NameCheap VS BlueHost – Web Hosting Analyses

NameCheap VS BlueHost – Web Hosting Analyses

Both of NameCheap and BlueHost are serving millions of users on a global scale. However, their customer bases consist of different user groups.

Nearly all BlueHost users are the hosting customers, while the majority of NameCheap users only purchase domains from this company without trying any web hosting plan. This difference attributes much to the two companies’ history and business goals.

BlueHost was established as a web hosting provider and soon grew into one of the largest providers. NameCheap was started as a domain registrar, and several years later, it released hosting products.

This comparison is conducted between the two companies’ shared hosting services and analyzes their strengths and weaknesses compared with each other. The editorial ratings below should offer you some ideas about their competition.

Rating NameCheap BlueHost
Reputation 3 of 5 Star 5 of 5 Star
Prices 4 of 5 Star 4 of 5 Star
Features 2.5 of 5 Star 4.5 of 5 Star
Speed 2 of 5 Star 5 of 5 Star
Uptime 4 of 5 Star 5 of 5 Star
Technical Support 3 of 5 Star 4.5 of 5 Star
Learn More NameCheap Review BlueHost Review

The Common Things Between NameCheap and BlueHost

Regardless of the different business backgrounds, NameCheap and BlueHost have been offering secure, reliable and easy-to-use hosting solutions to webmasters. And this is the most significant similarity found between them.

Ease of use

For shared hosting, the two web hosts offer cPanel control panel to guarantee a high level of usability. As is known, this control panel is always the #1 choice for Linux hosting because of the easy navigation and rich features. Both beginners and developers could find it really helpful in handling the common hosting tasks like creating databases, managing email accounts and viewing site statistics.

Inside cPanel, you will see a 1-click installer which simplifies the installation and upgrade of popular scripts to several clicks. The small difference is that NameCheap offers Softaculous while BlueHost utilizes SimpleScripts, a custom installer which is now integrated with Mojo Marketplace.

Hosting security

Both web hosts are able to ensure a secure hosting environment for each customer. All their software and hardware are secured by advanced firewalls, in-house security measures, and technician monitoring. Also, they back up all the RAID-protected servers on a regular basis, so that you can get a recent backup for restoration in an unexpected disaster.

Besides, BlueHost provides each user with a shared SSL certificate for further data protection. If you need a private SSL certificate, you can make a purchase from either company.

Uptime

In terms of the service uptime, NameCheap and BlueHost have released industry-leading guarantees – 100% and 99.9% respectively. To get the promises covered, both companies have been:

  • Offering full redundancy for the key systems including power, air conditioning and network, which ensures that no single failure will affect the service availability.
  • Equipping all data centers with 24×7 physical security.
  • Providing 24×7 monitoring for all servers and networks to address possible issues immediately before they become serious.

As the NameCheap uptime guarantee is a Service-Level Agreement (SLA), you can receive account credits if the guarantee fails in any month. According to real-time monitoring, the company can deliver good uptime averaging more than 99.9% in most times.

Our monitoring of BlueHost uptime, in the meantime, tells that this web host is honest in making promises. The average uptime is over 99.95% in the past two years, which is excellent for shared hosting.

The Big Differences Between Their Hosting Services

Hosting prices – NameCheap offers cheaper plans

The most important selling point of NameCheap shared hosting services is being cheap. For new customers, the 4 plans are priced from $9.88/year, averaging $0.82/mo only, which is among the cheapest offerings we have seen.

Besides the primary plan which costs less than $1/mo, NameCheap has released two other affordable plans which are now available at $1.66/mo and $2.49/mo. Therefore, if you are seeking your first web host, NameCheap should be one of the most affordable choices.

However, there are two things you must pay attention before making a purchase.

  • The cheap prices introduced above are first-year offers only, which means you cannot enjoy them for any longer time.
  • The prices after the first year, which start from $3.24/mo, are almost 4 times higher than the special discounted rates.

Compared with NameCheap, BlueHost has been pricing the 3 shared hosting plans at a much higher level. The plans are now purchasable from $2.95/mo when orders are placed through the promotional link below, and for renewals, they cost a minimum of $7.99/mo.

Although BlueHost plans seem to be much more expensive than those offered by NameCheap, their prices are still considered to be reasonable in today’s market.

BlueHost Promotional Link Activation

Money back guarantees – BlueHost is more worry-free

The hosting customers of both NameCheap and BlueHost are backed by a money back guarantee. However, the latter wins the former a lot in ensuring a worry-free purchase experience.

For NameCheap, the money back guarantee is valid for accounts terminated within a short time period of 14 days only. If you terminate an account after the guaranteed time, no refund will be issued.

BlueHost, however, offers 30 days for new customers to try. For those who cancel their services during the first month, they will be able to ask for a full refund. Besides, a pro-rated refund is applicable to any account terminated at any time after the 30 days.

Web hosting features – BlueHost is more feature rich

When it comes to features, we have found that both NameCheap and BlueHost have their own disadvantages and advantages, but generally speaking, the latter wins.

NameCheap plans, though being available at low prices, enable you to host multiple domains on one account, and come with a large number of email accounts, databases, subdomains and parked domains.

Comparatively, BlueHost plans have stricter limits on the number of domains on a single account. However, they include more scripting languages and other development features.

For more information about the features the two web hosts offer, read the comparison below which is conducted between their cheapest plans.

Feature NameCheap BlueHost
Plan Value Basic
Hosted Sites(s) 3 1
Free Domain No Yes
Disk Space 20 GB 50 GB
Data Transfer Unlimited Unlimited
Email Accounts 50 5
Databases 50 10
Subdomains 50 25
PHP & Python Yes Yes
Ruby & Perl No Yes
PostgreSQL No Yes
SSH Yes Yes
PGP/GPG No Yes
IP Deny Manager No Yes
Backups Twice Per Week Daily
Special Price $0.82/mo $2.95/mo
How to Claim Link Activation Link Activation

Web hosting speed – BlueHost wins a lot

NameCheap and BlueHost have done much to increase the speed of their shared hosting services, including:

  • Offering 3 or more data center locations to guarantee the shortest possible physical path between the server and your target audience.
  • Providing sufficient network capacity to deal with traffic spikes.
  • Utilizing CloudFlare CDN to deliver website data quickly to most areas in the world.

Besides, BlueHost also accelerates the database storage with SSDs, and protects each hosted website with a resource protection technology that stops sites from being affected by any other using excessive resources on the shared server.

As a result, BlueHost has been performing much better in our speed monitoring, which you can see below.

Customer support – BlueHost is more considerate

At most times, both of NameCheap and BlueHost are able to provide timely technical support through live chat, email and their ticket systems, so if you have simple hosting problems or some more complicated technical issues, you can certainly gain a good solution from both of them.

However, we have still found a number of differences which lead to the conclusion that BlueHost is more professional and considerate in offering assistance to hosting users. These include:

  • BlueHost provides 24×7 phone support with an average of 1-minute waiting time. NameCheap hasn’t made this support method available so far.
  • BlueHost has a large team of support representatives who are hand-picked and well-trained. They make quick responses to most questions and offer actionable solutions. However, its competitor doesn’t maintain such a high reputation.
  • NameCheap has poor Risk Management Support. The company suspends users’ accounts with no prior notice, and if you are in such a bad case, you can’t expect quick support from the provider because the support staff may not answer your tickets until two days later. We have seen a large number of complaints about the so-called Risk Management Support.

Which Web Host Should You Choose?

Judging from our experience, we do think that going with BlueHost is the better decision. Although it has more expensive plans, it offers richer features, faster speed, better support and a far more risk-free money back guarantee at the same time. Besides, this web host has raised a high reputation due to the professionalism shown in the past 14 years.