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Many web hosting companies offer free basic packages for the first time or budget conscious web user as well as three tiers of paid packages which cater to more complex websites. This article considers Namecheap web hosting and a selection of other popular web hosting service providers who are rated highly for their services.  

Speed and reliability are key factors to consider when choosing the right web hosting package for your needs as well as the number of freebies included.

Web hosting packages often include a bundle of additional services such as free email addresses, 1 or more possible websites, free domains, free databases, website storage capacity limits, automatic backups, data limits, and access to website building programs such as WordPress and Joopla.  

Users who need secure sites for e-Commerce services will also need to choose websites which have the safety and security features necessary for secure financial transactions over the web.

It is also important to realize that introductory offers for web hosting by most companies are normally quoted at a deep discount of the regular rate, and once your initial contract is finished packages may double or sometimes triple in price.

The speed and reliability of access to Customer Support, via phone, email, or web chat is also worthy of consideration when making your final decision. 

What Is Namecheap?

screenshot of website of namecheap

Image via namecheap.com

Namecheap is a web hosting service. They offer a free domain if you sign up for their hosting plan. If you already have a domain registered elsewhere, they will help you migrate it for free.

Namecheap also offers a 30-day full money-back guarantee where you will receive a total refund if you aren't 100% happy with their services, within the first 30 days. (However, this is not available for cash transactions, or hosting services paid for by bankers cheques).

Similar to other free hosting web providers, Namecheap also offers several paid packages which begin from around $2.88 per month

Product Specs

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Image via flaticon

Namecheap offers a number of additional features with their most basic plan. They include unmetred bandwidth and 20 GB of SSD drive space.

Namecheap give you access to their C-Panel and website building applications to help you build your own website including WordPress.

Their cheapest basic hosting plan also offers a free SSL certificate for your website security for the first year. Namecheap gives you three websites in their basic plan, 50 MySL databases, and 50 free email addresses.

heir cheapest basic hosting plan also offers a free SSL certificate for your website security for the first year. Namecheap gives you three websites in their basic plan, 50 MySL databases, and 50 free email addresses.

Namecheap's uptime is a very reasonable 99.87% per month, which equates to about 1 hour of downtime a month. This is about the average for free web hosting packages. Their load time is slower than other free hosting companies, and it ranges from 559ms to 1300ms per page. 

Customer support consists of a good range of FAQ and live chat support. However their live chat support is not ideal, with a concierge option which involves waiting for operators to be switched, and "expert" support is nothing to write home about.

Pricing

The free hosting service may be reliable enough for some users. However, if you want to upgrade to paid services, there are three options. Namecheap Stellar package provides 20GB SSD space and unmetred disk space for around $2.88 per month.

Their next plan is Stellar Plus which costs around $4.88 per month and gives you unlimited disk space along with unlimited bandwidth and an unlimited number of websites.

Their business package, Stella Business, provides you with an unlimited amount of websites and costs around $8.88 per month. Payment methods include PayPal and BitCoin along with regular credit cards.

How It Compares

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Image vaia Pixabay

We picked a few similar products available on the market to see how they compare.

  • Godaddy
  • SiteGround
  • HostGator

Namecheap


Price

Ease of Use

Uptime

Features

Customer Support

$

Price 

Namecheap hosting packages begin free and go up to around $9 per month.

Ease of Use

Namecheap is easy to use, with a fast sign-up process, assistance with web migration, moving sites from elsewhere, a free domain and 30-day money back satisfaction service.

Uptime 

The free hosting plan offers you 99.87% uptime per month, which is about average for free hosting plans everywhere. Loading time can be slower than other free hosting providers.

Features 

The first year of the free hosting plan offers you a free SSL certificate, like several but not all other free web hosting providers.

Name cheap offers you three websites and 50 MySQL databases with your free plan. It also offers you FAQs on their website and Customer Chat.

Customer Support

Namecheap customer support has two parts. They offer a comprehensive selection of FAQs on their website, and they offer online Customer Chat.

Pros

  • Free service better than other providers
  • Good FAQ's on customer support pages
  • Free SSL certificate for first year
  • Free package gives you three websites and 50 free email addresses
  • 50 my SQL databases with free packages
  • Paid packages give you an unlimited number of websites

Cons

  • Price hikes of up to 300% after the first year of paid packages
  • Free hosting plan may cost you an hour of uptime a month
  • Restricted hard drive space for free packages
  • Weak customer support on live chat

Godaddy


GoDaddy offers a fast and reliable web hosting package which includes a bigger than normal 100GB of hard drive storage.

Their basic beginner package starts at a higher monthly cost than other similar packages but ensures one has the fastest web page loading services available coupled with a very reliable server, which means you will never miss a potential customer. 

Price

Ease of Use

Uptime

Features

Customer Support

$

Price 

GoDaddy basic costs around $3.66 per month with a free domain. This also buys you 1 website, unlimited bandwidth, 100GB of hard drive storage and a free MS Business Office 365 email or the first year.

Their Ultimate Plan costs around $8.49 per month when you first sign up and then increases to around $17 per month. It offers an unlimited number of websites and a free SSL security certificate

Ease of Use

GoDaddy is easy to use and incorporates a range of 1-click install features which help you to build your own website.

Uptime 

GoDaddy guarantees 99.86% uptime per month.

Features 

This service offers you a much larger amount of hard drive storage for the basic package at 100Gb

Customer Support

GoDaddy offers you 24-hour customer support services.

Pros

  • 455ms page loading time
  • 99.96% uptime
  • 1 click installation of Word press, and Drupal
  • 100 GB hard drive space for a basic package

Cons

  • Not as many freebies included in basic packages
  • Less value for money than other providers unless your website is full of high-quality images and you need the extra storage space

HostGator


Price

Ease of Use

Uptime

Features

Customer Support

$

Price 

HostGator packages begin at around $2.75 per month and business plans start around $6 per month, which includes a free dedicated IP address. All packages include a free SSL security certificate for the first year along with customer support.

The Hatchling plan starts at $2.75 per month. It supports 1 domain name, unlimited disk space and storage, and unlimited sub-domains.

The Baby plan starts at $3.95 per month. It supports unlimited storage, bandwidth, and domain names.

The HostGator Business plan starts at $5.95 per month, and it supports unlimited storage, bandwidth, and domain names. It comes with a free dedicated IP, an SSL, and a toll-free number.

Ease of Use

HostGator is easy to sign up with and your account is usually activated within 24 to 48 hours. Payments can be made by credit card or via PayPal. Their Quick Install options make it easy for you to get started and build your own website, with access to the C-Panel.

However, although they advertise automatic sites backups this is only true for sites under 20 MB. An automatic back up service costs an additional $16 per year, so users are advised to back up their sites manually themselves until they want to pay for this additional service

Uptime 

Their average uptime per month is 99.89% which is better than the industry average. Their page loading time is around 984ms which is around 10% slower than the industry average.

Features 

HostGator have reliable uptimes and offer a range of web building applications via their free C-Panel.

Customer Support

HostGator give 24-hour customer support 265 days of the year. They offer support via phone, email, live chat. Though you may have to wait for around 15 minutes to connect to an operator, you will be provided with a friendly and knowledgeable response.

Pros

  • 99.99% uptime,
  • 45 days to test the service
  • Free migration
  • Protected against DDoS attacks
  • 4.19ms average page upload speed
  • Free HTTP address

Cons

  • Refunds only available if you paid for your hosting packages through debit card or credit card
  • No automatic backup service if your website is larger than 20MB
  • Good prices only available for longer term deals
  • The average customer support response time is around 3 minutes

Conclusion

We think that Namecheap's free basic hosting package holds up well against the basic packages of the top hosting providers which we reviewed here.

Although users may suffer an average of one hour of downtime per month, unless you are running a very fast paced, high-income business from your website you will not lose customers necessarily with the loss of one hour spread out over a month.  

The slower than industrial average speed of page loading, however, may affect your business as the bounce rate increases significantly if your page takes over 6 seconds to load.

So Namecheap is not the best website hosting provider for visual artists, designers, architects, or users who need to show a lot of high-resolution quality images of their work.

However, not all users fall into these categories and this service provided by Namecheap is especially useful for new businesses who do not wish to shell out a huge amount while starting up. They can upgrade to paid services as and when they need them.  

On the whole, given their impressive range of freebies such as security sites, databases, email addresses, and the 24/7 customer support—they receive our 5 star rating.  

Featured Image via Pixabay

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