Are you looking for the best managed WordPress hosting provider? Trying to decide between Liquid Web and Bluehost? Both Liquid Web and Bluehost are 2 of the world’s leading managed WordPress hosting providers. But which is better?
In this article, we’ll compare Bluehost and Liquid Web in-depth so you can decide which one is best suited for your budget and needs.
Bluehost vs. Liquid Web – Overview
Bluehost is a hosting brand owned by Endurance International Group, a renowned web hosting company. It’s also an officially recommended web hosting provider by WordPress.org.
Bluehost’s hosting services are geared towards beginner-level users and they particularly rock the shared hosting vertical. They offer a wide variety of hosting options, including shared, WordPress, VPS, and dedicated hosting servers.
They provide 3 different WordPress-centric hosting options:
- Shared WordPress hosting for entry-level users.
- Managed WordPress hosting for users who need optimized server performance.
- WooCommerce hosting for eCommerce businesses.
Liquid Web is an independently operated managed web hosting company. Unlike traditional hosting providers, such as Bluehost, Liquid Web only offers managed hosting services for VPS and dedicated servers. Their hosting options are optimized for popular apps, including WordPress, WooCommerce, premium business email, and more.
The key difference between the WordPress and WooCommerce hosting services of Bluehost vs. Liquid Web is that while Bluehost offers hosting solutions for all sizes and budget, Liquid Web is targeted at high-traffic volume websites.
Bluehost vs. Liquid Web – Page Speed and Uptime
To conduct a performance test of the hosting servers for our Liquid Web vs. Bluehost comparison, we created a test WordPress site on both hosting servers by signing up to their WordPress hosting plans. Then, we installed a default WordPress theme, uploaded dummy content, including images, to mirror the production environment on our test site.
Finally, we also conducted a couple of speed tests such as:
Load Impact test: To record how the server responded during peak load time.
Bitcatcha test: To analyze server response times on 8 different international locations by ignoring content of the test site.
And here’re our results:
We also used Bitcatcha to record server response time of our hosting servers from 8 different geographical locations: New York, LA, London, Brazil, India, Singapore, Japan, and Australia. The speed for each location is measured three separate times, and then the results are averaged.
As you can see, while our Liquid Web site was rated C+ by Bitcatcha, our Bluehost site was rated C.
Winner: Liquid Web
Bluehost vs. Liquid Web – Ease of Use
One of the best things about Bluehost is that they provide a great user experience to users, which makes it immensely helpful to kick off a site even if you’re an absolute beginner. With their guided onboarding, you can easily set up WordPress and install your preferred theme even without logging into your WordPress site.
They also recommend a few essential WordPress plugins that help you step up your business goals. In a nutshell, you can launch a WordPress site with ease even if you’re not familiar with the WordPress dashboard.
Bluehost also provides cPanel access to manage your website with ease.
With every Liquid Web plan, excluding managed WordPress hosting, you’ll get access to cPanel/WHM or Plesk.
With Liquid Web’s managed WordPress hosting plan, you’ll get access to iThemes Sync Pro. It helps you manage all the sites you run from a single location. With iThemes Sync Pro, you’ll be able to monitor uptime and downtime, track SEO status of your content, and control what your clients see in WP-admin.
If you’re just starting out, then we recommend choosing Bluehost because their onboarding experience is customized for users like you.
Bluehost vs. Liquid Web – Features
Bluehost is primarily geared towards beginner-level users. It comes with all the essential features you’ll need to get your site up and running. With all shared hosting plans, you get
- Unmetered bandwidth
- SSD storage
- Free SSL
- 1-click installers
With a slightly expensive shared web hosting plan, you’ll get unmetered SSD storage, unlimited email accounts, unlimited storage, $200 worth marketing offers, site backups, and more.
As a managed hosting provider, Liquid Web ensures blazing fast loading time, with industry-leading features, like:
- Auto-plugin updates: In addition to WordPress core updates, Liquid Web also offers automatic plugin updates with visual comparisons.
- Full server access: Unlike other managed hosting companies, Liquid Web offers full server access.
- Stencil: Save your time while building new sites by using the same plugins and theme.
- Easy staging: Easily create a staging site, which allows you to test your codes before deploying it to the live site environment.
Winner: Liquid Web
Bluehost vs. Liquid Web – Support and Documentation
Bluehost offers 24/7 support via phone and live chat only. In an effort to focus on providing direct support, they discontinued email-based ticket support.
The downside is that if you’re just too busy and can’t wait for an agent to respond via live chat, you won’t be able to get your support query solved. This can also be frustrating to users with more advanced issues that may take a bit longer to resolve.
Unlike Bluehost, Liquid Web provides technical assistance via 3 modes: phone call, live chat, and emails.
If you reach out via phone or chat, they’ll respond in under a minute, and if you reach out by email, you’ll get a response in less than 30 minutes.
Both Bluehost and Liquid have extensive knowledge bases on their sites that cover every aspect of building a website from the ground up using their web hosting plans.
Bluehost vs. Liquid Web – Pricing
The regular pricing for Bluehost shared web hosting starts at $7.99 per month. Since we’ve negotiated a deal with Bluehost, IsItWP users only have to pay $2.75 per month. Best of all, with every new Bluehost account, you’ll get a free domain name and free SSL certificate.
The pricing for Liquid Web managed WordPress hosting starts at $99 per month, which is quite a lot when you’re starting out. We’ve negotiated a deal with Liquid Web as well to provide 69% off for first 3 months to IsItWP users. That’s fully managed WordPress hosting for as low as $21.39 per month.
Recap – Bluehost vs. Liquid Web
If you’re just starting out and are looking for an affordable managed WordPress hosting provider, then look no further than Bluehost. Bluehost also offers several different hosting options for entry-level users.
Bluehost also offers an affordable WooCommerce hosting service that gives you every basic feature you’ll need to run an eCommerce site, such as a domain name, free SSL, and dedicated IP address.
Liquid Web on the other hand, is for users who want blazing fast website. Liquid Web’s managed WooCommerce hosting helps you build resource-heavy eCommerce store without having to hire a developer for optimizing your servers.