A NameCheap Review
When you’re starting a website, the very first thing you typically have to do is find a registrar for your domain. There are many such registrars now, with the most popular at the moment arguably being GoDaddy.
That domain registrar currently offers renewal of .com domains at a rate of $14.99 per year. There are cheaper alternatives, though, and we’ll talk about one of them here: NameCheap.
NameCheap offers .com domain renewals at $10.69 a year. That’s not a bad rate at all!
That said, NameCheap’s price is decent when you consider what it offers and its general service package against the cost. It’s still not as big as GoDaddy—or not quite yet—but its services and features are much on par with the other registrar. That makes it a fine option for those looking to make a switch or try out a different registrar to save money.
The NameCheap Experience
NameCheap allows you to find and register domain names, but it does a lot of other things (in fact, it even has its own hosting service). You can transfer your domains to it, for instance, at a rate of $9.69 for .com domains and $11.48 for .net and .org ones. Like most other registrars, NameCheap also allows you to renew, reactivate, and redeem domains. You can buy and sell domains on its marketplace.
NameCheap’s DNS servers stretch across US and Europe, and also offers Free DNS. It offers spam and privacy protection via WhoIs Guard and Comodo Positive SSL.
Generally speaking, using Namecheap to find, register, transfer, or renew a domain is simple as pie. The site’s interfaces offer little by way of distraction for these processes and checkout is pain-free.
What’s Good About It
1. Pricing and package – It’s not the cheapest you’ll find, but it’s still a pretty good price for what’s on offer. Besides your domain name, NameCheap actually throws in email forwarding as well as a WhoIs Guard privacy feature for free. That’s not a bad package for NameCheap’s prices.
2. Good suggestion feature – Like GoDaddy, NameCheap has a suggestion engine, but it actually outdoes the other registrar in this area—especially because it doesn’t hound you with a million upsells the way GoDaddy does.
3. One of the best domain managers, utility-wise – We say utility-wise because it’s not pretty. In fact, it looks downright ancient. But that doesn’t matter, really, because NameCheap’s old manager actually works a treat. It’s a clean and very organized interface that won’t require you to go over several manuals or tutorials for your first time configuring your domain name or anything along those lines. That means fewer mistakes and a better overall experience. You don’t need something to be pretty for it to be efficient.
4. The NameCheap domain manager allows mass updating – This isn’t a feature available on all registrars’ domain managers. It’s something you’ll be very glad to have when it comes time to migrate a number of domains from one host to another.
5. Easy checkout process – With some domain registrars, the mere process of checking out can give you a migraine. They put in odd default settings like a 2-year registration instead of one, slam you with upsells all the way to the last button, and generally just render what could’ve been a smooth experience a bumpy ride. NameCheap makes it painless… although it’s almost sad that we even have to note it when a company does that, considering it should be the way every company does it.
6. Decent support – The knowledgebase isn’t bad and chat support is generally very fast. There will be exceptions and other experiences, but ours have been good.
7. Has yet to have its DNS hacked – Just something that should probably be mentioned, as GoDaddy has already had this happen to it. It can happen to the best of us and that wasn’t a lightweight assault, but it’s still something you’d want to know if you were considering either of these registrars.
8. Customer Love – When you reach a certain number of domains for you account, you will get a discount for life. Ssshh…don’t tell anyone about this!
What’s Not So Good About It
1. Phone support isn’t the best – This is probably the only real area where we had issues with NameCheap’s support team. If you can settle for the chat support, though, this isn’t that big a point.
2. Autorenewals are a bit glitchy sometimes – Some people have had trouble with their autorenewals with NameCheap. While most of them get the problem ironed out after a while, there’s the “a while” to consider even so. For us, it hasn’t been a problem at all.
Do we like NameCheap? Yes, quite a bit. Actually, it’s the ONLY registrar we’d recommend to anyone.
The prices are definitely among the best for its level of service and support is good on the whole. Even its (few) upsells are more worthwhile than the ones many other registrars often throw your way, with things like Dynamic DSL offered at attractive prices.
That doesn’t mean it’s the best registrar for everyone. If you’re the type who likes to have a single provider and host you may well want to consider Bluehost too, for example, if you need someone to do all the work of transferring your domains from one host to another.
For most people, though, NameCheap will offer one of—if not—the best overall performances as a domain registrar, especially where pricing and quality of service overlap. It’s especially attractive to small business owners because of that, so it’s definitely worth a look if you’re in the market for such a provider.