Over the years, you may have wondered why you haven’t seen Namecheap swag out in the wild. It’s not uncommon to see tees, stickers, and hoodies from other tech companies that you love, so why not Namecheap? Well, frankly it’s long overdue but we are thrilled to announce the launch of our merch store, with fancy new t-shirts, hoodies, and stickers. As one of our holiday deals, we’ll be offering a 50% discount on select items from Friday (11/29) 12:00AM EST to Monday (12/2) 11:59PM. We have limited inventory so be sure to stock up to ensure that you get your items in time for the holidays.
So now that you have the lowdown on the store, you’re probably wondering about the new logo that you see on all of the items. We haven’t publicly released it yet but you may have seen a sneak peek on our social media channels or in person at conferences. We will be launching a new site design soon, which will feature this new logo and a beautiful new clean layout. In the meantime, make sure you snag one of our super comfy tees or hoodies to be one of the first to don our new logo.
Note: The store is powered by the fine folks over at United Pixelworkers, purveyors of custom designed apparel.
As the first major domain registrar to accept Bitcoin as a payment option, we are huge proponents of the currency and its potential to disrupt the payments ecosystem. This week, we will be teaming up with Bitcoin Black Friday to offer a sweet deal to our Bitcoin users. For us, this isn’t just another marketing campaign, it’s a meaningful initiative to not only get more people involved in the currency but to raise awareness of all of the great merchants out there that accept Bitcoin.
We will be launching our deal on Friday, which will give you a 10% bonus for adding at least 0.1 bitcoin to your Namecheap funds. In addition, we’re giving away free domain coupons, starting right now. Details on how to participate in that giveaway are listed below.
For a chance at winning a free domain coupon, reply to this post with the link to an image (hosted on http://imgur.com/) that you captured and created that falls into any of the following categories:
Bitcoin Black Friday Propaganda (‘Bitcoin takes on Black Friday, hoorah’ sort of stuff.)
General Bitcoin Propaganda
“Purchased with bitcoins” (action shots of you using Bitcoin)
Extra points if you somehow include Namecheap into any of those submissions. These submissions will be judged by Bitcoin Black Friday founder Jon Holmquist and the Namecheap staff. Low-quality submissions will be denied.
So make sure you fire up Bitcoin Black Friday at 12:00AM EST on Nov. 29 to take advantage of our offer.
Not sure what Bitcoin is? This video will help you get started so you can take advantage of the deal that we will be announcing next week:
Our customers have been clamoring for them, and making customers happy is our top priority. That’s why we’re so excited to announce: Multi-domain SSL certificates are now available at Namecheap. Why multi-domain SSL? If you’re serious about doing business on the internet, you need SSL. And if you’re operating multiple domains across one or more IP addresses, multi-domain SSL is a dreamy solution. A multi-domain certificate saves you time (all your domains go through validation at once) and money (additional domains cost less). Your customers know there are security threats lurking all over the web, and they feel safest doing business with sites that display SSL certification credentials. Now you can lock down all your domains – and ensure total peace of mind for all your customers – with one multi-domain SSL certificate.
Namecheap offers the lowest prices, 24/7 support and a 15-day refund policy. We’re an official partner of all the most popular Certificate Authorities. Visit https://www.namecheap.com/ssl-
Namecheap has joined the new TLD initiative, which will allow customers to buy hundreds of new top level domains. You will be able to buy TLDs such as .online, .music, .inc, and so much more. Choose the domain name that perfectly suits your needs and be adventurous with those never-before-available one word domain names.
The new TLD initiative works like this. ICANN approves a TLD (IE: .car, .lawyer, .online) and the registry announces its launch plan. While this plan may differ slightly with each TLD, most will go through 3 phases. The Sunrise phase allows trademark owners an opportunity to register domains containing their mark. The next phase is Landrush, opening up the ability for anyone to secure the name they want before the TLD goes live. Finally, the domains go into General Availability, where the general public can register these domains in real time.
How is Namecheap involved?
You’ll be able to pre-order domains you want, track news regarding specific TLDs using our checklist feature, and more. Let us know which TLDs you are interested in and we’ll keep you updated on when those particular extensions become available. Learn more here.
As you may know, we launched the .io TLD last month to much fanfare. The TLD is popular among up-and-coming startups like Intercom.io, Blossom.io, Card.io (acquired by Paypal), and many others. Our research team has come up with a list of amazing .io domains that are still available for registration at Namecheap for the low price of $58.88/year. These domains are perfect for your next project or startup.
Lo and behold, here is the list:
Just click on a domain above and it will be added to your cart. Grab ‘em before they go!
EDIT (Nov. 6th): Even more .io domains! We dug up more truly amazing available .io domains and just couldn’t wait to share them with you. Check them out and grab:
In a word – YES!
But let me elaborate on this frequently asked question.
This question often crops up on forums, social media and message boards. And I see a constant stream of misleading advice suggesting you keep hosting and domain registration separate. From WebHostingTalk to Facebook and Twitter, people often insist you keep your domains and hosting separate.
But this blog post is going to dispel the above as a myth. And it is going to show you that a registrar can be a host and if you choose wisely, i.e. someone like Namecheap, you’ll have no problems in buying both services from one service provider and can actually enjoy many advantages.
I will concede that once upon a time, it may have been wise to keep both separate. But this advice is very, very obsolete. And this advice stems from two main roots which I identify below.
Web hosting is an afterthought for domain registrars
This is the first of these two roots. If we go back 10 years, I’m inclined to agree. Some registrars offered a basic shared hosting service in addition to their main domain registration services. These shared products were overpriced, under-featured and poorly presented. Support teams treated hosting as an alien product and something that scared them. And the combination of these did lead to a poorer overall experience. The end result? The feeling that hosting from a registrar was inferior to that of a specialist web host.
But registrars are not stupid. At least we are not. The huge growth of hosting in the past decade has spurned a ton of new hosting providers with a median age measuring just a few years. And it caught the attention of several registrars, including us.
We’re currently celebrating our 13th birthday. And we’re in our 7th year of offering web hosting. I myself have over 12 years experience in the industry and the team I’ve built is also vastly experienced. More experienced, infact, than many of the newcomers that are sometimes recommended in Namecheap’s stead.
Let’s run through the initial objections that I raised (overpriced, under-featured, poorly presented and poorly supported).Please visit our hosting section of Namecheap.com at http://www.namecheap.com/hosting/web-hosting.aspx. Is it poorly presented? Are we lacking any features? And too expensive? Our technology is inferior? Our 24×7 live and helpdesk support is slow?!
The answer is no. Bu I’ll come back to these core hosting components in just a minute.
Web hosts might hold my domain hostage!
This is the second of the two roots I mentioned. And it may have more substance than the first; I wouldn’t recommend keeping your domain name with a company you don’t trust. Trust, however, is the operative word. Why are you working with a service provider you don’t trust in the first place? Have doubts? Not sure of their longevity? Don’t use them in the first place.
Smaller web hosts do have an uncanny ability to disappear into the abyss. And they might seem an attractive proposition when you are one of a few customers sat on 1 server, getting all of the server resources and all of the owner’s time to support you. But how do they scale? What is their plan to get past the first few hundred clients or servers? Often no plan exists and we say bye bye to said hosting company. Some larger web hosts do hit you with plenty of hidden fees for domain registration. I’ll name no names but again this comes down to trust. Do you want to deal with a provider known for hitting you with hidden costs and complex terminology? Or why not just deal with a provider known to put its customer first, a provider known for integrity?
There have been some “fly”-by-night registrars too. But not that many. And brownie points for if you get the pun. At the end of the day, it all comes down to trust and reputation.
There’s also very blurred lines between typical “web hosts” and “domain registrars”. And in the interests of keeping this blog post quite concise, I’ll save it for future ramblings
Those core components again – what does make a good web hosting service?
For the last part of my post, I’m going to dissect a good web hosting service and let you decide whether a “web host” can exclusively deliver such good service.
Let’s start from the very beginning. The datacenter.
1) You need a datacenter. All servers need to be located in a datacenter whether they’re registry interaction services, DNS servers, email servers, database servers or hosting servers. A datacenter is not a business broadband connection to a couple of servers housed in your garage. For Namecheap, a datacenter is somewhere Tier3 or above (namely fully redundant power, cooling/environmental and security) where we install our own suite or cage. This datacenter must be in a none-to-low natural disaster risk area (you should note our NYC datacenter did NOT go offline in Sandy as we were careful with our selection). This datacenter must have redundant fiber paths into the building with multiple bandwidth carriers onsite. This datacenter must have ample fuel for the generators onsite should the mains go out, on top of the UPS and ready to go gensets. This datacenter must have ample cold water storage onsite for the environmental systems should the water mains be cut. This datacenter must have proven redelivery contracts for any consumable substance to power the operation.
We are extremely stringent in our datacenter selection. The datacenters we use may power any number of our services, including domain registration and hosting. And customers of any of our services, including those who resell our hosting services
2) The network. A good web host needs a solid, fast and reliable network delivering websites, data and content from the servers to a global audience. The network must have sufficient capacity for natural usage growth and traffic spurts and must have sufficient protection against attacks that may look to congest it.
A high quality network brings in a blend of different network providers. Workmen, regardless of where in the world, are excellent at causing service disruption by cutting through fiber. It happens time and again, even with the most up to date fiber path maps and ground penetrating radar. It just happens. A high quality network must also employ top of the range network hardware. I’m talking routers, switches and firewalls.
At Namecheap, the network connecting each datacenter we operate out of ticks all of these boxes. Our precise topology is a fairly closely guarded secret. I can reveal we use a range of Cisco, Juniper, Brocade in a multi-tenant, redundant network mesh. I’ll conclude by noting some other web hosts do go to the lengths we do with our quality network. Others go for a more budget solution. And others may just rent network capacity as bandwidth or data-transfer from their server provider. But our approach, as a “registrar”, follows a best practice approach.
3) The servers. Websites, virtual servers, emails and more all sit on a server somewhere in the world.
To me, a server is an expensive, shiny piece of kit from the likes of Dell, Supermicro, HP or IBM. It is not a motherboard attached to a pizza box and slid into a book case. To some budget hosts, this may be. To us, this is downtime waiting to happen.
We use a mix of Dell, Supermicro and some HP in our server inventory. Each is a rackmount server with enterprise components. There is a massive difference between desktop grades RAM, hard drives and even CPUs that have a much shorter shelf life. They’re also generally slower. But enterprise components, fully monitored by the iDRAC/IPMI/iLO card within the server with multiple hot and cold spares onsite and same-day/next-day replacement from our vendors is an absolute must for us.
We also host a lot of accounts. This gives us a huge amount of data to work out optimal server loading policies. Like with any hosting provider, shared, reseller, vps and cloud instances share the same physical hardware. And it’s very, very tempting for hosting companies to overload that physical hardware to try and maximize profit margins.
But we don’t do this. We load servers with around half the accounts our competitors do on similar, if not newer, hardware. We do use CloudLinux but we use this as a safeguard on the servers. We don’t use this to seriously impede on what an account can do. The result is that our customers constantly tell us our hosting is the fastest they’ve ever tried. And I suspect they don’t always tell their friends about how fast our hosting is because they worry we’ll overfill our servers as some others do. I will say in writing that this won’t happen and we add new servers as existing servers hit their optimal load. I’m not going to share the specific numbers and settings as this is our IP but I do encourage you to test out our speeds (and take advantage of our money back guarantee if it is just a test).
4) The support team. Those amazing guys and girls that work around the clock, 365 days a year on a diet of pizza, cookies and coffee to deliver you the best support. In the world.
We have separate support teams for domains, hosted services and SSL. Each job requirement has different skills and while we do cross-train and encourage opportunities to work within different teams for learning and skill development, each team has specialist skills to support a product set like a pro. No “lets consult the book” answers because we know our products inside out. We have Level 1, 2 and 3 teams that each represent a different focus. Levels 1 and 2 are more customer facing and can handle a range of sales, technical and miscellaneous questions. They also field requests to marry them, to go on dates, to become friends on Facebook. You name it, we’ve been asked it. And we don’t mind – it makes us laugh Our Level 3 team is more operational and R&D focussed as they run our servers and network, plus everything between.
Our setup is similar to service providers who are pure “web hosts”. I will argue that our team’s focus to multiple products means you are more likely to get an expert who can help you across multiple issues. And you won’t get that annoying line that goes “It’s a problem with your registrar, go speak to them.”
On this particular note, I’ll wrap up this blog post. I hope you notice the particular benefit I’ve outlined in the paragraph above. My next blog post is going to carry this trend on and focus on the benefits of using one service provider for a range of services. I hope this has been insightful and I’ll look out for comments and respond accordingly.
Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Natalie Sisson, who has graciously volunteered to promote Namecheap in her book, the Suitcase Entrepreneur book. As such, we’re pleased to share her tips with Namecheap readers.
Starting and building a business is probably one of the most challenging undertakings of your life.
I know this from personal experience and that’s exactly why I wrote The Suitcase Entrepreneur book to make the definitive bible on exactly how to build one you can run from anywhere.
If you’re just starting out, then it’s likely that all you really have right now is the desire to build something that’s your own and to make an impact on the world.
But it’s hard to see how that’s going to come to fruition when you don’t have much money, no actual budget and no real concept of what owning your own business means.
Because of the internet and the power of online tools, it’s simpler, cheaper and faster than you think to start a business and definitely way easier than it used to be even ten years ago.
All you need to do to start a business is take action.
But since you probably have a limited budget, wouldn’t it be good to know what you really need to spend money on in terms of setup and online tools?
It would also help to know what really works from the get go so you can start right away and get the most bang for your buck.
The Only Tools You Need to Start Your Business
With just six virtual tools and one hot strategy that I’ll outline below, you can do anything that a major corporation could do on your own scale.
- A great domain name from Namecheap - $10
These days with millions of the best names taken, it’s pretty hard to get a .com that you really want, but be creative here and try to think of a name without hyphens so it’s dead easy for people to find you. Use keywords where possible or a short made up name that people will remember. If you can’t buy a .com, having a .net or .co is OK.
- Web hosting from Namecheap – $6 monthly
This fee is monthly, but it’s so minimal that it won’t make a huge difference to your bank account. For just six dollars a month, which is a total of $72 a year, you can have a website that is completely under your own control.
- WordPress design (use Elance or oDesk) – $50
You’ll want to spend the most money on how your website looks. With more and more businesses establishing their online presence, it’s important to stand out from the crowd with a great design. But you don’t have to break the piggy bank to achieve this if you use freelancers on outsourcing sites like Odesk or Elance. Top Tip: Make sure that you’re rigorous in getting what you really want from the designer. State your expectations right from the start and make sure that you’re happy with the designer that you hire. That being said, be realistic about what your designer can deliver with just $50. If you need to know what to do before you even post the job, you’ll want to read this article on hiring a web designer.
- Logo design (through Fiverr.com) – $5
Since you’ve already figured out what you want your site to look like, it will be much easier for you to figure out what you want your logo to look like. With this knowledge, you can tell your designer exactly what you want, so there will be less room for you to have to make corrections.
- Mentoring by a successful entrepreneur – $10 lunch
One of the smartest things you can do for your business is to find an entrepreneur that you really admire and offer to take them out for lunch or coffee. Prepare a list of the three core questions and make sure that you listen to or read their past interviews.This way you’re not repeating the same questions that you could’ve just found online. Even cheaper, you can just email them and ask them for five minutes of their time over Skype or even through email. You can find more about how to do this with this article by Natalie Macneil.
- PayPal account to receive payments – $0
Setting up your PayPal account will take you less than three minutes. You just fill in some basic information, and you’ll be ready to go. If you already have a normal Paypal account, set up a business account.
- e-Junkie account to sell digital products – $5 monthly
e-Junkie is a great platform to use because it’s super simple for processing payments on your site and you can set up an affiliate system, which is like creating an online sales team for your business without having to pay them to be employees.
- 3 social media profile designs (Fiverr.com) – $15
Finally, you want to set up three social media sites to represent your business. Focusing on three is easier than trying to get on all the social media sites and spread your message. I would recommend Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to start. Then tell your designer on Fiverr.com what you would like your social media profiles look like based on your website on your logo. As always, be clear and set your expectations from the start.
A whopping $96.
If you’re reading this, it’s very likely that you have the capacity to spend $96 to build your business.
And if you’re realizing that you’re the one holding yourself back, learn to sit with the fear so you can move forward with doing what you really want to do – starting your own business, becoming location independent or building a blog that matters.
Don’t let the fear hold you back.
If you spend this $96, the worst that can happen is that it doesn’t work out.
And $96 won’t break your bank!
That said, you will need to take the time to understand the psychology of online marketing and setting up shop.
So set aside time to learn how to engage and market your brand through social media and how to become a better blogger to gain more credibility and drive leads and referrals.
Natalie Sisson is a Suitcase Entrepreneur and Adventurer who travels the world living out of her suitcase and running a highly successful online business from her laptop and smartphone, teaching others how to do the same. She’s just released The Suitcase Entrepreneur book on how to create freedom in business and adventure in life. You can grab your copy here.
We have a sponsorship program at Namecheap. And we get a lot of people writing to us requesting sponsorship. We read and review each application for sponsorship. Causes we deem worthy include charities, non-profits, open-source organizations and anything that touches our hearts. We’re kind people so we give back when we can.
A while ago, SMF approached us about sponsorship to help them out. As a personal long-time fan of SMF, we were happy to. I use the forum myself on some personal sites and we host thousands of SMF instances across our hosting network (SMF can be installed in 1-click via our Softaculous installer).
So all things considered, our decision to partner with and help SMF out was a no brainer. We admire what they do and the opportunity to jump in and help is something we snapped up. We have some exciting plans for this partnership, plans that we’ll be making public in the future. We’re helping them out with domain names for their project, SSL certificates to secure their project and dedicated servers to act as fast download mirrors for SMF users installing the platform the hard way
You can read and learn more about SMF at http://www.simplemachines.org. Look out for some Namecheap banners and a coupon code within their community.
To install SMF using our 1-click installer, you need a hosting account first. When you have a hosting account, login to cPanel > go to Softaculous > locate the SMF icon under message boards and just enter the username/password that you wish to use. It’s that simple.
We know it’s been long requested, and we’ve been working on it for a really long time to make sure it runs perfectly: two factor authentication is now available at Namecheap. In short, for those of you who don’t know what this means, it’s another layer of security that’s required to access your account. A password only goes as far as the person who knows it. And if that password gets leaked, your account information is vulnerable. 2FA adds a second layer of security: phone authentication, making sure your account is only accessed by the person who knows the password AND who gets the text message we send you upon an attempt to access your account.
We’re really excited to roll this out. It’s disabled by default, but you can turn it on by logging into your Namecheap account and accessing Two Factor Authentication under Personal Settings. More details can be found here.
The rest is up to you. We hope you’ll try it out in the name of security, as we want your domains to stay safe and sound in your account — don’t you?
Last week, Brent (our senior systems architect) and myself visited the cPanel 2013 event in New Orleans. The event promised an action-packed 4 days full of meetings, presentations, more meetings, hitting the trade show floor, more meetings and mixed in with a few social events.
Typically, these cPanel events have been a both fun and useful. And this year was no different.
I’m going to mostly let the photos do the talking. Because you might notice something different about our logo…