So many hosts compete to be the cheapest, but very few try to be the best.
Liquid Web is one of those exceptions.
Their hosting services are high performance and have fantastic support, but they definitely aren’t the cheapest.
They cater to people who value the support. So if you’re relatively new to developing websites and would appreciate the help, Liquid Web might be right for you.
I’m going to review the most notable features of Liquid Web here. By the end, most of your questions will be answered and you should have a good idea of whether or not to give Liquid Web a try.
Why Are Liquid Web Plans Expensive?
When you’re shopping around for hosting and first see Liquid Web’s pricing, it’s normal to be a little surprised by the high prices.
But you have to understand the prices in the right context.
First, most cheap prices on other hosting platforms are for shared hosting. You share the cost and resources of a server with other customers.
Liquid Web stopped offering shared hosting so that they could focus on higher tiered hosting where the fun innovation happens.
This allows them to focus on delivering value in 2 important ways:
- Better hosting performance and experience.
- Better support.
Whether these are important enough to you to justify the cost will depend on what type(s) of website(s) you’re building.
This whole review focuses on why those aspects will or won’t help you.
The Types of Hosting That Liquid Web Offers
All hosting options on Liquid Web are fully managed.
That means that their staff takes care of server updates, security, and performance optimization. The idea is that they take care of all the backend support that you may not have experience in, and you take care of building your website(s).
Liquid Web offers quite a few hosting options. They all focus on quality, but they are designed for different types of people.
Let’s quickly find the right one for you.
These servers are specifically designed to optimize WordPress performance.
If you ask any developer, you’ll know that WordPress is infamous for its bloat, often resulting in slow loading times.
Liquid Web claims that some home pages (of WordPress sites) load 5 to 10 times faster than on other managed WordPress hosts. Not just any hosts, but “managed WordPress hosts,” which are meant to be top of the line.
This plan supports multiple WordPress sites, even on the lowest pricing tier.
It comes with a clean control panel (Sync Pro) to manage all of your sites at once:
This is great if you’re planning to develop several WordPress websites either for yourself or clients.
There are a few remarkable features of these plans that you should know about:
- SSL certs are free for all your sites.
- You get free migrations from other hosts onto Liquid Web.
- Load balancing can support up to millions of pageviews an hour.
- Automatic backups.
WordPress is only one CMS. But what if you’d like to get experience with Joomla, Drupal, or others?
The “Cloud Sites” offer on Liquid Web lets you create and manage several sites.
It takes 2 clicks to install a CMS and create a new website:
It comes with 50GB of SSD storage, and 1TB of bandwidth, which is quite a lot for most sites and applications.
Because it is a cloud-based platform, it scales really easily if you need to support higher traffic or resource use at any time in the future.
If your website doesn’t need a dedicated server yet, a cloud VPS is a level down.
Essentially, you get a slice of a server.
This makes it great for hosting smaller websites or development sites.
It’s still fully managed and comes with cPanel or Plesk (your choice) for a control panel.
You can demo cPanel here if you’re not familiar with it.
Cloud Dedicated/Dedicated Server
If you have multiple sites that need a lot of resources (memory or bandwidth), you’ll need a dedicated server.
This is about the highest performance hosting that you can find, without going for an expensive custom option.
Is the Support Worth the Cost?
For some, the extra level of performance and management is enough of a reason to go with a host like Liquid Web.
But you might be unsure still.
The other main source of value, as mentioned, is an incredible support. Depending on how useful it is for you, it should make your decision clear one way or the other.
Support was Liquid Web’s biggest feature even 10 years ago when I first tried them as I began to learn web development.
First, there’s a 100% uptime guarantee. Not too important unless your website going down for even a few minutes could cost hundreds of dollars or more.
What is usually more relevant is the “Heroic Support.”
Liquid Web offers 24/7/365 phone, chat, and email support.
But what’s always impressed me is the quality of that support. Whenever I’ve had an issue, even if it’s something I messed up, I always received in-depth, clearly personalized response.
Support on most other hosts involves talking to someone who’s doing support simultaneously for 5 other white-labeled hosting sites.
Liquid Web’s new support techs get over 300 hours of training in their first year. They know hosting really well, and they know Liquid Web really well.
There’s also a pretty good knowledge base, but it could be categorized better. You can try a quick search to find what you’re looking for, but for the most part, you can just contact support and get a faster solution.
The 2 Types of People Liquid Web is Good For
Based on the types of hosting plans we looked at, it’s clear that there are 2 situations where you can get the most value out of Liquid Web.
First is when you’re developing several sites, for whatever reason. Between the managed WordPress and cloud sites plans, the cost per site is pretty reasonable. Or if those sites are all relatively large, you can get a full dedicated server.
This is a great option for freelance developers that host client sites. If you’re just looking to learn to build sites, the performance is probably over-the-top, but the support might be worth the price.
The other main situation is for businesses with a single website that gets a lot of high-value traffic. Where the website operating slowly or going down for a short time could cost a lot of money. The performance and support are well worth it in this case.
Here’s my best attempt at summarizing what Liquid Web offers as a host:
- Absolutely amazing support. Seriously, the best in the industry.
- Great server performance, they try to be the best.
- Fully managed hosting. They take care of security, updates, and backups for you.
- Relatively expensive. I don’t think it’s unfairly expensive, but if you want high-quality performance and support, you need to pay for it.
Your Review of Liquid Web Hosting
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