Namecheap Hosting: You Know About Their Domains But Here’s What You Don’t Know.
Find Out if NameCheap Is for You
With many thousands of web hosting companies, it’s hard to make a choice. Sometimes, picking one at random seems as good an idea as any. But you can do much better than that. In this article we analyze NameCheap in detail to help to determine if it is the right host for your website.
When you think of NameCheap, hosting is probably the farthest thing from your mind. NameCheap is commonly known as a domain registrar, but have been secretly providing solid beginner-friendly hosting for the past 10 years. Think of NameCheap as an all-in-one website solution, buy your domain, host your site, and purchase any necessary add-ons, all in one place.
Despite a few hosting drawbacks, NameCheap shines in its commitment to providing a transparent, easy to use hosting service. All while bundling premium upgrades like backups, advanced security, and datacenter choice into all of its hosting packages.
NameCheap is an independent domain registrar founded back in 2000, with the web hosting option coming online in 2007.
NameCheap’s website showcases a few different types of web hosting, including, shared hosting, VPS hosting, reseller hosting, dedicated servers, and managed WordPress hosting. A variety of packages for a company so new to the hosting game.
NameCheap Domain Name Search
One thing that stands out about NameCheap is its independence. A lot of budget hosting companies are actually owned and operated by a handful of the same corporations. This independence has allowed them to craft unique brand values and actually stick to them. Meaning no hidden fees, transparent pricing and renewal structures, no upsells, along with having a very straightforward and honest product.
I know this doesn’t speak directly to the quality of the service, but with so many other hosting companies hiding behind complex language, pricey renewals, and hidden fees, it truly is a breath of fresh air.
NameCheap offers a seamless transition from buying a domain name to simple, instant hosting.
Beyond its straightforward approach to doing business, where does it actually excel? Well, it’s a solid bargain-hosting service, along with incredible backup and security plans, along with the super impressive 100% uptime guarantee. I think that’s a great place to start.
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Undeniably Accessible Hosting
NameCheap’s shared hosting is hard to beat. This is doubly true if you’re already using it as a domain name registrar. Instead of searching far and wide for a budget-friendly host just click over a tab and sign up for the shared hosting.
A lot of budget hosts stick to a single type of hosting to offer their customers. But, far from only focusing on a single type of hosting NameCheap offers 5 different options: shared, VPS, reseller, dedicated, and managed WordPress hosting. The simplest hosting option, shared hosting, is by far one of the cheapest shared hosting plans available.
NameCheap Hosting Plans
Usually when you sign up for hosting you need to prepare to turn down countless upsets all while navigating a complex sign up process. But, signing up with NameCheap is a very simple and even enjoyable process.
As soon as you sign up you’ll receive an email with your login credentials and can navigate to your dashboard, or watch a guided tutorial walking you through your entire account.
The backend is very intuitive and simple. All you see is what you paid for and the options required to manage your website.
NameCheap hosting backend
It might not seem like a big deal, but when you’re just starting online navigating your hosting environment’s backend can be a very confusing and frustrating process. Having a beautiful backend dashboard goes a long way towards removing that stress.
5 Reasons to Get Managed WordPress Hosting
If you know you’d like your site to run on WordPress, then you’re in luck. NameCheap has recently released its own version of managed WordPress hosting dubbed EasyWP, and yes, using and setting up your site is as easy as the name implies.
It’s not the most advanced form of managed WordPress hosting out there, but what do you expect at such a budget-friendly price? Its main goal is to help you deploy a WordPress website in the quickest manner possible.
All in all, managed hosting offers a hassle-free environment to set up your desired website. It’s important to prioritize:
- Experience: having extra help drastically improves your overall journey as a webmaster. Having an expert by your side will guarantee a smooth experience.
- Simple Set-Up: support is always essential when assembling your website. Managed hosting offers extra support, making queries easier and faster to be answered.
- Security: managed WordPress hosting features extremely useful security tips and tools, utilizable upon any security breaches, alternatively prevention.
- Maintenance: managed hosting often offers server-side programs and applications to assist with site maintenance.
- Optimization: while minimal at the start, optimization is a vital scalability factor for growing websites.
You can go from having no website to having your own WordPress site in under a half hour. Due to managed hosting, you don’t have to deal with any technical elements of setting up your hosting either. No need to deal with cPanel, your DNS records, or anything else. Managing, updating, and site back-up is handled through the EasyWP panel.
Managed hosting is often a lifesaver for newbie webmasters – it’s a highly recommended option.
EasyWP is a solid addition to NameCheap’s hosting packages, which is equally easy to use for beginner WordPress users.
Solid Backup and Security Options
It’s easy to forget about backing up your site and keeping it secure. It’s a good idea to run your own backups regardless, but with the millions of things required to build a website, it’s easy to forget. That’s why it’s great to have NameCheap’s backups as a backup.
The backups currently run twice a week, regardless of the hosting package you choose. Typically, this is an add-on service, or the backups are quite limited. But, NameCheap’s backups are incredibly in-depth.
So, what about keeping your site secure?
Well, NameCheap’s got you covered too. The security credentials offered are pretty impressive. In terms of its server setup, there are numerous firewalls protecting the server infrastructure. On top of that, its systems are routinely tested and upgraded to the latest security standards.
On a sitewide level, you’ll be able to protect your site in additional ways too. In your cPanel, you’ll notice a few different security apps – you can install to bolster the security of your site.
Setting up these apps is a great way to take the next step in site protection. You’ll be able to do things like:
- Use the IP blocker tool to block troublesome IP addresses from accessing your site
- Use HotLink protection to prevent another site from directly linking to an image hosted on your server, which could use a lot of your bandwidth
- Use Leech Protect to better manage user passwords, and even reassign or suspend compromised accounts
- Installing an SSL certificate on your site is another method to improve your site’s security, and even build trust in the eyes of your visitors.
However, the SSL certificates are not included in any of the hosting packages. It’s something you’ll have to purchase separately. However, it should be noted that on occasion NameCheap runs specials that include a free SSL certificate when you sign up for an account.
NameCheap is part of the small group of web hosts that offers a choice of datacenters, no matter which hosting package you end up choosing. Typically, with beginner hosting packages you end up getting stuck with whatever datacenter is available. In terms of NameCheap, the selection can be very advantageous and help to speed up your website for certain portions of your traffic.
The datacenters are located in North America and Europe in locations that are traffic centers. This widespread of locations helps to ensure a solid global reach, and cater to users who might receive a large proportion of traffic from outside the US.
When choosing a datacenter location make sure you’re choosing the location that’s closest to your website visitor’s, not your actual location. So, if you’re based in Utah, but most of your traffic comes from France and UK, then choose the datacenter that’s UK-based.
Always pay attention to your primary visitors’ location!
NameCheap’s Incredible Uptime Guarantee
It’s incredibly rare for a host to guarantee that your site will be up 100% of the time. Most host’s top out at around 99%, which makes NameCheap’s shared hosting incredibly unique. For the rest of the plans, the uptime guarantee tops out at 99.9%. Basically, if you host with NameCheap your site will always be online.
But, not only is your uptime guaranteed but if your site does happen to go down there’s also a compensation package. These packages are much more human-oriented than what other hosts provide.
Let’s take a look at common hosting issues, which NameCheap happen to tackle well:
|Tons of hosting providers take security for granted when welcoming newly born webmasters. NameCheap actually prioritize new website owners as a whole.||With an efficient ticketing system, along with live-chat, users are guaranteed a speedy reply from a representative.||As a primary and market leading domain registrar, NameCheap spoils you for choice with top domain names available.|
Easy Hosting Plan Upgrades
NameCheap makes it really easy to get started with hosting. But, chances are, if your site is more than just a personal project, then you’re going to outgrow the basic shared server plan rather quickly. In that regard, the entry-level hosting offered doesn’t allow for very much bandwidth, or disk space, especially when compared to other budget hosts on the market.
Still, upgrading your hosting package to a higher level shared hosting plan, VPS, or a dedicated server is super simple. You don’t have to wait until the end of your billing cycle, just upgrade whenever you think you’re going to need the extra resources.
For example, if your traffic has been steadily increasing, and you know there’s a big traffic spike in the near future, just upgrade to a higher plan and your site will be ready. There are no complex hoops to jump through.
Simply input a billing request with your current account details along with the plan you want to upgrade to and you’re all set. Billing is handled on a prorated basis, so if you upgrade mid-month your payment will automatically be applied to your new rate.
Room for Improvement
Even with the features above, NameCheap isn’t without drawbacks. In fact, some of the flaws highlighted below might actually end up being deal breaks for certain kinds of users. Here are a couple of reasons you may want to consider using a different host.
Money Back Guarantee
There is a money back guarantee, but the timeframe is incredibly short.
As it currently stands, the guarantee only allows you 14 days to test the service until the refund policy is up. Most hosts who offer similar services offer at least 30 days, some even range as high as 90 days.
However, if you are signing up for the cheapest shared hosting option, then you won’t end up losing out on much if you cancel after the 14 day period.
Limited Shared Hosting
The basic shared hosting plans are rather limited, especially when compared to other hosts of the same caliber.
Depending on the plan you choose there will be caps across your disc space, a number of domains, databases, and account email addresses. There’s a good chance you might hit against the caps rather quickly.
For example, if your site is very media-rich, then you may need to upgrade your plan rather early on in your sites life. There are multiple caps placed on each tier of hosting that you could hit for a variety of purposes.
Lengthy SSL Set-Up
If you’re selling products online or concerned about site security, you’re going to want to install an SSL certificate. A lot of hosts bundle SSL certificates and make setup easy.
However, with NameCheap, you might run into difficulty actually getting the certificate setup, as well as paying an additional fee.
The final area where NameCheap could improve is parts of the performance.
There are resource caps that are applied to the hosting packages, but the server environments too. If you run a small website, then you probably won’t have an issue.
Should you have a larger site that requires more memory, then your site will load slowly and have decreased performance per the limits of the server. This, of course, is avoidable by selecting a better hosting package.
These may not arise as issues for every NameCheap user, especially those who run smaller sites and are just getting started online. Clients with larger sites could run into limitations right out of the gate.
The one area where NameCheap could greatly improve is by reducing the total number of caps per plan or offering plans that better cater to different versions of shared hosting users. Possibly an extended money back guarantee of an extra two weeks? Maybe I’m just being greedy.
NameCheap Features – Behind the Scenes
NameCheap utilizes the classic cPanel for hosting account management. Since it’s one of the most commonly used control panels in the world, you’ve probably come across it before. Or at least a variation of it.
The environment is a little customized and well laid out. I’ve used cPanels in the past that have an outdated UI, which makes it difficult to find what you’re looking for. NameCheap’s cPanel, like almost every other aspect of its service is incredibly well-designed.
You can search for the app you’re looking for via the top search bar, or browse through the control panel and click on your desired app. For most of the basic hosting accounts you’ll have access to the following:
- Google Apps
- NameCheap SSL management
- Softaculous app installer
- The support knowledgebase
- File manager and FTP
- Backup access and Management
- Addon and subdomain management
- Domain redirects.
The right-hand side of the dashboard also gives you a snapshot of your current account usage. This can be helpful in determining if it’s time to upgrade your account.
For managing your hosting account, inputting support requests, and taking care of billing you’ll be using the general dashboard. This will give you a snapshot of your current hosting subscription, as well as domain information if you’re using NameCheap for domain management as well.
Customer support can be a hard thing to judge accurately. You may get a speedy request one day and the next have to wait a few days for your issue to be solved. Searching for reviews online doesn’t usually help a lot either as you’ll typically find a mixture of glowing reviews and equally scathing ones.
With NameCheap, there are numerous support options, like live chat and a helpdesk. However, there isn’t any phone support available. In my experience, dealing with live chat for a simple request was incredibly speedy and I had the issue solved in under a half hour. Issuing a support request via the helpdesk took a little longer to respond and fix the issue, but it was still taken care of during the working day.
When waiting for a live-chat response, be patient. There may be a waiting time, although agents tend to reply rather quickly.
Overall, the support is helpful but doesn’t win any awards for its speed. Another thing to keep in mind is that I was on one of the basic plans. There is priority support available, but that’s reserved for the higher levels of service.
Do you like this Host?
If you’re in the market for a beginner host, but feel like you’re going to run into the plan limitations rather quickly, then consider using HostGator. They offer cheap pricing and competitive beginner plans, all without the extensive caps.
If money isn’t the main factor in choosing a host, then consider InMotion. The plans are a bit pricier, but with that, you’ll be getting improved performance and wider set of features. All wrapped in a beginner-friendly environment.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below you’ll find the answers to some of the most common questions people have about NameCheap.
Do I have to watch out for any hidden fees?
NameCheap is pretty straightforward with its pricing. However, be aware that the prices across hosting packages will increase during a renewal, but this is all spelled out when you sign up.
Is there any other way I can speed up my site?
The starter hosting package doesn’t have the best performance. But, you can improve the speed and performance of your site by activating the bundled Cloudflare CDN through the cPanel.
How does NameCheap compare to other cheaper hosts?
NameCheap’s pricing for its starter shared hosting beats out most beginner hosts. NameCheap is about on-par with GoDaddy in terms of performance and support but edges it out slightly with its improved backend and ease of use. A host like Bluehost will offer improved performance but comes out as the more expensive option when looking at the two side by side.
Does it matter which datacenter location I choose?
It’s important to choose the datacenter location that’s closest to the physical location of your visitor’s. If this is the first website you’ve built, then choose the datacenter closest to your target audience’s location.
Uptime and Response Time
Here is the technical data for the NameCheap servers.
Uptime – Past 6 Months
Caveat: this is measured on one test URL only, so is only designed to be a rough indication.
As measured by Pingdom over the last 6 months:
- Downtime: 9 minutes
- 5 Outages
- 99.99% Up-time
Average Response Time
Caveat: this is measured on one test URL only, so is only designed to be a rough indication.
As measured by Pingdom over the last 6 months: 499ms
Pros and Cons of NameCheap
As a quick summary, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of NameCheap as a host with a variety of functional packages.
- Incredibly cheap starter shared hosting
- Datacenter choices for all hosting packages
- Cheap and easy to use WordPress managed hosting.
- Hosting plan caps can be confusing and limiting
- Money-back guarantee is too short
- SSL certificate setup can be difficult.
Is NameCheap Right For You?
NameCheap is a solid budget hosting choice. It’s not without its flaws, but for a specific kind of website owner who’s more concerned with price, than plan limitations, then it’s worth checking out. It’s hard to beat the pricing on the beginner packages, and the focus on security and included backups is a really nice touch.
The recently added managed WordPress option caters nicely to WordPress users who want a managed environment without the often steep associated costs.
Although the performance and data and storage caps might be limiting to some users. Those building out one or two basic sites will find NameCheap more than enough.
Most Popular NameCheap Hosting Plans
|Value Hosting||Professional Hosting||Ultimate Hosting|
|Price||$3.98 / mo||$6.48 / mo||$10.98 / mo|
|Visit NameCheap||Visit NameCheap||Visit NameCheap|
|25GB||500GB||$14.95 / mo Visit Host|
|VPS Lite – Xen
|15GB||100GB||$16.95 / mo Visit Host|
|Business SSD Hosting
|20GB||5000GB||$17.98 / mo Visit Host|
|75GB||1000GB||$24.95 / mo Visit Host|
|VPS 1 – Xen
|30MB||250GB||$26.95 / mo Visit Host|
|150GB||1500GB||$34.95 / mo Visit Host|
|VPS 2 – Xen
|60GB||500GB||$44.92 / mo Visit Host|
|300GB||2000GB||$44.95 / mo Visit Host|
|VPS 3 – Xen
|100GB||750GB||$63.95 / mo Visit Host|
NameCheap Frequently Asked Questions
- What type of hosting does NameCheap provide?
NameCheap provides shared, reseller, VPS, and dedicated server hosting.
- Are there any hidden fees I should be concerned about?
NameCheap does not appear to have any hidden fees but users should understand that the prices shown on the site are introductory and will increase upon renewal.
- Does NameCheap provide domain registration services?
The company provides domain registration services that feature a countless number of TLDs.
Customers cannot get a free domain even if they select a yearly plan unless they plan to choose a domain name with .website extension.
Each domain purchased also has the option of domain privacy.
- Does Namecheap provide a dedicated email service?
Customers who don’t need a complete hosting package can choose from email hosting plans which include disk space for email and file storage along with anti-spam protection.
- What type of money-back guarantee does NameCheap provide?
NameCheap offers up to a 14-day money-back guarantee for all hosting services except for dedicated servers. The refund does not include additional fees for items such as software licenses for cPanel or WHM.
- What type of payment options does NameCheap allow?
The company allows its customers to select from different types of plans ranging from monthly to yearly plans along with biennial and triennial plans. The more the customer is willing to pay upfront, the more they will save.
The customer has a number of payment methods to choose from including major credit cards, PayPal, Bitcoin, and Dowolla.
- What type of support does NameCheap provide?
Customers can get the help from NameCheap in a number of ways including live chat and support tickets. A knowledgebase is also available.
- Where are NameCheap’s datacenters?
Although the company is headquartered in Los Angeles, California, NameCheap has datacenters located throughout North America and Europe in places such as Dallas, Atlanta, Phoenix, and the UK.
Like most web hosting companies, NameCheap’s datacenters feature a number of redundant features including networking, power, and security.
- Does NameCheap provide an uptime guarantee?
NameCheap provides a 100% uptime guarantee for its shared and dedicated server plans while offering a 99.9% uptime guarantee for its Reseller and VPS plans.
When customers experience downtime, they are eligible for a cycle extension provided that they submit a ticket within 10 days and meet certain conditions.
- Is a CDN available?
All shared hosting plans from NameCheap come ready with the CloudFare CDN which can be enabled through the cPanel interface.
- Are NameCheap’s unlimited plans really unlimited?
NameCheap offers a number of plans that have unlimited disk space and bandwidth. Your website can have all the resources it needs as long as it does not affect the overall server performance or exceed the number of processes allowed.
- What type of control panels does NameCheap support?
NameCheap’s hosting plans are Linux based and they support the industry standard cPanel, which allows customers to easily manage and setup their websites.
- Does NameCheap offer a backup service?
Though the company does not offer backup services, it does make copies of customer websites for “restoration” purposes only.
Even though customers can request a backup from NameCheap at no extra charge, they are responsible for making their own.
- What programming languages does the company support?
NameCheap supports a number of industry wide languages including Perl, PHP, MySQL, and Ruby on Rails. This allows customers to create feature-rich and dynamic websites.
- Does NameCheap provide help when transferring an existing site or domain?
Yes, NameCheap’s technical staff will assist customers in transferring existing websites and domains from another host regardless of whether or not they had cPanel.
The transfers include all types of plans, namely shared, VPS, and dedicated servers.
Besides help from NameCheap’s support team, articles are also available to walk customers through the process.
- Am I able to set-up multiple websites with a single account?
Yes, it is possible for you to host multiple websites under a single account.
- Does NameCheap provide tools that help make it easier for me to setup websites?
To help beginners create websites, NameCheap provides the Softaculous one-click installation tool to install popular scripts such as WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal.
Customers to setup simple blogs, static pages, or even shopping carts within minutes.
- Are features available with NameCheap hosting to support ecommerce websites?
Yes, NameCheap supports a number of features that allow customers to setup stores on the web.
You can purchase and deploy SSL certificates NameCheap offers many ecommerce platforms including PrestaShop and Magento.
These features allow customers to set-up a fully integrated shopping cart and safely accept credit card payments.
- Are additional security services offered by NameCheap?
Though NameCheap does not offer any specialized security options such as DDoS protection, they feature an internal firewall and “in-house” security to protect customer websites.
- Does NameCheap support video streaming?
For shared hosting plans, the company does not allow video streaming because it could impact server resources. The company recommends using either a VPS or dedicated server plan.
- What is WhoisGuard with Namecheap?
WhoisGuard hides your personal details from public Whois records. If someone looks up your domain using Whois, Namecheap will show placeholder details instead.
WhoisGuard may help to prevent against spam emails, direct mail, or identity theft. It’s also ideal if you prefer your postal address to be kept private.
- Where is Namecheap located?
Namecheap is located out of Phoenix, Arizona in the United States. It uses datacenters in Phoenix, Arizona and Atlanta, Georgia, as well as the Timico facility in Nottingham, UK.