Not many companies these days can afford to be without an online presence, and the sheer number of web hosting services available reflects that. But with so many web hosting services to choose from, picking the best one can be a huge challenge. In this article, we pit against each other two of the biggest players in the web hosting world—Namecheap and Bluehost—to see which of them has more to offer.
Founded in 2000, Namecheap initially provided only domain name registration, but the company now offers also web hosting services. Namecheap has established a good reputation thanks to its strong anti-SOPA stance and its support for Net Neutrality, donating over $300,000 to the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Fight for the Future.
Last year, Namecheap CEO Richard Kirkendall announced that the company had more than 10 million domains under management and millions of customers around the world, making it one of the world’s top domain registrars.
Unlike Namecheap, Bluehost has been providing web hosting services since it was founded in 2003. Bluehost is among the top 20 largest web hosting companies in the world, and it’s one of nearly 100 hosting companies owned and operated by Endurance International Group (EIG), along with HostGator, PureHost, iPage, SpeedHost, and many others.
Together with its sister companies, Bluehost is hosting well over 2 million domains. It also hosts more than a million websites on its shared servers alone, which are just one of many types of hosting offered by the company.
Bluehost vs Namecheap: Hosting
Both Bluehost and Namecheap offer a wide range of web hosting services, including shared hosting, WordPress hosting, VPS hosting, dedicated hosting, and email hosting.
To see which web hosting company can give you more bang for your buck, let’s compare what’s included in their most popular shared web hosting plans: Namecheap Stellar Plus and Bluehost Plus.
Namecheap Stellar Plus is aimed at power users administering demanding websites, and it includes unmetered SSD storage, unmetered bandwidth, unlimited websites, and a website builder. Namecheap lets you choose between a US or a UK datacenter, which is great news for people who care about SEO. All shared hosting customers receive 50 free Positive SSL certificates for one year and can deploy WordPress in seconds with Namecheap’s Softaculous app installer.
Bluehost Plus is similarly well-equipped, offering unlimited websites, unmetered SSD storage, unmetered bandwidth, a free SSL certificate, and unlimited subdomains and parked domains. Bluehost automatically creates daily, weekly, and monthly backups of entire accounts, including all hosted websites. Thanks to its partnership with Microsoft, Bluehost customers can get a custom business email with Microsoft Office 365 with a few clicks for improved productivity with applications like Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. Due to these additional integrations and partnerships, and the fact that
What good is a feature-packed web hosting service if it doesn’t perform well? For this chapter of our Namecheap vs Bluehost comparison, we’ve analyzed nearly a dozen independent web hosting tests to see which of our two web hosting services performs better.
To our surprise, Bluehost has obliterated Namecheap both in terms of speed and uptime. We were surprised by the result because things were very different just two years ago. Apparently, a lot has changed since then and Bluehost is now the 4th fastest web hosting service, with Namecheap occupying the 8th place.
While Namecheap experienced downtime nearly every single week last year, Bluehost recorded only 6 minutes of downtime during the first half of 2018 and 8 minutes during the second half of the year. Bluehost’s excellent performance completely justifies its higher price and makes it a great choice even for online businesses.
The most affordable shared web hosting plan from Bluehost costs $2.95 a month if you pay for one year of service upfront. Just keep in mind that this low price is for the first term only and renews at $7.99 a month. Namecheap starts at $1.29 a month and renews at $2.57 a month, making it considerably cheaper.
That said, Namecheap cheapest plan is far more limited compared with the cheapest plan from Bluehost. For the comparison to be fair, it would be more appropriate to compare Bluehost’s budget plan with Namecheap’s standard plan, which costs $2.2 a month for the first term and renews at $4.4 a month.
The situation is largely the same when it comes to WordPress hosting, dedicated hosting, and VPN hosting. Again, both web hosting companies are trying to lure in customers with attractive promotional prices that apply for the first term only. Bluehost is the worst offender because it hides its regular prices on a completely different page, whereas Namecheap displays its regular prices below the discounted prices.
For such a large company, Bluehost really goes out its way to find channels to offer customer support. Not only can you get in touch with the web hosting service on nearly every major social network in existence but there are also multiple phone numbers on their website. Live chat support is present as well, so it’s really up to you to decide which customer support channel you would like to use. Bluehost is known to employ experts like web developers and WordPress contributors, which takes the quality of its customer support to the next level.
Namecheap, unfortunately, falls short when it comes to customer support because the web hosting service offers only live chat and the option to submit a customer support ticket—no phone number is available. Since it takes Namecheap around a day to answer customer support tickets, the live chat is the only way how to get an answer reasonably quickly.
Verdict – Best Web Host
Offering a wide range of reasonably priced web hosting services and living up to its promise of excellent performance, Bluehost beats Namecheap as the best web host, for it’s shared hosting, WordPress hosting, VPS hosting, dedicated hosting, and email hosting services. Had this Namecheap vs Bluehost comparison been made just two years ago, Bluehost most likely wouldn’t have won, but the company has really worked hard to make its services irresistibly attractive, and the results speak for themselves. Bluehost comes highly recommended as one of the best hosting companies, and the favorite of all the hosts we’ve used!
Bluehost vs Namecheap: Domain Name Registration
Not all companies that offer domain name registration are created equal. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is responsible for accrediting companies to act as registrars in one or more generic top-level domains (gTLDs), and only accredited registrars have direct access to the registry, allowing them to process new registrations and renewals. Other companies may still provide domain name registration services to the public but only as re-sellers.
Namecheap is an ICANN-accredited registrar, and it allows its customers to register nearly every domain out there, including .com, .net, .org, .us, .info, .biz, .me, .co, .co.uk, .io, or .email, just to name a few. If you already have a domain name registered with someone else, you can easily transfer it to Namecheap and save on renewals. You can get a .com domain for as little as $8.88 a year, and all new customers are eligible for PositiveSSL for just $1.99 for the first year.
With Namecheap, you get access to a huge network of DNS servers across the US and Europe. Namecheap’s DNS servers deliver excellent reliability, and they support real-time record modification. If you would like to buy or sell registered domains, you can do so with Namecheap’s marketplace, which is a system that connects domain owners with buyers.
Because Bluehost isn’t an ICANN-accredited registrar, it can’t really compete with Namecheap as far as domain name registration is concerned. Among the domain names offered by Bluehost are .com, .club, .co, .space, .us, .website, .org, .net, .me, .biz, .info, .host, .online, .site, .co.uk, and .org.uk. Prices are generally higher compared with Namecheap, with .com domains, for example, costing $11.99 a year. However, Bluehost includes a free domain in its hosting plans.
Verdict – Best Domain Registrar
Being an ICANN-accredited registrar, Namecheap beats Bluehost for best domain registrar with its excellent selection of domain names, affordable prices, access to a huge network of DNS servers, and a domain name marketplace.
|Affordable prices||Excellent performance|
|50 free Positive SSL certificates||Great uptime|
|Softaculous app installer||Microsoft Office 365 integration|
|ICANN accreditation||All plans are unlimited|
|Multiple customer support channels|
|Average performance||No ICANN accreditation|
|No customer support phone number|
The conclusion of this Namecheap vs Bluehost comparison is clear: Bluehost is the best option for those who are looking for shared hosting, WordPress hosting, VPS hosting, dedicated hosting, and email hosting, while Namecheap wins as a domain name registrar.
Apart from the fact that Namecheap is accredited by ICANN and Bluehost isn’t, the differences between the two web hosting services aren’t nearly as big as we initially expected. The fact that Namecheap initially provided only domain name registration is still apparent when it comes to the quality of its web hosting services, but at least the company compensates with affordable prices. Bluehost demonstrates that large web hosting companies don’t have to be impersonal and unlikable, putting Namecheap to shame with its fantastic customer support.