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Network Solutions Review

Dave Platt

In a Nutshell

Network Solutions helps business owners grow their online presence with expertly designed templates that allow for plenty of customization. Furthermore, photos, files and specific web pages can be shared exclusively with friends and family.

pros

  • Options for first-timers and seasoned webmasters alike
  • The platform and plan you choose can grow with your business

cons

  • The overall interface is buggy and inconsistent
  • The website builder is not as modern as many competitors

Network Solutions Network Solutions Visit Site

Network Solutions Video Review

Ideal For

Network Solutions is an excellent choice for small-business owners looking for a full-featured Web hosting provider that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. The plans are flexible and affordable, and there are good options to consider for businesses at any stage of growth. Network Solutions might not be the best choice for casual users or bloggers, but businesses and organizations will find a lot to like about this versatile platform. Every ecommerce package includes comparison shopping, a feature critical to helping you stay ahead of the competition. Network Solutions also offers online product catalogs and real-time shipping and payment features that make it ideal for business owners.

Templates

Something that makes Network Solutions unique among its competitors is the company offers 2 completely different website-building tools, directed toward distinct audiences. There’s a relatively limited free website builder, and the more full-featured nsWebsite builder.

I chose to use the nsWebsite package, but I did check out the free builder first. Both platforms offer users a broad selection of Network Solutions’ website templates, but the nsWebsite builder has a much larger gallery. And though Network Solutions free website templates are an option with both builders, some of the free builder’s templates come with a one-time $9.99 price tag.

Network Solutions templates with the nsWebsite builder are organized into 16 different categories, representing a variety of businesses and interests. Each category contains at least 5 different templates, but some have more than 20 designs to choose from. Colors are easy to customize, and users can preview any of the designs before committing to one in particular. Another option is to select a simple layout with no particular theme, or you can start from a truly blank slate.

Ease of Use

Although I consider myself to be relatively seasoned in the world of website builders, the signup process with this company sent me for a loop, and I actually had to call customer support to figure out how to access the website editor after I signed up for it. (It turned out that in order to use the builder, I needed to log out of my account and then log back in, but this wasn’t written anywhere.)

How to Build a Site with Network Solutions

I found the drag-and-drop site editor relatively easy to use, but still not as intuitive as the most modern builders that make it simple to get up and running in under an hour. Still, I was able to edit site elements and insert images, videos, and my own HTML code without too much effort. (The ability to add my own code is a nice touch, as many competing builders charge extra for that freedom.)

Overall, the builder was easy enough to use once I got into it, but I did find quite a few frustrating aspects of the overall account management interface.

Pricing

When it comes to Network Solutions pricing, I found that there’s a lot to like. But there’s also a lot of fine print to read, and a bunch of costly options to deselect prior to checkout. The nsWebsite builder is currently only advertised in 3 different options, Website Builder, Marketing and Ecommerce. Each of these plans requires an off-putting 3-year contract, as Network Solutions does not advertise offers or options for monthly plans.

Network Solutions domain pricing comes with a separate cost, which is less than $10 for the first year, but jumps up to nearly $35 for each subsequent year. Based on my research, this is a far higher rate than many other domain registrars charge. The good news is that Network Solutions offers a 30-day money-back guarantee in case you make a purchase you’re not completely satisfied with.

If you’d rather skip building a site yourself and have Network Solutions do it for you, that service requires a one-time annual payment of $1,199.95, with off-contract rates going for $114.95 per month, or $1,494.35 per year.

Mobile Responsiveness

These days, “mobile responsiveness” is a big buzzword in the website builder industry. This term refers to the ability of modern websites to make the most out of how they display on smaller screens. Standard Network Solutions websites aren’t optimized to render well on smartphones or tablets, but if you’d like your online presence to look appealing on smaller screens, there’s still an option for you.

I found creating a Network Solutions mobile website to be a relatively straightforward process. For a cost of $5.99 per month, customers can use the goMobi site builder to create a version of their website that looks great on mobile devices. And if, like me, you sometimes worry about missing an important message, you can access your inbox on the go, thanks to Network Solutions mobile email.

Ecommerce

Though all website packages allow users to put PayPal buttons on their sites, the standard plans don’t include true Ecommerce options. For full-fledged functionality in this area, I had to sign up for the Network Solutions Ecommerce package, which is available for an additional $7.89 per month.

This package gave me the ability to create a catalog of products for my customers to purchase, along with the freedom to set shipping options and accept credit cards. Unfortunately, this process involves yet another site-building tool that’s separate from the desktop and mobile builders, and which I found not nearly as intuitive to use.

Customer Support

Network Solutions customer service comes in a few different forms, depending upon which plan you choose. If you find yourself stumped, a good place to check for an answer first is the support center and community forum. If you’re still struggling, and if you’re using either of the nsWebsite packages, you can call a skilled support representative to assist you. These friendly folks are available to answer your questions around the clock.

Hosting

Network Solutions hosting is one area where this builder really excels compared to its competition, especially if you’re just looking for a basic plan. The basic Web hosting plan comes with the free website builder and a handful of common options you find with most hosting companies, including FTP access and a library of stock images to use on your site. Network Solutions’ web hosting offerings start at just $2.99, but depending on your needs and how much traffic you expect to receive, the plan could cost considerably more.

No matter what stage of growth your business is in, Network Solutions will almost certainly have a package that’s right for you. And if you plan to conduct Ecommerce on your site, take a look at the Network Solutions SSL packages for an added layer of security that your customers will appreciate.

Reviews

Critics frequently cite concerns about questionable pricing practices and the relatively outdated website builder. Some complaints go so far as to accuse Network Solutions of committing unconscionable bait-and-switch practices, but if you take the time to read the fine print, you shouldn’t find any surprises on your credit card statement.

Network Solutions Network Solutions Visit Site

Free Websites

Though Network Solutions primarily promotes its paid plans, the company offers completely free websites, as well. The free website builder isn’t as feature-rich as the nsWebsite package, and users of this plan don’t have the option to link their own domain name to their website, yet they can still create a decent looking site in relatively little time.

Bottom Line

Though Network Solutions has a long history of helping internet users find and use the tools they need to succeed, their website-building products pale in comparison to some of the best builders available. The builder was very slow to load for me, and aside from being buggy, it doesn’t seem to integrate well with the rest of Network Solutions’ services.

Pricing, however, is one area where Network Solutions can be hard to beat, though the overwhelming amount of upselling that the company barrages users with can be enough to turn off business owners who know better. You’ll need to make a purchase or enter a credit card number before using any of this company’s tools, and aside from defaulting to the most expensive options in many cases, the company also enables auto-renew on all products. And even if you do sign up for membership with Network Solutions, there’s no way to close your account without calling the company and waiting on hold.

Webmasters with a stronger background in website building might be able to overlook Network Solutions’ shortcomings in favor of its low prices, but most first-time designers will likely find one of the other top builders to be a better fit.

David Platt writes for top10.com. He developed an extensive working knowledge of background check and data management services in his time providing support for military access credentials with respected biometric security service provider SureID. He has further developed his internet security skills in completing a Bachelors of Science degree at Portland State University.

Network Solutions customer reviews

Based on 18 reviews

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Top Reviews

Ease of use

Brand satisfaction

Value for money

Service quality

a year ago

I had no issues with Network Solutions, very ease to use and did not cost too much. Felt like a good deal for my money spent

a year ago

Easy website, very intuitive. Researching and registration is quite smooth, and costs were fair.

a year ago

Network solutions is the best domain when searching for a better network it helps technology in providing a fast service

a year ago

Network solutions made it very easy for me to understand how to get the website set up and running efficiently.

a year ago

Great customer focus for all our questions and problems. Plus always able to provide insightful assistance.

a year ago

I was very pleased about the website I created and the ease of use of the site. I would definitely use them again and I would recommend others to use them too.

a year ago

I have used this program at my last job. It was a very easy program to understand. I had no problems at all after I figured it out.

a year ago

They provide a great product and great service at an affordable price. They are reliable and easy to work with.

a year ago

Network solution is excellent help. There's other help out there that is less expensive but Network solution is one of the best

a year ago

Great for network support very knowledgeable and helpful to use the company for large project support

a year ago

It was valuable and I was satisfied, but could have been easier and a little better quality of the things to use to build.

a year ago

It is a very good service it has allowed me to fix my network connections on multiple occasions it's been very helpful no matter the small startup hip ups but I love the service

a year ago

Very easy to use program however if I did have questions I felt as if I did not have a direct line to an answer.

a year ago

Network solution is very effective software solution is very practical and very easy to use

a year ago

I like the service that Network Solutions offers in terms of registering a domain and creating a webpage. However the cost is too high

a year ago

Expensive and not easy to use when I used it. Customer service was not great at the time either.

a year ago

I wanted to try something new because at the time I was bored. But the website builder was really clunky and I had trouble getting going.

a year ago

Because had multiple websites with Network Solutions. I cancelled all but one and was surprised at how high my bills still were. I called in multiple times and every time I was told that my charges were all tied to my one remaining website.

18 reviews