Namecheap Shared Hosting Review
From DreamHost (www.dreamhost.com) from July 2007 to Namecheap, due to DreamHost raising shared hosting prices.
We moved to Namecheap's Stellar Plus shared hosting. This was in June 2021
Here are some of the initial thoughts.
Server Info (May vary)
We managed to activate SSH via cPanel. One thing we tried was SSH tunneling, which unfortunately did not work.
Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5-2660 v4 @ 2.00GHz
CPU cores : 14
Usual load: 5 - 9
For Stellar Plus
Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5-2660 v4 @ 2.00GHz
CPU cores: 14
Usual load: 20 - 30
For Stellar Plus (July 2023)
AMD QEMU Virtual CPU version 2.5+ (Virtual Machine?)
Usual load: 5 - 6
You can observe that there is a much higher load on the Stellar Plus server. However, this is not representative of all the servers as we are only comparing one server in the entire cluster of servers for the plan.
- CloudLinux (basically users can not bring down the whole server if their website uses too much resources)
- UPDATE JULY 2021: One of the domains on our server (not mine!) got DDOS'ed and all our domains started serving pages with 10 - 20 seconds delay with the load hovering at the usual, cPanel pages were loading fine. So it doesn't seem to be able to auto mitigate DDOS attacks.
- Unlimited almost everything - but it's actually about 10GB space, 10GB database which is still quite generous (20GB for Stellar)
- Unlimited email forwarders
- 300,000 file inodes (For comparison, a single Wordpress installation takes about 2500 nodes)
- 50 MB/s I/O (vs Go Daddy's 1 MB/s disk IO... on a NVME :/)
- 2GB memory usage limit (vs Go Daddy's 512MB, 1GB for Stellar)
- Email Delays
- Emails take about 1 minute longer to arrive at the server. This is better that Go Daddy's, but worse than Dreamhost which had about 10 - 20 second delay only.
- About 90% reasonable uptime - reasonable being the definition of the website being accessible without too much slowness.
- Download/Upload speeds can be VERY slow (1KB/s - 500KB/s for SFTP, HTTP, etc - Speeds vary widely). This issue happens at random times and depends on the server you get.
- Free 50 PositiveSSL SSL certificates which you can only use for the first year of each domain. After adding a domain, you need to uninstall the certificate via cPanel. Note: Renewals are up to US$10/yr depending on how long you prepay.
- Let's Encrypt is not automatically supported. You can upload the certificates manually via cPanel. But you'll have to do so every 90 days which can be a huge chore if you have many domains.
- UPDATE: Using this guide here, you can install free Let's Encrypt / ZeroSSL 90-day certificates and automatically renew them.
- Does not allow you to modify the From field of your email address when you use their public SMTP server. It must match the same as the sender account or the server will fix it for you. Even if you have the email forwarder defined in cPanel
- cPanel Bugs
- While I could conveniently access all my email accounts from the main email account, cPanel fails to update the Storage used and keeps increasing it even if I clear all email. Sending a message to Support simply resets the counter and it keeps going up again
- Errors (previously Error Log) does not show any 404 or 501 errors even if I tried to 404 a page on purpose. The "Latest web server error log messages" and "Latest suEXEC error log messages" are always empty
- Their AUP here defines "unlimited" in a very detailed manner but reasonable. In Fussy Mode
- Anti-Spam rules allow them to "assess the fee entirely at our discretion". Not that we do it, but what if our website gets compromised by spammers?
- "For IMAP/POP3 mailboxes, You may perform up to 100 email checks per hour." That permits more than 1 check per minute but that limit can be reached if you share your account with your family members who also poll the email server every minute.
- You may send and/or forward not more than 200 emails per hour per domain. This rule applies even if you have a mailing list. It's reasonable for me, but if you are migrating mailing lists from DreamHost, you would have enjoyed unlimited subscribers in your mailing list.
25 Sept 2021 Update
We're more than three months in!
Namecheap's server firewall automatically blocks your IP address if you fail any Wordpress Login more than 3 times. It's good and bad - I got myself locked out of emails when I was trying to change a Wordpress site to HTTPS and the site refused to redirect me to https after logging in. You cannot opt out of this, but you can opt out of mod_security. To unblock, you need to contact Live Chat.
Google's Pagespeed Lighthouse also frequently complains about "Reduce server response times (TTFB)" even if it the page fetched is a non-php HTML file.
4 July 2023 Update
We're more than 2 years in! And to save some $$$, we just renewed our hosting by taking up a new plan and letting the old one expire. It was some extra effort to move everything, but it is finally done.
One major issue we encounter is that some email messages (like an email with one link to quickly send something to our own device) we attempt to send out get bounced with the message "Message discarded as high-probability spam". This message appears to be generated from Namecheap's end, meaning the outgoing message is scanned by Namecheap before even reaching the recipient's email messages. There seems to be no way around this if your message gets marked as such.
There is an article here, and the solution appears to be "Write your email properly"?
Our Rating as of 4 July 2023
Only go for Namecheap Stellar shared hosting if you are fine with the website having some minor downtime randomly, especially on weekends. This could possibly be because of the server we are on, your experience may vary. My efforts to contact Support with this issue was in vain, as for them, as long as the file download works, it is not a problem. Also, the problem is intermittent.
E-mail reliability though, was 95% good. I won't say it is the best as Dreamhost, but it is much much better than Go Daddy's delay.
Go Daddy's E-Mail was very slow
We tried Go Daddy shared hosting for about a week. While Go Daddy offers CloudLinux shared hosting, their email was terribly slow for some reason.
Receiving a email that was sent a minute ago through Go Daddy's system can be delayed from 2 minutes to 15 minutes or even more! Their SMTP server accepts the email fast but the recipient only receives it in their email box only a while later.
- sending an email via PHP mail() function
- sending an email via SMTP
- sending an email via web mail
And our server's load was well below 1.0 (which is very good). It's like as if there is a random number generator used on purpose to delay the email.
Even VPS has this problem when we last used it a few years ago. If email speed / responsiveness is very important, we recommend giving Go Daddy a hard pass. It appears even their VPS hosting has this issue.
Check back for more updates
We just started on Namecheap after trialling Go Daddy. The true colours, as they say, will only reveal after some time with them.
How the cPanel looks like for Stellar Hosting
How the cPanel looks like for Stellar Plus Hosting
Keep a watch on the page for further updates.
Questions, Errors and Queries?
Please post any queries you have in the Comments below.
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Review Last Updated 15 Aug 2023.