Namecheap Review

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Established in Arizona in 2000, Namecheap, an International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)-accredited registrar and technology company boasts over 3 million subscribers. Namecheap, as its name suggests, offers the lowest prices in the industry and has over 10 million domain names under its management. The web hosting segment was added in 2007.

Namecheap offers several services such as transfer of an already existing domain, top-level domains (TLDs), personal domains, Whois lookup and premiumDNS. Other hosting services include WordPress hosting, reseller hosting, virtual private servers (VPS), dedicated servers and private email hosting. They also have a website builder tool that offers many templates to choose from.

Namecheap employs over 950 people and has grown over 78% in the last 3 years, with 10 million domains to its name and with a revenue of over $107 million.

Help and Customer Support

It is very difficult to judge a company’s customer support precisely because it varies from day-to-day and the time of the day. You may get an excellent and speedy response one day and get long wait periods the other. When it comes to Namecheap, the help section is quite detailed. Their support section is quite simple and has a knowledge base, a ticket system and a live chat.

Ticket System

The most important thing while looking at any ticket system is the response time, the quicker it is, the better. Usually, ticket systems are not exactly very speedy and this is the case with Namecheap. A regular query may take as long as 90-plus minutes, which could be a lot if a quick resolution is what you are looking for.

To their credit, Namecheap is fairly speedy and response times have been known to be as little as 30 minutes or less in some cases. Solutions are provided within the working day and that is commendable.

Live Chat

The live chat system works like a breeze. Chat systems can be notorious for many things and the foremost of those is the waiting period. Waiting in line while you are online is not something to look forward to. In this regard, Namecheap does not disappoint at all and a chat executive appears in your chat window within a minute or less.

Having said that, the chat sessions themselves are not exactly breezy. The response time between questions and answers can be exasperating at times, depending on the complexity of the query. Still, there is something to be said about the “human touch” and not being subjected to stock answers which are impersonal.

The service could really shine if the executives themselves could be trained better for faster responses to match up to their good intentions.

Knowledgebase

The knowledgebase at Namecheap is quite extensive and has a search function that sifts through their website and blogs for your queries on subjects such as domains, billing, your account, hosting, the email service, SSL certificates and lots more. Each open to their own page, with fairly comprehensive inputs from their experts.

It is not as extensive as some other services, such as InMotion, but they cover most questions that you may have with your domain.

Pricing

As the name suggests, Namecheap, likes its namesake, is ridiculously cheap. Sometimes they get even cheaper if they are on special offers. Namecheap has three pricing tiers, like all the other web hosting services and these are called Stellar, Stellar Plus and Stellar Business.

Stellar

This plan sells for an astounding $2.88 a month (with 21% off) if you opt for the data center in the United States (the one in the United Kingdom will cost you 12 extra dollars). The yearly plan is for $24.88 and is the cheapest plan available on their website. The plan includes 20GB disk space (that is accelerated owing it to being a solid state drive), unmetered bandwidth, allows you up to 3 domains, 30 email accounts and 50 FTP accounts.

Stellar Plus

This is the most popular plan that they have on their website and with 20% off, the annual plan costs $46.88 (the data center in the UK will cost you $58.88). The plan has no cap on disk space and bandwidth, allows you unlimited domains and email accounts and as many as 100 FTP accounts.

Stellar Business

With 17% off, the annual plan will cost you $88.88 (the data center in the UK will cost you $100.88). This is the most expensive plan Namecheap has and includes 50GB SSD space, an unlimited number of domains and bandwidth and similarly, unlimited email and FTP accounts.

All the plans come with a 14-day money back guarantee if you are not satisfied with the service and want to recover your money. All said and done, Namecheap is indeed one of the cheapest options on the market.

Hosting Performance

Namecheap offers quite a bit for your hosting needs considering their budget friendliness. Unexpected problems with your website are not only annoying but can also seriously affect your business. Namecheap may not be the fastest hosting service, but their shared plans are as much as 50% faster than some of their competitors. It provides with a website builder that is easy and intuitive and a drag-and-drop builder that adjusts to any screen size automatically.

The server speeds are very good and acceptable, thanks to the use of solid state drives. The servers are stable and there is hardly any downtime. Namecheap gives you an uptime guarantee from the hosted solutions you purchase from them and offers service cycle prolongation in case of any site disruption.

User Friendliness

Signing up and the onboarding process (the process to get you up and running) is easy and straightforward. After you have signed up with your preferred plan, you will get a welcome email with details of your account and a link that will help you log in directly to your new account. The backend is clean and does not contain any pop-ups or distracting banners. It is powered by cPanel, the tool of choice by web hosts. It is minimalist, open source and flexible.

The interface is easy to use and provides you with all the control you need for website maintenance, that includes database, domain parking, emails and site backups. This is great especially for first-time users and people who will find the tool very easy to use, without having to refer to a tutorial.

Website Security

With hacking and other such attacks becoming very common, it is but natural that you select a web host that gives priority to your website’s hosting environment and security. This is what Namecheap does in terms of security:

SSL Certificates

SSL certificates are very important for your website. These are essential to protect your site’s visitors’ sensitive data against fraud and identity theft. SSL certificates guard this data by encrypting and validating it and comes with varying degrees of security. The presence of SSL certificates ensure your visitors that your website is safe, that results in the customers’ trust in your brand name. This is a paid service that is available for both business, e-commerce and personal websites.

WhoisGuard

This service provides private security for your domain, keeping your data safe and secure. While registering a domain, you are required by ICANN to provide them your personal information (such as email address, name and telephone number), which is added to the Whois database. This database is searchable, which means it will be displayed on the internet for anyone who wants to see it.

What WhoiSGuard does is that it hides this information from marketing firms, fraudsters and spammers. What it displays instead, is general information which cannot be used to harm you in any way. This is a free service which is available with any plan that you choose.

PremiumDNS

DNS uptime is important for you and hence this service is made available globally by Namecheap. This can be used with any domain name with any registrar, it is a cost-effective DNS service. It comes with a service-level agreement for DNS resolution, which means that if PremiumDNS fails to deliver, Namecheap will provide a compensatory credit. This service costs $4.88 annually.

Namecheap’s Cons

  • Hosting Is Not Namecheap’s Speciality: It may offer the lowest prices, but Namecheap is originally a domain registrar. The ideal thing to do would be to keep the hosting and domain name with different companies.
  • Support Options Are Limited: For a company that has been around for the last 18 years, Namecheap surprisingly does not have many support options such as dedicated community forums. Also, their knowledgebase leans more towards domain purchasing than website hosting.
  • No Support for Free SSL Certificates: Unlike a lot of web hosting providers who have started providing support for free SSL certificate providers such as LetsEncrypt, Namecheap does not allow it. This is not expected of Namecheap, as it otherwise provides other features free of cost, such as WhoisGuard.

Conclusion

If you are looking for an affordable and reliable hosting environment with a clean, no-hassle interface, Namecheap is a name to be considered. The service provided with the low cost is not only surprising, it is also commendable.

Their speeds are above par and their uptime is satisfactory. Another great feature they offer is that you are not locked in for an extended period like a lot of contemporaries and can modify or cancel the service anytime without having to pay any penalties.

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