Liquid Web is a pioneer web hosting company that has been providing A+ services since 1997. The first thing that struck me when I first stumbled upon their website was that they are quite a select company. First of all, although they have been providing web hosting services since 1997, they have only managed to accrue a total of 20,000 customers, and rightfully so, since they charge a lot for all of their plans as you’ll see later on in this review, which obviously scares away a lot of skeptical people. The company provides all major standard web hosting services: shared, VPS and dedicated hosting, along with a signature service that they call “Smart Servers”, which appears to be focused on cloud technology.
Table of Content
- Liquid Web Hosting Plans
- Liquid Web Reliability
- Customer Support
- Liquid Web Control Panel
- Money Back Guarantee
- Should You Sign Up with Liquid Web?
With regard to their physical servers, they have data centers spread in key points across the USA, namely in Lansing, MI, and Scottsdale, AZ. There’s no point in having more than two data centers, in my opinion, since they only serve 20,000 customers, so this specific aspect should not scare you. Let’s delve into the hosting plans they provide.
Their shared hosting services comprise four different plans which have different features, bonuses and performances depending on your specific needs. As I previously covered, these plans are quite expensive, so much so that the folks at Liquid Web are known to put a lot of emphasis into fully-managed hosting services, which obviously costs more than self-managed plans.
Furthermore, all shared plans come packed with one-click installation CMS such as WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Magento etc. which can be installed through the popular cPanel.
In exchange, you’ll find that the only thing you will ever have to worry about is creating the necessary content and accruing the first visitors to your website. Everything ranging from the features, bonuses, uptime to the customer support is properly taken care of and managed.
VPS Hosting is probably the pinnacle of their services for many reasons, including but not limited to enhanced security, stellar performance and consistent reliability. Let’s see what they have in the box for you:
- Powerful SSD with RAID Protection;
SSD is or at least will become the standard in this industry very soon because it can provide less latency, more reliability and security through RAID protection to your VPS server for added peace of mind.
- Unique Billing and Easy Scaling
If you opt for a specific VPS plan, the folks at Liquid Web won’t force you settle with it. Instead, they’ll always allow you to scale it up and down according to your fluctuating needs, and even pay daily for their services if you don’t want to commit to a yearly term, for example.
- WordPress-based VPS Hosting
The custom WordPress-based VPS Hosting is, to my understanding, unique to the market. Most web hosting providers offer this kind of service only with Shared Hosting plans, but Liquid Web step up to offer it to VPS plans, which is a nice addition, especially given the fact hundreds of WordPress-based websites appear on the Internet on a daily basis.
Now, there’s one thing I really dislike about the way most web hosting providers conduct their business with regard to dedicated servers, and that is the lack of server management. However, that is no longer an issue with Liquid Web, as there is an impressive total of 50 developers that carry out routine maintenance. These servers also have tons of extras for enhanced security, speed and storage, such as firewalls, load balancers, CDN or the in-house Guardian Backup service.
Liquid Web provides a 100% uptime guarantee for all of their plans except Shared Hosting. Should they not abide by their promise, they will credit your account ten times the amount of downtime your website experienced. For example, if your website is down for one hour, you will receive 10 hours worth of hosting – for free. They do not credit the free time automatically though, so you’ll have to keep tabs on the uptime of your own website if you want to benefit from this bonus. Because they do not provide any kind of guarantee or refunds for shared hosting plans, they claim to put “reasonable efforts” to ensure your share-hosted website is up and running for as long as possible, but there’s no written guarantee.
With regard to their physical facilities, they claim to host their servers in top-notch, highly-secured, unrented buildings which are properly taken care of 24/7/365 with impressive security systems. They also boast their facilities with the aid of various videos posted on YouTube, so you can take a look at them at any time if you are not convinced. I sure was, believe it or not.
Liquid Web take a lot of pride in being able to provide support timely and hassle-free. As such, they have made quick estimates of how long it should normally take for a customer representative to take your phone call or live chat request – about 20 seconds give or take, which is very generous.
There are a total of three levels of support which are ambiguously described, but as far as I could understand, they vary depending on the plan you subscribe to. By analogy, the better the plan you opt for, the better the customer support will be.
If you don’t want to wait in line to be served, you can always consult the amazingly-detailed knowledgebase. It’s not easy to navigate, but if you spend a few minutes to get used to it, you can find your desired piece of information in no time, which could spare you from dozens of minutes spent on phone or live chat.
There’s not much information with regard to the control panel you can make use of, but the scarce information available suggests that customers can create and manage their websites from the popular cPanel on all hosting plans.
Liquid Web Extras
I personally could not find many bonuses offered by this company with any hosting plan, but they do offer a few ones that are usually paid with other web hosts such as access to an SSL secure server and a free dedicated IP address on any shared hosting plan, along with up to five free domain name entries to your account.
Unfortunately, Liquid Web are not very transparent when it comes to their money back guarantee policy and don’t make it clear that their 30-day money back guarantee only applies to shared hosting plans.
After a lot of digging, I found out that, in all other contexts, you are only given a refund for full months worth of service. You must give prior notice before the billing cycle renews if you want to be refunded for the previous month(s). They won’t give any money back for setup fees, and any domain name you got as a result of a promotional offer will be charged at $14.95 each. All the amounts will be deducted from the total due refund.
While Liquid Web is certainly not an authority web hosting company (which they really not intend to be in the first place), it is interesting to see how qualitative their services are. Although transparency sometimes lacks (see the rather shady money back guarantee), their quality-oriented hosting plans easily compensate for that rather minor issue. Honestly, I don’t think that should put you off from subscribing to a hosting plan of theirs.
Quality, however, comes with a price. If you’re on a tight budget and don’t really need something serious, but rather a web host that’s able to provide services for a hobby rather than a serious business designed to turn a profit, you would be better off looking elsewhere. In any other cases, I can vouch for their stellar services. Go ahead and buy a hosting package from them today. Good luck!
If your websites’re currently hosted at Liquid Web, please tell us your experience with Liquid Web on the comment session below. Thank you!