Running an online store is already complicated with the combination of tasks like inventory management, web design, marketing, and much more. That's why fully managed ecommerce hosting providers can come in handy to eliminate the need to handle technical, backend elements of hosting and focus more on your actual business. In this Nexcess review, we'll cover a managed hosting option for ecommerce and explain its pricing, features, and types of hosting.
After that, we'll help you decide whether or not Nexcess (owned by Liquid Web) is a viable hosting option for your online store.
But Before That…What is Managed Hosting?
All websites need hosting, or a server management company that stores your website files on its own servers, instead of you running a server in your home or office.
Many hosting companies only sell the server space, but then you end up having to manage things like site optimization, installations, and site backups.
Managed hosting usually costs a little more, but it makes up for the cost by freeing up a significant amount of your time. This happens because the hosting company generally completes all hosting tasks for you. It depends on the company, but you may receive automated backups, speed optimization, installation help, and site file management.
In short, managed hosting is what it says in the name: a managed server, or one where you typically don't have to worry about many of the technical aspects of hosting.
Types of Hosting Offered by Nexcess
During our Nexcess review, we found that Nexcess provides fully managed hosting services for ecommerce stores that need improved scalability, uptime, and speed.
However, there are many ecommerce platforms to choose from, so it's worth knowing which platforms are supported by the Nexcess hosting brand.
Nexcess offers hosting for the following popular ecommerce platforms, all of which have their own features and requirements that make them unique:
- Managed WooCommerce Hosting – Improve the efficiency of your WooCommerce site by boosting performance and cutting out unnecessary tasks that you can leave to the hosting company.
- Managed WordPress Hosting – Receive automatic updates and several other benefits for your WordPress ecommerce or membership site. Some advantages include free SSL certificates and automatic scaling. WooCommerce is run on WordPress but so are many other ecommerce plugins.
- Managed Magento Hosting – An excellent hosting solution for those on the Magento platform. This is an opensource platform that's made primarily for high-traffic, rapidly scaling websites.
- BigCommerce for WordPress Hosting – Run a headless online store through BigCommerce but take advantage of the content creation and blogging prowess of WordPress. Nexcess offers a wonderful hosting option for this type of configuration.
- Drupal Hosting – Create a membership, ecommerce, or standard website with Drupal and utilize Nexcess managed hosting for the best performance.
- ExpressionEngine Hosting – Nexcess provides managed hosting for the ExpressionEngine LMS (learning management system) where you can create and sell online courses.
Nexcess Review: The Pricing
Nexcess pricing depends on the type of managed hosting you decide on, along with other elements like the number of users and disk space required.
Keep in mind that all pricing listed below is for when you pay on a monthly basis. You can save some money by going with a yearly plan.
Let's begin by looking at the Nexcess pricing for Magento hosting:
- XS – $49 per month for 20 users, 50GB of disk space, 10 domains, and 1TB of bandwidth.
- S – $99 per month for 40 users, 75GB of disk space, 15 domains, and 2TB of bandwidth.
- M – $179 per month for 60 users, 125GB of space, and 3TB of bandwidth.
- L – $299 per month for 80 users, 400GB of disk space, 30 domains, and 5TB of bandwidth. This plan also includes 20 VCPU and 20GB of RAM.
And for Managed WooCommerce hosting:
- Starter – $19 per month for one store, 30GB of storage, and up to 500 orders per hour. You get the Nexcess StoreBuilder as well.
- Creator – $79 per month for up to three stores, 60GB of storage, up to 1,000 orders per hour, and access to the StoreBuilder.
- Merchant – $149 per month for up to five stores, 100GB of storage, and up to 2,500 orders per hour.
- Standard – $299 per month for up to 10 stores, 300GB of storage, up to 3,000 orders per hour, and advanced analytics.
The Managed WordPress site hosting pricing plans include:
- Spark – $19 per month for one site, 15GB of storage, and 2TB of bandwidth.
- Maker – $79 per month for up to 5 sites, 40GB of storage, and 3TB of bandwidth.
- Designer – $109 per month for up to 10 websites, 60GB of storage, and 4TB of bandwidth.
- Builder – $149 per month for up to 25 sites, 100GB of storage, and 5TB of bandwidth.
Nexcess has several higher-priced plans to consider as you scale your online store and require more storage and bandwidth. This is the case for Magento, WooCommerce, and WordPress, where you have the flexibility to pay around $800 per month for highly advanced and powerful hosting.
Nexcess Review: The Hosting Features and Products
Along with a certain number of users/supported websites, you receive a specific amount of disk space, and bandwidth with every hosting plan from Nexcess.
However, you can also expect a wide variety of other features and products with most managed hosting plans, some of which include the following:
Nexcess plans include nightly automated backups, saving your site files and databases just in case something goes wrong and you have to restore the data.
These backups are saved for 30 days, giving you more than enough data to look back and decide which of them you would like to restore if necessary.
It's also nice to know that Nexcess provides help from its support team for when you actually have to restore data from the past, so you're never left alone to mess with it yourself.
It's essential to know that your site data, and the personal data from your customers, are constantly protected. Luckily, Nexcess seems to take care of you in several ways when it comes to security measures.
First of all, the nightly backups serve as a way to protect your valuable databases in case of an attack or human error. Nexcess offers proactive security that functions in the background at all times, eliminating the need for you to get a separate security plugin or check-in on the state of your website.
Nexcess is PCI-Compliant, for keeping all personal and payment data safe when a customer makes a transaction. You also receive malware monitoring that runs every night, automated security patches, and several other proactive elements to ensure you're keeping out the bad guys and locking down customer data.
Automatic Scaling for Traffic Surges
Online stores see boosts in their traffic during certain times of the year, especially during the holidays. The same can be said for specific industries. For instance, you may sell horseracing hats and have to prepare for a surge when the Kentucky Derby or Belmont Stakes comes around every year.
Standard hosting can't always handle this type of surge, which means your site either slows down or it crashes.
That's obviously not a situation you want to find yourself in, so Nexcess implements an automatic scaling feature where it increases concurrency whenever a traffic surge occurs. This way, you receive a boost in the number of people who can visit your site over the course of 24 hours.
Boosted Page Speeds
Several parts of the Nexcess hosting infrastructure enable you to improve your page speeds. First of all, the Nexcess cloud hosting has been known to help, along with the ability to choose the physical location of your server.
In addition, Nexcess has a CDN (content delivery network) that utilizes a network of dedicated servers to deliver your site content to the end-user based on that person's location (even though Nexcess is located in Michigan). The location of the server matters, so the CDN may deliver your site content using a Los Angeles machine when a Los Angeles-based user comes to your site. As of right now, the Nexcess CDN has 22 locations.
Nexcess also provides some of the following technologies that minimize load times and elevate the performance of your site:
- Premium image compression.
- PHP 7 + Varnish technology.
- Automatic scaling.
- Elasticsearch technology.
- Advanced caching.
A staging environment serves as a way for developers to build a website, or make changes to a current website, without immediately affecting a live site.
This way, you can make mistakes, modify content, and spend as much time as you want in the staging area prior to releasing the new changes to the public.
Overall, staging makes for a cleaner, more professional development experience. You can even utilize the staging environment as a collaborative system to show changes to other stakeholders for approval before it gets published.
A Combination of Cloud and Physical Hosting
Most hosting from Nexcess provides special features like staging sites and dedicated IP addresses, all of which are added to your service through a cloud-based system.
In addition, Nexcess utilizes virtualization so that your server is duplicated in a cloud environment for easier access and improved security and backups.
However, you still get the opportunity to select a physical data center, since that's necessary for actually putting your site files on a server. What's great about choosing your server location is that this can lead to faster load times since you want the server to be closer to your site visitors.
Nexcess Review: The Customer Support
A growing ecommerce store needs to know that its site is running properly at all times. That's kind of the point of managed hosting, but it's also important to know that you can call or email someone at the web hosting company at any time.
During our Nexcess review, we discovered that the web host provides an incredible amount of support, with 24/7 customer service and several direct contact options such as a phone line, email, and live chatbox.
What's more, is that you get redirected to specialists for your type of hosting.
Have a Magento site with Magento hosting? Nexcess sends you to someone with that specialization. The same can be said for a WooCommerce and WordPress website.
The online resources from Nexcess support also come in handy for those interested in completing their own research on a problem or learning about the platform. You have access to a wonderful Help section and knowledgebase, filled with articles about file management, security, and more.
Nexcess.net offers resources made just for certain types of hosting, like its page for WooCommerce Resources. You can also find things like case studies and a system status page to understand the health of your server.
We also like the Nexcess Blog, which provides an incredible amount of information for growing your ecommerce site, creating online booking systems, and much more.
If all else fails, you can reach out to Nexcess on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram, or use those social networks to stay updated on the company or chat with other users.
Overall, our Nexcess review uncovered an excellent number of support outlets and resources from the host.
Is Nexcess Hosting Right for Your Online Store?
Quality ecommerce hosting is hard to come by, since it's not always a guarantee that your hosting is managed, has daily backups, and offers scaling for traffic surges. Nexcess Hosting, on the other hand, focuses almost entirely on ecommerce hosting, so it covers the requirements that all online stores need, including less downtime and scaling.
From autoscaling to the one-click staging sites, it's difficult to say anything bad about Nexcess, particularly if you run an ecommerce shop. Not to mention, they have reasonable pricing plans and enough options to choose from as your business grows.
In short, we like Nexcess Hosting for those with WooCommerce, WordPress, and Magento sites. You can even look into it for BigCommerce and membership platforms.
Let us know in the comments if you have any experience with Nexcess, and if you'd like to share your thoughts! Also, leave any questions you have about our Nexcess review since we know it can be tricky trying to figure out the best web hosting for your ecommerce shop.