WooCommerce Nexcess Review: Is it Worth it?

Nexcess WooCommerce plans in 2024 are expensive – much more expensive than ordinary managed WordPress plans. Here are the pros and cons:

WooCommerce Nexcess: The Good and the Bad

Nexcess WooCommerce: Pros

  • Designed for WooCommerce
  • Can handle hundreds of sales per hour
  • Free WooCommerce specific “Pro” plugins
  • Automated tests to check everything is always working
  • Automatic CDN integration
  • Automatic image compression

Nexcess WooCommerce: Cons

  • Expensive
  • Poor backup policies. No automated restore
  • No automatic malware scanning and fixing
  • Advanced performance features only on the “Enterprise” plan
  • Premium plugins only with higher-tier plans

Nexcess Ratings Summary for 2024:

Price: 3/5 ★★★☆☆
Speed: 5/5 ★★★★★
Backups: 2/5 ★★☆☆☆
Security: 3/5 ★★★☆☆
Storage: 4/5 ★★★★☆

The lack of good backups hurts the Nexcess WooCommerce plans. But if you’re already using a 3rd party backup solution (as you should), then it’s not that big a deal.

Verdict: Nexcess WooCommerce is built for just one thing – speed. There’s very little in additional features like malware scanning or backup restoration. If you don’t mind taking care of these things on your own, then you can’t go wrong with Nexcess. But if you want more for your money, then I suggest you choose a better alternative to Nexcess – like Kinsta.

Frequently Asked Questions:

WooCommerce Nexcess Pricing

Here are the plans and the discount prices.

Starter Plan Creator Plan Merchant Plan
WooCommerce Nexcess Plans $13.30/month
Discount 30%off
Discount 33%off
Discount 50%off
Number of WooCommerce Stores 1 3 5
Transaction Limits 500 orders/hour 1000 orders/hour 2500 orders/hour

Keep in mind that these plans are specifically for WooCommerce stores. Here’s a list of Liquid Web coupons for their regular managed shared and cloud hosting plans.

WooCommerce Nexcess: The Good

Here’s what makes the Nexcess WooCommerce plans special:

Smooth Handling of WooCommerce Traffic Spikes

Here’s the nightmare scenario of any WooCommerce store:

Nexcess automatically scales your resources to meet traffic spikes up to a certain limit

  1. Site is running smoothly. Everyone’s happy
  2. There’s an unexpected event – a shoutout from a popular blog, or a Twitter personality
  3. Your site suddenly gets >200% traffic in a single day. Sometimes in a single hour!
  4. The site crashes. It just breaks under pressure and is inaccessible
  5. After much time wasted, you upgrade your hosting plan
  6. By that time, the rush of visitors is gone and you’ve missed your opportunity

This can be heartbreaking. A traffic surge is supposed to make you happy. An unexpected volume of visitors means more sales. You could lose out big. The WooCommerce Nexcess plans are designed to handle traffic spikes.

This happens because you can’t provision for maximum traffic – by definition, it’s a rare event. And you can’t be content with your current capacity because you’re not prepared for a big jump. There’s no winning. It’s especially worse with e-commerce platforms like WooCommerce because as mentioned above, page caching can’t help. The platform is dynamic, and the CPU and database are working the same amount for each customer. There’s very little you can do in terms of efficiency.

And this is what Nexcess managed WooCommerce hopes to prevent. In the event of a traffic spike, your resources will scale smoothly with no downtime. This means that you can capitalize on a surge of visitors when it happens, and yet not overpay during the “low” or “normal” period.

Nexcess WooCommerce Free Overage Charges

One great feature with Nexcess is that they give you a free window of overage charges to account for sudden traffic. Automatic scaling is all very well, but what if you’re not prepared to shoulder the cost of the sudden burst in traffic? Additional resources aren’t free. But with Nexcess, they are – up to a certain point.

Nexcess adds free PHP workers to your site for a maximum of 24-hours

Nexcess automatically adds additional PHP workers to compensate for a higher number of concurrent visitors. These workers will soak up the load placed on your WooCommerce site as needed. The extra resources are placed on a timer, and you’re allowed to use up to 24-hours of auto-scaling every month. Once you hit that limit, only then will you pay for extra resources. This is a great way for Nexcess to assure their customers that they’ll never be hit with a huge, unexpected bill. You’ll see it coming a long while away.

For even more power, Nexcess allows for advanced auto-scaling, where you can budget for entire days or months during a year, and you’ll get dedicated extra PHP workers to account for the higher load. Nexcess might not have a lot of additional features, but they do scaling extremely well.

Nexcess Automated Testing for WooCommerce

A WooCommerce store has a lot of moving parts. For example:

Nexcess checks your site every night to ensure your store is working

  1. The product inventory
  2. The “accounts” page with the login screen
  3. The transaction
  4. The payment processing system
  5. Inventory updating
  6. and more…

If any of these fail, your store doesn’t work. And you might not even know!

And this is where Nexcess’ WooCommerce testing comes in. Using automated testing, Nexcess runs a series of tests against your website to ensure that everything works smoothly. They perform this test once a day at night, and it takes less than a minute. This way, you can be sure that your site is always working properly.

Nexcess WooCommerce Has Automatic Image Compression

With Google’s new “Largest Contentful Paint” or LCP metric, image compression is much more important than it used to be – even with lazy loading. Some CDNs like Cloudflare compress images on the fly – but they require paid plans.

Since images are often the largest element on the page, it’s vital to keep the sizes as small as possible. The Nexcess WooCommerce package has in-built image compression, meaning they download even faster from Nexcess’ CDN. So there’s no need to pay extra for this functionality.

WooCommerce Nexcess: The Bad

Here’s what I dislike about the WooCommerce Nexcess plans.

WooCommerce Nexcess Has Poor Backup Policies

While Nexcess takes nightly backups of your site and keeps them for 30-days, you have to raise a ticket to restore a backup. There’s no way to automatically restore a backup on your own. For a premium WordPress solution, I would expect this to be a given. They even mention on their backup policies page not to rely on their backup service.

Nexcess forces you to raise a ticket to restore a backup

It’s a shame because other, cheaper web hosts can implement this. For example, here are several web hosts with automated backup and restore systems. In the event of a crash, you don’t want to waste time raising a ticket with support and asking them to restore specific files and folders. You want to fix the problem immediately!

I suggest you use a 3rd party backup solution. Since this is WordPress hosting, you might be tempted to subscribe to the Jetpack Backup tool, but I don’t recommend it. DropMySite is a far better alternative to Jetpack Backup, costs less, and can be used for multiple sites without upgrading your plan. I use it myself.

Nexcess WooCommerce Doesn’t Have Server Caching

Nexcess makes you use 3rd party plugins on your site to cache dynamic pages. Other web hosts at this price point have server caching, which is much faster than PHP-based caching.

It’s very disappointing to see that Nexcess doesn’t have basic page caching on their servers.

Page caching is a must for even a medium trafficked site. Since Nexcess is so expensive, I’m extremely disappointed to see that they don’t even offer this basic functionality. Premium web hosts like Kinsta have a separate panel for page caching, and in fact, don’t allow you to even install 3rd party caching plugins because they interfere with their in-house solutions. These custom caching configurations are much faster than plugins like W3 Total Cache because they’re implemented at the server level instead of the PHP level.

Nexcess acknowledges the importance of caching in their documentation, but their infrastructure doesn’t support it natively. It’s a glaring omission and a very disappointing one at that.

WooCommerce Nexcess Gets More Expensive as it Scales

Like Kinsta, Nexcess has a fixed number of stores that you can have on each plan. Unlike Kinsta however, the cost per-site doesn’t decrease as you purchase more expensive plans. The pricing increases linearly with the number of stores. Moreover, if your existing single store starts to receive more transactions than the recommended amount, you’ll need to upgrade your package even though you’re not using all the available stores.

Nexcess gets very expensive as you scale up.

While this makes sense because Nexcess is guaranteeing the performance of your site with a certain number of transactions, it’s contrary to the way other providers handle scaling. With Kinsta, the pricing decreases drastically as you pay more for higher-tier plans, whereas with WooCommerce Nexcess, you don’t get any additional price reductions.

For a company that doesn’t offer basic things like backups or a firewall, I feel this is too expensive. The redeeming factor is speed. You get what you pay for. However, Kinsta has a transparent overage pricing system too, and you don’t need to upgrade to a higher-tier plan.

WooCommerce Nexcess Doesn’t have Good Security Features

For the price they charge, the Nexcess WooCommerce plan doesn’t have the kind of security features I would expect. Namely:

Nexcess just has a basic WAF, and not much more. You need to use your own 3rd party firewall.

  1. No WAF
  2. No malware scanning
  3. No fixing of hacked sites

Nexcess gives its users the “iThemes Pro” plugin, which isn’t the same as a 3rd party firewall. This plugin runs on your WordPress server, using up CPU power and bandwidth. Ideally, the firewall would run on a separate network that shields your server. With Nexcess, you’re forced to pay for a firewall, unlike say Kinsta, which gives all its users a free Enterprise version of Cloudflare.

They say they use a WAF with ModSec, but this isn’t nearly enough. It doesn’t compare to Sucuri’s or Cloudflare’s WAF, which has several rulesets dedicated to protecting WordPress. WooCommerce Nexcess doesn’t say anything about helping you fix your hacked sites either. So compared to other high-end managed WordPress plans, Nexcess doesn’t have comparable security features.

WooCommerce Nexcess Deprives Lower Plans of Exclusive Software

WooCommerce Nexcess gives higher-tier plans the following packages:

Nexcess WooCommerce reserves exclusive software only for higher-tier plans

  1. Glew Reporting
  2. ElasticSearch
  3. Dokan Pro
  4. Custom order tables

The above software helps you with various aspects of marketing. For example, Glew gives you detailed insights into your revenue, inventory, and generally helps you keep a tab on various marketing metrics. ElasticSearch helps your customers to quickly find what they’re looking for, along with relevant and related products. Dokan Pro helps you build out a professional store with customer portals. The custom order tables are specially optimized tables that speed up the query process and convert WordPress from a mere CMS to a transaction powerhouse.

However, these cool features are only available starting on the “Standard” plan, and others only make an appearance on the “Enterprise” plan. It’s very disappointing to see this kind of penny-pinching from Nexcess, essentially depriving the smaller players and making them upgrade.

Best Nexcess WooCommerce Alternative in 2024: Kinsta

In my opinion, the best Nexcess WooCommerce alternative is Kinsta. For a single website, Kinsta is slightly more expensive than Nexcess, but quickly reduces in cost the more sites you have. With Nexcess, you’ll need to upgrade to a higher plan anyway if you want cool features like increased transaction limits, custom order limits, and the Beaver page builder. At that point, the price difference between Kinsta and Nexcess vanishes.

Here’s why I prefer Kinsta over Nexcess WooCommerce:

Kinsta has a lot more features than Nexcess for WooCommerce hosting

  1. Kinsta has amazing backup policies, whereas Nexcess doesn’t even have automated restores
  2. Kinsta fixes your site for free if you get hacked. Nexcess WooCommerce plans leave you hanging
  3. Kinsta has free Enterprise Cloudflare integration for all plans – that’s worth $200/m
  4. Kinsta has in-built server caching with NGINX

There’s lots more. Kinsta also has free New Relic integration which lets you monitor your site 24×7. Nexcess just focuses on speed and leaves you to manage the rest. While that’s great, I feel you should get more bang for the buck given how expensive it is. And that’s why I think Kinsta is a better option than Nexcess.

Why is WooCommerce Hosting Different from WordPress Hosting?

If you’ve decided to buy hosting, why not just choose regular WordPress-managed hosting? Why specifically WooCommerce? After all, other providers have specialized WordPress hosting, so why not go with them instead?

WordPress Delivers Content

The reason is that WooCommerce has a fundamentally different function compared to the rest of WordPress. WordPress was conceived as a blogging platform, and its structure reflects that. It’s meant to deliver content efficiently. If people visit your site to read your content, then WordPress works great out of the box. With efficient paging, the load on your database can be minimized. As your traffic grows, it can easily keep up.

WooCommerce is Transactional

WooCommerce on the other hand is about transactions. It’s dynamic. The database is in constant use, whether it’s pulling a list of products to display, showing the latest pricing and discounts, or storing and retrieving customer data. The CPU is always on the move calculating tax, price reductions, shipping, and running all the scripts that make the magic happen.

WooCommerce doesn’t fit in with the rest of WordPress thematically. Sure, you can install it as a plugin, but too much happens under the hood that’s inefficient. Everything may seem fine for a while, and then suddenly you’re hit with a spike in traffic and your entire site become inaccessible. What should have been a moment of joy turns into a moment of distress and lost opportunity.

For this reason, WordPress hosting and WooCommerce hosting are two separate ball games. Sure, you can make WooCommerce work if you throw enough resources at it. But believe me, those costs will add up fast.

About Bhagwad Park

I've been writing about web hosting and WordPress tutorials since 2008. I also create tutorials on Linux server administration, and have a ton of experience with web hosting products. Contact me via e-mail!