Since I’ve been using it for a few weeks now, I’d like to give you an inside look at what you will discover with their hosting.
Liquid Web Managed WordPress Hosting
There are several options for plan choices. We went with the 10-site plan, but if you just need hosting for a single site, you can get that as well with an exclusive offer from BobWP that you will find at the end of this post.
Let’s dive in. Your main dashboard has several options for your account. You can get the general idea here:
Migrating Your Site to Liquid Web
If you are starting a brand new site, of course, you obviously can do that yourself. But if you are moving your site from another hosting and need help, Liquid Web will migrate your site(s) for you. Since I have found migrating sites not to be on the top of my favorites list, I gladly accepted their help.
Managing Your Sites: My Sites
If I click on the Manage Link, it takes me into my dashboard to show me all of my sites. I can manage my sites or go directly into the WordPress dashboard of each site. For each site there are a few options, but before I get into that, let’s look at what the side menu has to offer.
Stencils are cool because you can create a copy of any of your sites and deploy it as a new site. So you don’t have to go through all the customizing of each site. This is helpful if you have a core set of plugins for clients’ sites, or you are creating several landing sites that are similar but just need different content. Within each site, you can easily create a stencil with one click and they will all be listed here.
Then it’s just a matter of another single click to create a site from the stencil.
You can add additional users for managing your sites here. Great if you need to give someone you know and trust temporary (or permanent access). All you do is add the info:
You will have a list of all users displayed here and you can delete any user you have added:
And some admin settings of your own that you can edit:
What’s really nice is you also get an iThemes Sync Pro account to manage all your sites. I’ll explain this later in the post.
Managing a Site: Live Site
Starting with an overview, here is the dashboard to manage each site:
Let’s go over each section on this page.
Easy Access to Your phpMyAdmin and WordPress Dashboard
At the very top you can easily access either one of these through this shortcut:
If you click on the WP-Admin, the menu expands and gives you some direct options:
Download Log File
For troubleshooting or other needs, you can download these logs. If you understand them yourself, that’s great. But if someone who is helping you resolve a problem asks if you can give them the PHP Error Log, you don’t need to hunt that down somewhere deep in your hosting settings.
A few options here, including the ability to change your site nickname and primary domain. Also, you can easily purge your site cache as well as downgrade your PHP version:
Here you can toggle auto-updates off and on for both WordPress core updates and your plugins. Of course, there are several variables to consider if you choose auto-updates. But as you can see, it’s easy to turn off and on per site.
Tags and Stencils
If you have a lot of sites, whether they are your own or you manage them for clients, tags are a great way to easily organize your sites. If it’s a mix of your sites and clients’, what better way to use tags to find the sites you want quickly?
I previously talked about stencils and how easy they are to create. This is where you do that:
SFTP/SSH Credentials and Password Protection
I don’t know about you, but I can’t count the number of times I needed quick access to my SFTP/SSH Credentials. Often they are buried in hosting dashboards. Here you can get quick access to it as well as create a new password.
Speaking of passwords, if you need your site protected for any reason but still want to allow access for certain people (like a client you are doing a site for), you can that here. If you toggle it and save, it will create a username and password you can share.
For those who know what this is.
This is one feature I always have loved. In a nutshell, with staging, you can move over you live site, test updates and new plugins, or troubleshoot issues in a controlled setting without touching your live site. Or you may be wanting to do some redesign or change your theme. Simply click Copy Live Site to Staging:
Your staging site will have similar settings, but you can only have core updates set and the versions of PHP are limited. There are no plugin auto-updates because you will want to update them in order to use the visual comparison, which I will show you shortly.
What would WordPress managed hosting be without backups? We all know how important they are. And why you must have some kind backup system in place. Because you never know what will happen. Some people don’t test updates to core, plugin and themes and just do auto-dates. If you are doing a lot of updates, it’s good to have a recent backup in place.
Here you will see all your daily automatic backups from the last 30 days. You can either download them or restore one if you need to. And if you are doing some major updates to your live site, you may want to come in here and create a new backup just in case.
Creating a New Install
If you have chosen a hosting plan with more than one site, it’s easy to create a new install via your dashboard:
Then all you need to do is fill this out and hit Create Site. You have the option to create a new site using one of the stencils you have saved as well.
Once that is done, you can go into your new site and start building away.
SSL Comes Installed
You probably know that an SSL is critical to your site’s security and yes, for search. By the time your site is ready, you will notice it’s not http:// but https://. This gives you peace of mind because it’s included in the hosting packages and automatically set up for you.
Plugins Installed on New Sites
By default, Liquid Web will install some plugins that they feel are essential to getting you started. You can remove any that you do not use, and they don’t come activated. I can tell you from my own experience, activating the ones I have highlighted has increased the speed and performance of my site.
iThemes Sync Pro
This is a feature of Liquid Web’s Managed Hosting. It has been around for a while and you can use iThemes Sync Pro for any WordPress site. The fact that it comes with this hosting is very helpful. Now that I have started using it, I don’t know how I survived without it before.
Instead of showing you everything that Sync Pro does, here is a post of our look at that plugin and service.
Last Thoughts on Liquid Web Managed Hosting
There are a few more things I would like to mention.
First, Liquid Web will migrate your site over from your current host if you don’t want to go through that. I did it, and it was quick and seamless.
Their support has been fantastic and the fact that you have the choice of chat, email or calling covers all the bases.
Liquid Web’s hosting is far more than what I have shown here. There is all the stuff under the hood. I have used a lot of hosting companies over the last dozen years or more and I know that speed, security and numerous other factors come into play. You can see that you get a lot of bang for your buck when it comes to WordPress Managed Hosting at Liquid Web. As a user of WordPress for the last 11 years, I highly recommend Liquid Web.