Today, dozens of companies claim to offer “managed WordPress hosting.” But what exactly do they manage for you? Do they actually take care of your WordPress site, freeing your time to focus on what you do best?
They likely keep your WordPress software up to date. But what about your plugins? Do they also update plugins when a new version is released? Probably not.
When you upload a large image, do they automatically compress that image so it loads faster? Not likely.
Does your host offer support for PHP7? If so, how easily can you upgrade your site to take advantage of the significant speed boost in PHP7?
You may have even downloaded a plugin to test your site for PHP7 compatibility. After testing, you may have learned that some of your plugins were not yet compatible. What do you do then? Does your host help you make your theme and plugins ready for the update?
Does your host include premium tools like iThemes Sync Pro to help you manage all your WordPress sites in a single dashboard?
What happens if your site suddenly receives a flood of traffic? Does your host send you an alert when your traffic increases suddenly? If they charge you for overages, probably not. Why would they? It’s in their best interest to let it go unnoticed until it’s time to send you the bill.
You have to ask yourself… what exactly are they managing?
Many hosts claim to offer “managed” WordPress hosting. But what exactly are they managing?
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Have you heard of Liquid Web?
But we’re becoming increasingly more impressed with Liquid Web. They’ve been around a long time, but have only recently added managed WordPress hosting to their lineup. And they’re investing heavily in their managed WordPress hosting platform, having recently hired well-known WordPress advisor, Chris Lema, as Vice President of products and innovation.
Chris is passionate about the WordPress community, having spoken at dozens of WordCamps around the world. And over the past several years, Chris has been a trusted advisor to nearly every major WordPress hosting company in the industry. So you can bet Liquid Web’s WordPress solution stands to benefit from his considerable expertise, and succeed where others have not.
So how does Liquid Web stack up against other well-established WordPress hosting companies?
Here are 7 Reasons You Should Check Out Liquid Web
1. Blazing fast page load times!
First impressions are everything. And not just for visitors to your site. Page load times are now a factor in where your site ranks in Google search results. Faster sites will show up higher in search results. Liquid Web owns their own data center, which can’t be said of many other WordPress hosts. They use SSD storage, and their server stack is purpose-built for the unique demands of WordPress. Which means your site will load faster than ever.
I recently migrated my personal blog to Liquid Web. It was previously hosted on one of the most established managed WordPress hosting companies around. Before migrating to Liquid Web, my homepage was taking more than 5 seconds to load (screenshot). After migrating the site to Liquid Web, I was astonished to see the same page load a whopping 4 seconds faster! (screenshot)
That’s without changing a single thing. Same theme, same plugins. Significantly faster page load times. Instantly.
But it doesn’t stop there. Because they also offer a one-click upgrade to PHP7.
Why is that important? Because PHP7 brings a host of improvements to PHP, the underlying software that powers WordPress. One of the most notable improvements is substantial performance improvements. Benchmarks of WordPress using PHP7 show a 2-3x speed improvement compared to PHP5.6!
And just look how it easy to enable PHP7 in your Liquid Web control panel:
That’s right. One click and they’ll automatically scan your site for potential PHP7 conflicts. If any plugin or theme on your site is not compatible with PHP7, you’ll have the option of upgrading anyway, or opening a support ticket. If no conflicts are found, you’re set! Your site will be upgraded to PHP7 instantly. No support ticket required.
2. Free SSL for every site. No action required.
In case you haven’t heard, 2017 is the year of HTTPS and SSL for websites. In 2014, Google announced a call for all websites to use HTTPS. Today, it’s yet another ranking signal for Google. Is your site served over HTTPS? If so, you’ll enjoy higher search engine rankings.
In response, every site on Liquid Web automatically gets a free SSL certificate. You don’t need to ask for it. You don’t have to purchase an expensive SSL certificate. It’s just included. With every website. Automatically. What could be easier?
3. Automatic Plugin Updates
Liquid Web automatically monitors your website for updates — not just to the WordPress core software, but also for any plugin you’ve installed. Whenever a plugin is updated, they take several visual snapshots of your site (see example), then update the plugin automatically. They take another set of snapshots and then visually compare the two. If anything changes, the update is automatically rolled back and you’ll receive a notification email, inviting you to review the changes for yourself.
If everything goes according to plan, you’ll receive an email like this:
4. Automatic image compression.
Look, your site will load more quickly if you don’t include full-size images in your blog posts and pages. But today’s digital cameras shoot very, very large images. If you upload those images to your WordPress site without first editing them, you could potentially have several 3-5 MB images included in your blog post. And that will impact your page load times negatively.
So Liquid Web automatically compresses those images, shrinking the file size dramatically, and improving your page load times. So if you forget to crop and resize your images before uploading them, Liquid Web has your back.
Just look at how much space the bulk image optimization tool saved my site:
5. No surprise charges for overages!
Other hosts charge you for every page view — even if it comes from bots or unwanted traffic. They use these inflated traffic numbers to charge you for overages and force you to upgrade to much more expensive plans. But what if your site gets mentioned on Reddit? Why should you be penalized if your site becomes temporarily popular?
Liquid Web saves you money by not charging for pageviews. They don’t use your traffic as a way to charge more. The price is the price. Every single month. Isn’t that what you expect from a partner?
6. Premium tools for managing ALL your WordPress sites!
Do you manage more than one WordPress site? Then you’ll love iThemes Sync Pro. It enables you to monitor all your WordPress sites at a glance, and even generate reports for WordPress maintenance.
You can limit what your clients see in their WordPress dashboard, monitor your site’s uptime, downtime and performance, and even track and view SEO or Google Analytics data.
Best of all, you get all the Pro features of this powerful administration tool (normally $ 130/year) with your Liquid Web hosting account. That’s right. It’s included with every Liquid Web hosting account.
7. Site Stencils for rapidly spinning up new WordPress sites.
If you build new sites often, you’ll love Site Stencils. This innovate features let you set up a basic WordPress install with all your favorite themes and plugins, and then save it as a “stencil” — a snapshot you can use to spin up new sites quickly.
Imagine the time this can save you as a freelancer, rather than installing and configuring the same core themes and plugins every single time?
All this, plus the features you’ve come to expect:
- WordPress already pre-installed!
- Automatic nightly backups for peace of mind.
- Automatic updates, ensuring your site is always up to date.
- 24/7 security monitoring for malware or attempts to hack your site.
- Web servers that are specifically built for hosting WordPress sites… blazing fast!
- Create a staging server to make changes to your site without affecting your live site.
- Developer tools like access to the MySQL database via phpMyAdmin, SSL, SFTP, and command line.
- Stellar support from people who know WordPress inside and out, not just reading from a book of scripts.
Migrate your Site to Liquid Web for FREE!
Want to move your existing site to Liquid Web? Simply ask for a free migration and they’ll handle it for you.
What other host does that?
What is the future of managed WordPress hosting from Liquid Web?
I had an encouraging chat with Chris Lema about what’s in store for the managed WordPress offering from Liquid Web. He wrapped up by saying,
The future of managed WordPress hosting is not needing support at all. Let’s face it. Today’s hosting solutions require significant intervention from support teams because they’re unintuitive, poorly designed, and fail to take the customer’s real-world needs into consideration. But with advances in automation, we can empower our customers with the tools they need to enjoy the benefits of a truly managed WordPress site that frees them to do what they do best… focus on creating content and running their online business.”
Are you just looking for a host, or a trusted partner?
Liquid Web: The Managed WordPress Partner You’ve Been Waiting For appeared first on WordPress 101.