, the market leader in cloud hosting and software solutions for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), celebrates 25 years of helping businesses grow online.
Over the past quarter century, Liquid Web has grown into a Family of Brands delivering technology, services, and support for thriving businesses and nonprofits running mission-critical websites, eCommerce stores, and applications. Liquid Web (High Performance Managed Hosting), Nexcess (Digital Commerce Cloud), StellarWP (WordPress Software and Tools), and Modern Tribe (Enterprise WordPress Agency) have more than 500,000+ sites under management and support over 175,000 software subscribers and 2.5 Million+ free version software users.
The company was founded in 1997 by Matthew Hill, who passed away unexpectedly on July 13, 2022. He was in high school when he founded Liquid Web in Holt, Michigan. For 18 years, before he sold in 2015, with the help of his family and friends, he built the foundation for what the company is today.
In 2015, Madison Dearborn and the management team (Jim Geiger (CEO), Joe Oesterling (CTO), and Carrie Wheeler (COO)) invested in Liquid Web. The new leadership team set a vision to build a platform to enable small businesses - and the creators who build sites and stores for them - to make money online. The strategy was developed to innovate products and services that address market trends toward simplification and deliver the best experience in hosting - to become the Most Helpful Humans in Hosting®.
“All of our efforts and strategies are focused on helping small businesses make money online,” said Jim Geiger, CEO. “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”, said Geiger.
In the last 7 years, Liquid Web invested heavily in product development, sales, and marketing and expanded platform and support capabilities by adding Managed WordPress (2016); Premium Business Email (2017); the industry’s first Managed WooCommerce Hosting (2018); Protection and Remediation Services (2018); VMware Private Cloud (2019); CloudFlare (2019); Acronis Cyber Backups (2020); Managed Cloud Servers (2020); VMware Private Cloud Multi-Tenant (2020); and Threat Stack (2021).
The Liquid Web Family of Brands has also strategically grown its presence in the WordPress space by adding software companies like iThemes (2018), Restrict Content Pro (2020), The Events Calendar (2021), Iconic (2021), KadenceWP (2021), GiveWP (2021), LearnDash (2021), and Modern Tribe (2021) to our portfolio. In addition, a new arm of our business was introduced to serve as the umbrella brand for all WordPress software offerings: StellarWP.
The company has honed a strategic focus around open source software and platforms and the flexibility and ownership those provide for online site and store owners. Because the customers they attract are largely within the WordPress ecosystem – the world’s most dominant content and commerce management system powering over 43% of all online properties on the Internet today – the company has a commitment to fostering ongoing innovation with new features, curated solutions, and tools to help customers realize the power that open source provides. In 2021, the company launched the first SaaS-like customer experience for buying, building, and managing an online store with a product called StoreBuilder, and in 2022, launched LearnDash Cloud. These products integrate hosting and curate a number of the company's owned software solutions to innovate online commerce solutions on WordPress.
“We continue to believe that we can lead in providing simplified, highly performant, secure, curated solutions to accelerate SMBs and creators getting, staying, and growing online. Our North Star, our strategic vision, is to continue to simplify online commerce – in all its forms – for new and existing online merchants by leveraging open source solutions riding on our infrastructure, our software assets, our industry expertise, and our world-class technical support,” said Geiger. “We celebrate this anniversary with great pride and appreciation for our customers who trust us with their business and our employees, the Most Helpful Humans in Hosting® who make us stand out as an industry leader. As we look ahead to our future, we understand the responsibility we have to the businesses we support and will continue to focus on our purpose of helping SMBs and their creators make money online.”