I’ve been using NameCheap hosting for almost 2 years now, and I’m mostly happy with it. I have 4 (four) hosting accounts with them – 3 value plans and 1 Ultimate plan (which hosts 30+ websites with over 180K monthly unique visitors).
There are a few things I don’t like about it, but for what you pay and what you GET, they are unbeatable in my opinion!
In fact this site – WebhostingAndDomain.com is hosted on NameCheap Value plan ($9.88 for first year).
The reasons I decided to go with NameCheap hosting were MANY, but at a time, I felt completely helpless by the fact that I could not use GoDaddy or MediaTemple anymore – GoDaddy’s Apache server config would not let me run a custom script, and MediaTemple became horrible in terms of Page Speed (over 13 seconds load time) and Support’s willingness to help. More details will be provided in a separate review.
If you want to skip my REAL review and get the savings – jump straight to Coupon Codes.
Before we jump to any conclusions, let’s look at details. First let’s look at pricing:
How much NameCheap Shared Hosting Costs:
By default, you sign up for 1 year term at greatly reduced rates – somewhere around 65-76% off! However, you start paying full price at renewal (second year).
So NameCheap has 4 shared hosting plans, but we will only look at first 3, as 4th one is a Business SSD plan, without any discounts. Get an additional 20% OFF with a coupon code (code in the end of the post)!
- $9.88 for first year ($0.823 / month)
- 20 GB “SSD” storage
- Unlimited Traffic (Bandwidth)
- Up to 3 domains
I’ve purchased 3 of these plans form them, and use them actively. On of the sites that I that i host on Value plan, was previously on HostGator and after moving it to NameCheap, speed went up by 30-40% depending on when I tested.
This site got 52,808 unique visitors in the last 30 days, and have performed without a hickup!
Value Plan Renewal will be $38.88/yr or $3.24/mo, which is way cheaper than ANY EIG owned hosting provider (HostGator, BlueHost, FatCow, etc).
- $19.88 for first year ($1.656 / month)
- 50 GB “SSD” storage
- Unlimited Traffic (Bandwidth)
- Up to 10 domains
This plan sounds very tempting, but the renewal rate of $78.88/yr seems a little steep of an up-to 10 domains plan. If they made it 25 or 30 domains, I would get this plan instead of the ultimate. However – I have many websites and over 300 domains. Most people have under 10 sites, so this would be a great fit.
- $29.88 for first year ($2.49 / month)
- 50 GB “SSD” storage
- Unlimited Traffic (Bandwidth)
- Up to 50 domains
This is the plan I have and used to migrate 30+ of my websites from MediaTemple hosting, which after acquisition by GoDaddy became horrendously slow (but that is a topic for separate review).
So I now have 1 Ultimate plan (and 3 value plans) with NameCheap, which hosts 35 domains (websites) and gets over 180K monthly visitors. In over 1 year of having the Ultimate account, I only had one 5-minute window when I could not access my sites (but it could be my internet connection).
Other than that, the uptime (that i’m aware of) has been 100%. The site speed (page load time) went from 13+ seconds on MediaTemple to less than 3 seconds on NameCheap.
I think with this kind of traffic I qualify for a VPS hosting, but meh – that’s too expensive and too complicated to set up.
Why I switched to NameCheap hosting:
Leaving MediaTemple: As I said above, I was felt helpless and frustrated (mainly with MediaTemple) and though there is now good hosting out there. I was almost ready to jump onto AWS (Amazon Web Services) bandwagon, but I was unwilling to learn SSH and new complicated system.
MediaTemple hosted about 50 of my sites on two Shared Hosting accounts. In 3 years I paid over $1000 to them, and got shitty service and horrible speeds for the past 2 years.
Leaving GoDaddy: I also had a site hosted on GoDaddy, which is one of my most important sites, and when I tried to add a custom script (that cost me $4000 to develop, the Apache / WordPress URL rewrite rules did not let me “use” the script – I was constantly getting a WP 404 page instead of seeing the script. A conversation with Hosting Support went nowhere, because I was running on a Legacy Server (no cPanel) and they would not change Apache config just to accommodate me.
Note – this SAME script ran fine on GoDaddy’s cPanel hosting – but it was super slow (10 seconds page load times).
This was understandable – I’m paying $7/mo and why would they bother – but after investing $4K in a platform and not being able to run it – I felt very frustrated and had to move.
I actually moved that site to SiteGround after seeing how FAST their servers were, and attending a WP meetup in Boston, where A2HOSTING guy gave a presentation on how to make WP sites fast. For some reason I thought the guy giving presentation was from SiteGround 🙂
Issues / Problems that I’ve encountered with NameCheap hosting in the last 20 months:
So as any other hosting service, NameCheap does and will have issues. Be it uptime, network/server issues, support or whatever. It’s just not possible to have a site working 100% of the time.
But in my experience, I haven’t noticed and outages on NameCheap. What frustrates me with them is cPanel and Support.
NameCheap cPanel issues:
I will be honest with you – I never used cPanel until I switched to NameCheap. Before the switch I hosted ALL of my sites on GoDaddy and MediaTemple (as described above), which use proprietary control dashboard. GoDaddy is now only offering cPanel hosting, but I find it VERY slow, and the accounts I still have with them are all on Legacy Linux servers.
NameCheap cPanel works great with two exceptions!
- You cannot add a “remote domain” until you changed the DNS over to namecheap.If you are moving a site from another hosting – you need to first set it up, and then change the DNS – otherwise your visitors will see blank pages and you will lose business.But namecheap blocked this feature as a “security measure”, and to unblock it, you need to contact support (every time)! Just imagine moving 35 website :)Also when “adding remote domain” is unlocked, it stays unlocked for only 5 minutes. I once added 30 domains in one session, and had to unlock it 3 times!
- Setting up cPanel access – this is a total nightmare if you don’t take proper measures, but you only need to do it once!So the sequence goes like this: When you buy a hosting, in your DashBoard (not cPanel) you can manage some basic features as well as access cPanel. You also get a cPanel ID, but not the password.So you login to cPanel for 1st time and are prompted to confirm your account and setup password.You then get a confirmation email with temporary “code” to verify that you are you.Next you get temporary password. When you try to login, browser doesn’t know your ID, so what I did – Copy/Paste ID from dashboard. Now you need to change your pass, but you already “lost” it (in multiple copy/pastes), and need to do the pass reset again.
Basically to avoid all this nonsense, just open a text file and past your ID, temp pass and temp code in there, so you can then copy/paste it into
Before we go into details – my main issue is how SLOW the process goes – not the QUALITY. Quality of help/support is excellent! All but one of my issues have been solved in less than 15 minutes.
So here is where I have a real “beef” with namecheap, but mainly because I have to contact support so often. NameCheap DOES NOT HAVE Phone Support – it is ONLY Live Chat or Email.
I alway use Live Chat, because I hate waiting and email can take days to get back to you.
First – the good thing: In over a year of contacting support on REGULAR basis (more than 30 sessions) I never had to wait more than 1 minute to get a live person in the chat (with HostGator you have to wait 15-20 minutes!). Again – my most common (95%) reason for contacting them is to UNLOCK ADDING REMOTE DOMAIN – see my cPanel notes above.
Chat support staff is located in Eastern Europe (Russia, Ukraine, Serbia, Moldova, Belarus, etc). While they “speak” good English, they are VERY Slow. Also every time you contact support chat, you need a temporary PIN number. You also provide reason for contacting them in the initial stage.
I ALWAYS contact support in regards to hosting, so my typical chat session goes like this:
- You are asked to verify your credentials (username + pin).
- Support person tells you: “Give me few MINUTES to verify this info”. FEW MINUTES? HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO VERIFY USER ID + PIN?????
- After 1 minute: “Thank you for verifying your information”.
- After another minute: “Let me see what’s going on”.
- After another minute: “Let me transfer you to Hosting Support”.
- Next a another person joins the chat: “Let me review what’s going on”.
So it takes 3-5 minutes just to tell what I need done (typically to unlock adding remote domain). Then it takes 30 seconds to over a minute for them to respond to everything (like you type something, and they don’t type back for a minute).
Once you get to Hosting Support person (5 minutes), the problem is usually solved very fast, but this “please give me a few minutes to review” is killing me 🙂
It feels like these people have ongoing conversations with multiple clients at once, and that’s why they need “few minutes to verify”.
Why do I need to contact NameCheap support so often:
Basically I need to get support involved, every time I need to add remote domain, which I do often, because I transfer live sites over to namecheap on regular basis (still migrating from GoDaddy / Media Temple). This is very annoying, but I guess it is what it is.
If you only have one or two live sites that you need to transfer over, this should not be a big issue. But I have over 100 sites, and over 30 are still with GoDaddy and MT 🙁
The good thing is – once remote domain thing is unlocked you have five minutes to do it, and it only takes 10-20 seconds per domain!
Hosting issue that NEVER got fixed:
As I mentioned – I had a custom script developed by a programmer in Serbia. I have a separate Value Package where we do all our testing, and he (developer) has full access to FTP and cPanel. But at some point in May 2016, he could not login to FTP – for 4 days. He would connect and lose connection after 3 seconds.
After WASTING 2 hours with support person (who was rather knowledgeable and helpful), testing this and tracing that, making sure my IP wasn’t blocked and other VOODOO stuff, we could not fix the issue. I just gave up, and moved the test site to SiteGround where all is fine.
BTW – all this time I did not have a completely “disabled” connection to same FTP account, but would also constantly get disconnected every minute.
Once again – NameCheap never resolved the issue, “blamed” my and dev’s FTP client, ISP (internet service) and other system settings. When I say blamed – I mean the wanted me to make screenshots to verify that it wasn’t my software.
In the end – I only paid $9.88 for the account – i still actively use it, but my Test server is now on SiteGround where it lives happily ever after – until siteground has issues that is 🙂 The connectivity problem got resolved for me somehow after some time, and my dev never tried to login again…
So what do I really think about NameCheap hosting, and why you never hear about it:
First let me be clear – NameCheap (ENOM) is primarily a Domain Registrar that competes with GoDaddy and other big boys. Hosting is an afterthought and an upsell product for them.
Why you never hear about them – this is simple. Most “hosting review sites/people” promote places like HostGator, BlueHost and others. This is know as Hosting Affiliate Programs and most of them pay (should pay that is) $50 or more per sign-up.
NameCheap pays 15% of initial purchase amount, and since ALL their shared hosting account are discounted for 1st year and the term you can sign up for is ONLY 1 year – affiliates can make at most $7.5 per sign-up (15% of $29.88 Ultimate Plan). A most popular professional plan would yield $5 commission – and that is only for confirmed sign ups.
So with such low affiliate commissions, no one bothers to promote NameCheap hosting. I think NameCheap has a great product, and I did do an honest review of it, but I, like most hosting bloggers will not go out of my way to promote them.
Do I recommend NameCheap Hosting?
Absolutely! It’s a great value and great speed. My support issues – most people will never have them, but if you have 100 sites – then you should either get an Ultimate package with NameCheap or go to SiteGround.
For most others – definitely this is the best value, we great performance. Bottom line – If I did not like them, I would not use them for 0ver 40 websites, and would not have 4 hosting accounts there.
Save even more with NameCheap Coupons!
Ok, so besides being a very inexpensive and reliable hosting provider, the also offer pretty good coupons!
20% OFF Shared or VPS hosting: SUNISFUN
- Value Plan is $7.90 for 1st year.
- Professional Plan is $15.90 for 1st year.
- Ultimate plan is $23.90 for 1st year.
Coupon is valid until Aug 31, 2016 (apply coupon code at checkout)!
$9.66 .COM Registration: 2HOT4WRK
25% of Dedicated Server: POOLPARTY
Enjoy the summer, save on hosting, and I hope it’s 100% uptime for you!