By calling itself Namecheap you know right from the start that low prices and value will be this web hosting service's main selling points. However, in addition to being a popular budget web host, Namecheap is also an ICANN-accredited registrar that provides domain name services.
Richard Kirkendall founded the company back in 2000 and it quickly made a name for itself by offering value-priced plans and excellent customer service. As of 2019, Namecheap is the world’s 3rd largest web host by market share and the company has over 11 million registered users and 10 million domains.
So let’s take a closer look at the plans, pricing, features and support offered by Namecheap to see if the company lives up to its name.
Namecheap provides a variety of different hosting plans including VPS hosting, reseller hosting, WordNPress hosting and dedicated servers. In this review, we’ll be looking at the company’s shared hosting plans as they could be a good choice for both first-time and experienced users.
The company’s shared hosting plans start with its ‘Stellar’ plan for $2.88 per month which gives you access to 20 GB of SSD storage and allows you to create up to three websites.
Next up, we have Namecheap’s ‘Stellar Plus’ plan at $4.88 per month and this plan includes unmetered SSD storage as well as the ability to create unlimited websites.
Finally we have the ‘Stellar Business’ plan at $8.88 per month that gives customers access to 50 GB of SSD storage, unlimited websites and additional resources for resource-intensive websites.
All of Namecheap’s plans give you the option of having your site hosted in either a UK or US-based data center though UK hosting will cost you an additional $12 per year. There is also a 14-day money-back guarantee in case your not fully satisfied with the company’s service.
After picking out your plan, Namecheap’s signup process has you choose a domain for your site but you can also opt to use one you already own. You can also choose one of the company’s free .website domains and change it something else later.
Compared to other web hosts, Namecheap’s checkout process is much more straightforward as the only add-on available is a PositiveSSL certificate for just $2 during your first year of service. This is a good deal on an SSL certificate as other companies often charge you for one and we wondered why this promotion was not advertised more on the company’s website.
Next you’ll need to enter all of your contact details including your name, physical address, email and phone number. During this stage, you also have the option to enable two-factor authentication to help further protect your Namecheap account.
The company accepts credit and debit cards as payment options as well as PayPal which is something we would like to see more web hosts do.
Namecheap’s signup process wasn’t overly complicated and it was a nice change to see a web host not trying to upsell us on either a more expensive plan or on add-ons.
Creating a site
Regardless of which one of Namecheap’s shared hosting plans you choose, you’ll still get access to a standard cPanel console to manage your site. This approach may not be the most beginner-friendly but experienced users will feel right at home and taking the time to learn cPanel is a worthwhile endeavor as many other web hosts use it.
Namecheap also gives you access to a basic website builder that includes a drag and drop solution as well as almost 200 fully-equipped website templates to help you get started. The builder’s user interface is also quite clean and not too crowded. All of the display settings for your website can be seen at the top of the page with special configurations available for widescreen, desktop, tablets and phones. From here you can either save your work as a draft or go ahead and publish any changes you’ve made to your website. Underneath this toolbar, you can add new elements to your website including text, pictures, shapes, lines, buttons, forms and more.
If you need to add additional apps or services to your site, Namecheap uses the Softaculous 1-click installer which supports over 100 popular open source applications including WordPress. All of these applications are organized into categories like Blogs, Forums, Calendars, E-Commerce and more to make the app you’re looking for easier to find. Google Apps integration is another nice touch as it gives you a quick way to set up email, documents or a calendar for your site.
If this seems a bit complicated, don’t worry as Namecheap sends you a ‘welcome’ email after you sign up that includes all of the essential information you’ll need on server names, IP addresses, login information, FAQs and more to speed up its onboarding process.
Dealing with unexpected website issues can be a real pain for both you and your business which is why we always look at the support options available first when reviewing a web host’s performance.
Namecheap’s support begins with its searchable knowledgebase. In it you’ll find articles on a variety of web hosting-related topics written in such a way that they are easily understandable by both first-time and experienced users. These articles cover website development and design, SEO, online marketing and more. Namecheap also provides its customers with a knowledgebase filled with more general information and a Resource Center dedicated to handling the specifics.
The company now also provides live chat to help customers dealing with more pressing issues. For less urgent issues though, you can also submit a support ticket that will be handled by the relevant department at Namecheap.
We finished our performance tests by using Bitcatcha to test the speed of our site. We were pleasantly surprised with the above average performance score we received but response times did vary depending on whether we were trying to connect to the US or UK data center. Overall though, Namecheap gave us very acceptable speeds for the price.
Verdict and Conclusion
Namecheap may be a budget web host but the service manages to deliver real value to its customers along with some helpful extras. While there are certainly less specialist plans and add-ons than we normally see, this actually a good thing for the company as it can focus on selling you its core packages as opposed to trying to upsell you on more expensive plans and unnecessary add-ons.
- Want to see the competition? Check out our guide to the best web hosting