NameCheap.com is a web hosting company and domain registrar that has been existing for more than ten years now. It started out as mainly a domain name registrar back in the year 2000, founded and managed until today by CEO Richard Kirkendall. There’s not a good record as to whether the company has its own data center, but some have reported to locate data centers either in Georgia, Arizona, Texas, or New Jersey.
It was after four years when the company started out the web hosting solutions offering; thanks to the initiative of Matthew Russell, the current vice-president of the LA-based company. Being so, the web hosting aspect of the company is relatively fresh, but its name is so far well-recognized in these recent years.
The company is widely reputed for being ICANN recognized, and with a keen stand to supporting anti-SOPA position, the company has been into some serious awards and recognitions by gaining a good amount of trust from customers or clients. Admittedly, Namecheap.com is less known to be a web hosting company, making its domain name registrar aspect stand out as the best offering.
In fact, the company has gained so much with the latter aspect, allowing them to host over 3 million domains, not to mention the 800,000 other clients that cater to their services. Part of their big mission is not to ‘bombard clients with unwanted up-sells and in-your-face advertising.’ This may still hardly be evident to people’s knowledge of the company, but at least they do a lot less upsells than other companies according to a number of good customers.
Price Plans and Features
Particular to the company are some key features like secure SSL certificates, flexible web hosting plans, dedicated web hosting, WhoisGuard integration, and to customer’s experience, straightforward billing, cPanel, and very low rates.
Almost all popular domain extensions offered in domain registration, transfer, or renewal are covered by the privacy tool known as WhoisGuard. Simply put, WhoisGuard is a tool that filters or forwards e-mails to monitor and sort out junks and spams that may threated if not overload a database. This tool being offered for almost all plans of NameCheap is also backed with the mentioned ICANN recognition.
ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) is a policy that requires every transaction with the most accurate contact information to be registered on the WHOIS database.
- Domain name registration gets a basic price of $10.69USD a year, and this rate may or may not apply also to other domain procedures like transfers and renewals.
- All prices offered by NameCheap.com may come in a variety of coupons for extras or discounts.
- However, on some rare extensions like .net.pe or .org.pe, domain registration gets a lot more expensive at $49.98 per year. Some extensions require a minimum of 2 years in contract, and there’ll be an ICANN fee of 18¢ for each year.
- For domain transfers, domains which may have remaining months in the current cycle will be added an extra year rather than overtaking the remaining months.
- Every transfer is promised with some great additions like e-mail and URL forwarding, dynamic or custom DNS, full user rights, registrar lock, WhoisGuard, customizable Parking Page, and a lot more.
- All domain transfer process will not cost any charge or fee, thus the payment will only fall on the subscription itself.
- It’s also offered as a stand-alone plan which starts at $2.88 a year for the starter pack.
- By adding WhoisGuard to your domain, you are entitled to some security features like exchanging original contact details with an anonymous WhoisGuard information, and that covers postal addresses, contact numbers, and even e-mail addresses.
Shared Web hosting plans
- Starts with $3.45 a month, and this include a 25-GB RAID-protected disk space, unlimited bandwidth, up to 5 domains with their respective websites, more than 100 1-click-to-install apps, and free e-mail.
- The next plan called Professional Hosting comes in a price of $5.95, and includes 100GB of space and up to 26 domains.
- The Ultimate Hosting plan includes unlimited space and domains, and costs $9.95 a month.
- All hosting plans are backed with a 14-day money-back guarantee, solid infrastructure, support for Softaculous (for improving workflow of apps), and support only be live chat or ticketing (e-mail).
Reseller Hosting plans
This plan comes in four variations.
- Prices which start at $14.95 a month gets $10 increase for each consequent plans, and starts with 25GB space and 500GB bandwidth to 300GB space and 2000GB bandwidth. It may be a shame they do not offer unlimited bandwidth, though all plans come with unlimited domains.
- cPanel accounts are locked at 25 for the first plan, and the rest gets unlimited. For the features, all come with WHM Reseller control panel, fully white label guarantee, and personal nameservers.
- The third and fourth plan comes with free WHMCS software and 2Checkout.com account, but the ultimate plan comes with a free Comodo PositiveSSL.
VPS Hosting plans
- VPS Hosting comes in versions of Lite-Xen, 1-Xen, 2-Xen, and 3-Xen.
- Storage space starts with 15GB up to 100GB, bandwidth from 100GB to 700GB, RAM from 512MB which is a bit short to 3GB, CPU cores from single-core to dual-core, and all in prices from $16.95 a month to $63.95 a month.
- The Lite version does not share an optional cPanel, no support for addons, and is locked with a basic management level instead of a full management level.
Dedicated Server Hosting
- It can start in either $99 a month (Express Dedicated Servers) or $225 a month (Power Dedicated Servers).
- The former promises servers that are setup in less than 4 hours, a free choice of OS, optional cPanel, and a promising 99.9% uptime guarantee. The latter, on the other hand, takes up to 12 hours to set up, and can be fully manageable.
- While both plans come with free choice of hardware specs and OS plus 2 IP addresses and support for cPanel and Softaculous, the Power Dedicated Servers come with IPMI Remote management feature.
Cases and Feedback
NameCheap.com, as mentioned, is widely and reasonably known and sought for mainly as a domain registrar. However, contrary to this persistence as an effort, the company fails to fully sustain all its aspects particularly on the web hosting plans. We’ll take some key factors into consideration:
- Billing. Namecheap is proud to integrate Google Wallet as another method of payment. While it adds an extra layer of convenience by eliminating customers’ need to fill in forms and credit card information, the need time for the money to be fully credited to the virtual wallet of Namecheap can take a real while, which means, the effects do not appear as what can be promised by PayPal which they also offer as an option. The mentioned virtual wallet also means that you have to stack extra amount of cash, more because Namecheap does not really present you a breakdown of your checkout until you are fully done with a purchase.
- Account. There have been several cases reporting that Namecheap can really mishandle accounts or domains. Some domains are reported to have been missing if not been sold or stolen. Otherwise, the rights associated with a domain were also reported to have been transferred to the company without notice to the clients or original owners. While setting up is fairly easy and fast, renewals can take some time and may even lead to some confusions and unexpected fees.
- User Experience. Using the cPanel is really a welcome, more because a lot of CMS present today are requiring such platform to fully maximize features. Namecheap offers a fairly unique cPanel that introduces a sidebar. The usability and preference to this style of interface may be subjective in appeal (some have taken it as confusing, while some claim it as intuitive), but so far, there’ve been no issues at all.
- Uptime or downtime. While Namecheap promises a 99.9% uptime guarantee, there’s hardly any supporting document to fully testify via stats or reports. On top of this, users who have been into web hosting plans were reportedly experiencing multiple if not incremental downtimes in a day. Downtimes can vary from a few minutes to an hour, and a real few mentioned some day-long downtimes. Submitted tickets may take some time to be apprehended if reported, and the technical team may not really show full awareness to all these events.
Customer support. It may be pretty hard to many that there’s not a phone support, but so far, the live ticketing system or e-mail and the live-chat is pretty responsive and helpful. However, just as what was mentioned a while ago, technicalities may arise in the middle of a subscription, and some have manifested inability to fully rectify the occurrences. The support team was also said to be good only at setting up and billing, but not really for monitoring and technical issues.
There is also a good amount of resource for customers to look for answers from, including a well-equipped knowledgebase, some few videos, forums, and articles. While these contents may be very helpful, other find some contents very confusing if not clear enough for the common people to understand and follow.