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Liquid Web Hosting Review 2021 – WordPress Hosting

What is Liquid Web?

Liquid Web is a hosting company specializing in managed WordPress hosting, managed VPS hosting, and managed cloud hosting and dedicated servers. The company promises 99.999% uptime and 59-second support response in what they call ‘Heroic Support.’ Liquid Web came into existence in 1997, and today, it boasts over 45,000 customers and over 500,000 websites under management worldwide.

The company has 10 data centers spread globally. All their hosting servers are highly tuned for security, performance, and speed. The company hosts websites and applications of some big brands like Red Bull, Motorola, FedEx, Audi, and ESPN.

If you are looking for managed WordPress hosting with high-performance servers and unbelievably brilliant customer support, Liquid Web should be one of your most preferred destinations. Headquartered in Lansing, Michigan, the company specializes in offering various types of managed hosting services.

The company has garnered quite some attention because of their extraordinary support. They promise to and actually respond within 59 seconds. Their support team is well-trained and skilled.

As far as managed WordPress hosting is concerned, they offer fully-managed hosting solutions that are optimized specifically for running WordPress-powered websites. Unlike other managed WordPress hosting solution, Liquid web doesn’t put a limit on traffic or pageviews on your website.

All WordPress plans they offer run on high-performance cloud servers that allow room for scalability whenever needed. Having said that, let’s find out what to expect from managed WordPress hosting solutions of Liquid Web.

Liquid Web Features

Liquid Web offers a range of interesting features for its managed WordPress hosting solution. Some of the most important features include:

SSD Storage

The company offers SSD or Solid State Drive storage for its managed hosting plans. SSD storage is faster than the traditional spinning drives. The speed comes from the absence of any moving parts. This allows for higher input/output operations per second, making the servers fast.

Full Server Access

You will have full access to the server and the database. This means that you can run scripts, make changes to the database or even build a house of cards (just kidding). You get the idea, right? Will full server and database access, you can do whatever you want. No one is going to ask you a damn question. On the flipside, if you don’t know anything about server management or database management, it is better that you don’t tamper with those things.

Automatic Backups – Daily

You don’t have to worry about losing your site. The company will take full backup of your website everyday and store those backups offsite. There will be no additional cost for backups. You can download or restore the backups anytime you want.

Automatic SSL

You don’t have to do anything to enable SSL certificate on your website. It will be done automatically by the company everytime you create a plan or add a site. You will get a site with SSL already installed.

Staging Site

You want to make changes to your website without impacting the live site? Not a problem! Create a staging site and make changes to that. Once you are happy with the changes, you can roll out the changes to the live environment.

No Traffic or Pageview Limits

There are no pageviews or traffic limit and hence, you will not face any overcharge fees while using Liquid Web hosting.

Server Stack

Liquid Web promises to give blazing fast websites using PHP7, Nginx and SSL. While I always advocate using LiteSpeed web server instead of Nginx, you don’t have the choice with Liquid Web. They only offer Nginx. However, they do keep their promise of blazing fast websites. You can optimize everything even more using caching and CDN.

Temporary URL

When you purchase a managed WordPress hosting plan with Liquid Web, the company will automatically create a server and install WordPress on it and even provide a temporary URL to instantly access the website.

Developer Tools

Liquid Web will also offer access to developer tools that include SSH access, WP-CLI and Git. If you are in need of custom development, your developer can use all those features to have unabated access to the server.

CDN

With Liquid Web, you will get integrated CDN. However, the CDN is not enabled by default. You should not enable it until you point your domain to Liquid Web server. However, you are free to never use their CDN service. You can use a third-party CDN provider like Cloudflare. If you use their CDN, you will get 250 GB of bandwidth without any charges. If bandwidth exceeds 250 GB you will be charged at 0.10 dollars per GB.

Emails

Unlike many other managed WordPress hosting providers where you have to set up emails using third-party providers, Liquid Web will create emails for you by default. You can access webmail from within Liquid Web dashboard. You can add additional mail boxes, too!

Stencils

Suppose you have created a site after long hours of designing and experimenting, and you are pretty impressed with what you have created. You want to use the same template for developing other websites. What do you do? You can use the existing design and create a Stencil site. You can reuse the Stencil site to deploy another website using the same design template without going through the hard work!

Website Speed with Liquid Web Hosting

This is the most dreadful part of any web hosting. It might be a hit or a miss. All hosting providers say that they offer superfast website hosting. The term they use may be different. Some will use the word Ultrafast, while others will use the word Blazing fast.

Anyway, the point is, to get a fast-loading website. Even liquid web promises the same. Does it deliver? I put the test website I created with the hosting provider to test. Here are the test results:

Google PageSpeed Insights

Mobile Test Results

That’s an incredible result for mobile devices. It tested the site multiple times and each time, the speed score achieved was either 98 or 99.

Things to note here:

  • It uses the default WordPress Twenty Twenty theme.
  • Four plugins installed but two enabled (Akismet – disabled, Cache Enabler – enabled, CDN Enabler – disabled, WP Redis – Enabled).
  • The site contains only the default post generated during WordPress installation.

There is nothing else on the site. When you start adding themes and plugins or start posting articles and rich media or add scripts like Google Analytics or AdSense, things will change. The score will drop.

It all depends on how you optimize things from your end.

Desktop Test Results

The score remains the same as in the case of mobile. However, you can see changes in the Lab Data values. As I mentioned earlier, the score will change when you start putting in content, scripts, plugins, and themes on your site.

You have to carry out optimization from your end. The best thing I recommend is using a premium plan of Cloudflare that will not only take care of caching and CDN, but will also give you WAF or Web Application Firewall.

If you want, you may go through my guide on how to speed up a WordPress site. Of course, you can ditch the part where I discussed about choosing Cloud Hosting that offers LiteSpeed server. You can carry on with the remaining recommendations to achieve extraordinary speed.

GTmetrix Test

The same website tested with GTmetrix gives the same astonishing result. That’s great!

What’s interesting to note here is that with other managed web hosting companies, even the most rudimentary installations show a score of less than 90 on mobile using Google PageSpeed Insights. I have to accept the fact that LIQUID WEB INDEED KEEPS THE PROMISE OF DELIVERING FAST WEBSITE LOAD TIMES.

In short, I am impressed with the results.

The Liquid Web Interface

The interface of Liquid Web dashboard is brilliant. It is simple with smartly-arranged navigation. You will not feel lost.

Once you purchase a plan and sign up, the system will automatically take you to the dashboard where you can see the installation in progress. It will take a while. Be patient!

The reason for such long wait (about 3-4 minutes) is that the system will do everything from WordPress installation to FTP account creation, email account creation, enabling cache, etc. These tasks take a while and it is worth the wait.

The first thing you see is after the installation is complete is this:

In the above screen you can see the name “Holy Crap For You.” That’s the name I used for identifying the plan. I had to provide the name during the signup process. You can use any name that you want. You will also see the plan details which include the plan name, price, expiry date, etc.

Clicking on the plan name will give you the list of sites. This is what you will see:

You will notice that Liquid Wen provides a temporary URL and a temporary domain name. Clicking on the Temporary Domain Name will take you to the frontend of the site. If you want to reach the controls, you have to click on the option below Domain.

Once you click on the option you see under Domain, this is what you will see:

You can now click on each menu option on the left to configure things or check out the already configured options.

To add a domain, you need to go to the Domain Options tab on the left menu. You can configure email accounts from the Email menu on the left. To create Stencil sites, you have to click on the Stencils menu on the left.

You can even create a development environment of a staging environment by clicking on Dev Environment option you see in the menu on the left.

Overall, the who dashboard is neatly arranged and makes navigation super easy. You can even access customer support from the dashboard.

This brings us to the next point…

Liquid Web Hosting Customer Support

Liquid Web is known for what they call the ‘Heroic Support.’ What it means that they promise to make the first response within 59 seconds.

When you start a chat, you will be greeted with a chat bot that will ask for your account ID and your support pin. It will also ask about the issue you are facing. Once you have provided the issue, it will immediately connect you to a human representative who will respond to your query for the first time within 59 seconds.

Following the first response, the time taken to respond will vary depending on your questions and the severity of the issue.

The support members seem to be quite knowledgeable and well-informed. I had a quick chat with a support staff who was quick enough to provide me with the resolution and even answered by queries.

I have nothing to complain, technically! Of course, if I want to bring out issues, what I can say is that the staff was quite mundane. His words didn’t reflect a jovial nature. But hey, who cares? Eventually, it is all about getting your issues resolved quickly.

Here is the chat transcript:

support

You may be wondering about the name Nexcess. This has come up again and again. You have seen it in the screenshots and even in the chat transcript.

What is Nexcess? Nexcess is a brand of Liquid Web. Liquid Web uses the Nexcess high performance cloud to provide both managed WordPress hosting and managed WooCommerce hosting.

Liquid Web Managed WordPress Hosting Plans and Prices

Liquid Web offers multiple managed WordPress hosting plans. You can select the one that suits you the most. Here is a quick list of the plans and their prices:

Spark: $19 per month

  • Only 1 site allowed.
  • 15 GB SSD storage.
  • 2 TB bandwidth.
  • Automatic backups for 30 days.
  • Unlimited email accounts.
  • iThemes Security Pro.
  • iThemes Sync.
  • Beaver Builder Lite.

Maker: $79 per month

  • Maximum 5 sites allowed.
  • 40 GB SSD storage.
  • 3 TB bandwidth.
  • Automatic backups for 30 days.
  • Unlimited email accounts.
  • iThemes Security Pro.
  • iThemes Sync.
  • Beaver Builder Lite.

Designer: $109 per month

  • Maximum 10 sites allowed.
  • 60 GB SSD storage.
  • 4 TB bandwidth.
  • Automatic backups for 30 days.
  • Unlimited email accounts.
  • iThemes Security Pro.
  • iThemes Sync.
  • Beaver Builder Lite.

Builder: $149 per month

  • Maximum 25 sites allowed.
  • 100 GB SSD storage.
  • 5 TB bandwidth.
  • Automatic backups for 30 days.
  • Unlimited email accounts.
  • iThemes Security Pro.
  • iThemes Sync.
  • Beaver Builder Lite.

Producer: $299 per month

  • Maximum 50 sites allowed.
  • 300 GB SSD storage.
  • 5 TB bandwidth.
  • Automatic backups for 30 days.
  • Unlimited email accounts.
  • iThemes Security Pro.
  • iThemes Sync.
  • Beaver Builder Lite.

Executive: $549 per month

  • Maximum 100 sites allowed.
  • 500 GB SSD storage.
  • 10 TB bandwidth.
  • Automatic backups for 30 days.
  • Unlimited email accounts.
  • iThemes Security Pro.
  • iThemes Sync.
  • Beaver Builder Lite.

Enterprise: $999 per month

  • Maximum 250 sites allowed.
  • 800 GB SSD storage.
  • 10 TB bandwidth.
  • Automatic backups for 30 days.
  • Unlimited email accounts.
  • iThemes Security Pro.
  • iThemes Sync.
  • Beaver Builder Lite.

All plans will get access to Free SSL, Free CDN (chargeable after a certain bandwidth is hit), and full access to the server and database.

It is rare to see to many plan options in a managed hosting provider, but Liquid Web caters to everyone from individual bloggers and freelancers to large enterprises that manage multiple websites. This explains the large collection of plans that the company has to offer.

Liquid Web Pros and Cons

Every service in this world has its strengths and weaknesses. Liquid Web is not a different one. Even it has its advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a quick look into the pros and cons.

The Pros

  • Extremely user-friendly.
  • Fast website loading speeds.
  • Great support.
  • 99.999% uptime guarantee.
  • No limit on plugins. You can install any plugin you want.
  • No cap on traffic or pageviews.
  • Offers CDN and email.
  • Offers server-side caching using Redis and Varnish.
  • Provides full server access.
  • Allows staging and development environments.
  • Allows saving website templates as Stencil sites.
  • Provides automatic backups.
  • Provides free SSL.
  • Supports latest PHP version (7.4).
  • Allows auto-scaling.

The Cons

  • Pretty expensive.
  • Shared hosting not available.
  • There is no money-back guarantee. However, if you cancel your account, you can intimate them one month ahead of cancelation to prevent billing. If you selected yearly billing cycle, you can cancel to get the refund for the unused month.

Conclusion and Verdict

I have reviewed several managed WordPress hosting provides include Flywheel, Kinsta, Rocket, WP Engine, etc. However, if I were to compare all these options with Liquid Web, my vote will always go for Liquid Web.

Yes, I recommend Liquid Web managed WordPress hosting above every other managed WordPress hosting solution. Here is my ranking in terms of preference:

#1. Liquid Web

#2. Flywheel

#3. Kinsta

#4. Rocket

#5. WP Engine

The type of control you get when you use Liquid Web is absent in all other managed hosting providers I have see so for. My years of experience with WordPress and various hosting solutions say that you can blindly trust Liquid Web to meet your hosting requirements. The most important thing is the website speed and Liquid Web keeps the promise! I really don’t care about their Heroic Support.

Even if they take time to respond, I am fine with that as long as my issues are resolved!