SiteGround vs. Liquid Web
Which is the best web host? SiteGround, the home of high speed and great customer service perfect for beginners and small websites Or Liquid Web? The king of multiple enterprise-level websites and unlimited bandwidth. Are you looking for the perfect web-host for you? Having crawled through the internet, two names keep popping up and the more you dig, the more similar they both appear? But you want a final verdict on which of these two web-hosts is better in an attempt to make a final decision? Well, we have used and meticulously scrutinized both, analyzed their strengths and weaknesses to find out which is the best host for you. We do all the years of intensive research, analyze the raw data and provide you the results in a few simple and understandable lines so you don’t have to go through the trouble. All you have to do is read these few pages, see for yourself which web host is better and why. Through the cold hard facts, we have provided as clear and succinct as possible, a comparison between the two and we have selected a definitive winner. You just have to go ahead to choose which you think is best for you. Pro tip? It’s usually the winner.
Siteground vs. Liquid Web: A Complete Overview
SiteGround was founded 15 years ago by Tenko Nicolav, Reneta Tsankova, and Nikolay Todorov. Based mainly in Bulgaria with head office at Sophia, they are currently WordPress’ official and certified web-host. Outside Bulgaria, they also have an office in Madrid, Spain.
SiteGround, through its websites, promotes a plethora of hosting types which include WordPress, cloud and dedication plans among other specialized plans. They offer CDNs as well as SSL certificates, Let’s encrypt and SSD storage. They have servers spanning 3 major continents in 5 locations (2 in the USA, 1 in ITALY, 1 in NETHERLANDS and the last in the UK) spread across 5 specific locations (Singapore, Chicago, Milan, Amsterdam, London) and as you well know this helps tremendously in increasing the response time and speed, depending on what part of the world the traffic that goes in your website comes from. They have three levels of plans. Startup plan; for beginners and smaller websites, as well as larger plans e.g. GrowBig and GoGeek that provide room for bigger e-commerce and media-heavy sites that will require more robust hosting and larger bandwidth.
Think about this, so many offers and features of SiteGround have already been listed and we haven’t even touched on the icing on the cake which is their customer-support system as well as an expansive, crystal clear and impeccably organized knowledgebase. It is said that they have the best customer support system among all 400 plus web hosting service providers but don’t believe us, the facts speak for themselves.
Liquid Web. What does Liquid Web have on its resume that can possibly compete with all the superb features that SiteGround has racked up? How could it compete and why is it even in the conversation?
For starters, Liquid Web was created 7 whole years before SiteGround ever stepped on the web-hosting grounds and SiteGround could boast of being the official WordPress host but Liquid Web hosts huge brands like The Home Depot, Motorola, and the National Geographic Channel to name a few. While these few achievements show that Liquid Web is certainly not in the web hosting game to play around, they mean business, it does not necessarily prove that they can stack up against SiteGround, but this will; Operating from their headquarters in Lansing, Michigan, they have so much more to offer. First, all their plans are high-performance plans and they do not have plans separately for beginners, they believe if you are approaching them, you mean business and when you mean business, you either go big or go home. Their support team and response even rival that of SiteGround in reliability, availability, and knowledgebase. I.e. they are available 24/7 in all the 365 days that mane a year, you can reach them within a few minutes and when you finally reach them, you get attended to by real humans not programmable bots and they can provide all the help you need.
I reckon the two hosts have proven to be a match but this is where we go behind the scenes in a deep dive into what makes each host thick and whether they actually really deliver on all their promises and at the end of it all, a clear winner will emerge.
SiteGround or Liquid Web, which is the most popular web-host? The answer may surprise you. This comparison was carried out using polls filled by web developers, looking through which host popular websites adopt and customers’ feedbacks. After compiling the polls, we found that even though Liquid Web is a very large website hosting service provider, catering for the hosting needs of 30,000+ customers in 130+ countries has placed 2.3% of all websites in its hosting nest, SiteGround comes on top as the most popular of the two. SiteGround is often on the top 4 most popular list of any rating. It may have been founded 7 years after Liquid Web but being WordPresss official host does go a long way in raising the popularity of SiteGround. This, coupled with the fact that it has cheap plans for beginners, has played a huge role in SiteGround gaining an advantage in popularity.
Verdict: In terms of popularity, SiteGround may leave Liquid Web in the dust, the caveat? Popularity does not count and it never will be a factor for perfection.
Like we have earlier stated and will reiterate; popularity is not a yardstick for measuring the best host which is great because it should not be. There is a reason the best picture Oscar does not go to the most popular movie of the year and it is for good. Any web-head can tell you the most popular web-host but great web developers will tell you that the best web-host is measured in performance. The relevant performance criteria for declaring the best web-host are Speed, response time and the almighty Uptime.
Speed is the second most important factor when rating the performance of web-hosting providers and for good reasons. Any web developer worth his pay will tell you that you either have a fast website or your website is as good as none at all.
Why is speed important as a performance test? Well, for starters faster websites will be shown on the first page of search engine results because they appeal to Google ranking algorithm and what this means, in the long run, is that you will get more people to visit your website page compared to a website that is slower than yours. But many websites are fast. Some respond in 4 seconds and some 3 seconds or less. These are all great speeds, so what then makes one better than the other? Well, according to online polls, more than half of the people that click on a link to a shopping website will get discouraged and find another website if the website does not load under 3 seconds. So while you are in the market for a fast website and hence a fast hosting server, what you should actually be looking for is which is “faster” because when it comes to generating traffic, customers and subsequently converting to revenue, even milliseconds matter. So SiteGround and Liquid Web, which is faster?
To truly see which of these two hosting service providers comes out on top in a pure battle of speed, we ran multiple speed tests on our dummy WordPress websites using Pingdom (purely to check for speed), Load Impact (to see how much load the host can handle at once without crashing) and Bitcacha (to see how the respective hosting serves perform from various locations all over the world).
Testing Liquid Web, the tested website loaded in less than a second and Pingdom showed that Liquid Web is faster than 91% of all major hosts. The dummy Websites hosted on SiteGround, however, outperformed Liquid Web by loading faster than 98% of other websites.
In the Load Impact Test, Liquid Web showed a unique consistency without fluctuations when bombarded with multiple simultaneous users gradually including maximum traffic. This showed us that a site hosted on Liquid Web will not crash if it suddenly has its 20 users jump to 100 users. Here, websites hosted using SiteGround occasionally spiked, causing fluctuations in speed when bombarded by heavy traffic at once.
Liquid Web owns and operates private core data centers in the following locations: Its headquarters; Lansing in Michigan, Phoenix in Arizona, Amsterdam, and Netherlands (EUR).
SiteGround, on the other hand, has 5 data centers all over the world spread across 3 continents. They have data centers in Amsterdam, Chicago, London, Milan, and Singapore.
Verdict: Liquid Web could not keep up with the immense speed of SiteGround as well as their higher number of data centers and their free CDN provision. SiteGround Wins flawlessly.
The final test is that of Bitcacha and this is done recording the time it takes the page hosted on both web-hosting servers Liquid Web and SiteGround to load and this is measured three times consecutively and then the average is taken for final results.
Liquid Web hosted sites responded in less than a second, recording as low as 241ms (milliseconds) but we noticed that the response time was greatest in the United States, this shows that they have a server located In United States and that it would benefit sites that have their major users or customers from United States, but then again, most servers perform extremely well in United States.
The whole of Liquid Web uses the hyper-fast PHP 7 and Nginx to truly make your website a powerhouse in a need for speed. All Liquid Web plans also come with SSD storage but so does SiteGround. The amount of the disk space depends on the plan. SSD (Solid State Drives) is a relatively new and faster technology that ensures optimal speed compared to the slower and obsolete Hard Disk Drives ((HDD). SSDs have no moving parts, hence information is stored in microchips. SSDs provide blazing speed for server operations and consequently your website as opposed to HDDs.
Websites hosted with SiteGround are so fast that that load in less than 3 seconds in New York, Sydney, Los Angeles, London, Vancouver, and New Delhi. This is 98% faster than most hosting service providers and usually twice as fast as many of them. This is important because, if you do not have a CDN (Content Delivery Network) for your website, you can request from SiteGround to make your hosting server the same the location of most of your users or website traffic. This way, they can access your website much faster depending on the speed from that location, maybe even faster than you.
SiteGround also helps you set up CDN for free in collaboration with CloudFlare as part of your plan. This means that your default website content will be cached by proxy servers in places across the world and this cached content is then sent to the devices of people accessing your website. What this does is reduce the loading time of your website drastically by making use of this cached item even for people in continents like Africa who are far from where your hosting server is located.
NB: Response time of most websites using these two hosting servers may be much higher, that is because response time actually depends on how media-heavy the websites are. You cannot expect YouTube with its many videos to load as fast as a simple blog both of which are hosted on Liquid Web or SiteGround. Bitcacha circumvents this by ignoring the media load and content, only measuring the time it takes to load the lean page.
Verdict: Just like SiteGround won in Speed, it also easily edges out Liquid Web in response time. As expected.
Uptime is the single most important factor in determining the performance of a web host. This is because Uptime is the amount of time your website is kept up and running. Who wants their website to be down for even a second in a day? Definitely no major e-commerce websites. Web-hosts go above and beyond to offer you a 100% Uptime. This is so hard to do that when most of them promise you a 100% Uptime, what they actually mean is that when they perform below 100%, they will refund you for the downtime period. In simple terms: take this cash and shut up about that one time your website went down. For a web hosting service provider to promise 100% and actually deliver 100% may be a daunting request but some hosts live up to it.
Judging from our test over the last 12 months, SiteGround seems to have a high Uptime. Clocking in at above 99% all through the 12 months test and having 100% at 8 of those times. Even if none of them has 100% Uptime all of the time, SiteGround has an average Uptime of 99.991% according to our readings and this is way more than their promised 99% Uptime. And what’s better? They constantly update their performance so it is safe to say that in the next few months, the result will change and they will actually get closer to 100% Uptime.
When it comes to Uptime, Liquid Web sure understands what is required of them by the big websites they host. They are charged with extreme 100% and they live up to it. There are more than 250 experienced and highly trained systems administrators, engineers, and other tech support members of personnel in the employ of Liquid Web. To deliver their 100% Uptime, these manage and operate thousands of servers all over the world.
Verdict: Liquid Web has had 7 years headstart to perfect this, it is only normal that they capitalized on that and they are ahead.
Ease of Use for Siteground compared to Liquid Web
The first thing that beginners or those who want to migrate from one hosting service provider to another want to know is; Is it easy to set up an account and get started?
The short answer is, with Setup, SiteGround takes the cake.
SiteGround’s services are geared towards beginners and so it is not a surprise that most of their services are simple and easy to use. This is perhaps most evident in the fact that SiteGround’s WordPress hosting is fully packed with all the necessary features required to set up and subsequently run your WordPress website successfully. And this is just on the basic level of the simple plan. PCI-compliant servers, pre-installed Git, and faster servers are added features that come with higher and advanced WordPress hosting plans.
Liquid Web, in their bid to become better helpful hosting providers, greatly assist you by fully managing your WordPress hosting through their plans as well as granting you access to the server and database connected to your account. They also provide full and automatic WordPress plugin updates. Talk about flexibility, hook, line, and sinker.
Do they offer 1 click WordPress installs?
SiteGround offers tens of multiple 1-click installers for many website scripts. Users of WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla will especially benefit from this. They also allow you to access many drag-and-drop builders even with their smallest starter plan. With SiteGround, you can build your own website from scratch without having to pay extra bucks to hire a developer. Easy and saves you money.
Do they have a website builder than assists you in easily launching your website?
Ask anybody, they will tell you that when it comes to most trusted website builders today, Weebly is usually a frontrunner and SiteGround already has Weebly installed on it. The ease of use, functionality as well as the relevant utility of Weebly makes your website building and set up stress-free. They have myriads of stock templates you can choose from or you can get from third parties designers depending on your choice. What’s more? They don’t cost a dime.
Website building and 1-click installs? SiteGround Wins.
The implementation of staging and Migration on both Website hosting service providers is similar but SiteGround takes the edge by a small margin.
Liquid Web, on the other hand, allows you to select between cPanel/WHM or Plesk in all their plans, but it gets better. They provide iThemes Sync Pro, a most impressive feature if you are on their managed WordPress hosting plan. The advantage of iThemes Pro is that it allows you to monitor downtime, uptime and the status of all your hosted websites SEOs from a single location. As the WordPress admin, you can also control what is visible to your client.
Control Panel? Liquid Web wins.
Creating a staging copy of your website is easy and fast with both servers, it is, however, easier to move these changes into your live production WordPress site using SiteGround. Liquid Web requires you to download a migration plugin which will then assist you in making love changes.
Website Staging award goes to SiteGround.
The second important question people ask is; Do they offer a free domain to make life easier when registering to launch a website?
No, neither SiteGround nor Liquid Web offers free domain and this is a bit of a letdown because even smaller web-hosts provide free domains. But when you consider the fact that all the features they both offer are top-notch, you may be willing to forgive this small err.
Verdict: Facts don’t lie and seen in the analysis above, SiteGround cares a great deal about beginners, let’s just hope the big companies that Liquid Web cares so much about continue to stick with them. SiteGround makes the world of web hosting much much easier for beginners.
Money-Back Guarantee Policy
On the surface, a money-back guarantee may not seem important in deciding which website hosting service provider is better but on a much closer microscopic look, it does. Since money-back guarantee shows the level of trust and belief a web host has in the services it provides. In this vein, web hosts with better money-back policies are said to have stronger trust in their systems. SiteGround has a 30-days money-back guarantee to show the strong belief they have in their own services but Liquid Web wins in this category by having a pro-rated money-back guarantee.
Verdict: Liquid Web wins. If you have been in the business since 1997 and you host for big companies like The Home Depot, not only will you have an undaunted belief in your system and services, your audience will too.
Liquid Web vs. Siteground: Customer Support and Reliability
Types of support that web hosts have like phone, email, chat, ticket system, knowledgebase are also important. When it does come to support and reliability, neither SiteGround and Liquid Web seem to lag behind.
SiteGround allows a call for support if you encounter any problem while using their features or while migrating. They offer this support in form of phone calls, instant chat, and email but so does Liquid Web. They have a broad expansive knowledgebase and this is where the slight yet important difference lies. In both Liquid Web and SiteGround knowledgebase systems, you can find hundreds of tutorials that will make your hosting experience way easier but SiteGround seems to pay more attention to details like making tutorials easier to find and arranging their knowledgebase so that it becomes extremely easy to navigate for newcomers.
As stated earlier, Liquid Web employs more than 500 experienced and highly trained systems administrators, engineers, and many other members of personnel for their day to day functioning which helps them cater for their 30,000plus customers (that’s a staggering 2.3% of all websites in the world) in more than 130 countries but SiteGround is reported to have a more rigorous recruitment and training process which enables their customer care to solve your problems faster and more effectively.
I have personally experienced situations where SiteGround goes out of the way to comment on the complaints of clients even when they were not tagged. This shows sheer and unmatched customer-satisfaction and brand protection support unlike any I’ve seen anywhere on the internet. And this proactive nature even extends to problems that were caused by no fault of theirs or those clearly stated in their terms and conditions that they will not be responsible for which the customer agrees.
Verdict? With undeniably strong pillars of personnel, SiteGround steps up to snag the support section from Liquid Web.
SiteGround has recently launched Bot protection for WordPress. This prevents a lot of brute force attacks on the WordPress Login screen and it detects malicious attempts to log onto your WordPress site. It uses the Captcha challenge to allow you uninterrupted access into your account while also blocking unauthorized or suspicious login attempts. This system is also upgraded continuously which makes it’s adapt to new and developing online threats.
Also, remember that SiteGround collaboration with CloudFare to provide CDN set up? Well, CloudFare also doubles as extra security while Liquid Web utilizes iThemes Security Pro to protect their hosted websites.
Data Backup and Restore:
SiteGround’s hosting has automated backups inclusive. These backups are kept for no more than 30 days. One caveat? No matter how loyal a customer you are, they will delete this backup after 30 days and if you, for some, would not access this backup for 30 days, it will be purged from their system. It is always advisable to backup somewhere else. They now allow website owners to create on-demand backup five times but this is only available for higher plans like GoGeek. This attempt to improve their backup and restore features is limited by a single caveat; you have to pay an extra fee on low-level plans like Startup and GrowBig hosting plans.
Backup and restore is where Liquid Web has the high ground advantage over SiteGround. All their plans include daily automated backups stored off-site for 30 days. You can manually create as many backups as you want at any time of your choosing in all hosting plans.
It’s not that Liquid Web is not safe, they are very safe as evident in the trust that the big-name websites they own have in them. But when put through the wringer and placed under meticulous scrutiny, even though Liquid Web is more trusted with backup and restore, SiteGround ends up being the more secure website hosting provider due to their constant upgrades and keeping up with the latest technology.
Verdict: When you want to protect your site against all malicious and suspicious users, actions and online threats, SiteGround seems like a safe bet. SiteGround Wins the battle for security too.
Plans & Pricing
SiteGround has the following pricing plans:
- StartUp (originally $9.95 monthly but $3.95 monthly with coupons in association with many sites.) This allows only 1 Website and gives you 10GB Storage.
- GrowBig ($5.95 monthly.) – It supposedly allows unlimited websites with 20GB Storage but who are we kidding? How many websites can you actually use with just 20GB storage disk space? The answer? Not much.
- GoGeek ($11.95 monthly.) – It also claims to offer Unlimited Websites with 30GB Storage.
They have a reasonable pricing system, but SiteGround just isn’t a web-host for anyone who would like to host a lot of websites or put the word “unlimited websites” to the test.
Liquid Web on the other hand has:
- Personal ($29 monthly.)
- 1 Website/20GB Storage
- Freelance ($69 monthly.)
- 4 Websites/40GB Storage
- Professional ($99 monthly.)
- 10 Websites/100GB Storage
- Business ($149 monthly.)
- 25 Websites/150GB Storage
They also have the plan classified based on hosting type.
- For their Personal plan, 30 GB disk space and 5 TB bandwidth at $19.33 / monthly.
- Cloud VPS plan comes with 40 GB disk space with 5 TB bandwidth at $29 / monthly
- The Dedicated VPS hosting plan comes with 500GB disk space with 5 TB bandwidth at $199 / monthly.
There are no mincing words, Liquid Web is expensive and SiteGround is cheap, but that’s only because Liquid Web does not have beginner plans. When their advanced plans are compared Liquid Web blows SiteGround out of the water. But if you are providing high-quality service and a civil servant can not afford your services, what is the point?
Verdict: Keeping in mind that the prices listed above are monthly prices and website owners usually have to pay at least a year in advance at once instead of a monthly basis and you start to realize that the numbers differ drastically. For this reason, SiteGround wins pricing.
- WordPress is installed for free.
- SiteGround has Woocommerce hosting plans to enhance your woocommerce built on WordPress foundation and this is best used with their GoGeek plan since it comes with PCI compliant.
- SiteGround has 4 cloud hosting plans with increasing price and correlating sophisticated features: Entry, Business, Business Plus, and Super power. All of them provide 5 TB of monthly data transfer and even the basic Entry plan is very powerful as seen below:
- The Entry plan comes with 24GB CPU Cores, 40GB RAM at $80.00 disk price.
- The business plan comes with 36GB CPU Cores, 60GB RAM at $120.00 disk price.
- The Business Plus plan comes with 48GB CPU Cores, 80GB RAM at $1600.00 disk price.
- The Super Power plan comes with 810GB CPU Cores, 120GB RAM at $240.00 disk price.
- You can generate more money from your business through their reseller hosting services using your own web hosting. You have to buy at least 5 credit systems to set yourself up as a reseller and you can use a credit per year for customers. So having 10 customers means you will require 10 credits for the activation of each of your sites per year. The bigger your credit purchase per transaction, the more the discount you will have on space and domain registrations.
- If the credit system looks too complex, you want flexibility or it is altogether not your thing, buy one of their cloud plans and use it in conjunction with WHM but this won’t allow the specificity in choosing each customer’s data center location. Their Entry, Power and Super Power high-end hosting services for dedicated and custom-built servers rooted in Intel Xeon processors and they have 10TB of monthly bandwidth.
- SiteGround, through its websites, promotes a plethora of hosting types which include WordPress, cloud and dedication plans among other specialized plans. They offer CDNs as well as SSL certificates, Let’s encrypt and SSD storage.
- Liquid Web supports Linux or Windows with the options of Plesk or cPanel.
- An industry leader in customer loyalty and NPS score and their optimized virtual servers are known to be faster than 91% of other servers.
- They deliver the nigh-impossible 100% uptime guarantee and automatic daily backups stored Off-site for 30 days.
- They have a Disk Space of 40 GB SSD – 200 GB SSD depending on your plan and they do not give free domain name.
- They promise automatic plugin updates.
- Auto image compression algorithm and they deliver across the board.
- They allow you to manage multiple sites with iThemes Sync and,
- They use the iThemes Security Pro for added security.
- They do not possess pageview limits and they give full server access.
Verdict: SiteGround wins the SSL and hosting features. While losing resources to Liquid Web, they take the extra category with 2:1 win.
Liquid Web boasts of stellar managed services for its intriguing array of dedicated, cloud, and VPS arrangements; Liquid Web’s portfolio lists dedicated servers, cloud VPS, cloud dedicated, private cloud, and the Cloud Sites platform recently acquired from Rackspace.
They are known for their Premium managed hosting which costs: $29.00–$67.58 per month and domain at $13.95 per year. They are email and eCommerce enabled through their WooCommerce. It does not come with a website builder.
Also known for their uniquely branded Heroic Support® and fully managed hosting services.
Overall rating: 4.5/5.
SiteGround has faster website speeds thanks to in-house super cacher service and Content delivery network included, servers on three continents. With SiteGround, managed WordPress and Joomla services are readily available.
They provide more control over WordPress automatic updates as well as provide automatic plugin updates. They adopt CPanel and Softaculous Functionality and allows unlimited email accounts and they top it up with fast and responsive live chat support.
Overall rating: 4.8/5
Siteground vs. Liquid Web: Our Pick
At the end of the day, it all comes down to value for your money and SiteGround is the undisputed champion on this website’s hosting services playground. SiteGround overall is better than Liquid Web.