What is NameCheap.com?
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 by 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.
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.
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.
- Good domain registration prices and promotional discounts on the 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 support
- However, the renewal cost for the packages is 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 has limitations
NameCheap’s mainstay 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 back up 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.
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 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 allows NameCheap to see how well 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.
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 is 3 to 4 times more than the initial costs.
*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.
Notice that the more years you choose the price gets a little cheaper.
The only real upsell 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 upselling will benefit the security of transactions on your website.
The MainStay 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 of 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 upsell and that is for the purchase of the SSL Certificate. Since that upsell involves the security of customer’s information and financial transactions, I believe that upsell 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 on a business’s financial stability is a serious situation.
Having downtime 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 viewpoint, 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. After explaining just what NameCheap.com is and providing a clear review of the product, I think you could agree that NameCheap is the best solution for domain name purchases, even if hosting is not one of their best services.
This is because the research with BBB shows that the norm for NameCheap is to not to respond to complaints made against them. It also involves the lack of appropriate support to resolve web 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.
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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).
Feel free to share any experience you have had with NameCheap domain purchases in the comment section below.
Founder of Mom’s Trusted Affiliate