Hosting companies keep popping up every now and then. There are hundreds of web hosting companies all across the world. Finding the right one can be daunting. That is why you need a helping hand.
At Cloudzat we keep reviewing different web hosting companies to find out whether they are worth your money and time or not. In our many reviews so far, we have come across a few notable ones that include:
At Cloudzat, we recommend all of the aforementioned web hosting providers. They are all stellar. But today, we are going to learn about yet another one – NameHero. This company offers unmanaged shared hosting and managed cloud VPS and cloud dedicated hosting. However, when you go through their server their shared hosting is presented as cloud but in actual sense, it’s just cloud-powered shared hosting.
In this review we will examine if they’re good as they claim to be. You know what? I can claim that I am the best reviewer you can find. But is that really true? That’s my claim. Others may disagree.
Thus, just because NameHero says it is the best in industry doesn’t make it the best. Self-proclaimed superiority doesn’t work in this industry. People need to test and validate a claim. That is precisely what I will be doing here today.
So, without further ado, let us begin.
The Verdict – AVOID THIS HOSTING PROVIDER
They lie. They have THREE BIG LIES on their website.
- They are NOT CLOUD SHARED HOSTING. They merely use CloudLinux for account isolation. That’s all! They DO NOT GIVE YOU CLOUD FEATURES.
- They DO NOT give SCALABILITY. Scalability for them simply means – UPGRADE.
- They LIE about the PRICING (check the cons segment for clarification).
When I confronted them about their wrong pricing, they closed the support chat and never allowed me to save the chat.
Despite the fact that they do give high speed hosting, I WILL NEVER RECOMMEND them. NameHero is a LIAR. They will lie about three crucial things, especially the price. They will overcharge you during renewal. If you want to save yourself from unnecessary trouble, AVOID NameHero, go for Rocket.net instead
NameHero Shared Hosting Plans and Pricing
NameHero offers four Shared Hosting Plans that include:
- Starter Cloud starting at $2.86 a month for a three-year plan.
- Plus Cloud starting at $5.18 a month for a three-year plan.
- Turbo Cloud starting at $7.98 a month for a three-year plan.
- Business Cloud starting at $11.98 a month for a three-year plan.
Two things to note here:
- The lowest price is offered only when you commit for a minimum of three years. That is, you pay for three years in advance. This is the same old trickery of all shared hosting providers.
- They have the word ‘Cloud’ mentioned in each plan. That’s not really cloud hosting.
One of the foremost rules of true cloud hosting is the ability to scale instantly whenever there is a traffic spike. If this feature is missing, you cannot call it a cloud hosting.
So, what does this ‘Cloud’ refer to?
Let us find out!
The Truth about NameHero’s Cloud Based Shared Hosting
NameHero is not going to give you the power of cloud for its shared hosting. Forget that! It is the same old shared hosting where thousands of websites are crammed in a single metal server.
However, there is a twist. Of course, there is a reason for calling it cloud based shared hosting. All of NameHero’s shared hosting servers use CloudLinux which allows virtualization technology.
CloudLinux is just plain old Linux with kernel modifications that allows server administrators to give each website account an isolated hosting environment in a virtual setting within the same server (very similar to VPS). This virtual environment allows the server administrator to assign a finite amount of server resources including RAM and CPU cores.
In a server using plain old Linux, there is no such virtual environment. All websites sit next to each other in separate folders. All resources are available to each website. At times, a website of a shared server can pull more resources because of any reason such as traffic spike, DDoS attacks, or even poorly written scripts.
When that happens, the culprit website uses more resources, leaving other sites on that server with very less resources, thereby slowing them down, or in the worst case, rendering them inaccessible.
It becomes very difficult for server admins to isolate the culprit website, and until it is identified, and issues resolved, the other websites on the server keep suffering. With CloudLinux, the story changes.
User on a CloudLinux-powered gets an isolated environment with a predefined finite number of resources. If any website starts using more resources, the maximum it can use is the amount allocated to that particular isolated environment. Other users will remain unaffected.
So, any website can use up all resources allocated to it. At that point, the website becomes inaccessible. But the other websites keep functioning as usual. When the affected website fixes the issue, the resources in use will be released and the website will become accessible again.
Thus, what NameHero means by Cloud powered shared hosting is that you just get an isolated environment, but you are still on a shared server with a server, as a whole, still having a finite number of resources distributed among different user accounts.
Thus, autoscaling is never possible!
Features of NameHero Shared Hosting
Okay, now that you know the truth of NameHero’s cloud based shared hosting, it is time you take a look at the features that the company has to offer. Here is what you can expect to get from them:
Storage: Among the various features that the company has to offer, you will get SSD storage for the two lowest-tier plans that include Starter Cloud and Plus Cloud. In case you select Turbo Cloud or Business Cloud, you will be entitled to get NVMe storage.
In all four plans, they do not put any restriction on the amount of storage space you can use.
Free domain: You get a free domain only and only with the Turbo and Business plans.
Freebies: SSL, website migration and LiteSpeed server are included in all plans without additional costs.
Extras of Turbo and Business Plans: The Turbo plan will give you a few extras that include free Premium SSL for eCommerce, free enhanced WordPress security, and LiteSpeed server with speed boost. The Business plan will give you free email filtering that is not available with the Turbo plan.
Number of websites allowed: Both Turbo and Business plans will allow you to host unlimited number of websites. For Starter and Plus plans you can host only 1 and 7 websites respectively.
CDN: Free web mail is available for all plans, and you get free Cloudflare CDN for all plans. However, Cloudflare is never a big steal because you can get it for free directly from Cloudflare. Thus, I do not see a reason why the company should be advertising this feature in the first place. Had they offered Cloudflare Business or Cloudflare Enterprise for free, the story would have been different.
Backups and PHP version: Nightly and weekly backups are available across all plans, and you get to select from multiple available PHP versions.
cPanel and Softaculous: All plans will come with cPanel for website and server management. Of course, the company throws in Softaculous in the cPanel that allows for quick installation of WordPress with a few clicks (even though it is advertised as one-click installation by almost every shared hosting company that you will come across.
Unlimited stuff: All plans will allow you to create unlimited email accounts, unlimited FTP accounts, and unlimited databases. There is no limit on the amount of bandwidth you can use per month.
SSH access: In case you need SSH access, they have that too, but it is jailed. It simply means that you will not have full root access. You can access only and only your account. Well, that makes sense, because you will be on a shared server and no other site owner with an account on that server will like you to have complete root access, and hence, complete access to their sites.
That’s pretty much everything you should be expecting out of shared hosting plans offered by NameHero. In case you are thinking that you will get managed services, well, the server is managed by their technicians. You don’t get any root-level access. What they will not do for you is upgrading your WordPress installation or upgrading and updating your plugins, because it is not a true managed hosting service.
If you don’t want such managed service providers, and you want to stick with NameHero, they have fully managed VPS and dedicated servers, but they are going to cost you a fortune.
Watch out for Three Lies!
There are a couple of lies that the company will tell you. In fact, I won’t say that they are complete lies, but in reality, they are misleading.
First, they are not a cloud hosting provider. You will get shared hosting with virtual isolated containers. That’s it!
Second, proudly say, and I quote – “Supreme Reliability that scales.” Don’t be fooled. Scalability in this case simply means upgrading to a new plan. Autoscaling is a feature wherein more resources are allocated to your website on the fly in case of increased traffic. Those resources are then released when the traffic spike drops. Of course, such autoscaling costs money, but they hosting provider offering autoscaling will ensure that your website always remains available!
Autoscaling is a feature in true cloud hosting and several managed WordPress hosting. You will not get autoscaling for a shared host until they explicitly say that in their feature list.
What’s the third? Read on! Psst… you can find it in the Cons segment!
NameHero Ease of Use
This is the first moment of truth. If you are not comfortable using a hosting provider’s management area, you should avoid it.
The good thing about NameHero is that their account management area is quite simple and intuitive. Of course, there is a small hiccup, but that should never be a concern.
When you purchase a plan and create an account that looks like this:
You will see the number of hosting plans you have with them. It is highlighted using the red box. The blacked area is where you will get to see all your details like billing address, company name and so on.
You get quick access to support and billing from the menu on the left.
If you want to know the details of your plan you must click on the “My Cloud” option that you see in the middle of the dashboard (highlighted with red box).
Clicking on it will show you the list of products you have. This is what it looks like:
You can see the list of all products there. Corresponding to the product(s), you will see a horizontal ellipsis menu. Clicking on it will give a drop down with two options – View Details and Upgrade/Downgrade.
You can click on View Details to get access to everything about your hosting package that includes things like cPanel access, webmail access, nameserver details, server IP and so on. This is what it looks like:
Of course, I have hidden a few details because they belong to a live server. I don’t want someone to hack it!
To access cPanel, just click on the Login to cPanel link you will see on the left. It will take you directly to the cPanel where you can get all the tools you need to manage your server and your website.
The cPanel has nothing new in it. It looks just like any other hosting cPanel you might have come across. Of course, the color theme will be different and the arrangement will be slightly different. Here is what the cPanel provided by NameHero looks like:
You need to scroll up and down to find whatever you need. Softaculous for one-click WordPress installation can be found towards the bottom. You can happily install WordPress using Softaculous with minimal effort.
I am not going to walk you through the installation process because that is too simple and of course, I have done that before for other hosting services. So, I will skip that part with the assumption that you are smart enough to figure it out. Just make sure that you are selecting the plugin/theme set by NameHero during installation. It will install three plugins that include LiteSpeed cache, Wordfence, and Really Simple SSL.
This is the second moment of truth. They are offering SSD (or NVMe) storage with LightSpeed server. So, the basic expectation is that the website will be really fast. This review is for their Turbo plan which uses NVMe storage, which is faster and better than SSD. So, I will expect to see a really fast website with very low server response time.
Let’s find out!
Once the installation is complete, you can follow the admin URL you see. This is how it looks like:
Once you click on the admin URL, you will be taken straight to the WordPress dashboard where you will be greeted with Really Simple SSL that will ask you to activate SSL. This is what it looks like:
Click on the Activate SSL button to install SSL.
Of course, what you will be using is the free version of the plugin. There will be some features that you can activate only when you get the pro version of Really Simple SSL. For example, you must use the pro version if you want to enable security headers. The security headers include things like:
- Certificate Transparency
- No Referrer When Downgrade header
- Content Security Policy
- Upgrade Insecure requests
It is a good idea to implement all of them to keep your website safe from online threats. In case you think that you will implement them by yourself, you should know how to do that and what to do.
In case you are purchasing the pro version of Really Simple SSL, I will not recommend implementing security headers unless you have performed the following actions:
- Installed and localized Google Analytics.
- You have implemented ads (if you intend to earn through ad revenue).
- You have localized Google fonts (if you are using them).
- You have implemented prefetch.
All these are necessary for content security policy. Usually, if I prefer to leave out the content security policy because implementing it requires knowing every aspect of your WordPress installation like the back of your hand. If you don’t know everything about your WordPress installation, it is wise to leave out content security policy.
You will also see LiteSpeed Cache installed. You need to configure it properly. It is quite complex but highly advanced. So, I will recommend that you go through the configuration steps I have put together.
Since LiteSpeed Cache configuration takes quite some time and it not a wise idea to configure it before implementing CDN, Google Analytics, etc., I will go ahead and test the website speed without completely configuring LS Cache. I will use the default settings.
Website Speed Test
Test with Google PageSpeed Insights
Of course, since the site does not have any content and there is no Google Analytics and ads running, the speed should range between 90 and 100 for both mobile and desktop tests on Google PageSpeed Insights.
This is what I found for mobile:
This is what I found for desktop:
That’s the best you can get for any website. Afterall, on the scale of 0 to 100, the maximum you can score is 100.
This will, however, change when you add content and rich media as well as ad scripts and analytics script. You can still manage to score a perfect 100 if you can configure LiteSpeed Cache properly, use a proper CDN and use image optimization.
However, what I needed to check was the initial server response time. This is what I found for mobile:
And this is what I found for desktop:
You can reduce this even further if you have a proper CDN that can serve your site from servers close to your visitors. I will always recommend Cloudflare for this. They have the largest network of CDN servers in the world. They also provide caching and even DDoS protection for free.
Also, it is easy to set up Cloudflare with LiteSpeed Cache.
Overall, the performance of NameHero is stunning and beyond expectation. I will repeat again – when you start adding content and add a lot of scripts, make sure that you are optimizing your site properly. You can still score a perfect 100 for both mobile and desktop.
Even though many people say that aiming for a perfect 100 is stupidity, the truth is that you can get it and then, why not aim for it?
Test with GTmetrix
I wasn’t expecting anything bad with GTmetrix results and I was right. Here is what I found:
That’s incredible, especially when you look at the TTFB (time to first byte) which represents the server response time. Scrolling down a bit on the GTmetrix test result page shows this:
TTFB stands at 188 ms, which pretty much in conformation with what I noted for Google PageSpeed Insights test.
Note that the test server used in GTmetrix is located in Canada and weirdly enough, NameHero does not have servers in Canada. Also, I did not implement proper caching rules and there is no CDN implementation.
This clearly tells that NVMe storage with LiteSpeed server does wonders when it comes to speed.
Of course, the site does not have any security headers and it doesn’t use CDN for now. You can see all those in test using WebPageTest website.
Test with WebPageTest
This is what I can see in WebPageTest test results:
Notice how the score for security stands at F. That happens because there are no security headers.
Also, image compression shows N/A because there are no images on the site. Finally, the ‘Effective use of CDN’ option shows X because there is no CDN.
Overall, I was left amazed by NameHero’s server performance.
Pros and Cons of NameHero
There are some obvious strengths and weakness of this hosting provider. You can learn about those in the quick lists here. Read on!
- LightSpeed server and LS Cache – that’s a brilliant combination that you will usually not get with other shared hosting providers.
- NVMe storage with a couple of hosting packages that make your website fly! Of course, SSD is available for low-end plans, and they can also help you get ultra-fast speed with proper implementation of caching, CDN and other optimization techniques.
- The user interface is clean and simple.
- The accounts are isolated in individual virtual containers, keeping them safe from malicious activities of neighboring accounts.
- No free domain for low-end plans.
- Low cost only for long term plans.
- Very deceptive pricing. THEY ARE FOOLING PEOPLE!
Let me explain!
THE MONTHLY PRICE OF THE TURBO CLOUD IS GIVEN AS $11.98 DOLLARS PER MONTH IF YOU GO FOR MONTHLY BILLING CYCLE.
They will not mention anything about setup fee that will cost 3.58 USD extra.
Moreover when the renewal comes they will charge $29.95 per month instead of $11.98, which is the price the quote without discounts.
Here, take a look:
See it clearly!
They say that the monthly cost for the Turbo Cloud will be 11.98 USD with no discounts if you go for a monthly billing cycle.
However, when you go ahead with the purchase, you will see this:
Nowhere in their actual billing page will they ever say that the monthly price (and the renewal price) is 29.95 USD.
That is deceitful at its best.
When I confronted their sales team and said that this deceitful pricing policy and this lack of transparency will all go down in my review and that I will communicate the whole thing with other major review sites and that I will report them to Better Business Bureau, they closed the chat on my face, not allowing me to even save the chat.
But before they closed the chat, they kept insisting that I must have seen that price of 11.98 USD after I reached their website through some affiliate link. When I said that I manually typed in their URL and went to their pricing page, they said that I was lying and that I went through an affiliate link.
In reality, what I went through was just a Cloudflare wall to prevent spam and DDoS attacks. There was no affiliate link, no promo code applied. The pricing of 11.98 USD per month for Turbo Cloud is listed on their website. Discounts for long term plans are mentioned separately.
Their hosting servers may be extremely good. You may get great speed for your site. But all that is overshadowed by their lies. If they can lie about their pricing, and that too, by putting clear pricing charts, they can always keep charging you extra for things you will never even imagine.
Be careful! Speed is crucial, but the headache that you will take by falling in their deceits is not worth the speed you are looking for. You want speed? Go for options like SiteGround, Rocket.net and Bluehost. They have transparent pricing and they DO NOT LIE.