Liquid Web Hosting Review 2017
Is Liquid WebThe Right Host For You?
Liquidweb is a premier hosting provider. They don’t delve into the shared hosting solutions and focus on the Virtual Private Servers (VPS) and dedicated servers. They have decided to focus on business solutions and hosting for websites that need a little more power and scope. It’s a big deal not offering the more affordable shared hosting packages, but we’re a big believer in using specialist hosts we specialize in one area.
Liquidweb certainly do that.I feel that what Liquidweb do best is offer cloud based hosting solutions, especially for customers that are the size of medium businesses to enterprise level. However if you have an ecommerce store with a lot of products or run an online course, it would also be a great fit.Picking the right hosting package is not easy.
There’s plenty of options out there but if you’re looking for a VPS then you just have to consider Liquidweb and in this review we'll tell you how they measure up..
Detailed review of Liquid Web Hosting
Founded way back in 1997, Liquid Web have been delivering hosting solutions for 20 years and counting. They have an impressive client list that includes Eddie Bauer, Home Depot, National Geographic, Porsche, and Symantec, to name a few. They’re good at what they do and they have the reputation to match.
If you really need a server that doesn’t lack in power, but doesn’t necessarily have the higher cost associated with a dedicated server, then you should be looking at Liquid Web VPS servers. They are one of the better VPS server packages on the market and in many ways, they offer the complete package.
The start package boasts 2GN of ram, a Solid State Drive and 5TB of storage. It offers additional functionality that includes but is not limited to unlimited domains and unlimited emails. The scalability is what is really impressive. RAM scales to 256 GB with an option to use either linux or Windows- based servers.
When you have a ecommerce store that you’re looking to build and grow, it’s exactly that kind of hosting you need. Now you won’t be held back by the technicalities of running a website. It’s equally reassuring for medium sized businesses and large or enterprise sized businesses because you know your server needs are covered.
Up time of a minimum of 99.5% guaranteed
Customer Service is Exceptional
Easy Signup, especially for novices
Easy to Install CMS and Third Party Integrations
Relatively expensive for Entry Level
Intuitive custom DreamHost CPanel
Access After Payment is Not Instant
DreamHost are award winning and have a variety of great packages that have been built to be the perfect solution for a lot of client's and their needs. Let's break it all down so you see for yourself exactly how DreamHost could be the right hosting solution for you.
I can’t say it enough. When compared to equally spec’d VPS servers, they blow them out of the water. We didn’t just take their word for it, we run our own tests and the results were outstanding.Speed is essential if you have a client or customer facing website, especially if you’re selling something.
Recent studies have shown that any page that takes 3 seconds or more to load can expect to have a 40% drop off. That means just less than half of your audience or potential customers will not wait for the page to load, they are much more likely to click off and go to another website.
Can you afford to lose 40% of your audience? Well, fortunately if you chose Liquid Web you wouldn’t need to because their load times are nowhere near the 3 second benchmark. We have witnessed .48 seconds. That’s half a second, which is almost instantaneous. Expect absolutely no drop off due to page load with that kind of speed.
Without wishing to continuously repeat myself, Liquid Web are a serious hosting provider and they take reliability as seriously as they do performance.
Liquid Web own and manage their own data centers, 3 in total, located in Michigan and Arizona. They have a team of 400 employees that man the data centers 24/7 and 365 days of the year. Their data centers have a variety of zones that have redundancy.
They also offer genuine geographical redundancy in disaster neutral locations, as an added layer of security and protection. It’s that level of attention to reliability and security that have made them the market leaders they are today.
The overall results is that you can expect 100% uptime. Having technicians onsite and 100% redundancy in place means they are able to foresee and react to problems before it actually becomes a problem that results in an downtime
They offer support across all possible channels. That includes chat, phone, knowledge base, tutorials and ticketings. They really take it seriously.
They offer guarantees in the speed of their response. 30 minutes for their helpdesk and less than 1 minute for both phone and chat. When it comes to infrastructure guarantees they guarantee a 100% network guarantee, a 100% power guarantee and a 30 minute hardware replacement guarantee. That’s impressive.
It really helps having all those technical personnel and support staff onsite at their own datacenters. They are both pro-active and reactive and when they say they offer a managed service, there are no caveats, you don’t need to read the small print. It’s fully managed in every sense you could need.
There are no corners cuts, no expense spared. They put as much attention into customer support as they do performance and reliability and it’s one the best components of their offering
First you should probably know what hosting package you want
Before you choose a host, it's good to know what the different packages they offer are. We think their VPS service is top notch, our favourite 3 options are the following.
Key features of the Starter VPS Hosting Package
- 1GB Ram
- 30 GB SSD Storage
- Unlimited Domains
- Unlimited Bandwidth
If you're looking for a hosting service that combines great quality with a really strong price point then you're i the right place. Especially if you want to work with an award winning hosting provider with an outstanding reputation online.
Key features of the most popular VPS Package
- 2GB RAM
- 60 GB SSD Storage
- Unlimited Domains
- Unlimited Bandwidth
If you are expecting more traffic or your audience is already building then you're going to need a little my might and power from your host without costing the earth. This is what they package offers and why it's the most popular.
Key features of the largest VPS Hosting Package
- 8GB RAM
- 120 GB SSD Storage
- Unlimited Domains
- Unlimited Bandwidth
If your website is eCommerce or has a well established audience then this is the perfect place to start looking. You get the extra performance which you need, but with a company you can trust and all at a reasonable price that offers value.
What other hosts provide similar services?
Another Hosting service worthy of your consideration is WP Engine. When it comes to specifically hosting WordPress websites they have no equal and also score a full 5 stars. Expect amazing site loading speeds and all the support you need to never have to worry about your WordPress website. Check out our WP Engine review right here.
Liquid Web Hosting: Other things to know
Average speed, amazing uptime, but noncompetitive pricing...
We've done a cross-comparison analysis of Liquid Web Hostings performance benchmarks vs the benchmarks of several other hosts in their bracket.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to choose the right hosting provider?
When starting to research which hosting provider and package my best suit your needs, you need to break down what you actually need. There are so many hosting providers out there, offering different types of packages it’s really important to have a clear idea in your mind what you need.
Bear in mind, they want you to buy their servers and they hire great copywriters to draw you in and bring you round to their way of thinking. We speak from experience, we have been caught in the same trap many a time.
The first thing you need to do is better understand what you need. What features are important? What kind of power and performance do you need?
The reality is, if budget wasn’t an issue, we’d pick a dedicated server but if you have a small business website or you’re starting a personal blog it’s probably unnecessary. Why spend $100-500 a month when you could spend $5-10?
Regarding price, forget about it, at least to start with. Pricing is extremely subjective because hosting packages can be very different. Of course, most people have a budget to stick to, but it’s better to pick a few hosts that fit your needs, then look at the price and see which one better fits your budget. That way you get what you need, and for the price you want.
You’ll find that with hosting, you get what you pay for but at the same time, most solutions don’t break the bank. A shared hosting is likely to be $5 a month and a VPS might start at $25 a month.
What you should start out with are the 3 pillars that you should assess each hosting provider by. Performance, reliability and customer support. Let me walk you through it.
WIth hosting performance it’s a little similar to cars. Performance is important to a point, but there comes a stage where it’s just showing off. It’s nice to have but probably not needed or used very often.
With websites, it’s all about the page load speed. Recent studies, in fact, a lot of them, have shown that the longer your web traffic needs to wait for the page to load, the more they click off and go to another side, bored of waiting. Shocking I know, but what’s more shocking is just how many people are that impatient. If your web page takes 3 seconds to load then you should expect to lose 40% of your traffic.
That’s nearly half of you traffic, completely lost. If your website is monetized in anyway that means you’ll lose almost half of your revenue from your website. That’s a serious amount, especially if your traffic is costing you.
There are some benchmarks, depending on the type of hosting you’re looking at. For shared hosting packages, the type of hosting you should be considering if you have a personal blog or small business website, then you should expect to have your page load speed at 3 seconds, the closer to 2 seconds the better.
When considering a VPS your benchmark should start at 2 seconds and get faster. Finally, with a dedicated server, there’s no reason not to expect a lightning quick page load speed of less than 1 second.
You’ll find some hosting providers over deliver on performance and under deliver on the other facets of a hosting package. Yes, quicker the better, but in many cases expect to lose something else or be charged more.
Reliability is the next pillar. How important this pillar is, depends on the reason you need hosting and the type of the hosting you select. Reliability should be important to everyone but such are the technological advances these days, almost all hosting providers offer 98% uptime or more.
So, if your website is just a business “online business card” or it’s a bit of fun, don’t even worry about it, unless you’re unlucky, you’ll be fine. However, if you make money from your website, every second there is downtime and your website is not online then it can’t be making money. For a website that has traffic around the world or an ecommerce store that can lose you a lot of money in a few hours.
It really depends on the business model used with your website that determines how closely you look at reliability and uptime. The best hosting providers guarantee uptime that’s near 100%, that’s how high your expectations should be.
Obviously, when checking uptime rates, what the hosting provider might say and what might be reality do not always go hand in hand. This is one of those occasions when you need to check user reviews, you’ll notice really quickly if there is an issue with reliability because there will be a host of mistakes. Don’t be concerned about the odd complaint, that’s natural, it’s the recurring complaints you want to check for.
The final pillar that has to be part of your research is customer support and it’s often overlooked by potential hosting customers, much to their financial detriment.
Just like hosting packages, the levels of customer support offered by hosting providers differs massively. In some cases you have a ticketing system and a knowledge base, the support team is outsourced to Asia and is only available during office hours. It can take days to have a problem resolved because the customer support team need to liaise with the technical staff onsite at the data center, often across time zones. You’re often asked to fix the problem yourself, they’ll just provide you with the solution.
At the other end of the spectrum, often for very little difference in price, you can expect to find the customer support team housed onsite at the data center, working directly with the technicians. They can be available 24/7 via phone and chat as well as the usual ticketing and knowledge base. They are very good, they know it, and they illustrate it by being able to offer guaranteed response times.
It really depends on your needs. Of course, we’d all like perfect customer support, and if you could then why not? But if your website is simple, a WordPress install with just a few pages (under 20) then hopefully you’re unlikely to need to use customer support often. It becomes less of an issue. Some hosting providers decide to shortcut customer support by outsourcing and limiting support channels to reduce cost so they can afford to offer lower prices.
This is something you can take advantage of, but if you have a slightly more complex website it’s false economy.
Let’s say you make 10 sales a day on your website, the average sale makes $49 and your website is down for 4 hours, that is a loss of revenue of $98. If it goes down like this once every 3 months or so, that’s a loss of revenue of almost $400 a year.
To get the problem resolved, you need to spend 4 hours on the case. If you were to value your time at $30 that is a cost of $120 a time. At the end of the day, time is money, I’m sure you would much rather be spending that time doing something more productive. Again, with a problem occurring every 3 months, that’s an added cost of $480.
You choose a shared hosting solution that cost you $5 a month, just $60 a year. But, in reality, you lost $400 and spend $480 of your time trying to get it fixed. The real cost of the hosting is over $900 a year.
Now, let’s look at the same scenario but using a hosting provider that offers better customer support. When you contact them, they work right next to the technicians onsite at the data center, problems get solved a lot quicker. Instead of needing 4 hours to go through knowledge bases, email back and forth and try to fix the problem, you need just 1 hour.
Using the same figures as the first example, you’re losing $100 a year in lost revenue and $120 in lost time. Even if the hosting cost you a little more, you’re hosting is costing you $300 a year in total rather than $900, that’s how big of a difference picking the right hosting provider can make.
That’s our advice to you. Make a list first of what you need. There is no point in getting sidetracked by cheap shared hosting packages that claim to have unlimited bandwidth when you really need a VPS to manage your traffic and deliver better page load speeds. You want to be laser focused.
Try not to get too hung up on price, not until you’ve determined which hosting providers better suit your needs, then obviously find those hosts that fit your budget.
Finally, you need to look at performance, reliability and last but by no means least, by customer support. Different components matter more or less depending on the type of hosting you’re looking for but you need to focus your energy there and check either consumer reviews or our reviews which check what consumers are saying as part of the review.
Why is speed so important?
Page load speed is really important. Testing recently demonstrated to the industry that any page taking more than 3 seconds to load results in roughly 40% of it's traffic clicking away to another site, in many cases a competitor site. That's a really good reason why page load speed is vital.
We use the following benchmarks as good guides on what you should accept as minimum performance criteria. 3 seconds is the benchmark if you are looking at shared hosting, 2 seconds for a VPS solution and under 1 second for a dedicated server. But remember, these are our minimum expectations, many hosting providers offer a lot quicker.
What are Solid State Drives
We've become accustomed to a new technology coming along every few years that revolutionizes an industry. SSD technology presents that kind of change for the hosting industry. Having hosting that uses SSD now is an advantage, it will soon become standard.
SSD, stands for Solid State Drive. To understand what it is does you need to understand how traditional hard drives work. They store the information, like your mind stores a memory. When someone puts in your URL, they are requesting that the hard drive sends the data that is your web page. To do that, they have to call up the memory (data), this causes a delay in page load speed whilst they try to call that information up from the memory. The more data, for example the longer the page or the more images and videos it has, the longer it can take.
With SSD, there is no need to call up the data from the memory, it's made immediately available. That cuts down the most time consuming part of the process. So, it's completely changed how hard drives work.
What is their Unlimited Policy?
You'll see the term "unlimited" used quite freely with hosting providers. They've found an easy way to suggest something is unlimited when in fact it's not, without actually lying.
When hosting providers say "unlimited", this is what they normally mean. Your hosting does indeed have no limits. If you need extra hard drive space or bandwidth, it's always available. But that doesn't mean that your package allows you that. Your package will have limits, but if you exceed them, you'll just charged more, you want reach a ceiling. You won't just go offline.
That's good to know, it's peace of mind, but it's not what you think, you're not paying $5 and getting the keys to the kingdom which is suggested.
What are people saying?
It's always a very good idea to check out what other consumers have said about the hosting provider and / or hosting package you're looking at.
It goes without saying that hosting providers are not going to give you the full truth, they are going to shine a favorable light on their shortcomings. Check consumer reviews, and look for regular themes in the feedback. Don't be phased by the odd complaint, humans are more likely to complain than they are to say something positive. It's the regular issues that crop up you want to look out for.
When we write our reviews, we always like to check consumer reviews to support our own experience or to give us an insight into what others have experienced.
Which type of hosting should I have?
If you're stinking rich, go for a managed, dedicate host, every time. But sadly, we all have budgets and a dedicated server for a small website might be a little indulgent. There is no 1 answer, but let me give you an idea.
For shared hosting, it's the best option if your budget is really really tight. It's the cheapest option by far. But if you have a local business website, or a small personal blog it's also a good fit. As your blog gets bigger and bigger, your shared hosting package can grow with it.
If you are storing client data, you might decide you want a VPS, it's more secure. It also offers a little more performance too so you get better page load speeds. If you have a small ecommerce store with just a few hundred products, this is also the perfect solution for you, that performance will really make a difference to conversions.
Finally, if you have a website that takes a lot of traffic or requires as much security as possible, then you need a dedicated server. Same goes if you have a large ecommerce store, get the best you can. If your knowledge of servers is limited, you need a managed server solution, something that's offered on some dedicated servers but also some VPS options. This is really going to help you get the server optimized and purring.
" if you want to know why DreamHost are award winning then try them, you won't be disappointed"
If you’re in need of a high quality but affordable shared hosting solution, then you should look at other hosting providers. Our recommendation would be SiteGround and WPEngine. However, if you need a Virtual Private Server or dedicated server then you are going to struggle to find a provider better than Liquid Web.
Their VPS has outstanding performance, significantly quicker than their main rivals such as RackSpace. Which is lightning fast. A lot of that performance is due to the decisions made regarding hardware and software. There is real attention to detail in everything they do and that can be seen in the quality of their data centers and the level of customer support.
They have near perfect reliability, and it’s actually guaranteed. They guarantee 100% network uptime and 100% power, so they have a fully redundant system in place to take the strain of any problems for the network of local disruptions to power. Likewise they guarantee hardware will be replaced in 30 minutes, that’s thanks to having their own team onsite waiting to deal with any problems.
The guarantees just keep on coming when we look at customer support. Not only to they have all channels covered but they guarantee a response in 30 minutes via the help desk, or in less than 1 minute if you use the chat or direct calls.
Perfect doesn’t exist in the world of hosting. WP Engine are the closest you’ll find for managed WordPress and SiteGround are near perfect when it comes to shared hosting. I have to say, that Liquid Web have joined the elite. If you need a VPS or a larger server requirement then Liquid Web is the complete package.