Started in 1997, LiquidWeb is a hosting company that has been focusing on offering high-end hosting solutions to medium sized businesses, large businesses, and enterprises.
The current product range includes dedicated servers, VPS hosting, private cloud, and the newly-launched managed WordPress hosting. And there are some dedicated add-ons such as CDN solutions, DDoS attack prevention, and private networking.
Once LiquidWeb also offered shared hosting packages for small businesses. However, the company terminated the service in recent days.
Among the available products, the one taken in this LiquidWeb review is the VPS hosting, a well-known product offered by the company. Both the pros and cons are presented, so that you can judge the product’s value by yourself.
First of all, read the following service ratings.
Pros of LiquidWeb VPS Hosting
LiquidWeb provides fully managed VPS with a 100% uptime guarantee. Generally speaking, those virtual servers are great in the ease of use and reliability.
Easy-to-use cPanel & many other features
All of LiquidWeb virtual servers can be fully managed with cPanel. As is known, this control panel makes server management, script install, stats analysis, database creation and numerous other tasks very easy. It is a good value-adding feature for those who need simple yet complete control over the server.
Besides cPanel, LiquidWeb offers a number of other features for each VPS, including:
- Instant provisioning which ensures you can get a server in seconds instead of waiting for a couple of hours.
- 5 TB outgoing bandwidth and unlimited incoming bandwidth.
- The ability to clone and resize the VPS easily.
- Daily billing.
- Root access & SSH.
- API access for development.
Note that no dedicated IP is offered by default no matter how much you pay for the VPS you use.
For VPS customers, LiquidWeb guarantees 100% network uptime, 100% power availability, and 30-minute hardware replacement in the event of a hardware failure. If the uptime guarantee fails, the company refunds 10 times the credits for the hosting costs during the downtime. This means in the case that you experience a 1-hour downtime, you can receive a credit equaling to 10 hours’ hosting fee.
You must pay attention that the company does not issue credits to your account automatically for downtimes. Instead, you have to claim the credit by sending a request to the support team.
According to user feedback and careful monitoring, LiquidWeb has indeed kept a good uptime that averages about 99.93%. Below are the most recent uptime records.
There are multiple reasons for the company’s excellence in uptime. Here we will list several of them.
- The partnership with 5 premium bandwidth providers ensures the optimal network connectivity.
- The redundant power systems featuring fault tolerance, multiple UPS and emergency generators guarantee no power failure.
- Each air conditioning unit of every data center contains independent cooling loops and compressors to enhance the reliability.
- LiquidWeb designs all virtual servers on a cloud platform which is highlighted with high availability.
Quick responses to support requests
LiquidWeb has been famous for the “Heroic Support” which includes an SLA for the initial support response time. As the company offers real man powered technical support through live chat, help desk and phone, it guarantees:
- 59-second responses for live chat and phone.
- 30-minute responses for tickets submitted in the help desk.
In the case these promises fail, you will get a compensation in credits. But fortunately, in most cases, the professionally trained support representatives can make quick responses within the guaranteed time.
According to the statistics published by LiquidWeb, the average response time was 36 seconds for phone calls, 50 seconds for live chat and 11.3 minutes for tickets in March 2016. Besides, all the available support channels are accessible 24×7.
Cons of LiquidWeb VPS Hosting
The virtual servers offered by LiquidWeb are reliable and feature rich. However, there is a big disadvantage when compared with other popular VPS hosting products – the expensive prices. Also, there are several minor demerits which are analyzed in below.
Much too expensive hosting costs
LiquidWeb provides 5 VPS hosting plans. Named 1 GB, 2 GB, 4 GB, 8 GB and 16 GB, the plans are different in the server resources, but they are the same in one aspect – being much more expensive than most other companies’ virtual servers with the same features.
Now you can learn the basic price and resource information of the plans.
- 1 GB: $50/mo, including 1 GB memory, 50 GB SSD storage, and 1 CPU core.
- 2 GB: $79/mo, including 2 GB memory, 100 GB SSD storage, and 1 CPU core.
- 4 GB: $139/mo, including 3.9 GB memory, 150 GB SSD storage, and 2 CPU cores.
- 8 GB: $219/mo, including 7.8 GB memory, 300 GB SSD storage, and 4 CPU cores.
- 16 GB: $385/mo, including 15.6 GB memory, 600 GB SSD storage, and 4 CPU cores.
All the plans, except for 1 GB, also come with a 1-year free domain name and a private SSL certificate.
What worth noting is that LiquidWeb charges additional $10/mo for the fully managed support for CentOS 6 and CentOS 7 operating systems. Only by purchasing the management package, can you get cPanel and the Softaculous installer. Besides, backups are not offered for free. Instead, you have to pay an extra fee of $0.12/mo per GB.
To be honest, the costs are really high because we have seen many providers offering the same quality servers at much lower rates. For example, InMotion Hosting, a web host known for reliability, prices a VPS with 60 GB SSD storage, 2 TB bandwidth, 4 GB RAM, 2 dedicated IPs, free cPanel and free backups at $14.99/mo only. Compared with such a company, LiquidWeb almost triples the VPS price.
Not-so-excellent hosting speed
LiquidWeb operates its own data centers which are located in Phoenix, Arizona and Lansing, Michigan. The 4 data centers are claimed to feature the quickest response time, and according to the company, this attributes to multiple factors, such as the high-performance servers, Cisco switches, real-time monitoring, and multiple peering connections.
However, we haven’t seen an excellent output from our monitoring so far. The servers under monitoring spend no less than 700ms to make a response, and the page loads are even worse. We have to confess that LiquidWeb has done well in uptime, but it is far away from being outstanding in VPS hosting speed.
The chart below includes the server response records in the last 30 days.
Relatively low support quality for tickets
The Heroic Support of LiquidWeb works great in most cases, but you must pay attention that the ticket support is not as perfect as the other two support methods.
The main reason lies in the common complaint that the support tickets handled by multiple support representatives are not usually read by every representative who takes over them. This could result in low efficiency and inaccurate solutions that waste your time.
Regardless of the fact that the virtual servers are very expensive, LiquidWeb does not offer any refund in any circumstance. This is a little unreasonable because nowadays most VPS hosting providers offer a minimum of 30-day refund period for new customers to have a trial. InMotion Hosting, the company mentioned before, even allows 90-day refunds for VPS.
Having no refund guarantee reduces the purchase security to a large extent since there is a risk to lose all your pre-payments when you terminate the account.
Is LiquidWeb Recommended for VPS Hosting?
Not yet. The virtual servers are reliable and feature rich, but the costs are too high, especially considering that LiquidWeb charges additional fees for cPanel. Moreover, the speed is not satisfactory.
If you are looking to power a small business or medium sized business with a quality VPS, there are many far better choices which are affordable, reliable, and fast. Below are some of these choices – all with full management, cPanel and a refund guarantee.