In this Liquid Web review, we’ll be taking a comprehensive look at this web hosting firm and what they offer. As with all our reviews, we’ve conducted an in-depth assessment of the company and tested their services. This ensures that we are providing you with the most accurate information possible.
A Little Bit About Liquid Web
Liquid Web is a company with quite a bit of history seeing that it was founded by Matthew Hill in 1997. Their main focus is on large websites with high amounts of traffic.
In 2015, Matthew Hill sold the company to Madison Dearborn Partners of Chicago and stepped down as CEO. Since then, the company has grown to 550 employees and 30,000 customers all over the world. They have five data centers in the United States and The Netherlands. The company’s annual revenue is close to $100 million.
What differentiates Liquid Web from other firms is the niche they serve. They target customers who are technologically sophisticated in what they do – such as internet-dependent “professionals and their web creators” – but do not have the resources to hire engineers and other experts. Basically, they work with clients who have enterprise-class requirements without the associated financial means.
Liquid Web essentially serves the niche between the segment served by Bluehost, GoDaddy, Hostgator, etc. and the IaaS or Infrastructure-as-a-Service market covered by AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google, etc.
How Does Liquid Web Perform?
This review will focus mainly on the shared, managed WordPress hosting plans Liquid Web offers for small website owners and developers. Thus, we’ll be evaluating how Liquid Web’s Managed WordPress hosting plan performs.
For full disclosure, we were contacted by Liquid Web’s team to review their services. To this end, they provided us with a test account.
We created a website and uploaded a heavy, complex premium theme. We then conducted some serious tests to evaluate this hosting company’s performance. Since we’ve already conducted numerous tests of other hosting providers, it was easy for us to compare Liquid Web with other companies in this category.
The tests we conducted included the individual speed test and a speed test under stress. To ensure that our comparison was accurate, we hosted the same theme with other providers.
Here are the results from Liquid Web.
We then ran the same test, using the same theme and content, on a few other popular shared hosting providers. We started with Bluehost. These are their results.
Also Read: Bluehost Review
We then conducted a comparison with WP Engine, which is the largest WordPress managed hosting provider. Here are their results.
Also Read: WP Engine Review
As you can see, Liquid Web’s speed is slightly faster than WP Engine, which is one of the fasted web hosting providers we’ve tested on this website. With Bluehost, there’s no comparison. Liquid Web outperforms them by a large margin.
However, Liquid Web is known for having servers capable of ensuring your website is very fast, even if a large number of visitors come to your site at the same time. They are extremely effective in these situations, which is why they are the preferred hosting provider among their competitors when it comes to hosting popular websites with a lot of traffic.
They do load balancing by hosting the website across multiple servers. We tested this fact using a tool called loader.io. We sent 5,000 visits in one minute to a website we hosted on Liquid Web. Here are the results.
The response time of the website was 50 ms throughout the test, with no errors or spikes. The speed was consistent and there were no issues handling 5,000 visitors in one minute.
We tried the same test with WP Engine, and these are the results.
As you can see, WP Engine had a response time of 250 ms. We tested a number of other hosting providers and Liquid Web’s response time was significantly faster in all cases. This emphasizes that Liquid Web is excellent at handling popular websites with a lot of traffic.
Liquid Web: Uptime
We tracked Liquid Web’s uptime over one month and they achieved a perfect score of 100%. You can see the results in the graph below.
Liquid Web: Security
Liquid Web takes security very seriously. First, they have excellent on-site security that includes special electronic access systems to the data centers. They also have motion-detecting cameras monitoring their facilities at all times.
A security officer patrols the grounds and the buildings regularly, and there are also technicians on-site around the clock, thus making sure they can respond quickly to any issues.
They also provide dedicated servers with protection via their exclusive ServerSecure® service.
Liquid Web: Pricing
On average, customers in this niche spend anywhere from $100 to $2,000 per month on hosting and ancillary services. This is a fair bit more than what normal consumers and small businesses spend, which is in the vicinity of $10 to $20 per month. However, it’s far less than enterprise budgets, which range anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 or even more.
Liquid Web was mainly known for their VPS and dedicated server hosting. However, in 2017 they expanded their offering with a low-cost option. This is a Managed WordPress hosting plan and is priced between $25 and $30 per month.
However, Liquid Web is still quite expensive when compared to other WordPress hosting providers such as Hostgator, Bluehost, or SiteGround. Then again, their performance does justify the higher price point. After all, they outperformed all their competition. Thus, if you’ve already tried a whole bunch of web hosting solutions and were disappointed with the results, then Liquid Web is the perfect option for you.
Here are some details about their plans, both in terms of pricing and features.
The cheapest managed WordPress hosting plan starts at $29 per month and is designed for one website, while the most expensive starts at $149 and is meant for up to 25 websites.
Some of the features include full server access, automatic daily backups, free automatic SSL for every website, excellent developer tools, and more. They even include free migration for your website when you’re ready to shift over to their Managed WordPress plan.
Another excellent feature is the automatic plugin updates, which is quite unique. Every night, they make a copy of your site and test plugin updates to ensure that your site is never behind on updates. If you have a lot of plugins, you know how much aggravation and time this feature alone can save you.
They also don’t charge extra for page views. Essentially, they don’t institute any pageview or traffic limits, so you won’t ever be charged overage fees. You also get a staging site, allowing you to test any changes before going live to avoid problems.
Liquid Web: Support
Liquid Web’s founder stated that they succeeded by making sure that their first client was well taken care of and happy, and subsequently did the same for everyone. This is why their customer support is known as being “heroic” because they really are dedicated to offering world-class customer service.
They state, for example, that their new support technicians receive more than 300 hours of training in the first year working. Furthermore, they offer advice to their customers to ensure they are getting the solution that’s perfect for their particular situation.
Liquid Web prides itself on offering managed services, not just managed hosting. They monitor servers and services to makes sure everything is up to date, they have teams available 24/7 to ensure any and all issues are resolved quickly, and their customer support is available every day of the year, no matter the time of day or night.
Of course, we had to test to see if their support was as “heroic” as they claim. After all, many firms promise the moon but don’t deliver. So, we contacted their team and we connected instantly with them, which was a surprise.
Not only did the staff know their stuff, but they were extraordinarily helpful and willing to go the extra mile to help us.
What Users Think of Liquid Web
We analyzed Twitter to see what the conversations are pertaining to Liquid Web. Most of the comments we found concerning this web hosting provider were positive, as you can see below.
We absolutely recommend Liquid Web for performance-oriented websites. If you have a popular website with lots of traffic, you really can’t go wrong with them.
However, if you have a small site with only a few hundred visits a month, Liquid Web might be on the expensive side for you. After all, this company caters to a different audience. Their focus is on customers who required enterprise-level performance but don’t have the financial resources of enterprise-level customers.
For small scale websites, check this SiteGround Review.
Keep in mind, though, that if you do have a large site, once you factor in the lack of overage fees and any losses due to performance, Liquid Web might actually work out to be far more cost-effective than your current web hosting provider. So, they are definitely worth checking out.
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