Namecheap Shared Hosting Review

I take an unconventional approach to web host reviews. For details about web hosts I recommend and my overall methodology, see my web host recommendations page.

In the spirit of extreme transparency, I want to disclose that I have a monetary relationship with Namecheap. Expand the section below for more details. Details about the relationship can be found here.


Summary

Namecheap offers extraordinarily well-priced shared web hosting with cPanel. Namecheap’s performance is solid but not best-in-class. The service is extremely user-friendly. Pricing terms are flexible, upselling is minimal, and user interfaces are intuitive. My impression is that Namecheap’s support team is decent but short of amazing.

Overall, I consider Namecheap an exceptional option for cost-sensitive individuals running fairly typical websites.

Visit Namecheap

Performance

Dashboards displaying the results of my ongoing performance testing of Namecheap and other shared hosting service can be viewed here.

Uptime

Section written on 8/13/19
In the last three months, Namecheap’s uptime has been 99.87% on my test website. This is an acceptable level of uptime for most sites, but it’s far from perfect. 99.87% uptime is worse than most of the uptimes I observed for other web hosts over the same time period.

Speed

Section written on 8/13/2019
Over the last three months, page load speeds I’ve measured on my Namecheap test site have generally been acceptable, but the speeds have been slower than speeds I observed on tests sites with several other web hosts.

User experience

I’ve found the user experience with Namecheap to be great. Sign-up is quick and easy. The default cPanel layout is clean without any intrusive ads. Updating billing information is simple. My limited experience with Namecheap’s knowledgebase has been positive. Unlike many other hosts, Namecheap engages in very little upselling.

Pricing

Namecheap blows the competition out of the water in terms of prices. Beyond having low prices, Namecheap is unusually flexible about billing cycles and transparent about promotional rates. At the time of writing, the cheapest shared plan is under $3 per month. The plan is still under $3 per month (with no setup fee) for subscribers that select a no-commitment, month-to-month billing cycle.

I worry that low-priced web hosts are unusually likely to either go out of business or dramatically raise rates on existing customers. However, I don’t think Namecheap is especially likely to do either. Namecheap is an extremely popular domain register, so I don’t think it’s at much risk of going out of business anytime soon.[1] Namecheap has been offering low-priced hosting for a long time, so I’d be surprised if that suddenly changed.[2]

As mentioned previously, Namecheap does not engage in a lot of upselling, which may mean the base price of Namecheap’s hosting is a better reflection of the total price paid by the typical customer than the base price of services run by companies that engage in more aggressive upselling. However, there is one instance of upselling I’d like to highlight. Namecheap does not currently offer free, perpetual SSL certificates. One free PositiveSSL certificate is offered for one year on each domain hosted with Namecheap. Currently, the certificate costs a little under $10 per year to renew.[3]

While it’s generally considered good practice not to register your domain name with your web host, many people choose to do so for the sake of convenience. If you register a domain with Namecheap, you’re likely to get a better rate than most hosts.[4] Additionally, given Namecheap’s size and reputation, it’s probably less risky to combine your domain registration and web hosting with them than other providers.

Expand the section below to see plan offerings and rates.

Pricing details
Rates on the shared plans as of 2/8/19. Note that this pricing information may be out-of-date.
Stellar

  • $2.88 per month or $30.88 per year
  • 3 domains
  • 20 gigabytes of SDD-accelerated disk space
  • Unmetered bandwidth

Stellar Plus

  • $4.88 per month or $52.88 per year
  • Unlimited domains
  • Unmetered disk space
  • Unmetered bandwidth

Stellar Business

  • $8.88 per month or $98.88 per year
  • Unlimited domains
  • 50 gigabytes of pure SSD disk space
  • Unmetered bandwidth

The details above were sourced from Namecheap’s shared hosting web page.

For the first year, all annual plans are 50% off the yearly rates listed above. Namecheap is extremely transparent about the fact that the 50% discount is an introductory offer that only applies to the first year of service.

Support quality

Namecheap offers support for shared hosting live chat and tickets. I don’t think phone support is available.

My experience with Namecheap’s support is very limited. My impression at this point is that Namecheap’s support is of average quality—able to solve most problems but unlikely to blow you away with their speed or professionalism. However, I say that with limited confidence. I intend to update this section once I’ve had more experience with Namecheap’s support agents.

Organizational competence

Support for an open internet

Namecheap has supported a free and open internet. The company publicly opposed the Stop Online Piracy Act and has made contributions to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). As far as I can tell, the contributions to the EFF have been modest relative to Namecheap’s size, but I still think the contributions reflect positively on Namecheap.[5]

Explicit resource limits

I looked over Namecheap’s acceptable use policy on 3/5/2019 and pulled out the limitations listed there that I thought were most likely to be relevant for typical website owners. My list is not comprehensive and only covers limitations that affect shared web hosting plans.

Typical resource limits

Type Stellar[6] Plus Business
Physical memory limit (GB) 1 2 2
CPU Percent 20 40 60
IO, MB/s 50 50 50

Possible burst allowances

Type[7] Stellar Plus Business
Physical memory limit (GB) 4 6 8
CPU Percent 100 200 400

Inode limits

Plan Inode limit
Stellar 300,000
Plus 300,000
Business 600,000

Other limitations

  • “No script may use 25% or more of system resources for 60 seconds or longer”
  • “Backup Limitations. Any shared hosting account that uses more than 25GB of disk space or contains more than 200,000 inodes will be removed from our weekly system backup.”
  • “For Shared Hosting accounts, email storage shall not exceed the 10GB limit.”
  • “A maximum of 10GB of a shared hosting account can be allocated to music, video or other multimedia files including but not limited to .aac, .avi, .mp3, .mp4, .mpeg, .jpg, .png, .gif files”
  • “A maximum of 10GB of a shared hosting account can be allocated to any archive and disk image files containing the complete contents and structure of a data storage medium”
  • “A maximum of 10GB of a shared hosting account can be allocated to databases and database dumps including but not limited to .sql files”
  • “A maximum of 10GB of a shared hosting account can be allocated to Executable files and all other files which are the result of compiling a program”

Footnotes

  1. “Namecheap ​has​ ​been​ ​steadfast​ ​in​ ​customer​ ​satisfaction. With over 10 million domains under management, Namecheap is among the top domain registrars and web hosting providers in the world.”
    From Namecheap’s “About Us” web page on 3/4/2019 (archived here).
  2. For example, this archived page from April 2008 shows that Namecheap was offering reasonably-priced hosting at that time.
  3. Rates for PositiveSSL can be viewed here. Namecheap may still offer 50% off the first year of renewal (mentioned in this post), but I have not confirmed.
  4. Namecheap’s rates for domain names can be found here.
  5. A press release from September 27, 2017 (archived here) included the following:
    “Namecheap stands firm in its support of Net Neutrality and have in recent years donated more than $300,000 to the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Fight for the Future in support of Internet rights and freedom. For Namecheap, support for Internet freedom is another way Namecheap stands out from the competition.”
  6. Namecheap’s table with the corresponding information labels this column as “Any shared,” but information about limits for the Plus, and Business plans are found in a different column. I’m pretty sure the limits in this column only apply to the basic Stellar plan.
  7. Namecheap prefaces this information with “We may allow any shared account to burst up to” and this note follows the information:
    “The burst allowance is considered an exception to the acceptable use allowance and shall be permitted solely to stabilize the operation of the website during peak intervals. Any user whose account/server employs the higher burstable resources on a consistent basis shall agree to upgrade it to a package with higher resource availability.”
    From Namecheap’s acceptable use policy as of 3/5/2019 (archived here).

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