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Key features

  • PHP
  • WordPress
  • Uptime Guarantee
  • MySQL
  • Perl
  • Linux
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Names.co.uk

names.co.uk

Names.co.uk Introduction

Names.co.uk was originally branded Namesco and was founded in 2000. It is now part of the Dada Group, a European company that owns a variety of hosting and advertising companies. Names.co.uk is based in the UK, but Dada has offices for other arms of the company in Italy, Spain, Ireland, France, Portugal and the Netherlands. Previously, Names.co.uk has been associated with other brands such as Simply Names, Register365 and UKdomains.

The hosting available at Names.co.uk has been designed with British small businesses in mind: customers can toggle VAT on and off, which is a pretty solid indicator of its target market. All packages are essentially shared hosting plans.

Names.co.uk Hosting Plans

Names.co.uk’s hosting packages are described in straightforward language, with plenty of help to assist non-technical users. It focuses mainly on shared hosting. Names.co.uk’s packages have a few quirks you might not have seen elsewhere.

● The Starter and Professional plans are fairly standard plans with limits on storage, bandwidth, databases and email accounts. Both are available on Linux or Windows and come with a custom control panel. The Premium and Platinum plans are, strangely, available as dual platform plans. Essentially, you get the option of Windows and Linux under the same package, which is an oddity. Platinum is also a reseller plan. Again, both platforms have a custom control panel that’s unique to Names.co.uk.

● Names.co.uk also offers a SiteMarker website builder plan. There are two versions, SiteMaker and SiteMaker Pro. Both offer 100 templates, a shop builder module and a mobile site creator module.

● There are four ecommerce plans - these are essentially site builder plans skewed towards online retail. The features are not dissimilar to something like Magento; customers are essentially charged in terms of the number of products they want to sell.

● Under the Servers menu, you’ll find dedicated servers and VPS hosting. Both are available with Linux or Window, and Plesk comes with all plans as standard.

Despite being very simplified, the content on the site is generally pretty solid and novices would be able to get their head around hosting pretty quickly. There are some strange phrases in use - WordPress is described as an ‘external app’, for example - but if you have a basic grounding in hosting, you’d be able to find what you’re looking for.

Names.co.uk Uptime/Downtime

Names.co.uk customers benefit from a 99.99% uptime guarantee. When you check the technical data for a hosting package, you might see this listed as 99%, but the smallprint confirms that it’s 99.99%. Presumably the alternative figure is a typo.

The company uses cloud technology so I’d expect them to meet this uptime promise without too much trouble. The Network Status page shows current availability across all servers, but it doesn’t provide any archived or historical uptime data.

All of Names.co.uk’s data centres are in the UK, which is another good reason for UK businesses to look into hosting with them. It has space in the Tier 4 Pulsant facility in Milton Keynes, and it also uses some Telehouse data centres (presumably in London). The information about its data centres is fairly scant, but if you’re interested in knowing more about them, you can research them directly on the Pulsant or Telehouse websites.

There’s no mention of any backup provision, so we’ll have to assume that backups are not provided as part of the deal.

Names.co.uk Support

When it comes to support, it’s important to note that technicians are not available round the clock. Support is only available Monday to Friday, 8am until 7pm, and 10am until 6pm on weekends.

Dedicated server and VPS support is only available on weekdays, which is pretty poor considering that these are the most expensive plans on offer.

Customers can contact Names.co.uk’s support departments via an 0845 number. This isn’t free to call. There is an ordinary UK telephone number too, but this is only supplied for non-UK customers, which is a bit of a shame.

The support page is essentially a large knowledgebase with some video tutorials and Quick Start documents. There is a ticketing system which appears to be tucked away in the control panel. Limited support is also provided on the company’s Facebook and Twitter pages. Its Google+ page is not regular use.

Names.co.uk in the News

In January 2012, hackers gained access to the Names.co.uk billing system. The hackers stole credit card details and personal information belonging to 178 customers.
http://www.zdnet.com/hackers-nab-namesco-customer-details-4010025220/

There’s more information about the hack on The Register. Customers were dismayed at the way Names.co.uk handled the credit card hack.
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/01/13/namesco_phish_like_security_warning/

Names.co.uk Control Panel

Shared hosting customers are provisioned with the Names.co.uk custom control panel. The control panel offers users access to most basic account functions: email account management, access to bandwidth reports and basic analytics, an online file manager tool and basic reseller functionality. Users can also install one-click applications.

VPS hosting and dedicated server customers get access to Plesk - this is included in the account subscription fee, so there’s no licence fee on top.

Names.co.uk Extras

Many Names.co.uk plans include a free domain name, but you’ll need to pay annually to claim yours. Only co.uk domain names are eligible for the offer.

Customers also receive 5 free stock photo credits and 25% off Names.co.uk’s PPC management service. (Don’t confuse this with a genuine Google AdWords voucher).

In the one-click installer tool, Softaculous, you’ll find a range of handy scripts including WordPress, Joomla, Piwik, Coppermine and more.

Names.co.uk Money Back Guarantee / Cancellation Policy

I searched the Names.co.uk website for a money-back guarantee, but I couldn’t find any reference to one. Its Terms and Conditions are split into several small documents, and that made it difficult for me to search for any references to a guarantee, but it’s probably best to assume that there isn’t one seeing as it’s not advertised anywhere.

Names.co.uk has a refunds policy, but it’s pretty vague - it basically says that refund requests will be decided on merit. If you do want to cancel, you’ll need to send your request from the control panel.

Names.co.uk Summary

Names.co.uk has a very clearly defined target market: UK small businesses with non-technical staff. Although its packages do cover the fringes of that sector as well, it’s primarily interested in attracting sole traders and business people who don’t have time to get too involved in the technical aspects of running a website.

When hosts target this market, it’s fairly normal to see corners cut in terms of support, and that’s clearly the case here: full support is really only provided on weekdays during office hours, which doesn’t inspire confidence, particularly when there doesn’t seem to be a money-back guarantee to fall back on if you find the support isn’t up to scratch.

Having said that, Names.co.uk have put together an attractive series of hosting packages that will tick all the boxes for many inexperienced users.

Names.co.uk Hosting Plans

Hosting Plan Features Disk Space Bandwidth Price
Starter Hosting WordPress PHP Windows Python Linux Perl 5GB 10GB $6.99/month
Usual price:
Professional WordPress PHP Windows Python Linux Perl 25GB 30GB $12.59/month
Usual price:
Premium WordPress PHP Windows Python Linux Perl 50GB 50GB $26.62/month
Usual price:
Platinum WordPress PHP Windows Python Linux Perl Unlimited 200GB $49.01/month
Usual price:
Starter Email Plan Uptime Guarantee Catch-all email SpamAssassin Spam Filter IMAP Support POP3 Support $2.79/month
Usual price:
Professional Email Plan Catch-all email SpamAssassin Spam Filter IMAP Support POP3 Support Email Forwarding $4.55/month
Usual price:
Premium Email Plan Catch-all email IMAP Support POP3 Support Email Forwarding Webmail Live Chat Support $10.49/month
Usual price:
VS:25M PHP Windows 2003 Plesk MSSQL Windows VPS 25GB 50GB $39.42/month
Usual price:
VS:50M PHP Windows 2003 Plesk MSSQL Windows VPS 50GB 100GB $78.83/month
Usual price:
VS:100M PHP Windows 2003 Plesk MSSQL Windows VPS 100GB 200GB $157.66/month
Usual price:
DS1 ASP ASP.NET PHP Dedicated Server Plesk Windows 1000GB 5TB $205.27/month
Usual price:
DS2 ASP ASP.NET PHP Dedicated Server Plesk Windows 2TB 10TB $342.14/month
Usual price:
DS3-1 ASP ASP.NET PHP Dedicated Server Plesk Windows 4TB 15TB $547.43/month
Usual price:

Names.co.uk Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do they offer Windows and Linux hosting?

    Yes, names.co.uk offerd Windows and Linux servers. For each, they offer different plans that vary in terms of features. In addition, they offer dual-platform plans.

  • What control panel does names.co.uk use?

    The default control panels are cPanel on Linux servers and Plesk on Windows servers. Names.co.uk also has its own propriatary control panel.

  • Where is names.co.uk located?

    Names.co.uk is a United Kingdom company. Their main datacenter in the Tier 4 Pulsant facility in Milton Keynes. They also use the Telehouse facilities.

  • What payment options are available?

    You can use debit and credit cards from Visa, MasterCard, Maestro, and American Express. Payments via BACS and postal order are also accepted. Names.co.uk does not accept PayPal.

  • What is the minimum contract?

    The minimum contract for most plans hosting is one year and a few different billing cycles are available, depending on the hosting plan or service you choose.

  • Is names.co.uk a domain name registrar?

    Yes.

  • Do they offer free domain registration?

    Names.co.uk offers one year free domain registration with the purchase of a year's hosting. This is an introductory deal and only applies to the first year.

  • Do they offer the newer domain extensions?

    Names.co.uk offers most of the newer domain extensions like .bargains and .marketing. Check out their website for more information.

  • Can I get domain privacy with registration?

    Yes, domain privacy services are available.

  • Does names.co.uk offer a money-back guarantee?

    Refunds are discretionary, and will be handled within 10 working days. They do not offer a "no questions asked" policy.

  • What kind of support does names.co.uk provide?

    Names.co.uk offers live telephone support Monday to Friday, 8 am to 7 pm local time. They offer support 10 am to 6 pm on weekends. They also have a support ticket system. All support is in English.

  • Will names.co.uk help me transfer my website(s)?

    They will provide some help in transferring your websites. However, they don't provide specific help transferring systems like WordPress, Joomla! and Magento. Contact customer support if you have questions.

  • Can I host more than one website with a single plan?

    It depends upon the plan. Check the names.co.uk website or ask customer service for more information.

  • What ecommerce tools are available?

    Names.co.uk currently offers three ecommerce -- cloud-based site builder -- plans. They also offer four different SSL plans, from GeoTrust and Norton.

  • Can I stream audio and video?

    Names.co.uk is focused on small businesses. But some of their more advanced plans should allow you to stream media. Talk to customer support about your specific needs.

  • Does names.co.uk offer special tools for beginners to set-up a website?

    The site builders SiteMaker and SiteMakerPRO are available as an add-ons. Royalty free photos are also available.

  • What is their up-time guarantee?

    names.co.uk provides a 99.99% up-time on cloud-based hosting plans.

  • Are bandwidth and storage space on shared plans really unlimited?

    Like all web hosting companies, names.co.uk reserves the right to reduce bandwidth if high volume starts to have an adverse impact other users. However, the company states that it never had to resort to this.

  • Do they offer an affiliate program?

    Yes, Names.co.uk has a simple affiliate program and offers up to £90 commission on product sales to new customers.

Names.co.uk Features

All Features

  • b2evolution
  • bbPress
  • Catch-all email
  • Concrete5
  • Coppermine
  • CubeCart
  • Custom Error Pages
  • DokuWiki
  • Drupal
  • Email Forwarding
  • FAQMasterFlex
  • Gallery
  • Geeklog
  • Help Center Live
  • IMAP Support
  • Joomla
  • LifeType
  • LimeSurvey
  • Mambo
  • Mantis
  • MediaWiki
  • MODx
  • Noah's Classifieds
  • Nucleus
  • Open-Realty
  • OpenX
  • osTicket
  • Password Protected Directories
  • Phorum
  • PHP 5
  • PHP-Nuke
  • phpBB
  • phpESP
  • phpFormGenerator
  • phpLD
  • phpMyFAQ
  • phpwcms
  • Pligg
  • POP3 Support
  • PrestaShop
  • PunBB
  • Ruby
  • Ruby on Rails
  • Serendipity
  • Server Side Includes
  • Shared Hosting
  • Spam Filter
  • SquirrelMail
  • SSL Certificates
  • SugarCRM
  • Symfony
  • Tiki Wiki
  • TinyWebGallery
  • TomatoCart
  • TYPO3
  • Vanilla Forums
  • Webalizer
  • WebCalendar
  • Webmail
  • XMB Forum
  • XOOPS
  • Zen Cart
  • Zend Framework
  • Zenphoto
  • Zikula

How does Names.co.uk compare to their competitors?

Overall ★★★★★
Support
★★★★★
Features
★★★★★
Uptime
★★★★★
Value
★★★★★
Visit Names.co.uk
Overall★★★★
Overall★★★★★
Overall★★★
Overall★★★★
Overall★★★★
Overall★★★★★

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