Tuesday, May 21, 2024
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Namecheap vs NameSilo

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Written by Vera C. Last updated on .

Disclosure: I get commissions for purchases made through links in this page. This helps keep this site running

desk work space with coffee cup, wallet and keyboard - namesilo vs namecheap

When you're looking at purchasing a domain name, you might be wondering which registrar to use. Namecheap and NameSilo are two well-known, affordable, reputable domain name registrars. You can't really go wrong with either one in terms of reliability, but they have a different set of pros and cons that you should be aware of.

I've had personal experience buying domain names with both registrars. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Domain name search, TLD choices, and pricing

Namecheap

You get a lot of choice of TLD's at Namecheap, from .com to rarer TLDs like .game, .inc, and so many more. Domain search is made as easy as possible for you at Namecheap - they show you what's available in your desired tld and also in other tld's. They also have a generator which does a pretty decent job of coming up with other possible brand name ideas (that are available as domain names) based on some keywords you give them.

Interestingly, Namecheap supports handshake domains as well as regular domains. The average person or business won't want or need those - it's based on peer-to-peer network and won't resolve in an ordinary browser without extra setup. But it's nice to know that Namecheap is staying on top of all technologies in the domain space.

A standard .com domain is very affordable and competitively priced at Namecheap.

NameSilo

NameSilo also has a nice easy domain search that shows what's available in your desired TLD and others. You also get a similarly large selection of TLDs to choose from. Their AI generator is not shown as prominently on the page as Namecheap's, but comes up with a similar quality of results.

At the time of writing, NameSilo did not appear to support handshake domains. For the average business or person this won't matter, but it is a notable difference compared to Namecheap. A standard .com is very affordable at NameSilo - and there's a NameSilo coupon code for FlipFall readers who are first-time NameSilo customers! Simply enter coupon code FLIPFALL at checkout.

The verdict for buying domain names

When it comes to domain names, these two registrars are so close! However, if you're planning anything that involves peer-to-peer technology, then Namecheap is superior since it supports handshake domains. For everything else, they're equivalent.

If you're looking to buy a domain other than a .com, it's worth doing price comparison on both, since they both run sales on various different TLDs at different times.

Domain privacy protection

Both Namecheap and NameSilo offer free domain privacy protection on most domains. Helpfully, they allow you to turn this on and off as needed. This means if you change your mind about privacy protection after ordering, you can simply make the change from inside your account for free. So you don't need to agonize over whether you need domain privacy at the time of ordering.

I find the NameSilo privacy protection easier to turn on and off as needed, but other than that, both registrars are equivalent.

Domain renewals and domain transfers

The fees for renewing at Namecheap and NameSilo, or for transferring your domain into either of these registrars from another registrar is very affordable for .coms (prices can vary a lot for the other TLDs, depending on which TLD it is).

By contrast, less reputable registrars make it cheap to register a new .com but then have expensive renewal fees. Avoid those registrars!

Most registrars will always make it affordable to transfer domains in, since they're hoping you'll stay with them once you've transferred into them. So the renewal pricing is what you want to look at. Fortunately, the renewal pricing is affordable at both Namecheap and NameSilo - there's really not much difference between both.

Aftermarket: buying and selling pre-owned domain names at your registrar

There are significant differences between Namecheap and NameSilo when it comes to buying and selling pre-owned domain names. Both offer a market where you can do that, but you really need to be aware of their differences.

Even if you don't think you'll use the aftermarket, you'll want to know the pros and cons. If you have an unwanted domain and you let it expire, you're leaving money on the table. It's always better to try to sell it. It may not sell, but at least there's a chance of making a small profit that way, versus no chance if you let the domain expire. And on the flip side of the coin, buying an expired domain gives you the chance to snap up a better name that wouldn't otherwise be available. So the aftermarket is more important than you might have first thought.

Namecheap

It's expensive to buy on the Namecheap aftermarket: you have to have a subscription of $5/year just to be allowed to bid AND you have to upload account funds of $100 minimum. Another disadvantage for buyers is that you're unable to set filters to see what domains are for sale - at least without signing up for an account. Their market is only for domains that were registered at Namecheap. If you're selling, a major drawback is that you can only withdraw the money to Paypal after you reach a $100 minimum. Smaller amounts can be converted to NameCheap funds though.

I would therefore not recommend either buying or selling domain names on Namecheap. It's a perfectly legitimate market, but it's not as affordable as it first seems. If you have a Namecheap domain you want to sell, you can always transfer it out to another registrar and sell it there. But any transfer comes with a renewal fee, so if you know you plan to sell it, it's easiest to register the domain where you plan to sell.

NameSilo

You can bid without needing a subscription - you just need to have enough account funds in your account when bidding to cover the sale. There are great filters so you can see what's for sale easily based on domain age, length of domain name, extension, and much more. When your domain sells, you can withdraw any amount to Paypal, no minimum. A huge advantage you get at NameSilo when selling, you can set your auction to auto-renew if it isn't bought. This is better than Namecheap and than most other domain marketplaces

The verdict for aftermarket sales

NameSilo wins hands-down when it comes to buying and selling used domain names.

SSL certificates

Both Namecheap and NameSilo sell SSL certificates at a reasonable price point. For the average blog site, it won't be necessary to purchase this - you can get free SSL via Let's Encrypt. Most cheap cPanel hosts such as GreenGeeks and Asura Hosting already bundle these free SSLs into their hosting plans so you don't even have to handle any setup.

If you're looking for a more specialized SSL certificate, such as Extended Validation or wildcard certificates, both registrars sell those. Of the two, I would recommend Namecheap more highly because the amount of options and pricing of SSL certificates was slightly more favorable at Namecheap.

Web hosting and email hosting

First, it's important to note that hosting packages by registrars are not always a particularly good deal when it comes to the level of features such disk space and bandwidth compared to what you can get from a cheap shared hosting provider. If you are looking for reliable shared hosting at an ultra-cheap price point then I recommend Asura Hosting above Namecheap or NameSilo.

This is because external hosting providers such as Asura Hosting tend to have a better and longer track record of hosting and of customer service in that area. Domain name registrars are great at handling domain names, but web hosts specialize purely in web hosting. For most sites running Wordpress, e-commerce, Joomla, etc, a cheap shared hosting provider is all you need.

That said, Namecheap and NameSilo do provide web hosting and email hosting, so let's examine this.

Namecheap

The shared hosting plans at NameCheap are actually pretty decent and not too far from cheap web hosting providers in terms of specs and pricing - but pay attention to renewal prices of both. Most shared hosting plans include email as well as web hosting.

But if your needs exceed shared hosting and you'll be setting up your own VPS elsewhere, you might want to get your email entirely handled at your domain name registrar like NameCheap (so you don't have to bother setting up your own email server on your VPS). The Namecheap email hosting option is deal if you're doing something custom, for example you're developing a Ruby on Rails app on a VPS but you don't want to be bothered setting up and admin-ing email there yourself.

NameSilo

NameSilo also has shared hosting and email-only options but NameSilo doesn't have quite as many plan options as NameCheap. Furthermore, NameSilo doesn't include SSL on all plans, unlike Namecheap.

The verdict for shared hosting and email hosting

Both offer web and email hosting at a similar (and very affordable) price, but Namecheap is the clear winner for hosting with more options and better features.

The bottom line

Both Namecheap and NameSilo are reputable reliable domain name registrars. They are both excellent places to buy a domain, but depending on your use case, one may be better than the other.

For example, if you're planning to do something involving peer-to-peer technology, you'll want Namecheap because it offers handshake domains.

On the other hand, if you're thinking of selling your domain name after you finish using it, then you'll want NameSilo because it has more favorable aftermarket options.

But if you're purchasing a .com domain name for a new project that doesn't involve anything particularly unusual, then both registrars are equivalent.

If you like to have a bit more in-depth information, we also have an illustrated step by step tutorial of buying a domain name so you can see screenshots along the way of what to expect.


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