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Free domain, SSL, dedicated IP, and automatic backups for all sites
Reliable uptime with state-of-the-art hardware and technology
Full-featured Linux cPanel packed with tools
Free website migration and website builder
Set up process is cumbersome with too many steps during checkout
Speed tests show lower-than-average speeds
Skimpy dashboard with confusing navigation
Customer support is hit or miss
The results of our Namecheap hosting review can be summed up in two words: great value! Not only do they offer inexpensive web hosting, but they also throw in a ton of valuable extras which tipped the scales for us in terms of a good product versus a great one.
Namecheap has been in business for almost twenty years. They are best known for their cheap domains and SSLs, but they have a slew of hosting packages to choose from including shared web hosting, WordPress, VPS, reseller hosting, and dedicated servers. They even have clearance servers for sale.
Each of their hosting products is tiered with allocations for specific resources. However, all their hosting packages come standard with the Linux cPanel, a free website builder which is actually quite good, a free domain and PositiveSSL certificate. They also offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, free backups, and free migration of your old site.
Keep reading to see more of our full-review and find out how Namecheap stacked up.
The results of our Namecheap hosting review can be summed up in two words: great value!
Namecheap offers customers tiered plans for all types of web hosting needs. We tested their shared hosting plans, but they also provide WordPress managed hosting, VPS and dedicated servers, and reseller hosting. To date, they do not yet offer any cloud hosting options.
Depending on the plan and tier you select, storage, email, databases, and domains may be limited. Costs per plan are based on resources allocated for each tier. For example, the lowest tier plan (called Stellar) in the shared hosting category costs is only $2.88/month. However, you are limited to 20GB of storage, three websites, 30 email accounts, and 50 databases.
If you jump up to the highest tier (called Stellar Business), which costs $8.88/month, you get 50GB of storage, but everything else is unlimited. For most personal and small business users, the lowest or middle-tier (Stellar Plus) plans should suffice.
All Namecheap’s hosting products use an Apache Linux server running version 2.X. Pre-installed are:
They use state-of-the-art hardware employing Dell PowerEdge M1000e Blade Enclosure technology with complete redundancy for all systems in case of malfunction or failure.
Depending on the plan you choose, storage may be limited. The lowest tier shared hosting, and the top tier are both limited respectively to 20 GB and 50 GB. However, the mid-range plan is unmetered for storage. The 20 GB offered with the lowest tier should be enough for most small-medium sized businesses and blogs. They do allow you to host three websites on that plan and provide unlimited parked domains along with thirty subdomains.
Namecheap wants your business, and it shows!
One of the nice features of the tiered hosting plans offered by Namecheap was unlimited bandwidth for all. With any shared web hosting, speeds will vary. Another significant factor in our recommendations was that not only do they offer 100% uptime (which tests show they come close to) if they fail to meet that goal, they offer customers account credits. Be sure to read the terms on how this works.
The only real disappointment with Namecheap was the registration process. We had to fill out three forms before we could checkout and pay for our new hosting plan. We feel strongly that this process could be simplified and streamlined to just one page like other web hosts. The first step is creating an account; then you have to fill in your name, address, email, and phone number before entering payment information. They do allow you to register as a company or an individual.
Namecheap’s dashboard is very basic and fairly easy to navigate, although we did get lost a couple of times trying to find the website cPanel. Your purchased products show in a handy list with drop-down links (when you hover over them) to manage things like domain DNS and SSL certificates. Once you click Manage on the hosting server, there are buttons everywhere linking you to the Linux cPanel. The control panel is beefed up with some extras that we were very excited about!
Namecheap has supplemented the standard Linux cPanel with some great additional features. First off, we love the two-factor authentication to keep things safe. Next, they provide a free website builder that was surprisingly robust with over 200 professional themes, and they provide a high-end SSL which you can easily set-up from inside your cPanel.
Namecheap offers one-click installs for dozens of CMS platforms like Magento, WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, PrestaShop, and many others. They also have a link to Google Apps in the cPanel, which allows you to use Gmail and other integrated apps without having to leave the cPanel. We also loved the automatic backups feature. With other web hosting providers we have reviewed you generally pay extra for this feature.
Namecheap has supplemented the standard Linux cPanel with some great additional features.
The main Namecheap account dashboard does not offer any option for setting up multiple users or profiles. However, they do use the Linux cPanel which allows you to set up unlimited users with restricted permissions for access to some or all parts of your hosting server. The cPanel administration feature is handy when you hire a web developer and need to provide them with access but don’t want them to be able to log into your main account, which may host other products and services. Additionally, they supplement the cPanel with two-factor authentication for enhanced security, which is another nice feature to keep things safe.
We were impressed by the fact that Namecheap includes a robust email package in their lowest-tier plan. Most users will have no trouble being limited to 50 email accounts. Additionally, they provide email forwarding service, autoresponders, SpamAssassin, SPF, domain keys, and Spam Experts to keep your email safe from hacking and unwanted spam.
Another huge bonus when you host with Namecheap is the automatic backups feature. We have found this to be an upsell with most other hosting vendors. It is really nice to see a company include that as part of their base package. You can also perform manual backups at any time from the integrated cPanel.
Namecheap throws in a lot of free extras that make their hosting packages a superior value.For example, everyone is required to have an SSL for their website. So, when Namecheap included a PositiveSSL for no extra charge, it went a long way with us.
Comparatively, Namecheap’s web hosting prices fall in the average range for shared hosting. However, after tossing in a bunch of freebies like an SSL, dedicated IP address, free domain, automatic backups, and a great website builder, the value increases exponentially.
They offer tiered packages across all types of web hosting. For their shared hosting, prices range from a couple dolla (for a perfectly adequate plan for most users) up to $8.88/mo. for a really robust package. The best bang for your buck though is the mid-range plan at $4.88/mo.
Both Namecheap and HostGator offer similar hosting plans for around the same monthly cost. However, in our comprehensive Namecheap review, we found the extras that they pack into every plan to be extremely valuable. We were able to install and use the free SSL instantly, set up automatic backups for our newly created website (using the integrated website builder feature) and register a free domain when setting up an account.
Namecheap also made everything easy. The back-end interface was so smooth, and we never encountered any issues. However, their customer service was a bit lackluster, and in comparison, HostGator excels in this area.
Namecheap surprised us. Overall, we were thrilled with Namecheap’s shared hosting packages, simple, yet intuitive interface and bucketload of extras to enhance the value. Our only disappointments were the registration process was lengthy, and customer service via chat was hit or miss at times. Other than that, we found the speeds and uptime to be more than adequate, and we highly recommend either the Stellar or Stellar Plus packaged for small- medium sized business customers.
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