Is Namecheap a good choice for your website? What it has to offer? Are Namecheap’s clients satisfied or not? We have tested this popular web hosting platform to bring to your attention pros and cons of Namecheap.
When you are creating a website, there are a lot of things to consider. Whether you are making a site for your business, hobby, fandom, or anything else — there are things to do and decisions to make that might influence your site’s performance, and in extent, its success.
One of these critical decisions is which hosting service you will use.
This review has been prepared to understand if Namecheap is a good choice, what it has to offer, and whether or not its clients would be satisfied with what it has to offer.
To do this, we will be taking a look at a number of aspects regarding Namecheap, including:
- A bit about Namecheap
- Domain Registration
- Value for the money
- Things to keep in mind
- Plans And Prices
Without further delays, let’s get started with this Namecheap review.
Namecheap in a Nutshell
Namecheap was founded nearly 20 years ago, in 2000. Since then, it managed to attract over three million customers by acting as a domain registrar and a hosting solution.
Operating as a domain registrar is what most people know it for, although hosting plans are a big part of the platform, as well.
- shared hosting
- and more
Domain registration has become popular with this firm due to the fact that the process is super user-friendly and prices very cheap.
Of course, not everything is perfect with it, and there are a few small catches that you might encounter along the way, and we will mention them in due time.
For now, let’s see what this hosting service has to offer.
1) Domain Registration
One great thing about Namecheap is that it offers completely free domain registration, although that only applies to .website domains, which might not be what you had in mind.
Of course, if you sign up for its hosting, you get a domain name completely for free, while the hosting plan comes quite cheap for the first year. Meanwhile, it is not that expensive in later years either, but we will talk about that later on.
One more thing to note is that you can, of course, migrate your website to their service, with their help. This is also completely free, which might be very beneficial if the rest of what the service has to offer suits your needs and expectations.
2) Value for the Money
Choosing a hosting provider often carries some unpleasant surprises, such as hidden costs, or perhaps a low number of features for what you pay. This is why we paid extra attention to what Namecheap has to offer, which led to some pleasant surprises.
First things first, Namecheap offers unlimited bandwidth, no matter which plans you choose. Yes, that includes the cheapest one, as well. Furthermore, you also get all standard features you might expect from more expensive plans, including cPanel, WordPress, and alike.
Next, you get 20GB-large storage, which is not that much, but it should be sufficient for a fair number of websites, and it is acceptable for such a low price. We have already mentioned that you get a free domain name, but what we did not say is that it also comes with privacy protection and a free website builder.
There is also a live chat customer support, and even a 30-day money-back guarantee, just in case you end up regretting going along with this service.
Hosting supports up to three websites, which is much better than what a lot of Namecheap’s competition offers, and also free PositiveSSL certificates for a year. However, this is where one of those catches come in, as you pay 50% of the full price for the second year, but then you have to pay a bit extra going forward.
Even so, that ‘little extra’ will still be around $8.88 per year, according to current prices.
Finally, Namecheap also says that it offers backups twice per week, which also sounds pretty good.
However, if you read the fine print, it also notes that this is not guaranteed, so keep that in mind.
Namecheap Hosting Review – What to Know
Now, there are a few aspects of the service that are not that great.
They are not terrible, but if you decide to go with Namecheap, these are some things that might end up causing a bit of frustration from time to time. Let’s check them out.
The first thing to note is Namecheap’s uptime, which can be a bit misleading during the initial period.
There were numerous reports that called it ‘flawless’ and ‘excellent’ during the first month, which is, coincidentally, also the length of the money-back guarantee.
After that, however, things got a bit less satisfying. As mentioned before, the uptime is not terrible, but it is also not perfect. Average uptime never goes below 99.50%, but it did come close to this level a few times.
Most of the time, it is between 99.60% and 99.90% per month, but there were a few occasions when it went above or below these barriers.
Speed is pretty much the most important factor after uptime itself, and here too, Namecheap expressed difficulties. The service has an average speed of around 830ms.
Now, obviously, speed is extremely important for your website’s survival. When a new user comes to the site, they need to be satisfied with how quickly the site loads. If they are annoyed with the length of loading, they will simply give up on the website and move on.
Google believes that the average time the user is willing to wait is around 4 seconds. After that, they will most likely simply leave.
A slow website might even affect negatively your SEO performances.
3) Customer Support
Finally, we mentioned that the service has a live chat customer support. The contact with support is easy to establish, and they respond rather quickly.
Not only that, but the staff will even transfer you to someone more knowledgeable if they cannot help you, which is a nice touch.
However, there were also some reports of the ‘more knowledgeable’ member of the support team did not really make an effort to help out. Instead, they simply sent links to guides and similar content, without really bothering to be helpful.
Other support team members are instead a lot more helpful and willing to assist.
This lack of consistency may not leave a great impression, although it should be noted that the human element sometimes results in bad service. It might not be the general rule, but it is something to keep in mind.
They do have a pretty good FAQ, though, so the knowledge base is more than satisfactory, at least.
One thing that we mentioned as a good thing about Namecheap is that it provides managed WordPress hosting, which is, indeed, a great thing to have.
However, the so-called Namecheap EasyWP is also a bit underwhelming when it comes to features.
It lacks a smart updating system; it has no bundled plugins, staging environment, or other advanced features that a customer might want or need.
The infrastructure is good, as EasyWP runs on the service’s own cloud platform, and Namecheap claims that it is 3x faster than traditional shared hosting and standard WordPress.
All in all, the lack of advanced features is the only real issue with it, but otherwise, you should be satisfied with this option.
Namecheap Hosting Plans and Prices
Finally, we come to the matter of plans and prices, and this is where Namecheap really shines.
For once, the name is not misleading, and the service really is quite cheap. In fact, it is perfect for anyone who might want to host their personal website or run a small business.
With that in mind, let’s see what Namecheap has to offer.
1) Shared Hosting
The first on the list is shared hosting, which offers three plans: Stellar, Stellar Plus, and Stellar Business.
Stellar is the cheapest one that costs $15.44 per year, or $2.88 per month. However, the first year also brings a 50% discount, so you only end up paying $1.44 per month during the entire first year.
In exchange, you get support for 3 websites, 20GB of storage, uncapped bandwidth, free website builder, and you can even choose whether you want a data center in the US or in the UK.
Stellar Plus comes as the most popular among shared hosting options, and it offers unlimited disk space, an unlimited number of supported websites, in addition to everything that the first plan already delivers. This plan costs $26.44 per year.
Finally, Stellar Business, the most expensive of the three, costs $49.44 per year. However, the service offers it as the best plan for e-commerce websites, as it offers 50GB of SSD disk storage space and support for an unlimited number of websites.
Furthermore, all servers are PCI-compliant. One thing lacking, however, is the SSL certificate, meaning that you will have to buy it separately.
2) WordPress Hosting
Next, there is WordPress hosting, which also has three different plans.
As we have discussed earlier, the cheapest one is pretty underwhelming in terms of advanced features. However, you pay for it less than $4 per month, which is still pretty good if you do not require professional tools.
The three plans include:
- EasyWP Starter — $3.88 per month (first month $1)
- EasyWP Turbo — $7.88 per month (first month $2)
- EasyWP Supersonic — $11.88 per month (first month $3)
Each of the plans also brings increased storage capacity (10GB, 50GB, 100GB) and support for a greater number of visitors per month (50k, 200k, 500k).
In addition, you also get SSL certificates, one-click backups, a 30-day money-back guarantee, and a pre-installed WordPress.
3) Reseller Hosting
Finally, there are also Reseller hosting plans, which is for those who plan to create a greater number of websites, or even start their own hosting company.
There are three plans here, as well, including:
- Nebula — $18.88 per month (25 cPanel accounts/30GB SSD)
- Galaxy Expert — $32.88 per month (100 cPanel accounts/90GB SSD)
- Universe Pro — $48.88 per month (200 cPanel accounts/150GB SSD/WHMCS Starter)
Other than their special benefits, all plans have several more things in common, including unlimited bandwidth, free cPanel, 30-day money-back guarantee, and free website domain name and privacy protection.
4) Other hosting options
Apart from these, Namecheap also offers a few additional hosting options.
- VPS hosting which offers 14.88 per month, for 40GB, 2GB RAM, and 2 CPU cores
- Dedicated Hosting, for $78.88 per month, that offers 8GB/16GB RAM, hard drive (500 GB SATA3, 1 TB SATA3, 2x 1 TB SATA3, 240 GB SSD)
- CPU 4 Cores x 3.4 GHz.
Namecheap Hosting Review: Conclusion
In the end, is Namecheap a good hosting provider?
We believe that it is.
Its cheapest plans are not nearly as limited as those offered by most other similar services, and those who are ready to pay more can receive a lot more features, storage space, and more.
The service offers good protection, although there is no Cloudflare nor a free SSL certificate on shared plans.
However, the prices are great, and there are numerous discounts that are quite beneficial for the first two years of use. Even when you get past the first two years, the prices are not unreasonably high, which is pretty good.
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