Liquid Web is a business class web hosting company that has designed its services around individuals and organizations who need more than just shared hosting providers. In fact, Liquid Web doesn’t even offer shared hosting.
If you’re running a WooCommerce store, enterprise website, Learning Management System (LMS) or something that requires dedicated server resources, Liquid Web are one of many hosts that deliver.
But are they any good?
In this Liquid Web review, we use our many years of experience to assess the strengths and weaknesses to consider whether the web hosting is worth your money.
Liquid Web is a solid choice for small businesses upwards that don’t mind paying for performance. If you prioritize performance, reliability and customer service, Liquid Web is one of the most capable hosting services out there. Their reassurance that help is less than 60 seconds away is the clincher for less experienced users.
Plans from $13.30/month
CPanel / WHM for VPS
What We Liked
Robust network with great performance
High end server hardware
Easy to set up and use
‘Heroic support’ customer service
100% Network and power uptime guarantees
What We Didn't Like
No dedicated shared hosting, but check out their other companies (Nexcess and iThemes)
Not priced at the mainstream (but also check out their other options via their subsidiaries)
Ease of use
Reliability and performance
Value for Money
Liquid Web hosting
The company specializes in managed hosting and most of its products are built around that model. That means Liquid Web could be a contender for small to medium-sized businesses upwards that require significant server resources to host their websites, LMS, and other assets.
While the company doesn’t offer shared hosting, they own another well-known company that does.
No shared web hosting
As mentioned above, Liquid Web is for higher-tier customers with more demanding requirements. They don’t offer shared hosting plans for individuals or hobbyists.
That said, Liquid Web purchased iThemes, a WordPress specialist that offers themes, plugins and shared hosting under its own name. iThemes already has a great reputation in WordPress circles so it a solid bet if you’re looking for shared hosting providers.
Many Liquid Web reviews mention lack of shared hosting but few seem to have noticed it is available through a sub-brand, iThemes.
Interested in reading about themes and reviews? Check out some of our WordPress reviews.
Liquid Web offers high-performance servers based in the US and Europe. This service uses dedicated server hardware to power your web presence that isn’t shared with any other users.
Servers are a mix of Intel Xeon with multiple cores, a minimum of 16GB of RAM, SSD storage, 5 TB of bandwidth, backup disks, RAID configurations, backup applications, security programs and cPanel.
These aren’t cheap but compare well to other web hosts that offer dedicated servers. Prices range from $169 per month for an Intel Xeon 1230v6 up to $411.75 per month for an Intel Xeon Gold 6226R with 128GB of RAM and RAID 10.
These are premium prices but also premium hosting servers. The company obviously subscribes to the build quality, charge fairly model. If you need a dedicated server, you’ll not be disappointed here.
Virtualization is where it’s at in terms of power and efficiency. It’s also where Liquid Web is at in terms of value. The company offers 8 different VPS hosting plans costing from $25 up to $145 per month.
Just like the dedicated servers, Liquid Web has opted for high performance servers at premium prices. Those servers include a minimum of 2 CPU cores, 40 GB SSD space, 10 TB of bandwidth and Linux operating systems.
That increases to 16GB of RAM, 8 CPU cores and 200 GB of SSD storage but the 10 TB bandwidth cap remains.
VPS hosting plans also include site protection, premium business email, free backups, InterWorx, Plesk Web Pro, or cPanel Admin.
Managed WordPress hosting
Fully managed WordPress hosting is an incredibly popular option for smaller businesses so is somewhere Liquid Web has to work hard to compete. Compete it does using its Nexcess brand.
You get all the usual benefits of fully managed WordPress hosting, optimized servers, preinstalled copies of WordPress, free SSL, free site migrations, automatic updates and access to the full range of WordPress plugins.
There are 7 managed WordPress hosting plans costing from $13.30 per month for a single site, 15 GB of storage and 2 TB of bandwidth up to $699 per month for up to 250 sites, 800 GB of storage and 10 TB of bandwidth.
While part of the page says there are no traffic limits, plans have bandwidth limits mentioned in each. We didn’t get to use our 2TB bandwidth allocation during testing so we’re not sure what’s up with that.
Cloud hosting plans can be either standard cloud or dedicated. Both offer high performance with the benefit of being scalable, easy to deploy and manage.
The standard cloud hosting plans start at $149 per month for a primary node, load balancer, 408 GB SSD and 5 TB of bandwidth up to $219 per month for 1 primary node, 4 web nodes, load balancer, 1440 GB of SSD, NFS replication and 5 TB of bandwidth.
Plans use CentOS 7 or CentOS 7 with cPanel.
Cloud dedicated servers are for more demanding users who require higher performance. Dedicated cloud servers are powerful enough for entire LMS, SaaS applications and much more resource-intensive uses.
Plans begin at $149 per month for an Intel Xeon E3-1230 v5 with 4 cores, 15GB of RAM, 452 GB SSD, 5 TB of bandwidth up to Intel Xeon E5-1650 v4 with 6 cores, 64 GB of RAM, 7.6 TB of SSD and 5 TB of bandwidth for $499 per month.
A custom option is also available on demand.
All use Windows or Linux and come with InterWorx, Plesk Web Pro, or cPanel Pro.
Reseller web hosting
Liquid Web has a well-established reseller hosting business plan too. You can use a VPS, dedicated server or cloud VPS solution to resell services with the company’s blessing, and assistance.
Servers are available in the US and Europe and Liquid Web provides all the help you need to begin making money by reselling their services.
Discounts are modest but increase steadily as you sell more hosting. It won’t make you rich but it could be the start of something special!
Other web hosting services
Liquid Web also offers complementing services such as cloud dedicated servers VMWare cloud servers, HIPAA-compliant hosting, server clusters, managed WooCommerce hosting, managed Magento hosting and a whole range of dedicated enterprise hosting plans.
Each is a variation of the plans outlined in more detail above.
Highlights of Hosting with Liquid Web
As well as being at the premium end of the web hosting market, Liquid Web has some specific strengths that make it worth considering.
Linux and Windows hosting
Liquid Web offers both Linux and Windows hosting across several of its hosting tiers. Linux is by far the more popular option but to host applications such as Exchange, SharePoint, .Net and others, you will require Windows servers.
Both are available across many of the plans and are clearly outlined in the service boxes.
Control panel options
There are several web host control panels including InterWorx, Plesk and cPanel. Each is available across hosting plans. Some may be restricted to one or the other but many plans offer the option for you to choose your control panel of choice.
Some like the ease of use of Plesk while others prefer the no-nonsense approach of cPanel. Whatever your favourite, you should be able to use it with your hosting plan.
While Liquid Web is based in the US, it has a data centre in Amsterdam. This makes it a viable option for European and American businesses who need fast performance in their area of operations.
It also offers the opportunity to optimize your presence in the other market too, especially if you opt for a cloud solution.
Most Liquid Web plans include security of some kind. All plans are compatible with optional service addons for the plan or within your CMS. Security options include SSL, VPNs, malware scanning, firewalls, IP blacklist and whitelists and other features.
If you use WordPress or Joomla, you can also add an extra layer of security within the platform for a little extra protection. You can also take that much further with plugins like iThemes Security Pro.
You can also take that much further with plugins like iThemes Security Pro. It’s a WordPress plugin you can use on any web host to make your website even more secure.
Most Liquid Web plans include free daily backups in the price. This is a significant benefit that protects you in case the security precautions don’t work. Most plans offer some form of backup while premium plans offer daily backups.
If you would prefer to manage your own backups, plugins like iThemes Backupbuddy provide all the tools you need to quickly restore your website should the worst happen.
Liquid Web is one of the few web hosts that offer a 100% uptime guarantee on certain products. Most hosts with only ever offer 99% to cover themselves should the unforeseen happen. Liquid Web goes further.
While it’s only 1%, if you’re hosting high availability applications or are offering SaaS products to your own customers, that 1% really counts!
Customer service is one area of business that Liquid Web has always sought to differentiate itself from the competition. Customer support is 27/7/365 for all customers. They call it ‘heroic support’ and promise support staff will answer all customer support calls and live chat will be answered in less than a minute and all helpdesk tickets will get a response within 59 minutes.
We didn’t get a chance to test Liquid Web support to see if that was just a boilerplate ‘Thanks for getting in touch’ you usually get with live chat or whether it offered genuine help with support staff. Either way, few web hosts are confident enough to offer anything like those guarantees.
If you’re more of a help yourself type, Liquid Web also has a decent documentation section on their website. It isn’t the most in-depth you’ll ever see or the easiest to use but it is comprehensive and you should find most of what you’ll need there.
Categorization could do with improvement but the search function is fast and will usually find what you’re looking for.
We don’t have the capability to fully test response time and server performance but basic checks using web tools shows a very fast response from servers. Other liquid web reviews have also remarked on the fast response time and performance of Liquid Web servers.
Liquid Web Pricing
Liquid Web has positioned itself as a premium hosting provider and are more expensive than other options. You do get what you pay for though.
Managed WordPress hosting from Liquid Web starts at $13.30 per month. Compare that to Green Geeks at $10.95 a month or SiteGround (check our review) at $8.99 and you see a distinct difference.
This is reflected across the product range.
While you’re paying more, you also get more. You get that 100% uptime promise, top class customer support, high performance servers and some generous hardware resources.
So while on the face of it pricing is a weakness of Liquid Web, if you view it as an investment in performance, it seems a little less so.
Coupon Codes / Discounts
We have a great relationship with Liquid Web, so whenever they are running any discount or there are any Liquid Web coupon codes currently available, you'll find them here. But in the mean time, click below to check any current deals.
So, you should now have a pretty good idea of the features and benefits of Liquid Web, but what are the plans like to live and work with on a daily basis? How easy is it to set up WordPress for example?
No Liquid Web review would be complete without a real-life test so that’s exactly what we have done.
Signing up for Liquid Web is simple. Browse the various hosting options, select a plan and click the blue Get Started button. You are taken to a form to create an account. Your plan details are on the right of the screen so you can see what you’re signing up for.
It also has a progress bar at the top, which shows you how far into the application you are. A nice touch.
Complete the form, pay via credit card or PayPal and you’re good to go.
Our Spark managed hosting plan came with:
- 15 GB storage
- 2 TB of bandwidth
- Free daily backups
- WordPress pre-installed
- Automatic WordPress updates
- Beaver Builder Lite
- iThemes Security Pro and iThemes Sync
- Free SSL certificates
- Free migration
- Access to the Liquid Web support team 24/7
Once the confirmation emails arrive, you can use the details within then to log into your hosting. Our emails took around 10 minutes to arrive, which isn’t too bad.
Signing in and setting up
Once you sign in you will be able to quickly find your way around. We chose WordPress managed hosting and everything was already installed. SSL was already set up and ready to go, some premium WordPress plugins were already installed and WordPress was ready to use.
All we had to do was choose a control panel, add a WordPress theme and begin building the site.
The WordPress back end responded quickly and dashboard pages loaded fast. Everything worked well with minimal delay. It was a genuine pleasure to work with, which isn’t something you can always say about web hosts!
Load up the default theme or a test site and create a couple of default pages and you should easily hit 97/98 on Google Pagespeed Insights. That’s another very good sign.
Opinion of Liquid Web hosting service
Liquid Web does a lot of things right. It’s a premium hosting service that concentrates on performance, on customer service and on delivering everything businesses need to run fast, responsive websites.
Few other web hosts offer 100% uptime or guarantee all calls or live chat will be answered in less than a minute. But Liquid Web does.
You do pay for that privilege though.
That said, if you compare Liquid Web to SiteGround or other leading competitors, they aren’t ridiculously expensive.
A comparable plan to our Spark managed WordPress hosting plan cost $27.43 on SiteGround (GrowBig with 20 GB unmetered traffic, free CDN and other goodies), so it isn’t actually that expensive. It isn’t possible to compare apples to apples as the plans differ but that’s the closest.
User reviews are also overwhelmingly positive, which is a good sign.
Don’t just take our word for it. Here are just three of many reviews of Liquid Web.
Syed Balkhi of WPBeginner said:
“Liquid Web specializes in providing managed VPS hosting, managed cloud hosting, and dedicated server hosting. They’re famous for their Heroic Support, with lightning fast response times and skilled support staff.”
Jeffrey L. Wilson & Mike Williams at PCMag said:
“Without question, Liquid Web is one of the most-powerful web hosts PCMag has reviewed, and it's a clear Editors' Choice for managed web hosting. It has numerous packages with absolutely killer specs—specs that will cost you a pretty penny. Liquid Web may not have shared hosting packages, but the company's excellent dedicated and VPS hosting are enough to place it among the web hosting elite.”
Joe Fylan of WinningWP said:
“Overall, the Liquid Web plans are priced in the same region as most of the competition, and they include nearly all of the features found elsewhere. Because of this and the performance scores from our tests, Liquid Web definitely deserve a place near, or at the top, of your shortlist.”
What does Liquid Web do?
Liquid Web is a premium web hosting provider that offers top tier hosting services to individuals and organizations. Known for fast servers and excellent customer support, the company stands out for all the right reasons.
Where is Liquid Web located?
Liquid Web is located in Lansing, Michigan. It has data centres in the US and Europe and caters for customers across the world using super-fast connections, fair pricing and superb response times.
What does cPanel do?
cPanel is a software package that enables you to control most aspects of your web server. It has a user-friendly interface and has been designed specifically to be both powerful and accessible by users of all experience levels.
What is a Web Host Provider?
A web hosting provider is a company that provides the services you need to host a website and make it available to the world. That includes web servers, fast internet connections, supporting software and services and everything you need to build, publish and manage a website.
Conclusion: Is this hosting the right choice for you?
Liquid Web is a solid choice for small businesses upwards who don’t mind paying for performance. If you’re willing to pay extra for a BMW in order to get a little more comfort and performance than a Ford, Liquid Web is for you.
If you prioritize performance, reliability and customer service over cost, Liquid Web is definitely for you. It is one of the most capable hosting services out there and the simple reassurance that help is less than 60 seconds away can be the clincher for less experienced users.
That alone makes Liquid Web well worth checking out if you’re in the market for a new web host.
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