Review SummaryUpdated: June 22, 2020
- Ten global data center locations for exceptional global coverage
- Incredibly scalable and customizable server products
- 24/7 customer support across all major channels from certified technicians
- Superb built-in and add-on security and performance enhancements
- Managed server services across all hosting plans included for free
- More expensive than most other hosting providers
- Shared hosting storage and bandwidth is relatively low for the price
Site, Blog and eCommerce Hosting
Liquid Web offers some of the most robust and reliable hosting services available on the market. Although well-known for their portfolio of blue-chip client brands, Liquid Web’s hosting services are suitable for smaller businesses and start-ups.
It’s worth noting that Liquid Web is very much a premium hosting provider. They don’t offer shared hosting plans, which will be most providers’ cheapest products. However, due to the vast range of features, Liquid Web’s provides, users still get exceptional value for money even at its higher prices.
Liquid Web joined forces with eCommerce cloud hosting and WordPress specialist Nexcess in September 2019. This improved Liquid Web’s already impressive WordPress and WooCommerce plans, with these now running exclusively on the Nexcess Cloud platform. Liquid Web customers can now enjoy a range of additional benefits, including:
- Automatic daily backups stored for 30 days, so you can always download to keep yourself or revert to a previous version of your site at any time.
- Staging site at no extra cost so you can trial changes before going live.
- Automatic SSL meaning you have a secure website using trusted ‘https://’ protocol at no additional charge.
- Scalable web hosting that can grow with your website and your business.
While Nexcess is not one of the best-known technology providers in this space, they are among the best. It’s common to find eCommerce platforms that use cloud software they have developed or partner with a provider like Google Cloud. In general, the range of benefits that Nexcess provides, alongside the power, speed, and security attached to their services, makes it an excellent provider, albeit at a premium price.
If you’re looking for web hosting for an eCommerce site for the first time, note WooCommerce is an eCommerce plugin designed specifically for WordPress sites.
Best for Blogs, Web Tools, and Business Sites.
Liquid Web offers six managed WordPress plans. Its most basic plan allows users to host one website and is ideal for bloggers or individuals trying things like affiliate marketing. For a basic Web Hosting package, this is on the expensive side of what is widely available. For all Liquid Web managed WordPress plans, taking out the annual plan means you pay upfront for the year but only pay the equivalent of 10 monthly fees.
Agencies or webmasters needing hosting for numerous websites will find excellent value if they need to scale up their plans. While Liquid Web’s enterprise plan can handle up to 250 sites for $999 per month, there are also options for up to 5, 25, 50, and 100 sites, allowing you to move onto the plan you need when you need to. The ability to scale as you need to is ideal for anyone looking to grow their online presence, whether you’re building an affiliate business or are a developer looking to increase your client numbers.
This range of plans is more detailed than what is available from many other providers. Typically, other hosting services will offer a smaller range of products and sell features like “unlimited bandwidth.” Liquid Web, although more expensive than most other providers, is transparent in sharing what resources you will get and highlights the storage and bandwidth limits for each package.
Users who take out managed WordPress hosting with Liquid Web will find the content management system (CMS) pre-installed. Users don’t need technical knowledge to get started. If all you want to do is set up and start building your WordPress website or publishing blog posts, Liquid Web makes it easy to do so. Liquid Web provides a better initial experience than with many other hosting providers, who offer features such as “one-click installation”, but often with the need to select some configuration settings and have some technical knowledge.
Additional benefits of using Liquid Web include:
- The Liquid Web-Nexcess link-up extends the ease of use from installation and getting started to installing WordPress add-ons and widgets. These add-ons can help with everything from lead generation and data capture to search engine optimization (SEO) and valuable tools for building your first website or long-established online.
- Liquid Web also uses iThemes Sync Pro to allow administrators and webmasters to manage multiple sites, review performance, and optimize these from one intuitive dashboard. Many hosting providers use WPMultiSite or other plugins for these features. iThemes provides a more premium suite of WordPress apps, which bring a more significant set of benefits to both website creators and those who ultimately use them.
- Your site will be among the fastest found online. Studies highlighting that page speed influences everything from search engine rankings to user behavior can be a crucial component in online success. While every hosting provider talks about the speeds they can offer, Liquid Web is one of the few with the technology, not to mention a realistic price tag, to back it up.
Best for eCommerce stores.
Liquid Web offers five managed WooCommerce (WC) plans. Like their WordPress plans, these start at $19 per month to host one store. The “Starter” package is ideal for individuals launching an eCommerce business, or for existing offline retailers who are moving online for the first time.
Liquid Web’s Managed WC platform is structured to grow with your business. If you add geographically targeted domains or manage multiple eCommerce businesses from one place, it’s easy to do with Liquid Web.
Even the basic plan allows for processing of 500 orders per hour, which will be more than enough for many businesses. Liquid Web’s “Enterprise” WooCommerce plan allows hosting for up to 30 stores and capacity to deal with up to 10,000 orders per hour.
Beyond the “Starter” plan, users can add 3, 10, or 20 stores before getting to the “Enterprise” package. The additional capacity may be useful for businesses making their first moves into overseas territories or those diversifying. Developers and marketing agencies who specialize in eCommerce and want to host websites for their clients will also find Liquid Web’s packages ideal for their needs.
The Nexcess features, built into Liquid Web’s WooCommerce hosting, also allows users to add as many variations and customizations for products and ranges as they wish. Experienced eCommerce website builders will find more significant opportunities here in comparison to with other providers. The software will not constrain you, and you will have the capability to build your eCommerce store how you want it!
WooCommerce plans also come with a bundle of premium features included. Subscriptions to these features and add-ins would cost hundreds of dollars per year individually, and using them will help you make your eCommerce store even better. Other hosting companies typically charge extra for such features, if they offer them at all.
In terms of installations, Liquid Web also takes care of this for customers, without any need for technical knowledge on the user side. However, when it’s time to start adding products and bringing your store together, Liquid Web’s platform isn’t as easy to use as other eCommerce solutions that offer a lower price.
Cloud hosting, in general, is ideal for established websites, businesses, and experienced webmasters, but who still want a host and server that will automatically scale when necessary.
Cloud Sites is the overarching name Liquid Web gives to its cloud hosting services. Those who are new to web hosting and want to avoid the technical side of things while being able to build and launch engaging websites quickly, then cloud hosting may be for you. One benefit of using Liquid Web’s cloud hosting is that you have no constraints over the types of sites you build. If you’re a webmaster and your clients have a mix of WordPress and Joomla sites, you can manage them all easily with Liquid Web.
If you’re an individual site owner and are looking for cloud hosting solutions, you’ll find far cheaper solutions from other providers. However, Liquid Web does offer excellent incentives and deals to take out their plans. If you take out a general Cloud Sites plan, you’ll also pay just one fee for unlimited domains.
Within Cloud Sites, Liquid Web offers four cloud hosting options:
- Cloud dedicated servers. Effectively an on-demand service that will scale up the infrastructure and resources it needs to use depending on how many visitors you have on your site at a given time.
- Private VPS parent hosting. A dedicated cloud service that allows you to deploy your own VPS instances.
- VMware private cloud. Scalable cloud hosting still provided by Liquid Web but powered by VMware & NetApp.
- VPS Hosting. Managed VPS hosting with power and flexibility, with a lower monthly cost than a more comprehensive cloud hosting plan.
Best for high-traffic, growing or multiple sites.
Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting can be provided in traditional servers or via the cloud, which is how Liquid Web runs its VPS services.
VPS hosting is a great value option for established website owners and businesses who are growing and looking to move away from shared hosting but perhaps aren’t ready for a dedicated server due to cost or resource needs.
With VPS hosting, users get the benefits of a dedicated server and access to the resources they need, when they need them, without paying the costs attached to a dedicated server solution.
Liquid Web offers a total of seven VPS hosting plans incorporating both Linux and Windows server options. Cloud VPS hosting is available for as little as $15 per month for a Linux server if you commit to a two-year plan and pay upfront. Users can also choose from three control panel options depending on how they intend to use their cloud server and the number of websites they wish to host, although selecting the Plesk Web Pro control panel will incur an extra monthly cost.
The main changes when you scale to a more powerful VPS hosting plan with Liquid Web are improved RAM and storage space. Anyone with a website that relies heavily on resources and manages lots of traffic can maintain performance easily when they need to change plans. Many hosting companies offer the same type of plans as Liquid Web, and while Liquid Web does not provide any VPS hosting below a floor of 2GB RAM, they make no secret that they’re not looking to compete at that end of the market. Liquid Web wants to help you build a website that performs, and the packages they offer to help you do that.
Liquid Web’s biggest packages, for both Linux and Windows, offer 16 GB of RAM and 200 GB of disk space. Some hosting companies do offer even bigger packages in terms of resources than this at a lower price.
Whichever cloud VPS hosting plan you choose, Liquid Web includes the same range of features to maintain performance and security. These include CloudFlare CDN, DDoS Attack Protection, Gigabit Bandwidth, and the ease to scale either up or down depending on your needs. While such features are standard across web hosts, we know that Liquid Web can deliver top performance, whereas functionality and performance capability from others may be over-promising.
Although Liquid Web’s pricing for VPS hosting again puts it way above other VPS hosting solutions available, the features and benefits provided make Liquid Web a market leader in this space.
Summing Up Liquid Web’s Products
Liquid Web is a market leader in the technology and power it can provide to businesses and website administrators. However, the use of that power comes at a premium price that befits the quality of what Liquid Web offers. As such, Liquid Web’s solutions may be better for large businesses looking to migrate their websites to a more robust and reliable host, or for those who are already established offline and looking to move online.
However, if smaller businesses have the budget to invest in Liquid Web hosting, they will find a solution to help boost their online efforts.
Multi-Site, Reseller, and High-Performance Hosting
Businesses that have outgrown the limitations of Liquid Web’s website-focussed services, should look at these high-performance, high-availability packages built for enterprise-grade solutions. Most of these products offer dedicated resources in isolated environments with highly customizable infrastructure to adequately support even the most resource-intensive enterprise applications.
All of these packages come with 100% network and power uptime SLAs as well as a whole range of other performance and security enhancements:
- Free standard DDoS Protection
- ServerSecure Security
- A gigabit uplink
As single-tenant servers, there won’t be any competition for resources which may affect performance and stability. Most also support both Windows and Linux environments as well as a choice between control panels, such as InterWorx, cPanel, and Plesk.
Things get even more impressive when it comes to the optional add-ons, that can take your solution to the next level in terms of business functions, security, and performance:
- Load balancers
- Premium CDNs
- Premium DDoS protection
- Premium business email
- Acronis cyber backups
Lastly, your servers will also be hosted in high-end, privately-owned data centers that adhere to the highest standards, such as Tier-1 bandwidth, N+1 generators, N+1 UPS systems, N+1 HVAC systems, and level 3 Technicians on site. You can also usually choose from multiple US or a European-based data center, depending on what type of server you opt for.
The prices reflect the fact that these are premium services aimed at the infrastructure needs of blue-chip companies. Entrepreneurs, bloggers, and small, medium, or large local businesses are more likely to find something within their budgets above, even if they are looking for premium services.
Liquid Web’s dedicated server offering is aimed at high-end clients with the most discerning requirements, and the budget to pay for it. These single-tenant servers provide complete ownership of resources to get the most out of the hardware provisioned for you. It comes with a 100% power and network uptime guarantee so that you can expect zero interruptions.
An underlying guarantee is the extensive technical support that dedicated customers can expect as well as 24×7 Proactive Sonar Monitoring™. Dedicated servers are fully managed, which means you don’t necessarily need the experience and technical know-how to manage it effectively. It also means you can rely on customer support across the stack for your server implementations, and it’s not just limited to hardware or server-specific issues.
Although the options aren’t exhaustive, customers can also fully customize their dedicated server’s hardware and software. There are a range of Intel Xeon CPUs with up to 32 cores to choose from. From here on, you can precisely configure storage with RAID, NVMe/SSD, backup, and even additional storage options with up to 128 GB of RAM per server. The amount of monthly bandwidth is also left to the consumer, with unmetered options available and the choice between 100 Mbit/s or 1 Gbit/s ports. You can configure your power supply with multiple PSUs and hot-swapping bays for even more insurance against interruptions.
These are some pretty high-end specs that you won’t find with your everyday hosting provider – just what you would expect from a blue-chip hosting provider like Liquid Web.
On the software side, Liquid Web provides both Linux and Windows environments, with several versions to choose from. If you want a more secure and high-speed environment, you can add on the CloudLinux OS and LiteSpeed Web Server at additional cost. At the same time, Windows customers can opt for Eset file security and their preferred version of MS SQL Server. With specific configurations, you can also choose your preferred control panel between cPanel/WHM, Plesk Onyx, and InterWorx.
With these options alone, enterprise-grade clients are already able to develop bespoke hosting solutions for enterprise-scale projects of any size.
If security is at the top of your agenda, you can sign up for Liquid Web Protection and Remediation. This service includes:
- Routine scans for potential vulnerabilities and malware infections
- Hardened security configurations via ServerSecure, an in-house security extension for your server control panel
- Proprietary anti-virus
- Malware cleanup/remediation from Liquid Web’s server technicians
As the saying goes, you get what you pay for. Prices start at around $199/mo, which is significantly more than your everyday entry to a mid-level dedicated server provider. For a top configuration with all the fixings, the price can go as high as $3,820. There is also the option of a $250 setup fee if you want Liquid Web technicians to help you set up your server the way you want.
A unique security feature available to dedicated server customers is a managed dedicated firewall that comes with encryption anywhere and VPN capabilities. As it’s dedicated to your server alone, you can filter traffic specific to your organization.
Private Cloud/Cloud Dedicated
Liquid Web’s private and dedicated cloud offering combines the usual flexibility and convenience of cloud hosting with the power and stability of a dedicated server. Each customer will have their own isolated cloud infrastructure on dedicated hardware as well as the flexibility to scale and reconfigure their servers on the fly. Like the dedicated servers, these products are also fully managed by on-site technicians.
When looking at the available configurations, it’s clear that this is also not your run-of-the-mill cloud offering. Most other hosts offer cloud packages with slightly upgraded resources from their shared web hosting products, similar to VPS packages.
The example private cloud configurations have resources in the range of 32 to 80 CPU cores, 128 to 960 GB of RAM, and 2.5 to 10 TB of SAN storage. The dedicated cloud servers have up to 28 CPU cores, 125.8 GB of RAM, and 1892 GB of SSD storage. These are enterprise-grade configurations that would give premium dedicated servers a run for their money.
Private cloud servers are provisioned based on a custom solution and quote. These are ideal for clients who need to provision multiple VMs on their own private infrastructure and be able to create, destroy, and manage them at will. For example, multinationals or enterprise-scale corporations who might need to run multiple instances of different enterprise software.
However, generally, private Cloud servers are more all-in with a load balancer, firewall, backups, and DDoS protection included for free. The pricing reflects this with a monthly commitment that can fall between $1,599 to $5,299. However, running on VMWare and NetApp, and with no additional charge per VM or no limit on the number of VMs you can employ, you can create as many projects as needed.
The dedicated cloud packages share more similarities with conventional dedicated servers. You can’t configure resources individually, but there are more than enough options to choose from. Both Windows and Linux systems are available with a vast number of distros to choose from, like Fedora, Ubuntu, CentOS, etc. However, not all OSs come with fully managed services, so you will need to take that into account.
Even with the top configuration and all the add-ons, you’ll pay around $1,000 at most, which makes it significantly more affordable than the Private Cloud packages and similar to the normal dedicated servers. Daily backups can be ordered according to the amount of database storage you need, which is a flexible and budget-friendly option not freely available elsewhere.
Costumes can Vulnerability Assessment Scans to their cloud servers for a relatively low $10 a month. This will scan your system for vulnerabilities and configurations issues related to your technology and software and provide monthly reports. A premium Cloudflare firewall is also available with DDoS protection, an SSL certificate, and the CDN to improve performance.
Private VPS infrastructure allows you to create your own virtual cloud environment wherein you can provision multiple virtual instances. Some instances can be moved to public cloud networks to open them up to visitors outside your organization. The fact that you can run multiple instances, each one dedicated to a specific environment of business/web apps, is the most significant difference between this and typical VPS hosting where you have only one environment.
This makes it ideal for software-heavy businesses that may need multiple enterprise apps working in isolation. As business needs change with time, it’s also a powerful feature that you can deploy, take down, and manage these instances as you wish.
On top of the standard configurations that come with resources comparable to the dedicated server plans, you can also individually scale each virtual instances’ resources up and down once you’re a customer. This is an incredibly unique and powerful feature, making it one of the most flexible private VPS solutions. It also means that you can effectively resell virtual instances as VPS products.
As you might expect, the price for private VPS hosting is much higher than the market average, starting at over $300. You can also contact them for a custom solution in case none of the ten configurations suit your requirements. There are very few direct competitors to what Liquid Web has to offer here, and Liquid Web beats most in the sheer computing power available.
Private VPS customers can add on the same powerful services as cloud dedicated customers, i.e., a Vulnerability Assessment Scan, powered by Clone Systems, CloudFlare Firewall Plan, and Premium Business Email.
If you had any doubt that Liquid Web is a provider of premium server hosting infrastructure, they are now put to rest. Depending on just how intensive your requirements are, you might even struggle to find the same kind of resource-availability that Liquid Web has to offer. Some products, extra services, and add-ons are also hard-to-come-by elsewhere, such as the flexible, multi-instance private VPS solutions.
The prices, which are in the hundreds of thousands of dollars a month, reflect this by simply being out of the question for most everyday consumers. However, if you need to host enterprise-grade software environments with virtually no limit on the number of users, zero downtime, and that adhere to the strictest software and performance standards – then this is it.
Fully Managed Hosting Services
No matter at what scale you're hosting or what technology you're using, Liquid Web provides fully managed services to keep your solution ticking over and isolate you from the technical difficulties.
Powerful Hosting Add-ons
Enhance your solutions with proprietary software like a premium Cloudflare CDN and Firewall, Akamai, Acronis backups, ServerSecure security, and more.
Unique Hosting Solutions
Whether you need WordPress, Woocommerce, Linux, or Windows-specific hosting or specific infrastructure like multi-instance private VPS solutions, Liquid Web caters to individual needs such as these. On top of standard packages, custom configurations can also be requested.
Liquid Web Server Performance
To test Liquid Web’s hosting performance we used a few Pingdom reports. Over the span of a year, Pingdom’s probes (located across North America) performed daily checks, on a basic website (less than 100KBs) hosted on Liquid Web’s server environment. Additionally, there was no throttling added to these checks, so slower response times can be expected for 3G or 4G connections.
Yearly Server Performance:
Average Response Time
Data shown as monthly Uptime averages for a basic Liquid Web website
Server performance can affect all aspects of your site. Case studies have consistently found that customer wait times (page load and response times) directly affect everything from SEM, revenue, and traffic growth. By a lot too, here’s just one example:
For Mobify, every 100ms decrease in homepage load speed worked out to a 1.11% increase in session-based conversion, yielding an average annual revenue increase of nearly $380,000.
Customer Support Review
Considering the premium nature of Liquid Web’s hosting products, you probably expect a lot of their support. With 24/7 support, managed servers, and plenty of online resources, they certainly have all their bases covered. They also claim to have over 250 certified technicians to handle customer support as well as on-site staff to monitor servers, mitigate risk, and optimize performance.
24/7 Customer Support
No matter what kind of hosting customer you are, all Liquid Web customers get 24/7 support with their hosting. Liquid Web also outdoes most of its competitors by offering support via live chat, email, and phone. Especially for WordPress or other entry-level hosting types, phone support is not always provided, not to mention a US and international line. Even for premium hosting services, it’s rare to have all three running around the clock. They are also one of the few providers with an initial response time guarantee – 59 minutes, but it’s usually much quicker and instant for live chat.
Fully Managed Services
All Liquid Web products are fully managed, which means you can expect a broader and more in-depth range of support services. This isn’t usually the case with the entire catalog of products from other hosting providers. Others also usually charge more for the managed servers, which is also why Liquid Web’s pricing is higher than most competitors. It also means Liquid Web is always proactively monitoring servers for potential issues, reducing the chance you will need support in the first place. For example, they claim to have blocked over 2800 malicious attacks across 2,000 servers.
Self Help Resources
Liquid Web also provides exhaustive self-help resources in just about every form, such as a knowledgebase, blog, ebooks, guides, case studies, and even webinars. The knowledge base is one of the best around with helpful categories like getting started, common fixes, tutorials with step by step guides, ebooks, webinars and series of related articles, usually regarding specific types of hosting or technologies.
Liquid Web offer ticketed support, which can be accessed via the Control Panel.
Liquid Web offers technical and sales customer support via live chat.
Tutorials & Guides
Liquid Web offers all users access to a rich knowledge base and blog filled with articles and guides.
Liquid Web offers free website migration support for most plans.
Liquid Web offers technical customer support via phone.
Liquid Web does not have a dedicated community forum for customer support and troubleshooting.
Liquid Web does not mention offering customer support across multiple languages.
Liquid Web does not offer a specialized technical support channel for specific hosting platforms or problems.
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