- 24/7 Heroic Support
- Premium Data Centers
- Ruby on Rails
- 30 Day Guarantee
- Absolutely No Overselling
- 100% Network Uptime
LiquidWeb is a hosting company focusing on enterprise and corporate website hosting services. Although the company does offer shared hosting, it’s at a fairly high price point, and it’s clearly not their primary product. The company’s focus is mainly on dedicated hosting, VPS plans and ‘Smart Servers’, which utilise cloud technology.
LiquidWeb is privately owned and has been in business since 1997. It currently owns and manages three data centres, all based in Lansing, MI in the US, and it has an additional office in Scottsdale, AZ. With just 20,000 clients, the company is far smaller than many of the shared hosting companies we’ve reviewed, but it arguably focuses on high-value services as opposed to signing up large numbers of clients.
LiquidWeb Hosting Plans
LiquidWeb offer dedicated, cloud, VPS and shared hosting.
● Dedicated servers can be selected via a variety of packages depending on the server configuration, and there’s a choice of processors, operating systems (including Windows and CentOs Linux). One, two and four-core servers are available, and add-ons such as backups, storage and firewalls can be added for an additional fee.
● Smart Servers combine cloud reliability with the flexibility of a dedicated or VPS server. Again, plans can be chosen based on server specs. LiquidWeb splits out Smart Server plans into three groups: Smart Dedicated, Smart SSD (a dedicated server with SSD drives) and Smart VPS.
● For customers who want a normal VPS plan, LiquidWeb offer four different packages on a sliding price scale. The monthly fee is determined based on the amount of server resource allocated, although the bandwidth each customer can use is limited to 2 TB, regardless of the VPS plan’s spec.
● LiquidWeb angle their marketing at corporate customers, so they place more emphasis on dedicated and VPS plans, but shared hosting is also available. Shared hosting is split into Standard, Webmaster and Professional. It is fairly expensive compared to other shared hosting providers, and none of its plans are unlimited in any way, but the core emphasis is on quality of service rather than massive resources. Free domain names are available, with two being offered on the lowest priced plan, and five available on the top-tier shared hosting plan.
Dedicated and VPS customers are given a 100% network uptime guarantee at LiquidWeb, plus a 30 minute hardware replacement guarantee and a 30 minute initial response time guarantee. Impressively, the company credits customers with ten times the amount of downtime they experienced if any of these promises are not met. In other words, each hour’s downtime results in ten hours’ account credit. Compensation must be manually claimed by the customer, though: it’s not automatically applied to the account.
In contrast, the terms and conditions for LiquidWeb’s shared hosting product specifically states that the uptime guarantee does not apply, but it does also state that the host will use “reasonable efforts” to provide continuous service. No refunds can be claimed if there’s downtime on a shared hosting plan.
The company’s data centres are prominently promoted on its website; they have three separate facilities in Lansing, MI. All are privately owned and operated by the company, and they even provide videos to show off their facilities. The company offers Tier 1 premium bandwidth (via high-profile partners such as AT&T, Verizon and Sprint), electronic security systems, dedicated power transformers and various forms of UPS backup, plus diesel generators. The data centres themselves have reinforced concrete walls and are air conditioned, with redundant air conditioning systems on standby. There’s no significant reference to green technology or offsetting, so this presumably isn’t a priority for them. That’s a shame, considering they own their own data centres.
Backups are, generally, an extra service which customers must pay for. There is no backup provision at all on shared hosting plans, other than the do-it-yourself backup functionality provided within Cpanel.
LiquidWeb claims that the average time for a support call to be answered is 20 seconds, which is impressive. It also claims its average response time for email and tickets is ten minutes. Support is provided via one US toll-free number, plus an additional US number for international clients. All staff are based on-site, so they have access to the data centres in case of any issues.
There are actually three levels of support under the company’s ‘Heroic Support’ banner, although it’s not clear whether the top-tier support plans are chargeable.
Dedicated and VPS customers are also guaranteed a 59-second answer time on the phone and via live chat, with hourly account credits being given if the call or live chat request takes longer than six minutes to be answered. Compensation must be manually claimed by the customer.
LiquidWeb’s support site includes a massive knowledgebase which is structured as a blog. It’s not the easiest support site to navigate, but the information is incredibly detailed. As an example, the blog post describing how to set up a website in 20 minutes is 1,500 words long.
LiquidWeb in the News
LiquidWeb doesn’t appear to have attracted any notable bad press in major tech publications. Overall, clients also appear to be satisfied with the service they receive.
LiquidWeb Control Panel
LiquidWeb clients appear to mainly use Cpanel. On its shared hosting pages, the company doesn’t specify which control panel it uses, but its support documentation suggests that Cpanel is in use.
Dedicated and VPS customers can choose what to install on their own servers. Cpanel is listed as a configuration option on CentOs for an additional monthly fee.
It doesn’t appear that LiquidWeb offer many free gifts or incentives, although they boast the “web hosting industry’s most lucrative affiliate program”. Shared hosting customers have access to a SSL secure server, and on the top price shared plan, customers also get a static IP. Depending on the shared package you choose, you’ll receive two, three or five free domain names.
LiquidWeb Money Back Guarantee / Cancellation Policy
In terms of a money-back guarantee, LiquidWeb offer a 30-day guarantee on shared hosting plans only.
In all other situations when a plan is cancelled, refunds are only given for full months’ service. Customers must give notice before their billing cycle renews for the month they wish to cancel. No setup fees are refunded, and free domain names are chargeable at $14.95 each. This amount is deducted from the refund.
LiquidWeb are clearly a company looking to attract high-value customers with big resource requirements. The shared hosting, while expensive, offers plenty of room for expansion, but the real focus for the company is on dedicated, cloud and VPS.
The LiquidWeb website is absolutely massive, and if you’re looking for reams of technical detail, you’ll be pleased with what you find. In addition, customers on premium plans are afforded very fast support times and 100% uptime guarantees, both of which are backed up by huge compensation in account credits should the company fail to meet their promises.
If support and reliability are important to you, LiquidWeb will be a perfect host. If you need a small amount of space for a family or hobby website, you may find their pricing is off-putting. However, it’s clear that this is a company with a commitment to customer service - an area where many of its competitors fall short. It’s a bit of a shame that they don’t place more emphasis on green hosting; this is the only thing I found absolutely zero information about.
Looking for specific features? This host offers...
Fast growing shared hosting provider, BlueHost, offers a plan with plenty of features and unlimited domains.
Read our BlueHost Reviews
Web Hosting Hub offer an incredible deal: unlimited bandwidth & disk space, plus phone support, for $4.95/mo. What's not to like?
Read our Web Hosting Hub Reviews