Whatever type of blog or website you have, your web hosting services are super important. They are responsible for covering many things that you as the website owner may never even know are there, such as security, server uptime, and privacy protection. In this article we compare two popular web hosting companies, Namecheap vs Bluehost, to see which would suit your needs better.
While this may seem like a small, easy choice, the fact is that choosing the web host that best serves your needs is a crucial decision. Although they will take care of things in the background for you, you need to be sure that what you’re getting is going to give you the best chance of reaching your online goals and targets. Your web host is one of the most important things to your online success if you don’t put some thought into which one to use.
Bluehost is a very well-established name in the field. Namecheap has become known as a domain name registrar more than anything, but they do offer website hosting as well. Read on to see the differences, similarities, and features of Namecheap vs Bluehost, and decide which would work best for you.
Overview: What is Web Hosting?
Here’s a quick refresh on what web hosting is all about. Your web hosting provider stores all of your website’s information on their server. It is the online equivalent to a physical store – they store and display all your stuff to people on the internet.
These guys are going to look after all the behind-the-scenes things for you, make sure the inner workings of your site are doing what they should be, keep your information safe, and fix problems as they arise. That said, here are some things that you should research well when looking at what web hosting service to use.
Web Hosting Features:
What you need really depends on the type of site you have. As an example, if you’re an online store, you will want to go for a host that has a great e-commerce offering. If your website is not a high-traffic site (yet), you can afford to go for something less high-performance.
There are some basics, though, that you definitely should consider when deciding on whether or not a host is worth using.
Uptime means the amount of time your site is online and available for people to visit. Generally, the accepted standard is close to 100%. Uptime is important because if your website is down, it can’t be viewed, and it takes only one instance of this happening for a person to be put off.
With an uptime average of 99.87% during March 2019, Namecheap does a good job with keeping your site going without interruptions. While this is slightly lower than some of the other providers out there, for sites that are not yet getting huge amounts of traffic, it is more than adequate.
With near-perfect uptime, Bluehost is one of the best in this department. This is one of the biggest thumbs-ups of Bluehost and a part of their super reputation in the hosting world. Outages or downtime will never be a problem.
The web host that you choose should have a great server response time. This is the amount of time it takes the server to respond to a request for an action. The following stats are from March 2019, the previous full month.
Namecheap Response Time:
With the average response time being 594 milliseconds over the past month, Namecheap does a decent job of this. Below is a view of their average response times during the month of March 2019.
Bluehost Response Time:
Bluehost is superior in their response time, averaging 236 milliseconds, more than half that of Namecheap. Theirs is also slightly more consistent than their counterpart.
Obviously, you want to know that your website hosting provider knows what they’re doing. Namecheap was started up in 2000, while Bluehost began in 1997. When it comes to expertise, they are both experienced and established enough to be experts in the field.
Both companies also provide full access to their database of informative articles and blog posts. Anything you need to know, you can find with the search function. The full range of expertise is at your fingertips!
This refers specifically to the load time of your web pages and is slightly different to response time. Nothing is worse than having to wait for a web page to load, and few easier ways to lose the interest of your viewers. For some stats on website speed, check this out.
Although both Namecheap and Bluehost are of acceptable speed, Bluehost comes first with a quicker load time.
Ease of Use
Of course, nobody wants something that is difficult to use. Both Namecheap and Bluehost have an easy to use control panel (cPanel-powered). They also both offer site templates for easy setup, although Bluehost is superior when it comes to choice.
Another great thing about cPanel is that they are partnered with Attracta. If you have never heard of Attracta, they are an SEO company. In case you’re wondering what the term means, it’s search engine optimization, and it’s another critical part of a website. The Attracta SEO tools are a valuable asset when it comes to getting your site ranked. They simplify a process that could be overly complicated.
Customer service can make or break a web hosting company. Chances are you will need to be in touch with them at some point, so having a good, reputable customer support system is essential.
Namecheap Customer Support:
Namecheap has a few options for getting hold of customer support. You can send them an email, open a ticket on their website, or live chat with a technician. They also have a Knowledgebase if you are the self-help type!
The downside is that they do not offer phone support. While this may not make much of a difference when you can live chat with someone, it is one area in which they are behind Bluehost.
Bluehost Customer Support:
Bluehost is contactable 24/7 via live chat or phone. You can also create a ticket on their site, check out their own knowledge base, and they have email addresses for affiliate inquiries and legal questions.
The saying “You get what you pay for” is generally true when it comes to website hosting providers. These two are both fairly well priced. We’ll go deeper into the comparisons below. Both have options for monthly or annual payments.
Your budget will obviously come into play here, as well as your website needs. These two are close enough in price though that you can really focus on the features and not worry about a huge price difference.
Real customer reviews offer the best information. Bear in mind that you will need to be discerning, but in general, this is real information from actual customers, so things that come up here are things that you may face as a customer. Continue reading to find out what real people are saying about Namecheap vs Bluehost.
Namecheap vs Bluehost
Let’s get down to some side-by-side comparison between these two companies.
Pros & Cons:
- Affordable, great value for money
- Unlimited bandwidth on all shared plans
- A variety of plans are available
- Good customer support, 24/7
- No coding knowledge necessary
- Site templates available
- WordPress hosting available
- Free domain name
- Easy to use control panel (cPanel)
- Shared hosting offers free SSL certificate
- Email hosting included
- Good security
- 30-day money back guarantee
- Not suitable for high-performance sites
- Not the best for e-commerce sites
- No phone support
- Server speed is slightly below average
- They have had some significant downtime
- Free domain name needs to be a .website TLD (limited domain extensions)
- WordPress approved
- Impressive uptime and speed
- Very affordable
- Free .com domain name
- Plenty of templates available
- Easy integrations with Google and CloudFlare
- Free SSL certificates by Let’s Encrypt
- Supports e-commerce sites
- Easy to use control panel (cPanel)
- Dependable, 24/7 customer service
- 30-day money back guarantee (with a catch, though)
- A reputation for aggressive upsells
- Migrations are not free
- Domain renewal cost is slightly higher than average
- No free email
- If you cancel, the cost of your free domain name will be deducted from your refund
Namecheap offers a variety of well-priced hosting plans. You can choose between shared, reseller, VPS, or dedicated hosting. They also offer a choice of US or UK data centers (UK will set you back a dollar).
Shared hosting plans are very affordable and perfectly adequate for sites that are just starting, or are not too high-traffic yet. The Stellar option will cost you $2.88 per month, which will give you 20GB SSD-accelerated disk space, up to 3 websites, and an easy to use website builder.
Stellar Plus and Stellar Business are slightly higher priced and offer an increase in disk space and unlimited websites. All Namecheap hosting plans offer unmetered bandwidth. A great draw that Namecheap offers is a first year, first purchase 50% off promo.
When it comes to Namecheap pricing, there’s not much that can beat the entry-level plans. Considering they are first and foremost a domain registrar, their hosting services are more than sufficient for medium-performance websites.
Bluehost offers some great basic plans, as well as superior top-level plans for small business hosting. Choose between shared hosting, VPS hosting, or dedicated server hosting.
Their shared hosting plans begin with the Basic option, which allows one website, 50GB of SSD storage, a free SSL certificate, 1 domain, and 25 sub-domains. Plus, Choice Plus, and Pro all offer unlimited websites, storage, and domains, as well as varying domain privacy and security offers.
All Bluehost plans come with unmetered bandwidth. Bluehost are also WordPress approved, which makes them one of the best choices out there for WordPress hosting. They also offer hosting plans specifically for e-commerce small businesses, starting at $6.95 per month.
Having confidence that your website is going to be safe and secure is a must. Cyber attacks are on the rise as technology grows, and while the chances of this affecting smaller websites are not as high, you do not want to be caught out.
Important things to consider with hosts are SSL certificates (these protect your customers’ personal information), spam protection, and DDoS attack protection.
Namecheap has had two notable security incidents – one in 2014, and one in 2018. Both were rectified, and Namecheap has taken steps to ensure that the previous incidents are not repeated. In addition to providing free SSL certificates, they offer a few features to help secure not only your own information but your customers’ information too.
Their hosting account security features include custom security notifications (for when your account is accessed), options for password reset and recovery, and dynamic support PIN numbers as an extra security step. They also have DDoS protection, a two-factor authentication process, and an automatic Domain Lock feature.
Bluehost are very security-conscious. They provide free SSL certificates to cover you and your customers, as well as hotlink protection which protects your bandwidth and ensures your content is safe from being copied.
Also included are various spam-fighting programs, CloudFlare to prevent DDoS attacks, and their Knowledgebase contains various articles and blog posts providing security advice and information. They also have something called SiteLock, which performs various security functions to make sure your website is as secure as possible.
Real person reviews are the best way to get an idea of what your experience will be like if you choose this website hosting service provider. Of course, there will be good, and there will be bad, but it is worth reading through reviews to get a general idea of how customers feel about the company and its services.
- Good things customers are saying:
Save costs for web hosting without detracting from quality of service. Their prices are incredible in comparison to others offering the same features.Morris M. G.
Their support is outstanding and live chat is online and available at all times. This is the main reason I chose Namecheap.Richard C.
The control panel is simple and intuitive. Rock solid and reliable for web hosting.Christian T.
The best hosting for entry-level pricing. Great for new businesses that can’t justify high prices.Collin B.
Great live chat platform with highly skilled support guys.Peter N.
- Bad things customers are saying:
Although the domain registry service is the best, the hosting service is not that good. Connection speed is slow, and they offer limited web space.Aileen Z.
Limited disk space, only SSD-accelerated for most plans.Wilfred P.
Scaling up to more than 4 or 5 sites gets very complicated, and the memory cap is too low. This can cause issues, especially if you are using a lot of PHP on your site.Kevin D.
You need knowledge of DNS to manage your domains. Learn what DNS propgation is, how MX records work, and so on.Anonymous User
The servers aren’t great with performance and can lag.Alan T.
- Good things customers are saying:
Easy to use and much more affordable than others.Whitney B.
24/7 support with knowledgeable and helpful techs. I’ve been a client for more than 5 years.Mike S.
Easy to use control panel and many great features.Ezz El Dean H.
They offer a full range of domain registration and web hosting services, all in one place. The performance has been smooth and fast.Ian A.
They have very low downtime and some of the fastest hosting speeds, and it’s easy to consolidate all of your web assets in one place.Daniel K.
- Bad things customers are saying:
The dashboard can be difficult to deal with if you are no familiar with web terminology.Robyn K.
There are hidden fees. Look out for things hidden in their wording.Anonymous User
My websites have been hacked twice with them, and when I contacted them I kept getting referred to a different company who had no idea about my hosting account.Klyde H.
Functionality is limited and the user interface is messy.Dominic C.
Bluehost can be incredibly frustrating if you are using anything other than WordPress.Anonymous User
Choosing a web hosting provider doesn’t have to be a complicated decision, but there are certain things that you do need to consider. The type of website you run makes a difference because different hosts offer different features.
Namecheap and Bluehost are both well-known names in the industry, and each has its own merits. If you would like more in-depth reviews, you can have a look at our Bluehost review here, and our Namecheap review here.