Namecheap and Bluehost are both reliable hosting providers. If you’re having trouble deciding which one better suits your needs, we’re here to help you. In this direct Namecheap vs Bluehost comparison, we will show you both providers from different angles and help you decide with which platform you should ultimately go with.
No matter if you want to start a blog, e-commerce business, or just create your personal website: choosing the right hosting provider is crucial.
In this Namecheap vs Bluehost review, we’re going to compare both hosting providers in terms of features, pricing, security, and customer support.
Namecheap vs Bluehost
Before we start, it’s important to know what the two services are all about. We will therefore briefly explain what the two services do and how we are going to compare them.
What Is Namecheap?
To most people, Namecheap is known as an affordable domain registration service. The Arizona-based company has been in business for 20 years and has sold more than 10 million domains. Namecheap also offers web hosting (shared hosting, cloud-based hosting, email hosting, and much more) and is considered one of the most popular web service providers in the world.
With servers all over the world, Namecheap can deliver all its features and services no matter where you are.
What Is Bluehost?
Bluehost is also a popular web hosting service that has been around for many years. The Utah-based company was founded in 2003 and enjoys a good international reputation as one of the world’s largest hosting providers. It’s not for nothing that two million websites are powered by Bluehost.
Just like Namecheap, Bluehost offers various hosting packages such as shared, VPS, dedicated, and cloud hosting. As you will see further down in the article, its services are particularly suitable for WordPress beginners, private blogs, and small businesses in general.
Unlike Namecheap, Bluehost’s servers are not spread all over the world. There are some server locations in India and China, but most of them are in-house servers, located in Utah.
Criteria for Comparison
When it comes to choosing the right hosting provider, most people just look at the price, but there’s more to consider if you want your next website project to be a success. Here’s how we compared Bluehost vs Namecheap in this article:
Different Types of Hosting
If you want to choose the right hosting type for your business, it’s crucial to know the differences.
When you go for shared hosting, multiple websites are stored on the same server, meaning you have to share the resources with other websites. This is usually the cheapest option, suited best for smaller websites.
VPS hosting (virtual private server) on the other hand, refers to the partitioning of a physical server into multiple ones. You’re still running your site on a shared space, but each partition has its own operating system, using its own resources.
A dedicated server is a server that’s solely at your disposal. You don’t share anything with anyone and can use the available resources the way you want. This type of hosting is best for websites with a lot of traffic.
Reseller hosting plans are ideal for tech-savvy entrepreneurs and freelancers who’re building a site or store for a customer and want to re-sell the hosting directly to the customer as part of the project.
Both Namecheap and Bluehost are reliable providers in the hosting section, offering a huge list of features. To find out which provider suits your needs better, here’s a checklist of things you’d need to consider:
- Different hosting types
- E-Mail services
- Storage space
- Domain services
- Shared web hosting
- Shared (and managed) WordPress hosting
- Dedicated hosting
- VPS hosting
- Reseller hosting
Here’s an overview of the different hosting plans:
|Hosting Type||Small Plan||Medium Plan||Large Plan|
|Shared hosting||Stellar||Stellar Plus||Stellar Business|
|WordPress (shared and managed)||Easy WP Starter||Turbo||Supersonic|
|Reseller hosting||Nebula||Galaxy Expert||Universe Pro|
|Dedicated hosting||Xeon E3-1230 v2||Xeon E-2236||Dual Xeon E5-2620 v2|
Every shared plan includes a free website builder. With more than 200 templates and a drag-and-drop interface, you can build your own website in no time.
Expert’s Advice: hosting drag-and-drop builders are a good starting point, but most of them lack in things like site speed, features, SEO, scalability, overall flexibility, and much more. If you need to build something more advanced, we recommend building with Elementor.
Namecheap offers unmetered bandwidth for all shared plans. That means that Namecheap won’t charge additional fees if you get more traffic to your site. However, if your resource usage impacts the overall server performance, Namecheap will put some constraints on your account.
On most plans, you’ll get between 10 GB and 100 GB storage space, which is more than enough.
Another great thing that comes with each Namecheap plan, is a free “.website” domain, which allows you to experiment. When things become more serious, though, you might want to upgrade to a branded domain.
The in-house Content Delivery Network (Supersonic CDN) that comes with Namecheap will boost your site speed by over 68% , which is way above average.
Let’s start with a short overview of Bluehost’s plans:
|Hosting Type||Small Plan||Medium Plan||Large Plan||Extra Large Plan|
|Shared hosting||Basic||Plus||Choice Plus||Pro|
|Shared WordPress||Basic||Plus||Choice Plus||–|
|Managed WordPress (WP Pro)||Build||Grow||Scale||–|
With Bluehost, you can choose between shared, dedicated, and VPS hosting, with shared hosting being the cheapest option. It also offers shared and managed WordPress hosting with WordPress being pre-installed in every package.
Every shared plan offered by Bluehost comes with a free domain for the first year and unmetered bandwidth, which are quite big plus points.
Another big plus is the CDN of Cloudflare, which comes with every hosting account. Even though the CDN of Namecheap is impressive, Cloudflare is one of (if not THE) best and fastest CDN in the world.
Both Namecheap and Bluehost have different plans available and provide you with many features. Namecheap’s free website builder is very useful for beginners, and the free domain is also a big plus. Bluehost scores higher here, though, because it lets you choose your domain name, while Namecheap constrains you to a “.website” domain.
The free domain, better CDN, and overall more features outweigh Namecheap’s free website builder and make Bluehost a clear winner
In case you aren’t satisfied with either Namecheap or Bluehost, have a look at our SiteGround vs HostGator article.
Most hosting providers appear to be cheap in the beginning, only to lure you into a paywall with hidden costs, especially when it comes to security features. That’s why we reviewed the pricing of Namecheap and Bluehost in full depth.
Here’s how we determine which provider has the better pricing system:
- Overall costs
- Hidden paywalls
- Contract duration (flexibility)
- Money-back guarantee
First things first: In this comparison, we refer to UK pricing. This is insofar relevant because Namecheap charges an additional fee of €0,86 every month for every plan if you decide to host your website in the UK instead of the US.
When it comes to contract duration, Namecheap plays with open cards. All its plans are very flexible in contract duration and easily terminable. The minimum contract period is one month. Keep in mind though, that the longer the contract, the lower the monthly fee.
A two-year-contract of a shared plan (Stellar) for example, costs €1,92 a month, whereas the monthly payment goes for €3,28 a month. Over two years, that’s a cost difference of €32,64, which would give you another 17 months on the smallest (Stellar) plan (paid annually). The only downside: You need to pay the entire amount for 2 years in advance (€46,08 in total) and after the first renewal, the price jumps up to €3,25 a month (€78 in total for two years).
For the EasyWP Starter plan (the smallest managed WordPress hosting plan), Namecheap charges €3,28 per month, with the first month being only €0,82. When you choose a one-year contract and calculate the costs down, the hosting plan will cost you only €2,10 per month, which is insanely affordable for a managed WordPress plan. Additionally, you’ll get a discount of 23% for the first year. Instead of €25,25 per year, you’ll only pay €19,34.
The most expensive plan (Supersonic), goes for €10,04 a month (monthly payment). You’ll get a 50% discount on the first year if you pay annually. In the second year, it will cost you €84,57 per year, which is only €7,04 per month.
No matter which plan you choose, the prices are incredibly cheap. In comparison, other hosting providers such as GoDaddy or Bluehost will charge you between €10,00 to €25,00 for their smallest WordPress plan.
However, as soon as you want to upgrade or renew your protection, you have to dig deeper into your pocket. SSL and domain protection needs to be renewed annually.
All plans come with a 30 days money-back guarantee, giving you enough time to test and play around with it.
Bluehost’s shared plans for WordPress are not the cheapest we have ever seen, but still affordable. Its WordPress Pro plan, on the other hand, is quite expensive.
In more detail: If you want to go for the cheapest option there is, the smallest shared plan (Basic) costs €2,46 per month for the first three years. For every additional 3 years, you’ll have to pay the regular monthly price of €6,66. In case you consider WordPress Pro, you’ll have to pay €16,64 a month on its smallest plan (Build) with the longest (3 years) available duration.
Bluehost is flexible when it comes to contract duration, but the minimum contract duration for WordPress Pro is 3 months. The most expensive plan of WordPress Pro, goes for €42,02 per month for the first 3 years. (€48,47 per month with a 3 months contract). For renewal, you need to pay the regular fee of €50,45 per month, no matter which contract you chose in the first place.
Be aware that you need to pay the whole amount up front, no matter which plan and contract you choose. VAT (which varies from country to country) is also not included in the price.
All plans come with a 30 days money-back guarantee, allowing you to test Bluehost’s servers before you decide.
Namecheap is the clear winner when it comes to pricing. Even though there are a few upsells given, its services are still incredibly affordable and unbeatable. Bluehost, on the other hand, can’t compete at these prices, but only the fewest can in that segment.
Security is important, no matter what business you’re trying to do on the internet. An SSL certificate, for example, is responsible for keeping personal information, transactions, and other sensitive data safe and encrypted – indispensable for e-commerce.
Here’s how we benchmarked Namecheap and Bluehost in terms of security:
- Malware detection
Namecheap’s shared plans come with regular backups. The smallest plan includes a backup twice a week, whereas the Stellar Plus and Stellar Business provide you with an auto-backup tool via cPanel.
All shared and WordPress hosting plans (except EasyWP starter) come with a free year of positiveSSL. This certificate brings encryption and validation to your site and is the ideal entry-level solution. Note that this service is only available if you have hosted the domain with Namecheap.
Namecheap’s malware scanning tool allows you to scan for potential viruses and security breaches every day. The software doesn’t allow you to remove the Malware, though. You need to take further action by yourself.
ModSecurity is the Web Application Firewall you’ll get with Namecheap. This service is an open-source web-based firewall application (WAF). The benefits of using a WAF are not only the detection and mitigation of known attacks and vulnerabilities, but registered users can also analyze and modify the software. This ensures rapid development and adaptation to new threats.
Unlike Namecheap, Bluehost’s Auto SSL certificate will be renewed for free. The SSL certificate is powered by Let’s Encrypt and comes with every plan.
In case you want to upgrade, you can always buy positiveSSL for an additional fee. By doing so, you get a warranty of approximately €10.000 (suitable if you route payments through your website) and 24/7 customer support. Additionally, it comes with a brand seal which you can put on your site, making your site look more trustworthy.
In terms of malware, Bluehost offers many add-ons. SiteLock, for example, helps you find malware on your site, unlike Namecheap, also removes it.
Daily backups are included in every shared plan for free. However, Bluehost itself highly recommends that all customers create and manage their own backups. For security features such as monitoring, redundancy, and restoring you need to add CodeGuard to your account, which also comes with a quite heavy price-tag.
It’ completely normal that hosting providers charge additional fees for security features.
However, considering that an SSL certificate is essential for your website security and many hosting providers offer it for free, it’s a bit disappointing that Namecheap isn’t among them.
In the end, Bluehost may charge you more for features like SiteLock or CodeGuard, but it simply offers the better security features.
Imagine the following: your site isn’t running smoothly, and you reach out to support for immediate help. Instead of getting a friendly and knowledgeable agent, you find yourself waiting for 30 minutes, only to find out that the agent you are talking to doesn’t know how to provide you with proper help.
Such scenarios are the sad truth of bad customer support. That’s why it should play a big role when choosing the right hosting provider.
We checked the customer support of Namecheap and Bluehost according to the following:
- Response time
- Communication channels
- Help center
You can get in touch with the agents of Namecheap via life chat or e-mail 24/7. Phone support is not provided. If you subscribe for a higher plan (Stellar Business plan and VPS hosting) you get priority support.
We contacted the support agents via live chat to check the response time. After 2 minutes, the agent joined the chat. It took him approximately 10 more minutes to answer our question about the CDN beta version that comes with every shared plan. After the agent did some research, the response was detailed and helpful, so there’s nothing to complain about Namecheap’s customer service at this point.
Additionally, Namecheap comes with a huge knowledgebase, including how-to-videos and more, in case you would like to solve your problem yourself.
The customer support of Bluehost is great too. You can contact the agents and WordPress experts 24/7 via phone and live chat. There’s no email support available, though, which is quite unexpected.
We contacted Bluehost via life chat to ask some basic questions about the WordPress Pro hosting plan. The agent joined the chat immediately, providing an answer within 2 minutes. They also showed a lot of interest in our project.
In the help center, you can find some self-help resources, such as a knowledge base full of articles and videos.
Every great hosting provider should have great customer service, accessible around the clock. That’s the case for both Namecheap and Bluehost.
In our test, the customer service agents of Bluehost were a bit quicker and more detailed in their responses, which puts Namecheap a little behind. The missing phone support is another disadvantage of Namecheap. Nevertheless, the difference is very slight and hardly noticeable. It all depends on how you prefer to communicate: email or phone.
Namecheap is a much more affordable choice.
If you need more advanced security features and fast customer support, you should choose Bluehost over Namecheap. You’ll get a huge list of features and many security services such as an SSL certificate and much more. Bluehost’s CDN is also free.
Bottom line: With Bluehost, you’ll get more bang for your bucks.
Which one do you prefer more? Do you have any experience with Bluehost or Namecheap? Let us know in the comments.
Thank you for reading.