Namecheap Review 2020
Is Namecheap a good web hosting and domain name registration service provider for Indian customer?
Starts at $1.44 per month
Visit SiteGround Hosting, Officially recommended by Wordpress and Forsst.me.
The streak of non-recommendable web hosting continues. The last few reviews we wrote — GoDaddy, InMotion, and Hosting Raja — lacked at a few core things. Sadly, Namecheap is no different.
Namecheap is a well-known domain registrar and hosting company. In both cases, they emphasize on the ‘fair price’.
Because registering a domain is straightforward and there are no moving parts, purchasing a domain from Namecheap actually makes sense. However, choosing a hosting just because it’s low-cost is a foolish mistake — many other things such as uptime, speed, support, etc. must be considered.
We considered all such factors to review their web hosting plans meant for small businesses, and here’s our experience and fact-based take on it:
Namecheap - Overview
B | 3/5
Average response time
Avg. response times in top-targeted countries
US: ~ 50 ms | India: ~250 ms
99.90% (guarantees 100%)
Chat & email ticket
Unmetered bandwidth, plenty of disk space, 30-day money-back guarantee
CEO Richard Kirkendall started Namecheap in the year 2000. Over the past two decades, Namecheap has accumulated about 11 million users and registered over 10 million domains.
It started as a domain registrar, but as it grew — both in terms of brand value and deep pockets — it jumped into the hosting business as any sensible company would. And it won with that too because of their philosophy: providing exceptional value at a competitive price.
Even today, it stands by that philosophy and provides fantastic value for money.
We aren’t against the philosophy, and we admit their products & service are good for the price, but if you are serious about growing your business online, the cost shouldn’t be the highest priority.
Our priorities were different, obviously, and this review is the honest result from that standpoint.
6 Good things about Namecheap Hosting
Certainly, Namecheap isn’t a terrible hosting; they just stand average or below average at a few primary factors. And we will talk about those. But before that, let’s have a look at positives:
1. Good average response time
We tested our test site’s server response time with Bitcatcha and found the average response time to be about 160 ms.
Google recommends a response time of under 200ms, and Namecheap’s is surely under recommendation.
This fact highly decreases the chances of visitors leaving before the website starts loading, i.e., eventually, it has a positive impact on the bottom line.
However, what Namecheap does here isn’t something unique — providers like Siteground (~125 ms response time) or any other from our top recommended does it excellently.
Anyway, this doesn’t dilute the truth that Namecheap’s server response time is excellent.
2. More than one domains allowed
If you want to host multiple websites and are tight on budget, Namecheap is perhaps your best option. Namecheap allows up to three sites on their base web hosting plan.
In our experience, most hosting providers (even the ones we recommend) only allow a single domain on the base plan. Therefore, credit where it’s due: Namecheap allowing to host multiple websites on a $1.44/month plan makes for a solid point in their favor.
If you don’t need more than one website, of course, there’s no value for you.
However, if you do and can stretch a budget a bit, we would recommend going with Hostinger’s $2.89/month Premium Shared plan. For the extra dollar or so you pay, you can host unlimited domains. Plus, the extraordinary value you receive in the form of other elements make for a bigger value gap between Namecheap & Hostinger.
All in all, Namecheap’s base plan is an excellent value if you want to host multiple domains as cheaply as possible. But, we would recommend stretching your budget a bit and going with Hostinger.
3. Plenty of disk space
Having the option to host multiple domains but not having enough space to store all websites’ data can be a huge disappointment. Thankfully, that’s not the case with Namecheap.
Namecheap’s Stellar plan (their introductory package) comes with 20 GB SSD storage, which is more than enough to store data of all three sites given they are small or midsize. With their other packages, they provide “unlimited” space.
But that’s all about quantity. As far as quality goes, they use SSDs over traditional HDDs, which is better. However, it is not high-performance storage like the ones found with A2 Hosting or Siteground.
Anywho, Namecheap providing plenty of SSD storage is a point in their favor.
4. Free email accounts
Like with their disk space, Namecheap offers more than needed email accounts. The number of email accounts being ‘30’ with their Stellar plan and ‘Unlimited’ with other plans.
These email accounts are professional emails, i.e., the ones with ‘@yourdomain.com’ postfix.
Having such 30 accounts means you can have a different account for every purpose. For example, “firstname.lastname@example.org” for personal-professional use, “email@example.com” to reply to support queries, firstname.lastname@example.org for promotional emails, etc.
In short, having many such free email accounts is a pro of choosing a Namecheap plan. However, many other providers like A2 Hosting provide unlimited emails, so it doesn’t make that unique of an advantage.
5. Free site migration
If you have a website and want to transfer it to Namecheap, they will help you do it for free.
Again, it’s not an unique edge that Namecheap brings to the table. Still, it’s better than a few hosting providers that charge for this service. Our recommendation, Hostinger - the best cheap web hosting, also helps import the sites free of charge.
Regardless, free site migration is an attractive add-on by Namecheap.
6. 30-day money-back guarantee
Another fairly common tactic used in the hosting industry is a money-back guarantee. This is to comfort the doubtful users.
Namecheap offers a 30-day money-back guarantee with all plans. If we were to compare it to our recommendations, 30-day would look tiny compared to something like A2 Hosting’s lifetime money-back guarantee.
Overall, Namecheap’s 30-day money-back guarantee is better than Hosting Raja’s none but less than A2 Hosting’s lifetime. As far as our experience goes, 30-day is a good enough period to judge a hosting. Therefore, that’s another positive about Namecheap.
4 things we didn't like about Namecheap
We listed a total of six positives about Namecheap — almost none of them were better than our recommended hosting services; they were just there because Namecheap is good at it.
One thing you might have noticed is- almost all the positives were insignificant compared to what makes a hosting service worth considering (speed, uptime, support, etc.).The reason? Namecheap is below average at those crucial elements.
1. Slow page speed
Page loading speed is one of the most vital aspects that decides the success of a website. If a site loads merely one second slower, it can have a significant impact on the bottom line.
In other words, your hosting choice can make or break your website.
We tested our Namecheap-hosted website using Pingdom and GTmetrix. A text-based sample page took approx. 920 ms to load, which is a mediocre loading time considering the normal benchmark is one second.
However, if you look at our top recommended web hosting — Hostinger, A2 Hosting, Siteground, etc. — the average time it took to load the same sample page was in the 500-600 ms range.
Meaning, from a speed standpoint, there are way better options out there if compared to Namecheap.
2. Not the best response time in India
This Namecheap review is a part of our “India” category, so chances are your focus is primarily on the Indian demographic. If that’s the case, we have bad news for you.
Scroll back to the first positive point in the review. We mentioned the Namecheap server’s average response time to be 160 ms. If you check the report-screenshot carefully, the server response time from Bangalore location is approx. 250 ms, which is over Google’s recommended 200.
However, it’s still a good response time, but the fact that other providers such as Siteground (~60 ms) and HostGator (~3 ms) have a better response time in India makes Namecheap a dull choice.
One of the primary reasons why our recommended providers excel at speed and response time is they have multiple data centers across continents and/or they offer free CDN.
Namecheap doesn’t offer either— they only have two data centers: US & UK. Therefore, Namecheap’s server response time is bad in India.
3. Decent yet slow customer support
We know a thing or two about setting up & managing websites and servers. But, when we test an individual hosting for reviews—in this case, Namecheap—good customer support is a priority because most readers aren’t tech-savvy and can’t solve all problems by themselves.
Firstly, let’s talk about the ways to find assistance. With Namecheap, you can either look through their Knowledge Base or communicate via live chat or email. Sadly, there’s no phone support.
We started a live chat with their support team multiple times for giving an accurate representation of their support team. In our experience, it took a few minutes to connect to a live chat representative. Each time, they had to pass the chat to another person for a solution. Combined, we lost about 20-30 minutes for each query to be solved. That’s slow!
Compare that to something like Siteground’s quick response time and solution within the first interaction, and you will see how ordinary/bad Namecheap’s customer support is.
4. Barely 99.9% Uptime
Namecheap’s uptime is quite ironic. They give a 100% uptime guarantee, but in our experiment, it measured ~99.90%.
In contrast, our recommended hosting providers promise 99.9% uptime and deliver almost 100%.
Namecheap’s 99.9% uptime is theoretically blocking 0.1% of your revenue. Therefore, you should choose a hosting with an uptime nearest to 100%. In our experience, Siteground (~100%) and Bluehost(~99.99%) are the ideal selections.
Overall, Namecheap’s uptime is not good. Combined with it’s slower speed and mediocre support, Namecheap makes for an average web hosting and not worth recommending.
Namecheap Hosting Plans and Features
Till now, we looked at Namecheap’s web hosting plans subjectively. Now, let’s look at it’s shared as well as other plans objectively.
The prices for each plan we mention will be for their US datacenter. They have added another data center in the UK recently, and you can choose that by paying an extra $1/month.
Namecheap’s shared plans are their cheapest ones. These packages are meant for small to mid-sized businesses. Depending on the size of the site, the number of domains you wish to host, and traffic, you can choose one of their three packages.
As the name suggests, these packages are optimized for WordPress CMS. They claim these plans will perform 3x faster than normal.
Namecheap’s WordPress plans are built on top of the Namecheap cloud. Meaning, these are easily scalable plans with a high possibility of zero downtime.
For those handling multiple client accounts or are looking to start a hosting company, reseller hosting is a low-cost option. Namecheap has three plans that might suit your purpose.
If you want to host an average-sized e-commerce store or any resource-intensive website, Namecheap has two VPS plans for you.
If the VPS plans feel meager for the purpose of your site, perhaps you will find Namecheap’s dedicated server plans better suited.
Namecheap Control Panel
Namecheap offers the old-school cPanel as their control panel. It’s a fantastic platform from a functionality standpoint. But aesthetically, it blows.
You can easily access their website builder or integrate an SSL certificate from the panel.
Managing files, FTP accounts, disk usage, etc. is easy with Namecheap’s cPanel.
Similarly, adding/managing domains and subdomains is pretty straightforward.
Creating professional email accounts, adding forwarders, setting autoresponders, or doing any such thing with the available free emails can be done from the cPanel.
Plus, the cPanel also includes Softaculous Apps Installer, using which you can install 100+ apps with one click.
Overall, you can manage almost everything from Namecheap’s cPanel. In other words, the cPanel does the job a control panel is supposed to.
Conclusion - Do We Recommend Namecheap?
No. We don’t.
Namecheap is a mediocre hosting provider. Sure the web hosting plans are good in some aspects, but as a whole, they lack a few very crucial things.
So, what should you do? We suggest going through our top recommended hosting list to make a conscious decision. If you don’t want to read it, here’s the essence in a few words: If quality is the priority, go with Siteground. If affordability is the priority, go with Hostinger.
Either way, do not opt for Namecheap!
Starts at $3.99 per month
• Uptime 99.99%
• 24/7 chat, tickets, and calls
• Officially recommended by WordPress