Namecheap is an American domain registrar and web hosting provider based in Phoenix, Arizona. An entrepreneur named Richard Kirkendall started Namecheap in 2000 and has led the company as CEO for over two decades. Namecheap is one of the top web hosting companies globally, serving 11 million registered users.
Namecheap supports over 1,500 top-level domains (TLDs), one of the highest of any domain registrar. It offers shared or dedicated cloud hosting services and complimentary services like SSL certificates, a content delivery network (CDN), and a VPN.
We tested the ins and outs of Namecheap to give you a detailed, objective review. We assessed the web hosting platform based on specific criteria, including features, pricing, ease of use, customer support, etc.
Plans and pricing
Namecheap domains have a broad price range because the company supports numerous TLDs. Generic TLDs like .COM, .ORG, and .NET cost between $10 and $15 per year, cheaper than on many rival platforms. On the flip side, uncommon, premium TLDs like .IO and .AI cost between $30-$80 yearly.
Namecheap offers hosting plans for $4 to $81 monthly. The shared hosting plans are cheaper, while the dedicated hosting plans are relatively expensive. But, Namecheap’s most costly plans are affordable in the grand scheme of things.
Namecheap charges between $10 and $200 yearly for SSL certificates. You can select from over a dozen SSL plans. Namecheap charges between $15 and $70 annually for professional email services.
Namecheap lets users register a broad range of domain names. The platform supports over 1,500 domain name extensions, a remarkable number for any domain registrar. You can search for any domain name on the platform and buy it right away if it’s available. Namecheap also lets you perform bulk domain name searches (up to 5,000 at a time).
Namecheap provides free privacy protection for every domain name registered on its platform. Privacy protection helps prevent spammers from contacting you easily. Likewise, you can search for contact information for specific domain names in the WHOIS database through Namecheap. But, you wouldn’t find any info if the owner has enabled privacy protection.
Namecheap allows customers to manage their domains through the DNS naming system. You can get PremiumDNS, an advanced DNS manager, for just $5 per year.
Lastly, Namecheap lets you transfer domain names registered elsewhere to its platform.
Namecheap offers a broad range of web hosting plans. It offers shared hosting, WordPress hosting, VPS hosting, reseller hosting, and dedicated servers. Shared hosting is the cheapest hosting option because you split the server hosting and maintenance costs with other users. On the other hand, dedicated hosting is the most expensive because it entails renting a single server only for your needs.
Reseller hosting entails buying hosting space from Namecheap to sell to others at a markup. Namecheap lets you create and resell up to 150 sub-accounts. Namecheap also offers WordPress hosting through a standalone platform called EasyWP. EasyWP’s plans cost $5 to $14 a month.
Namecheap offers various security tools, including SSL certificates, a virtual private network (VPN), and cyber insurance (for US-based customers only).
SSL certificates are digital certificates authenticating a website’s identity and enabling encrypted connection. Every modern website needs one for both security and reputational purposes.
Interface and in use
Namecheap has a pretty complicated user interface. It has many features scattered across the platform, so the interface can be rather challenging to grasp.
We observed considerable challenges when trying to activate an SSL certificate for our website. The process involved jumping through many nooks and crannies.
Namecheap offers customer support through email and live chat. There’s no telephone support option. You can directly talk to a customer support representative when you’re facing issues. Namecheap’s support reps typically respond to email inquiries within 24 hours.
Namecheap also has an extensive Knowledge base online for users to get familiar with the platform. This knowledge base offers much help when you’re facing complex issues. It walks users through all Namecheap products step-by-step and is a good place to seek help before talking to a support rep if you aren’t satisfied.
Namecheap’s main competitors include GoDaddy, Google Domains, and Hover. Namecheap’s advantage over its competition is its relative affordability but it lags in ease of use compared to these rivals.
Namecheap is a good all-in-one web hosting platform. You can buy a domain, buy an SSL certificate, build a website, and host it online, all on Namecheap. Namecheap’s services are relatively affordable, which is its main advantage. The platform has a broad feature set, making it attractive to prospective customers.
Namecheap isn’t without its disadvantages. Its user interface is pretty complicated. Its pricing structure can also be occasionally confusing due to having many plans. Likewise, we noticed that Namecheap’s email communication to customers is quite excessive.