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Namecheap Review – Does It Live Up to Expectations? [2024]

Caitlin Greyling Caitlin Greyling Web Hosting Expert

Namecheap is best known for selling competitively priced domains. However, Namecheap’s hosting services are also worthwhile – I found them easy to use, reliable, and extremely fast. That said, the managed WordPress plans do come with some strict limitations, so check carefully and make sure that they can fully answer your needs.

Overview

Namecheap web hosting landing page
Namecheap doesn’t just offer basic shared hosting, but VPS and dedicated servers, as well

Fast and Easy to Use, Perfect for Beginners and Basic Websites

Namecheap is widely known for its discounted domain names, but like many other registrars, it has also branched out into hosting. Are the hosting solutions on par with the best of the best the internet has to offer? I signed up to find out.

Namecheap has been in the business since 2000 and has over 10 million active domains registered. Its website hosting plans cover most hosting types and include shared, managed WordPress, VPS (virtual private server) machines, dedicated servers, and even private email hosting. All services are available in English.

Now, while it’s extremely tempting to purchase your domain name and hosting plan from the same provider, you should be wary of doing so. An all-in-one solution simplifies everything – from management to support and billing – but a jack of all trades is (usually) a master of none.

Laughing in the face of danger, I took the risk upon myself and signed up for managed WordPress hosting. To my surprise, I found a managed WordPress platform like few others, seamlessly designed and providing a fantastic user experience.

Still, does that ease of use come at the cost of features? Can the service really answer advanced needs, or will you find yourself limited and unable to grow? Well, read on and see for yourself!

4.6

Features

Great Basic Features, but Also Serious Limitations

Namecheap provides powerhouse VPS and dedicated servers, but we’ll focus on the shared hosting side of things. Shared hosting is the simplest, cheapest form of hosting, and in my opinion, there’s no better place to start.

With Namecheap, shared hosting includes three subcategories: Regular shared hosting, reseller hosting, and managed WordPress hosting provided through Namecheap’s proprietary platform – EasyWP. EasyWP is a WordPress-only cloud-based plan and can’t be used with any other CMS (content management system). Regular shared hosting, on the other hand, lets you install any CMS through the use of Softaculous.

In terms of storage space and bandwidth, the basic EasyWP plan, Starter, has 10 GB SSD storage and allows for 50,000 monthly visitors. The mid-level plan, Turbo, comes with 50 GB of SSD space and about 200,000 monthly visitors. The most advanced plan, Supersonic, has 100 GB of space and about 500,000 monthly visitors.

This “monthly visitors” metric is confusing, as bandwidth is usually measured in GBs. I tried to get an answer from support, but they kept claiming that there’s really a “visitor counter” working in the background. Either way, your site will have a lot of room to grow.

On to regular shared hosting, which includes a free domain on annual plans. The basic Stellar plan has 20 GB of SSD space, the second plan has unlimited space, and the last one is capped at 50 GB. Bandwidth is unmetered for all three.

You must be thinking – how come the mid-tier plan comes with more space than the most advanced one? According to Namecheap, it has something to do with “premium support” and “extra caching” being offered on the Stellar Business plan. Personally, I don’t think these “upgrages” are worth the cost – you’re better off saving some money and going with the plan that offers unlimited storage.

Anyway, let’s go deeper, into features that can make or break your site.

Free EasyWP Platform Tools, Including One-Click Backups

We’ll go over the EasyWP interface in the Ease of Use section, and there’s a lot to say about it. For now, you need to realize that it’s a replacement for the cPanel hosting management panel. It’s not as complex and advanced in its offerings, but it does provide a few cool options.

The first one is backups. A one-click tool allows you to instantly back up your entire site, and you’ll be able to easily restore it in the future if needed. If you want to download the site files and/or database to your local machine, it can also be done.

Testing backups for Namecheap website hosting
Simple in design and to use, the EasyWP one-click backup tool is a winner.

Pre-Installed EasyWP Plugin With Caching Optimization

There are a lot of plugins that end up being installed on a WordPress website, with caching and optimization plugins being some of the most sought-after ones. There are dozens of available options, so it’s easy to get lost.

That’s why I was extremely happy with Namecheap’s EasyWP plugin. It comes pre-installed with your WordPress installation and includes many of the speed-boosting options you’d otherwise be searching for.

It provides three levels of advanced caching – a technique used to create temporary copies of your site’s pages and data. As a result, your server will be more efficient and your visitors will enjoy faster loading times. If you want to clear the cache, just click:

How to clear the cache using Namecheap’s EasyWP plugin
EasyWP and its tools, such as caching, are also integrated into your WordPress dash.

Now, the weird thing is that Namecheap also blocks many other plugins that it has deemed to be “unnecessary” or “potentially harmful.” Even if you want to install a different caching plugin, you won’t be able to do so.

It’s convenience at the cost of freedom, I guess. Anyway, the regular shared hosting plans include neither the plugins nor the limitations, and you’re free to choose whatever option you like best.

Free SSL Certificate, but Only With Pricier Plans

I’ll tell you, there’s always something funny going on with the SSLs. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, an SSL (secure sockets layer) is a security certificate that proves the authenticity of your website and protects your visitors’ data. It’s that little padlock to the left of your address bar.

If you want to rank well on Google, give your visitors peace of mind, and accept payments on your site – you need an SSL.

Some hosts charge extra for it, trying to get a few extra bucks out of you. Others give you a free SSL that is free anyway, such as Let’s Encrypt. But not Namecheap, which throws in a free paid PositiveSSL SSL certificate from Sectigo. That is, unless you purchase the basic plan, which does not include such an extra.

Namecheap EasyWP hosting plan features, including a free paid PositiveSSL certificate from Sectigo.
Namecheap’s “free” SSL comes with a catch

For whatever reason, Namecheap does provide SSLs with all regular shared hosting plans. Get it? If you choose the more expensive managed platform, EasyWP Starter plan, you’ll have less security than with the cheaper Stellar shared hosting plan – unless you pay even more.

Namecheap Features at a Glance

Free domain name?  (shared hosting, not EasyWP)
Free SSL?  (except EasyWP Starter plan)
Money-back guarantee 30 days
Uptime guarantee 99.9-100%
Data centers 1 in the US, 1 in Europe, and 1 in the UK
4.7

Ease of use

What Can Be Done Is Super Easy to Do

I mentioned that Namecheap’s EasyWP is easy, but that’s an understatement. The whole process, from signup till WordPress, is lightning fast and requires almost nothing out of you. The management dashboard is streamlined to perfection, and everything is a one-click joy.

But… it doesn’t really contain everything. It’s actually limited to a few actions you can one-click your way through, and no others. These include deleting your website, connecting a Namecheap domain, uploading an SSL, backups, SFTP access, and database access.

What about everything that’s so easy to do with cPanel, like setting up DNS (Domain Name System) configurations, email accounts and mailboxes, subdomains, a browser file manager, logs, and timed tasks? These options just don’t exist.

And that’s the major tradeoff with EasyWP. The things that you can do are ridiculously easy to do. The rest is impossible.

Anyway, let’s see how it all looks:

Creating a New Account with Namecheap

Signup involves selecting your plan, signing up, and entering payment details. You’ll be asked for your personal details – nothing special – and after paying you’ll immediately be directed to creating your website:

Installing WordPress screen using Namecheap domain and EasyWP
Choose your domain or use a temporary one – you have options with Namecheap.

Connecting a Domain and Installing WordPress

If you already have a domain, you can connect it now. If not, feel free to use the EasyWP subdomain for now and change it later. You can also purchase or select a free Namecheap domain name (depending on your hosting plan).

With general shared Namecheap hosting plans, .fun, .online, .press, .store, .space, .tech, .pw, .host, .site, .website, .agency, .center, .digital, .live, .studio, .cloud, .shop domain extensions are free and (on Stellar Plus & Business plans only) .com, .biz, .co extensions are discounted.

After entering your desired website name and choosing a username and password, your new WordPress installation will be ready to proceed:

Installing WordPress using Namecheap and EasyWP
Just click and it will be done – setting up your WordPress site with EasyWP is, well, easy

And that’s it. Everything is installed, and you’ll be redirected to your EasyWP dashboard. Connecting your domain is obviously done from the Domains tab. Because I already had a domain registered with Namecheap, it appeared in the dropdown menu.

Select your domain, press Change, and the process will start. It shouldn’t take longer than half an hour, and mine was connected in less than five minutes. You can find a detailed description of the domain and WordPress installation process (including one problem I encountered) with Namecheap here.

Using the EasyWP Dashboard

The EasyWP dashboard is definitely a top ease-of-use feature – but maybe a little too much so. Use the dashboard’s tabs to easily navigate between the different options. To enter your WordPress administrator panel, for example, just click WP Admin on the upper right corner:

How to access your WordPress administrator panel on EasyWp
It’s difficult to get lost in the EasyWP dashboard – it’s just so minimalistic

Now, I want to reiterate: I’ve never seen such an easy-to-use WordPress platform. It’s just not possible to go wrong, and the few advanced features available are foolproof.

If this is all you need, I can’t recommend it enough. If you require even a single thing that’s not available here, opt for regular shared hosting instead. It comes with cPanel, and while it’s a few steps up in terms of complexity, it’s a much fuller hosting experience.

If you want to enable SFTP access, all you need to do is enter the Files & Database and activate the option:

How to enable SFTP access using EasyWP
Simplifying SFTP access is no simple task, but Namecheap did it.

Simplified SFTP Access

Another fantastic EasyWP tool is the database and SFTP access. By default, you won’t have any accounts for these options, but by using the EasyWP dashboard, you can easily create temporary or permanent logins.

If you want to enable SFTP access, all you need to do is enter the Files & Database and activate the option:

Simplifying SFTP access is no simple task, but Namecheap did it.
Simplifying SFTP access is no simple task, but Namecheap did it.

While you may be used to just getting your FTP details off cPanel and logging into your website’s folders and files, there’s a huge risk involved in doing things this way: FTP is neither secured nor encrypted, and using it leaves you vulnerable to malicious hackers who can get access to your account.

SFTP, on the other hand, poses no such risk. It usually requires a longer and quite tedious process to be set up, which is why many choose to skip it. Namecheap’s EasyWP goes the extra mile, providing SFTP out the box.

A Free Website Builder

On EasyWP plans, it’s easy to utilize WordPress to design and customize a unique website. Namecheap’s general shared hosting plans work similarly, so long as you’re using WordPress. But what if you aren’t? Luckily, Namecheap’s shared hosting plans include free access to its proprietary website builder.

Namecheap Website Builder supports online payments and is available in multiple languages
Namecheap Website Builder supports online payments and is available in multiple languages

So, you can create and fine-tune your own site for next to nothing. With templates, drag-and-drop elements, and a code-free UI, you can also do so with little coding or design knowledge.

4.9

Performance

Blazing Fast and Extremely Reliable

So my EasyWP was super easy to set up, and it’s packed with some great features – while also limited in terms of advanced possibilities. That’s all ok. In the end, I got a working WordPress website in about a minute and a half. It’s time to take it for a drive.

Our rigorous testing process includes running a test site and monitoring its performance using a number of tools, including GTmetrix, UptimeRobot, and Sucuri Load Time Tester. Here are the results!

In my tests, my Namecheap-hosted test site scored a typical fully loaded speed of 0.6 seconds – not bad, at all! Its uptime scored a little less impressively at just 99.2%, but this is still a satisfactory result.

Sucuri Load Time Tester

I started by using Sucuri Load Time Tester to check my page loading speeds across the globe:

Sucuri Load Time Tester results for Namecheap website
Impressive performance from Namecheap globally, too – but just bear in mind my test site was very basic.

Vavoom! Without any optimization whatsoever, my test website got an A+ performance grade and is in the green almost all over the globe! 

It is a bare-bones WordPress installation, containing only the Twenty Nineteen theme and boosted by EasyWP’s caching, but this is impressive. From the US and South America to Europe and even Singapore, everything in the green!

After uploading pictures and content to your website, it will be slower, but this is one of the best starting points I’ve seen for shared hosting. Unless your audience is located in East Asia, I’d say you’re good to go.

GTmetrix

Let’s see what GTmetrix has to say about our website:

GTmetrix performance report for Namecheap hosted website
Namecheap isn’t just a budget host; they’re a high-performing one

I don’t know what to say – the people at Namecheap are doing their job. All server optimizations have been done beforehand, the caching plugin is working overtime, and the only points off are for the lack of a CDN (content delivery network).

If we can just add a CDN, we’d have a perfect score! But… we can’t. EasyWP simply doesn’t support CDN networks.

And still, this level of performance deserves a special mention. I researched Namecheap’s server infrastructure and only managed to find allusions to the ever-mysterious “cloud.” I asked support for clarification and found out that this specific cloud hovers over Phoenix, Arizona.

Apparently, shared hosting, private email servers, VPS, and dedicated servers are hosted here. However, Stellar, Stellar Plus, and Stellar Business shared plans can be hosted on Namecheap’s European data center in Amsterdam. Or – along with reseller plans – you can select Namecheap’s UK facility located in Timico’s datacenter close to Nottingham.

UptimeRobot

I’m not sure what they feed their servers in Phoenix, but they should share it. I tested my website’s uptime for more than two weeks and was very happy to see a 99.92% result:

Uptime and response time results for Namecheap hosted website
It’s not immaculate, but still satisfactory: Namecheap delivers on its uptime rate promises.

Now, while Namecheap does offer a 100% uptime guarantee for regular shared and dedicated hosting (and a 99.9% SLA for VPS & reseller hosting), promising to reimburse you with free hosting for any downtime (as determined by them…), I couldn’t find any mention of an uptime guarantee for EasyWP. The homepage claims a 99.9% uptime, but the terms of use don’t promise it.

4.4

Support

Not the Best, Not the Worst

It’s been a rollercoaster of emotions up until now! After performance, you must be wondering what’s support like? Is it fantastic? Abysmal?

Well, support is just kind of there. Not bad, rude, or completely unknowledgeable, but the support agents sometimes require your… support.

I’ll explain.

First of all, support is available 24/7. There are no phone numbers or emails you can contact, but live chat is accessible from almost any screen, and there’s also a support center with a ticket system.

My first interaction with support was before purchasing my plan. I opened a live chat session and an agent was with me in about a minute. I asked general questions about the difference between EasyWP and regular shared hosting, and it took him about a minute or two to respond to my messages.

My second interaction with support came after I was unable to connect my Namecheap domain to the plan. I knew the reason – I changed the nameservers for my Bluehost review – but I wanted to see if support could figure it out.

The agent did understand that the problem rested with the nameservers, but proceeded to point me to the wrong tab. I sent a screenshot of that page, and she realized her mistake. She then pointed me to the right tab.

Conversation with customer support for Namecheap
Some miscommunication, but otherwise chatting to Namecheap support was helpful.

My experience with the ticketing system was less successful, as it took over an hour to get a reply. The agent did not respond to my last question, but in general, her response was satisfactory.

Ticketing system response from Namecheap customer support
Namecheaps’ EasyWP Starter plan still doesn;t include a free SSL, but all other EasyWP and shared hosting plans do.

In my last live chat interaction, I attempted to ask about the difference between “monthly visitors” and “bandwidth” in the EasyWP plan. While the representative attempted to give complete answers, he did need some time to get the information, and he didn’t fully understand the questions.

Online conversation with customer support for Namecheap
In this instance, the agent was slow to reply, but very helpful and accurate.

All in all? If you stick to live chat and are patient enough, support can help you out with the basics. If you’re planning to rely on them for advanced issues, you might not be so lucky.

4.8

Pricing

Affordable Prices and Free Extras

Namecheap is true to its name. Regular shared hosting is cheap, and so is the managed EasyWP platform. Even the more advanced plans, like VPS and dedicated servers, are available for relatively affordable prices.

While all shared and EasyWP plans are available on US servers, you can opt for shared hosting in the Netherlands – or reseller and shared UK hosting at an extra cost.

In terms of subscription periods, you’ll have a choice between monthly and yearly plans for EasyWP hosting. General shared hosting attracts the same payment terms, as well as biennial (every two years). For reseller, VPS, and dedicated plans, you can pay monthly, quarterly, or yearly. This is really great, because unlike Hostinger, where you need to sign up for 3-4 years to get the best prices, Namecheap provides a combination of great prices and flexibility.

The checkout page for EasyWP includes no automatic upsells or other sketchy business practices, so you don’t have to worry about accidentally purchasing an unnecessary service. Just remember that there’s no SSL included for the Starter plan – you’ll have to buy it separately or upgrade.

Namecheap does provide a free domain with all yearly regular shared hosting plans (but not with EasyWP). Not only that, your domain also includes WhoisGuard, a feature that ensures your private details remain hidden from the nosy public.

All plans are protected by a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you’ll have ample time to check out the services yourself.

namecheap logo alt

Save up to $59.00 on your Namecheap plan!

Limited-time offer - Don't miss it!

288 users used this coupon!

You can use Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover to pay. Or PayPal and cryptocurrencies.

The cryptocurrency option is especially interesting, as Namecheap is currently one of the few big hosting companies to accept cryptocoins, like bitcoin and Ethereum.

If privacy is a major concern for you, paying with bitcoin and using the WhoisGuard can provide you with almost complete anonymity.

Comparison

How does Namecheap match up to the competition?

KamateraCompareOur Score4.8Compare
Liquid WebCompareOur Score4.8Compare
NamecheapCompareOur Score4.7Compare
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Namecheap REVIEW: BOTTOM LINE

Great Managed Hosting for Beginners

While I was skeptical at first, I ended up being really happy with EasyWP, Namecheap’s managed WordPress hosting. It’s missing some advanced options, but beginners and casual users will appreciate how fast and easy it is to use.

If you’re just starting your WordPress website and looking to minimize confusion, my recommendation is to give EasyWP a try. On the other hand, if you need more advanced features, you can take a look at the best NameCheap alternatives.

FAQ

Does Namecheap offer free trials?

No, Namecheap no longer offers a 30-day free trial. However, Namecheap offers a 30-day money-back guarantee with all plans, which allows you to try it out, risk-free. You can sign up and test out everything Namecheap has to offer. Namecheap also offers month-by-month hosting services, allowing you to sign up without getting tied down for a year or two.

How much does Namecheap cost per month?

The shared hosting plans are competitive with even the most affordable hosting providers such as Hostinger. Starting from just over a dollar per month, Namecheap is worth considering for the budget-conscious.

For those wanting to use a server in the UK or Europe beware of the higher cost. When I was comparing the servers for my shared hosting site, I noticed that the UK servers all cost a little bit more than the American ones. Not a huge upcharge, but something worth thinking about.

Do all of Namecheap’s plans include a free domain name?

Surprisingly, no. Despite Namecheap being well known as a domain name registrar, getting a domain name for most plans, including the WordPress packages, will cost you extra.

Free domain name registration is only included with the shared plans (Stellar, Stellar Plus, and Stellar Business) as long as you sign up for the 1-year or 2-year packages, and this is limited to certain extensions. Even more suprisingly, popular extensions such as.com domains are only discounted and included with Stellar Plus and Stellar Business.

Which is the cheapest hosting service?

Despite Namecheap’s extremely affordable prices, it’s not the cheapest web host that I’ve found. Hostinger is the best-value budget host available right now.

Not only are its plans even less expensive than Namecheap’s, it also comes with better features like LiteSpeed server technology and other additions that are perfect for WordPress hosting. Check out the deals for 2024 on our coupon page to save even more on your Hostinger plan.
Caitlin Greyling Caitlin Greyling
A freelance author, graphic designer, and photographer, Caitlin Greyling writes about web hosting, web builder software, graphic design, tech, and electronics, and has published hundreds of product reviews and comparisons for Website Planet, The Daily Mail, and Durability Matters. Her creative and technical knowledge has been showcased at PictureCorrect, Photutorial, and others. She is currently studying for an NCTJ diploma in journalism. When Caitlin’s not working, she’s exploring nature with her son and dog or relaxing at home with her cat.
1.7
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Cheap customer service…. cheap attitude.. Costly mistake !

I have been hosting with them for years.. they have increased the price.. which i dont mind but the service has become absolutely horrible.. the service is not worth you time.. they block your email thinking its spam.. and apologize after 48 hours for blocking your mail by mistake and don't unblock you mail until you confirm you have not sent spam.. although they have admitted they made a mistake.. the company is a mess internally.. the staff are stone cold.. seems like they have robots working for them.. never again !

avatar
Stix, USA
October 02, 2022
1
Utterly terrible

Utterly terrible. Don't even consider a purchase from namecheap. They stole money from me, didn't give me the service i paid for and wouldn't refund me! After 10 emails back and forward they just kept copying and pasting the same 3 line script they had in front of them. It is entirely within their policy that they can suspend your site for any reason they see fit and not ever refund you. Absolute scam. And beyond terrible customer service.

avatar
Ben, Great Britain
August 14, 2022
1
TTC1

I've been with NC for almost 10 years now. They were the only hosting company, I could find, that accepted PayPal as a payement, no credit card needed. I'm no pro user and just have the value plan. It's only for my personal websites and very low traffic. Still, thru the Live Chat, every time I needed a question answered, I was in contact with someone and my questions answered within minutes. Dunno the circumstances of the others' bad experiences but for me, it's 5 stars.

avatar
Yves Chaput, Canada
March 04, 2021
5
False locked my account and won’t release

NameCheap has a very faulty security system that routinely locks people's accounts and then demands their Social Security Number, a picture of the credit card used to pay, and then a picture of the person holding the card, and then finally a picture of the bank account statement showing the transaction. If you don't provide all of these, your domain is locked and you risk losing your domain name after they release it back to the public. Their customer service department is very slow and bad. It takes days for someone to look at your situation. Avoid this company and bring your business elsewhere.

avatar
Thang, USA
February 21, 2021
1
Very bad customer service

I had a very bad experience with their customer service: firstly, not understanding what I was asking for and then not willing to help. Be aware to read their term and conditions with a lot of caution as they can be interpreted in their favor and they will do so. I will definitely look for another provider. For couple more bucks I can have a better service.

avatar
Clara, Canada
December 07, 2020
1
Long standing NC customer and sticking with them

My experiences with NameCheap have been good overall. I have been with them on and off for about 6 years and they are a solid hosting company. Customer services seem to be getting a little worse this year with longer waiting times. I have never asked for a supervisor as there was never a need to do that. I just wait and nearly always get through to the right team. I did have one website (I have had ) hacked and they fixed it very quickly. Hosting is fairly quick and up time has been fine. I did try two different hosts that have top ratings but both let me down within three months so I ended up back with NameCheap

avatar
anonymus, USA
September 10, 2020
4
NEVER, EVER ask for a supervisor

A member of their' rockstar customer support team' intentionally kept me on hold FOR AN HOUR because I asked to speak to her supervisor. Basically, I never got the 'hosting Welcome email' (needed to make the website) and my conversation with their rockstars was OVER TWO HOURS!! OVER TWO HOURS for a person that just needs an email sent to them?

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First, USA
April 14, 2020
1
Stay away you will regret it

Really I can't find enough words for my bad experience with nc support are very poor and they never resolve any issue. You will have to find it out by your self. Also they send many spam newsletters to contact them many times to stop sending me spam mails but even tell now they didn't stop They only have a mask like a professional company with. A lot of advertising but honestly stay away before you regret

avatar
Ahmad Helalat, Jordan
March 10, 2020
1
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