Names.co.uk Review | TechRadar
Names.co.uk (also known as Namesco) was founded in 1997 and has long been one of the UK’s leading domain registrars. However, it also offers a whole range of web hosting solutions for all types of web based businesses. The company, headquartered in Worcester (Great Britain), employs around 180 experts in various fields. Most of them have been with the company from the start, which means they have all gone through the twists and turns with the industry.
Today Names.co.uk exists as part of team.blue, a European “tech powerhouse” that emerged from the merger of the Combell Group, the TransIP Group and the Register Group in 2019. team.blue operates in more than 15 European countries and operates under a handful of brand names including Combell, Hosting Ireland, SuperHosting, TransIP and Simply.com.
Names.co.uk’s data centers are likely located in the UK, but with the company persistently (and suspiciously) keeping the exact locations secret, we can’t be sure whether or not there are data centers in the UK.
The official website has been designed with simplicity in mind, which makes it as easy to navigate as possible. It also provides a lot of information about its products, but that cannot be said about the information about the company itself, especially its infrastructure. The website has a blog full of tips and tricks, but it hasn’t had any updates or new content since summer 2021.
Fans of social networking sites can find Names.co.uk on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.
Plans and Pricing
Names.co.uk is in full swing to cover all of its potential customers by offering a whole range of hosting solutions including shared hosting, email hosting, WordPress hosting, VPS hosting (managed or self-managed), Reseller hosting and dedicated server hosting. It also offers domain name registration, Microsoft 365, SSL certificates, SiteLock, site building tools, web design, management, and online marketing services.
All plans are presented side by side in convenient comparison tables, with all of their key features listed below. The most practical option is a shared hosting plan from cPanel called “Starter” and for £ 5.09 ($ 6.80) per month (an annual or biennial plan cuts the price) it gives you a single site with 50GB of storage Storage space, unlimited bandwidth, two 500 MB databases, ten email accounts and a free domain name (with annual contracts). Unfortunately, if you want an SSL certificate, you have to pay extra for it.
Names.co.uk doesn’t offer an upfront money back guarantee, but under the Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013 you can request a refund within 14 days of your purchase and there is a good chance you will get it.
Names.co.uk accepts payments by credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Maestro and American Express), direct debit, check and BACS. Unfortunately, PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Amazon Pay are not supported.
Names.co.uk refuses to focus on any particular customer base and strives to be a jack of all trades that has its pros and cons (mostly cons, to be honest). Before we got any further conclusion, however, we had to look at one of their solutions for ourselves.
After choosing one of the cPanel web hosting packages, we were asked to choose between Linux and Windows as the operating system. Then we had to decide what to do with the domain name, register a new one or use an old one. Most domains are inexpensive, and if you opt for an annual hosting plan, you can get one for free for the first year (however, you can choose between .co.uk and .uk).
The domain proxy service is preselected by default. So if you don’t want it, disable it. In any case, this service is reasonably priced (€ 5.99) considering it covers a full year, and it’s always a good idea to stay on the safe side. After that, you are offered the option of adding a few extras at an additional cost, and when we said “extras” we were actually referring to “website essentials” as backups and an SSL certificate are something any decent hosting plan should include. That said, an SSL Certificate can cost you from £ 65.99 ($ 87.80) a year, which drives the total cost so much higher that the plan no longer looks pocket-friendly.
To complete your purchase you need to create an account with Names.co.uk and it’s as simple as it gets, although you will need to provide a little more information than usual (including a catchy word). After payment is made, you will be taken to Names.co.uk’s easy-to-use dashboard where you can manage your account, billing and services purchased, find customer support and browse other services on offer. We should also note that, as you write, Names.co.uk is making some changes to its dashboard, so some parts have changed its appearance while others will shortly.
Considering that Names.co.uk offers multiple control panels (including cPanel and Plesk), you can easily manage all of the areas of your newly built website if you are at least somewhat familiar with one of them. All plans come with the 1-click installer that supports over 100 handy apps including WordPress, PrestaShop, Joomla, Drupal and OpenCart. However, if you’ve purchased a WordPress hosting plan, WordPress comes pre-installed.
Alternatively, you can use Names.co.uk’s simple drag-and-drop website builder and if you are short on time you can purchase the Build Me a Website service.
After testing the speed of Names.co.uk’s official website, we were pleasantly surprised with near-perfect results. According to our favorite tool, GTmetrix, the site fully loaded in just 2.0 seconds and required a total of 72 simultaneous requests, both of which deserve applause. In addition, all other important speed metrics (largest contentful paint, total blocking time, and cumulative layout shift) were well above average, resulting in an exemplary A (95%) as the GTmetrix final grade.
When it comes to availability, Names.co.uk guarantees 99.99% of that with all of its shared hosting and managed dedicated server solutions and 99.9% of that with unmanaged and cloud servers. If Names.co.uk does not reach its guaranteed uptime, users can claim 10 to 50% free credit depending on the number of downtime their sites have suffered in a given month. However, the 99.99% guarantee excludes downtime caused by scheduled maintenance and does not cover downtime due to hardware failure, network attack, account lockout, or user-made mistakes.
Together with UptimeRobot, we watched the official Names.co.uk site for two weeks and found that the results, while not perfect, were not bad either. In our dataset, there were two downtimes (four minutes each) that accounted for 99.95% of the total uptime.
Whether you have a problem with Names.co.uk’s products or just want to find out more, please visit the Support Center first. There you will find a knowledge base full of how-tos, a network status page, a link to the official blog, and the ability to submit a support ticket. The how-tos themselves are written step-by-step instructions and usually contain suitable screenshots. We should also mention Names.co.uk’s YouTube channel as it has some beginner-friendly guides that address some common issues and concerns.
However, if you’d prefer to contact the Names.co.uk support agent, you can do so through the UK-based phone and ticket-based support system. No, live chat is still not an option at Names.co.uk. It should also be noted that users can access customer / technical support directly from their control panel, which can save time.
You are also welcome to get in touch with the Names.co.uk team via Facebook and Twitter, but the support you can get there is limited so we do not advise you to go there for technical help .
Fasthosts and Names.co.uk are UK based hosts that offer a wide range of hosting types, options, features and some easy to use tools for building websites at a reasonable price. On the flip side, Names.co.uk requires you to purchase an SSL Certificate separately, while Fasthosts entry-level packages require you to do the same, which can drive the cost up significantly. That being said, Fasthosts’ simpler hosting solutions come with at least a 30-day money-back guarantee, which means you can try them out without breaking your budget.
Easyspace is another UK-based classic car that has refused to offer a free trial or refund policy, which could turn some of its potential users away, especially new kids on the block. However, since Names.co.uk offers a beginner-friendly cPanel and lots of one-click installs with its entry-level packages (as opposed to Easyspace), it is more likely to attract newbies.
Unless having a UK host is critical to your vision, US-based HostGator and Bluehost are both top choices. They offer a wide variety of feature-rich hosting plans that cater to beginners and webmasters alike, all for a budget-friendly price. The only downside is the significant price spike that occurs after the promotional period, so don’t let that surprise you. While you don’t have to worry about that at Names.co.uk, the prices are a bit higher at first.
While Names.co.uk is not a bad choice for UK based business owners who need all-in-one solutions to get everything done smoothly, there are a few downsides to consider before making a final decision. The lack of SSL certificates and automatic backups in shared hosting solutions is likely to make newbies think twice before trying, and the company’s failure to provide an up-front money-back guarantee could put everyone else off .
There are more attractive UK hosts out there (like UK2 and A2 Hosting), and if you could feel at home with a US based host, you will get a bigger payout with HostGator and Bluehost.