Is NameCheap Good: The Bottom Line Up Front
Namecheap was founded almost 20 years ago, and although it’s better known as a domain registrar, the hosting part of the business is very active as well. Whether Namecheap hosting will work for you depends on your particular needs. Their plans offer great value for money. For someone who is looking to host one or two small websites without breaking the bank, it’s a great option.
You’ll get quite a few helpful freebies. For most people though, the unlimited bandwidth will be the biggest draw.
If you’re looking for a high-performance host though, you’ll have to look elsewhere. The same applies if you want to host a high-traffic e-commerce website. Namecheap’s servers are not the fastest, and their uptime ratings could be higher. Let’s have a look at the namecheap hosting plans, dns settings, and server management. We’ll dive into the pros and cons.
• Great prices – You’ll rarely find deals this good anywhere on the web.
• A proprietary website builder you can use to create custom sites without coding
• Great customer support – Available 24/7
Cons & Problems
• No phone support – All communications must be by email, ticket or live chat
• Slightly more downtime than the competitors, on average
Real Customer Reviews: What People are Actually Saying
Here are some direct reviews:
Good Things People Are Saying
Users have often cited the low prices (compared to the value the plans offer) as a major attraction for them.
Customers point out the 24/7 customer service as a significant benefit too. The competence of the support staff is a marked improvement over similar hosts.
Bad Things People Are Saying
On the flip side, quite a number of users have cited the relatively higher amount of downtime as a major downside. It’s not terrible, but it might be a concern for large e-commerce sites.
Website Set Up and Development
When considering whether or not to go with NameCheap for your website hosting, one of the most important things you’ll need to consider is how efficient their website setup process is. A more straightforward setup process means you’ll be able to get your site up and running in little time.
The quicker you can get your blog or website up, the earlier you can begin posting. A convoluted setup process would delay your launch and prevent customers from seeing what you have to offer. To be sure if Namecheap’s set up process is right for you, here are some things you should keep in mind:
Does Namecheap Offer WordPress Hosting Specifically?
If you’re planning to use WordPress as your CMS, you’ll get the best experience from NameCheap’s managed WordPress hosting plan. It’s tailored for WordPress websites and comes with a variety of features to supercharge your site. The plans start at $4 per month, which is an excellent deal compared to the alternatives.
Do You Get a Free Domain Name When You Sign Up? (Some Hosting Providers Offer This)
Namecheap offers a free domain name with their shared hosting plans. The catch is that the domain name has to be a .website TLD. That restricts usage for many purposes since it’s not popular. Still, it’s an excellent option to have if you don’t need a .com domain name. You can also use it for a niche website or side project.
Do They Have Nameservers or Offer DNS Services?
Yes, you can edit your DNS records and make changes to your nameservers via your hosting dashboard. It’s quite intuitive and straightforward. Even someone with little technical savvy would be able to navigate the options.
Migrating a Site to Namecheap (and Transferable Installs): How Easy Is It?
If you want to migrate a website to Namecheap, you have a slew of options available to you. You can go the manual route by downloading and then uploading the files via FTP. If you prefer, you can use a plugin. Namecheap has comprehensive guides on the topic, so you’re unlikely to make mistakes.
If your site is unusually complex, you can also get the help of the Concierge Team. They are a department of the host’s customer support and will walk you through the process.
Namecheap Control Panel (Cpanel): Do They Offer One to Manage Your Hosting?
Namecheap offers customers the latest version of cPanel. That makes it easy to control all the aspects of your website from a single, comprehensive dashboard. If you have more specialized needs and are on a cloud hosting plan, you can use a more advanced interface. For most people though, cPanel will be the perfect solution.
FTP & SFTP: How Easy Is It to Connect?
Namecheap shines here too. You will be able to connect your FTP client to their servers without any hassle at all. They don’t have any special requirements, so all you’ll need to do is to follow the standard procedure.
Do They Offer Staging Environments and Temporary URLs?
Namecheap allows you to create staging sites complete with temporary URLs. You’ll be able to test all types of changes before publishing for public use and thus reduce interruptions while you make improvements to your site.
Templates & Blueprints: Do They Offer Site Setup Templates?
There’s a website builder you can use to build your site. It has a WYSIWYG interface that you can use even if you can’t code. You’ll be able to drag and drop graphical elements. There are about 200 templates available, so you’re sure to find one that you can edit to your satisfaction.
Although being able to code isn’t essential, it would certainly make things much easier. You’ll be able to customize the templates much more extensively. Some graphic design ability would also be helpful. Knowing how to mix and match colors, shapes, and patterns would help you produce a beautiful design.
PHP Versions: Do They Support Legacy and The Latest Versions?
Their servers run with FCGI module and have PHP 5.2 – 5.6 and 7.0 – 7.3 versions available. You can change the PHP versions easily. If you need to, you can even change the PHP versions for specific domains.
Do They Support Git or Command Line Tool Integrations?
GIT comes pre-installed on Namecheap’s servers. You can quickly activate it as necessary, and it works well with a variety of tools too.
SSH Connection: Do They Support It?
Namecheap recommends that most customers stick to using SFTP, due to the increased security risks of SSH. However, it can be activated on request. You’d have to install a plugin though.
Namecheap Speed & Load Times
As of today, the response time of Namecheap’s response servers over the past week, as measured by Pingdom, is 629 ms. That’s about average compared to similar hosts.
Most users won’t notice the difference in speed. You should tweak your website to get things as snappy as possible, however.
Services and Goodies Offered with Hosting
Namecheap offers quite the collection of features along with their hosting packages. That is, apart from the usual ones like cPanel and backups.
All the shared hosting plans come with 50 SSL certificates. You can also use their proprietary website builder to create your website. It uses an intuitive interface and hundreds of templates to make it easy for you to build your site, even if you can’t code.
All the plans also come with tools such as BoxTrapper and SpamAssassin which help to screen your emails to prevent spam from getting in. Also, the Namecheap Concierge team can help with migrating your website into your new hosting package
Uptime, Outages & Down Time
On their website, Namecheap states that you can expect 100% uptime. There’s a caveat that unexpected issues could cause an outage. Nonetheless, Namecheap’s uptime is similar to what you’d get with similar hosts – specifically, 99.80% over the past 12 months. That’s good, but it could be better.
Outages aren’t so frequent, but they are still at a level where you might need to be concerned. That’s especially true if you run a high traffic website. A few minutes of downtime could impact a popular e-commerce website significantly.
Do They Offer a CDN With Hosting?
Namecheap doesn’t include a CDN in their hosting packages. They do, however, make it easy for you to connect your CDN account in cPanel.
All you’ll need to do is log in to your cPanel and scroll to the section with CDNs. You’ll be able to sign into your Cloudflare (or any other CDN) account quickly. From there, setting it up will be a breeze.
Yes. With Namecheap, you’ll be able to decide between shared servers and dedicated ones. The costs are significantly different, but that’s only to be expected. The availability of both options will make it easy to upgrade if you need to in the future.
Https: Do They Offer SSL Certificates or Letsencrypt?
Namecheap shared hosting comes with 50 SSL certificates for one year. That’s an excellent deal for complying with the new regulations without breaking the bank.
How Do Site Backups Work?
It depends on which of the plans you sign up for. On the two lower shared hosting plans, backups are made twice a week. On the higher end plan (stellar business), there are six backups daily as well as weekly ones. On the WordPress plans, you can create backups using their one-click solution.
Namecheap keeps the backups secure in their servers, but it’d be good to download and store them on your own regularly. That way, you’ll be protected regardless of what happens. Even if you can’t access your account or have to start over elsewhere for any reason, you’ll be able to just load up from your backups.
Redirects: Do They Support Server Level Redirects?
Yes, Namecheap allows you access to CNAME records and other server details. You can access all the different types of redirects in your Namecheap dashboard or cPanel.
Do They Support Multisite & Subdomains?
If you’re looking to run a network of websites or subdomains, Namecheap has all the features you need. You can quickly activate Wordpress Multisite via the Softaculous installer.
You can also create subdomains via cPanel. On the shared plans, you can create an unlimited number, except for the lowest-tier plan, which has a limit of 30.
Does Namecheap Offer Email Hosting?
Namecheap’s hosting packages come with email hosting included. The number of email accounts you can create on each package varies, but they’ll be more than enough for most people. If you want to get email hosting without the hassle of setting up a website, you can sign up for the dedicated email hosting service too.
Security & Past Hacking Incidents
All things considered, Namecheap has a good security record. The two major hacking incidents they’ve had occurred in 2014 and 2018.
The first one involved hackers compromising user accounts using data gotten from breaches at several major retail outlets. Last year’s hack was due to a bug on Namecheap’s part, but it was quickly patched and rectified in a few hours.
Namecheap Pricing, Plans & Money Back
Namecheap hosting is very cheap, even going by the other cheap hosts around. The low-pricing strategy cuts across all their packages, including shared hosting VPS, dedicated servers and managed WordPress.
Pricing, Packages & Plans
The plans start at $2.88 per month ($15.44 per year) for 20GB of web space and up to three websites. The stellar plus account will cost you $4.88 per month or $26.44 per year for unlimited space and websites. The top-tier $49.44 per year plan comes with unlimited bandwidth and websites too, with the distinction of having 50GB of pure SSD storage.
Do They Have a Monthly and Annual Plan Payment Option?
You can choose to pay yearly or per-month, on all their plans. Paying annually will get you a discount, as with most other hosts.
Do They Offer Unmetered or Unlimited Bandwidth Plans for Hosted Websites?
This is one area where Namecheap excels compared to other hosts like it. All the shared plans have unlimited bandwidth. Although there’s an Acceptable Use Policy in place, you’re unlikely to violate it.
It’ll be a problem if you intend to host massive multimedia files for sharing or streaming purposes though. You might want to get a dedicated plan instead. You should also talk to the customer support team to identify what packages and discounts you can access to cut your costs down.
How Does Canceling a Plan Work?
To cancel a hosting plan, you’d have to log in to your Namecheap account and deactivate the plan in the settings section. It’s a fairly straightforward process, which is good. Some other services might try to make the process unnecessarily complicated.
Promo Codes & Discounts: Do They Have Special Offers?
Namecheap always has some promos going on across their services. You’ll usually be able to find a discount on everything from domains and email hosting to dedicated servers. Just check their “promos and deals” page to see if what you’re looking for is available.
For shared hosting though, one discount you’re sure to get is the 50% discount on your first subscription. For prices that are already quite lower than the industry average, the discount makes Namecheap an even more attractive option.
Does Namecheap Have a Satisfaction or Money-Back Guarantee?
All new customers can cancel their plans within 30 days and get full refunds. For payments made through credit cards or Paypal, the payments would be refunded back into those accounts. There’s a caveat that there could be fees imposed by the payment services. For payments made via cryptocurrency, the amounts will only be refunded to your Namecheap account. You can then use it to purchase other services.
Customer Service and Support
Regardless of how good a host is, you’re going to need support services at some point. You could make a mistake with your website or factors entirely out of your control could come into play. Regardless, it’s important to go with a host which provides competent, prompt customer service.
Namecheap provides a few options. You can send an email or create a ticket on the website. If your request is more urgent, you can use the live chat option.
Namecheap Phone Number: Do You Get a Real Person?
Namecheap doesn’t provide phone support, unfortunately. If you ever need something attended to urgently, reaching out via live chat would be your best bet.
Namecheap Alternatives: What We Would Recommend Instead
The first alternative you should consider is Bluehost. Their plans are cheap too, and they offer unmetered bandwidth too. Although the prices are a bit higher, you’ll get more reliable uptime and somewhat better speed.
Siteground is another option you should look at. Their hosting track record is superb, especially with WordPress websites. Like Namecheap, they have a proprietary website builder with custom themes you can design to suit your tastes. Uptime is also much higher than Namecheap, though you’ll have to pay more.
To sign up for Namecheap web hosting, check out their shared hosting page to select a plan. You can easily find other types of hosting plans from that page if you need more power.