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Excellent Speed and Performance
No web hosting review would be complete without reviewing and evaluating the speed and performance of the web hosting solutions provided by the web hosting company being reviewed and our Nexcess review is no exception to this.
To test the speed of their managed hosting solutions, we purchased the Managed WooCommerce Hosting Starter plan, which comes with WooCommerce pre-installed on WordPress along with some additional high value WooCommerce plugins as discussed in details below.
Although we tested the overall performance, including uptime performance, of the Managed WooCommerce hosting solutions for about 2 months, the speed test results that we will be presenting and discussing in this review pertain to the last 30 days of our testing.
Since we wanted the results of the speed test to accurately depict page load times and other speed related metrics of real e-commerce website pages, we tested web pages that were 3.58 MB to 5.42 MB.
To conduct the test, we measured the page speed and performance metrics using PageSpeed Insights by Google, and StatusCake.
PageSpeed Insights (PSI) runs Lighthouse to calculate a Performance score, on a scale of 0 to 100, which summarizes the web page’s performance.
This Performance score is a weighted average of the following speed metrics:
- First Contentful Paint: First Contentful Paint is the time at which the first text or image is painted. It is measured in seconds and contributes 15% to the overall Performance score.
- Speed Index: Speed Index shows how quickly the contents of a page are visibly populated. It is measured in seconds and contributes 15% to the overall Performance score.
- Largest Contentful Paint: Largest Contentful Paint records the time at which the largest text or image is painted. It is measured in seconds and contributes 25% to the overall Performance score.
- Time to Interactive: Time to Interactive is the amount of time it takes for the page to become fully interactive. It is measured in seconds and contributes 15% to the overall Performance score.
- Total Blocking Time: Total Blocking Time measures the amount of time that a page is blocked from responding to user inputs such as mouse clicks, screen taps or keyboard input. It is measured in seconds and contributes 25% to the overall Performance score.
- Cumulative Layout Shift: Cumulative Layout Shift measures the cumulative movement of visible elements within the viewport. It is expressed as a percentage and has a 5% contribution towards the overall Performance score.
Detailed information on these scores and metrics is available here.
In short, the higher the PSI Performance score, the faster the page loads.
Now that you have a basic understanding of how the Performance score is calculated, we can take a look at the results of the test that we conducted on Nexcess Managed WooCommerce Starter package.
In our experiment on Nexcess Managed Hosting, the PSI Performance score readings were recorded at various times of the day and an average speed score was calculated for each day.
These test scores were obtained from Google PageSpeed Insights and are presented here as a graph in Figure 1 for Desktop Page Speed and in Figure 5 for Mobile Page Speed:
The results above pertain to page speed metrics of the webiste as tested on a Desktop device.
For the first 23 days, the e-commerce page that we tested was 5.42 MB.
During this time, the PSI Performance score averaged at about 51.6, as is evident in Figure 1 above.
This score corresponds to an average Page Load Time of 1.95 seconds, as measured by StatusCake.
Although a score of 51.6 indicates that there is still room for improvments, a page load time of 1.95 seconds is very impressive, especially considering the fact that this is the most basic plan offered by Nexcess.
For the last 7 days of our testing phase, the page size was trimmed down to 3.58 MB.
Consequently, the PSI Performance score increased to 72.8 on average, which indicates pretty fast page load times.
This increased Performance score of 72.8 corresponded to an average Page Load Time of 1.41 seconds, as measured by StatusCake.
For a perspective on PSI Performance Scores, consider a fact that we have recorded Amazon.com having as low of a score as 72 on Desktop and 49 on Mobile!
If an average Google PSI Performance score of 72.8 is not good enough to convince you, a GTMetrix Grade A and Performance score of 97% should be sufficient to prove how fast Nexcess is, especially considering the fact that this is just their most basic package!
If the basic Nexcess Managed WooCommerce Starter plan is this fast, imagine how fast their premium higher-end plans would be!
Now that we have seen how fast Nexcess hosting is on Desktop devices, let’s see how fast Nexcess-hosted websites are on Mobile devices.
The results above pertain to page speed metrics of the test E-commerce webiste as tested on a Mobile device.
As is evident from Figure 5, the PSI Performance scores for our sample e-commerce website as tested on mobile are slightly lower than those pertaining to the desktop version, as expected.
When the e-commerce page was 5.42 MB, the PSI Performance score averaged at 33.2.
When the same e-commerce page was reduced to 3.58 MB, the PSI Performance score averaged at 48.6.
Again, as explained above, these Mobile PSI Performance scores are considered to be relatively good speed test scores, for the reasons discussed above.
To sum up the results of our speed test of Nexcess Managed hosting, we conclude that Nexcess does indeed provide very high speed managed hosting solutions.
Now that we know how fast Nexcess is, let’s try to understand what makes the hosting services by Nexcess so fast.