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Updated: 2022-04-25 / Article by: Timothy Shim
Company: Liquid Web
Background: LiquidWeb has longevity in its corner. Founded in 1997 by Matthew Hill, the Lansing, Michigan-based company provides web hosting services that empower web professionals worldwide. The company wholly owns and manages five data centres. With more than 32,000 customers in approximately 130 countries, LiquidWeb has to ensure it has the power to provide the many solutions that have turned it into a $90 million company with over 600 employees. It received the INC.5000 Fastest Growing Companies Award for nine consecutive years (2007- 2015).
LiquidWeb isn’t your run-of-the-mill web hosting service provider. A cursory glance at its website is sufficient to let anyone know it’s a specialist. The company only caters to the high-performance crowd, and everything they operate leans heavily towards Cloud services. Their prices are also correspondingly not for the faint of heart.
Despite what I feel are slightly steep price tags, LiquidWeb does justify the fees in many ways. Truth be told, if you need robust and reliable web hosting, there are few better places to look than here.
1. Outstanding Reliability and Performance
Being a primarily Cloud-based business means LiquidWeb can make more promises to its customers. You only need to dig into their Service Level Agreement (SLA) to find all the details. For example, the company boasts a 100% network uptime. That’s unsurprising since Cloud infrastructure boasts high levels of redundancy. Yet there is more.
If you’re using any of their dedicated services, they promise to resolve any hardware issues within 30 minutes of fault discovery. That’s impressive, given that they’ll have to replace any physical equipment that’s broken – then configure it and test the system.
While there are some caveats to this promise, they’re entirely reasonable for the most part. I would go so far as to say using LiquidWeb is the next best thing to having the server next to you and fixing it yourself as soon as something goes wrong.
2. LiquidWeb Boasts Excellent Customer Care
The reliability of their service spills over into the excellent customer care present at LiquidWeb. Customers have access to live chat, phone support, and a help desk. That, however, isn’t the unusual part.
Each of these support channels come with eye-opening guarantees. Help desk support is assured within 59 minutes, while phone answer times are guaranteed within 59 seconds, as is a Live Chat response.
If they don’t meet these standards, compensation to the tune of 10x credit for the amount of time they exceed the stipulated guarantee is paid.
3. Robust and Powerful Hosting Solutions
At LiquidWeb, you won’t find cheap hosting products that many hosting providers flog to the mass market. Here, even their “smaller” plans are Cloud-based. The best example of this is their range of WordPress plans that sort of fill that space.
Labelled as “Managed WordPress,” these plans are also Cloud-based. Because of that, you’re getting the same reliability of Cloud hosting for a steal compared to what most Cloud plans will go for elsewhere. Of course, the range of plans is broad so that you can scale up indefinitely.
LiquidWeb also offers everything up to server clusters at the upper end of the scale. That essentially means you can use them to build enterprise-scale infrastructure for your own business, should you require it. The sky is the limit.
There are also some pretty niche services available you won’t readily find elsewhere.
Software Add-ons – Give WP, Iconic WP, Kadence WP, WHMCS – Reseller Billing & Automation, and more.
Security & Compliance – Firewalls and VPN, Compliance Assistance, Server Protection, DDoS Protection, Data Protection, and more.
PCI Compliant Hosting with extensive security and safeguards included.
4. Runs from Privately-owned and Operated Data Centers
LiquidWeb mentions three data centre locations – Lansing, Michigan (in Central US), Arizona (US West Coast), and Amsterdam's Central Europe facility. The largest of these is the Central US data centre that can house over 33,000 servers. Both data centres in the continental US are SSAE-16 and HIPAA Compliant.
Their Europe data centre is the second-largest capacity, capable of housing 8,000 servers. This data centre has various ISO certifications and, more importantly, is PCI-DSS Compliant. All LiquidWeb data centres sport redundant systems and have Level 3 technicians on-site round the clock.
This self-operation means that the company has granular control over every aspect of its hosting business. Self-operated data centres guarantee a higher degree of security and data integrity than those simply renting space in third-party operated areas.
Cons: Things I Dislike About LiquidWeb
We're now going to dive into the cons of using LiquidWeb. There are of course, some things I hate about LiquidWeb, but I also believe some of these may be a matter of opinion and preference.
1. Expensive VPS Plans
While the Cloud contributing to increased WordPress plans may be reasonable, Liquidweb seems to have gone all-out in their VPS prices. While the prices are somewhat in line with prime VPS, they tend to omit certain items while charging those prices – such as a cPanel license.
The devil, as they say, is in the detail. While there’s no doubt LiquidWeb is powerful, they seem to have taken that as a blank cheque to hike the bills, not always within reason. Don’t forget that aside from what you’re paying for VPS, those prices will go up even more with the slightest customisation in the plan.
2. Lack of Asia-region Data Center
While I laud the fact that LiquidWeb owns and operates its data centres, there isn’t one serving the Asia region. Given that Asia is a massive eCommerce region, it’s a bit surprising they haven’t hopped onto this bandwagon yet.
LiquidWeb Plans and Pricing
After so many years in the business, it is no surprise that LiquidWeb has a pervasive range of product offerings at the upper end of the scale. If you want a Dedicated Server, it has it. If you want Dedicated Cloud, no problem. There’s something for everyone between VPS, Cloud, and Managed WordPress hosting.
LiquidWeb Managed WordPress Hosting
If it’s your first time at LiquidWeb, you’ll be stunned at the sight of their Managed WordPress hosting plans. Unlike the 2 or 3 plans that most providers offer, LiquidWeb provides a massive span of seven!
*Note: LiquidWeb offers seven Managed WordPress hosting plans. Please check out plans #5 – #7 at their official website.
LiquidWeb VPS Hosting
LiquidWeb controls itself somewhat in the range of VPS plans it offers. However, they also offer specific plans for Linux and Windows Server platforms. Either way, you’ll find these plans extremely potent.
Linux / 2G
Linux / 4GB
Windows / 4GB
Windows / 8 GB
AlmaLinux or CentOS 7
AlmaLinux or CentOS 7
Windows Server 2019
Windows Server 2019
InterWorx, Plesk Web Pro, or cPanel Admin
InterWorx, Plesk Web Pro, or cPanel Admin
Alternatives to LiquidWeb
Compare LiquidWeb vs WP Engine
Like LiquidWeb, WP Engine is a relatively niche hosting provider. While also offering only Cloud hosting, WP Engine focuses on WordPress and associated services. That gives it an advantage in terms of the specific support it provides for users of this platform.
Unlike LiquidWeb that provides its infrastructure, Kinsta offers services based on Google Cloud. While this may attract those going for brand names, it also hikes prices. As such, Kinsta offers comparatively less for much higher prices.
LiquidWeb is a web host that specialises in Cloud-based hosting solutions. While it does offer some entry-level plans, most of its products are geared towards websites that require extreme power and reliability.
Who owns LiquidWeb?
LiquidWeb is owned by Madison Dearborn Partners, a Chicago-based private equity investment firm. The brand was founded in 1997 by Matthew Hill. LiquidWeb retains its focus on reliable infrastructure and high-end web hosting services.
Is LiquidWeb Reliable?
LiquidWeb is a highly reliable hosting partner. The company combines the reliability of Cloud infrastructure with a rock-solid SLA to assure customers of the best uptime performance possible.
Why is LiquidWeb expensive?
While LiquidWeb does cost more than your average web host, it isn’t exactly expensive. This misconception is mainly due to them exclusively providing Cloud hosting, which is by default better, but pricier than regular shared hosting.
Does LiquidWeb have free hosting?
LiquidWeb does not have a free tier of web hosting. However, customers can take advantage of their 30-day money-back guarantee on Cloud VPS, Cloud Dedicated Hosting, or Private VPS Parent plans.
Final Thoughts: Should You Host at LiquidWeb?
For those that can afford to splurge, LiquidWeb is the Rolls Royce of the web hosting world. Managed services and self-operated data centres make them a niche Google Cloud of sorts – albeit at lower prices. Here you’ll also find hosting suitable for niche applications that aren’t exactly common.
Timothy Shim is a writer, editor, and tech geek. Starting his career in the field of Information Technology, he rapidly found his way into print and has since worked with International, regional and domestic media titles including ComputerWorld, PC.com, Business Today, and The Asian Banker. His expertise lies in the field of technology from both consumer as well as enterprise points of view.