LiquidWeb Review

LiquidWeb Review
Plan in review: Managed WP
Reviewed by:
Rating:
Review Last Updated: March 19, 2018
Summary
LiquidWeb Hosting is excellent in many ways but they are not the right answer for small websites and individual bloggers. Read on to learn what I found with this hosting company.

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 around the world.

The company wholly owns and manages five data centers. 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.

LiquidWeb received INC.5000 Fastest Growing Companies Award for 9 consecutive years (2007- 2015).

Perhaps it was the ultimate in proof of potential that saw Hill selling LiquidWeb to investment firm Madison Dearborn Partners in 2015.

About LiquidWeb, the company

  • Founded: 1997, by Matthew Hill
  • Headquartered: Lansing, Michigan
  • Services: Cloud VPS & dedicated hosting; and other relevant web services.

(Quick Link) Review LiquidWeb Hosting in:

 

LiquidWeb Server Performance

 

Great performance metrics

Bitcatcha speed test result: A+

TTFB < 500ms for test from U.S. server

Great uptime record: 100% uptime

  TTFB > 1,400 ms for test from Asia server

 

LiquidWeb Uptime Record

LiquidWeb January / February 2018 Uptime: 100%

 

LiquidWeb Server Response Time & Overall Speed

As usual, we run our test site through BitCatcha’s system as well as WebPage Speed test. These results will usually key you in on critical performance factors on the average site.

Impressive BitCatcha response times!

Rated A+ at Bitcatcha speed test.

Performance on Webpage Test

Despite the outstanding score on BitCatcha, WebPage Test had other ideas apparently. Tests from two different server locations came back with poor TTFB results from a Singapore-based server. In the overall scheme of things however, it does appear that performance in this case would lean towards positive feelings.

Webpage Test, from server located at Chicago, TTFB: 486ms.
Webpage Test, from server located at Singpore, TTFB: 1,417ms.

 

 

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LiquidWeb Customer Care

 

Our Experience & Thoughts:

Network 100% uptime guarantee

Hardware replacement guarantee

Varying levels of support as necessary

Huge knowledge base for DIY help

Does not host a support forum

 

Good Support Knowledgebase

LiquidWeb is very transparent, providing vast amounts of information on each of its services, products, and solutions. Many questions are answered easily.

Thousands of articles in LiquidWeb knowledge base,

Hardware Replacement Guarantee

In terms of support, at first I was expecting the norm – FAQ, ticketing, etc. Imagine my surprise.

When it comes to support, LiquidWeb goes the whole enchilada, even as far as hardware support! I can’t imagine many companies like this being able to guarantee hardware component replacements within 30-minutes.

For the regular stuff, it’s all there. LiquidWeb is like having a business partner rather than a service.

The best part of all is that in their support endeavors, LiquidWeb doesn’t overwhelm or underwhelm. It offers levels of support in line with what you’re comfortable with, be you a system administrator, or Joe Schmoe from Chickenliver, Timbuktoo.

 

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LiquidWeb Hosting Features

 

Our Experience & Thoughts:

Newbie-friendly user interface

Huge range of server upgrade options

Firewall + DDoS protection with all plans 

HIPAA-compliant and gaming server hosting

Managed WordPress & WooCommerce Hosting

 Lack of Asia-based data center

 No email hosting for managed WP plans

 

Plans aplenty at LiquidWeb

After so many years in the business, it comes as no surprise that LiquidWeb has a very extensive range of product offerings. This stretches from the budget-friendly shared hosting plans all the way to enterprise-scale levels.

If you want a dedicated server, it has it. If you want a dedicated cloud, no problem. Between VPS, cloud sites, and Managed WordPress, there is a product that works for what you need.

Aside from the server types, LiquidWeb is a little more advanced than the average web host, since it also leans slightly towards being a solutions provider. This allows it to target a variety of businesses which have specific needs. For instance, a medical facility will need HIPAA-compliant hosting, and a gaming company will need game server hosting.

LiquidWeb VPS Hosting 

Features / Plans Plan 1 Plan 2 Plan 3 Plan 4 More
Core Processor 2 2 4 8 Up to 20
RAM 2 GB 2 GB 4 GB 8 GB Up to 256 GB
SSD Storage 40 GB 100 GB 125 GB 200 GB Up to 1.6 TB
Data Transfer 5 TB 5 TB 5 TB 5 TB 5 TB
Public IP address
Auto Backup (pay-per-gig) $0.12/mo per GB
Starting Price * $59/mo $79/mo $119/mo $169/mo

 

* Note: Customization allowed for all LiquidWeb VPS Hosting plans. Additional costs may apply for different operating systems, tax, additional bandwidth, additional IP address, and backup services.

LiquidWeb Managed WP Hosting 

Features / Plans Personal Professional Business Agency
Sites 10 20 25 40
SSD Storage 100 GB 150 GB 100 GB 300 GB
Data Transfer 5 TB 5 TB 5 TB 5 TB
One-click Staging
Auto Image Compression
iThemes Sync
Price $69/mo $99/mo $149/mo $289/mo

 

Extensive List of Products, Solutions, and Services

LiquidWeb also offers the following:

  • Hosting Essentials – Includes DDoS Attack Protection, Backups, Security, and Performance Enhancement.
  • Network Services – Load Balancing, DDoS Attack Protection, and Content Delivery.
  • Storage & Backup – Solid-State Storage, Backups, and More.
  • Database Hosting – MySQL, Microsoft SQL, Cassandra, Managed MSSQL, and Microsoft SQL as a Service.
  • Software Services – Includes Plesk, CMS Hosting, Blog Hosting, Softaculous, Ruby on Rails Hosting, and More.
  • Monitoring Service – Sonar Monitoring.
  • Security Services – Firewalls, ServerSecure, PCI Compliance, SSL Certificates, Virtual Private Network (VPN), and Nessus Vulnerability Scanner.
  • Mail Hosting – Hosting for Linux, Windows, Microsoft Exchange, and MailSecure.
  • Log Management – LiquidWeb Log Storage.

As mentioned, LiquidWeb’s storied history in the web hosting world has resulted in such a long list of services that the company offers everything you could need. A strong emphasis is placed on security and ensuring customers have the computing power they need.

HIPAA-Compliant Server

United States’ Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 requires businesses that store and process health information to comply with strict administrative, physical and technical safeguards.

An independent auditing firm, has validated Liquid Web’s assertion that their solutions comply with HIPAA/HITECH security and privacy guidelines.

DDoS Protection

Basic DDoS protection is included with every LiquidWeb server.

The system will automatically mitigate volumetric attacks between 250 Mbps to 2 Gbps in size.

* Click to enlarge image.

LiquidWeb Data Center Facilities

There is a slight discrepancy regarding Liquidweb data center facilities, which they emphasize are state of the art and private. Although they mention having five, only three locations are mentioned – The facilities are located in Lansing, Michigan (in Central US), Arizona (US West Coast) and a Central Europe facility in Amsterdam.

The lack of an Asia region data centre might be why there was a bump in the speed test from a Singapore-based server.

The centers are maintained 24/7/365 by the company’s Heroic Support technicians. The technicians ensure fast response times that contribute to the 100% uptime that the company is known for.

So far in my observation, the uptime really has been a promised 100%. I am sure this has a lot to do with the added redundancy of the data centers and the highly talented team that is able to make geographic redundancy work seamlessly.

The Phoenix, Arizona, server location offers customers a great number of advantages. Those advantages include disaster recovery, geographic redundancy, and a very strong network on the West Coast. It is also HIPPA-compliant. Combined with the private Michigan data centers, LiquidWeb has worked hard to make it as reliable as possible.

LiquidWeb data center 2 exterior
LiquidWeb data center 2 interior.

LiquidWeb’s Heroic support employee.
LiquidWeb data center 2 interior.

No Email for Managed WP Hosting Plans

Email hosting is not included in LiquidWeb Managed WordPress Hosting plans.

There are three ways to overcome this issues:

  1. Host your emails at other email hosting services,
  2. Stick with LiquidWeb’s cPanel Hosting plans instead, and
  3. Subscribe to LiquidWeb Premium Business Email ($1/mo/mailbox)

 

LiquidWeb cPanel Hosting comes with email hosting services but do not support various iThemes Sync and automatic image compression.

Compare LiquidWeb cPanel and Managed WP hosting (Source).

LiquidWeb Email Features include:

  • 25GB mailboxes with Outlook auto setup
  • Chat via webmail plus 50MB attachments.
  • Four level spam filters: Gatekeeper Scan, Message Sniffer, Cloudmark Fingerprinting, and Clam AV.

 

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Pricing: Is LiquidWeb’s Expensive Price Tag Justified?

 

Our Experience & Thoughts:

Does not jack up renewal price

Managed WordPress hosting 30 – 50% cheaper than market rate

Expensive VPS hosting plans 

 

Expensive VPS Hosting

LiquidWeb VPS Hosting is brilliant in many ways but NOT with their pricing.

This is especially true when you compare their VPS hosting plans with other players in the market.

Features / Plans LiquidWeb InterServer A2 Hosting InMotion
CPU Cores 2 2 6 2
RAM 2 GB 5 GB 6 GB 6 GB
SSD Storage 100 GB 125 GB 100 GB 150 GB
Data Transfer 5 TB 5 TB 3 TB 6 TB
Free Backups
Linux / Windows
Price $79/mo $30/mo $46.19/mo $44.99/mo
More info Review Review Review

 

One Exception: Users with Multiple WordPress Sites 

Competitive prices, built-in iThemes Sync Pro, affordable price, finely tuned WP platform, and 24 x 7 on-site technical supports.

LiquidWeb is a dream come true for resellers and agencies who need to build and maintain multiple WordPress sites.

Looking at the Managed WordPress hosting, a user can have 20 sites for $189 per month and enjoy all the security and stability needed to appeal to customers. Each plan comes with a considerable amount of storage and 5 terabytes of bandwidth.

LiquidWeb vs Other Top Managed WP Hosts

Table below compares LiquidWeb Managed WP hosting plans with other similar services in market.

Note the differences in number of WP sites to host and prices.

 

LiquidWeb WP Engine Pressidium GetFlyWheel
Hosting Plans Business Scale Business Agency
Number of WP Sites 25 15 25 30
Storage 100 GB 400 GB 30 GB 120 GB
Full SSD?
Data Transfer 5 TB Unlimited 8 TB
Visits Limit No limit 400,000/mo 500,000/mo 600,000/mo
Multisite Ready?
CDN +$8/mo per site
Staging Sites
Hands-free Migration
Malware Monitoring
Auto Image Compression
Risk Free Trial 60 days 60 days 14 days
Monthly Price (12-mo) $149/mo $290/mo $250/mo $187.50/mo
Learn More WP Engine Review Pressidium Review

 

Learn more: https://www.liquidweb.com/wordpress/

 

 

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Verdict: Is LiquidWeb Hosting Right For You?

LiquidWeb is excellent in many aspects despite my raves about the breadth of their offerings, I have to admit they might not be for everyone, especially given the relatively high entry price of their managed wordpress plans. Yet I feel those who would avoid them would be few.

Here are a few scenarios where LiquidWeb would be the right choice;

1- Looking for enterprise level hosting service

Why: Reasonable price, strong business track record, and excellent hosting performance.

2- Agency, multiple WordPress sites, resellers

Why: Cost efficient (especially if you are running multiple high-traffic WordPress sites!), strong business track record, and excellent hosting performance.

3- Looking for VPS hosting service

Why: Strong business track record and excellent hosting performance. Note that they are not the best price in town though.

 

More Reference: LiquidWeb’s Customer Base & Positive Case Studies

LiquidWeb is a popular hosting company for many well-known brands, including:

  • Ducati
  • Hitachi
  • Chevy Volt
  • Red Bull
  • Aunt Jemima
  • MTV

  • FedEx
  • Michigan State University
  • Suave
  • Bic
  • Fila
  • Audi

  • Xerox
  • American Airlines
  • Eddie Bauer
  • Home Depot
  • GM
  • Symantec

If that’s not enough, here are two positive case studies.

Case Study #1: Disruptor Beam

LiquidWeb has the power and tools to host websites for companies like Disruptor Beam.

This gaming company has become popular for creating a game around the popular “Game of Thrones” series. Disruptor Beam turned to LiquidWeb’s hybrid solutions, Storm Platform, and Heroic Support Engineers to help with this major endeavor. This turned into a true partnership.

What’s worked for us well at Liquid Web is the combination of dedicated servers for mission-critical , custom systems along with cloud-based nodes that we can scale up and down as needed.

– Jon Radoff, founder / CEO, Disruptor Beam

Case Study #2: Interlisys

Intelisys before and after WP optimized (source: Rigor)

Intelisys is another company that has benefited from what LiquidWeb has made available.

Intelisys required computing power because it is the gold standard in two-tier communication. It needed to launch new cloud service initiatives.

When Intelisys started using LiquidWeb, its traffic doubled. To accomplish this feat, Intelisys had to migrate to LiquidWeb’s Managed WordPress platform quickly.

I’m speaking as a tech guy here, but I can’t emphasize enough how good Liquid Web’s support services have been.

The support team has been responsive and consistently helpful and LiquidWeb’s support service agreement, in addition to top-tier support being available 24 hours a day included as part of the monthly hosting package, made a huge impact on our ability to move quickly and troubleshoot in real time, as issues from a very complex website transition arose almost daily.

With thousands of eyeballs on our website each day, this white-glove assistance was priceless.

– Justin Kelley, Administrator, Intelisys.com

 

 

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Order LiquidWeb Hosting

Click: https://www.liquidweb.com/

 

 

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