Namecheap Hosting Review and Reasons why I will never go back ?
I will be sharing my reasons for –
- Moving to Namecheap hosting in first place from a different host (a mistake)
- My experience with them
- Why ? I will never use there hosting ever again.
When a website is created one of the first decision is to select a hosting and domain.
And most people try to find the most affordable hosting especially bloggers and get caught in the value trap.
Saving a little money but loosing a lot due to hosting’s poor performance without realising it.
Namecheap is a Value Trap
I started this blog around 2 years ago and started with a different web hosting provider for a year that was a bit pricey but not expensive.
Upon renewal, I decided to find something more economical.
This was the time website hadn’t started generating significant revenue so cost savings made sense.
This was also the time when I was seeing continuous growth in impressions and clicks on Google Search Console, due to significant SEO efforts.
And I decided to change my hosting. What happened next ?
Well, nothing happened for a while since Google Search takes some time to adjust your page rankings and during that time I continued posting more new content and some of the posts really started taking off.
Generating significant revenue for the website to support itself. Though the overall site visits increased (mainly due to more content being indexed and ranked by search).
Overall I started seeing a downward trend in impressions and clicks in Search console.
The alexa rank had fallen of the cliff, growth vanished, revenue nearly got to drying points.
At this time I decided to shift focus to improve focus on site performance instead of content.
As it was clear website was struggling, bounce rate had increased and upon investigation I could see the website is quite bulky but the same site performed very well on a better host, anyway website needed to shed some skin.
Ok, I spent 2 weeks to optimise the website to the best point I could like –
- Implementing caching
- cleaning up the database
- reducing image size by up-to 70% for all images on the website
- removing any non essential plugins
- minimising css and js files
- as well as optimising ads on the website making sure they are only called asynchronously.
You name it I did it all.
But something was still missing.
Website hadn’t become fast it just became a little better.
Even google started rewarding the website positively but still not to the point the growth seen in the past on a faster server.
What was keeping my website from fast speed ?
Namecheap Hosting Servers are slow and don’t respond well consistently
TTFB is enormous
When a user tries to visit your page, 2 events take place –
1- Request – the browser makes a call to the server requesting the page and its resources.
2- Response – the server sends the data back to browser to show to the user.
In between these two, there is an important metric to note – TTFB which is the waiting time before the server responds.
You may have the best and light-weight site in the world if the TTFB is poor the websites speed will suffer as well as SEO.
Why ? We will cover later in the article.
In fancy words, TTFB is the Time to first byte which is a measurement used as an indication of the responsiveness of a webserver.
TTFB measures the duration from the browser making an HTTP request to the first byte of the page being received by user’s browser.
In very simple words, how fast does one responds ? In this case the web host/server.
If a crime is being committed and the police station has been informed, would you want the police to stand still and wait for 5 hours before responding or you would want them to respond quickly.
Similarly, high server times are very bad for several reasons like creating a frustrating experience for the user – why would a user want to wait for 10 seconds for your page to load.
This leads to high bounce rate, meaning people just giveup on you and move-on to a better website to get the information they need.
With millions of websites & blogs on the web, which is already a very competitive environment you don’t want your server playing against you.
With slow speed, long term your website will suffer since Google/search engines keep a note on pagespeed of website and rank websites & pages accordingly. Faster the more merrier.
Poor Page Speed is detrimental for Mobile Rankings and website performance
Also, if a website is slow, it’s very hard for it to rank for mobile as mobile devices need faster websites, since their processors are not as powerful as computers.
If a website takes 5 seconds to load on a computer it may take upto double or more time to load on mobile devices.
Pagespeed Testing – GTmetrics
Here is one example for small 3.7 kb image taking 3.71 seconds to load where the TTFB/server waiting time is 1.56 seconds.
This is unacceptable and not slow its extremely slow
Website takes over 11 seconds to load and this is not the worst I have encountered, on average website load in around 5-6 seconds but I noticed at-least 40% of the times servers are too slow to respond, and page could take too long to load.
Poor Customer Service
Actually one of the major reason for me to making a decision to avoid Namecheap hosting.
Namecheap Customer service is responsive meaning they can respond back fairly quickly but there is no guarantee the response will be of any help.
Mostly it’s some generic response that’s neither correct or wrong or of any use, its a response for the sake of responding but not really helping.
I had a month of back and forth to try getting them to improve the service or atleast investigate properly, but no they live in denial.
They denied everything saying its working just fine when its not, and I am providing them independent tests like GTmetrix
And I got the same generic answer everytime that they can’t replicate the issue on their end despite me providing them with networks logs/HAR files, screenshots.
But they ignored all of this completely and ran their mysterical test that always found everything to be A-ok, asked for a refund got ignored.
Overall, such a poor experience.
NameCheap is Bad for SEO
High server response time means, high pageload time. A page that can load in less than 2 seconds on a good server.
The same page on a slow server can take case 3-5 seconds in best case, on average 4-5 seconds and when it really gets bad can take a lot of time, I noticed upto 11-19 seconds pageload time on my server.
This is what I have experienced on my site.
High pageload time translate directly to –
- higher bounce rate
- low user engagement
- users leaving before the pageload
These days nobody like to wait 10 seconds for a website site to load, people just move on even 5 seconds is truly bad.
Webmasters should be aiming for anything under 3 seconds.
The above reasons can reflect a very negative impact on the websites SEO despite all the SEO work of optimising for keywords and all that good stuff.
Basically a slow server is Leaking your SEO juice left and right.
Note: Experience shared in this article is personal to me, though I could find other sites with people mentioning similar concerns.
But when making a choice for web hosting it is important to understand whats more important for your needs between – value, site speed and time, and choosing accordingly.
This article shouldn’t effect your decision making.
The purpose of this article is to only share my experience and provide a perspective for anyone looking to invest their money and most importantly time to understanding on What they are getting in the deal, and decide if this is something that will be a concern for their needs.
As for some people value may be top priority and some speed + growth. It depends on personal requirements.
At the end I would say Namecheap is good company whats important is to decide if it is worth your time and needs, they can still be good option for someone just starting out but not so good for one looking for fast growth.