Liquid Web vs. DigitalOcean

February 5, 2020 Liquid Web

Considering Liquid Web vs DigitalOcean for Your Development Environment?

man considering liquidweb vs digitalocean

Starting a new project is an exciting adventure filled with challenges and triumphs. It is a great feeling when you have successfully created your project. Setting up hosting for your website or application should enhance that adventure positively and not negatively.

If you are considering Liquid Web vs DigitalOcean, consider if unmanaged hosting is right for you.

While some SMBs are knowledgeable enough to administer their servers, the vast majority need some form of support. For those fortunate enough to be advanced with server management, there is DigitalOcean. For everyone else that is looking for hosting made easy, welcome to Liquid Web.

Server performance is undoubtedly an essential piece of the puzzle, and you can see how we measure up to them and a couple major competitors, including AWS, Rackspace, and DigitalOcean. But Liquid Web also stands out for things like Fully Managed Hardware, Support, Migration assistance, and hosting products that make it easy for you to grow and scale.

At the end of the day, you need a provider that can perform and deliver. That's where Liquid Web shines.

Liquid Web vs DigitalOcean: Key Highlights

 

Digital Ocean logo

Fully Managed Yes No
Full Server Stack Support Yes No
24/7/365 Support Included Yes No
Support Request SLA 59 Seconds or Less for Phone or Chat; 59 minutes for email 24/7 typically by email ticket. Paid support options for customers spending a certain amount or require additional support and are willing to pay
Web Hosting Control Panels Included Interworx, cPanel/WHM, and Plesk are offered and fully managed Plesk is offered via the Marketplace but support is via Plesk directly
Performance Optimization Yes No
Service Monitoring Yes Ability to set up self-monitoring through DigitalOcean’s Monitoring agent
Proactive Monitoring Yes Ability to set up self-monitoring through DigitalOcean’s Monitoring agent
Included Outgoing Bandwidth 10 GB for VPS
5 GB for Dedicated
1 TB with Droplets
100% Network Uptime Guarantee Yes 99.99%
100% Power Uptime Guarantee Yes 99.99%
SLA Remedy 1000% Credit for the amount of time that service was unavailable
Virtual Private Servers (VPS) Yes, starting at $29/mo Yes, from $5/mo
Physical Dedicated Servers Yes, starting at $149/mo No
Email Hosting Yes, $10/mo base + Mailboxes starting $1/mo each No
Partner Programs Yes Yes
Management Tools Yes Yes
Migration Assistance Yes No

Support Comparison

Choosing to host with Liquid Web vs DigitalOcean boils down to two things: what you can do yourself and what you need your hosting provider to do for you.

While Liquid Web offers three levels of management for VPS solutions with Full Management being the default, DigitalOcean's Droplets (virtual servers) are entirely unmanaged. If you are in the majority and need could use occasional assistance with your hosting environment, management and support will play a factor.

Another thing to consider when it comes to the support offered is accessibility. DigitalOcean's support is 24/7 but is typically provided by email tickets. There are also paid support options for customers that are spending a certain amount or require additional support and are willing to pay. These support options include features such as Technical infrastructure support, Live support, and 30-minute response times.

Liquid Web's support, on the other hand, is offered 24/7/365 and is available to every customer by chat, phone, or email. They also offer 59-second initial response guarantees for chat and phone, and 59-minute response guarantees by email.

There are limitations based on the level of management a customer would want on the Managed Hosting products. Still, Managed Hosting would have available full management. There is also no additional cost for support, so it is factored into what you pay.

Hosting Product Comparison

DigitalOcean

DigitalOcean offers inexpensive virtual servers. Their focus is on developers and offering low-cost cloud servers. You can get a minimal server started for as little as $5/mo.

Who Uses This: Self-sufficient developers who don't need much support or management from a provider.

Droplets (entry)

  • RAM: 1GB
  • vCPU: 1
  • Bandwidth: 1TB
  • Storage: 25GB
  • Price: $5/mo

Physical Dedicated Servers: Not Offered
Email Hosting: Not Offered

Liquid Web

Liquid Web has a more rounded product offering. Starting with VPS Hosting, you can get started with Liquid Web at $59/mo. 12 and 24-month prepaid plans are also available at a discount. In addition to virtual servers, you are also able to get physical hardware hosted in one of four data centers.

Who Uses This: Small to Medium-sized Businesses (SMBs) ranging from self-sufficient to those needing managed services from an experienced provider.

VPS Hosting (entry)

  • RAM: 2GB
  • vCPU: 2
  • Bandwidth: 10TB
  • Storage: 40GB
  • Price: $59/mo (12 and 24 month prepaid plans available)

Physical Dedicated Servers: Yes, starting at $149/mo (prepaid plan)
Email Hosting: $10/mo base + Mailboxes starting from $1/mo each

Partner Programs

Both DigitalOcean and Liquid Web offer Partner programs. The programs from both providers are designed to grow your business. The key differentiator is how.

Programs at DigitalOcean

DigitalOcean's Solutions Partner Program works for those that are looking for a discount on infrastructure as they resell hosting or build platforms on their resources. The specific pricing is not shown on the site, but are mentioned as a benefit.

The other two programs offered, Hatch Partner and Marketplace Vendor, appear to be more for startups and established businesses. Hatch is more about linking startups affiliated with DigitalOcean partners with capital investments, so there is a barrier to entry. They partner with accelerators, incubators, co-working spaces, and venture capital funds to provide resources to their Hatch recipients who are affiliated with DigitalOcean partners. They offer a 12-month credit for infrastructure as well as technical training, mentorship, priority support, and connection opportunities with other startups, accelerators, and investors.

Marketplace vendors would be a community of those that use DigitalOcean and build one-click applications. Developers can market and sell their software stack to DigitalOcean's community of millions of developers in their marketplace. Once tested and approved by their teams, it is easy for developers to deploy ready-to-go software stacks, without additional research and manual configuration.

Programs at Liquid Web

Liquid Web offers programs targeting businesses right where they are with tools that can be immediately used through their Partner Community. For instance, the Reseller Hosting program provides a free WHMCS license, free SSL certificates, and discounts on servers.

The Web Professional program gives the same benefit but adds monthly commissions based on both the partner and their clients' monthly recurring charges. They can choose from a monthly residual commission or a one-time payment.

The Affiliate and Referral programs offer a way for customers to refer others to Liquid Web. With the Refer-A-Friend program, customers get a flat payment for referring someone over. The Affiliate program is more for promotional referrals through banner ads, links, etc.

Similar to DigitalOcean's Marketplace, Liquid Web's Partner Community Directory gives a searchable directory with brief descriptions and contact details for select Liquid Web partners. The listing is separated by expertise, allowing customers to search specifically for the services they need. Partners can be a part of the directory giving exposure to their business and getting in front of customers wanting to host with Liquid Web using their services.

All of the Liquid Web programs are immediate and actionable.

Additional Services

Management Tools

DigitalOcean is targeting a more seasoned crowd in the technology space. Developers building more complex platforms are not necessarily in need of one-click software installers or website control panels to get the job done. There are numerous developer tools and frameworks available, but there is no management and support from DigitalOcean.

Liquid Web provides the management tools most businesses need to manage websites and applications as well as the core operating system and server stacks. Control panels such as Interworx, Plesk, and cPanel are not only provided upon setting up a server but also managed and fully supported. And with root or admin access provided on the Managed Hosting solutions, installing third-party software is a breeze.

Migrations

DigitalOcean has many community articles and tutorials on migrating data to their servers. There currently is no mention of managed migrations provided by them. What this means for users is that helpful information will be provided for them to perform their own movement to their DigitalOcean infrastructure.

Liquid Web offers free migrations to their fully managed servers with control panels.

Also, they do have an extensive Knowledge Base for those that like to "get their hands dirty" as well as helpful articles like this one on what to expect during a migration. For everyone else, there are technicians for Linux and Windows available to perform migrations to supported solutions.

Liquid Web makes it easy for you to focus on your business, application, and online stores.

Liquid Web vs DigitalOcean: The Bottom Line

Some developers and agencies know what they want, and they know how to do what they need. The vast majority require a bit of help from time to time. No matter which you are, it is essential that your business gets performance, reliability, and support - which is something that Liquid Web provides.

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