Web site hosting is a necessary service for anyone who has a web site. The service has become more of a commodity in recent years with prices dropping significantly, much to the advantage of web site owners.
However, the level of service provided by some web hosting companies has also dropped significantly in recent years. Network Solutions is the oldest provider of domain names and web hosting on the Internet today. This review is based on personal experience over the last few months and provides some insights as to what to expect from this “experienced” web services provider.
I going to start right put with the first word that comes to mind here:
Foolish me! I actually expected an experienced web services provider to “provide good web service”. In the immortal words of Captain Hector Barbosa, “I won’t be making that mistake again”.
One of my friends, and good customers, hosts 2 accounts with the aforementioned web hosting company. Recently, in a phone call, he became so frustrated in speaking with their so-called “support staff” he said something similar to, “I’d be better off just deleting my accounts and starting over again”.
He then hung up the phone.
The next morning, I received a panicked call from him. Network Solutions had in fact deleted both his accounts. Two fully functional, customized WordPress driven websites. They deleted everything, files, photos, and yes, the databases along with all information contained therein.
He had already spent nearly an hour with them on the phone getting them to recover his web sites, but neither web site was working. So enter “me”!
NS did in fact find a backup of the files, and they restored these. However, they also reinstalled WordPress in another directory in the same hosting account. I had just as much success as he did unfortunately. But the frustrating part with in this piece of dialog from an actual conversation with a Network Solutions support technician.
Me – I think the problem stems from the fact that the databases were also deleted and have not been restored. Can you restore the data as well please?
NS – Can you hold a minute sir? Let me check on something.
Me – Ok?
NS – I must apologize sir, but we don’t have a backup of the databases.
Me – But you had a backup of the files?
NS – Yes.
Me – Last month, when your database server went down, you had a backup that you were able to restore. Can you use that one.
NS – No sir.
Me – Why?
NS – We don’t have a backup sir.
Me – You must be kidding.
NS – If you want a backup of your database, you customer must turn this feature on from his “Manage Account” screen.
Me – He did. But you turned it off when you deleted his account.
NS – Sorry sir, we don’t have a backup.
Me – OK, well I would like to setup a new database, but when I access the database configuration area, your system tells me that my session has timed out.
NS – Did you clear the cache in your browser.
Me – Yes. I also tried this in Chrome, FF, IE 8 and IE 8 in compatibility mode.
NS – Hmmm, works fine for me in IE 7. You should know that our system is not compatible yet with Firefox, Chrome or the newer versions of IE.
Me – Newer versions!? These have been available for years.
NS – Our staff is constantly working to improve our system sir. Is there anything else I can do for you?
Me – *Hang up* … Yeah you can drop dead you idiot!
Several points stick in my mind with this experience that should cause all who are considering using Network Solutions as a web hosting provider to think twice:
1.) Network Solutions could care less that my customer had invested money and trust in them to host his web sites on their system
2.) Network Solutions did not have my clients best interests at heart.
3.) Network Solutions is STILL using technology that is outdated and unreliable … but that is not their problem.
I wonder where these NS technicians are that “are constantly working to improve their system”. Perhaps they quit but forgot to mention it to the support folks.
In conclusion, the service provided by Network Solutions is exactly what I warn my friends and clients to avoid.
If you want to spend premium prices for hosting, Media Temple and RackSpace have much better options with superb support.
If your looking for dependable, low-cost host with good support, try Liquid Net, SCG Domains, HostGator or a few others commonly advertised on the Internet. (I apologize if I have left anyone off the list here).
But, avoid Network Solutions if you value your online assets … and your sanity.