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Brad Smith

Hosting Reviewer

Namecheap was founded all the way back in 2000 by Richard Kirkendall.

Over the past 18 years, they’ve reportedly racked up three million customers.

Domain names are the name of Namecheap’s game (sorry, couldn’t resist), with over seven million under their control.

Namecheap review

But here’s the thing:

We’ve seen this story before; Hosting A is good at X, so they leverage their brand name and deep pockets to muscle into new service Y. It doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re any good at it.

So what’s the deal with Namecheap?

Have they been able to replicate their domain name success in a new arena? Or are they simply trading on their name alone? (Pun definitely intended.)

We signed up for their hosting service, purchased the least expensive plan, and set up a test website to track performance stats like uptime and speed.

Is Namecheap good enough to get our recommendation?

Read on to find out.

General Info & Hosting Overview


Our Rating:

Our Verdict: 4.0

SPEED: 417 ms (April 2020 to March 2021)
UPTIME: 99.96% (April  2020 to March 2021)
SUPPORT: 24/7 Live Chat, Ticketing, and Knowledge Base
APPS: 100+ Apps with 1-Click Install, Including WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Magento, and more.
FEATURES: Unmetered Bandwidth, 20 GB SSD Disk Space, 30 Email Accounts, SpamAssassin, Backups, Google Apps, 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee, Three Hosted Domains, Website Builder, Free CDN, Free SSL
HOSTING PLANS: Shared, WordPress, VPS, Reseller, Private Email, and Dedicated Hosting
SITE TRANSFER: Free
PRICING: Starting at $1.44/mo (renews at $2.88/mo)

Pros of Using Namecheap Hosting


Namecheap starts strong with a free domain name, speed, uptime, migrations, and extra plan features like backups.

Here are the full details:

1. Free Domain and Migration

Namecheap excels at domain names. So it only makes sense that they’ll happily throw one in if you sign up for their hosting plan. It’s free for the first year only, though. After that, you’d have to pay the renewal price of the domain. For example, for .com it’s $7.98/year.

If you already have a website set up somewhere else, they’ll also help you migrate the service for free. For a full cPanel migration, Namecheap guarantees to do it in less than 24 hours and with no more than 15 minutes of downtime. If they fail (or you’re not completely satisfied with how the migration went), they’ll credit your account with the value of your first purchase of shared hosting.

2. Good Uptime – 99.96%

Uptime is one of the most important criteria to look for in a host and it’s something that we always test.

Namecheap delivered a stellar 100% uptime the first month we signed up. That gave us plenty of excitement to see what was to come.

And we’re happy to say that Namecheap didn’t disappoint.

Even though Namecheap had some problematic months during our testing period, we’re still happy to say that they managed to deliver decent uptime, coming at an average of 99.96%. In total, they had 62 outages.

NameCheap last 12-month uptime and speed statistics
NameCheap average uptime | See stats

Last 12-month average uptime:

  • March 2021: 99.99%
  • February 2021: 99.89%
  • January 2021: 99.98%
  • December 2020: 100%
  • November 2020: 99.89%
  • October 2020: 100%
  • September 2020: 99.93%
  • August 2020: 99.91%
  • July 2020:99.99%
  • June 2020: 99.99%
  • May 2020:99.98%
  • April 2020: 100%

3. Decent Load Time 417 ms

After the uptime, the second most important criterion is speed. The reason it’s so important is that speed has been directly correlated with visitor happiness.

Google recently found that the probability of someone bouncing increases over 100% if your pages take up to six seconds to load.

So yes, you need your site to stay alive. If that site is slow, then it’s almost as bad. Your site might as well be down because people will be leaving in droves.

Namecheap has been able to post an average page speed of 417 ms over the past 12 months, which easily gets a thumbs up from our side.

NameCheap Speed Apr. 2020 - Mar. 2021
NameCheap average speed | See stats

Moreover, they are steadily improving their loading times from month to month.

4. 30-day Money-Back Guarantee

Namecheap does offer a rock-solid 30-day money-back guarantee. You’ve got a full month to see if their service is right for you. Otherwise, it’s not too late to back out and try something else.

5. Fully-Loaded Value Plan

We’ve reviewed many hosts to date.

And for each one, we typically sign up for the most basic plan to set up our test website.

The reason is twofold:

  1. We want to be able to base these reviews on real data and performance figures.
  2. Most base-level plans at each hosting company are pretty similar.

In other words – this allows us to compare apples to apples (for the most part). Each shared offer is fairly similar, with the same features offered on each.

Namecheap surprised us, though.

First, they offered unmetered bandwidth on their cheapest plan. They also give you access to standard features like cPanel access and apps like WordPress.

Their cheapest plan also includes a free SSL certificate for the first year.

You also get twice-a-week backups, just in case things go haywire while updating your new site.

The best part about their cheapest offer is that you get 50 MySQL databases (which is way more than what most companies offer on a similar tier).

Plus, you can set up three websites on this plan. Most base-level hosting plans only allow you to host one single website. This is a great value if you have several sites, like a business and a personal one.

They also give you up to 30 email addresses right out of the gate, too.

This can add up to huge cost savings over time.

6. Third-Party Reviews Are Excellent

We always like to get a pulse from existing customers to make sure each review isn’t just based on our own isolated experience.

We’ll admit:

We were pleasantly surprised at some of the customer reviews online.

For instance, they have a solid 4.7-star rating on Shopper Reviewed. Supposedly that’s based on over a million reviews.

Third party reviews

Cons of Using Namecheap Hosting


There are three major categories we look at when considering a new web host:

  1. Uptime: Can this host keep my site live the vast majority of the time?
  2. Speed: Can this host deliver a good experience for visitors so they’ll want to come back?
  3. Support: And can this host help me when things spin out of control?

Unfortunately, Namecheap dropped the ball in one of the three areas.

Take a look for yourself.

1. Inconsistent Customer Support

Namecheap has a pretty good knowledge base platform. It contains detailed answers that should help solve the most common problems you run into.

NameCheap customer support

We also like to try out live chats to get a feel for their service.

Things started well enough, with a quick connection from a friendly support rep, and our question regarding free domain name was replied to within a few minutes.

However, when we asked about site migrations, instead of a simple yes or no answer, we were instructed to contact a concierge department by submitting a ticket.

namecheap live chat

This is not the first time when Namecheap’s customer rep forwards us to the concierge team and instead of a quick live chat we’re stuck with ticketing instead.

2. Lack of Datacenters

Namecheap has data centers in the US and in the UK.

Their shared, VPS and reseller servers are located in Phoenix, Arizona and the UK datacenters are in Nottingham.

That’s not much. Especially compared to some hosts who have more than 20 data centers around the world.

Moreover, you’d have to pay $1.00/month extra if you choose the UK data center.

Namecheap Pricing, Hosting Plans & Quick Facts

Here’s a quick overview of the hosting plans offered by Namecheap:


Stellar Plan Stellar Plus Plan Stellar Business Plan
Pricing $1.44/month
Renews at $2.88/mo
$2.44/month
Renews at $4.88/mo
$4.44/month
Renews at $8.88/mo
Websites 3 Unlimited Unlimited
Bandwidth Unmetered Unmetered Unmetered
Storage 20 GB Unmetered 50 GB
Email Accounts 30 Unlimited Unlimited
Other Features • AutoBackup • AutoBackup
• Cloud Storage

These prices apply when you sign up with Namecheap for two years. If you choose the annual plan, the monthly price would be $1.16/month (yes, even cheaper!) and the monthly option would cost you $2.88/month.

Quick Facts

  • Free domain?: Yes, the first year is free.
  • Ease of Signup: Easy signup process.
  • Money-Back: 30-days money-back guarantee.
  • Payment Methods: Credit cards, PayPal, Dwolla, and Bitcoin.
  • Hidden Fees and Clauses: There are two important disclaimers to keep in mind:
    • “This offer is available for new hosting purchases only. The promotional price is valid for the first 12 months on annual payments, after which the hosting service will renew at the regular rate as indicated in the package specs. Upgrades/downgrades will be performed at the full renewal price.”
    • “Unmetered disk space is offered with our Ultimate package. This disk space is solely intended for your website and not for other storage purposes. This space must be used in accordance with our AUP, particularly paragraph 10.2.”
  • Upsells: A few upsells along the way.
  • Account Activation: Fast account activation.
  • Control Panel and Dashboard Experience: cPanel.
  • Installation of Apps and CMSs (WordPress, Joomla, etc.): 1-click installation tool to easily install popular apps and CMSs.

Do We Recommend Namecheap?

Yes, we do.

They started out pretty well. Existing customers seem to like them, and the fact that their cheapest plan compares favorably to most other company’s upper-tier ones looks promising.

We also like their solid uptime and speed results that make Namecheap a reliable host.

However, we wish that customer support would be better and that they would have more data centers to choose from.

Overall, Namecheap is definitely a good host, but there are some better options available.

Visit www.Namecheap.com

Best alternatives for Namecheap:

Further reading: The 10 Best Web Hosting Services (In 2021)


Do you have any positive or negative experiences with Namecheap’s hosting? If so, please leave us an honest, transparent review!

31 user reviews for Namecheap

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    Mister K

    1  — May 29, 2021

    Support

    Horrible support system and they will put you on hold and come back still put you on hold with ZERO SUPPORT.

    They have no clue on what they are doing and they will just search on their database and send you a link with absolutely no clue or information about what you are looking for. Horrible support staff!!!.

    namecheap c

    1  — May 4, 2021

    Absolutely Terrible

    Same thing happened to one of the other guys below. They killed my site saying it was DDoS’ed, when it actually wasn’t. Service is non-existent, just a bunch of scripted replies, and each time you reply you get a new person. No help whatsoever, they just try to upsell you for stuff you don’t need. Take my advice, stay away, far, far, away…

    mohin

    1  — April 3, 2021

    Bad service

    be aware! they will just kill your site. I had hosted with them suddenly and they suspended my hosting without any sort of notice saying it is using over resources. If something went wrong they could inform you earlier or suggest an upgrade but they did not and without any notification they suspended my hosting. After that I contacted them and requested to activate my account saying I am removing my hosting from them but they keep saying they are looking into the issue bla bla bla…. you got an audience by hard labor and they wasted it in minutes …. they are just cheap as their rate…

    Cameron S

    1  — March 26, 2021

    Namecheap Poor 3rd World Customer Service

    Although they have good products, their support sucks. They use discretion regarding refunds in favor of the company. As a vet I ask that all my fellow veterans, first responders, clergy, and 10,000+ LinkedIn followers leave and boycott namecheap.

    Previously I had done business with them 5+ years before today.

    Sometimes a cheaper workforce results in declining quality of service.

    Beware.

    Chris

    1  — March 9, 2021

    Worst hosting company that I have tried

    Multiple emails to customer service to resolve website slowness issues…but they just replied “everything seems fine, you will have to contact us when the problem occurs”. Then I did and they waited until the problem went away and said the same thing. So, they have no insight to debug issues. Then, more importantly, they shut our website down without any warning and completely stopped our revenue, claiming we were the cause of a server problem. They eventually reinstated it and found it was not our website, but the revenue was lost by then. They can and will take down your website for any reason without even contacting you…think about that before you sign on. Other companies can debug issues and so they don’t have to “guess” and shutdown websites.

    Dennis C

    5  — February 28, 2021

    Namecheap is great!

    My company builds websites and we’ve been using Namecheap for years. Their customer service has always worked with us to solve any issues such as when we had some hackers attacking one of our sites for a while. I must say that I thought it was pretty bogus you dinged them on the customer service, any company would redirect you to the correct department to best suit your needs right? And also you didn’t state the amount of time you actually needed to wait, from my own personal experience I would say it wasn’t very long. Only once in the past 4 years can I ever remember having to be put in a queue with a long wait time.

    In the end, no other company offers the same value for the affordable cost. We’re based in Southeast Asia and so our cost is more than quadrupled when paying in USD so we are very grateful for a company like Namecheap.

    Peter N

    2  — February 15, 2021

    not the most capable company

    Renewal warning comes a week before the due date. A few days after the renewal warning I received a warning that the account will be discontinued within 24 hours. Seems our accountant has to log into a cheap name account in order to pay the bill, and emailed IT for the info. Login to pay? Huh? At Walmart or my son’s landlord or, etc., they have a system where I can pay without logging in anything. Ok, fill in the info, must wait for verification code. Ok, wait, there it is, but it doesn’t work. Contact support, empty my cache, now login, credit card refused, go to payment options, can’t change, back back back, use PayPal. Over thirty minutes spent on paying 80 dollars.

    Mac

    1  — February 4, 2021

    Waste of time

    Worst email host support I ever encountered. I make a mistake of shifting to a Namecheap host. Wasted so much of my time and money!

    Sam

    5  — January 17, 2021

    Great Support

    The hosting itself may not be the best you could get, but it works great for me and gets the job done. My favorite thing about Namecheap is their support. I know other people have complained about that here, but that’s never been my experience. Their live chat is always quick and their people always help me out. Yes, sometimes they send you links that you can likely find yourself. However, when I ask for clarification (I usually don’t know what I’m doing) or if they can take over, they usually do. I recently had someone try to do some work on my site and he completely messed it up. Thankfully, Namecheap stayed on with me for probably close to 2 hours to resolve the issue. I’ve used companies like Hostgator before and not only are they more expensive, but they don’t help you out and their reps give wrong info. So, I’d say hosting at Namecheap is worth it for the straightforward, no bull support.

    JakobGray

    1  — January 14, 2021

    Problem with Domains

    The NameCheap domain availability checker has been broken for months. It may advise that a domain is available, and allow you to try and purchase it. They will take your money then advise the domain is unavailable, at which point you need to wait 10 days for the refund to be processed.

    Given this is literally the core functionality of their website, the fact they have had this broken for months doesn’t bode well for the rest of their website and hosting functionality.

    I have spoken to support about this numerous times and just been told they are aware of the issue and are working on it. Customer support is terrible and basically unable to assist you with anything.

    Trent

    3  — October 18, 2020

    Budget domain services

    We used Namecheap to test out a domain for our own web-hosting company, and we were surprised by the low costs and the record updates.

    But why should you use Namecheap?

    – Free CDN with Namecheap domains
    Yes a free CDN with custom SSL certificates when you own a Namecheap domain. We were pleasantly surprised by this and had to test it out; and well it’s too good to be true. The CDN performed well and everything was easy to set up but it doesn’t provide the performance as just using a free cloudflare account with their own SSL certificates.

    – DNS Updates
    The DNS update times were almost double than what we expected; it was a 2 Minute TTL time that can be rather annoying while changing your DNS records and wanting to test them quickly instead we just used Cloudflare which gives almost instant DNS records updates.

    – Paid Plans
    We felt like the using a budget provider like Namecheap would be good for a business like ours but in the end we felt like all extra features were extremely expensive after buying your domain name and we would just recommend using another domain provider that has slightly more expensive prices if you wish to have those other features like emails, SSL certs, etc.

    Richard K

    1  — September 15, 2020

    Uneducated Corporate Robot Support

    Unfortunately I manage over 50 NameCheap Accounts. This used to be a good thing. Not now.

    Years ago the support staff were knowledgeable and helpful. Now they are seemingly untrained and robotic in their nature. Did I mention SLOW? The support staff seem to be restricted by corporate rules and can not even answer questions that are not on a very limited list of basic questions to answer. LITERALLY!

    You should see the list of apology emails and chats. Plenty of apologies for failures, but no solutions or fixes. This is standard now. 🙁 The copy and paste apologies and links to FAQ are completely unhelpful. Oh how I miss the old days at NameCheap. After a corporate infusion of cash about 5 years ago the service has fallen close to 0% help with only occasional sparks of light.

    The hosting servers are often flakey and experience configuration errors often. Also, Email is terrible with so many spammers on the shared servers that large providers like T-Online in Germany completely block emails from NameCheap hosting IPs in the USA. Their solution offered is an email filter that spoofs the IP!! Can you believe that?

    I would completely agree with the assessment in this article on WebsiteSetup.

    Ali

    1  — July 4, 2020

    Horrible hosting service

    I transfered my hosting from another company to Namecheap three days ago. It took one full day sitting at the computer and chatting to finally the process of transferring done. The Namecheap live chat is great but instead of fixing problems they keep sending how to link which I was not happy with. From day two, the site went down and the page on the Namecheap site (what they call “EasyWP”) is not responsive. A site being down for two days and still is down is not acceptable. Since I switched to Namecheap I had nothing but headache, trouble, and still my site is down. I don’t recommend at least the hosting of Namecheap at all. The hosting of Namecheap is not reliable.

    Alex

    1  — June 5, 2020

    Very poor support

    I highly recommend that you stay away from this company. If you run into any problem and need help you are out of luck. It may look cheaper but its not worth the savings.

    First there is no support number and you have to chat with eastern Europeans with poor english. They will send you in circles and make you create multiple tickets. After days they will say we emailed you but emails won’t come through. Then you find out that their servers are black listed. After several days, multiple tickets, multiple chat sessions, getting my IT involved my problem is still not resolved.

    Taylor

    2  — April 13, 2020

    Unfortunately, things are much worse since this article was written

    I was a big fan of Namecheap’s hosting service for several years, hosting around up to 40 clients across their servers. Everything was great until fairly recently – as mentioned in the initial article there were semi-regular downtimes, which were resolved fairly quickly.

    Unfortunately it feels now that the servers are seriously overloaded. This impacts both on your website’s connection times, but also on the number of times the server goes down. This is likely a profit-related issue – as in they want to make more money without expanding their server resources. It massively impacts the service they offer.

    However, their chat and ticket support has always been a relative high point for me. They are all based in Ukraine, but their English is generally very good. Only very rarely have I experienced poor service, and generally they will stay on the chat with you until you are satisfied. Unfortunately the overloading of their servers is causing problems that their support staff should not be expected to resolve.

    Francesco

    5  — April 8, 2020

    Namecheap is good to me

    I’m running +20 websites on a Namecheap Shared Hosting (Ultimate plan, now should be Stellar Plus) since 2016. Not an issue. Great support. More than 7500 unique visitors per month. Very fast and reliable. Way better than more “famous” alternatives. Really, I do not know if this post is about their US servers, but UK based service is really really good. Performance is even better than some crappy/cheap VPS.

    Russell

    1  — December 31, 2019

    Big Mistake!

    I am currently on Namecheap. I moved there last month after an Ipage episode. Big mistake! Namecheap’s Hosting services are far under the web norm. Servers are extremely unreliable. Lost production time is a constant dealing with servers that don’t respond, servers that are overloaded, servers that are consistent with never ending stalls, delays, and lags. Whether navigating the website itself online or trying to get something done in the admin, it’s an ongoing delay after delay just moving from one page to another or waiting for something to simply save or update. Using Dreamweaver is out of the question; sometimes it will connect, most times servers are bogged down or don’t respond.

    Support is pretty timely and is done by on site support ticket or directly via email, no phone support at all. They also have an on site support live chat which is never any help. Email help is not bad, they answer pretty quickly and address the issue at hand rather than posting canned responses.

    The hosting options available are mostly the norm using an older version of cPanel. Some operations and setups can be very unnecessarily complicated and confusing but they will help with most by ticket or email.

    The main problem with Namecheap is their servers reliability. Your websites will go down often too. To add onto the problems pile, all these issues occur anytime, even during business hours. I’d think more than twice before recommending them or using them again.

    One plus: Namecheap’s hosting prices are affordable in comparison which is what drew me there.

    Grot T

    1  — December 11, 2019

    Very Unprofessional

    I received an email from namecheap legal team that my account had been suspended because my database was receiving ‘many queries’. These people suspended my account without warning because my database was doing exactly what databases do! Instead of asking me to upgrade my plan, they go ahead and mess up my business, and apparently, their support team can’t do anything about it!

    Tariq

    5  — October 8, 2019

    Wasted 2 Months

    Was experiencing issues with site performance and uptime after the first month. Namecheap suggested that if I upgrade my package to a wholly managed server, all issues would be resolved. I then spent every day of the next two months writing back and forth to them, using an outside email since my emails stopped working entirely. My entire business communications were shut down and we had to find a third party solution to help us. Namecheap was completely useless. What’s the point of paying hundreds of dollars a month for them to do absolutely nothing? I was two months and well over 500 dollars just in that time-frame, not to mention the additional time and money and energy I had to spend on solving the problems Namecheap caused us. I hated every day I spent under Namecheap.

    Matthew B

    2  — October 7, 2019

    Dismal customer service

    I’ve been using these guys for a couple of years and in general they’ve been fuss-free. Today though I found out my emails were down. I tried to trouble-shoot the issue with Google but their support wasn’t online so I looked into my domain. Turns out that it hadn’t auto-renewed and I hadn’t been notified that both my emails and my website would go down. So I contacted Namecheap via LiveChat. My case was simple – I needed to renew and couldn’t get into my emails. They asked me hundreds of inane questions, didn’t give me any details that I asked for and I had to end up creating an account and paying. The end result? No idea – they say that everything will be back up in 24 hours. Short answer – don’t use them.