Name.com review: do you get what you pay for?
In this Name.com review, I explore everything there is to know about the provider in terms of price, ease of use, performance, security, support, and more.
Name.com is a very popular ICANN-accredited domain registrar that is a part of the Donuts Inc family. In the last few years, it also ventured into offering a few hosting solutions and website products to establish itself as a one-stop center for those looking to get online.
Fast, secure, reliable, and easy – Name.com has an affordable plan for you, no matter if you’re a small business that’s just ramping up your operation or a large one with multiple employees.
Or, at least, that’s what it claims anyway.
As for Name.com reviews from users, well, they’ve been mixed so far. And, there are also many active discussions about Name.com support, speed, and cost.
Since opinions are split and there’s no general consensus, I decided to don my detective hat and test it out for myself.
Below, you’ll find all that my tests and research unveiled. Let’s jump right into it.
|Price:||Prices start at $6.00/month|
|Hosting type:||Shared, WordPress, and cloud|
|Support:||Live chat (8 am – 6 pm MST) and 24/7 ticketing system|
|Current deal:||Get up to 28% OFF Name.com!|
Pros and Cons of Name.com
- All plans come with a free domain registration
- Includes an easy-to-use custom dashboard and cPanel
- Very reliable uptime of 99.99%
- Offers many different billing periods
- Above average prices
- Poor speed results
- Basic free security tools
Name.com pricing & plans
Name.com pricing is more premium compared to other providers in the market. Its most popular solution is shared hosting – where prices start from $6.00/mo. In addition to that, the provider also offers cloud and WordPress hosting solutions.
|Hosting type||Best for|
|Shared hosting||Best suited for beginners or small local businesses looking to build personal or basic websites for blogs, passion projects, and portfolios.|
|Cloud hosting||Will most benefit system administrators, freelancers, developers, and those looking for control, scalability, strengthened security, and better performance.|
|WordPress hosting||Best for those looking to run speedy and secure small-to-medium-sized WordPress websites.|
As you can tell, the provider has limited options. But, those that are offered do cover the needs of most websites. For this Name.com review, I’ll be focusing on the provider’s most sought-after hosting solution: shared hosting.
Name.com has 3 shared hosting plans, with prices ranging from $6.00/mo to $13.00/mo.
All 3 plans come with a free domain, an SSL certificate, numerous email addresses, and free automated backups.
While quite similar, each shared hosting plan differs in terms of resources:
|Personal||The plan can host 1 website and comes with 10GB disk space, 10 databases, and 100 email accounts.||$6.00/mo|
|Premium||Allows hosting up to 25 websites and includes 100GB storage, 50 databases, and unlimited email accounts||$8.00/mo|
|Business||Can host unlimited websites and includes unlimited disk space, databases, and email accounts. Its SSL certificate is also upgraded to a Comodo Essential SSL||$13.00/mo|
Name.com web hosting isn’t exactly liberal with its resources, especially with its entry plan. You can only host 1 website, and the storage limit is at a low 10GB. But, to be fair, this is rather common with most providers’ entry plans, and the provided resources should be sufficient for basic websites.
If you wish to host a single reasonably small site, The Personal plan will be sufficient enough. However, if you might need more than 1 site or the storage limit seems too low, check out the Premium plan.
One unique thing about Name.com is that alongside the typical monthly and yearly billing options, it also offers multi-year billing cycles. Up to 10 years, actually. While you’ll see a hike in prices if you opt for a monthly billing cycle, the prices remain the same whether you opt for an annual plan or a 10-year plan.
Besides that, all plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee that covers hosting but not domains or add-ons. This is the standard practice in the industry.
Speaking of standard practice, Name.com also isn’t above upselling attempts. You’ll encounter several of them as you check out, including a call to upgrade to Symantec RapidSSL. Ignore them and make sure that you don’t accidentally add any to your cart. Unless you’re interested, of course.
Overall, Name.com is rather expensive for what it offers – especially for the entry plan. But, it’s more liberal with its resources once you get to its mid-range plan and above.
Hosting management – is Name.com easy to use?
When it comes to ease of use, the provider is very simple to manage. Name.com uses a very common combination of custom dashboard and cPanel. Regardless of whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned webmaster, navigating the combo to run your website shouldn’t pose a problem as both interfaces are intuitive, well organized, and functional.
Once you log in, you’ll come across your main dashboard:
While this dashboard is very basic and slightly outdated, it’s still very intuitive and has everything you need at an arm’s reach. For instance, here, you can find plan renewal and upgrade options, support, and domain management.
Most importantly, this dashboard serves as a way to reach the cPanel.
Name.com control panel
Now for actual website management, Name.com uses the default cPanel. There are no personalizations, customized skins, or branding, just classic cPanel experience. In any case, it’s intuitive enough for complete rookies to navigate yet functional enough for even the most experienced users.
Here’s a glimpse of what it looks like:
At first glance, it might come across as slightly outdated and old school. However, its design has no impact on its functionality. cPanel is still one of the best and most powerful control panels that includes everything you need to manage a website effectively.
Here are some of the main features you can find in cPanel:
- WordPress and other apps installation. To install WordPress and other applications on your Name.com site, you’ll need to use Softaculous. It’s a one-click app installer that is located at the bottom of your cPanel under the Software category.
- Domain management. You can add multiple domains and create numerous subdomains to your hosting accounts. You can find these functionalities under the Domain section.
- Creating email accounts. For this, you need to locate Email Accounts under the Mail section. The process is very straightforward, and you'll have a professional email ready for use in minutes. Just bear in mind that these email accounts are only suitable for basic mailing needs and not for large-scale marketing campaigns.
- Other hosting management tasks. The cPanel is also where you’ll also find tools for adjusting PHP versions, generating backups, troubleshooting, file management, and more.
To sum it all up, Namecheap.com made a winning move by pairing its proprietary dashboard with cPanel. Although the design is a little outdated, the combo is still very intuitive, functional, and easy to use.
Performance – is Name.com fast?
When it comes to performance, this Name.com review proved that the provider, sadly, is quite underwhelming. Sure, the provider is very reliable, yet its server responsiveness, speed, and ability to handle traffic could be much better.
Name.com uptime and response time
For this Name.com review, I have monitored the provider for 2 weeks. In that time, the host only had 1 outage with 1 minute of downtime. That has resulted in a near-perfect 99.99% uptime, which is far better than the provider’s official 99.9% uptime guarantee.
As for Name.com’s response time, it has averaged at 765ms. This is noticeably higher than the market’s average of 600ms. However, I must admit that while this won’t land the host among the fastest web hosting providers, the result is not bad.
Plus, it’s also worth noting that the response times were very consistent throughout the period without spikes and sharp drops.
In sum, Name.com is very reliable in terms of uptime, yet the response time could use optimization or a few.
Name.com website speed
For this Name.com review, I’ve tested the provider’s load speed for both empty and full-built websites.
Before we analyze the results, there are 2 measures you should get familiar with:
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) – this is one of many measures that Google takes into account when ranking sites on its search result page. For best results, this time should be no higher than 2.5s for a fully-built site.
- Fully Loaded Time – as the name suggests, this measure shows the time in which the website was fully loaded. For the highest user satisfaction and lowest bounce rates, aim for a time no higher than 3s.
Now, I tested the empty WordPress website’s load time from 3 different locations. The best results were seen in the US, with the LCP being only 580ms. However, the LCP in London and Mumbai has increased significantly, even bordering the undesired 2.5s. Not bad, yet a little concerning.
Now, this could be solved by choosing a different data center location. However, Name.com does not allow you to pick your server location. In fact, the host does not specify how many data centers it has or where they are located.
However, based on these results, it appears that my site is hosted in the US. This would explain the fast LCP for San Antonio and the lag that affected London and Mumbai.
Next up, I ran the test on a fully-built WordPress site. This time around, the LCP took 2.7s. Not the worst, but it does surpass the recommended maximum 2.5s, which could tamper with your website’s ranking.
Now looking at the fully loaded time, it took 3.2 seconds. Again, not the worst, but do note that anything higher than this could noticeably increase bounce-off rates.
In short, Name.com is not very fast in terms of load times. More so, the fact that you cannot pick a data center is not ideal either.
Name.com stress testing
As a final trial, I tested the provider's ability to handle increased traffic surges on the site.
Ideally, the blue line (response time) should remain stable and fast, even when the grey line (number of visitors) goes up. More so, the red line (failed requests) should not appear at all.
Now, to begin the test, I sent 50 virtual users (VUs) to my site. To put it into perspective, 50VUs every minute on the site would equal around 50,000 monthly visitors. That’s a massive load, and it could slow down the server or overwhelm it completely.
And that’s exactly what happened here. The server crashed… miserably.
So, I decided to keep decreasing the number of visitors by 5 until I pass the test. The first success was at 10VUs.
Even then, things were shaky, and the server’s response time (blue line) was slow and unstable. At least, there weren’t any failed requests.
At the same time, 10VUs is pretty decent traffic as this could result in 10 000 monthly visits. Traffic as such can be expected from small popular blogs or local business sites.
As a whole, Name.com is very reliable in terms of uptime. However, the website lacks speed, and the server is not meant to handle increased traffic.
Security – is Name.com secure?
When it comes to security, Name.com’s protection covers only the basics. You can expect to get an SSL certificate, automatic backups, and spam protection, but that’s it really. Other measures are either unavailable or paid.
Here’s what Name.com includes with all its packages:
- SSL certificates are included with all plans to ensure a secure connection between your visitors and your server. Personal and Premium plans include a free Encryption Everywhere SSL, while the Business plan comes with free Comodo Essential SSL.
- Name.com runs automatic backups every 48 hours. While automatic daily backups are significantly more preferable, every 48 hours is still considerably better than the weekly backups offered by many shared hosting providers.
- While Name.com does not exactly offer two-step authentication, it is available via Google Authenticator and Authy for additional protection.
- Other security measures include spam protection and server and network monitoring.
That’s all the freebies you get in terms of security. However, if you don’t mind shelling out, Name.com also offers multiple SiteLock plans as paid extras from $2.08/mo. The actual features vary from plan to plan, but they all include risk assessment, daily malware scanning, and trust seal.
As a whole, Name.com doesn’t offer the most comprehensive security measures. In fact, you only get a few basics like an SSL, automated backups, and server monitoring. If you wish to get DDoS or malware removal, you’ll have to pay extra.
Will Name.com support help me?
Name.com has 2 support channels: via ticket and live chat. The live chat agents are only available 8 am – 6 pm MST every day, and outside of these hours, you’re stuck with a support bot. The ticketing system is available 24/7, but the responses are far from speedy. Besides the 2 support channels, the provider also has a basic knowledge base that covers a variety of topics.
Right off the bat, I can tell that the Name.com reviews were right: the provider’s support is hard to get a hold of.
For starters, a support ticket I submitted a while ago remains unanswered for a few days. Beyond that, my multiple attempts to reach a human agent via live chat were all unsuccessful, no matter the time of the day. All I ended up with were one-sided ‘conversations’ with the bot.
Now, I wouldn’t be so frustrated if the bot was actually helpful. But, its suggested articles in response to my queries were sometimes huge misses and wildly unrelated.
Speaking of articles, Name.com has a knowledge base too. It isn’t particularly broad, but it does cover a variety of website-related topics. Plus, some of the articles were pretty thorough with step-by-step guides.
Overall, Name.com’s support could do a whole lot better. A more responsive and accessible support team could quickly and drastically turn things around, especially in the live chat.
Name.com review: the final verdict
As a whole, the host offers reasonable server resources and ease of use. However, the lack of comprehensive security tools, slow performance, and slightly more premium prices make the provider less tempting. That being said, there’s no denying that it has the potential to turn things around.
|Feature||Shared hosting for small projects|
|Pricing||Name.com comes with slightly more premium prices that start at $6.00/mo. Considering the features you get for this price, the cost could be lower.|
|Ease of use||The host offers a combination of its custom dashboard and a default cPanel. The two are very easy to use. |
|Performance||The host is very reliable with 99.99% uptime. However, its page loading speed (3.2s) and server responsiveness (765ms) are below average. |
|Security ||Name.com only offers a free SSL certificate, automated backups, and server monitoring. Other security features like DDoS, CDN, and malware repair are paid extras.|
|Support ||The team is supposedly available during business hours via live chat and ticketing but it’s extremely hard to reach a human agent.|
Ultimately, Name.com is not a cheap provider, yet the feature sit offers are pretty basic. For that reason, I'd recommend Name.com to beginners and niche businesses that want to build a small blog or a business landing page.
Alternatives to Name.com
While Name.com could be an attractive and viable provider for some users, it might not be the best option for you or your project. Worry not, there are many great hosting providers out there, with the 2 most notable ones being Hostinger and Bluehost.
Hostinger offers high-quality hosting at very cheap prices – with plans starting from just $2.59/month. Despite its cheap pricing, Hostinger’s performance is praiseworthy with excellent reliability, speed, and stability.
Additionally, the provider offers a custom and very beginner-friendly hPanel for site management. And, very importantly, Hostinger’s support is very helpful and available 24/7.
In terms of price, Bluehost is barely half the price of Name.com, with prices starting at as low as $2.95/month. However, this price point delivers much more than Name.com.
The host puts a strong emphasis on simplicity and offers a combination of a custom panel and cPanel. More so, the plans come with generous server resources too. Besides that, Bluehost is no slacker when it comes to performance either.
Name.com review FAQs
What is Name.com?
Name.com is an ICANN-accredited domain name registrar that offers web hosting services. Additionally, the Denver-based company also offers a website builder, email hosting, and other website-related services.
Is Name.com legit?
Yes, Name.com is legit. It’s currently owned by Donuts Inc and has been in operation since 2003.
How to host a website with Name.com?
To host a website with Name.com, you need to purchase one of its hosting plans, which comes with a free domain. Once done, you’ll need to set up your account and install your preferred CMS via cPanel.