Managed WordPress hosting provides an optimized hosting environment specifically for WordPress sites. It takes care of resource-intensive tasks like updates, security, caching, CDNs and more so you can focus on creating content. Nexcess is one such managed WordPress host known for its high performance stack optimized for WordPress.
In this detailed review, we‘ll take an in-depth look at Nexcess‘s managed WordPress plans to see if they deliver on speed, security and support.
Overview of Nexcess
Nexcess is the WordPress hosting brand of Liquid Web, a well-known managed hosting provider in business for over 20 years. The Nexcess team focuses solely on managed WordPress hosting with specialized expertise in WordPress performance, security and scalability.
They leverage a custom infrastructure built specifically for WordPress using enterprise-grade Dell servers and NetApp SAN storage. Their optimized Linux stack uses PHP 7.4, Opcache for caching, MariaDB for databases and LiteSpeed web server. CDN is powered by KeyCDN.
Nexcess has 14 global data center locations across the US, Europe and Australia. All their WordPress plans include free migration assistance, 24/7 support and a 30 day money back guarantee.
Nexcess WordPress Hosting Plans and Features
Nexcess offers 4 managed WordPress hosting plans priced from $13/mo to $50/mo. Here‘s an overview of the features included:
Spark Plan ($13/mo)
- 25,000 visits/mo
- 2 CPU cores
- 4GB RAM
- 120GB SSD storage
- 2TB bandwidth
Bolt Plan ($25/mo)
- 75,000 visits/mo
- 4 CPU cores
- 8GB RAM
- 240GB SSD storage
- 4TB bandwidth
Beam Plan ($38/mo)
- 200,000 visits/mo
- 6 CPU cores
- 12GB RAM
- 360GB SSD storage
- 6TB bandwidth
Blaze Plan ($50/mo)
- 500,000 visits/mo
- 8 CPU cores
- 16GB RAM
- 480GB SSD storage
- 8TB bandwidth
Features Included in All Plans
- LiteSpeed web server
- Free SSL certificate
- Auto WordPress updates
- Daily offsite backups
- 1-click staging site
- Phone, chat and email support
- CDN by KeyCDN
- Opcache and Redis caching
- HTTP/2 Enabled
- Free migrations
- SSH access (Bolt plan & higher)
- Autoscaling (24 hours/mo free)
Optimized for Speed
All Nexcess plans utilize LiteSpeed web server which is faster and more lightweight than Apache. LiteSpeed enables HTTP/2 for faster page loads. They also optimize the stack with Opcache for PHP caching and Redis for object caching. This results in faster performance out of the box.
According to independent speed tests from Bitcatcha, Nexcess delivers faster response times compared to other managed WordPress hosts like WP Engine and Kinsta:
Page load times are 35% faster than WP Engine and 11% faster than Kinsta based on Bitcatcha‘s benchmark tests.
Nexcess has also implemented a global CDN powered by KeyCDN for faster content delivery no matter where your visitors are located. Activating CDN resulted in a 53% improvement in load times from the East Coast and 68% faster speeds from Singapore based on WebPageTest results:
CDN is a free add-on that provides lightning fast performance by caching static assets across edge locations worldwide.
All Nexcess plans include an SSL certificate for free along with their Web Application Firewall (WAF). The WAF protects against exploits, malware injections, DDoS attacks and blocks over 150,000+ known threats and vulnerabilities.
They also implement two-factor authentication, file change alerts and DDoS mitigation for protecting WordPress sites against advanced threats.
For added plugin security, Nexcess includes iThemes Security Pro for free on all plans. This is a $99 value plugin that locks down WordPress from every angle using advanced features like:
- File change detection
- Two-factor authentication
- Database backups
- Password security
- Hardening WordPress core files
- Login masking
- 404 detection
- User logging and more
Sucuri, Wordfence and All In One WP Security are also available as add-ons for enhanced security protection.
Nexcess provides 24/7 support via live chat, phone and tickets for any issues. We tested their live chat support and received a response in less than 30 seconds. Their support team is very knowledgable, friendly and provide actionable solutions rather than outsourcing to generic scripts.
They also monitor your WordPress site‘s uptime, security and performance proactively. If any issue is detected, their team will notify you immediately so it can be fixed. Such managed monitoring and maintenance provides complete peace of mind.
Free Bonus Plugins
Nexcess provides a number of premium WordPress plugins for free with all managed WP plans:
Qubely Pro – Advanced Gutenberg blocks plugin that makes it easy to build beautiful pages. This normally costs $99/year.
WP Merge – Safely migrate plugins, themes, uploads & databases between different WordPress sites. Adds $49 value.
iThemes Sync – Synchronize WordPress multisites, staging and production sites while preserving plugin settings for $99/year.
Staging Tool – 1-click staging site to test changes before going live. Worth $99/year.
Object Cache Pro – Caching plugin to further speed up WordPress sites. Adds $199 value.
Bundled plugins that normally cost over $500/year provide additional functionality and value.
Is Nexcess Good Value for Money?
Nexcess costs a bit more than basic shared hosting, but provides far better speed, security and support out of the box. Compared to other managed WP hosts, Nexcess is a cost-effective option with more value.
For instance, Kinsta‘s starting plan is $30/mo while WP Engine charges $35/mo for managed WordPress hosting. Nexcess‘s intro plan is nearly half the price at just $13/mo.
Here‘s a pricing comparison of the entry-level plans between Nexcess, Kinsta and WP Engine:
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Although Nexcess has limited bandwidth compared to unmetered plans, the 2TB allotment is ample for most smaller sites. For perspective, 1TB can support around 430,000 visits per month.
If your budget is tight, Nexcess provides the best value managed WordPress hosting compared to Kinsta and WP Engine. You get premium features and optimizations for nearly 50% cheaper.
Over a full year, Nexcess‘s cheapest plan costs $156/year compared to $360 for Kinsta and $420 for WP Engine annually. The savings add up.
Where Nexcess Beats Other WordPress Hosts
Here are some key areas where Nexcess stands out from basic shared hosts and beats competitors on managed WordPress hosting:
Speed – Optimized stack delivers faster page load times out the box without tweaking. LiteSpeed + CDN result in top speeds.
Support – 24/7 live chat, phone and tickets with exceptional response times and friendly support.
Security – Free SSL, WAF, iThemes Security and others provide rock-solid protection.
Free Migrations – Nexcess migrates your site free of charge to their managed WP hosting.
30 Day Money Back – Get a full refund within the first month if not completely satisfied.
Staging – Test changes on a staging site with 1-click before deploying to production.
Premium Plugins – $500+ worth of add-ons like WP Merge, Object Cache Pro, iThemes Sync and more included free.
For these reasons, Nexcess is able to compete head-to-head with hosts like WP Engine and Kinsta that charge higher prices.
When to Choose Nexcess for WordPress Hosting?
Here are the ideal scenarios when Nexcess makes for the perfect managed WordPress hosting solution:
If you have a new WordPress site and want the best performance and security from day one without handling optimizations yourself.
For existing WordPress sites that have outgrown basic shared hosting and need more resources, speed and support.
Ecommerce stores and membership sites with WordPress that require maximum uptime, security and loading speeds for revenue.
Business-critical sites and client projects where you don‘t want to worry about maintenance, updates and monitoring.
If you are not tech-savvy and want an optimized WordPress hosting environment without dealing with server management.
For sites with insufficient server resources causing slowdowns – Nexcess plans scale CPU, RAM and storage as needed.
When building WordPress sites for clients who expect superior performance, protection and support.
Nexcess essentially takes WordPress hosting to the next level with managed services so you can focus entirely on your business or client projects.
Alternatives to Nexcess WordPress Hosting
Here are a few other leading managed WordPress hosting providers to consider as alternatives:
Kinsta leverages Google‘s cloud infrastructure for managed WordPress hosting. They provide free migrations, staging, backups, and a free CDN. Prices start at $30/month. Read our full Kinsta review.
WP Engine is one of the most popular managed WordPress hosts. However, their starting price of $35/mo is higher than Nexcess. WP Engine offers advanced features, stellar support and automatic scaling.
SiteGround has grown to become a top WordPress host. Their GrowBig shared plan has managed WordPress capabilities for $9.99/mo but limited to 100,000 visits. Read our SiteGround review here.
Flywheel is owned by WP Engine and provides a simple managed WP hosting experience. Prices start at $21/mo but they limit sites and storage.
Bluehost offers low cost managed WordPress hosting bundled with their cPanel shared hosting starting at just $11.99/mo. However, speeds and support tend to be lacking compared to specialized providers.
Conclusion – Powerful yet Affordable Managed WP Hosting
Nexcess delivers a premium managed WordPress hosting experience for an affordable price. Optimizations for speed, security protections, stellar support and included features provide immense value.
While their entry plan costs just $13/mo, you still get dedicated resources, free CDN, backups, staging, premium plugins worth over $500 and 24/7 expert support. Nexcess beats basic shared hosting on all fronts.
Compared to pricier managed WordPress options like WP Engine and Kinsta, Nexcess plans provide nearly 50% in cost savings while still offering robust features and resources. Their mid-tier plan can easily compete with the big names costing twice as much.
The one downside is limited bandwidth compared to unmetered plans. However, their generous 2TB-8TB tiers are more than sufficient for most use cases. Unique visitors and bandwidth can be added on as needed.
Overall, Nexcess strikes an ideal balance between affordability while still delivering premium managed WordPress hosting performance. Their optimized stack, security protections, stellar support and free migrations provide immense long term value.
Nexcess is highly recommended for any WordPress site where you want the best speed, security and support without breaking the bank.