|Nexcess standout features|
|Free migration services||Migration included for existing websites|
|Average load time||Approximately 475 ms (milliseconds)|
|Average response||Approximately 275 ms|
|Free email||Every hosting plan includes email with unlimited storage|
|SSL||Free SSL certificate included with every plan|
|Support||24/7 support via phone, email, or live chat|
What Are the Pros and Cons of Nexcess?
Nexcess’s speciality is managed hosting services. What this means is that rather than purchasing or renting an entire server (like you would for “standard” VPS (virtual private server) or dedicated hosting), Nexcess handles the servers for you. All you need to worry about is your instance of the service you’re purchasing, such as WordPress or WooCommerce.
Pros of Nexcess
- Lots of options for hosting: While Nexcess’s flagship products are managed WordPress, WooCommerce, and Magento servers, they also offer several other CMS (content management systems) options, including Drupal, which is particularly popular with web developers.
- LiquidWeb family of brands: Nexcess is part of a group of brands including LiquidWeb, known for their excellent support and dedicated hosting, and StellarWP, who makes premium WordPress plugins.
- Built-in (CDN): Setting up a CDN is usually a secondary process after you get your website put together. Having this built in means you have one less thing to worry about.
- Free white-glove migration services: If you’re moving from an existing hosting provider, Nexcess will help you migrate for free.
Cons of Nexcess
- Higher prices versus competitors: Nexcess is not the cheapest option in the field, starting at $19 per month.
- Domain isn’t included: You will need to purchase your own domain name from a third party and point it to your Nexcess web hosting site.
1. Nexcess control panel
I found the Nexcess control panel well laid out and simple to navigate. It makes it easy to access your websites’ admin panels to add content or change settings.
This is also where you can turn on email and add on some of Nexcess’s more exciting value-added features, including development environments, built-in CDN, and cloud auto scaling.
2. Built-in development environments
For an added charge, Nexcess will let you add a development environment to your WordPress, WooCommerce, or Magento site. For WordPress and WooCommerce hosting, they go one step further and let you add a staging environment as well.
As a web developer and technologist, this really stood out to me; it is often an afterthought for most people when starting up a new website or service.
When developing a web page, having a separate development (or dev) environment is crucial to test your changes to ensure they have the desired effect. This dev environment lets you do that by acting like a private copy of your website. You can publish your content here and then see what it would look like if it were live.
As a small business owner, this adds a touch of professionalism to your work. It allows you to not only have better control of when a change you make goes live, but lets you have the confidence to know that when your changes do go live, they’ll display and behave exactly as you intended.
3. Cloud auto scaling and CDN
Both of these features (cloud auto scaling and Nexcess’ CDN) provide many similar benefits. Most hosting providers use an integration with an external CDN such as CloudFlare, but Nexcess has their own, which automatically turns on when you set up your site. This is a nice touch and a high-value addon.
Additionally, Nexcess offers cloud auto scaling for an additional charge. This will automatically scale up your site on demand, for instance, if you get a sudden influx of traffic. You’re only charged for the time you’re scaled up (billed in 30-minute increments).
These two features can help protect you from sudden traffic spikes and ensure your site is up and available no matter what.
4. Automatic backups included
Backups, for everyone (myself included) are almost always an afterthought. That’s why I was really happy to see that daily backups are included with Nexcess’s plans at no extra charge and automatically activated for your sites. Additionally, if you want to do a manual backup, you can do so at any time.
Your backups are easy to access and restore from and both files, and database are included with each backup.
5. Easy security and access to credentials
I was also pleasantly surprised to find out that Nexcess makes securing your administrative accounts for your sites a no-brainer. Nexcess web hosting automatically generates cryptographically secure passwords for your admin accounts, and then doubles down on security by automatically changing them for you over time.
You can view your logins from the control panel, and after a certain number of views, you’ll need to regenerate the password. Between this and the automatic roll over, this is one of the most secure ways I’ve ever seen when it comes to handling admin credentials for a web service.
Last but not least, SSL certificates for free, automatically, with Let’s Encrypt. Using an SSL certificate ensures that people accessing your site have their traffic secured and, for e-commerce sites, that they can buy with confidence knowing that their credentials or information aren’t being stolen by a third party along the way.
What Are Some Good Alternatives to Nexcess?
When selecting alternatives to Nexcess, I only considered hosting providers that offered the same kind of services: managed application hosting, specifically focusing on WordPress, WooCommerce, and/or Magento (which are Nexcess’s flagship products).
A lot of these services offer a deep first-time discount, which makes the comparison less fair in my opinion. The prices below reflect these providers’ true costs rather than an introductory price.
When compiling this list, I was surprised that I couldn’t find many well-reviewed managed Magento hosting providers. If you are interested in Magento hosting, Nexcess is a great option, or you could look for more traditional VPS or shared hosting and install it yourself.
Here’s how Nexcess compares to other major hosting companies that we at Digital.com recommend:
Frequently Asked Questions About Nexcess
Who owns Nexcess?
What kind of support does Nexcess offer?
Where are the Nexcess servers located?
Nexcess has 10 data centers located all across the world:
- Southfield, MI, US
- Dearborn, MI, US
- San Jose CA, US
- Miami FL, US
- Surrey, UK
- West Sussex, UK
- West Amsterdam, Netherlands
- Sydney, Australia
What are the best alternatives to Nexcess?
How I Rated Nexcess
When reviewing a managed service company, the major portion of their rating or performance comes not from the service they’re offering directly, but how that service is elevated. There’s no reason you couldn’t run your own Magento, WooCommerce, or WordPress server on your own, so the question to answer is, “What is Nexcess bringing to the table?”
For that reason, I gave additional weight and attention to Nexcess’s control panel and other support services that help you do your job quicker and easier.
It was quick and easy to get to my site, set it up, and change any settings I needed along the way, and I was pleasantly surprised to see Nexcess’s solution for sharing administrative credentials.
Considering all of these factors, it was easy to give Nexcess an excellent rating in every category.