Wondering which web hosting provider is better: Liquid Web or HostGator? Liquid Web and HostGator are 2 of the most popular hosting providers on the market. While HostGator rocks the shared web hosting industry, Liquid Web is well-known for their managed hosting solutions.
Since choosing the wrong web host could sabotage your online business and reputation, we take competitions like this very seriously. That’s why we’ve written an UNBIASED web hosting comparison between HostGator and Liquid Web, so you can decide which one is the best option for your site.
HostGator vs. Liquid Web – Overview
HostGator is one of the most popular web hosting providers on the market. HostGator comes with a vast array of tools for entry-level users to quickly launch a website.
When you’re starting out, you can choose one of their shared hosting plans. As you grow, you can switch over to cloud, VPS, or dedicated server hosting.
You can also try their hosting service risk-free for 45 days. If you’re not fully satisfied, you can request a full refund within those 45 days.
Liquid Web, on the other hand, is one of the best managed web hosting solutions on the market.
Despite being a managed hosting solution, they give you full access to both the database and server associated with your account. They also offer industry-leading solutions like automatic WordPress plugin updates with their managed WordPress plans. That way you won’t have to worry about keeping your site updated.
Best of all, unlike other managed hosting companies, Liquid Web own their data centers. The benefit is that they won’t point fingers at other providers if something goes awry.
HostGator vs. Liquid Web – Page Speed and Uptime
Page speed and server uptime are the 2 most critical factors you need to consider when choosing a web hosting service.
Nobody likes a slow website. In fact, your users will abandon your site if it takes too long to load. On top of that, Google continues to emphasize speed in their search algorithms, so it’s an essential factor for SEO as well.
Uptime is a term used to describe the period that your website is available and operational. Usually, uptime is expressed as a percentage of the total available time; “99.95%”, for example.
To test the speed and uptimes of the hosting servers for our HostGator vs. Liquid Web comparison, we signed up with both hosting providers and built a test site with WordPress. To mirror the production environment, we also installed a default WordPress theme, added dummy content, and uploaded some images.
We conducted a few tests with the following testing tools on our sites:
- Load Impact
According to our Pingdom speed test, our HostGator test site took 691ms to load.
Liquid Web, on the other hand, took 901ms to load, which is faster than 91% of all tested sites.
Then we conducted a test on each hosting server with Load Impact.
According to Load Impact, our HostGator server responded quickly until there were about 80 visitors at a time. As traffic grew, the site started to slow down.
However, the number of live visitors on the site didn’t have an impact on our Liquid Web server’s performance.
We also used Bitcatcha to record the server response times of our hosting servers from 8 different geographical locations: New York, LA, London, Brazil, India, Singapore, Japan, and Australia. The speed for each location was measured 3 separate times, and then the results were averaged.
As you can see, while our HostGator site was rated C by Bitcatcha, our Liquid Web site was rated C+.
Winner: Liquid Web
HostGator vs. Liquid Web – Ease of Use
All hosting plans from HostGator come with cPanel for managing their web hosting accounts. They also offer 1-click installers for popular website scripts, such as WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal.
HostGator provides an in-house developed website builder with their hosting plans for users who want a quick and easy solution to kick start a website.
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 the SEO status of your content, and control what your clients see in WP-admin.
Winner: It’s a tie
HostGator vs. Liquid Web – Features
HostGator comes with all the essential features you need to get your site up and running, such as unlimited storage and bandwidth, 1-click installers, a website builder, etc. If you need a WordPress-centric solution, you can opt for their WordPress cloud hosting plan.
Due to supercharge architecture, WordPress cloud hosting gives you 2.5x faster load times.
Conversely, Liquid Web comes with a full set of features for delivering a super fast hosting experience. Plus, they’ll handle software updates and security patches, so you won’t have to worry about keeping your site secure and updated.
Their hosting solutions are optimized for various apps, such as WordPress and WooCommerce. That means you won’t have to know the technicalities of optimizing your server in order to speed up your site.
Here’re a few Liquid Web features that you’ll find helpful:
- Auto-plugin updates: While most managed WordPress hosting solutions only offer automatic core updates, Liquid Web went above and beyond by offering automatic plugin updates.
- Stencil: Save time while creating new sites by using the same plugins and themes for multiple sites.
- Easy staging: Easily test your codes before deploying them to the production environment by creating a staging site.
- Image compression: Liquid Web’s built-in image compression ensures a blazing fast website experience.
Winner: Liquid Web
HostGator vs. Liquid Web – Support and Documentation
They also have robust help centers containing helpful tutorials and videos to help you explore every aspect of web hosting, step-by-step.
Winner: It’s a tie
HostGator vs. Liquid Web – Pricing
The regular pricing for HostGator shared web hosting starts at $6.95 per month. We’ve negotiated a deal with HostGator, so IsItWP users only have to pay $2.78 per month.
The pricing for Liquid Web managed WordPress hosting start at $99 per month, which is quite a lot when you’re starting out. Fortunately, 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.
If you’re looking for an affordable hosting solution, HostGator is the best choice.
Recap – HostGator vs. Liquid Web
If you’re starting out and are looking for an affordable hosting provider, then we believe HostGator is the right choice for you. It’s true that both HostGator and Liquid Web offer managed WordPress hosting solutions, but Liquid Web is more of an enterprise-level solution. On the other hand, HostGator’s managed WordPress hosting service is targeted at entry-level users.
If you want blazing fast web hosting bundled with superior technologies, then you can consider Liquid Web.
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