NameCheap was founded in 2000 with the purpose of delivering cheap and valued domains to the people of the web. Since then NameCheap has become a leading name in domain registering with over two million valued customers and five million registered domains under its belt. They have also started to venture into the world of web hosting and strive for net neutrality and freedom on the internet. Something which has been talked about a lot recently in the US with new net neutrality laws. NameCheap have fought for internet freedom by establishing a day every year called ‘Move your domain day’, which allows users to move over to their hosting for a reduced rate.
From that you can tell that people of the internet are their main focus for NameCheap. With that in mind, their goal is to offer affordable domains and products for all. NameCheap have many datacenters spread over North America and also have a datacenter within the UK. Overall NameCheap offer shared, re-seller, VPS, dedicated and WordPress hosting.
Do NameCheap offer good hosting?
NameCheap offer one plan for WordPress. This plan is remarkably cheap, costing just $8.88 a year. Yes you heard that right, $8.88 A YEAR. You can’t get much better than that. There is also a renewal price at $48.88 a year which is still an outstanding price. With this plan users get to access to one WordPress website, and 5GB of storage. This does not seem much and you would be right. I personally believe that this plan is only suitable for very small sites/blogs as there is no option to increase the storage size and to up the amount of WordPress sites allowed with this plan.
Although in saying that, this plans allows for an unlimited amount of visitors per day/month and E-Commerce plugins do work with your sites. To find this information out I had to go onto their live chat and ask as its not advertised within their plan. You also gain many security and support features with this plan.
Do NameCheap provide good support?
Support, its one of the biggest features within WordPress hosting. Whether you have a problem or you’re interested in learning something new, NameCheap will have you covered. NameCheap have many different forms of support, including live chat, email, articles, FAQ’s, a support center, ticketing system and status update for NameCheap themselves.
Lets start of will the types of support which offer you help with your problems. One of these is their live chat. Their live chat is active 24/7/365 and I, myself even have a small bit of experience with it. Workers are very knowledgeable and take their time to reply to your questions and query’s promptly and accurately. This is so you’re not waiting about all day for a simple answer. This is true because I got an answer to my questions I had in just over three minutes. Amazing right? You’re also able to submit a ticket if you cant find the answer to any questions within their knowledge base, which I will talk about next.
Within the knowledge base offered by NameCheap their are hundreds upon hundreds of articles. All these articles can help users find answers to their questions easily and without directly needing to go to NameCheap to get your answer. There are fourteen specific sections within the knowledge base all the articles are separated into. This makes it easily to pinpoint certain type of articles you need to read to help you find an answer. You can also use the search bar provided to search for specific topics, such as WordPress hosting, which would probably be within the hosting section of the knowledge base. Hosting is one of the fourteen sections.
The knowledge base is ran like a forum also. Users can ask questions within the comments of articles about the topic in questions. They even have a warning saying off-topic questions will get deleted, so don’t worry the comments will not be spammed. Within these comments, workers of NameCheap usually respond to any question directly and quickly. Other users are also able to reply to questions in the comments, taking all of the pressure of the NameCheap workers. Absolutely unbelievable service, I think anyway!
NameCheap also have a blog. This has been operating since September 2008 and is regularly updated with new posts. Every post now comes with an image, which is fun to see. Here users can find answers to some unique questions and also learn more about NameCheap. Also within the support center, NameCheap have a status update, which is also regularly update. This feature is great as it allows users to find out important information about scheduled maintenance and it could be the difference between you contacting them or not about your site being down due to maintenance.
There is also an FAQ’s section within NameCheap’s website another great place to find answers to some questions and query’s you may have.
What kind of security do NameCheap provide?
One of the only security features you get with the WordPress plan on NameCheap is backups. Having backups is one of the best features you can ever have on your site. This is because if something drastic was to happen during updates, and your site loses data, you are able to head back to a previous version of your site. It also means if you site crashes, data loss can be prevented as you can go back to previous backup.
Many other features such as an SSL and WhoIsGuard need to be purchased and added to your plan yourself. I would greatly advise purchasing an SSL for your site, as it means all data within your site is encrypted. Its also essential for any personal information such as your name, address and card number being entered into your site, as this encrypts all the data. This will greatly ease users of your sites peace of mind.
There are many SSL certificates you can choose from to protect your site with. The cheapest certificate will cost you £6.36 for a year or £5.64 for two years. This certificate is great for personal websites such as blogs. The most expensive SSL cost set you back almost £120 a year. This certificate would be great for e-commerce and larger domains with many sub domains. There is another eleven SSL certificates you can choose from ranging from £10.66 a year upto £120.
WhoIsGuard is a feature that protects your personal information linked with your domain. It is basically a domain privacy feature that blocks your personal information such as your name, address, phone number and email from being in public view. This will help you nor to receive any spam phone calls and emails from other marketing firms and spammers.
NameCheap’s performance, what’s it like?
Like many hosting companies, NameCheap offer an uptime guarantee. Although most have a guarantee, very few have a guarantee of 100% airtime. I will always say this is impossible, because sites need to be updated and maintained as well as stuff can go wrong. A guarantee of 99.99% is offered with reseller and VPS hosting.
If any of these guarantee’s are broken then users will be reimbursed with free days for every hour their site is down.
You can also get a Premium DNS with your plan. DNS means Domain Name System. A DNS acts like a host which connects your site to search results through IP addresses. Without this users would receive a site cant be reached page, so it is essential to have at least a simple DNS.
A premium DNS will certainly improve your websites performance, as it will improve your sites speed and its uptime. In terms of their performance, NameCheap don’t give a lot away.
Does NameCheap have any other or unique features?
NameCheap have a number of other features, they are not necessarily unique to them. One of these features is the money-back guarantee. A money-back guarantee of upto fourteen days is available for everyone who chooses to host with NameCheap. This is great for anyone who is experimenting with NameCheap and if they are trying to figure out if NameCheap is right for them.
A custom control panel is used by NameCheap with their WordPress plan. Compared to many other hosts who use cPanel. This panel is called Easy WP Dashboard. Here you are able to name your site and create backups.
Positives of NameCheap;
NameCheap have many positives to them. Many of the positive surround their support and setup of your site. As I have mentioned, NameCheap have an amazing support network for its users. They offer various different ways you can get in contact with them and have many other features that can help and support you with problems.
One of the best positives of their support is their live chat, it is easy to use and the staff who you talk to, are very knowledgeable and respond quickly. I have personal experiences of this feature and the quickness of the staff helps relieve any stress of waiting about. The knowledge base is also fantastic, as it has hundreds maybe even thousands of articles on different problems, which can help you figure problems out. Staff and other members of NameCheap can comment within the articles, if you have any further questions about any of the articles.
Another positive of NameCheap is that they don’t place restrictions on a lot of features. These features include the number of visitors a month, the plugins you’re using, and your own themes. Many hosts place restrictions on using some plugins, NameCheap don’t. NameCheap allow you to use whatever plugin you would like, if the plugin causes problems then they will try their hardest to fix the problem without cutting off the plugin itself. E-Commerce plugins can be easily used with NameCheap. Users of this plan can also have an unlimited amount of visitors per month, something not every host allows. This of course comes within reason and T&C’s. This means if you website becomes an overnight sensation, you will not be billed for having millions of visitors. Your site should not experience any downtime also. You can also install your own themes.
NameCheap have many datacenters, mostly in North America and in the US. They also have a datacenter in England. Users are able to choose which datacenter they would like their site to be hosted. This is a positive as websites with a great audience in Europe would perform a lot better if it is stored within the UK datacenter as the UK is in Europe.
Your WordPress site is easy to use, setup and update with NameCheap. Updates and backups can be made with just a few simple clicks. NameCheap also install WordPress themselves, so you could have a new website setup within thirty seconds. They even say “we do the heavy lifting for you.” This is great for users with not very much experience of WordPress and hosting.
Negatives of NameCheap;
One of the biggest features of NameCheap is that they plan on adding a lot of features to their plan for WordPress. Some of the features they plan to add is a multi-site feature, PHPMyAdmin, CDN, dedicated IP address and FTP/SSH/SFTP access in the near future. There are a lot of features they plan to add in the future. Many of the features, competitors already have, so it is definitely a downfall on NameCheap’s part.
There is only one WordPress plan offered by NameCheap. It great if you know what you’re looking for and the plan is perfect for you. If you don’t know what you need, it doesn’t give you options to find what you need. The one plan also just allows one website.
As NameCheap use their very own custom control panel, they do not use cPanel. cPanel is a control panel many customers would be familiar with and would like to have this control panel over the custom panel provided.
The fourteen day money guarantee is also a negative to NameCheap. Many competitors offer a money back guarantee of upto at least thirty day and some even ninety day. By having only a fourteen money back guarantee users will not have a long time to use and get used to the control panel. This could cause a few problems.
Overall I would give NameCheap a good try if I was looking for WordPress hosting for a small personal website. I do feel they are missing out on the bigger part of the WordPress market by only having the one, EasyWP plan.
I have rated NameCheap a three stars out of five and it would be a four if they have many of the features I have talked about in the negatives part of the article above. If NameCheap have many of the features they don’t have at the moment they could compete a lot better against some of the better WordPress hosts.
To find out more about NameCheap and what they offer, check out NameCheap