Namecheap is widely known for their discounted domain names, but like many other registrars, they also specialize in hosting. Are your hosting solutions on par with the best the Internet has to offer?
Namecheap has been in business since 2000 and has over 10 million active domain registrations. Website hosting plans cover most hosting types, including shared managed WordPress, VPS (Virtual Private Server) machines, dedicated servers, and even private email hosting. All services are available in English.
Buying a domain name and hosting plan from the same provider can be very tempting, but be careful when doing so. An all-in-one solution simplifies everything from administration to support to billing, but jacks of all trades are (usually) not masters.
Yet, does that ease of use come at the expense of functionality? Is the service truly capable of meeting sophisticated needs, or does it feel constrained to grow? Well, read on and see for yourself!
Great Basic Features, but with some serious limitations
Namecheap offers powerful VPS and dedicated servers, but focuses more on the shared hosting aspect. Shared hosting is the easiest and cheapest form of hosting and in my opinion there is no better place to start.
At Namecheap, shared hosting has two subcategories.
Regular shared hosting and managed WordPress hosting.
I signed up for WordPress hosting provided through EasyWP, Namecheap’s own platform. EasyWP is a WordPress-only cloud plan and cannot be used with any other CMS (Content Management System). On the other hand, regular shared hosting allows you to install any CMS using Softaculous.
When it comes to storage and bandwidth, EasyWP’s basic plan, Starter, comes with 10 GB of SSD storage for 50,000 monthly visitors, while the medium plan, Turbo, comes with 50 GB of SSD storage. space and approximately 200,000 monthly visitors. The most advanced plan, Supersonic, has 100 GB of storage and about 500,000 monthly visitors.
This “monthly visitors” metric is misleading, as bandwidth is usually measured in GBs. I tried to get an answer from support, but they kept insisting that they actually had a “visitor counter” running in the background. Either way, the site has plenty of room to grow.
Move on to regular shared hosting. The basic Stellar plan has 20 GB of SSD storage space, the second plan has unlimited storage, and the final plan has a cap of 50 GB. Bandwidth is not measured for all three.
You must be thinking – why do mid-tier plans offer more space than the most advanced plans? According to Namecheap, this has to do with “premium support” and “extra cache” … apparently … I think it’s cheap.
Anyway, let’s dig deeper into the features that make or break your site.
The EasyWP Platform Includes One-Click Backups and SFTP Access
We’ll talk about the EasyWP interface in the usability section, but a lot has been said about it. For now, you should be aware that this is an alternative to the cPanel hosting admin panel. It’s not a very complicated or advanced product, but it offers some great options.
The first is backup. With our one-click tool, you can instantly back up your entire website and easily restore it if needed in the future. You can also download the site files and database to your local computer.
The second is database and SFTP access. By default there are no accounts for these options, but you can easily create temporary or permanent logins using the EasyWP dashboard.
The SFTP option is my personal favorite. You may be used to retrieving FTP data from cPanel and logging into your website’s folders and files, but doing it this way is a big risk.
FTP is unprotected and unencrypted, and using it leaves you vulnerable to malicious hackers who can access your account.
SFTP, on the other hand, has no such risks. Many people choose to skip it because it usually requires a long and rather tedious setup process. Namecheap’s EasyWP goes a step further and deploys his SFTP out of the box. Hats off.
The EasyWP Plugin Saves Time and Effort
There are many plugins installed on your WordPress website, but caching and optimization plugins are among the most in demand. With dozens of options available, it’s easy to get lost.
For that reason, I was very happy with his EasyWP plugin from Namecheap. It comes pre-installed with your WordPress installation and includes many of the speed-up options you might otherwise be looking for.
It offers three levels of advanced caching, a technique used to create temporary copies of website pages and data. This allows our servers to be more efficient and your visitors to have faster loading times.If you would like to clear your cache, click here.
Now, oddly enough, Namecheap also blocks many other plugins it deems “unnecessary” or “potentially harmful”. Even if I wanted to install another caching plugin, I can’t.
I think it’s convenient at the expense of freedom. In any case, the regular shared hosting plans have no plugins or restrictions, giving you the freedom to choose any option you like.