NameCheap

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What is NameCheap.com?

 

NameCheap opening Chart

 

 

 

 

I know the name sounds a little funny so, I’m sure you’re wondering what is NameCheap.com.  NameCheap first began as a domain registrar in 2000, founded by Richard Kirkendall and he is still the CEO.

NameCheap is a domain name registrar that also includes website hosting and website building. The business is accredited with ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers ).

NameCheap is boasted to have more than a million customers and manage over three million domains.

Who is NameCheap For?

NameCheap is for anyone who is looking for a domain name for a new website or looking to transfer a domain name to utilize their hosting services.  It is also good for those who already have a hosting service, but would like to transfer their domain name from NameCheap to another hosting service.

For those who have only one or two small websites that don’t require a lot of intricate hosting capabilities, NameCheap hosting could be sufficient.

Features

The hosting features provided are for the most part, rather standard, with the exception of the business plan.  I have created a chart so you can see at a glance a comparison of the four major hosting plans.

Comparison of NameCheap hosting plans

Comparison of features of the major four hosting plans.

The Good and the Bad

Honestly, there is nothing on earth that is perfect.  Therefore, there will always be room for improvement in some areas.  Here are a few of the pros and cons as I see them.

PROS

  • Good domain registration prices and promotional discounts on first year of hosting plans.
  • If NameCheap fails to meet their 100% guarantee of uptime SLA they will give account credits.
  • Highest security standards possible.
  • cPanel is included free with all hosting plans and is user friendly.
  • Great customer suppot

CONS

  • However, the renewal cost for the packages are 3 to 4 times more than the initial costs.
  • Unlimited disk space must be used for the sole purpose of your website and can’t be used for storage of anything else.
  • Only the Business Plan has priority support
  • Only give a 14-day money back guarantee
  • The Value plan have limitations

NameCheap Pros and Cons

NameCheap’s main stay of the business is domain name registration. Therefore, some of the hosting features are very limited in range. According to their Knowledge Base, the servers are only backed up once every 3 to 7 days and backups are not available to all customers.

The FAQs indicate that they backup the servers every day, mainly for internal purposes, but backups can be provided if customers request it. What kind of sense does that make? It is irresponsible not to backup for all customers who pay for the hosting.

A lot can happen when servers are not backed up for so many days. Seems to me NameCheap is skirting a disaster.

Training/Tools

It doesn’t appear that NameCheap has any formalized training or videos, but it does have a Knowledgebase available for your use as well as frequently asked questions.  The knowledgebase covers information about their hosting, affiliate program, SSL Certificates, domain transfers, billing and much more.  You can always connect with Support if you have questions.

NameCheap Support

NameCheap has a community forum where people can get support from staff members, but it typically takes between three to four hours to get feedback.  You are also able to put in support tickets for help and they use live chat too.  However, there is no phone support available.

One cool thing that NameCheap uses is a third party system called Kayako because they have such a high number of customers.  This system allows them to decrease the amount of time people have to wait to receive feedback.

It also NameCehap to see how will they are doing prioritizing the support requests and how long it takes them to follow up on them.  I like that NameCheap also monitors their response times to respond to the support requests.

These avenues of support assistance are seemingly used mostly for the hosting services since there is not much need for support if you are only purchasing a domain registration and not hosting with NameCheap.  But, the support would still be available should there be any problems with the purchase or renewal of your domain name.

From my research, I found that people are generally pleased with the services of NameCheap until something goes wrong and “Support” is needed.

The ability to obtain support can be difficult because there is no phone contact available and as shown in the complaint above situations can occur where customers get locked out of their account and have no access to the live chat and the ticketing system.

In some cases some business customers who have shared hosting packages will receive priority support over regular shared hosting customers.

NameCheap’s Hosting Pricing

The hosting division was co-founded and launched in 2007, by Matthew Russell.  NameCheap has several hosting plans available to choose from. There are no Windows based plans. NameCheap only uses Linux based plans.

Value – Used for home use and business use.

Professional – NameCheap indicates that this is the most popular hosting package.

Ultimate – This package is for “power users”.

Business SSD – This is considered the fastest business hostings and there are fewer users on each server, CloudFlare Railgun, PCI compliance and there is a guarantee of 100% uptime. This package is best for e-commerce and more.  This package does not provide a promotional first year discount.

NameCheap Hosting Prices

Affordable Hosting Plans

On each of NameCheap’s hosting packages, with the exception to the Business package, there is a promotional first year, which can be very appealing to the individuals just starting an online business and have little to no budget.

However, the renewal cost for the packages are 3 to 4 times more than the initial costs.

NameCheap Renewal Rates

*The Business Plan doesn’t have a one-year renewal rate.  This plan has three payment options of $19.99 per month, a 6-month period of $18.98 per month, and a 12-month period of $17.88 per month, which equates to $215.88 a year.

NameCheap’s Domain Pricing

NameCheap bases their domain registration prices according to the extension and the number of years you choose to register your domain name.  Due to the vast number of extensions available, I will only include an excerpt from that list.  The entire domain price list is available here.

NameCheap Domain Prices

Cost discounted with more years.

Notice that the more years you choose the price gets a little cheaper.

The only real up sell that NameCheap as seems to be with the SSL Certificates whenever there is a purchase of hosting or domain registration.  That is not necessarily a bad thing since the product they are up selling will benefit the security of transactions on your website.

The Main Stay of NameCheap

 As mentioned earlier, NameCheap is best known for their domain registrar.  It appears that this area of business is a better fit for NameCheap.  The cost of purchasing a domain from NameCheap usually costs between $10.00 and $12.00 for a year.

Before the year expires the domain name must be renewed or the domain name is up for grabs again.  At NameCheap, the renewal price will be the same as the initial price that was paid (normal price increases may happen as with any product for sale).

I actually purchased my domain names from NameCheap and it was a very easy process. However, I knew I wasn’t going to purchase hosting from them because I was already a member at Wealthy Affiliate and the hosting there was already included in the membership.

Therefore, I had to transfer my DNS (Domain Name Server) from NameCheap to Wealthy Affiliate. The transfer of my domain name from NameCheap to Wealthy Affiliate was made very easy by the instructions provided by NameCheap.  The transfer was completed in a matter of minutes and I was able to immediately begin creating my website at Wealthy Affiliate.

Complaint Department

Most of the complaints I found about the hosting at NameCheap dealt with issues involving the products and/or services. According to NameCheap, their support team is available 24 hours a day and is available through live chat and a help desk for hosting support.

NameCheap Complaints

I obtained a Better Business Bureau Review and found that as of September 1, 2015, NameCheap had a grade of “F”. NameCheap received a failing grade because they had 27 complaints against them and they failed to respond to 26 of those complaints.

Complaint Summary

6 – Advertising/Sales Issues

6 – Billing/Collection Issues

1 – Delivery Issues

14 – Problems with Product/Services

There are too many complaints regarding problems with the products or services to go into them all here, but I will provide information on a complaint that I felt was very egregious.

 

In August 2015 a customer received an email from NameCheap and was given 2 days to respond to a “charge back”. Unfortunately, the customer was not in the habit of checking his email everyday and missed the first email.

He received a second email that advised that he had lost the domain name he had purchased. Therefore, he attempted to contact support but found that he had been locked out of the live support chat.

Since NameCheap does not supply a contact phone number all support request have to go through the support ticket process. The customer tried to log in to his NameCheap account and found that the entire account had been suspended.

In addition, every one of his domain names was suspended. The only thing the customer could do was to open a ticket for the help desk system.

According to the complaint, it took 3 to4 days to receive a generic response that the ticket was received, but there was no representative assigned to the ticket until about 20 days later.

He never received any information about getting the suspended domains reactivated. One of the domains suspended was an active business website.

He eventually received a response that the problem had been fixed and all of the domains and websites had been recovered. In the end, his websites were down for almost an entire month.

 

This customer was dealing with Risk Management in efforts to gets his websites reactivated and was losing income from his business website for almost a month. This is totally unacceptable of a hosting site. NameCheap claims they guarantee 100% uptime. Having your domains/websites down for almost a whole month is far from guaranteeing 100% uptime.

I did find a few complaints about this domain registrar, but none as egregious as the complaints about hosting.

 

There was a complaint where a customer requested WhoIs Guard Protection when the domain name was purchase, but was not provided that protection. Once the details of the domain name purchase were made to the WhoIs database, the damage was already done and there apparently is no way to undo the incorrect release of the personal information.

 

Better Business Bureau Updated

UPDATED — I am including an update regarding the most recent grade given by the Better Business Bureau regarding the complaints against NameCheap.

BBB Grade Summary

Updated Grade Summary

In the last three years there have been 45 complaints against NameCheap, with only 2 resolved to the customers’ satisfaction.  NameCheap failed to respond to 43 of the customer disputes.

Of the 45 complaints, more than half of the complaints were about problems with products/Services such as hosting, email service, WhoIsGuard, domain register, security issues of releasing private information to the public in addition to all the billing complaints.

The complaints are too numerous to discuss within this article.  However, here you can find more details on each complaint that NameCheap failed to respond to.

Final Opinion/Verdict

All in all, I think that NameCheap is a great place to purchase domain names. The price is consistent and reasonable. I think NameCheap makes the procedure to obtain any of their products and services an easy process to complete.

There is basically no pressure to purchase any of their products; no up selling for the most part.  However, there is one up sell and that is for the purchase of the SSL Certificate.  Since that up sell involves the security of customer’s information and financial transactions, I believe that up sell is in the best interest of one’s online business.

I do think that NameCheap needs to put more attention to resolving customer complaints. I don’t believe that any business runs without ever having any problems, but how that company reacts and resolves those problems can greatly impact the continued health of their business.

NameCheap’s lack of attention to customer service raises a big red flag for me! Having things go wrong with a person’s website that could severely cause a negative impact of a business’s financial stability is a serious situation.

Having down time for almost a month would be a serious infraction regarding NameCheap’s guarantee of 100% uptime.

Infrequent backups are also detrimental to successful hosting.

There are some that are quite satisfied with the hosting they receive from NameCheap. So, I guess it probably depends on just how involved your hosting needs are.

From my view point I don’t think I could depend on a hosting company that does backups once every 3 to 7 days. One of the first things you learn about using computers is that you should backup every day and frequently each day.

NameCheap is probably very effective for small non-business website hosting, but I don’t believe that they have the ability to effective host large business websites. I found very little information regarding their site building so I’m betting that area of their business may need some attention as well.

So, if you are just looking for a place to purchase a domain name, I would suggest using NameCheap. The price is right and it is easy to transfer the DNS to another company that can provide great hosting services such as Wealthy Affiliate.

Verdict: TOTALLY LEGITIMATE

Recommendation: [X] Highly Recommended [ ] Recommended [X ] NOT Recommended

My final recommendation is a split decision – I highly recommend NameCheap for the purchase of all your domain names,  but I would not recommend them if you are planning on using them to host your online business websites.

This is because the research with BBB shows that the norm for NameCheap is to not to respond to complaints made against them that also involves lack of appropriate support to resolve hosting problems in-house.

 

Call to Action

Purchase a domain name for your new website. Remember to use a domain extension that is suitable for your niche, but is professional at the same time.

In an effort to be transparent to my visitors, I want you to be aware that I get commission from purchases made through the links in this article. Please review my full disclosure at the top right of this page.

Register Now for NameCheap

Please feel free to contact me if you need help with anything. Just make a comment below or you can always get in touch with me through wealthyaffiliate.com (here is a link to my profile).

 

Verna
Founder of Mom’s Trusted Affiliate

momstrustedaffiliate.com
email: verna@momstrustedaffiliate.com

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4 Comments

  1. Luke

    I have been looking into purchasing my own domain name for a while and your site provides a lot of strong information. While Namecheaps response to complaints may be cause for worry I feel comfortable in using them to make my purchase. Thanks for the in depth info and keep up the good work.

    Reply
    1. Verna Mason (Post author)

      Hello Luke,

      Thanks for stopping by to check out my article. I purchase domains from Name Cheap. I think their price of a domain name is one of the lowest around. I also like being able to easily transfer the domain name from Name Cheap over to a different Domain Name Server for hosting elsewhere.

      You can find cheaper prices for purchasing a domain name such as, Go Daddy. There you can get one for $.99, but that is only for the first year and then it goes up to full price. Additionally, that price is just a lure to get you there and hopefully you will stay and then they up sell you on all the other tools you need.

      As far as the complaints go, I feel that every business is going to have some complaints and I understand that the customer is not always right even though we as business owners try to keep them happy.

      I’m glad you were able to find the information helpful. Let me know if you have any questions or if I can help you with anything.

      Verna

      Reply
  2. Simon Watson

    Well firstly may I congratulate you on an excellent post on namecheap . It was really laid out and and I can tell that you have done your research well as it is very detailed about the price plans etc.
    I also love the way that you have included namecheaps negatives as well as personally I think that this always brings a kind of balance to the post. All in all it was a great post so keep it up and congrats.
    Si

    Reply
    1. Verna Mason (Post author)

      Hello Simon,

      I’m glad that you found my article helpful. I try to be transparent for my readers so that they receive a honest and unbiased review of products. That way they can really make a good informed decision on their own. If I am to provide an honest review I always have to talk about the good stuff and the bad stuff.

      Thanks for taking the time to check out my article. Let me know if you have any questions. I’m here to help.

      Verna

      Reply

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