NameCheap Hosting Reviews
NameCheap offers a wide range of hosting services that are perfect for blogs, small businesses, large corporations, agencies, and even developers. Monthly payments make their hosting plans affordable for any budget. NameCheap has servers all over the world, and they are always optimized for reliability and performance. With a guaranteed uptime of 99.9% and a 30-day money-back guarantee, you can try any of NameCheap’s web hosting plans risk-free.
Shared Hosting Review
Best for Portfolio and Basic websites
NameCheap’s shared hosting packages are one of the most inclusive offers on the market. In short, they beat out a lot of competitors when it comes to price, value, and customer support—making them a great choice, especially for new users.
Plans & Pricing
NameCheap has three plans to choose between, all of which come with SSD storage, unlimited bandwidth, and 30-day money-back guarantee. There are also a bunch of freebies included as well, such as domain registration, site migration, one-click app installs, WHOISGuard (domain name privacy), and SSL Certificates (first year).
These features are quite standard with most good hosts and are essential services you’ll want and use. One downside with NameCheaps offering is that free domains are limited to .website TLDs (top-level domains), and third-party SSLs aren’t supported on any plans.
The first plan, Stellar, is one of the cheapest on the market. With 20GB of storage and up to three hosted sites, you won’t find many hosts that can compete, especially at $1.44/month with the new customer discount ($2.88/month on renewal). With this level of storage, you could easily host a small eCommerce site or medium-sized blog, upgrading plans as your site grows in
Stellar is limited to 50 MySQL databases and 300,000 Inodes (file limit), which is more than what some hosts provide. Generally, you’ll find a 25 / 200,000 limit on entry-level plans. Essentially, you’ll have more flexibility when building your site and be able to utilize your storage to a fuller extent.
For businesses that rely on email, you’ll have 30 accounts to utilize, which is more than enough for most. You’ll want to keep an eye on your email storage as this does count towards your overall 20GB. However, Namecheap does offer a comparatively low cost, private email hosting service if required. This starts at $12/year for one mailbox and 5GB of dedicated storage.
For new users, NameCheaps free Website builder is a great inclusion that is done better than most. First, it’s a full-featured tool that can be used optionally. Meaning there are no freemium features to purchase, and it doesn’t have strict page limits either. Some hosts offering a website builder will have these restrictions, and it’s an annoyance that will eventually make you pay more on top of hosting. Features we like are the fact it has hundreds of mobile-responsive templates, payment system integration (PayPal, Skrill, EasyPay), and the ability to import existing sites that you can edit.
Stellar Plus & Business
NameCheaps’ premium plans, Stellar Plus, and Stellar Business both add Automatic site backups to your plan. Business also includes cloud storage for increased performance and reliability, plus priority support.
Interestingly (or confusingly), the plans don’t scale conventionally when it comes to storage. With Plus coming with Unmetered SSD storage and Business limited to 50GB, some customers may be wondering why they’re, in a way, paying more for less?
This is likely because, while the usage is unmetered on Stellar Plus, you’re still allocated the same Inode (file limit), CPU, and RAM limits as the basic Stellar plan. Meaning, while you can likely host upwards of 50GB on this plan, your overall site performance will still be limited.
- A maximum of 10GB of a shared hosting account can be allocated to music, video, or other multimedia files.
- A maximum of 10GB of a shared hosting account can be allocated to any archive and disk image files.
- A maximum of 10GB of a shared hosting account can be allocated to databases and database dumps.
- A maximum of 10GB of a shared hosting account can be allocated to Executable files and all other files, which are the result of compiling a program.
This will likely be a non-issue for most users only looking to host a basic website, and businesses who outgrow these limits will most likely have to upgrade to a VPS or Dedicated hosting plan. Furthermore, it’s also worth noting that all Unlimited resources will be limited to a similar fair use policy. Though, this is standard practice across companies to maintain an optimal shared server environment for customers.
When it comes to price, the Plus and Business plan carries the same theme of low discount, low renewal, high-value plans. Other than the lack of free.COM domain and SSL renewal, there isn’t much we can find wrong with NameCheaps plans or pricing.
If you’re looking to purchase a .COM domain with NameCheap the price point is considerably low at $8.88/year, with some providers typically charging anywhere from $12-$20 for the same service. As for the PositiveSSL, while it’s a shame this isn’t wholly free, it does renew at $8.88 as well. Pleasantly, despite adding an extra $1-$2/month for your hosting, NameCheap still comes out as a highly economical solution.
Performance and Security
Namecheap has data centers in the U.S and UK (An extra $1/month if you choose this option) to host your site from. This is decent, however, there are a few hosts on the market that offer data centers in Europe, Oceania, and Asia if your site requires. That being said, most customers can take advantage of Cloudflare’s Freemium CDN (Can be accessed via cPanel) to make up for this. All servers utilize pure SSD storage, although, those on Business plans are also provided redundant Cloud storage.
What’s more, for any downtime due to non-scheduled maintenance, NameCheap will provide a 1-day of free hosting for each hour of downtime experienced. This is part of their 100% server uptime guarantee and isn’t a promise all hosts offer shared plan customers.
Security-wise, WhoisGuard is included free on all plans (typically paid with most competitors), which works to ensure your personal details aren’t easily found through your WHOIS (Domain Registration) information.
A free PositiveSSL certificate is also included for the first year of your plan (renews at $8.88/year). Free SSL’s are always great, however…because NameCheap are partners with Comodo (the SSL certificate hosting provider), Let’s Encrypt SSL aren’t supported whatsoever.
This means you’ll pay an additional $8.88/year on top of hosting (after the first term) to keep your site secure via an SSL. While PositiveSSL provides more insurance than the typically offered Let’s Encrypt SSL, the level of security is about the same. Each cPanel account is limited to 50 free certificates.
In terms of data integrity, the Stellar package offers two manual backups per week, which is about what you’d expect from most hosts—beaten only by competitors who provide daily backups with their entry-level plans.
If you’re going with the Plus or Business plan, however, AutoBackup is included free with your purchase. With it, you can easily set up a backup schedule that creates complete cloud backups on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Setting up a backup configuration is exceptionally user-friendly, and you can expect all your files, databases, email accounts, account settings, and files to get backed up in seconds.
We’d be remiss to mention that the Business plan also comes with Cloud Storage and Personal/Private Name Servers, for increased security and data protection. This is another excellent addition to Namecheap’s premiere shared plan that not many hosts match.
Other than this, customers can also purchase premium DNS access for $4.88/year. Overall, this is much cheaper than a lot of competitor price points for a similar service and provides an additional layer of security against DDoS attacks and hackers that can compromise a public nameserver. 2-Factor Authentication login can be activated for an account.
Namecheap’s customer support offering for shared plans is quite standard, though good nonetheless. You can expect 24/7 Live chat and HelpDesk support. Plus instant site setup and free website migrations.
NameCheap website migration service can be considered better than some, guaranteeing migration in less than 24 hours and only 15 minutes of downtime at most. Also, if they don’t migrate your sites within 24 hours, the company promises a sweet deal – 1 year of free hosting services. It should be noted that this service is only for cPanel based sites.
Their professional team can take care of every aspect of migration, including creating a database and files backup, and moving files and launching the website on the new servers. What’s more, your site can also be imported into NameCheaps website builder, meaning those who are used to drag & drop builders won’t lose any functionality on that end. This is a great feature not many providers can match, and while a few hosts do promise zero downtime with their migration services, this can vary from site to site.
Those who purchase the Business plan can benefit from the included Priority support, which works to move your requests higher up in their customer support queue. This is an excellent addition that most hosts usually make you pay for.
Other than technical support, NameCheap also offers a free logo maker and business card makers with various templates to choose from. Customers starting a new business and looking to have a professional logo can get one free with this service.
High speeds, responsive support, and the abundance of free add-ons are just a few aspects that make NameCheap one of the leaders in shared hosting competition. One of the biggest strengths of NameCheap is its 24/7 professional customer service that has a high success rate in case-solving. If you’re looking for a moderate-priced shared hosting and you have multiple sites, NameCheap makes a good choice.
WordPress Hosting Review
WordPress Hosting Review
With WordPress powering over 35% of the internet, NameCheap would be remiss not to offer managed WordPress hosting to their customers. NameCheaps are one of few hosts that offer WordPress plans on Cloud server technology, and they’re one of the cheapest too. This provides immediate benefits in performance and security, compared to some hosts, who only offer WordPress plans via a shared environment.
In fact, NameCheap even claims to be the fastest on the web for a fraction of the price, and, based on the methodology. We can’t argue with the statement either. On top of this, they also offer an attractive signup rate and easy setup for new customers. With that in mind, It’s hard not to recommend Namecheap for those just getting started.
One gripe we do have with the plans though, is that they’re labeled as a ‘Managed’ solution. While this is partly the case, they may not be managed to the level some may need or expect. With all plans, you’ll be able to set up a WordPress site within a few clicks, and you’ll be able to select a few useful plugins to help kickstart your website. Pretty standard stuff.
They also have a managed list of banned plugins you’ll want to be aware of before signing up, just in case your site requires them. Most of them have particular use cases that most sites won’t use, but they’re banned nonetheless. This can be a double-edged sword for some, but is common within the industry, protecting both your site and overall server security.
One of it’s better features is Auto Scaling. This automatically scales up or down the number of computing resources your site is allocated. Based on its needs, at any given time. Meaning NameCheap will automatically scale your resources if traffic were to spike, ensuring optimal performance and without any overage fees. It’s a great feature some hosts will make you pay for or don’t include at all.
However, where we feel NameCheaps Managed solution falls short is in assisting with site maintenance and customer support. For tasks such as WordPress version updates, plugin updates, and site backups, this will be a manual endeavor. Technically speaking, this isn’t the hardest of tasks, though the odd issue may arise whenever you update or install a plugin that isn’t compatible with parts of your site. Some hosts will do this for you free, usually through the addition of premium plugins or a dedicated support team.
Moreover, the customer support department is the same throughout NameCheap. Without a dedicated WordPress support team, you will be in line with all customers attempting to reach customer support, and there is a slight chance that you’ll be connected with a support agent who isn’t’ a WordPress specialist.
If these drawbacks are essential aspects of your business, you may want to consider another host. That being said, hosts that offer these features will likely have a higher monthly price for hosting. Once again, where NameCheap can win a lot of customers is through their comparatively cheaper price point for hosting.
Namecheap offers three WordPress hosting plans, Start, Turbo, and Supersonic.
The ‘Starter’ plan comes with 10GB SSD storage and a suggested 50k monthly visitors, both of which are liable to an acceptable use policy you’ll typically find with any provider. For those just starting out, this is a generous amount of resources. 10GB can be enough for a single website with full eCommerce functionality or even a high-traffic blog with a multitude of posts. You’re also granted free site migration if you’re looking to transfer from another host.
Traffic/bandwidth wise this is one of the best offerings on the market, for the price point, with most competitors suggesting a maximum of 20k to 30k visitors for similar plans. For a lot of customers just starting, it’ll likely be a while before you ever reach this amount of monthly traffic. Moreover, we’d like to have seen a free domain, free SSL certificate, or onboarding support for new customers. These features are especially useful for new customers and are offered by some providers.
In terms of site creation, the NameCheaps process is quick, easy, and only takes a couple of minutes to get a site fully up and running. For those who are used to the typical way of creating a WordPress site through cPanel’s one-click install tools, you may also find this process to be much more intuitive.
From a single page, you’ll be able to set up your WP username, email, password, theme, and plugins, all before opening your site. Some notable plugin options include Jetpack, Contact Form 7, and WooCommerce. You’ll also have access to NameCheaps Website builder. One aspect we like is that you can use a free temporary domain for your site, allowing you to make changes or set up your site easily before it goes live.
After setup, you’ll be able to manage your site(s) via NameCheaps custom WordPress Control Panel. It has a modern, clean design that some will appreciate and it is much more user friendly than cPanel. One of it’s best features is the Maintenance Mode tool, which allows you to mask your website(s) with a temporary landing page until it is ready to launch. You can also manage your backups from the dashboard. From here, you’ll also be able to activate SSL Certificates and backup or restore your site manually.
Speaking of websites, where Namecheap differs from most competitors is that you can only host a single website with each plan. Meaning if you want to host another site, you’ll need to purchase another EasyWP plan for it. That goes for subdomains too. For example, if you ever needed to create a subdomain for your blog (blog.yoursite.com), this wouldn’t be possible. While this isn’t a significant issue for most, as you can just have a directory (yoursite.com/blog/) structured site, it can be one for some.
Like most hosts, private email hosting is also a paid service with NameCheap. However, their price points are cheaper than most. Plans start at $17 (paid annually) for one mailbox and 10GB email storage. WordPress plans also come with a 30% discount for your first term.
Turbo and SuperSonic
The Turbo and SuperSonic plans are where things start to get interesting. To start, the included storage and bandwidth on the plans blow much of the competition out of the water. This is for both shared and cloud plans at a similar price point (renewal price). What’s more, plans now come with 1.5x to 2x more allocated resource usage, free Content Delivery Network (CDN) access, and a free PositiveSSL for life.
The included CDN has a 50GB traffic limit, provides your site basic DDoS protection, and there are also premium tiers of the service you can upgrade too as well if your site requires. It’s also worth noting that third-party SSLs are still supported so that you aren’t restricted to NameCheaps in-house CDN. However, we must say that NameCheaps premium CDN plans do provide similar features to that of Cloudflare (one of the most commonly used CDN providers) for a fraction of the price.
The PositiveSSL is free for life with your plan, and you won’t have to purchase it again after your first year of hosting. This also makes up for the fact that NameCheap doesn’t support Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates.
If you were wondering, NameCheaps private emails are not included in the plan and would have made for a great piece of added value. That being said, one aspect of NameCheaps’ private email plans that customers may appreciate is that additional mailboxes only cost an extra $0.50-$2.00. In contrast, some providers can charge you anywhere from $5-$15 annually per mailbox.
For new customers, the Turbo plan is a great starting point. While the Starter plan comes with enough to get your site built, the included SSL certificate and CDN are essential security and performance features you’ll want and eventually need.
Overall, we’d consider NameCheaps to be one of the best WordPress hosting platforms on the market, especially for those new to hosting. Providing attractive pricing and simplifying site creation and management are a couple of the reasons why customers will benefit from this plan. Businesses or agencies looking to use the platform can also benefit from this. However, they may find the lack of subdomains or additional websites per plan to be limiting for some clients or sites.
VPS Hosting Review
Best for: High Traffic and Fast Growing sites
As with most hosting providers, you can expect all the necessities with NameCheaps VPS plans. These include root access and your choice of OS and server management level. Overall, NameCheap’s VPS web hosting provides customers with a somewhat configurable plan at an affordable price. While cheap doesn’t necessarily mean better, here’s how NameCheaps VPS stacks up against the rest.
To start, NameCheap has two VPS hosting plans available: Pulsar and Quasar. For the price point, the plans are quite generous in resources. 2-4 CPU cores are the most you’ll get across the market at this price point, with the same going for the included RAM as well.
As for bandwidth, Pulsar is quite low at 1,000GB/month, with some offering at least 2,000GB. However, Quasar’s 3,000GB is better than most and only competes with plans offering unmetered bandwidth, which do have their caveats.
Storage-wise, both plans utilize RAID 10 SSDs with Quasar again being the standout with 120GB. Typically, you’d be able to expect anywhere from 30GB to 70GB from other hosts at a similar price point.
Either plan provides an excellent platform for high-traffic blogs or eCommerce sites, and can also support resellers with WHMCS licenses purchasable at checkout. For most, scalability won’t be an issue either, with extra resources and dedicated servers purchasable if required.
Management and Support
NameCheap’s range of server management options are more than the typical managed or unmanaged selection most hosting providers offer. Their Free, Basic, and Complete management levels allow customers to choose the extent to which they are supported and adds a level of hosting configuration that some customers may appreciate.
As you’d expect, unmanaged hosting comes at no cost and is generally recommended for those confident with server monitoring and management. You can still utilize technical VPS support at an hourly rate ($15) on this option, primarily for Core software changes and server failures.
The Basic and Complete options provide proactive server support, including core updates and off-site backups. It should be noted that these options are restricted to CentOS servers only, and while rates are reasonably low, keep in mind your overall cost of hosting can eventually add up if you take domain, SSL, and add-on renewal into account. On top of this, VPS plans also come with priority support, meaning your requests will be higher up in the Live Chat/Help Desk queue.
Speaking of configuration, NameCheap provides you various options for your server stack and operating system. Moreover, if you’re using CentOS, you’ll have to pay for a cPanel and Softaculous license though this is typically the case with most hosts.
As we touched on earlier Disk space, backup storage, RAM and Bandwidth can also be increased as required. Starting at $7-10/month, these come at about the standard industry price.
One knock other hosts may have against NameCheap’s VPS is through the fact it’s only offered in their Arizona data center. Many hosts provide global options, with various US data centers. Furthermore, without a premium CDN subscription, some customers may find overall site performance to be lacking in comparison to other hosts.
Backups and Security
NameCheap includes premium hardware and software firewalls with all of their VPS hosting plans. Daily, weekly and monthly server backups are created to ensure that you have a failsafe in place should your website’s security be breached or information lost. You can also trigger on-demand backups as many times as you want with a 50GB backup storage limit. Each VPS hosting plan comes with 1 IPv4-enabled dedicated IP address to use with all websites within your account. Extra dedicated IPs are available for $2 per month. All ideas also come with privacy protection for the year, which is a small bonus.
NameCheap’s VPS hosting plans are very affordable if you’re okay with the level of resources, features, and support that they originally come with. However, a lot of features that are usually included with the cost of VPS hosting plans are available only as add-ons with NameCheap. This type of business model ensures that you’re only paying for the resources you need. On the other hand, developers and website owners who need significantly more resources could find themselves spending a lot more than they expected.
NameCheap’s VPS solutions are an excellent solution for those hosting a blog, shop, or portfolio of clients looking for a frictionless way to continue growing your site(s). With a generous amount of resources that are also upgradable, those who can benefit the most from this plan are developers or businesses with personnel who can make use of their self-managed option. While we would have liked to see Let’s Encrypt support and more data center options, overall, the platform is robust enough for most.
Dedicated Hosting Review
Best for: High traffic sites, maximum resources & security
NameCheap’s dedicated server hosting is great for those who want their piece of property with which to run their websites. Physical dedicated servers are the most reliable and most secure way to host a website, although it’s not always affordable. However, for large corporations who need top-notch security, NameCheap’s dedicated server hosting serves as a satisfactory solution.
As opposed to having standard dedicated web hosting plans with standard equipment, NameCheap gives customers the option to customize their hosting experience. Currently, NameCheap is showing over 20 different physical servers to choose from.
For example, one of their featured dedicated servers has 4 Xeon E3-1230 3.4GHz cores, 8GB DDR4 RAM, and 480GB of SSD storage for $48.88/month. Located in Phoenix, it also includes 10TB of monthly bandwidth, 1000Mbps data transfers, 1 IP address, and 99.9% guaranteed uptime. This equipment would be great for resellers or large corporations who have multisite setups.
Because each physical server is unique, it would be tedious to try and list them all. However, each dedicated web hosting package is completely customizable. Start by choosing your server level. NameCheap sorts their server by three levels: entry, medium, and advanced. Once you choose your server, you can then select your operating system, billing platform, management level, and add-ons. Before you make your purchase, you’ll know exactly what equipment you’re getting and even where your physical server is located.
For sites that are growing and changing quickly, this level of flexibility might win you over some other hosts who restrict resources to tiered plans – that can sometimes dramatically scale in price.
An attractive feature for those looking for a quick and smooth transition to a dedicated environment, all of NameCheap’s dedicated server web hosting plans come with same-day setup and free migration so that your websites are up and running in no time. Each server is optimized and operates on the Cisco/Juniper-powered network so that your sites are blazing fast.
Premium Security Features
Your dedicated server is always secure with NameCheap. Customers have dedicated technicians to monitor their server for any performance and security issues routinely. With a private peering network, you’ll have a stable connection for all of your websites and applications.
Managed or Unmanaged Servers
NameCheap gives you three server management options when you choose their dedicated web hosting plans. The first is User-Responsible, where you are entirely responsible for managing your server. You will still have NameCheap security specialists to monitor for breaches and vulnerabilities, but the rest is up to your or your developers. This may be a good option for customers who have experience managing their web servers. The second is Basic Management. This level only works with CloudLinux and CentOS installations that the cPanel add-on. With Basic Management, NameCheap will monitor core services, and proactively respond to server failures. Complete Management from NameCheap means that your servers are monitored by technicians and can be changed or restored at any time with any added costs.
NameCheap’s dedicated web server hosting comes with 24/7/365 human customer support. Customer support is provided by chat and email support tickets. As far as your hosting account goes, customer service agents will be able to help you with any issue related to your hosting account overall. You can also get free advice in regards to your dedicated server. However, any server restores or fixes, as well as core software changes, are provided at an extra cost.
Range of Services
NameCheaps extensive range of security and performance add-on keeps all your hosting needs in one place.
NameCheap Server Performance
To test NameCheap’s hosting performance we used a few Pingdom reports. Over the span of a year, Pingdom’s probes (located across North America) performed daily checks, on a basic website (less than 100KBs) hosted on NameCheap’s shared server environment. Additionally, there was no throttling added to these checks, so slower response times can be expected for 3G or 4G connections.
Yearly Server Performance:
Average Response Time
Data shown as monthly Uptime averages for a basic Godaady website
Server performance can affect all aspects of your site. Case studies have consistently found that customer wait times (page load and response times) directly affect everything from SEM, revenue, and traffic growth. By a lot too, here’s just one example:
For Mobify, every 100ms decrease in homepage load speed worked out to a 1.11% increase in session-based conversion, yielding an average annual revenue increase of nearly $380,000.
NameCheap takes its customers’ security very seriously. Depending on your chosen plan, NameCheap includes features like free WhoisGuard, isolated accounts, and server monitoring to ensure that your website’s information is always secure. NameCheap monitors all of their servers, regardless of hosting plan, to proactively prevent hackers and bots from accessing your site. Email accounts also come with SpamAssassin to guard against spam emails before they pose a threat.
Whenever you register domains, the name, address, email, and phone number you registered with are publicly available through whois lookups. WhoisGuard is excellent for customers who are creating websites under a business or assumed name. Instead of displaying all of your personal information on the internet, WhoisGuard assumes proxy information in its place so that hackers and solicitors won’t know who owns the domain.
Compared to other web hosts, NameCheap does a great job of offering lots of added security features that are not necessarily industry standard. Features like WhoisGuard domain protection usually come at an added cost. Server monitoring is often seen with major web hosts today, especially for VPS and dedicated web hosting, as any failures or vulnerabilities could cost them their equipment.
Customer Support Review
NameCheap offers customer service 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Support is provided by human representatives who can assist you with all of your shared and managed web hosting plans. It is important to note that customer service is only available via webchat and email support tickets. This may be a deal-breaker for customers who need to have access to phone support. In today’s market, hosts are expected to have fast, knowledgeable, human customer support by phone as well. Some hosts may only include phone customer support for their premium plans or an added cost, but at least there is an option. Namecheap also claims to answer support tickets of all levels within 48 hours as opposed to the 2 to 4 hours quoted by competitors.
Namecheap does not have a dedicated community forum for customer support and troubleshooting.