Liquid Web Review: Scalable Managed WordPress Hosting
Product Name: Liquid Web Managed WordPress
Brand: Liquid Web
LiquidWeb Review: Summary
Liquid Web certainly stands out from the rest – from pricing to features, they seem to have it all… but watch out for the (lack of) hardware upgrades for the higher-tier plans.
- Different tiers of managed plans available
- Free Premium Tools and Plugins irrespective of the plan
- 100% uptime guarantee
- Lots of disk space
- Expensive for starters
If you are planning to launch a WordPress site and don’t want all the hassle, or you have outgrown your shared hosting subscription and need a little help handling your growth, LiquidWeb’s range of managed WordPress hosting plans is perfect for you.
With its roots in the late-1990s, Liquid Web has become a leader in managed WordPress hosting.
They are known for their super-fast, high-quality customer support, cutting-edge technology and hardware, and services that are tuned and optimized for performance, speed, and security.
All in all, Liquid Web has become known for providing a hassle-free hosting solution for people who want to launch a robust WordPress website.
Right off the bat, their website looks a little different than what we’re used to. Could it be hinting at their overall services? Are they trying too hard to stand out from the rest?
On top of that, they have a ton of great reviews backing them up.
Does Liquid Web really live up to its great reviews and all the hype surrounding it?
That is what we are going to find out in our review of Liquid Web. By weighing up the “pros” and “cons” you’ll be able to weigh up whether or not LiquidWeb is right for your WordPress project.
- Liquid Web Review: What’s Unique About Liquid Web?
- What We Love About Liquid Web
- Reliable Servers and Hardware
- Plans Optimized for WordPress and WooCommerce
- Premium Themes and Plugins
- Great Customer Feedback
- Dedicated to Managed WordPress Hosting
- Free Site Migrations
- SSD Disk Space Used as Standard
- 100% Uptime Guarantee
- Easy Process of Buying Services
- Things We Didn’t Like About Liquid Web
- Liquid Web Pricing
- Spark WordPress Hosting
- Maker WordPress Hosting
- Builder WordPress Hosting
- Producer WordPress Hosting
- Executive WordPress Hosting
- Enterprise WordPress Hosting
- What’s the Difference?
- Liquid Web Final Thoughts
Liquid Web Review: What’s Unique About Liquid Web?
Liquid Web offers quite a lot of services, some of which are unheard of in many of its competitor services.
Unlike other hosting companies, Liquid Web does not offer a blog-standard shared hosting service at all and there’s a good reason behind it; Liquid Web takes pride in providing premium services like Managed WordPress Hosting.
Note: This review is specifically focused upon the services offered in Managed WordPress Hosting tier. We plan on adding more depth to it by reviewing other services offered by Liquid Web in the future.
What We Love About Liquid Web
These are some of the things that we liked about Liquid Web.
Reliable Servers and Hardware
Liquid Web operates its own data centers that it owns outright. These data centers feature network infrastructure that is fully managed and backed up by a service level agreement of 100% uptime guaranteed.
This means that if Liquid Web experiences any unlikely periods of downtime (particularly for prolonged periods), the service level agreement that Liquid Web has with its network providers means that you will be compensated.
Plans Optimized for WordPress and WooCommerce
Because Liquid Web is dedicated to providing a robust WordPress hosting solution, their plans and hardware have been specifically optimized for its use (WooCommerce, too). Liquid Web’s server stacks have been designed with speed in mind—Liquid Web’s infrastructure helps to reduce query loads by up to 95% and increase capacity by around 75%.
Optimizations have not just been made on the hardware side, though.
Liquid Web has a partnership with a leading company in abandoned cart technology, Jilt, and this means you can use their software, software that helps you take action to recover abandoned carts (and lost revenue), free of charge with all Liquid Web plans.
Premium Themes and Plugins
Liquid Web happens to be the only reputable web host on the internet that provides premium themes and plugins like Beaver Builder, iThemes Security and Sync plugin (each cost around $50/year) and Jilt to its customers irrespective of what plan they opted for.
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Great Customer Feedback
Liquid Web has glowing feedback online from real customers who have used their services. More often than not, online reviews are plagued with the negatives… but not Liquid Web’s.
Here are some testimonials by our readers:
Managed Hosting with Liquid Web is Incredible
Moving our managed hosting to Liquid Web was one of the best decisions we made last year.
The performance is outstanding — our site speed went up by 50% just with the transition. More importantly, the Liquid Web support team goes above and beyond and is easily accessible.
Thank you, Liquid Web!
Don’t Shop Anywhere Else
Liquid Web is great.
I’ve been through many hosting providers and these guys help with things other providers would say ‘it’s your job to know how to do this-we only host it’.
One guy stayed on the phone with me for 2 hours when I switched from a Magento site to a WordPress site.
Dedicated to Managed WordPress Hosting
The whole Liquid Web platform is built around managed WordPress solutions. While that is the case, however, you can choose whether you want a wholly managed service, a part-managed service, or a self-managed service.
There are plenty of benefits associated with utilizing a managed solution. These include the management of technical aspects, server health, software updates, security considerations, hardware maintenance, and more.
If all you want to do is manage your website and not have to focus on the technical aspects, Liquid Web’s managed WordPress hosting is perfect.
Free Site Migrations
Liquid Web has a dedicated website migration team. The sole purpose of this team is to help new customers migrate their website from their current hosting company to Liquid Web, completely free of charge.
It doesn’t matter what size your website is, what state it is in, or how you have set it up, Liquid Web will move it for you without any fuss.
In the unlikely event that Liquid Web cannot take care of your website migration, they will offer support to you throughout the process wherever they can.
SSD Disk Space Used as Standard
All Liquid Web’s plans come with SSD storage as standard. SSDs are much, much faster than regular HDDs (your classic hard drives) that slow down over time. The fact that SSDs are faster means that your server operations and website loading will be a whole lot faster.
More and more hosting companies are beginning to replace their HDDs with SSDs… but you’d be surprised to learn that most hosting companies still rely on old technology.
While only offering HDDs is not yet negative, it will still take time for HDDs to fall off from being used in mainstream tech, period.
The fact that Liquid Web offers SSD disk space already, and lots of it, is just another positive point.
100% Uptime Guarantee
Liquid Web has a 100% uptime guarantee. While we could not find any problems with Liquid Web’s uptime, something that was hardly surprising, it is always good to see a host that is so confident about its services that they are willing to operate an uptime guarantee.
If Liquid Web experiences any downtime, even if it’s just one minute’s worth, you will be compensated with account credits. These can be spent on Liquid Web’s services on-site.
Easy Process of Buying Services
Even though this gets lost in most of the reviews, but I feel the ease of purchase should be mentioned a bit more than it is.
The Ease of Purchase of any service on Liquid Web is excellent. They’ve mastered the experience – within 5 clicks you’ll have a website up and running!
Things We Didn’t Like About Liquid Web
There were a few things that we didn’t like.
No Shared Hosting Available
Like we mentioned above, Liquid Web specializes in managed WordPress hosting; VPS and dedicated hosting. Unfortunately, they do not offer any of your “standard” web hosting plans. This is because Liquid Web’s target audience is mostly higher-traffic websites that need managed or dedicated hosting solutions.
By only providing managed WordPress hosting alongside a limited selection of other products, Liquid Web is able to “specialize” and deliver an outstanding service level.
All too often, we see hosting companies offering every single hosting service imaginable. Unfortunately, this is often to their detriment; the company focuses on providing any and all hosting-related services and, as a result, overall quality suffers.
Since Liquid Web offers only a select few services, and they do a very good job at it.
It is better to be an outstanding provider of a smaller selection of services rather than an average, Jack of all trades, master of none.
No Money Back Guarantee
Liquid Web does not have a standard money back guarantee. In fact, they do not offer what virtually all other hosting companies do—a money back guarantee of a pre-defined duration, typically 30 days, that offers a full refund, no questions asked, for any reason whatsoever.
It may look bad that Liquid Web does not offer a money back guarantee, however, you need to remember who Liquid Web’s target market is—bigger WordPress sites that know what they want and need and are willing to pay for it.
The average Liquid Web customer is unlikely to need a money back guarantee because they know what they are doing and what they are paying for.
Liquid Web offers other guarantees instead such as their 100% uptime guarantee and a 30-minute hardware replacement guarantee.
Also, Liquid Web does not tie you in. You can cancel your service at any time and receive a prorated refund for a full month’s worth of Liquid Web hosting you didn’t use.
For example, if you prepaid for 12 months and cancelled your refund 2 and a half months in, you would receive a prorated refund of 9 months.
All you need to do to get a prorated refund is let Liquid Web know you will be before the next month commences.
Liquid Web Pricing
Liquid Web’s pricing is higher than most, if not all, other hosts we have reviewed. As we said, though, you get a whole lot more for your money. There are four different plans at four different price points offering four different service levels.
Let’s look at these in more detail.
Spark WordPress Hosting
Giving you an impressive 15 GB in SSD site storage to play with, the Spark plan has plenty of resources to run the single website that it lets you. Your single WordPress site will also benefit from 2 TB of bandwidth, a staging environment, and 30-day backups.
The Spark plan will cost you:
- $19 per month on a rolling basis; or
- $190 annually ($15.83 per month) when 12 months are paid up-front.
That’s nearly a $3.2 discount per month or $39 a year.
Maker WordPress Hosting
Giving you 40 GB in SSD site storage to play with, the Maker plan lets you run up to 5 WordPress installations. Your WordPress sites will also benefit from 3 TB of bandwidth, a staging environment, and 30-day backups.
The Freelance plan will cost you:
- $79 per month on a rolling basis; or
- $790 per year ($65 per month) when 12 months are paid up-front.
Nearly $14 in savings per month ($160 a year) if you pay for the year!
Builder WordPress Hosting
Giving you a huge 100 GB in SSD site storage to play with, the Builder plan lets you run up to 25 WordPress installations. Your WordPress sites will also benefit from 5 TB of bandwidth, a staging environment, and 30-day backups.
The Builder plan will cost you:
- $149 per month on a rolling basis; or
- $1490 per year ($124 per month) when 12 months are paid up-front.
You’ll find some significant savings here – 17% savings, that is – nearly $24 in savings per month ($298 a year) if you pay for the year!
Producer WordPress Hosting
Giving you 300 GB in SSD site storage to play with, the Producer plan lets you run up to 50 WordPress installations!!
Your WordPress sites will also benefit from 5 TB of bandwidth, a staging environment, and 30-day backups.
The Producer plan will cost you:
- $299 per month on a rolling basis; or
- $2990 per year ($249 per month) when 12 months are paid up-front.
You’ll find some significant savings here – 17% savings, that is – nearly $50 in savings per month ($598 a year) if you pay for the year!
Executive WordPress Hosting
Giving you 500 GB in SSD site storage to play with, the Executive plan lets you run up to 100 WordPress installations!!
Your WordPress sites will also benefit from 10 TB of bandwidth, a staging environment, and 30-day backups.
The Executive plan will cost you:
- $549 per month on a rolling basis; or
- $5490 per year ($457 per month) when 12 months are paid up-front.
That is – Nearly $92 in savings per month ($1098 a year) if you pay for the year!
Enterprise WordPress Hosting
Giving you 800 GB in SSD site storage to play with, the Enterprise plan lets you run up to 250 WordPress installations!!
Your WordPress sites will also benefit from 10TB of bandwidth, a staging environment, and 30-day backups.
The Enterprise plan will cost you:
- $999 per month on a rolling basis; or
- $9990 per year ($832 per month) when 12 months are paid up-front.
That is – Nearly $166 in savings per month ($1998 a year) if you pay for the year!
What’s the Difference?
You may think that all these plans sound similar… and that’s because they are. The extra money you are paying on each tier simply covers the extra allocated disk space, of which you get plenty, and the number of WordPress installations (websites) you can run on each plan.
All plans have the same features, WordPress optimizations, and most importantly, hardware; you are just paying extra for more.
If you are only going to run a single WordPress site, therefore, you should buy the Spark plan—don’t buy the Maker plan thinking it will perform better, because it won’t. All you will end up with is a whole lot of unused disk space.
Liquid Web Final Thoughts
Do we recommend Liquid Web?
Yep, we sure do.
That being said, Liquid Web serves a certain “discerning” clientele who want or need a top-tier managed WordPress solution. Liquid Web is right for a webmaster who runs a website (or, most likely, lots of websites) and needs to spend less time on the technical management of them and more time focussing on their customers, website content, and product(s), etc.
For this top-tier managed solution that eliminates a lot of the stresses and obligations of managing a WordPress site, you pay a higher price.