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      October 22, 2018

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Liquid Web vs 1 & 1

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To help you find the Best Web Hosting, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Liquid Web and 1 & 1.

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If you’re a business owner, a writer, or a hobbyist, sooner or later you’re going to want a website. To have a website, you’ll need a web hosting service. There are hundreds of web hosting companies available to host your site, but which one do you choose? And, how do you know what to look for?

The first step in choosing a web host is figuring out how much you want to spend per month in hosting costs. While some web hosts are nearly free when you sign up, there is often some fine print involved. Many web hosting companies will lure you in with cheap pricing at the outset, but then will raise the monthly subscription cost when you renew at the end of a month or a year.

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2018

Web Hosting Reviews

4 stars
Liquid Web

LIQUID WEB Visit Site

Established in 1997, LiquidWeb has 3 data centers serving over 20,000 customers. Their service offerings are on the higher end technically and price-wise, so they are not for people who are new to hosting and are just starting with their first site. Entry-level hosting begins with performance-tuned, managed WordPress and advances through dedicated, VPS, and cloud services.

The WordPress offering starts at $119 per month and offers up to 10 sites with no limits on website visitors, use of a custom WordPress Dashboard, iThemes Sync Pro, or cPanel. There are no limits on plugins and support is 24/7 via live chat, phone or helpdesk.

Upgrading to the $189 per month WordPress package will give you up to 20 sites and the $289 per month package will provide up to 40 sites.

Every WordPress package has one-click staging sites, automatic backups and one-click restores, and free SSL included.

LiquidWeb offers what it calls "Heroic Support", which promises 100% uptime, half-hour replacement time for hardware failure, 30 minutes of turnaround time maximum for all support tickets, and under 1 minute response time for phone and chat. While some reviewers dispute this claim, it appears they are keeping to that promise for the most part.

Some complaints do exist about a recent selloff of various LiquidWeb's customer accounts to DeluxeHosting.com without giving enough notice to LiquidWeb customers.

While LiquidWeb does have an industry-standard 30 day money-back guarantee, due to the fact that their plans are pricier and are for the more technical set of users, it would make sense for them to offer a longer guarantee to match the "Cadillac" nature of their service.

LiquidWeb's dedicated, VPS, and cloud hosting systems are pretty beefy, with lots of memory, bandwidth, and storage space for heavy-duty web applications.

As long as you don't mind not having access to cheap shared hosting, and if your budget and technical staff can handle LiquidWeb's higher-tier services, you will do well to use their hosting.

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3 stars
1 & 1

1 & 1 Visit Site

1&1 is the web hosting company that has been around the longest (since 1988, before the Web, when it served other IT markets). They now mainly serve small businesses with 50 or fewer employees.

1&1's main features include:

  • all domain name purchase, registration, and transfer services
  • a website builder or an option for a custom website design created by a 1&1 expert or via pre-made template
  • Shared web hosting on Windows or Linux servers
  • Optimized, managed WordPress hosting
  • Managed cloud and dedicated server hosting for specialized projects
  • Email
  • eCommerce with an online store builder
  • Local marketing tools such as local listings, search engine marketing, search engine optimization, email marketing, and a tool for determining website readiness
  • Security tools, including SSL certificates, an SSL readiness checker, and Norton online shopping security tools

Between standard and WordPress hosting, there are six website hosting plans of varying complexity that are all priced in 3 basic tiers.

  • 12 months $0.99/month, then $7.99/month
  • 12 months $4.99/month, then $9.99/month
  • 12 months $8.99/month, then $14.99/month

None of these plans have setup fees, all are payable in advance, and there's a minimum contract term of 12 months. Each has a 12 month billing cycle and a 30 day money back guarantee. Also, each plan includes a free domain when you add it to your order at purchase, but free domains renew at the normal price after 12 months.

For reputation, 1&1 tends to be below average in the number of people who are likely to recommend it to others. This may be due mainly to their brand name not being as recognizable in popular culture, general word-of-mouth, and in mainstream advertising as are GoDaddy and other big name web hosting providers.

On review websites, there are numerous complaints of outdated server software, bad security practices, poor customer service, not being able to cancel service, bad domain registrar service, and people being charged for services they didn't order or use. However, on the consumer complaint sites reviewed, 1&1 is making an effort to reach out to people to resolve their issues.

1&1 claims to be the "safest of the safe" web hosting companies. They do offer SSL, DDoS protection, geo-redundant infrastructure, and secure data centers. However, the fact that they offer a separate security package (SiteLock) as a paid add-on demonstrates they are not fully committed to providing the best security for all customers at all times. A great hosting company will offer the best security for every site on its platform.

Security incidents reported by 1&1 customers include hackers using social engineering to trick 1&1 employees and even account owners into giving them access. Most of these types of incidents appear to be from 2011. In 2016, Symantec, the online security company, recognized 1&1 with its "Game Changer" award for global security leadership. So it is likely that 1&1 has improved its security practices since 2011. Still, complaints about bad security persist in online forums.

While all web hosts eventually experience some degree of down time, performance reviews (in terms of site availability) for 1&1 generally agree that the uptime is very close to 99.9%, as most web hosting services who want to stay in business generally will be. Performance as measured by page loading speed, according to one review, has been steadily improving over GoDaddy performance as measured through a period of 3 years.

For customer service options, 1&1 offers only email and phone support, not online chat support. However, you do have access to 24/7 phone and email support for both technical issues and billing problems.

One customer service review noted it took about 2 minutes to talk to a representative on the phone and 1 hour from when the account owner emailed 1&1 customer service until receiving a response. For both the phone and the email transaction, the first response was courteous and useful one. Everyone's experiences will vary based on the complexity of each individual customer service issue.

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Continued from above

Some web hosting companies will offer you a lower overall cost if you choose to pay up front for multiple years. While some web hosts will seem really expensive compared to other, that's because they're usually offering more value for your dollar in more advanced or innovative features their cheaper competitors aren't covering. Whether you choose a more expensive host will depend on whether those features improve convenience or lead to a better return on investment (ROI).

That leads us to the next decision to make: features. You'll want to decide which features you genuinely need versus which ones you don't really need at all. Aside from the core service of hosting the actual website will be offerings such as web design, do-it-yourself site theme implementation, domain registration, email, eCommerce tools and setup, online advertising to promote your website, website development tools, and search engine optimization (SEO) help. Some of these will be important to you and others will not be necessary.

Security and performance are considerations that often get overlooked in the drive to find the cheapest web hosting available. Cheaper cost to you means the web host is cutting corners somewhere in how they host your site. Often that means "shared hosting", which means your site is put on the same web server as hundreds of others. There are security and site speed implications to this that often are not in your best interests.

Reputation can also be a key factor - web hosts with bad reputations or "fly by night" business practices can hurt your business or position in search results.

Finally, you want to know how reliable and supportive each web host is from the perspective of its customers. How many people are complaining about hacked sites, slow page load times, poor support, and price hikes over time? There will be many, many complaints across all web hosting options, so you'll want to narrow the list of things that are important to you and focus primarily on those as you evaluate options.

Once you have an idea of which web host you want to subscribe to, shopping online will make it easier than ever to find it. To summarize, as you decide which web host should get your business, keep in mind these criteria:

  • Features. Which features does the web host offer and do you need all the features or just some of them?
  • Cost. How are the hosting costs structured? Will there be monthly subscription cost hikes after a certain period of time?
  • Reputation. What are people saying about the web host online? Is the web host going to shut down or change names soon, and are they engaging in shady practices that can hurt your brand?
  • Security. How many security incidents has the web hosting company experienced? Are there widespread complaints of site outages? If so, how quickly and to what extent were those issues addressed?
  • Performance. Are websites generally faster or slower on one web hosting service compared to its competitors? Does the web host offer plans that handle increasing numbers of visitors or sudden traffic spikes with more ease?
  • Customer Service. If you experience problems with your website, what are the contact options for getting support, and how responsive are they? Are support representatives courteous and helpful, or are they rude and condescending? How long does it take to fix problems?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best web hosting companies available today. We hope these reviews will help you find the right web host to make your website appealing, secure, and affordable!

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