Creating and registering a domain name marks the beginning of having an online presence. Many individuals and organizations looking to build a website end up stumbling upon the Namecheap vs Cloudflare debate at this stage.
Each of these two domain registrars comes with its unique set of features, strengths and weaknesses. Below, I’ll compare five critical aspects of Namecheap and Cloudflare to help you choose the right registrar to suit your needs.
⏱️ Don’t have time to read the full article? Check out the summary below!
Namecheap vs Cloudflare: at a glance 🕵️
👉 Here’s a quick roundup of the winners from each category of our comparison:
- Domain extensions: Namecheap
- User interface: Namecheap
- Pricing: Cloudflare
- Additional services: Namecheap
- Customer support: Namecheap
From this roundup, it’s clear that Namecheap is the better option for registering your domain. The only real reason to choose Cloudflare is if your main concern is saving money – or if you’re already planning to use other Cloudflare services.
For a deeper understanding of the Namecheap vs Cloudflare debate, check out our full comparison below.
Namecheap vs Cloudflare: domain extensions 🛰️
Let’s start our comparison by looking at the domain extensions offered by these two respective companies.
The domain extension, the last part of your domain name after the dot, is crucial for the success of your website. Ideally, you should pick a popular, instantly recognizable popular domain extension like .com or .net.
However, getting a .com domain can be challenging since it’s a highly sought-after extension. This leads many people to seek out .com alternatives.
Let’s dig deeper into the domain extensions offered by Namecheap and Cloudflare.
Namecheap domain extensions
Namecheap boasts an array of domain extensions (also referred to as TLDs), providing users with great flexibility.
Domain shoppers can choose from traditional options like .com, .net, and .org or newer industry-specific extensions like .biz or .store for ecommerce websites and .services or .consulting for service-based professionals.
Namecheap’s wide choice ensures that users can find the perfect domain to suit their personal or professional website needs.
Cloudflare domain extensions
Cloudflare is primarily known for its super-fast content delivery network (CDN) and rock-solid website security services but also offers domain registration.
However, its selection of domain extensions is limited compared to Namecheap’s offerings. Some common TLDs you can get on Cloudflare are:
While you can register popular extensions and some niche options, the variety isn’t as extensive as Namecheap’s.
The verdict: Namecheap 🏅
Because of the sheer volume and variety of its domain extension offerings, Namecheap beats Cloudflare hands down.
Currently, Namecheap offers 539 options for domain extensions . There are many extensions to fit virtually any type of website from non-profit blogs to personal websites to online stores.
In comparison, Cloudflare supports only 348 TLDs , thus making Namecheap the undisputed winner.
Namecheap vs Cloudflare: user interface 🧑💻
Next up in our Namecheap vs Cloudflare comparison, we will assess the user interface specifically when registering a new domain with one or the other company.
Namecheap user interface
Registering a domain with Namecheap is straightforward.
Type in your desired domain name in the search bar and hit Search. You will see your domain name choice and the available TLD extensions alongside it.
In addition, the search results show first-year pricing info and discounts, if any.
After you’ve selected the domain you want, click the green Add to cart button. You will then see a list of additional services you can buy alongside your domain name. These add-ons include website hosting, SSL certificates, Premium DNS, SiteLock, VPN, and more.
Pick any add-on services if you are interested in them, or click the red Checkout button on the bottom right straightaway. A straightforward payment page with your order summary will emerge.
Enter a promo code if you have any, and click Confirm Order to finalize your purchase.
That’s it. 😎
Cloudflare user interface
Registering a domain name on Cloudflare is complex.
To begin with, you can only access the Cloudflare Registrar if you have opened an account.
Once you’ve created an account, you’ll need to go to Domain Registration > Register Domains. Type the domain name you want in the search bar and select Search. The page will display the available domain extensions and their prices.
Select your preferred domain and click Purchase.
After that, fill in your registrant information for your domain’s legal record. The form includes personal info: full name, organization, email, phone number, etc. There are a dozen fields to complete, which is more than necessary.
Here’s a portion of the registrant information form.
Once you’ve filled in your registrant information, move to Payment underneath.
Select your payment method (card or PayPal). Enter your payment information in the form that appears and conclude your purchase by clicking Complete purchase.
Cloudflare designed its user interface focusing on its broader range of services, including CDN and security features. New users only interested in domain registration will have to go through an unnecessarily complicated learning curve.
Verdict: Namecheap 🏅
Namecheap’s registration process is better than Cloudflare’s.
The dashboard is clean, intuitive, and easy to navigate. Registering a domain and buying add-ons is simple. The platform’s simplicity appeals to newcomers and those who want a user-friendly experience with no complications.
On the other hand, Cloudflare’s registration process is too long. Plus, you can’t search for domains straightaway – you need to open an account first. The only benefit of their checkout process is that doesn’t have distracting upsells and add-on pitches like Namecheap.
Namecheap vs Cloudflare: pricing 💸
Pricing is a top consideration when registering a domain. Let’s unpack the pricing info of both registrars in our Namecheap vs Cloudflare guide.
Namecheap is known for its competitive and transparent pricing.
The company often runs promotions for the first year of domain registration, making it an affordable choice for those looking to establish their online presence. While renewal rates are higher, they remain reasonable compared to industry standards.
Here’s a quick run-through of Namecheap’s prices for popular TLDs:
- .com – $9.98 (or $5.98 with discount code) for the first year, $13.98 per year for renewal
- .net – $11.98 for the first year, $13.98 per year upon renewal
- .org – $6.98 for the first year, $12.98 per year upon renewal
- .io – $44.98 for the first year, $48.98 per year upon renewal
- .co – $3.48 for the first year, $26.98 per year upon renewal
- .ai – $79.98 for the first year, $89.98 per year upon renewal
Cloudflare prides itself on selling domains at cost, with no markup fees like the vast majority of other registrars. In fact, one could argue that with very few exceptions, Cloudflare is the only registrar who does this. The known exceptions are companies like Domain Cost Club, which do technically sell domains at cost, but you have to pay them a membership fee – hence the “Club” in their name.
This is not the case with Cloudflare. You only pay what is charged by registries and ICANN. The no-markup rule also applies when renewing your domain. Selling domains at cost makes Cloudflare a truly one-of-a-kind registrar.
Cloudflare doesn’t display its domain prices publicly.
You only get to see a domain’s price after searching for it. Here are the current domain registration prices of common TLDs for the first year:
- .com costs $9.77
- .org costs $10.11
- .net costs $10.10
- .co costs $22.00
- .io costs $45.00
Note that Cloudflare doesn’t offer .ai domains. You’ll need to use Namecheap or another domain registrar if you want this TLD.
Verdict: Cloudflare 🏅
Cloudflare wins in terms of domain registration pricing.
At first glance, Namecheap domains look cheaper than Cloudflare. That’s because Namecheap offers steep discounts on first year registrations.
However, Namecheap’s renewal rates are significantly higher than the discounted renewal price.
For example, you can get a .com for around $6, but the renewal rate is $13.98. In comparison, Cloudflare’s renewal rate for a .com domain is $9.77. Cloudflare outshines Namecheap in renewal rates since the renewal rate is the same as the first year registration price because, as mentioned, they sell domains without adding a markup.
Considering that renewal fees are recurring, you save lots of money with Cloudflare in the long run.
Namecheap vs Cloudflare: additional services 🖱️
Both Namecheap and Cloudflare offer additional services besides domain registration. Let’s take a look at the add-on services of each registrar.
Namecheap additional services
Apart from domain registration, Namecheap provides a range of additional services, including:
- Web hosting (shared, WordPress, reseller, and VPS hosting)
- Email hosting (including email migration and anti-spam protection)]
- Security (SSL certificates, domain privacy, website security, and premium DNS)
- Marketing tools (business formation, social, SEO, reviews, and subscriptions)
These extra services are ideal if you want to centralize your online activities.
Cloudflare additional services
Cloudflare specializes in a broader set of services beyond domain registration.
Its offerings include content delivery networks CDN, DDoS protection, and web security solutions. While these services are valuable for enhancing website performance and security, users might need to look elsewhere for complementary services like web hosting.
Verdict: Namecheap 🏅
Regarding additional services, Namecheap trumps Cloudflare.
Namecheap offers a more comprehensive suite of additional services, from website hosting to email hosting, website security, marketing tools, and more. It’s a versatile platform that can accommodate users with diverse online needs.
While Cloudflare’s add-on services are limited, it’s the better option if you’re already planning to use a separate web host and your goal is boosting website security and performance.
Namecheap vs Cloudflare: customer support ⚙️
Customer support is another essential matter to discuss in our Namecheap vs Cloudflare contrast.
Namecheap customer support
Namecheap is renowned for its responsive customer support.
Users can access assistance through live chat, tickets, and a comprehensive knowledge base. The platform’s commitment to customer satisfaction is evident, making it a reliable choice for those who value efficient support services.
In particular, Namecheap’s live chat support is stellar.
I reached out via chat on a weekend. A support team member joined the chat seconds after I texted. Not only was the service prompt, but the support assistant also answered my domain transfer issue adequately and pointed me to resources that could help me resolve the issue.
Our chat ended abruptly because of a Wi-Fi network issue on my end. Within a few minutes, the support team emailed me a summary of our chat and a further explanation of how to resolve my problem.
Cloudflare customer support
Cloudflare support is available on four channels:
- Live chat
- Community forum
- Help center
The Cloudflare ticket system can be slow for those who are not paid customers. The platform also reserves the best support via live chat for its paid customers.
People on the free plan can only submit tickets for billing, account, and registrar issues. The platform’s automated email response spelled out the policy of prioritizing paid customers regarding support.
So, if you want to get help quickly, you must become a paid customer.
I got help five and a half hours after submitting my billing related ticket. Granted, it was during the weekend, but that’s still substandard.
Verdict: Namecheap 🏅
Namecheap takes the lead in customer support.
The registrar offers multiple channels and quick responses, even for people who haven’t paid for any Namecheap services yet. The support team is courteous, knowledgeable, and professional. Also, they offer live support 24/7, every day, including weekends.
Cloudflare limits customers who are on a free plan to receiving support only through ticket submission. The ticket system can be frustratingly slow – Cloudflare reserves faster support channels for its paying customers.
Note that neither company provides phone support. If you prefer calling a human to talking via text, you’ll need to consider a different registrar.
Namecheap vs Cloudflare: which one should you choose? 🤔
That’s a wrap of our Namecheap vs Cloudflare analysis.
So, which domain registrar is best?
On the whole, Namecheap is the winner. The registrar has a vast selection of domain extensions and many add-ons. Plus, Namecheap has a simple user interface that makes domain registration a breeze.
On the other hand, Cloudflare provides better domain prices, comprehensive security, and high-quality CDNs. If you’re looking for these features, Cloudflare might be the better option.
Do you want ideas on how to find the best domain name? Check out our guide on how to choose a domain name.