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  • Basic plans include up to 300MB storage
  • Ideal for WordPress users
  • Domain transfers are supported
Excellent 9.1
Cost
$15.95 $0.99/monthmonth

Network Solutions

Network Solutions is a company founded in the United States in 1979, years before the internet was even around. It’s been a competitive domain names registration since 1993 and a hosting provider since 2005 and has millions of clients, but is now facing significant competition in this growing industry. We’ll see how it measures up.

Thumbs Up

  • Ideal for WordPress users
  • Website builder included in all plans
  • Domain transfers are supported

Thumbs Down

  • Too much upselling
  • Interface is not intuitive
  • No live chat customer service
  • They don’t have Windows-based servers

User experience

Speaking of customer support, Network Solutions offers pretty respectable 24/7 tech support, but only through email or by phone. There is no chat feature, which has become a staple for many hosting sites. They do have lots of tutorials and walkthroughs on their site for in-the-moment troubleshooting.

On one hand, their packages offer considerable disk space - 300GB for a basic plan - which is pretty nice compared to other companies. They throw in 25 MySQL databases and, as mentioned earlier, 1000 email mailboxes and daily backups.

But there leaves a lot to be desired in terms of the platform’s user-friendliness. The interface is not intuitive and its control panel makes basic tasks (like adding subdomains) unnecessarily complicated. And there are only 28 auto-installer scripts available, which is quite limited. Not to mention that SSL is an add-on...

Pricing

Here’s where we run into a bit of trouble. Network Solutions is one of the pricier hosting providers out there, with promos that often last as little as 3 months and additional features at extra cost. If you aren’t looking for features, Network Solutions might be better for you. Here are their cloud hosting plans:

-Starter - For $5.69/month Network Solutions will give you 15GB of storage, 5 emails and 1 website.

-Essential Hosting - For $9.96/month you’ll get 300GB of storage, 1,000 emails, 3 websites, a domain name and SiteLock malware scanning. This plan is intended for personal use websites, but 300GB is much more than other hosting services tend to provide for a basic plan!

-Professional Hosting - For $15.78/month Network Solutions provides unlimited disk space, emails accounts and websites plus a free domain name and premium malware equipment. This plan was made for entrepreneurs and freelancers.

-Professional Plus Hosting - At $21.62/month, you’ll get everything offered in a Professional plan plus an SSL certificate.

 

These prices are only for making yearly commitments to Network Solutions. If you prefer to renew month by month expect to pay a bit more. And as with most hosting providers, you’re given a 30-day money back guarantee.

If you sign up for a plan, you’ll get access to a website builder with a template library, stock photos, a considerably-sized library of open-source tools like Joomla and Drupal, FTP access to upload files and more.

If you’re more interested in a WordPress site, there are separate WordPress packages ranging from $7.99/month to $18.98/month.

Characteristics & Tools

While Network Solutions’ packages have some great features, they’re also guilty of a lot of upselling. Email accounts are included, with 1,000 mailboxes on the basic plan that can be configured to use POP... but email marketing is a $5.95/month add-on (with a 1-month free trial). The add-on does include over 400 email templates for newsletters and email blasts, as well as live analytics about how many people opened messages and clicked on links.

Also included is a website builder and some eCommerce features, though the eCommerce package (for $7.89/month) includes a control panel to keep an eye on the catalog, orders and shipping. If you create a merchant account through Bank Card Services Worldwide, you’ll be able to accept payments by credit card, PayPal and more.

Network Solutions was the original domain registrar, and continues to offer great tools to create and manage a domain.

And they always include daily backups - and hold on to them for 14 days in case you need to restore. This is a pretty nice service, as some providers backup your site weekly or not at all

Other add-ons include SSL certificates (starting at $69.99/year) and MyTime Support, which for $15.99/month gets you access to customer support with website experts, 1-on-1 appointments, remote logins and general troubleshooting.

Overall

If you’re looking to make a blog or WordPress site, Network Solution is a decent option but far from the best or most user-friendly. They offer huge amounts of disk space for basic plans and some nice tools and features to get you started. For businesses and larger companies it doesn’t make as much sense, as there are tons of add-ons and they tend to upsell many features that competitors include for free.