In this post I’ll share my experience (some call this a review) with Namecheap domain registrar (affiliate link). To avoid any misunderstanding: Namecheap also offers web hosting, among other services, but this post deals only with their services related to domain registration. None of my reviews, including this one, is paid for, or asked for, by any company (for anyone interested: why I write these reviews). What is a domain and domain registration.
- Introduction – how I came to Namecheap
- Domain registration and renewal
- Namecheap technical support and user interface
- Namecheap prices and business policy
- Conclusion and my personal opinion
1. Introduction – how I came to Namecheap
All of my domains were registered with ionos (former 1and1) company. As you can read in my ionos (1and1) domain registrar review, I had some objections. I asked around for alternatives and one of the recommendations was Namecheap. So I moved one, and after a few months, all the other domains as well (how to transfer a domain from one registrar to another). Why I liked Namecheap?
2. Domain registration and renewal
To say it right from the start: my main objection is that Namecheap doesn’t show domain registration renewal price at the time of registering (or moving) a domain with them.
Another objection is when transferring a domain off Namecheap, to another registrar. Emails you get to confirm and speed up the transfer are a bit confusing, so I wasn’t sure what I should click/do to make the transfer start right away. Ionos, for example, does this a lot better, with clear instructions. I haven’t saved copies of those emails, so you’ll have to take my word for it, or try yourself (if any readers have copies of the emails, they could send them to be published – with all the private data masked, of course).
In spite of all that, domain registration and renewal go easily and smoothly with Namecheap. I also love the fact they allow paying funds to your account in advance, so they can be used for domain renewal, or registration of a new domain, regardless of whether it is done automatically, or manually. To me this is important, because Serbian banks are not very reliable (I wrote about my experience with Serbian Banca Intesa, though other Serbian banks are no better – in my experience at least). Option for this is shown in the main menu, once you are logged in:
I haven’t tested the reliability of the automatic domain registration renewal. I renew all the domains well before they are due to expire (as soon as they are within their last year, if not even sooner). Would advise this to anyone else. If automatic renewal is used, you will be charged 30 days before the domain expiry, when the renewal is first attempted (don’t worry, your domain registration will not loose the 30 days, each renewal is done by adding a whole year to the expiry date). So it is important to have money on your card, or on Namecheap account at this time (30 days prior to domain registration expiry date).
I don’t know what the procedure is if your card payment doesn’t clear (and you have no funds, paid in advance, on your Namecheap account). I have read that your whole account gets locked until you pay and you can’t even transfer domains off Namecheap.
Which leads us to my first moral dilemma. Should I disclose unconfirmed information, potentially doing an injustice to Namecheap, even though my personal experience is they are good and reliable? This reminds me of the situation I had when testing Yoast vs The SEO Framework WordPress plugins, where I had publicly apologized to plugin authors for publishing incorrect information, in spite of my best effort to be as objective as possible (adding updated, more accurate test results at that stage). On the other hand, I wouldn’t like to lead anyone into a problem, by recommending Namecheap, without noting potential problems. So here it is, in hope it will be taken for what it is – an attempt to provide objective information: a discussion from 2016 about Namecheap problems. Hoping that constructive feedback from other users (perhaps even from Namecheap as well) will clear any doubts and confusion. All the feedback can be provided in the comment section, or to my email: my name (relja) @ this domain (bikegremlin.com).
WHOIS privacy protection is not charged extra, which is great.
3. Namecheap technical support and user interface
Technical support is excellent: they are professional, polite, answer quickly and explain nicely, solving any problems.
They also have an excellent knowledge base (Namecheap knowledgebase). It’s so good that in some posts I linked to their articles, because they are so well written and explain everything nicely. To me Internet is a great source of information, human knowledge sharing, and Namecheap greatly contributes to this (my long-winded post about .com domain price hike and the direction Internet is taking).
User interface is among the best I’ve seen. Clear, logical, and intuitive.
They even have a great application for android and iphone. Not that domain configuration and registration is something I do daily and need to do while “on the move”, but for some people I’m sure this would come in handy.
4. Namecheap prices and business policy
At the time I had transferred domains from ionos, Namecheap was among the cheaper reputable domain registrars. Today it is no longer the case. Not the most expensive, but no longer among the cheapest. For example, .com domain renewal costs around 13 $, Porkbun offers it for about 8.5 $, while GoDaddy charges around 20 $.
As far as business policy goes, they don’t threaten with debt collectors, like ionos does (the link explains that). There are potential problems (that I haven’t experienced) explained in this post’s 2nd chapter.
I don’t like that, during domain registration, or transfer, they don’t state how much registration renewal will cost. You have to actually go and register a domain (or transfer it), then click on renewal, in order to see how much it will cost.
Still, I don’t consider this company to be “shady”, nor “problematic”, quite the contrary.
5. Conclusion and my personal opinion
As you can see in picture 2, this domain is registered with Namecheap. Can’t give a more honest recommendation than that.
I listed all the pros and cons in this post, so you can decide for yourself whether this domain registrar is the the right choice for you, based on your priorities and criteria.
It’s fair to say that I’ve moved some domains to Porkbun (affiliate link) – my review of Porkbun domain registrar. If they prove to be solid, within a year, or two, I’ll probably move most domains to Porkbun. At least if Namecheap remains to be that much more expensive as is the case now. For the less tech. savvy, I would recommend Namecheap over Porkbun, because of better knowledge base, more on-line tutorials and a bit friendlier user interface. In addition to that, Namecheap is tried and reliable, while I’d give Porkbun a year or two to confirm that.
If you decide to go with this company, you can use my affiliate link for Namecheap domain registration. Thus supporting this website, without it costing you anything extra.