NameCheap is an autonomous (ie, not claimed by a major holding organization) ICANN-certify area name enlistment center established in 2000. Notwithstanding area enlistment, they offer a complementary spectrum of facilitating administrations.
NameCheap likewise gives email, a site builder, SSLs, and different administrations with 24-hour bolster and a 30-day unconditional promise.
I reviewed NameCheap as an area recorder here, however have gotten inquiries for a considerable length of time about their facilitating administrations. Perusers ask in light of the fact that NameCheap Hosting is extremely shabby – like, suspiciously shoddy.
You can check out NameCheap’s arrangement and current valuing here.
Despite the fact that I jump at the chance to keep my facilitating and area enrollment discrete, I had a little venture to dispatch, so I chose to put it on NameCheap and perceive how the administration turned out.
Here’s my NameCheap Shared Hosting survey – organized with pros & cons based on my experience as a client.
Jump to coordinate comparisons or skip to the end.
Divulgence – I get referral expenses from organizations made reference to on this site. All feeling and information depend on my experience as a paying client or advisor to a paying client.
Pros of Using NameCheap Hosting
Here are the aces (focal points) for considering NameCheap Hosting. There are a great deal of NameCheap Hosting audits on the web – as a rule with client produced surveys dependent on stories and individual experience. That is fine yet I adopt an alternate strategy. As I’ve said in other facilitating surveys, there is no such thing as a “best” web have. The “best” is an ideal choice for your undertaking dependent on your objectives, spending plan, encounter and skill.
NameCheap’s primary advantage is their pricing.
It’s cheap – like, shockingly cheap.
But cheap isn’t really the equivalent as great esteem. To make sense of that, we need to perceive how facilitating evaluating is organized.
Web facilitating organizations are on the whole offering a similar thing – a home for your site – however they all have distinctive plans with various tops, diverse rewards, and distinctive restoration costs. For most, making sense of their actual esteem requires a breakdown into various parts.
To analyze “one type to it’s logical counterpart” among facilitating organizations, I separate things into Core facilitating highlights and Bonus facilitating highlights.
Center facilitating highlights are the “3 D’s” – areas, databases and plate space. The center reason for a facilitating server is to serve site documents when somebody types in your space name.
Domains are what number of area names you can point to your facilitating account. On the off chance that you need numerous sites, you’ll need to have different spaces permitted. You’ll additionally need to take a gander at email addresses per space – some of the time those are topped also.
Databases are what number of bits of site programming you can keep running on your facilitating server. A WordPress install requires one database. On the off chance that you have any applications, Listservs, and so forth – you’ll require more.
Circle space is what number of records you can put on your server – pictures, content, PDFs, and so forth.
Other features could incorporate anything from web designer programming to promoting credits to backend programming, and so forth.
When you separate it, you can at any rate make a valid comparison and get a feeling of significant worth dependent on what you require.
NameCheap has three pricing tiers. Stellar renews at $30.88/yr; Stellar Plus renews at $52.88/yr; Stellar Business renews at $98.88/yr.
All the plans include absurdly low intro rating – as low as $9.88/yr for the worth set up.
The catch is that every one the plans are capped on two of the 3 “D’s” – additionally to different caps.
You can realize additional within the Cons section on set up limitations, however here’s how the plans determine.
- Stellar – restricted to three websites, 20GB in space, fifty databases and thirty email accounts.
- Stellar and – Unlimited domains, Unmetered space, Unmetered databases and email accounts.
- Stellar Business – Adds personal nameservers, priority support and secured 50GB in space.
NameCheap’s plans has very tight limits on Stellar that it’s really hard to compare them directly to other company’s low priced hosting plans. However, their mid-tier is competitive with other offerings. But here’s how it concludes –
If you plan on staying under those caps – NameCheap is almost always cheaper than the plan you would choose at another hosting company.
Company Brand & Values
NameCheap is a privately-owned independent hosting company. That’s a rarity in a world where a handful of corporations own nearly all hosting brands.
Being private & independent is not necessarily a good thing, and being owned by a large corporation is not necessarily a bad thing.
However, where NameCheap excels as an independent company is defining their brand values and going for transparency in a notoriously confusing industry.
NameCheap is also transparent about all their services and pricing. I like how they have an expandable list of all their hosting features, and how they prominently display renewal rates.
Overall, they are a company that I think is trustworthy with a solid culture. When choosing who to do business with, I think it counts for a lot.
Onboarding & Account Management
Just like any new product – signing up for a new web host can be both daunting and exciting.
The process of getting a new customer up and running is a critical part of removing the daunting part – and adding to the excitement. In business jargon, the process is called “onboarding.” And there’s nothing that will create regret like a confusing onboarding process.
Ideally, after signing up for a hosting plan, you’d immediately get your sign in credentials and be able to either go to a guided tutorial or be able to log in directly to your new dashboard.
NameCheap does exactly that.
They send out a welcome email where you can log in directly to your services or follow directions to the right help resources.
Their account backends are clean and minimalist. There are no flashing banners or hard upsells.
Their WordPress quick install software installs a clean version of WordPress with no additional plugins or themes.
And a simple, minimalist backend.
It’s a service well-tailored for DIYers or beginners looking for a super-cheap but straightforward web hosting company.
Backups & Datacenter Choices
NameCheap also does several Bonus features really well.
At sign up, they offer a choice between their US data center or UK data center. This makes them a great choice for non-US customers who are serving web visitors closer to the UK than the US.
NameCheap also does 2x weekly backups of your hosting account. While you should do backups yourself, it’s a great safety net to have. And backups are included for free with NameCheap. Usually, it’s a paid or limited bonus feature at competitors like Web Hosting Hub, Dreamhost or HostGator.
Cons of Using NameCheap Hosting
Like any web host, NameCheap Hosting has disadvantages. Here are the cons that I found while using NameCheap for hosting.
Like I mentioned in the Pricing section, NameCheap places caps across domains, disk space, databases and email addresses.
If you have 1 to 2 sites that you know will stay small, NameCheap can be great. But for many website owners the problem isn’t in the caps themselves, but in how NameCheap has several overlapping caps.
NameCheap’s new plan structure is much better than it used to be, but they still heavily cap the lowest tier. The middle and top tiers are competitive on paper but only for a certain segment of hosting customers. You have to look at allocations and features carefully to make sure that you are getting a solid value.
And ironically, if you pay for NameCheap’s top plan, you could still get limited by other limits. They market hosting for ecommerce…even though the Stellar Plus plan is not technically PCI Compliant.
Either way – I could go on with further comparisons, but NameCheap’s limitations are a disadvantage because there are so many of them that require additional planning when purchasing.
Allocations & Performance
Like I mentioned before, the core job of a web host is to serve website files when someone types in your domain name – but most agree that there’s a missing adverb. It should be “to serve website files quickly.”
To say website speed is important is cliche, especially in the age of mobile. While server speed is not the only factor in overall website speed, it is an important factor.
And critically, it’s also a “bottleneck” factor. In other words, no matter how fast you compress or speed up your website, you can only go as fast as your server can respond.
Measuring server speed and response time is a complicated issue. Only the network engineers at NameCheap can definitively say what’s going on with server speed – though they do promise “in most cases, our Shared Hosting is 50% faster than the other guys.”
But, anyone can measure a ballpark metric of server performance.
It’s called Time To First Byte (TTFB) – and shows how quickly a server delivers the first byte of information after it receives a request.
Now, TTFB is best measured as a trend. Yet, simply looking at NameCheap’s server information makes it look like they not only cap their plans, they also cap the actual servers the websites run on.
Now – like the plan caps – low server allocations are not necessarily a bad thing. If you have a small site with few images, then you’ll likely never know the difference.
However, if you are planning on expanding your site or growing your site traffic, then you need to know what is under the hood. For NameCheap, it’s pretty limited.
For example, for some reason, they install a (very) old version of PHP by default on even their newest packages.
They have low memory allocations to their new accounts (and – note that this is a new Stellar Plus account).
You can compare those allocations to InMotion Hosting’s default allocations to their shared hosting accounts.
Lastly, they also have low limits on auto-installs of WordPress –
Now – low allocations are fine if you are trying to balance your network…but limits this low and this often indicate that they are probably loading up their shared servers with lots of accounts…hence their ability to have such low prices.
If you have a low traffic, simple website then that is great for you! However, I would not buy NameCheap hosting for their speed or performance.
Customer support is notoriously hard to judge. It’s hard to know what is really going on behind the scenes, and whether a company will be helpful when *you* contact them.
So many user-supplied online reviews (of any company) are either naively positive or exaggerated negative experiences. Besides, with anecdotes, you never know if you are reading about a one-off or a true trend.
Instead, I argue that you should look for indicators of whether a company treats customer service as a cost or an investment. In other words, are they trying to keep costs down and maximize profit for the short term or are they trying to develop happy, long-term customers?
The two best indicators I’ve found are availability across a range of support channels andinvestment in DIY customer support.
NameCheap is mediocre on both.
For availability, they have chat and helpdesk. My chat wait time is usually pretty good. And it’s usually good service for me. But sometimes text-based support can get tedious when you have a complicated issue.
As far as DIY customer support resources, they have a decent knowledgebase, though it’s focused primarily on domains – not hosting.
This point segues into the next point about NameCheap’s product focus.
NameCheap Doesn’t Specialize in Hosting
NameCheap is first and foremost a domain registrar. In fact, one of the reasons I use them for domain registration is that they make it so easy to purchase a domain and point it to hosting or email services elsewhere.
In the broader Internet services industry, domains and hosting are natural complements. But I’ve never really seen a company do both super-well.
Hosting companies that offer domain registration usually over-price them and make domain management a pain. Domain companies usually don’t have the expertise or resources to run a world-class hosting infrastructure.
That’s not to say it can’t be done or that some companies don’t come close. However, it seems like hosting and domains are like coffee and breakfast.
They should be sold together, but it’s usually not an ideal situation. Starbucks tries to do breakfast…but it’s not quite there. McDonald’s tries to do coffee…but it’s not quite the same.
Even if NameCheap’s hosting was incredible – I’d still be hesitant simply because it puts all my Internet-presence components with one company.
For diversity’s sake, I like to keep my domains and hosting at different companies. Though that usually applies to hosting companies not holding domains, it also applies to domain companies running my hosting servers.
While NameCheap has a fairly complete feature set for each plan, they do exclude some bonus features.
First, their money-back guarantee is very short. NameCheap does 14 days. But corporate hosting competitors like HostGator do 45 days. And independent competitors like DreamHost, InMotion and Web Hosting Hub all do at least 90-day money back guarantees.
Second, they overprice some of their upgrades like dedicated IP addresses (usually necessary for installing SSL certificates). They charge $24/yr when most companies charge $2 or bundle it for free.
Neither of those points is a huge disadvantage, but together they form yet another disadvantage to be aware of.
NameCheap Hosting Comparisons
NameCheap Hosting vs. GoDaddy Hosting
GoDaddy has one of the most recognized brands in the industry due to their TV, offline and everywhere advertising. Though they’ve improved in the past couple years, GoDaddy has a reputation for upsells, a confusing backend, and poor performance. I reviewed GoDaddy Hosting here. Like NameCheap, they are a domain registrar first that also offers hosting.
Between NameCheap Hosting and GoDaddy Hosting, I’d go with NameCheap. They are cheaper than GoDaddy – and GoDaddy doesn’t make up the difference with better performance or customer support.
NameCheap Hosting vs. iPage
iPage is a sister brand of HostGator focused on budget web hosting. They are owned by Endurance International, but unlike HostGator, they don’t seem to be receiving active investment. Their main thing is extremely cheap short-term pricing. Their support and performance are sub-par. Despite iPage’s unlimited features, I’d go with NameCheap in nearly every case.
NameCheap Hosting vs. HostGator
HostGator is a very well-known brand in the hosting industry. They are also owned by Endurance International, which makes them another sister brand to Bluehost/iPage. They are one of Endurance International’s main brands and have a solid balance between cheap long-term pricing, good support, and good performance.
HostGator has fewer plan limitations and about the same level of performance and support. If you are running a single small website, I’d go with NameCheap. If you are building several or a more substantial website, I’d go with HostGator.
NameCheap Hosting vs. InMotion Hosting
InMotion Hosting is one of the largest and fastest growing independent hosting companies (ie, owned by employees, not a large corporate holding company). This site uses a VPS server with InMotion. I reviewed InMotion here. InMotion has better customer support, better performance, and better plans features than NameCheap. They are more expensive than NameCheap across the board. I’d choose whichever one fits your priorities.
Side note about InMotion – they also own a starter hosting brand called Web Hosting Hub that offers better unlimited pricing than InMotion with great performance. They compete head to head with NameCheap. They are still more expensive, but also make an excellent starter hosting company if you want an independent hosting company.