NameCheap was founded in 2000 by Richard Kirkendall and was rated the best domain registrar company in 2010 by Lifehacker as a testament to their affordable prices and easy-to-use interface. They are known for making it easy to pay for domain registry, announcing their BitCoin payment method in 2013. NameCheap is also known for their strong anti-SOPA position, offering a “move your domain day” in 2011 on Reddit.
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- Other TLD prices
- Security features
- Simple domain transfer policies
- ICANN accreditation
Namecheap lives up to its name with a $10.69/year fee for .com domains. This is less than many companies on the market, which typically go for $11.99 and up. This price is especially cost-effective due to the free add-ons Namecheap includes in the price. Many of their competitors do not offer free add-ons, making Namecheap's offer more appealing.
Other TLD Prices
In addition to .com domains, customers can purchase alternate Top-Level Domains (.net, .org, .co, .info, etc) at prices ranging between $9.88/year to $12.48/year. These extensions also have free add-ons that make them very cost-effective. The prices are not as good as some domain companies who offer the same price across the board for both .com and alternate domain prices, but are less expensive than many companies that charge customers an annual fee starting at $11.99 and up.
Namecheap not only has affordable domain name subscription prices, but they offer cost-effective security features as well. Customers receive one free year of WHOIS Privacy protection ($2.88/year afterwards) with each new domain registration. The $2.88/year price is the lowest out there -except those companies that offer WHOIS privacy for free indefinitely. WHOIS privacy protects a customer's personal information from being displayed on the WHOIS public database, where they are vulnerable to spammers, identity theft and telemarketers.
Customers also get a Value-Priced SSL certificate. PositiveSSL is one of the most well-known certificates in the industry, providing validation for a single domain in minutes. With your domain purchase, you're eligible for a one-year Comodo PositiveSSL Certificate for $1.99. It features 128/256 bit encryption and a $10,000 warranty.
Additional features offered include email/URL forwarding, customizable page parking, use of Namecheap's advanced control panel, registrar lock and more. All of these features make Namecheap more valuable and cost- effective than many of its competitors.
Simple Domain Transfer Policies
Namecheap offers several perks for customers transferring domains into their database. With every transfer, customers receive one year's free subscription to WHOIS privacy protection service. Transferring into Namecheap also gets customers a one-year Comodo Positive SSL Certificate for $1.99, similar to newly purchased Namecheap domains.
For customers who may be dissatisfied and want to transfer their domain to another registrar, Namecheap offers instructions on their Knowledgebase page.
Before initiating the transfer, Namecheap customers must make sure that the following applies to the domain:
- The domain is more than 60 days old
- The domain was not transferred between registrars within the last 60 days
- The domain is "Unlocked" for transfer ("Registrar Lock" is disabled)
- WHOISGuard is disabled
- The domain is showing valid and up-to-date information for the Administrative contact in the WHOIS
After the transfer at the new registrar is initiated and the auth code is provided, the new registrar will send a transfer approval email to the Administrative email address listed in WHOIS. Once the transfer is approved, Namecheap releases your domain in approximately 5 days. Some companies take up to 7 days, but a 5-day transfer is average. There are some companies that make it difficult to switch registrars, charge high fees or create delays to avoid losing business. Sometimes, because external transfers are not profitable for the domain company losing business, the company does not offer easy to find information on their website. Namecheap does offer this information easily with screenshots.
- ICANN fees
- Number of TLDs available
- Bulk price
- Cross selling
- Mobile app
- Customer support
There is a mandatory Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) fee of $0.18 for each domain registration, renewal or transfer. Namecheap chooses to add the ICANN fee onto the final purchase price during checkout. This will be added to the listed price for some domains at the time of purchase. Although the fee is only 18 cents, it does change the advertised price and puts off some customers. For example, for a Namecheap .com domain, customers think they're paying $10.69/year but they end up paying $10.87 at checkout. Some domain companies don't mention whether or not they included the ICANN fee with the price so there is some transparency issues with those companies.
Number of TLDs Available
Namecheap offers under 100 domain names to customers. Some companies offer around 100 or more different TLDs, while some offer over 500. This puts Namecheap on the lower end in this area.
Customers wanting to purchase domain names in bulk can buy up to 50 domains with NameCheap at once. This is less than some competitors who offer up to 500 domains for bulk purchasing. Namecheap does not offer bulk discount pricing as a few companies do who offer discounts for purchasing a certain amount of domain names at once. Namecheap does, however, offer coupons for certain purchases of multiple names.
When checking out on Namecheap, customers encounter a total of 5 upsells. These include: web hosting, web tools/apps, PositiveSSL, private email and Google apps for work. While some domain registration companies make consumers go through several additional screens of sales pitches in order to buy a domain name, all of Namecheap's upsells are on one page. There are no pop-ups, landing pages, just boxes to check or ignore. The way their upsells are placed, you don't have to "go through" them to get to the final checkout page, which is better than a few popular domain registrars who try to sell you additional services and products with more aggressive upselling techniques. Namecheap'
Namecheap is one of the few companies that offers access to mobile apps along with app subscriptions; however, they do not appear to offer an app specifically to manage domains. On the app marketplace on their website, the apps are for managing and creating websites. Among the few companies who offer apps, there are some who do offer customers a mobile app that allows customers to manage their domains from a iOS or Android device.
Surprisingly, Namecheap does not offer phone support. They do offer Live Chat, a Knowledge base page and a Support page with common questions and answers. Customers will find that on the Knowledge base/Support page, a Namecheap representative answers questions posted in the comment section in real time.
When starting a Live Chat session, you have to give your full name and email address associated with your Namecheap account. This means Live Chat is only for current NameCheap customers, isolating new potential customers just wanting to learn more. Customers can also submit a support ticket through their website.