Hosting is probably one of the last things on your mind whenever you think of Namecheap. Namecheap tends to be best known for their cheap domain registration service, but they also offer various levels of hosting. They’ve been doing this for the past 10 years. With Namecheap, you have a one stop shop to register your domain, host your website, and more.
Despite having a few drawbacks, Namecheap does an excellent job at offering beginner-friendly, transparent hosting at an ultra low price point. They also include premium upgrades like data center choice, advanced security, and backups.
Namecheap was founded in 2000, and started offering hosting options in 2007. They offer several types of web hosting: shared hosting, VPS hosting, reseller hosting, dedicated server hosting, and managed WordPress hosting.
Something that is very notable about Namecheap is that it is an independent company. While many budget web hosting companies are owned and operated by the same handful of corporations, Namecheap has remained strong in standing alone. Through this independence, Namecheap can create a craft brand value that they stick by. There are no up sells, no hidden fees, and a transparent renewal and pricing structure.
While this may not say anything about the quality of the hosting, it is indeed a breath of fresh air in an industry that often thrives on hidden fees, pricey renewals, and complex language. Buying a domain name and hosting is a quick, simple, seamless transition with Namecheap.
Alongside offering a straightforward approach to web hosting, Namecheap is a firm bargain web hosting service which comes with great backup and security plans, along with a 100% uptime guarantee.
Getting Started with Namecheap
Namecheap offers shared hosting plans that are incredibly hard to beat in ease of use or pricing. This is even more true if you are registering your domain name through Namecheap as well. You can just click on the tab to sign up for shared hosting instead of having to search far and wide for a budget-friendly web hosting provider.
Many budget-friendly web hosting providers stick to only offering a few plan options to their customers. However, Namecheap offers a full range of web hosting options, which include shared hosting, VPS, reseller hosting, managed WordPress hosting, and dedicated server hosting. The cheapest option, which is their shared hosting, comes at one of the lowest prices you can find for any shared hosting plan anywhere.
Typically, sign-up processes are very complex ordeals with many web hosting providers. You have to navigate countless up sells and upsets just to get through it. Signing up with Namecheap is not like this, however. It’s very simple and even enjoyable.
Signing up is instantaneous, as well. As soon as you sign up, you will receive an email with your login credentials for your web hosting account’s CPanel. Namecheap also makes a tutorial available at the very beginning which walks you through all the features and options available in your dashboard.
Namecheap’s backend is very simple and intuitive. You only see what you paid for, which are all the options available for managing your account. When you are a beginner navigating your web hosting’s backend for the first time, it can be a very confusing and frustrating experience. Namecheap helps eliminate this by offering only the options you need, and no options that you don’t need.
Backup and Security Options
Backing up and keeping your website secure can be tasks that are easily forgotten. While it is a good idea to run your own backups regardless, sometimes it can be easily forgotten with all the other things you have to do to manage your website. So it’s a good idea to have Namecheap’s backups as, well, a backup to your own personal backups.
Namecheap runs backups of your website twice a week, no matter what web hosting package you are using. This is typically an add-on service and/or severely limited, but Namecheap does this for free for all their accounts, and their backups are in depth, incredibly.
In terms of security, Namecheap has your back there, as well. The security they offer is spectacular. There are several firewalls that protect their server infrastructure. There is also regular testing of their systems and their software is always kept upgraded to the latest versions available.
Additionally, you can also increase the security of your own website. In CPanel, there are quite a few options available to enhance the security of your website. These apps are an awesome way to take extra steps in protecting your website. They will enable you to do things like:
- Block problematic IP addresses from accessing your website
- Protect your website from other websites directly linking to your images
- Improve your management of user passwords and reassign or suspend accounts that have been compromised
- Install an SSL certificate on your website to keep your website visitors secure from data sniffing
It is important to note that SSL certificates are not included with Namecheap’s web hosting plans. They have to be purchased separately, but they only cost $9 for a year’s worth of protection. Sometimes, though, Namecheap runs specials on their web hosting plans where an SSL certificate is included for free as part of your sign up for an account.
Namecheap’s Data Centers
Namecheap is one of the few web hosting providers that offer you your choice of data center, no matter what web hosting plan you sign up for. Many beginner web hosting plans will stick you with any data center that’s available without giving you a choice. The ability to choose which data center you use can be very advantageous in reducing the network latency that is required for your website data to travel between the server and your audience.
Namecheap’s data centers are located in the United States and Europe. This helps ensure that American and European customers get a data center that is local to their audience. When choosing a data center, you want to pick one that is closest to your intended audience. So if you’re in Europe, but your audience is mostly American, you will want to choose a data center that is in the United States.
Namecheap’s Uptime Guarantee
Not very many web hosting providers will guarantee your website is always up. Most web hosting providers give a 99% uptime guarantee, which means sometimes your server may go down. Namecheap offers a 99.99% uptime guarantee, which means your website should never go down for longer than a millisecond or two. If your website does go down for longer than this, Namecheap offers a compensation package to make up for it.
Support is always available 24/7 through live chat and a ticketing system. The response times are speedy and usually under 2 minutes. Namecheap’s technical support is also very knowledgeable and friendly, which makes their customer support among some of the best in the business.
Web Hosting Plan Upgrades
While Namecheap makes it super easy to get started with web hosting, chances are high that if you sign up for their cheapest shared hosting plan, you will soon outgrow it. Their entry level plan doesn’t allow for very much disk space or bandwidth, especially when it’s compared to other web hosting providers.
Thankfully, if you want to upgrade to a higher level of shared hosting, VPS, or dedicated server, it’s very easy. There is no need to wait until the end of your billing cycle, so you can upgrade your plan at any time you need the extra resources. For example, if you have had steadily growing traffic and predict a big spike in traffic is in your website’s future, you can immediately upgrade to a better plan. No hoops included for you to jump through.
All you have to do is send a billing request with your account information and the plan you would like to upgrade to. All of Namecheap’s billing is prorated, so if you upgrade in the middle of your billing cycle, what you’ve already paid will be applied to your new billing rate.
Drawbacks to Namecheap’s Hosting
Unfortunately, every web hosting provider has its drawbacks, and Namecheap is no exception to this rule. Some of these drawbacks may even be deal breakers for some people. Here are the drawbacks to using Namecheap’s hosting:
Namecheap does offer a full money-back guarantee on their plans, but the time frame it covers is relatively short compared to other web hosting providers. It only lasts for 14 days, while other web hosting providers will offer 30-day money-back guarantees, and a few even offer 90-day money-back guarantees.
However, it should be noted that if you sign up for the cheapest shared hosting plan, you won’t lose much money on it if you cancel after the 14-day period (the cheapest plan starts out at around $10 for the first year of hosting).
Shared Hosting Limitations
When compared to other web hosting providers of the same caliber as Namecheap, the shared hosting plans are very limited. Depending on your usage, you may quickly approach the caps on disk space, bandwidth, domains, databases, and email addresses.
For example, if your site uses a lot of multi-media, then you may have to upgrade very quickly from your initial shared hosting plan. There are multiple caps on every shared hosting plan that you may encounter for any number of reasons.
If you’re concerned about website security or are selling products online, you will want to use an SSL certificate. However, since this is not available by default with Namecheap’s web hosting plans, you will need to pay a fee and set it up yourself. You may run into difficulties knowing how to get the SSL certificate set up this way.
Another place Namecheap could improve is in its performance. There are resource caps not only placed on the shared web hosting plans, but on the servers as well.
If you run a small website, you probably won’t run into any issues. But if you have a large website that requires a lot of memory, then it will have decreased performance and load slowly due to the server’s limitations. This can be avoided by upgrading your hosting plan, but no one wants to do this straight out of the gate, which may happen if you run a large website.
This of course could be fixed by offering different tiers of shared hosting plans for different types of users.