Unix hosting and 99.9% for Windows hosting. Uptime calculation excludes scheduled maintenance, problems caused due to third parties and some other situations, which are beyond the company's control. However, no compensation is specified for non-achievement of the guaranteed uptime.
Support is offered on a US toll-free number and through support tickets. Self-help options like help videos, forum and tutorials are also available. Premium support, branded as MyTime Support, is available at extra cost. Customers using premium support can fix an appointment at a convenient time during which an agent calls them.
The location of the data centers or the type of control panel being offered for shared plans is unclear. It appears that a custom control panel with a modest number of basic features is provided.
Although a money-back guarantee is available for many plans during the first 30 days, it should be noted that it is a limited guarantee and a significant amount is charged as cancellation fee.
Network Solutions advantages
- NetworkSolutions has many years of experience in the domain registration and hosting industry and it is also a part of the large Web.com group.
- Many simple plans are available, which allow customers to easily and quickly set up their websites, blogs or mobile sites without any technical knowledge.
- Plans offering professional site design, installation and maintenance are available, which are excellent options for people who do not want to spend their time to design, develop or maintain websites.
- Uptime guarantee and money-back assurance is available.
Network Solutions disadvantages
- Although many site builder based plans are offered, web hosting plans are limited when compared to other hosts. However, it will be sufficient for most online businesses.
- The cancellation fee is high and this may make the money-back guarantee unattractive for some people.
- No compensation is specified for not meeting the uptime guarantee.
Overall Network Solutions review
Like most other companies in the Web.com group, Network Solutions focuses on end-to-end services and offers many hosting packages that allow customers to easily launch professionally designed websites with very little technical or design knowledge. It is a good option for those who want fully managed websites or e-commerce stores. Having a fully managed website allows customers to focus on their business without worrying about site maintenance issues.