NameCheap Domain & Hosting NameCheap was founded in 2000. The CEO and founder is Richard Kirkendall. A lot of webmasters have been hesitant to host with them because a number of registrars have also transitioned into the hosting industry. We have all heard of various hosting providers that are unreliable and have poor business practices and hardly attend to their clients’ needs. It’s not new to read about how bad a web hosting company is, regardless of its top-of-the-line infrastructure. However, NameCheap doesn’t fall into that category. In fact, they have built a rock solid foundation in the registrar business. I have been registering domains with them for years. So, I am excited to check them out for web hosting. I will let you know all the plans they offer, their uptime and performance statistics, about their customer support, and finally a summary which either recommends or points you elsewhere.
Domain Names Obviously, one thing NameCheap is known for is domain names. They are one of the biggest domain registrars and started primarily as a domain registrar. You can register hundreds of domain extensions like .com, .net, .org, .us, etc. You can register a domain name with them starting at $3.98/year. A lot of domain registrars do raise the price for your domain name after your first year. However, a lot of them raise it to $15-30 dollars per year. NameCheap is different for .com domain names because it cost just under $11/year. You do get a small price break if you want to register your domain name for longer than a year though.
NameCheap Features Shared Plans Shared hosting is a service that allows a user to create multiple Web sites under one server while each Web site has its own domain name. Each option NameCheap offers scale upwards with size of the allocated storage space and the number of websites Name Cheap allows the user to host on the server. Plans offer storage space RAID protected, unlimited bandwidth, and a number of websites to be hosted: Value ($9.88/yr, 20GB, 3 websites), Professional ($19.88/yr, 50GB, 10 websites), Ultimate ($29.88/yr, 50GB, 50 websites), and Business SSD ($19.88/mo, 20GB RAID10, 5000GB Bandwidth, unlimited websites). Therefore, the plan a user selects will predominantly be regulated based on the amount of storage space needed versus number of websites that need to be hosted. However, the Business SSD option allows users to utilize the speed of a solid state drive which would be optimized for e-commerce websites, but limited with 5000GB of bandwidth per month.
Reseller Plans Reseller hosting allows users to sell their server space to customers that want their websites hosted by the user. Name Cheap’s plans in this category all scale upwards along the four options: Reseller 1 ($16.95/mo, 25 resold accounts, 25GB disk, 500GB bandwidth), Reseller 2 ($26.95/mo, unlimited, 75GB disk, 1000GB bandwidth), Reseller 3 ($36.95/mo, unlimited, 150GB disk, 1500GB bandwidth), and Reseller 4 ($46.95/mo, unlimited, 300GB disk, 2000GB bandwidth). Each plan comes with Free cPanel/WHM, but Reseller 3 comes with an additional WHMCS and Reseller 4 adds SSL in addition. Thus, decisions should be based on storage versus the number of resold accounts the user is planning.
VPS Plans VPS or virtual private server allows the user to run any operating system on the machine they purchase with all privileges available. This is important for users because it allows them to fully customize the server with any add-ons that may be needed for their websites. Name Cheap offers 4 plans in this category as well. VPS Lite ($19.95/mo), VPS 1 ($29.95/mo), VPS 2 ($49.95/mo), and VPS 3 ($69.96/mo). The first two plans only have 1 CPU core while the last two plans have 2 CPU cores. Each plan also scales with bandwidth at 100, 250, 500, and 750GB respectively. In addition to purchasing the server, Name Cheap offers the option to allow user to self-manage the server free of cost or let Name Cheap handle it for $30/mo or $75/mo for fully managed plan.
Dedicated Plans Name cheap allows users to purchase a dedicated machine for as cheap as $58.88/mo up to $449/mo with the scale of specs increasing in both RAM, hard drive space into solid state drive space, bandwidth and up to 12 core processors. Most servers operate at 100% uptime and just as the VPS plans, Name Cheap offers the server management plans in this category as well. In addition, Name Cheap’s servers are located in a Tier IV data center in Phoenix, Arizona.
Control Panel I tend to favor hosting companies that use cPanel, because it’s what a lot of webmasters and I am familiar with. Thankfully NameCheap does use cPanel and it’s not a branded or dumbed down version of cPanel that a lot of other host use which limits the functionality. One thing I really do like about their cPanel is that they use CloudLinux. This is very important on a shared platform because you can set usage limits on the CPU usage and RAM. Scripts are supported with NameCheap, as well. You can use Softaculous to install over 100 applications within cPanel. This makes it a breeze to install WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, etc.
Performance You can tested NameCheap and their TTFB was very fast. It was .157. Webmaster like to host with a company that has decent performance. Meaning they are using the latest hardware and do not oversell their servers, causing other websites to run slowly. The web hosting industry has been moving towards SSD hosting for many years now. I have been reviewing different companies for 6+ years and seen a lot of host offering SSD hosting. As far as performance goes it shouldn’t be an issue with NameCheap. I do favor companies that use SSD hosting. They do on their “Business” shared plan which is $20/month. Dedicated servers do come with SSD (some of their plans). What I do like is you can get a dedicated server with SSD hosting for about $70/month. This is a tremendous value.
NameCheap Customer Support NameCheap does have 24/7 customer support. You can get in contact with them through live chat or start a support ticket. They have a very large database of how-to videos and lots of articles that will walk you through any and everything you could possibly want to do. I have spent about 30 minutes going through their how-tos and do find them to be quite good. NameCheap does use a Kayako support system for their live chat which is an excellent resource for customer support. Over the years I have talked to NameCheap on live chat and they were very quick to respond to my questions. Live chat takes about 1 minute to connect and support tickets are usually answered within 6 hours.
The only thing I don’t like about NameCheap in terms of customer support is the fact that they don’t have telephone support. Sometimes it’s nice to be able to just pick up the telephone if you want to talk to an agent to get your issues resolved right away. However, live chat is very helpful and they do a wonderful job at assisting their clients. Support tickets are also very helpful and they fully explain issues to you.
NameCheap Summary So, is NameCheap a company I recommend you host with? Yes! They have a very solid resume as a registrar. The same can be said about NameCheap for web hosting. Their prices for shared hosting are a little steep for some. Their VPS plans are right on par with other hosting companies. Their dedicated plans are priced fairly. Some of them are even cheaper then other companies too. They have a plethora of plans you can choose from. No matter how big or small a server you require NameCheap can handled anything you need them.