Liquid Web has added a visual comparison tool, automatic SSL, and other capabilities in the first major expansion of its managed WordPress hosting service since the company brought WordPress consultant Chris Lema on as vice president of products and innovations in December.
The update is motivated by the results of a recent Liquid Web survey showing the top criteria for managed WordPress customers are performance guarantees, simple installation, and automatic backups, according to the Tuesday announcement. The survey, released in March, also shows nearly half of designers, developers, and digital agencies use WordPress, and 71 percent of those who do use a managed solution.
The visual comparison tool automatically takes before and after snapshots of customer websites when a new plug-in is installed, and alerts the customer to review any changes the installation makes in website appearance.
“This is a compelling addition. We’re automatically upgrading sites, but validating the upgrade by comparing before and after photos,” Lema said. “This allows us to make sure the plug-in isn’t going to alter the look of the website, while also ensuring you have the latest code on your site.”
SSL certificates are now provided by default for free to Liquid Web’s managed WordPress customers, as is web application accelerator Varnish Cache, PHP7 checker, a stencil feature for quick creation of a new site based on an existing one, and tagging and filtering for the management interface.
“Many companies would charge for these service, yet with Liquid Web, they’re all rolled in for free,” Lema said. “By continually adding new capabilities to our managed WordPress hosting, we’re putting out the word that we’re not done trying to move the needle in this space. We are innovating and delivering value in a crowded market with a clear sense of the features that set us apart.”