Liquid Web Review 2021: A High-end Hosting Solution for Entrepreneurs
Does your business require a premium web hosting solution that Liquid Web offers? If yes, then you found the right review to help you weigh down whether it is worth a try or not.
Liquid Web is one of the many acknowledged web hosting providers in the field of website building today. But compared to its peers, the web hosting company carved a different path by providing high-end services.
What is Liquid Web?
Liquid Web is a privately held web hosting solution that provides a wide range of web and server solutions. It caters particularly to small and medium-sized businesses and is known for its high-end and reliable hosting plans—especially its digital commerce cloud solutions,
Founded way back in 1997, the web hosting company eventually grew and currently supports more than 30, 000 users in over 130 countries as well. And that is quite a large number given that Liquid Web sells not-so-affordable hosting plans.
In fact, it is among the list of the world’s most-love brands based on its Net Promoter Score and hosted web pages for big brands like Motorola, National Geographic, and FedEx.
Moreover, the company is headquartered in Lansing, Michigan and now employs more than 500 professionals to handle all clients’ hosting problems and concerns. It has its own data towers too to provide its clients with fast and reliable websites.
What is it for?
Liquid Web, unlike its competitors, provides web hosting services tailored for entrepreneurs with challenging and specific needs. It is rather known for its premium web hosting solutions, unlike its competitors that mostly offer cheap plans.
If, say, you are an amateur biz owner or someone looking to start a project, I suggest you try other web hosting services such as Hostinger and FastComet.
Why, you ask?
It is because Liquid Web tools and features are particularly handy for small to medium-sized businesses, preferably those who have online stores, several websites, and even digital agencies. Businesses that are looking to expand their trading and growing exponentially are suitable for what the web hosting provider offers too.
Hence, it would be a waste to spend about $30 a month for a service that you cannot fully consume.
Liquid Web had developed its own WordPress and WooCommerce hosting too, which makes it great for WordPress and WooCommerce users. The said hostings come with a wide array of advanced tools and WordPress plugins users will need.
How does it differ?
Some may say that Liquid Web is just like any web hosting service folks can find today. And, yes, that is somehow true given that it is a web hosting service. However, unlike its competitors, Liquid Web does not offer shared hosting and took itself out from the highly competitive race of low-cost hosting plans.
The company rather focused on delivering high-end solutions for businesses with complex needs, which is also the very reason why its plans are expensive but value-driven.
Liquid Web does not also solely depend on using a caching manager as well—if compared to other web hosting services—to ensure all its customers’ site speeds are performing well. It instead focused on employing hundreds of PHP workers to do the work. In fact, every plan has 10 dedicated PHP experts.
Lastly, Liquid Web did not follow suit its competitors by selling low-cost hosting plans and offering solutions to beginners. It rather targeted big businesses by offering premium hosting.
The pros and cons
To know more about Liquid Web, below are a few some of its perks as well as downsides users should know about:
· Fully managed hosting plans
· Impressive uptime guarantee and page loading times
· 24/7 customer support
· Jam-packed features
· Free SSL certificates
· Cloudflare CDN with DDoS protection
· Automatic daily backups
· Expensive hosting plans
· No shared hosting
· Data centers are available in the US and UK only
Everything about Liquid Web
Now that you are somewhat familiar with Liquid Web already, I think it is time to dig in a little deeper. In this section of Liquid Web Review, I will discuss all the crucial information you need to know.
Let’s get started?
Liquid Web’s best features
Below are Liquid Web features that I believe have standout more than the other features.
1. Fully managed hosting
Entrepreneurs in all fields are typically the always-busy type of folks. And given that it is the norm, Liquid Web ensures that its clients would not need to worry about their websites despite their busy schedules.
Here is why.
Liquid Web provides a fully managed web hosting solution in all its plans. Be it WordPress hosting or cloud hosting, Liquid Web will do most of the work for you.
For example, if you are using its WordPress hosting, Liquid Web will update all plugins installed on your page every single day. The process is made through a dedicated testing environment as well to ensure that your site is free of plugin issues that may cause downtime.
Other tasks such as security patches as well as software are made by Liquid Web too.
On the other hand, you feel like all Liquid Web plans do not suit your business and cannot meet its demands, the provider also allows its clients to request a customized hosting plan that will fit their business needs.
But what is truly impressive is that every customized hosting solution has its own dedicated account manager that has all the information you need about your webpage. The said account manager will also collaborate with your IT team to provide a quality hosting experience.
2. Control panel selection
If there is another feature that sets Liquid Web apart from its industry rivals, I believe it is its selection of control panel. If you are not aware yet, most web hosting services today provide one panel for their users only. Some use the standard cPanel, while others like Hostinger developed its own.
Liquid Web, on the other hand, understands that businesses require a unique approach and system to efficiently manage it. So, to provide all its clients unique demands, the company offers three control panel management systems.
Here are the three options to choose from:
· cPanel + WHM. Liquid Web calls this option the “get-things-done” control panel. It is a combination of the standard as well as the widely used cPanel and Web Host Manager (WHM). Essentially, it enables users to configure multiple servers through WHM and, at the same time, manage all sites individually using the cPanel.
It comes with an array of promising tools as well to further improve your page’s performance. For instance, it has a built-in and automated site backup system for seamless website restoration. It also has a Softaculous auto-installer for one-click CMS installations.
Its interface is guaranteed user-friendly as well with its simple design, so no need to worry if you are an amateur when it comes to these things. Both cPanel and WHM designs are also optimized and responsive for mobile use. That way, users can check the status of their sites regularly.
· Plesk. Plesk is a popular control panel management system and is usually being compared with cPanel. However, unlike the first option, Plesk rolled both the tasks of server and website management into a single dashboard.
It is also packed with handy features just like the first option. But what makes it different is that its tools are mostly for security purposes.
For example, it has ServerShield software—which is powered by Cloudflare—that protects the server. It comes with a Security Core too to prevent malicious threats and attacks as well as a premium email antivirus to defend your page from all kinds of computer viruses including trojans and worms.
When it comes to its interface, Plesk provides a seamless experience through its intuitive system as well as a mobile-responsive administrator that you can access both on iOS and Android devices.
· InterWorx. Last but not least is InterWorx. Just like the first two options, it is a control panel management system that clients can use for handling both server and site tasks. It provides tools for server, site, domain, and email management.
InterWorx is divided into two parts: the SiteWorx and the NodeWorx. Essentially, the latter is where users can configure and manage their servers while the former provides management tools for webpages, databases, and emails.
The panel functions the same as the first two options. The only thing that sets it apart is that InterWorx is much more suitable for businesses that require a control panel that can support multiple user accounts or admin.
Generally, Liquid Web’s selection of control panels allows users to a) configure servers and sites, b) manage accounts, c) oversee site and server health status, and lastly, d) do administrative tasks like billings and payments.
One thing to take note of, however, is that Liquid Web’s interface for each control panel—although easy to understand—is quite overwhelming at first. But it will become easier once you get the hang of it.
3. Site stencil & staging site
Another feature that stands out for me is Liquid Web’s site stencil and staging site that allows users to create a separate copy of their websites. On the flip side, although the functions of the said tools are almost the same, each of them is built for different purposes.
Here’s how they differ:
· Site stencil, as its name suggests, is a tool that allows users to duplicate an existing web page’s design, configuration, and even plugins. I find the feature quite a handy tool as it lets users save time and work smarter.
Web developers working for different clients, for instance, can simply copy the framework of an existing website and then alter it accordingly. Those who want to monetize multiple websites can do the same too, rather than starting from scratch.
· The staging site feature, on the one hand, is a tool used specifically for testing websites. Essentially, it enables you to build a staging site or, in layman’s terms, a separate copy of your live site. This way, you can test out your website’s new theme, plugins, and other changes you made before fully launching your page.
The only downside for these tools is that both the staging site and site stencil is available on WordPress and WooCommerce hosting only.
4. Cloudflare CDN with DDos protection
Liquid Web offers another security feature using Cloudflare CDN.
If you are not aware yet, Cloudflare is typically introduced as a tool that helps to improve a website’s speed and content delivery. But what people do not know is that it can also defend your page and prevent a DDoS attack from taking your webpage down.
It also filters all incoming web traffic to make sure that no malicious attacks can enter your website. And if, say, your site got infected with a DDoS threat, Liquid Web will inform you immediately.
Furthermore, Liquid Web offers premium DDoS Attack Prevention solutions for sturdier security. Here are some perks you will get from it:
· It oversees all web traffic coming through your website in real-time
· It identifies and makes proactive actions to any threats and attacks
· It separates all suspicious and malicious traffic before it gets through the critical layer of your site’s system.
The only downside of getting premium DDoS protection is that it is not free. In fact, it will cost you a lot. Users need to purchase it in a separate subscription as well for $99 a month—quite expensive and impractical for beginners to try.
5. Free site migrations
Are you looking to shift to Liquid Web as your new web hosting provider? Then you will need site migration for convenient and seamless site transfer.
Fortunately, Liquid Web offers it for free.
A site migration feature lets users transfer their websites from one hosting to another. In Liquid Web, you can do both external and internal migration without paying a hefty price.
Aside from that, the company provided two options for users to choose from. You can either do it by asking for help from Liquid Web’s technical team or through a plugin called Migrate to Liquid Web WordPress.
The only difference is that you have to migrate the site on your own if you are going to use the plugin. On a good note, Liquid Web guarantees that it is going to be hassle-free since the plugin—whether it is configuring the files, copying, or importing—will do all the work for you.
6. Fully managed WordPress hosting
Veteran or not, web enthusiasts know that WordPress is everyone’s go-to content management system (CMS). The said CMS, however, is made up of intricate codes and site technicalities that require WordPress-optimized hosting to support all its demands. Otherwise, it will slow down websites and eventually affect the sites’ SEO performance.
As a solution, Liquid Web came up with its WordPress-oriented hosting.
Liquid Web offers not just WordPress hosting but fully managed WordPress hosting. It means that everything—whether it is about the server or the plugins—will be handed to you by the web hosting company.
Liquid Web’s WordPress hosting does not put a cap to its perks too, unlike other web hosts. One example is web traffic, which allows users to earn unlimited traffic. It also does no limit page views and offers zero overage fees.
But what’s truly impressive is that it has technologies built specifically to create a server designed to deliver fast and reliable WordPress-supported websites. Per Liquid Web, its custom-built server is powered with PHP 7, Nginx, image compression, SSD storage, and HTTP/2.
Here are a few more tools being offered under the WordPress hosting:
· iThemes sync pro. Liquid Web’s iTheme Sync Pro is a tool built particularly for web owners running multiple WordPress websites. Essentially, what it does is that through its iThemes Sync dashboard, it enables users to update all their pages at once—whether it is plugins or themes.
It allows users to keep track of their site’s downtime (if there are), perform administrative tasks, and install plugins. These things can also be done individually or at once.
The only downside I noticed is that his feature is not available on Liquid Web’s WordPress hosting entry-level plan. You can purchase it, however, through higher tiers, and will cost you about $11 per month.
· iThemes security pro. As per its name, the tools work to boost your page’s security. For instance, it lets you set up two-factor authentication to secure your site. It also has auto malware scanning as well as file system monitoring.
The thing is, just like the iThemes sync pro, iThemes security pro is only available on higher tiers and will cost you for about $11 a month. But if you like to test it out first or you simply do not want to pay that much for an additional security tool, it has a free but different version too and is popular among web owners.
· Automatic daily backups. Liquid Web’s WordPress hosting comes with a tool that enables sites to store backups automatically every single day. Per the web host provider, the data is stored in a safe and isolated area within Liquid Web servers for up to 30 days.
· Access to premium plugins. No need to purchase separate plugins for the website too as the hosting comes with a selection of premium plugins that you can use for free.
No need to pay hefty prices for page building and designing, for example, since you can use the Beaver Lite page builder (market price is $99 per year). Aside from that, you get to access premium WPForms Lite (an online form builder) too, which is being sold at $79 annually.
Another thing to take note of is that Liquid Web’s WordPress hosting is not built to support a single site only, but multiple websites. For its basic plan, for instance, users can create up to ten webpages.
Liquid Web gives a satisfactory performance as well, thanks to its data centers spread in different countries worldwide. It built centers in various countries including the Netherlands, U.K., U.S., and Australia. To top it off, Liquid Web also has multiple data centers in the U.K. and U.S.
Having said that, I run several site tests to determine its overall performance, including page speed, uptime, and security. Here are the test results:
While most web hosting services promise 99.99%, Liquid Web claims to provide a nearly 100% uptime score. Meanwhile, webmasters find that the hosting provides efficient service when it comes to this aspect too.
So, to check if this is true, I conducted a site test to determine the uptime performance of a page supported by Liquid Web.
Using UptimeRobot, Liquid Web’s uptime score within four months has delivered an average score of 99.998%. It did not hit its promised score of 100%. Still, it is remarkably impressive to say that it failed to give satisfactory results.
The web hosting service gives compensation to clients who experienced mild to severe downtime too. Technically, it means that users get credited ten times the amount of time the server was down.
2. Page loading time
Liquid Web’s page loading time has shown impressive numbers as well. Because after various site testing the web hosting company did not only uphold its promise but exceeded other providers’ performance as well.
Its page loading time results per GTmetrix, for example, delivered an average speed of 1.82 seconds. Its fastest, on the one hand, is 1.3 seconds while the slowest is 2 seconds. Quite an impressive result as to how it should be, especially with its price.
Its results using Sucuri, on the other hand, delivered an average page loading time of 0.665 seconds. The fastest is 0.211, while the slowest is 2.215 seconds.
If you remember the earlier security features I discussed above, Liquid Web is thoroughly strict when it comes to this aspect. In fact, it also provides free SSL certificates to all its clients to ensure that their websites are protected from threats and malicious attacks.
Essentially, it encrypts all data your site and your visitors are exchanging. Here are some of the information it secures:
· Credentials for online application logins
· Bank, credit, and debit card data
· File transfers
Plans and pricing
Liquid Web offers various hosting plans, and each plan varies in price. To give a brief review, below are the web hosting company’s basic hosting plans along with its prices.
· Managed WordPress: $19 per month.
· Managed WooCommerce: $19 per month.
· VPS hosting: $35 per month.
· Dedicated server: $169 per month.
· Cloud servers: $265 per month.
· Cloud dedicated: $169 per month.
· VMware private cloud: $510 per month.
When it comes to helping its clients, Liquid Web claims that the company has the “most helpful humans” in the field of web hosting. In fact, it calls its customer support system “heroic support.”
But just like any other web hosting solution, Liquid Web’s customer service also provides 24/7 availability and easy access to technical representatives through email, phone calls, and even via live chat.
Having said that, below are a few more perks to look forward to.
1. Sonor monitoring team. This tool is most likely the reason why Liquid Web claims its customer service system a “heroic support.” Because rather than waiting for technical issues to cause downtime, sonor monitoring ta troubleshoots and identifies potential problems on customers’ servers.
I find it quite a handy tool, particularly for those who are handling big websites that are generating a significant amount of web traffic. In short, revenue.
2. Technical support. As mentioned, customer support is open 24/7. Liquid Web, however, created options customized to its clients’ needs.
For example, users that need immediate help should contact a representative through live chat or phone call only. This method guarantees a 59-second response, according to the web hosting company.
Those who are not in a rush or, say, just want to ask casual questions about the hosting can request a ticket through Liquid Web’s help desk. The initial response for this method, however, is quite long compared to the first one as users will need to wait almost an hour.
3. Knowledgebase. Aside from its excellent support, Liquid Web has a collection of articles as well as tutorials that users can read as a guide.
4. 24/7 data center staffs. Its centers are being monitored by a team of three technicians 24/7. So, if any issues need attention, Liquid Web can fix it immediately.
Things to take note of
Despite having high-end web hosting services, Liquid Web lacks as few aspects that other web hosting solutions. In other words, it also has disadvantages. That being said, I enumerated below a few things to take note of about Liquid Web.
1. Liquid Web is not for beginners looking for a low-cost web host
Liquid Web has truly an impressive collection of features that even amateur entrepreneurs would wish to covet. But the thing is, these tools come with a great price, literally.
Liquid Web’s hosting plans are expensive. And compared to its competitors, its web hosting plans are three to ten times higher. In fact, its lowest price starts at $19 (for managed WordPress hosting), while its other plans start at a whopping $30.
But not only that, users need to pay an annual fee as well which other web hosting providers do not charge. It also does not have a money-back guarantee policy. Though all its subscriptions are contract-free, which means users can cancel the subscription any time they want.
Having said that, I do not recommend Liquid Web to start-ups and individual entrepreneurs who are still starting. Its features are not suitable for starters as well. Hence, it would be impractical for beginners to try Liquid Web.
2. No shared hosting
As mentioned, Liquid Web is preferably for webmasters who are running multiple sites with high-end and unique demands. That being said, if you are a beginner, I suggest you cross out Liquid Web off of your list because, unfortunately, it does not offer a shared hosting plan.
Shared hosting is a known and widely used hosting preference by many small to medium businesses, particularly startups. It is the most affordable as well, among other hosting types—aside from its features that cater specifically to them.
If you are not aware yet, Liquid Web’s entry-level service is cloud VPS hosting.
3. Data centers are available in the US and UK only
If your target audience is mostly from Asia, I suggest you reconsider Liquid Web. It is because its data centers are mostly located in the United States and Europe, which might affect your site’s speed and availability.
On the other hand, Liquid Web provides a CDN which helps in delivering content worldwide. It means even if you have an audience across Asia-Pacific, your site’s speed and availability are still guaranteed high despite having no data towers in Asia.
Do I recommend Liquid Web?
My answer is yes. But then again it depends on the user and the status of his business since the hosting solution offers not-for-everyone features and tools.
Liquid Web set itself apart from its competitors by offering high-end web hosting services and did not take the same route other web hosting companies take. Its services are essentially to cater to webmasters—particularly big brands or those who are handling multiple pages—with unique demands.
So, if you fit the said description, then you should consider Liquid Web as your web host solution.