Liquid Web is a managed web host that offers feature-packed plans, commendable uptime, and terrific customer service. The CEO of the company, Jim Geiger, kindly agree to the interview for Website Planet and we learned a lot about the company, its mission, and what is in the pipeline for the future.
Please present Liquid Web to our audience
In 2022, Liquid Web begins its 25th year of business. As we celebrate this milestone, we do so with a Family of Brands that represents 10 companies purpose-built to deliver technology, services, and support for small businesses – and the Creators that build sites and stores for them – who want to make money online.
As a Family of Brands, we have three distinct, but highly related product groups. Liquid Web (High-Performance Managed Hosting), Nexcess (Digital Commerce Cloud), and StellarWP (WordPress Software and Tools) have more than 500,000+ sites under management, supporting over 175,000 paying customers and 2.5 Million+ free version software users.
Liquid Web, our Managed Hosting brand, is an industry leader known for fast, highly available, secure, and hassle-free hosting. Known for our broad product portfolio, from VPS to VMware, we have a product for every project, built the way you want to buy and manage. We can also custom-build an Enterprise-level hosting solution.
We’re the Most Helpful Humans in Hosting® and with our exceptional support teams, we earn the best customer satisfaction rating in the industry.
We take great pride in being a trusted technology partner for our small business owners and the designers, developers, and agencies who create for them, globally.
What services do you offer?
Our Managed Hosting product line delivers high-performance traditional, cloud, and hybrid hosting environments. Fast, reliable, highly secure, and hassle-free hosting powers tens of thousands of online businesses worldwide. From simple to highly scalable, sophisticated cloud solutions, security, and redundancy is built-in
Our products include high-performance Dedicated Servers, Cloud Dedicated, VPS, VMware Private Cloud, and multi-server solutions.
At Liquid Web, we make it easier for businesses to scale. Our Managed Hosting line of products is robust enough for businesses of every size, from early-stage startups to mature businesses requiring enterprise hosting environments. We also provide HIPAA and PCI-compliant hosting solutions.
Our sweet spot and passion are the millions of small and mid-size businesses, and the developers, designers, and agencies who build sites and stores for them – the folks who are doing real business online but aren’t big enough to have a technical staff. They need tools and support to help them execute their vision.
If you’re working on a complex project, we tell customers – don’t go at it alone. Our hosting advisors can work with them to build the ideal solution for the most demanding projects.
In the SMB space, we’re the leaders in providing simplified, high-performance, secure, curated solutions to accelerate SMs and creators getting, staying, and growing online.
What is the mission of Liquid Web?
Our mission is to enable SMBs – and the creators who build sites and stores for them – to make money online.
All of our efforts and strategies are focused on helping small businesses make money online.
We’ve coined the phrase “Web Dependent SMBs” because for our customers… their online presence is their business. They are not “setting and forgetting” their website, it’s not brochureware, it’s not a hobby. Our platform(s) power their online commerce and therefore, their livelihood.
We’re passionate about serving the communities of designers, developers, and agencies who create for businesses around the world. Ultimately, our customer is the online business; however, well over half of them come to us through a “Web Creator” – someone building sites and stores for that end business.
At the end of the day, all of our customers need a secure, highly reliant, highly performant, easy-to-maintain online presence that makes them money – with the expertise to help them when things go wrong (it is technology after all.)
In the SMB space, Liquid Web is the leader in Managed Hosting. We’re committed to providing simplified, high-performance, secure, curated solutions to accelerate SMBs and their creators getting, staying, and growing online.
What separates you from other similar websites/companies?
We’re helpful. In fact, we’re The Most Helpful Humans In Hosting®
In this age of technology, we give our customers more than just the best and widest choice of hosting products. We give them The Most Helpful Humans In Hosting®. Because we believe the more you need technology to fuel your business, the more you need expert, caring people to be there for you.
My observation is that this industry has previously focused on products, hung out their shingle, and assumed customers would come. At Liquid Web, we focused first on our customers. Our goal is making life easier for the Web Professionals we serve … you might say it is our cause. In an otherwise cold, technical industry, we aim to bring a human touch that contributes mightily to the success and satisfaction of our customers.
We do all the worrying and provide round-the-clock hosting, flawlessly. Protecting what they create. Building solutions that allow them to access technologies that were previously only available to large enterprises. Simplifying our products so they can focus on the work they love. They get the freedom to create great sites, stores, and applications, growing their business and keeping their clients satisfied.
We’re listening to our customers and empowering our nearly 1000 employees to deliver a remarkable experience. It’s how we can help Web Professionals to have peace of mind and the time to innovate and to strengthen their business. It’s why we earn the best customer loyalty as evidenced by our industry-leading Net Promoter Score.
Which trends and technologies do you find to be particularly intriguing these days?
For our Managed Hosting brand, we see VMware and the benefits of virtualization as an asset for SMBs who previously only considered this out of reach. Available on multi-tenant infrastructure or in a build-to-order dedicated environment, our VMware/Private Cloud offering delivers the power, performance, and reliability of an industry-leading, high-availability enterprise solution with simple, predictable pricing and a streamlined management experience, both of which are important to our customers. And we’re here to help if these small businesses need help engineering a tailored solution that helps them reach their business goals faster. It’s a great example of our mission and strategy driving our product development.
In general, we are watching the hosting market continue to move toward simplified content and commerce platforms where hosting is abstracted. And these simplified, no-code solutions are driving an explosion of growth in new entrepreneurs who are building sites and stores. Likely this growth has been fueled by Covid, the urgency to move the business online, and the side-hustle phenomenon.
In particular, we are watching WordPress – the world’s most dominant content and commerce management system powering over 43% of all online properties on the internet today.
The open-source nature of WordPress gives it a distinct advantage over closed SaaS platforms because it offers enormous flexibility, with a vast community of resources focused on development and innovation, and customers own their data and source code – which you don’t get with a SaaS platform. WordPress is the dominant workload on our LIquid Web platform and the customers that we attract and focus on within our family of brands are largely within the WordPress ecosystem
As a result, of huge importance to our strategy is the WordPress ecosystem and the software that enables digital commerce for SMBS.
What are the plans for Liquid Web for the near future?
My vision for the company continues to innovate products and services that address the trends toward simplification seen in the marketplace and deliver the best experience in hosting.
Over the course of our run here at Liquid Web, we’ve taken our managed hosting platform and – through acquisition and product development – grown in the direction of abstraction and simplification of hosting, focused on creators and our web-dependent SMBs.
Our Managed Hosting product line from Liquid Web will continue to deliver world-class managed cloud and dedicated services powering online businesses from simple to highly scalable, sophisticated cloud solutions. We believe that virtualization will become more important to growing businesses and we’ll continue to invest in our VMware solutions.
For our Nexcess brand, we’re building WordPress products and solutions to both simplify the experience and broaden the appeal to a less technical audience. Our specific differentiation here is integrating WordPress with hosting that is optimized for speed and security; providing administration and performance tools we’ve built; surrounded by a support organization that knows both the platform and the application. Combined, these allow customers to build, launch and maintain their online presence with confidence and ease. It also allows Web Creators to build, launch and manage multiple sites and stores across their client base.
The next stage in our strategic evolution is to further simplify and abstract the hosting and content management software (WordPress) to “SaaS-ify” the experience. We have acquired several of the world’s leading WordPress commerce software companies that provide purpose-built software – like online learning, online donations and giving, and online events. We are now leveraging these software assets to build cloud-based, wizard-driven sites and store-building capabilities. Think of what Shopify does – only we’re doing it on the WordPress Open-source platform giving us access to the vast WordPress community and ecosystem of software capabilities, designers, and developers.
In 2021, we launched our first SaaS-like customer experience for buying, building, and managing an online store with a product called Store Builder. And we’re set to launch our first SaaS-like product LearnDash Cloud this month.