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Liquid Web. A web hosting provider which you will only come across after you have done at least months of research on web hosting providers. In other words, they are not easy to find considering the amount of web hosting providers that are available out there.
So, I decided to check them out to see what they have in store. Based on the first impression, I wasn’t so surprised to see the list of products they have made available as they are quite similar to what majority of the web hosting providers offers. But, one product stand-out like a pearl in a clam. And that product is called Managed WooCommerce Hosting.
If you have been searching for a web hosting provider, especially a web hosting provider for your WordPress website, I’m pretty sure you are familiar with the term Managed WordPress Hosting. Managed WordPress Hosting is basically a special type of web hosting that is crafted for WordPress websites. It comes with additional WordPress-specific services for the betterment of a WordPress website.
But, Managed WooCommerce Hosting is rare.
As rare as a pearl in a clam.
So, I decided to dig into it to see how it improves a WooCommerce website.
The first thing I did was signing up for their Beginner plan.
According to the pricing table, the Beginner plan is suitable for stores with 150 monthly transactions, it comes with the abandoned cart feature by Jilt and along with some other goodies.
I went right ahead to place the order.
Something which I noticed while placing the order is that there isn’t a domain name registration service. But, they do offer a free SSL certificate. This got me a little confused, so I contacted their support team via the live chat channel to get to the bottom of it.
The above leads me to the discovery of three things. First is that the domain name registration can only be done after I have secured the plan, second is that their live chat support team is quick to respond to my questions. Very quick and I like it. The third is that their live chat support team is available 24/7/365.
So, I went right ahead and secured the plan which cost me $39.
Whether the price is expensive or not is something I will share with you later on in this article.
After securing the plan, I expected that the store would be ready in a couple of hours time. Unfortunately, it took longer than that. When I contact the support team and asked what was taking so long, they said they were setting it up. So, I left them to work it out and I watched a movie and went to bed, hoping that it would be ready the next day.
Just in case if you were wondering what movie I was watching at that time, it was Red Dragon. Quite an interesting movie.
Anyways, as the next day emerges like how it normally did, the store was all ready to be used. Weirdly, I also received a bunch of welcome emails from Jilt, iThemes Security, and Beaver Builder. It turns out, Liquid Web not only set WordPress and WooCommerce for me, but they also set up the other promised features; Jilt, iThemes Security, and Beaver Builder. They were my butler for the day.
And this also proves that Managed WooCommerce hosting is real.
For your imagination, this is how Liquid Web’s control panel looks like:
The control panel is very intuitive and kept simple. One look at it and you will know what’s going on and you will also know what to do.
From here, I can access the backend of the WooCommerce store with a click of a button, I can manage the domain name, I can manage the users who have access to the control panel, I can manage the backups, set up a staging site and many more. It’s really convenient.
After meddling around in the control panel, I decided to access my brand new WooCommerce website.
Once I accessed the website, surprisingly, I was directed to Convert Pro’s dashboard instead of the main WordPress dashboard.
This is not something that only happens to me, it also happened to Karol K while he was reviewing Liquid Web’s Managed WooCommerce hosting for WinningWP.
Either way, I decided to ignore it and head over to the main WordPress dashboard to see what’s going on there.
The first thing that I see is this welcome to WooCommerce message and I was asked to choose a path. I was needed to choose between Unlimited Products or Unlimited Orders.
Unlimited Products allows me to publish unlimited number of products, but, there is a limit on the orders that I receive. That limit is 150 orders per month.
Unlimited Orders, on the other hand, allows me to receive an unlimited number of orders every month, but, I’m only limited to publish 15 products.
This is actually quite an interesting approach by Liquid Web to help you define your online store’s business model.
In my case, since I’m only testing out their service, I went ahead and chose their Unlimited Orders path.
Note: The more advanced plans offered by Liquid Web does not require you to make such choices. You get both unlimited products and unlimited orders.
After completing that, the next thing that I was greeted with is Jetpack. I was required to set it up in order to get it to work.
But, it wasn’t the premium version of Jetpack. It was the free version. And setting it up wasn’t difficult too. In fact, it’s easy as ABC.
After setting Jetpack up, I moved on to the last welcome message on the WordPress dashboard which is by Astra.
For your information, Astra is a popular, fast, lightweight and customizable WordPress theme that is free of charge. But there’s also a pro version of the theme which has better typography, more site layouts, multiple header designs and many more.
Cool enough with any of Liquid Web’s WooCommerce hosting plan, Astra Pro is included.
So, I went on and click Get Started to find out more about Astra Pro.
After I have learned everything there is to learn about Astra Pro, which is btw an awesome WordPress theme, I decided to check out what else Liquid Web has included. For this, I went to the Installed Plugins section in WordPress so that I can see it in a bigger picture.
And here’s the list of plugins pre-installed into my store:
Based on the above list of plugins, it’s very easy to say that Liquid Web has gone the extra mile to provide great hospitality.
Aside from how great the hospitality is, some of the plugins listed are premium which means they cost money if you decide to purchase them separately. For example, the Jilt plugin has a $29 value, the Beaver Builder has a $99 value, the Astra Pro theme has a $59 value, Convert Pro has a $79 value, and the IconicWP has a $56 value.
If you combine the values, that’s more than $300. And the plugins are not exactly useless. They will come in as handy as a back pocket on a pant.
On top of that, if you compare the added values and the Managed WooCommerce hosting price, which is $39, it’s certainly an outstanding bargain.
To find out the performance the Beginner plan has to offer, I added a few products to the store and tested the loading time using Pingdom.
The first test was carried out in Washington D.C. The store managed to load in 512ms.
That’s quicker than Road Runner.
And the store also loads as fast in other locations in the United States. For example, it loads in 771ms in San Francisco.
But, when it comes the loading the store outside of the United States, the store loads slower. But it still loads well under 2 seconds.
For example, the store loads in 1.36 seconds in Frankfurt, Germany.
The main reason behind this is because Liquid Web’s data centers are located in Michigan. So, shoppers outside of Michigan and the United States will face some delay to load the store.
But of course, there are some precautions can be taken to avoid shoppers outside the US to face high delay time. One of the ways is by making use of the free CloudFlare account given by Liquid Web. It’s a content delivery network which allows the store to be loaded from 76 different locations around the globe.
In my opinion, Liquid Web has packaged their WooCommerce plans in a way I have never seen before. In other words, their packages are unique. Not forgetting to mention that they are also affordable considering the goody bag it comes with.
Other than that, I’m also quite impressed with the performance figures and the intuitive control panel.
And finally, I really do appreciate the additional work they put into setting up the store such as installing WordPress, installing WooCommerce and installing the other plugins. It really does live up to the term Managed WooCommerce hosting.
In short, prepare to migrate your store ladies and gentlemen as you will be chauffeured to a land of milk and honey. If you don’t have a store yet, prepare to be a king as you watch the setting up of your store with your hands behind your back.