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Nexcess review: managed services for worry-free hosting


In this Nexcess review, I’ll scrutinize the provider – focusing especially on pricing, performance, ease of use, security, and support. The good, the bad, and the ugly, you’ll find them all here.

Nexcess isn’t your typical hosting provider. Outrageous claims about being the cheapest/fastest/easiest host in town and flashy ads just aren’t its style.

Instead, it cruises under the radar and quietly specializes in managed hosting services of the most popular content management systems like WordPress, WooCommerce, and Magento hosting. Powerful and reliable services at that, which is no surprise as Nexcess belongs to the Liquid Web (high-quality hosting provider) family.

Despite its low profile, the provider is seemingly not lacking in charm and staying power. After all, it has been operating for 22 years, which is a feat in this cutthroat industry. And, the thousands of Nexcess reviews from its users sound very promising.

So, I’m going to find out, once and for all, if this dark horse is an easy pass or a gem well worth your time. Let’s dive in.

⭐️Rating:
3.8
💲Price:Prices start at 9.50/mo
▶️Uptime:99.99%
🏘Hosting type:Managed WordPress, WooCommerce, Magento, and cloud hosting
🌎Server locations:US, Europe, and Australia
👨‍💻Support:24/7 live chat and phone support in the Americas, the UK, and Australia
🔥Coupons: Nexcess coupon 50% OFF

Pros and Cons of Nexcess

Nexcess pricing & plans

Nexcess pricing is on the higher side, with its flagship managed WordPress hosting plans ranging from $9.50/mo to $366.00/mo. Beyond that, the host also offers other hosting services such as Magento, WooCommerce, and cloud solutions.

Hosting typeBest for
Managed WordPress hosting
Small-to-enterprise-level WordPress websites
Managed WooCommerce hosting
Small-to-large WordPress online stores
Managed Magento hosting
Small-to-large online stores
Flexible cloud hostingWebsites or projects of a large scale

For this review, I will be focusing on Nexcess managed WordPress hosting, as it’s one of the most popular solutions.

There are 6 managed Nexcess WordPress hosting plans, which are run on a cloud infrastructure.

All pricing plans come with free SSL, unlimited email accounts, WordPress core and plugin updates, daily offsite backups, 1-click staging, caching, Content Delivery Network (CDN), and iThemes Security Pro.

While there are many similarities, the main differences lie in the amount of resources included:

PlanFeaturesPrice
Spark can host 1 site and includes 15GB storage and 2TB bandwidth.$9.50/mo
Makercan host 5 sites and includes 40GB storage and 3TB bandwidth.$52.67/mo
Designercan host 10 sites and includes 60GB storage and 4TB bandwidth.$72.67/mo
Buildercan host 25 sites and includes 100GB storage and 5TB bandwidth.$99.33/mo
Producer can host 50 sites and includes 300GB storage and 5TB bandwidth.$199.33/mo
Executive can host 100 sites and includes 500GB storage and 10TB bandwidth.$366.00/mo

Clearly, Nexcess selection of plans is skewed more towards professional users like developers, agencies, online stores, and enterprises. However, I must admit, I would prefer to see more storage within each plan.

Now I must note that the prices you see above are for an annual billing cycle. The host also offers monthly billing with fairly similar pricing. However, what Nexcess means by monthly billing is that you get 4 months to enjoy the discounted pricing before the plan renews at much higher rates.

Best Value

If you’re simply looking to create a single website, the Spark plan is more than enough. By clicking our link, you’ll automatically get 50% off of its annual price. The total for the first year will round up to $114 .

In case you happen to change your mind, you’d be glad to know that Nexcess has a 30-day money-back guarantee. By canceling your services within this time, you are eligible for a full refund.

Lastly, Nexcess deserves credit for remaining upsell-free, too. Unlike many providers in the market, there are no automatic additions to your shopping cart. Instead, all that is in your cart is what you add to it yourself.

Overall, Nexcess pricing is on a more premium side. However, considering that the host offers enterprise-level fully managed services hosted on cloud infrastructure, the prices are pretty reasonable.

Hosting management – is Nexcess easy to use?

When it comes to ease of use, Nexcess is pretty straightforward. The host comes forward with its own native user interface, which also serves as the website management panel.

The user interface is very intuitive and well structured. Beginners and experienced webmasters alike will have no trouble navigating between the account and hosting management.

This is what the main Nexcess dashboard screen looks like:

Nexcess-main-user-interface

From the Home screen, you can:

  • Manage your billing.
  • Access your website’s management vis “Plans”.
  • Access DNS to connect domain names.
  • Reach support for assistance.
  • Find knowledge base articles, which are right smack in the center.

The dashboard – or Client Portal, as Nexcess calls it – isn’t exactly the sleekest candidate in the market, especially compared to other modern interfaces. But, it’s straightforward and does not require any extensive skills.

Nexcess control panel

Nexcess control panel is basically an extension of the provider’s Client Portal that we talked about earlier. The only difference is that this is where you can find more advanced functionalities for your website’s management. You can access the panel by clicking on “Plans” in the left side menu on the Home screen.

Just like the user interface, it’s very intuitive and user-friendly. Here you’ll find a pre-installed content management system (CMS) of your choice and all the necessary tools to manage it.

Here’s what the control panel looks like:

Nexcess-control-panel

It’s a little packed but still very easy to navigate. In any case, all the necessary tools that you need for hosting are neatly organized and categorized on the left-side menu.

Here are some of the highlights of what you’ll need the control panel for:

  • Performance metrics – found under “Performance”. Here you can track your storage and bandwidth usage, as well as clear your cache and manage your CDN.
  • Domain – “Domain Options” is where you can configure domain settings easily. This includes things like creating pointer domains and modifying the master domain.
  • SSL – this is where you go for all things SSL-related. For instance, check your SSL’s status and manage which domain it is installed on.
  • Email management – for this, you’ll need to head to “Email”. Here you’ll be able to create and manage email boxes as well as email aliases.
  • Staging and development environments – you can find both under “Environment”. This is essentially a sandbox where you can develop, test, and experiment with things like themes, plugins, layouts, and more, without affecting your live site. Once satisfied, you can easily push the staging site live with just one click.
  • Backups – this is where you can manually create a backup as well as manage, restore, and download both automatic and on-demand backups of your live, developer, and staging sites.

To sum it up, Nexcess is very intuitive to use. It comes with a native dashboard/control panel that is both user-friendly and functional.

Performance – is Nexcess fast?

Continuing with its winning streak so far, Nexcess nailed it performance-wise, too. The provider is both very reliable and fast. Plus, its servers seamlessly handled intense traffic without flinching.

Let’s examine Nexcess performance results more closely.

Nexcess uptime and response time

The first test is to check the host’s reliability and server response time.

For that, I monitored Nexcess for over 2 months. In this time, the provider had 5 outages or 9 minutes of downtime. This together has resulted in a near-perfect uptime of 99.99%.

While the provider does issue an official 100% uptime guarantee, this does not cover unforeseen circumstances or mandatory server maintenance. So 99.99% uptime is a very good result.

Nexcess-uptime-and-response-time-monitoring

Additionally, Nexcess did quite well for its average response time, too. The response times initially lingered around the very speedy 300ms mark but climbed up to over 1s during one of the outages before improving.

Nevertheless, it averaged out at 479ms, which is a very good result that falls right under the market’s average of 600ms.

Overall, Nexcess reliability is undeniable with its near-perfect uptime and a very speedy response time.

Nexcess website speed

Next up for this review of Nexcess hosting, I also tested the provider’s load times for an empty site and a fully-built one.

Before we get to the nitty-gritty, there are 2 important metrics to know:

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) – this is the time it takes to load the largest chunk of content on the page. Google takes this measure into account when ranking sites on its search result page. For best results, keep the time under 2.5 seconds.
  • Fully loaded time – the time it takes to fully load all elements on the site. For the best user experience and minimal bounce rates, aim for a time under 3 seconds.

With the above in mind, I tested an empty WordPress site from 3 different locations first: San Antonio (USA), London (United Kingdom), and Mumbai (India).

Since the site is hosted in the US, it’s no surprise the LCP here is the lowest – just 705ms. While other locations did have slightly increased LCPs, neither have surpassed the undesired mark of 2.5s.

Nexcess-empty-website-loading-time

Now, if you cater to international audiences, you might want to reduce the latency by opting for a server location that is closest to your audience. For that, Nexcess has 8 data centers in the US, Europe, and Australia.

Next, I tested on a fully-built WordPress site, and this time the LCP was just as speedy – just 846ms. This leaves a massive wiggle space until you hit that Google set sealing of 2.5 seconds.

Nexcess-fully-built-wordpress-website-load-time

Since this is a fully built site we’re talking about, fully loaded time is another measure to look at. And just like LCP, it did not disappoint. Nexcess demonstrated a very speedy fully loaded time of just 954ms.

In short, Nexcess website speed gets two thumbs up from me. It loads quickly, and the provider has data centers around the world to cater to your needs.

Nexcess stress testing

The last test for this Nexcess review is to see how well the provider can handle traffic surges on the site.

The ideal result here would be for the blue line (speed) to remain as stable and as flat as possible even while the gray line (number of visitors) goes up. The red line (failures) should also be non-existent.

To start the ball rolling, I sent 50 virtual users to my site. Now, that doesn’t sound like much but 50VUs every minute each day would equal around 50,000 monthly visitors. It’s a massive load on the server that could significantly slow it down or overwhelm it completely.

But, Nexcess handled the full 50VUs like a champ.

Nexcess-stress-test-50-vus

Its speed (blue line) remained constant and extremely stable. Plus, there were no signs of failures (red line). This suggests that the hosts could withstand even more intense traffic with no problem whatsoever.

Overall, you can be assured that Nexcess will easily support big spikes in traffic.

All things considered, Nexcess demonstrated incredible performance on all fronts. It has excellent uptime, average response time, and loading time. Plus, it handled intense traffic without breaking a sweat.

Security – is Nexcess secure?

When it comes to security, Nexcess takes it very seriously. It covers all the necessary basic features and doesn’t skimp on the more advanced ones, either.

Here’s what you can expect:

  • SSL certificates – this tool encrypts data from and to your server this way creating a secure data transmission between your site and the user. All Nexcess plans include a free SSL certificate, which you can enable with a click on the control panel. The host also offers paid upgrades like EV and Wildcard SSL certificates.
  • Backups – All plans come with automated daily backups, which are stored on off-site servers for up to 30 days. You can also manually create a backup of your live or staging sites whenever you see fit.
  • iThemes Security Pro plugin – a security suite included in all plans, the plugin offers various security features like two-factor authentication, passwordless login, reCAPTCHA, and geolocation.
  • Malware Monitoring – Nexcess claims that running malware scans and constantly monitoring your site’s wellbeing is its standard practice. Alas, that’s an internal measure that you can’t see in action or have control over. So, you’ll just have to take the provider’s word for it.
  • Other security features – basic measures such as automatic updates for WordPress core and plugins are also included as a part of fully-managed services.

All in all, Nexcess security is pretty robust, as you’d expect from a managed provider at this price point. However, due to missing measures like DDoS protection and Web Application Firewalls (WAF), it fails to land a place among the most secure hosting solutions.

Customer support – will Nexcess support help me?

Nexcess customer service representatives are available 24/7 via live chat. If you’re in the Americas, Australia, or the UK, the Nexcess support team is also always available via phone calls. Additionally, the provider has a massive knowledge base covering a myriad of hosting-related topics.

Live chat is Nexcess main support channel, and it’s also the option that I tried multiple times for this Nexcess review. Generally speaking, the agents were quick to join the chats within seconds to offer assistance and were very friendly.

Even better, the agents appeared to be well-trained and knowledgeable when it comes to hosting and WordPress. I had an issue with logging in into my WordPress admin panel.

Nexcess-customer-support-chat-via-live-chat

In minutes the agent has determined it to be a DNS issue and has offered to fix it for me. The conversation took no more than 10 minutes, and my problem was gone.

However, if you prefer a more hands-on approach, you want to head straight for its broad knowledge base. This is where you’ll find hundreds of articles covering all-things hosting. Whether you need help getting started, have trouble with Nexcess login, or even writing a Nexcess SSL review, there’s an article in there for you.

Moreover, the articles are very detailed, well-written, and strategically structured. There are no jargons or complex terms to complicate things – making them a good starting point for beginners, too.

Overall, Nexcess support deserves an A+ with its fast and accessible service, efficient agents, and helpful knowledge base.

Nexcess review – the final verdict

As a whole, this Nexcess hosting review proved that the provider is very much experienced in what it does. While the price is not the lowest, you do get fully managed services, great performance, and many tools for a simplistic hosting experience.

Feature
3.8
Premium managed hosting solution
Pricing
Nexcess is slightly more premium, with its cheapest managed WordPress plan starting at $9.50/mo.
Ease of use
The provider’s native user interface/ control panel is straightforward, functional, and very easy to use.
Performance
Nexcess is very reliable with a 99.99% uptime, extremely fast, and has no trouble handling intense traffic.
Security
Nexcess includes plenty of basic and premium features like an SSL, automated backups, iThemes Security Pro plugin, and malware scans.
Support
Nexcess delivers swift and knowledgeable customer support 24/7 via live chat. If you reside in the Americas, the UK, or Australia, you can also contact it by phone.

Who do I recommend Nexcess to?

All in all, Nexcess is a very good option for those looking to run a WordPress site worry-free. For a reasonable price, you get to enjoy a managed service, ease of use, and very impressive performance.

Alternatives to Nexcess

While Nexcess deserves to have a spotlight on it, the host might not be the best option for you or your project. Or it could be too costly for your current budget. In that case, there are a number of good managed WordPress hosting solutions. Here are 3 close Nexcess alternatives: Hostinger, SiteGround, and WP Engine.

Hostinger

Hostinger is an affordable Nexcess counterpart. Its managed WordPress plans start from just $1.99/mo and are packed with quite a fair bit of resources and tools.

Beyond that, the provider also doesn’t hold back on its WordPress-related offerings. Instead, the plans are jammed with perks like LiteSpeed Web Server and cache plugin, Jetpack plugin, WP-CLI, and more.

SiteGround

A must-mention hosting provider, SiteGround comes forward with WordPress-oriented plans starting at $2.99/mo.

The provider has many charms. For starters, it’s popular for its ease of use and generous management tools – both basic and advanced. This includes a custom control panel. staging environment, collaboration tools, custom PHP setup, and more.

WP Engine

WP Engine is a premium managed WordPress hosting solution with prices that start at $22.50/mo.

Catering to professional users, businesses, and agencies, WP Engine loads its plans with plenty of tools to optimize WordPress. This includes local development tools, WordPress caching, transferable sites, and more.

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