Considering making the switch away from WP Engine in favor of Liquid Web’s Managed WordPress Hosting? I made a shift with over 30 sites a few months ago and thought I’d share my results, the pros, and the cons with you thus far to help you consider WP Engine vs. Liquid Web.

Things you’ll like about Liquid Web (LW) Managed WordPress coming from WP Engine (WPE)

The Pros of Liquid Web

  • The price – significantly lower than WPE.
  • BlogVault migrations just like WPE
  • Free image optimization
  • Automatic Plugin updates
  • An easier way to clear the cache. Just like on SiteGround, Liquid Web has a clear cache button right up on the black bar when you’re logged in.  WPE makes you dig for the button.
  • IThemes Sync –  which allows you to manage plugin, theme and core updates for your WordPress websites all in one dashboard.  You get access to manage as many sites as your hosting package on LW has. IThemes is now owned by Liquid Web.

Things you’ll miss about WP Engine on Liquid Web

The Cons of Liquid Web Managed WordPress Hosting

  • A button (or any other easy way) to deploy the staging site to live.  This was a total shocker to me but there’s no way to move changes on the staging site to live.  Here’s what the deploy buttons look like on WPE. 
Production and Staging deploy buttons on WPE

WP Engine’s deploy buttons

This is what you get (or rather what you don’t get) on Liquid Web to move your staging site content to your live site.

liquid web staging deploy button

Liquid Web’s deploy button

  • Fast staging site builds. I’ve had to wait upwards of an hour for the staging site to build.
  • The ability to set the final production url before your DNS updates. On WPE you can set this up before your DNS propagates but on LW you have to wait for it to propagate leaving your visitors in the lurch while it does. This means late night and weekend dns switch overs. Ugh.
  • Staging backups.
  • Fast image uploads to your media library. Maybe this is just me but with the Tiny PNG image optimization plugin active, my media uploads drag on for almost a full minute each.
  • Free transferable installs.
  • Page Performance scans. Not a big hit since there’s always plenty of free speed tests but it was handy to keep track over time.
  • WPE’s near perfect up-time. Liquid Web is supposed to have great uptime stats but unfortunately my experience hasn’t been all that fantastic. All of my sites have had a couple minutes or more of downtime. Previously I was on WPE for over 2 years with no downtime whatsoever.

Liquid Web Managed Word Press

Wrap Up

Overall you can save money on the monthly bill but the missing staging to live button is a huge headache and the monthly savings could be burned away in dealing with it when moving content from staging to live. WP Engine has recently increased their pricing as well which throws another wrinkle. In the end it all depends on your individual needs but hopefully this post can help you have your eyes open if you’re thinking about making the switch.

Editor’s Note on 5/1/18: After a personal experience of missed backups and repeated downtime with the Managed WordPress hosting on Liquid Web, I have decided to take my hosting elsewhere. I’ll follow-up and let you know how it goes. So far I’ve asked to downgrade my account on Liquid Web from 50 to 25 sites and support told me there would be an hour of downtime to do so. So it looks like I have spring cleaning to do.