Nexcess Review: Is It The Right Hosting Provider For You?

By Jeff Cobb.  Last Updated on February 4, 2024

Nexcess is a managed hosting services provider that has been on the market for over two decades.

Due to its recent merging with Liquid Web, the company has become even more popular as it now offers managed hosting for WordPress, WooCommerce, and Magento.

The platform boasts reliable server infrastructure, good support, and some pretty interesting and unique features that make running a WordPress-based business convenient.

Right now, there are over 500K websites, blogs, and online stores hosted on Nexcess, and if you’re considering using this popular solution to host your site, then read on. We’ll take a closer look at the hosting provider’s features, including ease of use, performance, security, support, and pricing.

What is Nexcess?

Nexcess is a well-established hosting company that offers managed hosting services. This means that rather than renting or purchasing an entire server, as you would for dedicated hosting or VPS (virtual private server) hosting, Nexcess handles the servers for you.

Your only concern is the service you are going to use to build your website, and the platform specializes in quite a few of them, including tailored plans for WordPress, WooCommerce, Magento, Drupal, Craft CMS, and Expression Engine.

Each of these apps is supported with tools to simplify the website management process, such as caching tools, built-in image compression, and a content delivery network (CDN).

Nexcess also provides automatic updates and round-the-clock monitoring to maintain your website’s security and performance.

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Is Nexcess Worth The Investment?

Nexcess is a worthy investment for anyone who wants multiple options for hosting their website. It’s part of the LiquidWeb group of brands which is known for dedicated hosting (LiquidWeb), and premium WordPress plugins (StellarWP).

Nexcess condenses LiquidWeb’s vast hosting brand to a much simpler and more accessible selection of web hosting packages with a focus on WordPress and eCommerce. This makes it much easier for you to choose the right solution to help you build a reliable, secure, and fast website.

The company has been operating for over two decades in the fiercely competitive hosting industry. It has managed to not only survive, but thrive over the years, and its staying power can be attributed to a few key factors.

These include its impressive feature list, world-class support, and perks like free white glove migration services and a curated plugin set designed to help you scale your business easily.

Who is Nexcess Good For?

Whether you are just starting out with web hosting or you’re an experienced developer, whether you’re an individual or a large organization, you’ll find something to suit your needs.

Nexcess offers the following hosting types:

  • Managed WordPress: Best for small-to-enterprise-level WordPress sites
  • WooCommerce: Best for small-to-large WordPress online stores
  • Magento: Best for small-to-large online stores
  • Cloud Hosting: Best for websites or projects of a large scale

These are the flagship products of Nexcess, and the platform also offers several other content management system options, including Drupal which is very popular with web developers.

Although the selection of plans on Nexcess is skewed more toward professional users like online stores, agencies, and developers, this managed hosting provider has plenty of options for all types of users.

It’s ideal for anyone who wants to:

  • Build a website or online storefront without having to manage servers;
  • Have access to premium performance features;
  • Leverage powerful cloud hosting optimized for growth; and
  • Never have to worry about possible traffic spikes when managing a site on the rise.
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Nexcess Features and Functionality

1. Hosting Management – Is Nexcess Easy to Use? 

By its very nature, managed hosting is designed to simplify things for website owners by taking care of everything traditionally associated with managing the server, including performance, speed, security, and backups.

But users still have to access their websites and tools via the hosting provider’s interface. Fortunately, when it comes to hosting management, Nexcess has a minimal learning curve.

The native user interface on the platform is well-structured and pretty straightforward to navigate. It serves as the website management panel and offers a simple and intuitive experience ideal for novices and experienced webmasters alike.

No tech knowledge is required and you can easily move between your Nexcess account and hosting management.

Here’s what the home screen on the Nexcess dashboard (client portal) looks like:

Client portal dashboard of Nexcess with Home
Blog Posts

There isn’t much to see until you get your site going. But you can still perform the following tasks from there:

  • Access your site’s management via the “Plans” tab
  • Manage your billing
  • Connect domain names in the DNS tab
  • Contact support
  • Browse through knowledge-based articles

On the Nexcess control panel, you’ll find advanced features for your website management. This is an extension of the platform’s client portal which you can access by clicking “Plans”.

Like the user interface, the control panel is intuitive and user-friendly. Your chosen CMS is pre-installed here and you’ll find all the tools you need to manage it neatly organized for your convenience.

Here’s what the control panel looks like:

Control Panel for Nexcess with 
Disk Space 
Performance Monitoring Content Delivery Network
Cloud Accelerator

You can use the control panel for:

  • Performance Metrics: Track your storage and bandwidth usage, manage your CDN, and clear your cache.
  • Domain: Easily configure domain settings (e.g. creating pointer domains or modifying master domain).
  • SSL: Check your SSL certificate’s status and manage the domain on which it’s installed.
  • Email Management: Create email boxes and manage email aliases easily from one place.
  • Staging and Development Environments: Develop, test, and experiment with things like themes, plugins, and layouts in the sandbox without affecting your live site.
  • Backups: Manually create backups of your live, developer, or staging sites. You can also manage, restore, and download backups (both automatic and on-demand).
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2. Performance and Speed: Is Nexcess Reliable and Fast?

Nexcess is a reliable hosting provider with a range of built-in performance features for a fast and high-performing website. These include things such as server-level caching, image compression, an integrated content delivery network, and autoscaling to handle traffic surges seamlessly.

Here’s a closer look at what the host provider has to offer in terms of performance and speed.

Nexcess Website Speed

The company’s load times are pretty impressive thanks to data centers and 285+ servers in various locations across the US, Europe, and Australia. This is good news for anyone who wants to cater to an international audience. You’ll get low LCP times and superfast fully loaded times.

LCP (Largest Contentful Paint) is the amount of time it takes for a web page to load the largest chunk of content. Google takes this metric into account when ranking your site so it’s best to keep the load time under 2.5 seconds.

Fully Loaded Time is the amount of time it takes for your website to fully load all the elements. Aim for less than three seconds if you want to provide the best user experience and minimize your website’s bounce rates.

Here are some of the premium add-ons that enhance the platform’s exceptional speed:

  • Edge CDN: Nexcess has its own content delivery network, Nexcess Edge CDN, which is powered by Cloudflare and comes free with every plan. This built-in feature has a simple configuration and advanced caching tools that allow for greater page speed even on the largest websites.
  • Cloud Accelerator: The company also has cloud acceleration technology, which is an intelligent, dimensional caching feature that helps with content delivery for enhanced speed and performance. It does this by storing static, frequent content in memory so visitors can be served quickly via redundant solid-state drives.
  • Cloud Auto-Scaling: This feature automatically deploys extra PHP resources that let your website scale up to instantly handle a lot more concurrent users if you experience a sudden surge in traffic. Each website is covered free for up to 24 hours of traffic surges per month, after which you’ll be billed in 30-minute increments for the time you’re scaled up.

3. Nexcess Uptime and Response Time

It’s crucial that your website has maximum uptime. If your site is down and clients can’t find or access it, it means less revenue if you’re selling products.

Nexcess issues an official 100% uptime guarantee of uninterrupted electricity and internet connections in its service level agreements. This means that you can trust the global network of Nexcess data centers to deliver your website quickly and reliably at all times.

But, this doesn’t cover mandatory server maintenance or any unforeseen circumstances. Still, with all these things considered, the platform has a near-perfect uptime of 99.99%.

And, in the event of an unforeseen outage of up to 15 minutes, the company reimburses website owners with 5% of their monthly hosting fees for each additional 15 minutes their services remain down.

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4. Daily Website Backups

Nexcess offers free daily backups and on-demand backups for all your websites. This is one of the many benefits of managed hosting, and it’s a feature that you won’t find on a lot of hosts unless you pay for it. In many cases, hosts only backup your files on a weekly or monthly basis. If you plan to constantly add new content to your website, then such solutions are not acceptable.

Nexcess provides you with free daily backups that are kept on the platform for 30 days each. Both files and databases are included in each backup. This means in case of a catastrophic data loss, you will never lose more than 24 hours’ worth of website content or updates.

On your dashboard, you’ll be able to see a list of all your backups which are automatically activated for all your websites. You’ll also get the option to trigger backups manually and restore your website from any of the backups.

5. Nexcess Security Features

The company’s dedication to security is shown through its many features which adhere to and often surpass industry standards.

As a Nexcess user, you’ll get access to basic security features, such as automatic updates for your WordPress site and plugins which are included as part of the fully-managed service.

You’ll also get access to some additional security features to further protect your Nexcess-hosted website.

Here are a few of the measures in place to help secure your site.

  • 24/7 Malware Monitoring: Running regular malware scans and constantly monitoring your website’s well-being is the standard practice at Nexcess. This is an internal measure that is done for you, so you don’t have to waste time doing it manually. 
  • WordPress Core and Plugin Updates: The platform conducts automatic updates, including visual comparison testing to instantly catch problems before they occur on your live website.
  • SSL Certificates: SSL encrypts server-website data to create secure data transmissions between your website and its users. Nexcess plans include free SSL certificates for each site.
  • iThemes Security Pro Access: This free plugin offers a variety of security features like passwordless login, two-factor authentication, geolocation, and reCAPTCHA to help keep your website secure.

From basic to advanced security features – Nexcess has all the tools you need to protect your website and user data.

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6. One-Click Staging Sites

Have you ever wanted to try out something new on your site but was afraid to accidentally mess it up? If so, you’re going to appreciate the one-click staging sites feature on Nexcess.

Staging areas help you test changes on your website without affecting what your visitors see. You can use them to ensure that all new changes deployed from previous environments work as intended prior to hitting the live website. This helps you eliminate issues and bugs that might affect the user.

You can also use staging sites to get valuable feedback on new content, site features, and design choices without exposing the test site to the general public.

Dev and staging sites also help to boost website security by allowing you to safely test site changes without sharing personal data. There are also integrated database scrubbing tools that remove all sensitive personal information.

Nexcess has built-in development environments that you can add to your WordPress, WooCommerce, or Magento website. The dev sites are easy to deploy and serve as a private copy of your site where you can publish your content and see exactly how it would look if it were live.

This is a handy feature that adds a touch of professionalism to your web development process. Not only does it allow you to have more control over when changes go live, but it also gives you the peace of mind of knowing that when your changes are published, they will display and behave precisely as intended.

Once you’ve safely tested all your changes and customizations, and are fully satisfied with the results, you can easily push the staging website live with a single click.

7. StoreBuilder for Guided eCommerce Store Setup

In addition to providing you with a powerful platform for running your WordPress website, Nexcess also offers a robust solution for building your eCommerce website.

The Nexcess StoreBuilder is a paid add-on that comes with intuitive design features that allow you to build a beautiful and fully functional online store without a designer. It’s backed by its own 30-day money-back guarantee, which means that if it doesn’t work out, you are not stuck with it.

Pre-made Templates

It’s designed specifically for novice users and comes with a site setup wizard to guide you every step of the way.

There’s no need to learn code or WooCommerce. Simply answer a few short questions about your company’s industry, products, services, and content, and the StoreBuilder’s intelligent website assistant will formulate a custom storefront for you.

Alternatively, you can pick a pre-made template and customize it to your liking using the library of colors and page section in the drag-and-drop editor.

The Nexcess templates go beyond standard eCommerce templates to provide you with the perfect mix of personal and functional qualities. You’ll find templates in a wide range of categories, including food, retail, clothing, and services.

Here are a few examples of the platform’s beautiful templates:

Templates you can choose from in nexcess

Built-In Product Galleries

The store builder has built-in galleries to showcase your products so you can show your customers what they’ve been missing. Use the feature-rich product pages to turn any of your products into must-haves.

Abandoned Cart Recovery Tool

The site builder add-on includes an abandoned cart recovery tool that allows you to follow up with visitors who left your site without completing their purchase.

Store Analytics

Nexcess also has built-in analytics tools that provide you with insights to grow your business and brand. You’ll be able to see a wide range of metrics, including gross revenue, refunds, shipping, taxes, monthly revenue, and visitors.

Automated Sales and Performance Tools

You also get automated sales and performance tools that make it easier to maintain your eCommerce website. For example, the Nexcess sales performance monitor allows you to set up alerts in case your sales slow down in ways that can’t be attributed to things like slow-loading pages or seasonal shopping trends.

This way, you can focus more on converting visitors and making sales than worrying about the technical nitty-gritty. You can even add time-saving premium plugins to further extend the functionality of your store.


Nexcess has PCI-compliant infrastructure, which means that your store’s transaction and payment data will always be 100% secure.

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8. Stencil Sites

The stencil sites feature lets you quickly create websites with pre-configured themes, settings, and plugins. You can think of stencil sites as complex templates for entire websites.

Nexcess makes it easy to manage multiple stencil sites from one place. So, for example, if you want to build a lot of fairly similar websites using the same framework (e.g. WordPress theme, plugins, and built-in shopping carts) you can use this feature to set up one website and then save it as a stencil site.

From there, you can just head over to your hosting panel, create a new website, choose your saved stencil, and just like that, your work is done. This will save you time and effort since you won’t have to manually create different websites and install the CMS, themes, and plugins each time.

This feature is handy for users who need to manage multiple business or personal projects. It’s also ideal for agencies that need to create a lot of client sites that function similarly. For example, you might create one stencil site for restaurant websites, another for landscaping businesses, and so on to save time.

9. Nexcess Support

8 boxes for support screen
getting started
website mgmnt 
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If you’re sick of web hosting support teams that talk in circles or keep you waiting for hours for an answer, you’ll love Nexcess’s support team which provides meaningful and accurate assistance from virtually any PHP-based application.

Nexcess offers 24/7/365 phone, email, and live chat support for users in America, Australia, and the UK. You can request a support chat straight from your user panel.

If you prefer the self-help approach, you can browse through the extensive knowledge base to find answers to some of the most commonly asked questions.

Here, you’ll find detailed guides, how-to videos, and other resources on how to get started with your hosting plan, how to manage your website, and tips and tricks to get the most from your control panel tools.

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Pros and Cons of Nexcess

Like all other web hosts out there, Nexcess has its own unique pros and cons. In this section, we take a look at some of its most prominent benefits and drawbacks to give you a better picture of the platform’s capabilities and limitations.

Nexcess Pros:

  1. Multiple Hosting Options: Nexcess has a large selection of packages for managed WordPress hosting.
  2. Free White-Glove Migration Services: When you register as a Nexcess user, migration is included for all your existing websites.
  3. Free Email and SSL: Each hosting plan comes with a free SSL certificate to encrypt and secure your data, as well as an email feature that includes unlimited storage.
  4. Open-Source Foundation: For the past 23 years, Nexcess has fostered growth in the open-source community.
  5. Enhanced Performance: Nexcess has a 100% uptime guarantee, a super-fast average load time of approximately 475 ms, and an average response time of 275 ms.
  6. Built-in CDN: Setting up a content delivery network is a secondary process after creating a website, and having this built-in means one less thing for you to worry about.
  7. One-Click Staging Sites: All Nexcess plans come with a one-click staging site for easy testing of codes, builds, plugins, content, and updates.
  8. Customizable Tech Stack: You can support your growing website with the platform’s curated, lightweight application stack.

Nexcess Cons:

  1. Higher Hosting Prices: Starting from $21/month for a managed WordPress host account, Nexcess prices are higher compared to other similarly featured hosting providers like Kinsta, GoDaddy, and SiteGround.
  2. Domain Not Included: To host your website on Nexcess, you’ll have to purchase your domain name from a third party and then point it to your Nexcess web host.
  3. Limited Storage: Storage on the Nexcess plans is less than ideal for most users, particularly if you intend to build a content-rich site.
  4. DDoS Not Included: None of the plans include DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) protection which means you have to look elsewhere for this type of website protection.
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Nexcess Alternatives

Nexcess specializes in managed hosting services for some of the most popular CMS platforms like WordPress, Magento, and WooCommerce. Although it’s one of the best hosting service providers, it’s far from the only option in its category.

There are a few other major web hosting companies that offer the same kind of services, including managed application hosting.

Here are three of the top hosting providers to consider if you’re searching for a Nexcess alternative.

Nexcess vs. SiteGround

SiteGround is a great option for you if you want traditional cloud or VPS hosting services in addition to managed hosting for WordPress or WooCommerce.

Like its competitor, SiteGround offers a wide variety of hosting packages, including WordPress, WooCommerce, shared, cloud, and reseller hosting. Starting from just $2.99 per month, this is a great hosting provider for users on a tight budget.

However, it’s important to note that these introductory prices don’t reflect the provider’s true costs. The hosting plan reflects the deep first-time discount and will renew at regular prices.

Nexcess vs. WP Engine

WP Engine is a managed WordPress hosting solution that makes a great alternative to Nexcess for users who want the ultimate flexibility and control.

The platform offers enterprise hosting and managed hosting solutions that are ideal for businesses, agencies, and professional users. It comes with lots of tools to optimize WordPress, including WordPress caching, local development tools, and transferable websites.

There are no restrictions on plugins and themes, and there are no maximum pageviews or traffic limits. Plans start from $20/month and include automated WordPress and PHP updates, customizable themes, and workflow tools.

Read our full review of WP Engine.

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Nexcess vs. Bluehost

If you want the best possible price for your website hosting and don’t mind having to do some of the manual work yourself, then Bluehost is worth considering.

It starts from $2.75/month, and you can choose from a long list of hosting options, including WordPress, WooCommerce, shared, and dedicated hosting. Bluehost also offers the best VPS hosting services for users on a tight budget.

Unlike Nexcess, Bluehost offers unlimited bandwidth and storage, and you get a free domain for one year.

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Nexcess Pricing and Plans

shows nexcess wp hosting plans
4 different plans to choose from

Nexcess offers a wide variety of managed hosting plans, including managed Magento hosting. There’s a 30-day money-back guarantee for all plans.

The prices below reflect an annual subscription for the Managed WordPress hosts.

  • Spark Plan: $17.50/Month: If you’re simply looking to create a single website, the Spark plan is more than enough. It comes with 15GB of storage and 2TB of bandwidth. It also includes 10 PHP workers per site, and you can have 20 auto-scaled PHP workers per site. A CDN (content delivery network), unlimited email accounts, and an SSL certificate are included with each plan.
  • Spark + Plan: $35.83/Month: This plan offers the best value. It includes 25GB of storage and 2.5TB of bandwidth, and it can handle up to three sites. You can have 15 PHP workers per site and 25 auto-scaled PHP workers for each website.
  • Maker Plan: $72.50/Month: The Maker plan comes with 40GB of storage and 3TB of bandwidth. You can build up to five websites and have 20 PHP workers and 30 auto-scaled PHP workers for each site.
  • Designer Plan: $100/Month: This plan comes with 60GB of storage, 4TB bandwidth, and the ability to build up to 10 websites. You can add 20 PHP workers and 30 auto-scaled PHP workers for each website.

Nexcess also offers additional Managed WordPress plans ranging from $136/month to $912/month each with an increasing amount of storage, bandwidth, websites, and PHP site workers.

There are plenty of tools to choose from, as well as sizing options for each tool to ensure that you only pay for the features and resources you actually need.

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The Bottom Line: Is Nexcess the Right Managed Host For Your Needs?

We hope this Nexcess review has answered your most pressing questions about whether or not Nexcess is the right solution for you.

If you are looking for managed services for worry-free web hosting, then Nexcess is worth considering. The platform raises the bar on website hosting that’s optimized for the industry’s leading platforms, WordPress, WooCommerce, and Magento.

The pricing is a bit on the premium side, but you get back more in terms of ease of use and value-added features which makes it a worthwhile investment. So, rather than comparing Nexcess hosting to budget hosts like Bluehost, it’s more important to consider the value-added features that you get instead.

For example, when looking at some of its VPS competitors, you’ll notice that Nexcess’s managed cloud servers and automatic scaling features are far more cost-effective than most other offerings, especially when you consider the time and effort invested in setting up and maintaining your server.

All in all, the platform is primed for performance and scalability. Optimized cloud servers allow you to focus on your business instead of wasting valuable time struggling to maintain your website infrastructure. You’ll enjoy built-in perks and have the ability to easily unlock additional features and resources as the need arises.

Are you ready for more power, stability, elite performance, expert support, and peace of mind? If so, sign up for a managed hosting plan on Nexcess right now.

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Head shot of Learning Revolution Founder Jeff Cobb

Jeff Cobb, Founder of Learning Revolution

Jeff Cobb is an expert in online education and the business of adult lifelong learning. Over the past 20+ years he has built a thriving career based on that expertise – as an entrepreneur, a consultant, an author, and a speaker. Learning Revolution is a place where Jeff curates tips, insights, and resources to help you build a thriving expertise-based business. Learn more about Jeff Cobb here.

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