Namecheap’s Website Builder vs WordPress
Namecheap was founded as a dedicated domain name registrar over a decade ago but has since expanded into other useful online services like web hosting, email hosting and even a dedicated website builder.
So in this guide, we’re going to look at how good Namecheap’s website builder options are when compared to installing WordPress on a shared hosting account and a WordPress theme. We will be looking at different aspects that are important to content creators, bloggers, ecommerce store owners and casual users.
Namcheap and Visual.com
The first thing we want to mention is that Namecheap provides a website builder using Visual.com called “site maker” that will power your website. This is not the same as their own website builder you have access to when purchasing a shared hosting account.
The value add that Namecheap provides is easy to use integration with their existing DNS structure to connect your domain and hosting all while being your dedicated support channel. Ideal for beginners as you have one company to go to with any problems.
Namecheap shared hosting and their website builder
Confusingly, Namecheap also offers a totally separate, in-house website builder option if you decide to go with a shared hosting account and Namecheap. This website builder experience is a bit similar to what Wix provides and is ideal for static websites that will only be 5-20 pages or simple ecommerce stores.
Namecheap Website Builder vs WordPress Comparison Guide
Namecheap and Visual.com combine into a compelling offer for beginners when compared to their website builder on their shared hosting plans. But how does it stack up to WordPress and when should you go with WordPress and when should you choose Namecheap’s website builder? In this Website Creative Pro breakdown we will be looking at the following:
- What types of websites are ideal for each option?
- Pricing and features
- Design, layout and customizations
- Which has better SEO?
- Do you have control over your data and can you export your content?
- E-commerce features
What types of websites are ideal for each option?
WordPress is an open source content management system you install on your own hosting account. Once setup properly, you can install any type of theme you want. There are numerous free themes and premium themes, but even free themes now provide an easy to use drag and drop builder via the Gutenberg block editor. You can also add in additional plugins for even more features.
As such, with WordPress you can really build any type of website you like. From a simple resume, about me style website. To a high traffic blog that makes passive income, to a full featured, comprehensive ecommerce store that makes millions of dollars a year.
By contrast, Namecheap’s site maker website builder is ideal for professional and personal use. If you’re looking for a more feature rich alternative to Google Sites that has a logical and easy to understand onboarding process, then consider getting a low cost site maker account.
We found that site maker was an excellent choice for anyone needing a simple 5-20 page website that’s easy to setup and edit, but you’re not intending on building a high traffic website. In addition, if you’re looking to blog or add in ecommerce, then site maker is not ideal.
As for the website builder on their shared hosting plans, that are an ideal choice for static, business oriented websites as well as simple ecommerce stores. It’s not a good choice for blogging or for a personal website.
Pricing and features
With WordPress vs Namecheap’s website builder and site maker option, the price point depends on the type of hosting you purchase for WordPress as you have some flexibility. With the site maker option, you only have one low cost pricing plan. Let’s get into it.
Site maker pricing
For the site maker website builder, you can get a plan for $38.88 a year which comes out to $3.24 a month for the price of your hosting account and the content management system. That means for just $3.24 a month you host, design and upload content to your website.
You’ll also need a domain name, which at Namecheap costs $8.88 a year for the introduction rate (which you can lock in for up to 10 years in advanced). So the price point for the site maker option is $47.76 a year. Under $50 for a year for professional, personal website.
Last, you can also get a free domain name if you’re willing to use .contact, .design or .xyz as your domain extension instead of a .com. This is why the site maker option is an ideal choice for professional, personal use because you can get a complete website with a custom domain like myname.contact for just $38.88 a year.
Shared hosting website builder pricing
For creating a website with Namecheap’s website builder that you get with a shared hosting account, you’ll still have the $8.88 price point for the domain, but your options for web hosting are more varied. Namecheap provides their own dedicated shared hosting:
With the Stellar plan you can have up to 3 websites, the popular and stellar business plans allow for unlimited websites. The main difference between the plans is that with the business plan you can get up to 600,00 file limit while the other plans cap out at 300,000 files. You’re also given more SSD storage with the business plan.
As most will be going with the “popular” plan as it is the best seller, the price point is $57.88 a year after the introduction rate. Add in the domain name and the website builder with a shared hosting account will cost $66.76 a year. Just under $70 for a website powered by an unstructured drag and drop builder.
WordPress on a shared hosting account with Namecheap
With WordPress, all the costs are the same as the website builder options. You will have to purchase a domain name and then a shared hosting package. The price depends on what you buy, the stellar, stellar plus or stellar business.
In addition, WordPress can potentially have one added cost depending on the theme you choose to use. Some themes and plugin options like Elementor cost a yearly fee in addition to your hosting and domain price. Alternatively, you could just use a free WordPress theme.
- Site maker and Namecheap – $38.88 a year with a free domain or $47.76 with a .com domain purchase
- Namecheap in-house website builder – $66.76 a year on the stellar plus plan with a domain name.
- WordPress and a Namecheap shared hosting account – $66.76 a year with a domain name. Not including any premium WordPress theme purchase.
All in all, if you’re in need of a professional, personal website for use as a resume, project website or for a local organization the site maker option is very affordable. If you need a static business website then consider the in-house website builder on a shared hosting account and for all other uses go with WordPress.
Design, layout and customization
Each option provides varying levels of customization and control over the design and layout of your website. For a beginner, or anyone looking to get a website up fast – sometimes more detailed control is not always better as it increased the learning curve.
Regardless, depending on the option you choose with Namecheap will dictate the design features you have over your website.
Sitemaker – The easiest option with the least control
When purchasing a site maker, website builder account on Namecheap you’ll be given a simple on-boarding process of asking you what the goal of the website is and some broad features you want.
With regards to customizing your website you have three different layouts for the homepage, can easily add in pages to your website, change colors and add in addition sections like testimonials, work experience, projects a contact form and more.
Namecheap website builder – Unstructured editor for static websites
This website builder is a decent option for creating any sort of business website. You can open up different themes and edit them with ease. It’s not the most intuitive experience and is a bit dated looking when compared to something like Wix, but once you get an understanding of how it works it’s simple enough to customize your website.
In addition, it also has basic ecommerce functionality built in. Nothing as sophisticated as Shopify, but good enough if you’re looking to sell digital downloads or physical products. Overall, we’re not particularly impressed as WordPress is easier to use and more feature rich.
WordPress – The best mix of design and layout control
With WordPress on a shared hosting account you can install a free theme like the Astra theme and then download the starter sites plugin and have a beautiful website you can easily customize up and running in minutes.
WordPress and the Gutenberg block editor is a great design tool for both beginners and pros. Unlike Namecheap’s clunky website builder that takes a long time to learn, WordPress is much more intuitive.
Which has better SEO?
Out of these three options a WordPress website on a shared host with a dedicated on-page SEO plugin provides the best SEO because you have specific control over your page titles, descriptions, meta information and more.
The website builder from Namecheap is acceptable as well because it has it’s own dedicated search engine optimization tab where you can adjust the the on-page SEO for each page individually as needed.
The worst option is the site maker, it’s just not designed to rank well. It’s more geared for creating a personal website (which will rank for your name for example) that you can link to from Instagram or YouTube.
Do you have control over your data?
One thing beginners need to remember is how easy is it to move your website around to different providers. For example, if you build your website with Wix, Wix does not allow you to export your content in any way if you ever want to move your website. That means you’re going to have to slowly and methodically copy and paste your content from Wix to WordPress.
In terms of our comparison WordPress is the best option if you want full control over your data and the ability to export and move your website to a different provider. The website builder option has no option to export your content like Wix and with the site maker option, you simple would have too small of a website for this to even matter that much.
The ecommerce features between Namecheap’s website builder and WordPress
For ecommerce, the site maker option is not even a choice as they don’t provide any sort of ecommerce functionality. For Namecheap’s in-house website builder you can add products, SKU’s, descriptions and you can generate a report of any sales that need to be fulfilled.
It’s ideal for simple stores that don’t require advanced customization options. For WordPress, you have access to WOO Commerce and various ecommerce centric themes. In addition, you have access to WordPress’s block builder, plugin library and helpful blogging features.
When comparing the two, there is no confusion. WordPress and WOO Commerce is simply a better, easier to use choice. On top of that, you can also blog and engage in content marketing to actually drive traffic to your website.
Namecheap website builder vs WordPress conclusion
We love the site maker integration for personal use. At under $40 a year for a full featured personal website it’s a hard to beat price point unless you decide to go with Google Sites.
For the website builder on a shared hosting account, we don’t find it that useful when compared to installing WordPress. WordPress simply does everything better. Better ecommerce, better blogging, easier to design and you can export and move your website. So go with Namecheap for your domains and use the site maker option for personal use or install WordPress on one of their very affordable shared hosting account.