If you are planning to start an e-commerce store or a small business online, the last thing that you would like to spend your efforts, time and money on is managing your hosting server.
In most cases, you won’t really have the technical knowledge to manage the server on your own.
And if you are just starting a business, it won’t really be a practical solution to have additional support staff for the same.
Fully managed hosting services can be a great solution in such cases. In simple words, managed hosting is where the hosting provider manages the server related issues on your behalf.
Unlike unmanaged hosting where you only rent the hosting hardware, managed hosting allows you to rent the hardware along with the hosting management service.
While you might be contemplated to choose a cheap hosting provider that offers unmanaged hosting, it is important to note that most of the cheap hosting services require you to invest in a number of add-ons which can considerably increase the price of the service.
On the other hand, while managed hosting is expensive, it comes with everything you will need with regards to hosting and managing your website.
Apart from this, managed hosting is also known to offer a host of additional benefits such as security and expertise, server monitoring, backups, and no need to hire additional staff.
An increasing number of website owners are now understanding the importance of managed hosting.
While the market size of managed hosting was $15.45 billion in 2011, it is expected to hit $65.22 billion in 2019.
This unprecedented growth also means that there are now several hosting providers offering managed hosting services. But if you are looking for a reputed managed hosting service provider, Liquid Web can be an excellent choice.
In this Liquid Web review, we’ll have a detailed look at the managed hosting plans offered by the company, affordability, security, customer support and more to help you decide whether or not it is an ideal choice for your hosting needs.
History of Liquid Web
Liquid Web is one of the oldest managed hosting service providers and was established in 1997 in Michigan, USA.
The founder, Matthew Hill, was only 16 years old when he founded the company.
In 2015, he sold the company to Madison Dearborn Partners, a Chicago-based private equity firm, and stepped down as the CEO. He was replaced by Jim Geiger, a well-known entrepreneur, and seasoned technology executive.
Currently, Liquid Web has 5 world-class global data centers and caters to more than 30,000 customers in more than 100 countries.
The company has been named in the INC’s list of 5,000 fastest growing companies 11 times and is also ranked No. 1 for dedicated servers by HostingAdvice.com.
Hosting Services by Liquid Web
Liquid Web offers many different types of hosting services to suit the needs of every website. Some of its most popular services are-
Managed Dedicated Hosting
If you are planning to launch an extensive online store or business, the managed dedicated hosting service from Liquid Web can be an excellent choice.
This service is further divided into fully managed, core managed, and self-managed plans.
All the dedicated hosting plans come with 24×7 Sonar Monitoring, ServerSecure Hardening, Standard DDoS Protection, Business-grade SSD Storage, Root Access, and CloudFlare CDN.
It offers individual dedicated hosting plans starting at $199 per month and bundle plans starting at $249 per month.
With the bundle plans, you get add-ons such as Guardian Backups, Malware Remediation, and Server Protection. The plans are available for Windows, Linux, Ubuntu, and CentOS operating systems.
Apart from dedicated hosting plans listed on the Liquid Web website, the company also offers custom dedicated server solutions for complex projects.
The custom plans come with features such as HIPAA Compliance, PCI Compliance, Hybrid Hosting, and High Availability.
Managed Cloud VPS
With the help of virtualization technology, VPS hosting allows you to use resources similar to that of dedicated hosting while still paying a considerably lower price.
Liquid Web’s managed cloud VPS combines dedicated hosting with the cloud architecture to offer enhanced reliability and performance.
The managed VPS plans start with 2GB RAM and cost $59 per month. There are plans with up to 16GB RAM and even custom offerings to meet the challenging needs of the websites.
All the plans come with features such as Gigabit Transfer, CloudFlare CDN, Integrated Firewall, Dedicated IP Address, Root Access, Local Backups, and DDoS Attack Protection.
As per a report from Cloud Spectator, VPS hosting offered by Liquid Web is faster than most other popular companies such as Amazon, Rackspace, and DigitalOcean.
Managed Cloud Dedicated Servers
There are many online businesses that witness more traffic and sales around a particular period of a year.
The flexible hosting needs of such websites are effectively met with the cloud dedicated hosting offered by Liquid Web.
This hosting service combines the resources and processing power of dedicated servers with the flexibility of the cloud platform to ensure easy scalability and complete transparency.
The single processor cloud dedicated hosting starts at $189 per month while the dual processor plans start at $379 per month.
All the plans come with ServerSecure Advanced Security, CloudFlare CDN, Standard DDoS Protection, Root Access, Gigabit Uplink, and Dedicated IP Address.
Managed Private Cloud
Liquid Web also offers managed private cloud hosting service which is powered by NetApp and VMware.
The service offers the advantages of the cloud infrastructure along with the improved security, performance, and power of dedicated hardware.
No matter if you are already using a VMware hosted service or want more elasticity for the development team, the managed private cloud hosting is sure to meet all your requirements.
The managed private cloud hosting from Liquid Web start with up to 5 virtual machines and cost $2,499 per month and is available up to 30 machines at a cost of $10,999 per month.
All the plans are fully managed and come with 24x7x365 On-Site Support, Load Balancer and Firewall, Scheduled Snapshot Backups, High-Performance NetApp SAN Storage, and Standard DDoS Protection.
Managed WordPress Hosting
If you are creating your new website on WordPress, the regular plugin updated will definitely be a constant headache for you.
To eliminate this inconvenience, Liquid Web offers fully managed WordPress hosting.
The service allows you to focus on your website while the professional team of the hosting provider will take care of all the hosting infrastructure.
Liquid Web’s managed WordPress hosting comes with a host of features such as No Traffic Limits, Automatic Daily Backups, Improved WordPress Speed, Automatic SSL, 24×7 Support, Automatic Image Compression, iThemes Sync, and Secure Infrastructure.
This service is divided into three plans- Professional, Business and Agency. The cheapest Professional plan starts at $99 per month and can be used for up to 10 websites.
Similar managed hosting service is also available WooCommerce and many other applications.
Liquid Web Uptime and Page Load Times
While there are plenty of managed hosting services offered by Liquid Web, are the services fast enough? The uptime and page load times is one of the best ways to analyze the speed.
Liquid Web claims to offer a guaranteed uptime of 100%.
Astonishingly, most of the customer reviews and tests on the internet agree to the fact that the uptime is indeed 100%.
This impressive uptime is due to the fact that the hosting provider does not make any compromises when it comes to the performance of the hosted websites.
All their servers have Solid-State Drives (SSDs) which are known to be more reliable and faster than standard hard disks. Moreover, all the 5 data centers of the company have state of the art facilities to ensure network availability.
Another major reason to prefer managed hosting from a company like Liquid Web is the blazing fast page load times.
While the industry average for unmanaged hosting is in the range of 880-890ms, most reviews agree that Liquid Web offers page load times in the range of 400ms-450ms. This is almost 2x faster than most popular unmanaged hosting providers.
With the amazing uptime and page load times, your website visitors are sure to enjoy a highly convenient and super fast browsing experience.
Customer Support of Liquid Web
Liquid Web calls its support team the ‘Most Helpful Humans in Hosting’ for all the right reasons.
It offers 24x7x365 support through phone, chat, and helpdesk with a guaranteed response time of just 59 seconds.
The support staff of Liquid Web is known to be highly knowledgeable and the team consists of more than 250 Red Hat Windows and Linux administrators to take care of most challenging fo problems.
Most of the plans also come with access to their Premium Heroic support to ensure that you are not required to pay more in order to get better support.
Apart from the support, their website also has an extensive knowledge base with FAQs, articles, “how to” blogs, videos, tutorials, and more to allow customers to easily find answers to their basic queries on their own.
User-Friendliness of Liquid Web
Most of the managed hosting plans offered by Liquid Web come with the standard cPanel software.
If this is the first time that you are using a hosting service, you might have to spend some time learning how this cPanel dashboard functions.
However, there are several helpful articles, videos, and tutorials on the Liquid Web website to make everything easy to understand.
But a lot of people have mentioned that the hosting plans themselves are not very easy to understand. This is especially true for people looking for managed hosting for the first time.
Managed hosting plans are far more technical as compared to unmanaged plans. So, if you are not very good with the technicalities of hosting, selecting the right plan can get a little confusing.
However, the support staff can help you make that decision as well.
Overall, Liquid Web has tried to make highly technical managed hosting plans as simple to understand as possible.
And with the support team available 24×7, you won’t really be stuck with something related to Liquid Web or its hosting services for more than a few minutes.
Pros and Cons
- All the plans come with GlobalSign SSL certificate
- 100% uptime guarantee
- Customer support is very impressive
- Page load times are almost two times higher than unmanaged hosting
- Free site migration
- Extensive knowledgebase
- Standard DDoS protection with most plans
- Entry level price is considerably higher than unmanaged service
- No shared hosting plans
- No money back guarantee which most of the hosting providers generally offer
Is Liquid Web Right For You?
While there is no denying that the hosting services from Liquid Web are expensive, they are managed services that will ensure that you remain focused on growing your website.
It has highly impressive hosting characteristics that make it one of the best-managed hosting providers on the internet.
No matter if you are planning to launch an online store or business, if you do not want to get into the hassles of managing the hosting server on your own, Liquid Web is definitely a great choice.
While you might go for a cheap unmanaged hosting plan, if you are just experimenting with the concept of running a website, the managed hosting services of Liquid Web are the best if you have a long-term vision.
Just make sure that you understand the needs of your website when selecting a hosting plan as things are a little technical with managed hosting plans.
If the selection is difficult, you can always get in touch with the support team of Liquid Web and they will definitely help you make the right decision.