Initial Review Of Nexcess

Things have moved fast since all of you helped make it possible to switch hosting providers last week. As I may have mentioned previously, I had actually decided to go with a different provider, but was reminded of why I left them before (major attitude/snottiness and slow/poor service). Instead, there were a number of recommendations for Nexcess that seemed to check out. So, I decided to give them a try.

First up, I will state up front they are pricey. In fact, their basic package was not only higher than the similar package at the people who talked themselves out of my business, but significantly more than similar packages at other peers. That said, more than one review pointed out the amazing service you got from them for that fee. So, I decided to go over-budget and give them a try after talking with them.

The migration from Dreamhost went fairly well overall. For most things, I don’t think I spent more than ten minutes per issue (and there were very few issues) as we moved the site over. The responses were fast, professional, and the net result was that we had a functional site up and running very quickly. Admittedly at one point there was an issue on some WP/database files that took far longer than I expected to resolve as over the weekend the great support went away for a time and I didn’t hear back from them until Monday not near the start of the day. That was disappointing. Before that, my largest complaint was that I wasn’t getting enough feedback on what, if anything, I needed to be doing to help the migration and get things set-up. As it was, the missing files created a behind-the-scenes/under-the-hood issue that in no way impacted the public viewing of the site. On the migration overall: A-.

Steady traffic seems to be handled well. Pretty much as expected from any decent provider. Spike traffic is the issue for me, and one reason I went with them was a guarantee they have regarding resources to handle spikes. Yesterday put that to the test as I got an Instalanche (augmented by a link at Victory Girls and a Twitter link from Leslie Eastman of Legal Insurrection) sooner than anticipated.

Okay, the site did slow down and was down for a minute or two a couple of times in the next few hours. I did not open a trouble ticket immediately as Nexcess seemed to be handling a good bit automatically and I wanted to see how they did. I did eventually open a ticket and this time we were open well beyond ten minutes as they worked to handle the traffic. In fact, there was a pretty good silent gap at one point. I will add this: even when the traffic was handled, they were not happy with the slowness and worked to mitigate it.

Net result: the site was down for a minute or less twice that I know of; the site did bog down badly a couple of times, but bounced back; and, when slowness was detected, Nexcess worked to speed it back up. As a result, more people got through in the first 30 minutes than got through in 24-hours (on average) under Dreamhost. To top it off, a new traffic record was set with app. 3,700 visitors coming in from the referring sites and some 4,300 page views. I’m going to give the response a solid B. It would be a B+ but for one thing and that goes beyond just this incident.

Holy cow these people are into upselling. Anything and everything gets an upsale pitch. I got my first upsale pitches when talking to them about their service and my needs. I’ve gotten upsale pitches pretty much every flippin time I’ve talked to them about anything for any reason. Wondering if it is new because it is NOT mentioned in any of the major reviews (almost all of which seem to be a year or more old at this point, and prices have gone up quite a bit). Given that their prices are already significantly higher than their peers, this is not a good thing from my point of view. In point of fact, it already has me looking around for other options for either now (30-day money back) or when my paid-for year is up.

If it were not for that, I would probably be giving them a solid A at this point instead of a B+/A–. Initial contact and migration, with the one period of silence, was good and fast overall. The response to the link from Insty was solid, and so much better than Dreamhost (which took literally days to resolve tickets) it was/is not funny. Instead of being down hours, the site was down around two minutes total all day.

Oh, a note on Dreamhost: when I told them I would not be renewing my account was terminated immediately, not on the date I was paid to. Nor did they offer to refund any difference. To my mind, once they knew I would not be continuing, I got the big FU. Not that their service was that good to start with, to be polite. Put them on my highly NOT recommended list.

If it weren’t for the upsale, upsale, upsale routine, I would be extremely happy with Nexcess. As it is, if it weren’t for the upsale, upsale, upsale routine I would be giving more consideration to a possible upgrade as I can see some benefits. Just a hint to them, whoever decided that high pressure was the way to go is an idiot and a long-term detriment to the company. It may work in the short term, but it never works out well long-term.

All that said, solid. A huge improvement over Dreamhost. If you decide you are interested in trying them, let me know. Other than the upsale, upsale, upsale thing it’s been a pretty good experience so far. We will see how it goes.


If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, feel free to hit the tip jar in the upper right or the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo. Getting hit by lightning is not fun, and it is thanks to your gifts and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.

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