Choosing a hosting plan isn’t quite as serious as naming your first-born child, but it can be very frustrating and complicated to migrate your website to a new hosting service. Regardless of your level of technical knowledge, it’s important that you do your homework before selecting a hosting provider. You don’t want to be stuck with an unreliable host, inaccessible tech support or an impenetrable user interface when you’re trying to create your online presence or run an online business.
In this review, we’ll take an in-depth look at Namecheap so you will have enough knowledge to figure out if their services are the right services for you. We will go through NameCheap’s services, pricing, page speed, support quality, server uptime and much more. If you’re not into reading the entire review and just want some quick parameters to judge whether NameCheap is the right web hosting for you or not, then you’re in luck! We have collected the most requested parameters here.
Namecheap Server Loading Time
Note: All these parameters are judged from comparison to hosting services such as GoDaddy, Bluehost, One.com, Dreamhost, SiteGround and HostGator…
Overall, we would recommend Namecheap for anyone, especially beginners who doesn’t anticipate super high traffic.
Namecheap User Interface & User Experience
Namecheap has built their reputation on their simple, user-friendly experience. Their control panels are one of the best there is as far as “ease of use” and “workflow” are concerned. Every hosting provider has its own kinks and redirections which helps new users but Namecheap has clearly invested time and money into developing their UX. Great work. It is cleaner, simpler and more intuitive than many of its competitors, using a tidy sidebar and an uncluttered layout that doesn’t contain any of the upselling that GoDaddy is famous for.
Namecheap Customer Support
Namecheap has a very robust Knowledge Base and offers 24/7 access to live chat support, which is a must have for any of the larger hosting operations like GoDaddy, SiteGround or HostGator. Even without a membership, you can log on to Namecheap and grill their support staff on the services they offer with little to no wait time. You won’t receive a generic copy-and-paste answer either. Their live chat staff are the real deal, and are extremely helpful.
Namecheap Hosting Services
(hertil) Setting up a website using Namecheap is easy. From sign-up to meddling with cPanel, you will find the Namecheap navigation system is user friendly. With all of the time-saving and automated services included in the standard hosting plan, it’s simple to turn your vision into a reality. In the span of just a few hours, with the help of their cPanel and a new WordPress theme, your new venture will come to life. Namecheap has definitely done their homework where their users are concerned. They cater specifically to the less tech-savvy, budget friendly consumers. They have developed a program that makes the process of building a website and installing a content management system (WordPress, for example) easy. It is much easier than many other, better known host interfaces. What you see is what you get in their menu control panels.
Namecheap uses cPanel for server management and Softaculous to manage its one-click app installations. Namecheap offers instantaneous installation of over 445 apps including WordPress and phpBB. For the most part, users don’t need to muck around with setting up their own SQL databases. Beginners using the lowest-tier shared hosting package have access to the full range of content management systems and apps. Although the cPanel interface isn’t quite as simple as Namecheap’s own control panel, it is incredibly simple to set up a functioning blog or storefront in a matter of minutes.
Namecheap Website Backup
cPanel does allows one-click backup of all your data, but automating this process requires using a PHP script and setting up a cron. Namecheap does run weekly backup of all stored data, but accessing their backups is neither automatic nor free. For a $15 fee, they will attempt to recover lost data in the event of catastrophic failure. The script provided in their Knowledge Base also supports SSL in the event that you are running it remotely, and every hosting package comes with a free SSL certificate. Additional certificates can be added through cPanel if necessary. A SSL certificate enables you to have a HTTPS website instead of HTTP.
There is no built-in cache, but cPanel includes easy-to-use support for CloudFlare to cache your website. It is quite easy to set up CloudFlare and Railgun in cPanel once you have an account set up. Understanding caching will require a bit of an effort. To put it simple, a caching is an extra layer that makes your website load quicker, so your users get a better experience. The technical explanation is that it generates static html files from your dynamic WordPress website. After a html file is generated your webserver will serve that file instead of processing the comparatively heavier and more expensive WordPress PHP scripts.
Namecheap Pricing & Packages
Namecheap shared hosting plans and dedicated servers are relatively inexpensive and the consensus is that the lower price does not come at the expense of good service, support or functionality. The lowest-tier shared hosting plan costs just $2.88 a month. This plan offers 20GB of storage and unmetered bandwidth. Dedicated servers begin at $58.88 a month. Unfortunately, neither option includes a free domain (GoDaddy offers domains for free with the purchase of a hosting package.) However, Namecheap does offer a domain name for $11. Over the long term, customers recoup this cost with lower hosting costs, but if you require a large number of domain names for a business you may want to look into other options.
Compared to its competitors, the shared plans are an attractive proposition. While others like for instance GoDaddy’s shared plans all come with more storage space for similar prices, they do not include SSL certificates for the lowest two tiers.
Namecheap offers a 30-day money back guarantee on their hosting services. Their hosting guarantee also stipulates that they will issue account credits for anything less than 100% uptime.
Namecheap Server Uptime & Pagespeed
Namecheap takes its uptime very seriously. Its bold uptime guarantee is very unusual. In the six months leading up to May of this year it experienced a total of 9 minutes downtime.
Namecheap states that it doesn’t load its servers as heavily as its competitors do. This may be why it is able to maintain high speed and uptime using slightly slower hardware than most of its competitors on the hosting market. According to Passmark’s CPU benchmarking tool, the Intel Xeon D-1541 processor that HostGator for instance uses tested only slightly faster than Namecheap’s Xeon E3-1240 ($109 per month). For just $58.88 per month, Namecheap’s lowest-tier dedicated server tests considerably higher than Hostgator’s lowest-tier Xeon D-1541 running only 4 of its 8 cores.
HostGator’s introductory dedicated server has 8GB of ram and a 1TB HDD on unmetered bandwidth. A comparably-priced plan from Namecheap caps bandwidth at 100TB and includes a slightly larger 2TB HDD and 16GB of RAM. Namecheap’s lowest-tier offering caps bandwidth at 10TB but has 8GB RAM and a 500GB for half the price of HostGator’s lowest-tier server.
Namecheap Is Good For Small Websites & Beginners
Namecheap is an excellent service provider for people whose budgets don’t allow for expensive hosting plans. The straightforward, industry-standard interface that cPanel offers was created based on the designers’ experiences with poorly-considered UX.
Because of the bandwidth caps that accompany all of their dedicated server plans, Namecheap may not be suitable for certain high-traffic websites. But it is important to note that many hosting providers match unmetered bandwidth with slower speeds. This seriously impacts page-loading times.
Namecheap Brand And Values
Namecheap also has the benefit of excellent credibility for social justice-minded users. Customers don’t have to worry about being associated with a hosting service that aligns itself with unsavoury content. For example, no Namecheap executive will be posing with a freshly killed elephant any time soon. Nor will they run sexually charged ads for its decidedly unsexy hosting service.
NameCheap Pros And Cons
On the positive side, Namecheap has invested heavily to remain an easy-to-use hosting provider that focuses on making life simple for beginning users. If may not be as elegant as Bluehost or WP Engine, but their prices are comfortably lower and they are miles ahead of the competition in terms of usability.
Namecheap allows for some pretty simple and easy to understand optimization as well. Users can choose between American and British data centers depending on the origin of their traffic. CloudFlare setup is made easy by the documentation in the Knowledge Base.
Finally, Namecheap takes the security of its customers to heart. Numerous firewalls protect the server infrastructure, and regular updates and maintenance keep the security apparatus current. Namecheap’s DNS has never been hacked, unlike those of some of its competitors.
Namecheap isn’t perfect, but its flaws are pretty limited when you consider the cheap costs of hosting. Caps on the dedicated hosting can be restrictive even to lower-traffic sites if they are particularly data-intensive. Some reviewers have found that resource throttling on the shared plan causes their sites to load slower than they like.
NameCheap Hosting: The Verdict
Overall, Namecheap gives very good value for the price. It’s easy to use and offers excellent, real-time support. Namecheap obviously cares about the needs of beginning webmasters. This is what makes it the hosting service of choice for developers on a tight budget or without the benefit of abundant professional consultation. All in all, it is thumbs up from here.