9.0 Out Of 10
|Services||Dedicated VPS, WordPress & Cloud|
|Support||Help Desk, Chat, Videos, Phone & Knowledge Base|
|Uptime||Excellent (100% in the past 6 months).|
|Best for||Growing websites|
|Strengths||Great Tech Support|
|Promotion||50% Off 3 Months|
Liquid Web is the largest hosting company in the world. They were established in 1997. Their data centers are located in Michigan, Arizona, as well as The Netherlands.
They are known for their VPS and cloud web hosting. They have recently expanded their product offering to include Managed WordPress hosting.
Liquid Web’s Current Plans & Pricing
What is Liquid Web Hosting and how does it work?
Liquid Web, a large privately-owned hosting company, is one of the largest. They were founded with an emphasis on dedicated and enterprise hosting. They offer a variety of hosting services for growing, medium-sized, and agencies.
They acquired Nexcess Hosting in 2019, which allowed them to expand their hosting offerings to include more affordable and consumer-grade plans such as Managed WordPress Hosting.
In 2018, they also acquired IThemes, which is a WordPress theme and plugin maker. They also offer WordPress shared hosting under the iThemes name.
Before we get into the pros and cons of Liquid Web, let’s take a look at some background information so we can compare apples to lemons to limes.
Let me start by describing how WordPress Hosting differs from Web Hosting here.
WordPress, also known as shared hosting, is simply software that runs on any Linux-powered web host server. Many companies have modified web hosting servers to maximize WordPress’s typical resource usage.
These are called WordPress Hosting plans – even though a WordPress Hosting plan for one company may be completely different from another.
On one side of the market are WordPress Hosting companies such as WPEngine or Kinsta. They only offer WordPress hosting with low costs and flexibility. There are also shared hosting companies who tweak their shared servers to support WordPress but still focus on affordability as well as versatility.
Liquid Web tries to make the difference with their Managed WordPress Hosting product. They aim to be more cost-effective and flexible than specialist WordPress hosts while offering unique and more robust products than most shared hosting companies.
Liquid Web wants to sell a Mercedes-Benz or BMW if most shared hosting companies sell Toyotas, Hondas and Fords.
Does this make sense?
Let’s look at the pros and cons of each.
The pros of using Liquid Web to create WordPress
Many Liquid Web Hosting reviews are available online. These reviews often include user-generated reviews that are based on personal experience and anecdotes.
It’s okay, but I have a different approach. As I have mentioned in my hosting reviews there is no “best” WordPress server. It all comes down to the best fit for your project, based on your goals and budget. These are the advantages of when you consider Liquid Web Hosting.
Speed & Performance
Web hosts have one primary job: to store your website securely and to quickly provide the files to anyone who requests them.
website speed is something that does a lot. Although Liquid Web won’t instantly speed up your website, they manage everything.
Managed WordPress Hosting plans from Liquid Web are designed and managed with WordPress in mind. These are not just a rehashed web hosting plan.
Although they have limitations (see the cons section), Liquid Web still runs WordPress well within these limits. Here is an example speed test I ran without any optimization or caching.
The Time to the First Byte (TTFB) is important. It’s not the best way to measure a company’s hosting services, but it is the easiest and most accessible metric you can use. This measurement is where Liquid Web shines.
Liquid web seems to be better than WooCommerce, which are large and memory-hungry. They provided servers that were configured and ready for high-use eCommerce sites.
Support and Onboarding
Liquid Web’s customer service & onboarding are reliable. They have maintained a humanistic approach to marketing, even though they are a large company.
For years, their Net Promoter score (a standard measure of customer satisfaction) is consistently high.
They also invest in multiple support channels such as chat, chat, ticket and knowledgebase. This level of investment is my standard “proxy” to judge a company’s commitment towards customer service.
Liquid Web also offers a great onboarding process to help new customers become a regular customer.
My account was easy to set up and I didn’t have any problems.
Hosting Features & Extras
Liquid Web’s Managed WordPress hosting has great features and extras they don’t promote.
They have no visitor caps and their resource allocation is solid. They have several data centers in the US and Europe.
Both shared hosting companies as well as specialist companies can compete on features and allocations. They also include a few other features.
They offer both development and staging environments in a simple, clean backend.
You can also use the “Visual Comparison” tool to quickly see any WordPress plugin or theme changes before rolling them out to your staging or live server.
You can also use their unique cloud auto scaling feature to ensure that your WordPress site never crashes under user pressure.
This feature is particularly useful for plugins that use a lot of memory, such as WooCommerce and BuddyPress. These plugins can be subject to high concurrent user pressure (i.e. lots of people trying to refresh their cart/feed/thread at once).
Comprehensive Hosting Products
Since its inception, Liquid Web has been an industry leader in dedicated and enterprise hosting. They have many niche hosting products to help you build unique and fast-growing websites.
You can stay with Liquid Web no matter what your business does. This is particularly important for freelancers and web designers looking for a long-term partner in hosting.
WordPress-specific Product Bundles
Liquid Web acquired Nexcess Hosting, as well as iThemes, a popular WordPress theme and plugin provider.
Liquid Web is able to bundle many essential WordPress plugins. iThemes is known for making high-quality plugins. WordPress users can get premium plugins by using Liquid Web.
This is a great advantage that allows customers to compare apples to apples with other companies like Bluehost, InMotion and WPMU Dev who all bundle similar premium plugins with their WordPress Hosting product.
Pros and cons of Liquid Web for WordPress
Liquid Web is just like any other web host. Many Liquid Web complaints can be found online. These complaints, like the pros, are dependent on your goals and priorities. Here are some cons I discovered while using Liquid Web Hosting.
Liquid Web Pricing
LiquidWeb’s pricing is a classic case of the “middle choice”.
Their pricing is excellent. It is a great deal. It’s not affordable or valuable enough.
Let’s think about the car analogy. You only need a reliable, solid car to get around the city. Are you looking for a Mercedes or a Honda?
Assume you have the money and need to buy a luxury car. Are you willing to buy a Mercedes or a Porsche, or a Bentley?
There are many companies that offer WordPress Hosting with solid specifications and lower prices than Liquid Web. This site uses InMotion Hosting’s WordPress hosting.
There are WordPress services that WordPress Engine, Kinsta provide that Liquid Web will not roll out. This is because WordPress is not their primary focus.
Liquid Web also limits certain plans, particularly on bandwidth, which reduces their overall value.
Liquid Web offers its own backend to manage your server, instead of the standard cPanel .
There are some advantages to it, like the SiteGround and DreamHost. It reduces cPanel licensing fees and streamlines certain tasks.
A custom backend can also cause problems for those who have developed a cPanel-based workflow or multi-site management system, or are looking to solve server management issues.
Liquid Web is responsible for the backend issues of Liquid Web. Liquid Web needs to support these issues and provide expertise. There is no quick solution. You will need to use Liquid Web tools if you manage multiple client sites.
Liquid Web’s WordPress Plans start at $19/mo per site There is nothing cheaper. Even iTheme no longer offers the $4/mo beginner tier.
For a site growing and requiring support and resources, $19/month is fine. What happens if traffic drops? You can’t downgrade to a cheaper tier.
Liquid Web doesn’t work with the lower tier of customers. This is great but it’s something you should consider when shopping around.
I manage several sites, some smaller than I would like, and others that are fragile and young. To keep my budget in line, I had to upgrade and downgrade these sites. Liquid Web plans wouldn’t allow me to downgrade.
Liquid Web does an excellent job of “humanizing” their support and onboarding channels. Their support language and product are friendly and welcoming. It’s also focused on those who can understand the jargon of hosting.
Because they are described in hosting jargon, some of the best features of their hosting services are not well-known. Their pricing & positioning is a part of this.
These are ideal for website owners or agencies who are familiar with website hosting. It’s important to remember this if you’re looking to move from a hosting company you are familiar with, or just beginning.
Bundled WordPress Products
Liquid Web’s iThemes plugin / bundle is a great pro but can be a little frustrating if you want to use other premium plugins.
iThemes is a collection of tools that works best together, particularly their backup and security plugins. These are good, but not what I prefer.
You won’t get the same value from your plan if you use a different set of plugins/themes. This is not a big deal but something you should keep in mind as you compare plans.
Liquid Web Use Cases
Liquid Web is an excellent host. However, they are especially well-suited for certain customer segments. These are just a few of the reasons Liquid Web is a better host than competitors.
A profitable and growing website
Liquid Web is a great choice if you have a WordPress website that is profitable and growing quickly, with lots of resource usage, and reliable support needs. They offer more value than specialist hosts and more resources than shared hosting providers. Consider the downsides of downgrading and consider other WordPress hosting companies.
Web Design & Development Agency
Liquid Web is a great choice if you are a web designer/developer agency. They provide reliable hosting and excellent performance for your clients. Liquid Web can help you maintain a profitable maintenance retainer. Consider the cPanel disadvantages and what price you want to pass on to your clients.
WooCommerce Store Owner
Liquid Web is a great choice if you’re looking to run an eCommerce store using WooCommerce. With the Nexcess acquisition, they brought in a lot of eCommerce expertise (both for Magento as well as WooCommerce). They have a large number of WooCommerce customers and are familiar with WooCommerce’s requirements.
Is Liquid Web Managed WordPress Hosting Worth It?
Liquid Web is an established hosting company that offers a great managed WordPress hosting plan. They may not be the best choice for everyone.
They are an excellent choice if you value performance and support as well as a reasonable price for WordPress hosting.
Liquid Web’s Current Plans & Pricing
You can also check out my Best WordPress Hosting post for other Liquid Web alternatives.