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NameCheap.com has for a long time specialized in cheap domain registration, but now offers low-cost hosting, from basic shared plans to more advanced virtual private servers. Although their service is quite stripped back and very much 'no-frills', it may offer a cheaper alternative than many of its rivals, and has a number of packages that are unlike those found elsewhere. But does it offer anything unique to encourage customers away from the more established names in web hosting?
Unusually, NameCheap's most basic plan is an 'Email Only' hosting package. Whilst this will not offer the features wanted by most users, it is a very cheap deal for those who are after such a plan. Their 'Basic' plan allows for website hosting, but has quite limited specifications and provides little compatibility with common scripts. Therefore, anyone wanting a comprehensive hosting plan that will give full functionality for website hosting will need to look at their 'Premium' plan at the very least. This is still cheaper than many of its competitors, but remains comparatively limited in terms of features and disc space allowance. Depending on what you want, you may well decide that it is worth an extra couple of dollars to get the flexibility other hosting companies can offer you.
NameCheap's business hosting is in a different league to their regular shared hosting plans. A guarantee of no more than 50 users per server ensures top performance, and with cPanel control panel software you can easily and effectively manage your hosting from one place. There is increased script support and functionality, which will give you and your business much of the flexibility you require. However, for business hosting plans, there is little here in the way of business and marketing features. With many of NameCheap's competitors offering advanced site statistics, advertising development or search engine optimization, there really is not anything here to make it stand out from the crowd. And at $30-50 per month, it cannot really justify its cost.
NameCheap offers four basic virtual private server packages with full root access, which can be further customized in an impressive number of ways. The good news is that you only pay for what you need. The bad news is that if you need a lot, you could end up spending considerably more than you might elsewhere. If you are considering buying your virtual private server from NameCheap, we suggest you work out your needs and add up the potential cost before you make the commitment, as it could be above what you anticipate. Of course, it is always worth paying for performance and reliability, and NameCheap can offer these to an extent, but you can still find better deals at some of the more established names in the business.
The support on offer at NameCheap is adequate, but does not go above the basic level required. Their chat and telephone support are both fine, but the online help area could do with a makeover and it can be difficult to find the necessary contact details. NameCheap.com can boast reasonable uptime, but it is by no means the best in the business, and this is really something that should not be sacrificed. Overall, the company retains an average score in this department, but does nothing to impress.
Although NameCheap offers a reasonable service at fairly good value for money, there is nothing here to encourage you to choose it over any of its competitors. Unless this happens to be the first hosting deal you come across, we see no reason why you might be tempted to go for it. Perhaps in the future NameCheap will develop more impressive features and work on their support center, but until then there are better options out there if you have the time to look.
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