Liquid Web vs. HostGator (2018)

Alexandra Leslie Alexandra Leslie Hosting Expert
“We tested Liquid Web & HostGator — The winner is Liquid Web!”

When you travel, what kind of hotel do you stay in? If it’s just me looking for a stopover in the middle of a road trip, I’m perfectly content with an affordable, simple room that includes all the essentials. If I’m bringing my family on a vacation, however, I’m more prone to splurging on the fancy beach resort with all the luxurious amenities I can imagine. The same scenario can apply to choosing a web hosting home for your website. HostGator is a highly-regarded but middle-of-the-road choice, while Liquid Web represents the eye-popping grandeur (and price tag) of a posh getaway. Unpack your bags, get comfortable, and let’s learn which room you’ll be staying in.

Advertiser Disclosure

Overall Rating
4.8/5.0 ★★★★★
Visit Liquid Web »
Overall Rating
4.5/5.0 ★★★★★
Visit HostGator »

Overall Hosting Comparison

Best Overall Rating

★★★★★ 4.8/5.0

We've gotten to know a few key members of the Liquid Web team personally, and let us tell you: the passion they put into just talking about their products hints that this is a company worth checking out.... read more +

We've gotten to know a few key members of the Liquid Web team personally, and let us tell you: the passion they put into just talking about their products hints that this is a company worth checking out. Liquid Web boasts supreme uptime, always-there-for-you support, and a constant commitment to building out more functionality for the customer (you folks are the whole reason we do this, right?). Upon deeper review, it seems the enthusiasm of the team translates into the technology's awesomeness.

We took the Liquid Web servers for a spin. Below you'll find a sampling of the results from testing Liquid Web's signature Storm® Platform. Using a basic MongoDB application in NodeJS, without caching, we experienced page load times nearly half those of other providers. See for yourself in the chart below.

Liquid Web vs. Other: Comparing Average Page Load Times (in milliseconds)
Dallas, TX New York City, NY San Jose, CA
Liquid Web 402, 456, 440, 444 388, 357 542, 559, 530
Competitor 648, 611, 679, 709 604, 523 754, 937, 899

It can't be said enough: MILLISECONDS MATTER, and Liquid Web clearly gets that. Needless to say, we were pretty impressed with these findings.

The beauty of Liquid Web as a hosting provider is that not only will they host your new website, but they'll take care of all of the behind-the-scenes logistics of running it.

Liquid Web has a redundantly built, multi-tiered network with four datacenters based out of the US (plus one coming soon to Amsterdam). They take advantage of all the latest technologies on the market, but most uniquely, they own all of their hardware. By owning rather than leasing, they have more control over the options they can offer their clients.

Liquid Web's servers are heftily and proactively protected under the watchful guard of the Sonar Monitoring™ team. These folks are trained to constantly survey server statuses and notice issues before they affect you, resolving problems quickly and quietly; chances are you won't even realize these disaster prevention ninjas are at work.

Should disaster strike or questions come up, you are never alone. Within minutes, you can be on the line with a highly trained Heroic Support® technician who will be well-equipped to walk you through any hosting dilemma. These team members were mentored by experts, many are now Red Hat certified, and all of them uphold the Heroic Promise to be totally transparent and there for you. The Liquid Web Best Effort Support policy means they'll try to help any way that they can, even if it requires work outside of their traditional services.

Liquid Web has three main tracks for managed hosting, not including their newest managed WordPress solution, and they offer varying degrees of management for their servers (e.g., fully managed versus self-managed). You pay a bit of a premium for managed hosting, but the peace of mind you get in exchange is priceless.

With Liquid Web taking over the infrastructure management, you're free to focus on what really matters: your content and/or your customers. Customers can easily install popular blogging software and eCommerce tools through the ever-popular and easy-to-use cPanel. Users get unlimited email accounts, secure access with SSH, and really fast page loads thanks to SSD storage.

The hard-to-beat support that Liquid Web offers to their customers has been raved about by users, as evident by their consistently high NPSs (Net Promoter Score: the likelihood of a client recommending a product/service to a colleague). The devoted Heroic Support® team and equally reliable uptime rates, not to mention amazing, custom technologies, all work together to yield such customer praise (NPS of 68 in 2014).

Liquid Web's VPS hosting is arguably one of their most noteworthy services. Whether you want fully, core-, or self-managed service, they offer all the flexibility and power you need.

SSD power comes standard on all Liquid Web VPS plans, which means less latency and more security with RAID protection. VPS users also get Liquid Web's in-house-built Storm® Firewall for added peace of mind.

VPS users can easily scale up and down, create and deploy server instances, and only pay (even by the day) for what they use. With instant provisioning, API access, and real-time server monitoring, you should feel confident in a Liquid Web VPS.

Individuals and mom-and-pop shops looking to build a site will probably at least consider WordPress at some point in their hosting shopping. Liquid Web has introduced a Managed WordPress Hosting solution, which includes all the technology and support Liquid Web is known for, plus SSL certificates for all users. The team will migrate your WordPress site to Liquid Web for free, then maintain automatic backups and updates to the core and plugins.

Liquid Web's dedicated servers offer more flexibility than traditional dedicated server resources, particularly with the innovation of their Storm® Dedicated Server.

Liquid Web has 50+ developers behind the maintenance of their platforms, and that includes tons of optional extras for added security, speed, and storage. Dedicated users can opt to include firewalls, load balancers, a CDN, or Liquid Web's Guardian Backup service, among other Dedicated Add-Ons.

The Storm® Dedicated Server offers the concentrated power you'd expect from a traditional dedicated service with the added customization of a cloud-based environment. While traditional dedicated servers don't guarantee instant provisioning, SSDs, and automatic migrations, the Storm® Platform does.

The bottom line is that if you're ready for the real deal in web hosting — high-powered hardware and a team you can count on — you should consider Liquid Web. Their highly reliable Heroic Support® team experts help make for highly available sites. They own their servers and have a team dedicated to building out new solutions that make their customers' lives easier and sites safer. Based on our experience, it's really no surprise that customers consistently vouch for Liquid Web managed hosting.

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  • Heroic Support® and fully managed hosting services
  • Sonar Monitoring™ team detects and treats issues
  • Consistently recommended by customers to colleagues
  • Storm® Platform touts cloud flexibility with custom add-ons
  • 100% uptime guarantee
  • Get started on Liquid Web now.
Money Back Guarantee
N/A
Disk Space
30 GB - 1.6 TB SSD
Domain Name
2 - 5 Domains FREE

Best Overall Rating

★★★★★ 4.5/5.0

HostGator has been around for over a decade and is well-respected for their large number of servers and their consistent reliability. Known mostly as a shared hosting provider, HostGator still supplies... read more +

HostGator has been around for over a decade and is well-respected for their large number of servers and their consistent reliability. Known mostly as a shared hosting provider, HostGator still supplies decent dedicated and VPS options if you need your site to scale.

HostGator costs a little more than some of the other budget-minded shared hosts, but that contributes to their reliability and well-known support. They offer decent features included in their basic offerings, unlimited disk space, a nice control panel, and free website templates. While the feature list is short compared to other hosts, you do get the flexibility to add them as you see fit.

Aimed primarily at the semi-technical user, HostGator's flexibility is their strong suit. Dedicated, VPS, and Windows hosting is available if that fits your needs. For those than need it, root access, SSH, and support for Ruby, Perl, Python, and other languages is available on all plans.

HostGator has nearly limitless options and control available for their server, however, they require a little more knowledge than beginner-focused web hosts. If you need to host multiple sites, their wide array of offerings make them a great choice.

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  • Easy-to-use control panel
  • FREE Weebly site builder
  • Unlimited disk space, emails, and bandwidth on all plans
  • No contract required and 45-day money-back guarantee
  • 50% off your first month, plus domains starting at $5!
  • Get started on HostGator now.
Money Back Guarantee
45 days
Disk Space
Unlimited
Domain Name
New or Transfer

Cheap Hosting Comparison

Cheap Rating

N/A

Liquid Web does not currently offer this type of hosting. We would not recommend choosing this host for this hosting category.

Cheap Rating

★★★★★ 4.7/5.0

#5 out of 10 in Cheap Hosting reviews

HostGator is a great compromise between performance and price. They offer unlimited emails, MySQL databases, disk space, and bandwidth, plus 1-click installs of popular open-source projects, in addition to... read more +

HostGator is a great compromise between performance and price. They offer unlimited emails, MySQL databases, disk space, and bandwidth, plus 1-click installs of popular open-source projects, in addition to a 99.9% uptime guarantee on their shared hosting plans.

HostGator’s price-to-performance perks also apply to their vast array of other hosting options, such as VPS, dedicated servers, and even reseller hosting. Their many hosting options make them a great choice for sites on the rise, in need of options for the future.

For those just getting started and looking for a good, cheap host, HostGator bundles some nice features that hosting newbies can appreciate. A very nice site builder from Weebly is included. Their control panels are also very easy to use and a free domain is a nice touch.

If you are looking for a solid web host, with a ton of flexibility, plenty of power, and great price points, you should consider making HostGator your web host of choice.

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  • FREE Weebly site builder
  • Easy-to-use control panel
  • Unlimited disk, emails, and bandwidth
  • 24/7/365 premium support
  • 50% off your first month, plus domains starting at $5!
  • Get started on HostGator now.
Money Back Guarantee
45 days
Disk Space
Unlimited
Domain Name
New or Transfer

Dedicated Hosting Comparison

Dedicated Rating

★★★★★ 4.9/5.0

#1 out of 7 in Dedicated Hosting reviews

Liquid Web's strong suit is their managed dedicated server hosting. They own and operate three state-of-the-art datacenters in the US and have over 50 developers working tirelessly to build and maintain... read more +

Liquid Web's strong suit is their managed dedicated server hosting. They own and operate three state-of-the-art datacenters in the US and have over 50 developers working tirelessly to build and maintain custom solutions for added performance and security.

Liquid Web offers single, dual, and quad processor servers with fully, core-, or self-managed plans. All dedicated server customers reap the benefits and support of the Heroic Support® team and the 24/7 protection of the Sonar Monitoring™ team.

Featuring top-of-the-line Cisco equipment, the Liquid Web N+1 network is redundantly built to allow routing devices to quickly self-heal. They're designed to bounce back and correct system failures without interrupting the customer's connection. With the integration of premier providers, Level 3, Verizon, Comcast, Cogent, and Equinix, the Liquid Web network is optimized for rapid and fault-resistant performance.

Liquid Web boasted an incredible 99.995% uptime rate in 2014, a bragging right that's helped shape their reputation for performance. With the maintenance of 50+ developers, the Liquid Web infrastructure is engineered to evade and survive typical site disasters.

Should disaster strike, the Sonar Monitoring™ team is trained to catch the issue first, performing system-level health checks and patches 24/7, so they can hopefully have it handled before you're even aware of the situation. Meanwhile, the Heroic Support® team of 300+ experts is available anytime to help with any troubleshooting need.

For the dev nerds out there, one of our favorite facets of Liquid Web as a hosting provider is the commitment to in-house-built technology. All of their team members' experience and expertise becomes very evident once you check out their custom Storm® Platform.

If you're in need of dedicated resources, drawn to the customization of the Cloud, and know you need screaming fast performance, the Storm® Dedicated Server may be your solution. These custom server systems allow for cloud-like flexibility that traditional dedicated servers aren't capable of, like instant provisioning and automatic migrations.

The Liquid Web development team is constantly coming up with new Storm® Add-Ons, like Load Balancers, Block Storage, Object Storage, and a VPN. Think you can't afford such full-featured and flexible hardware? Think again. With pricing starting around $110/month, the Storm® Platform is great for the cost-conscious dedicated server shopper.

If you want feature-rich dedicated resources and relentlessly reliable technical support, Liquid Web should be on your short list. They're known for strong managed service offerings, but the drawback to managed hosting is usually the cost. Liquid Web doesn't leave you hanging there though — in-house solutions like the Storm® Dedicated Server keep the cloud-level flexibility and performance up and the cost down.

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  • 100% network and power uptime guarantees
  • Custom configurations, SSDs, and instant provisioning
  • Auto-migrations, backups, and 24/7 Sonar Monitoring™
  • Block/object storage and load balancer add-ons
  • Our visitors pay $79.98/month! (usually $189/month)
  • Get started on Liquid Web now.
Money Back Guarantee
N/A
Disk Space
211 GB - 1,775 GB SSD
Domain Name
New or Transfer

Dedicated Rating

★★★★★ 4.8/5.0

#4 out of 7 in Dedicated Hosting reviews

Founded in 2002, HostGator is one of the largest web hosts with a long lineage of dedicated server hosting. With updated hardware, including Intel Xeon Quad-core processors and a boatload of RAM, HostGator... read more +

Founded in 2002, HostGator is one of the largest web hosts with a long lineage of dedicated server hosting. With updated hardware, including Intel Xeon Quad-core processors and a boatload of RAM, HostGator balances performance, quality of service, and competitive pricing.

As one of the few hosts to offer managed support and a Windows-based operating system, HostGator is an excellent fit for those seeking hassle-free ASP.NET support.

HostGator boasts a top-of-the-line, fully redundant network and datacenter, which dedicated hosting users should appreciate. The company also offers several unique IP addresses per dedicated server account.

Finally, HostGator has a fantastic support network and 24/7 customer service available via phone, chat, or email. Combining that support with plenty of power, HostGator is a very respectable choice for a dedicated server host.

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  • Linux or Windows servers available
  • Top-of-the-line fully redundant network and datacenter
  • Unlimited MySQL databases
  • SSH access and support for multiple languages
  • Use code HA30OFF for 30% off first month
  • Get started on HostGator now.
Money Back Guarantee
N/A
Disk Space
500 GB - 1 TB RAID
Domain Name
FREE (1 year)

VPS Hosting Comparison

VPS Rating

★★★★★ 4.8/5.0

#5 out of 9 in VPS Hosting reviews

It's no secret by now that Liquid Web is known for best-in-class technology and reliability that exceeds expectations (from uptime to technical support). Their VPSs embody that reputation to its fullest... read more +

It's no secret by now that Liquid Web is known for best-in-class technology and reliability that exceeds expectations (from uptime to technical support). Their VPSs embody that reputation to its fullest — including a new Managed WordPress product (Hop one tab over to the WordPress Review for more info on this awesome addition.).

They offer a high-powered VPS solution as well as their in-house-built, cloud-based Storm® Servers, all of which are backed by their popular SLAs (service-level agreements) promising high uptime rates and highly reliable help from the Heroic Support® experts.

With high-powered SSDs and, of course, the Heroic Support® team, the VPS platform shines among the managed services offered at Liquid Web. You'll pay a bit of a premium for managed hosting, but there's a reason customers rave about the Heroic Support®, incredible SLAs, and excellent uptime rates.

RAID-protected SSD storage comes standard for Liquid Web VPS users, which decreases latency and keeps your page loads fast and secure. They offer a range of management plans, as well as cPanel control and API access, so you get the perfect level of infrastructural management support for you and your site.

The Liquid Web VPS infrastructure was engineered with customer priorities in mind. These solutions are ideal for users that want cloud-like flexibility, such as billing by the day and custom configurations, but also seek the affordability of shared hosting. Customers can instantly provision and deploy their virtual server, easily upgrade, downgrade, clone, or resize, and only pay for the resources they use.

Liquid Web's SLAs promise speedy response times and industry-leading performance. Their blazing fast and fault-resistant servers are backed by the round-the-clock attention of the Sonar Monitoring™ team.

Not only does the Heroic Promise ensure a Heroic Support® technician will get to you quickly, but their policy of Best Effort Support guarantees that they will attempt to help with any problem you encounter. That kind of customer support translates into customer loyalty, and it's a commitment that's rare and wonderful in this industry.

In 2014 Liquid Web yielded an incredible uptime rate of 99.995%. With their wholly owned hardware being watched over and maintained by highly trained technicians, there's no reason to doubt their promise of virtually nonexistent downtime in the future.

All server statuses are watched around the clock by the Sonar Monitoring™ team, which is trained to detect system issues quickly, and ideally have problems resolved before a hiccup even shows up on your radar.

In addition to a heroic army of support, Liquid Web has 50+ developers dedicated to the build-out and up-keep of custom solutions. A great example would be their Storm® Platform: an in-house innovation based on their top-of-the-line VPS infrastructure.

With automatic migrations and provisioning and easy scaling options, the Storm® Cloud Server offers all the SSD speed and custom functionality you want in an affordable, shared cloud environment. To give users even more options, Liquid Web developers are constantly working on new projects, including the latest Storm® Private Cloud functionality and their Block Storage, Object Storage, and VPN Storm® Add-Ons.

If you want easy scaling, screaming fast speed, custom functionalities, and unparalleled support, look no further than Liquid Web for your VPS. They own all the hardware and have a rather large development team in their corner, so the technological possibilities are pretty much limitless. We'd recommend going with their custom Storm® Servers, which offer all the power, flexibility, and scaling options you'd require of a virtual or dedicated server with the affordability and ease of use of a shared hosting solution.

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  • Only pay for resources you use with daily billing
  • 5TB of outgoing bandwidth and FREE incoming bandwidth
  • API access and cPanel available
  • Instant provisioning and SSD speed
  • FREE Storm® Firewall and real-time server monitoring
  • Get started on Liquid Web now.
Money Back Guarantee
N/A
Disk Space
30 GB - 1.6 TB SSD
Domain Name
FREE (1 year)

VPS Rating

★★★★★ 4.5/5.0

#7 out of 9 in VPS Hosting reviews

HostGator has built a great reputation in the industry for their shared hosting options. Their VPS solutions, with optional cPanel support, provide a nice and easy introduction to those that are new to VPS... read more +

HostGator has built a great reputation in the industry for their shared hosting options. Their VPS solutions, with optional cPanel support, provide a nice and easy introduction to those that are new to VPS hosting and know their needs require more than a typical shared host.

Starting at low price points, HostGator makes transitioning to a VPS plan reasonable and doable. Each plan comes with two IPs and a bunch of storage, however, their CPU and RAM offerings could be better for their respective price tags.

HostGator’s strongest point comes from their state of the art datacenter. Featuring a fully redundant network with no single point of failure and multiple bandwidth providers, uptime should almost never be a concern.

Founded in 2002, HostGator is one of the largest online web hosts. They have more than 12,000 servers under management and award-winning support. If you are looking for a very small VPS server or value the strength of a great network, give HostGator a shot.

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  • Full root access
  • Redundant network with multiple layers of network security
  • Fully or semi-managed options
  • FREE website, domain, MySQL, and script transfer
  • Use code HA30OFF for 30% off first month
  • Get started on HostGator now.
Money Back Guarantee
45 days
Disk Space
25 GB - 3 TB
Domain Name
FREE (1 year)

WordPress Hosting Comparison

WordPress Rating

★★★★★ 4.6/5.0

#9 out of 10 in WordPress Hosting reviews

The latest addition to the Liquid Web hosting lineup is their Managed WordPress Hosting solution. This WordPress product was built based on the VPS infrastructure and is backed by the Heroic Support® that... read more +

The latest addition to the Liquid Web hosting lineup is their Managed WordPress Hosting solution. This WordPress product was built based on the VPS infrastructure and is backed by the Heroic Support® that Liquid Web customers already love. The fully managed support they offer rids site owners of the responsibility of maintaining core installs and updates, as well as monitoring the server infrastructure. You run your WordPress blog or business, Liquid Web will run the rest.

WordPress has become the go-to site builder and blogging platform for business owners and individuals everywhere. Its ease of use and low, low cost (none) is hard to match. This new WordPress product offered by Liquid Web takes that intuitiveness and goes one step further — offering the simplicity of the WordPress UI backed by Liquid Web's reputation for high-performance technology and fully managed support.

Liquid Web Director of Marketing, Jason Grasshoff once told us, "The advantage over other managed WordPress hosts is we own the hardware."

Liquid Web owns four US-centralized datacenters in Michigan and Arizona. Since the company owns the technology, the developers have full creative liberties and control when building out a new product like this WordPress solution. The network is geographically redundant and primed for steady and reliable disaster recovery.

Since this new solution is built based upon Liquid Web's legacy VPS infrastructure, it had to be optimized with the top technologies on the market today. They use Pagespeed and Memcached to keep your WordPress webpages loading quickly, with MariaDB, PHP/HHVM, and Apache in the stack to keep performance at an all-time high.

The Managed WordPress Hosting wouldn't be Liquid Web without the Heroic Support® team. Give them a call anytime and you should be connected with a Red Hat certified system administrator. He or she will inevitably have extensive experience dealing with any question you might have, but even if you've got a problem that's not typically covered in their listed services, they'll try to help. The Liquid Web policy of Best Effort Support means they promise to attempt to solve any problem you throw their way.

WordPress is a favorite recommendation of ours for personal and professional websites alike. When you combine the flexibility and intuitiveness of WordPress with the best-in-class infrastructure and support of Liquid Web, you've got a match made in hosting heaven. Managed WordPress Hosting is going to give you all the performance and customization you want without the frustration. If you're thinking of building a WordPress site, you should consider letting Liquid Web help you do it.

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  • Managed servers, FREE migrations, and Heroic Support®
  • Globalsign® SSL certificates and command line access
  • Automatic backups and updates to the WP Core/plugins
  • Manage multiple WordPress sites with a single install
  • Usually $119/month, but our users get $90 off first month!
  • Get started on Liquid Web now.
Money Back Guarantee
N/A
Disk Space
100 GB - 1.8 TB SSD
Domain Name
New or Transfer

WordPress Rating

★★★★★ 4.8/5.0

#4 out of 10 in WordPress Hosting reviews

HostGator is great for all things shared hosting, and application-specific services — such as the classic one-click-install WordPress hosting — are no exception. The team recently updated its already... read more +

HostGator is great for all things shared hosting, and application-specific services — such as the classic one-click-install WordPress hosting — are no exception. The team recently updated its already clean and intuitive cPanel dashboard, wherein users can find a myriad of free apps and scripts to install, including WordPress. You could quite realistically have a WP-powered site up and running in as little as an afternoon.

As is the case with many of our favorite shared WordPress hosting providers, HostGator offers unlimited emails, databases, disk storage, and bandwidth. The one downfall is the lack of the popular free domain perk, but domain names are easy to obtain for around $10 to $15 bucks with any registrar. You can also select, register, and pay for a domain directly from the HostGator signup page.

If you're serious about your WordPress hosting, we recommend HostGator's new(er) managed WordPress platform, which is optimized for performance with cloud resources, multiple layers of caching tools, and a complimentary CDN. Managed WordPress plan subscribers enjoy up to 2.5x faster page load speeds for their website or blog. If you're running a business website, this is an excellent investment.

Once your site is designed and ready for promotion, HostGator helps you kickstart your online marketing efforts with $100 in paid advertising credits. Attract blog readers, potential clients, or online shoppers browsing Google search results. Yay, traffic!!

We wish you the best of luck in your blog or online business hosting endeavors. WordPress is a known favorite in the space, and HostGator has established itself as a trusted partner well worthy of your consideration.

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  • Easy-to-set-up WordPress hosting on shared servers
  • Install WordPress with one click via cPanel dashboard
  • Unlimited email addresses hosted at your domain
  • 99.9% uptime guarantee means your blog stays online
  • $100 in Google Adwords credit to kickstart marketing
  • Get started on HostGator now.
Money Back Guarantee
45 days
Disk Space
Unlimited
Domain Name
$12.95

Site Builder Hosting Comparison

Website Builder Rating

N/A

Website Builder Rating

N/A

Neither host currently offers this type of hosting. While we do not recommend choosing these hosts for this web hosting category, we do recommend our expert's top pick for 2018's Best Site Builder Hosting. See 2018's Best Site Builder Hosting »

Liquid Web vs. HostGator - Our Conclusion

Alexandra Leslie Alexandra Leslie Hosting Expert
“We tested Liquid Web & HostGator — The winner is Liquid Web!”

Now that you’ve checked in, do you like the view? Typical shared hosting customers are more likely to find themselves in HostGator accommodations, both for the affordable price point and because Liquid Web jumps ahead to cloud and VPS hosting options. Those willing to pay Liquid Web’s steep rates will certainly be treated to a knowledgeable concierge who can direct customers to the luxurious managed services site owners desire for high-end infrastructure and enterprise-grade optimizations for WordPress and WooCommerce. You can still find the stunning beach views with HostGator’s VPS and dedicated servers, but Liquid Web’s five-star resort is tough to beat.

Overall Rating
4.8/5.0 ★★★★★
Visit Liquid Web »
Overall Rating
4.5/5.0 ★★★★★
Visit HostGator »