In business since 1979, Network Solutions has been around for decades longer than anyone else on this list, and it has earned respect through longevity. The company started registering domains in 1993 and expanded into online services including hosting in 2005.
But even with all of that experience, the only type of user they really cater to phenomenally is a WordPress blogger, thanks to their package specifically for that use. They have other packages, but with a higher price point and no distinguishing traits aside from the WordPress package, they won’t be the first choice for a non-Wordpress user.
Still, you can try out Network Solutions, and if you’re not impressed, you can cancel within 30 days and get your money back.
Uptime & Reliability
Unix Server Guarantee, No Windows Guarantee
In a move that looks pretty shady to Windows users (also known as the majority of the amateur website-owning population) Network Solutions gives a 99.9% uptime guarantee for Unix servers, but doesn’t make that same promise of its Windows servers. However, testing of the site shows excellent, basically perfect reliability even on Windows servers, but it does strike some fear into your heart when you’re left out of a guarantee.
Good Features for WordPress Users
Unless you’re a WordPress user, nothing really stands out in terms of special features. You don’t get all of the unlimited basics you get with a lot of providers; instead, only bandwidth is unlimited. Aside from that, everything has caps with the basic package. They do throw in a free domain with purchase of a year of hosting, but that’s pretty standard these days.
There are, however, some cool opportunities for ready solutions for WordPress blogs.
|Bandwidth||All Network Solutions packages include unlimited bandwidth.t|
|Disk Space||Packages have various amounts of disk space. The basic plan has 300 GB, but the higher tiered plan allows for unlimited disk space.|
|Website Builder||Network Solutions has a proprietary website builder with some free templates and a limited number of pages. For a small fee, you can add on pages.|
|Email Accounts||The basic package allows for 1,000 email addresses, and more are allowed for higher-priced tiers. For most users, 1,000 is most likely enough..|
|Shopping Carts||None of Network Solutions’ packages include a shopping cart, but you can purchase an e-commerce account.|
|Stats||Network Solutions includes AWStats in all packages to allow users to keep an eye on their site traffic.|
|MySQL databases||All packages include MySQL databases, but only a small number are allowed on Windows servers.|
|FTP Account||Network Solutions allows 25 FTP accounts for its basic package, and more for higher priced tiers.|
|Multiple Domains||Each user is limited to 100 domains, and the basic package allows for 3 directories, and even the biggest plan, the Unlimited, only allows for 10 directories, meaning that there is a limit far lower than 100 for the number of different websites that can be created on a single hosting plan.|
No Chat, Limited Video Tutorials
We weren’t wowed by Network Solutions’ lack of live chat. If you’re happy to file a ticket or pick up the phone, this may not bother you. However, the video tutorial database is also pretty underwhelming, so if you like to dig around to teach yourself things, this isn’t the most amazing resource.
Network Solutions, perhaps because of its name recognition from its long history in the space, charges high prices. Even when there are discounts, they only run for 3 months. Also, in an inconvenient twist for small businesses, they’ll need to set up a separate, fairly expensive e-commerce account to set up a cyber store.
However, for WordPress bloggers, Network Solutions has a streamlined WordPress Blog Hosting package for a decent price.
Customized User Experience
Registration is easy, and you can defer payment if you opt to create a free website account first, test it out, then upgrade and pay later. They don’t do that horrible, sneaky thing of automatically checking some add-ons in the hopes that you won’t notice and accidentally pay for them. As with most hosts, you pay quite a bit less if you agree to a longer contract.
Instead of cPanel, they use an Account Manager, which acts as a similar hub for all products and offerings. Because this is an unfamiliar tool, it can seem tricky and complicated to navigate. However, like all new things, you will eventually get the hang of it.
Unlike some sites, Network Solutions will not overburden you with tons of promos.
Despite its pedigree in the space, Network Solutions isn’t really catering to anyone very well except WordPress bloggers. Small businesses will be frustrated by the e-commerce limitations, and even individual users will be disappointed by the limit on directories per account.
- Name recognition/ company stability
- Streamlined WordPress package at nice price
- Good custom control panel
- e-commerce requires separate account
- Expensive in comparison
- No live chat
- Complicated user interface
- Hidden/discreet auto-renewal