Cloudways is a popular hosting provider known for its unique approach to hosting. Instead of providing its own infrastructure, Cloudways lets you choose from five different cloud hosting providers – DigitalOcean, Vultr, Linode, AWS, and Google Cloud. This approach allows you to get very good performance for a low price.
However, it’s a little more complicated than traditional hosting, making it a better fit for users with some experience in website management.
1. How a Managed Hosting Works?
Before we dive into the workings of Cloudways and how it can streamline your website’s journey, let’s take a breather and shift our gaze to other managed hosting services in the market.
Consider this – Digital Ocean, Amazon Cloud Server, and Microsoft Azure. Each of these are premier players in the managed hosting services arena.
Think of it this way: ‘Riding a Kawasaki Ninja H2 might be straightforward, but piloting an F-16 fighter jet is a whole different ballgame.’
If you’re following along, you’ll have already grasped the contrast I’m illustrating. Managed hosting has advantages over shared hosting, but with those benefits comes a heightened level of complexity.
2. What Exactly Is Cloudways Hosting?
Consider this: an intimidating screen with no inviting interface to engage with, and worse, no support. Sound daunting?
Cloudways steps in to change that narrative, revolutionizing managed web-hosting by making it incredibly user-friendly, and here’s why.
Firstly, they provide a visually appealing interface to manage your website. We’re not just working with a bare-bones command prompt here – which, let’s admit, can seem quite daunting to beginners (Still skeptical? One look at Windows CMD will convince you).
Secondly, and perhaps most crucially, they offer a highly supportive and friendly team, akin to the service you would receive with shared hosting. This 24/7 premium support can truly be a game-changer.
So, whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or advanced user planning to create a website with WordPress and you’re committed to the cause, Cloudways WordPress hosting should be your choice.
While managing a cloud server may not petrify advanced users, a user-friendly interface and a dedicated support team can significantly enhance the experience, making it far more manageable and enjoyable.
3. Why Do you Even Bother Reading this Review?
Aha, a brilliant question indeed. The motivation behind this comprehensive Cloudways hosting review? Let me explain.
I found a glaring gap in the market: a lack of accessible, insightful content to guide your next steps. Hence, this blog – your go-to place to master WordPress the fun and simple way.
Over the course of 60 days, I rigorously tested and analyzed their services, leaving no stone unturned. The minute details, the broad strokes – all will be shared.
I can confidently declare – with 110% certainty, no less – that by the end of this review, you will gain crystal clear insight on whether Cloudways is your perfect match, or not.
So, let’s dive deep into the nuanced world of Cloudways hosting. Hold on to your hats!
4. Unleashing the Power of Cloudways: Key Features
When it comes to web hosting, Cloudways is a game-changer. It’s not just about providing a platform for your website. It’s about offering a suite of powerful features designed to supercharge your online presence. Let’s dive into the key features that set Cloudways apart.
- Hybrid Server Configuration: Cloudways takes a unique approach to server configuration. It uses a hybrid “Apache + Nginix” stack, offering the best of both worlds in terms of performance and reliability. This configuration, coupled with multiple caching layers including Nginix, Varnish, and Memcached, ensures your website runs at lightning speed. And for those seeking an extra performance boost, Cloudways offers an easy option to install Redis.
- Automatic Backups: Never worry about losing your data. Cloudways offers automatic server-level backups, providing an essential safety net for your website. Need to backup a single site? No problem. Cloudways also offers on-demand single-site backups.
- Staging Sites: Test new features and updates without risking your live site. With Cloudways, you can easily create staging sites, making it a breeze to test new elements before pushing them live.
- Breeze (A Free WordPress Performance Plugin): Cloudways offers a free WordPress performance plugin called Breeze. It’s designed to optimize your website’s performance and speed, ensuring a smooth and fast browsing experience for your visitors.
- Site Cloning: Need to replicate your site? Cloudways makes it easy with its site cloning feature. Whether you’re moving to a new server or creating a similar site, site cloning simplifies the process.
- Free SSL Certificates: Secure your website with free SSL certificates from Cloudways. It’s not just about security; it’s also about SEO. Secure websites rank higher on search engines, and with Cloudways, SSL security is just a few clicks away.
- Built-in CDN: Improve your website’s global reach with Cloudways’ built-in content delivery network (CDN). A CDN ensures your website loads quickly, no matter where your visitors are in the world.
- SMTP at the Server Level: Ensure reliable email delivery with Cloudways’ server-level SMTP. From transactional emails to marketing campaigns, Cloudways ensures your emails reach their destination.
- Bot Protection: Protect your website from malicious bots with Cloudways’ bot protection feature. It’s an extra layer of security to keep your website safe and secure.
- Cron Job Management: Schedule tasks efficiently with Cloudways’ cron job management. Whether it’s sending out scheduled emails or cleaning up your database, cron job management makes it easy.
- Team Collaboration: Collaborate with your team directly on the Cloudways platform. Add team members and manage projects together, all in one place.
5. Cloudways Hosting Performance and Speed
When it comes to hosting providers, performance is a key factor that can make or break your website’s success. Cloudways is a hosting provider that has consistently shown excellent results in performance tests, even on their most affordable plans.
According to a performance test conducted by WordPress Hosting Performance Benchmarks, Cloudways demonstrated impressive performance. Even their cheapest plan, priced at $10/month, delivered an average response time of just 582 ms, with a 90th percentile time of 611 ms.
According to tests conducted by Review Signal, the mean average response time on Cloudways was just 582 ms, and the 90th percentile time was 611 ms.
This places Cloudways among the top performers in terms of hosting providers, making it an excellent choice for those seeking high-performance hosting on a budget.
In another performance test conducted by Cloudways, the hosting provider claimed to offer faster page loads, 99% uptime, and the ability to handle over 10 times the visits at half the cost compared to other managed hosts like SiteGround, Kinsta, and WPEngine.
6. Real User Experiences
Real user experiences also reflect the high performance of Cloudways. Users have praised the speed and ease of use of Cloudways, with one user stating, “Cloudways is strangely fast, literally. I mean, I don’t know why but it’s just fast.” Another user mentioned the cost-effectiveness of Cloudways, stating, “Cloudways, super easy to use, super fast and cost-effective (we run 5 sites on a single instance for ~40$/month).”
Cloudways offers a range of features that contribute to its high performance:
- Thunderstack: Cloudways’ PHP stack, known as Thunderstack, is packed with the world’s best server software, installed on the world’s best cloud providers. This results in noticeably faster websites. Thunderstack includes NGINX, Apache, Memcached, MySQL/MariaDB, Varnish Cache, PHP-FPM, Redis, and PHP 8.
- Cloudflare Enterprise add-on: This add-on boosts performance at the edge, offering priority CDN, tiered cache, advanced image, and mobile optimization. This ensures the fastest possible content delivery globally, reducing latency, loading time, and bandwidth costs.
- Server Response Times: Cloudways significantly outperforms other managed hosts on server response times. This means that not only can Cloudways handle a higher volume of traffic, but it also delivers content faster to your site’s visitors.
When compared to other managed hosts, Cloudways offers better performance at a lower cost. For instance, for a small business-scale cloud server, Cloudways charges $46/month for unlimited visitors and unlimited websites. In contrast, other managed hosts like WPEngine and Kinsta charge $115/month and $100/month respectively, for a maximum of 100,000 visitors and a limited number of WordPress installs.
In conclusion, Cloudways offers excellent performance at a competitive price, making it a top choice for anyone seeking a reliable, high-performance hosting provider. Whether you’re running a small business, a blog, or an agency, Cloudways offers the speed, reliability, and performance you need to ensure your website’s success.
|Average Response Time||582 ms|
|90th Percentile Time||611 ms|
|Server Response Time||Faster than other managed hosts|
|User Reviews||Positive feedback on speed and performance|
|Performance Features||Thunderstack, Cloudflare Enterprise add-on|
|Cost||Lower than other managed hosts for similar performance|
7. Cloudways Hosting User Experience
In the world of web hosting, user experience is paramount. A hosting provider can have all the features in the world, but if it’s not easy to use, it’s not going to be a good fit for most users. Cloudways shines in this area, offering a unique and intuitive user experience that sets it apart from the competition.
Getting Started with Cloudways
When you first sign up for Cloudways, you’re prompted to launch a server and deploy an application. An application can be any software you want to install on your server, such as WordPress, Magento, Laravel, and more. Once you’ve chosen your application and entered some basic details, you can choose your cloud hosting provider, the resources for your server, and your server’s physical location.
The Cloudways Dashboard
The Cloudways dashboard is clean and intuitive, making it easy to customize and launch cloud servers without getting bogged down by documentation or stuck debugging error messages. The dashboard has two main tabs: Servers and Applications. The Servers tab allows you to manage all of your cloud servers, while the Applications tab lets you manage your individual websites.
Cloudways offers a range of user-friendly features that make managing your website a breeze:
- Clone Fully Configured Servers: With just one click, you can replicate an install just the way you like it. This is perfect for agencies managing multiple sites.
- Migrate WordPress Sites Flawlessly: Cloudways’ free migrator plugin will move your live site over like magic, without disruption.
- Add More Websites to the Same Server: You can spin up as many instances on one server as you want, and scale resources as needed. No limits and no account upgrades required.
- Add Team Members and Collaborate in Real-Time: Set custom roles and access permissions for clients, developers & other stakeholders, so you can work securely with your team.
- Change Data Centers: With over 60 data centers to choose from, you can instantly optimize load speeds, tailored to anywhere in the world.
- Change Cloud Infrastructure: Started on DigitalOcean but want to give Amazon or Google a try? Just update your server’s cloud provider setting and you’re done!
- Monitor & Adjust Multiple Servers & Apps: Flip from server settings to application settings and back again just by toggling a single switch.
- Push & Pull Changes Between Staging & Production: Every instance you spin up comes with a built-in staging area, so pushing AND pulling changes couldn’t be easier.
8. User Testimonials
Real users have praised the user experience offered by Cloudways. Here are a few testimonials from various platforms:
Cloudways has received positive reviews from users on various platforms. Here are some of the reviews from G2.com:
- “Adding things like database packages and advanced settings are as easy as a click! The customer service and documentation is awesome!”
- “The performance:cost ratio is far better than any managed hosting that I have used … Very easy to spin up new sites or add server capacity, simple to move WordPress sites on and off … and easy to manage SSH access for each project individually, or for the server as a whole.”
- “The speed is why I moved to Cloudways …I also like that I can create different “servers” around the world since I deal with clients in various countries. The user interface is easy to learn and much more straightforward than Godaddy’s labyrinth of upsells and Dreamhost GUI.”
- “The customer support chat is AMAZING. I am a lifelong customer because of it… Areeb helped me troubleshoot for a while tonight and provide screenshots showing me proof everything was in working order.”
- “Cloudways has been nothing but great since moving over all of our hosting servers. Amir assisted me quickly and went above and beyond to resolve a database-related query/issue I was experiencing. Any other support request is met with confidence and interest – I’ve never had any issues over the last year.”
- “I love the speed of their servers and their support services. All my websites that would take 7 seconds to load in the previous hosting, now load in less than a second. Their chat support people are really great, helpful, and cooperative. Always solving problems. I’m so happy with their services.”
- “The best host server providing I use since last few years. It it very helpful up-front server setup, integrated robust security and caching tools which make it very user friendly application. Cloudways pricing structure is absolutely wonderful. The ability to add cores or space is extremely helpful as well. Incredible support – Super fast, responsive, truly helpful (most of the time). Easy to create and manage multiple servers as well as create staging sites across servers.” – User review
According to Digital.com, Cloudways users experience 99% uptime, and the average site response time is approximately 63 milliseconds, which is quite impressive.
So, Cloudways offers a user experience that is easy to navigate, intuitive, and packed with features. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced developer, Cloudways makes managing your website a seamless experience.
When it comes to support, Cloudways offers a robust system that caters to the needs of its users. However, it’s important to note that the scope of Cloudways’s support isn’t as broad as it might be with other hosts. By default, Cloudways supports your hosting server and the Cloudways platform.
However, Cloudways does not provide application support by default. That is, they don’t officially offer support for any applications that you install on your server, such as WordPress.
If you want this type of advanced application support, you can pay extra for premium support, which includes features like “cloudways support addon” and “cloudways advanced support addon”.
User Reviews on Support
Real users have shared their experiences with Cloudways support on various platforms:
- “The customer support chat is AMAZING. I am a lifelong customer because of it… Areeb helped me troubleshoot for awhile tonight and provide screenshots showing me proof everything was in working order.” – User review
- “Cloudways has been nothing but great since moving over all of our hosting servers. Amir assisted me quickly and went above and beyond to resolve a database-related query/issue I was experiencing. Any other support request is met with confidence and interest – I’ve never had any issues over the last year.” – User review
- “Incredible support – Super fast, responsive, truly helpful (most of the time). Easy to create and manage multiple servers as well as create staging sites across servers.” – User review
These reviews highlight the effectiveness of Cloudways support, especially in terms of responsiveness and technical expertise. However, some users have expressed dissatisfaction with certain aspects of the support, indicating that there is room for improvement.
In conclusion, while Cloudways offers a solid support system, it’s important to understand the scope of their support and consider whether it meets your specific needs. If you require advanced application support, you might need to consider their premium support options.
10. Cloudways Pricing: Affordable and Transparent
When it comes to Cloudways pricing, it’s all about flexibility and transparency. The cost you’ll incur primarily depends on the cloud hosting provider you select and the resources your server requires. Generally, the most economical choice is the entry-level DigitalOcean server, priced at just $10. This server already delivers exceptional performance, making it a favorite among budget-conscious businesses.
The unique aspect of Cloudways pricing is that it includes both the underlying cloud hosting charges and the Cloudways platform fee. This means there are no hidden costs – what you see is what you pay. This transparency is a breath of fresh air in the cloud hosting industry, where hidden charges are all too common.
Cloudways offers a pay-as-you-go pricing model, which is perfect for businesses that prefer to pay for only what they use. This model provides the flexibility to scale your resources up or down based on your needs, ensuring you’re not overpaying for resources you don’t use.
One thing to note is that while Cloudways offers a wealth of features and tools, email hosting is not included in their packages. This could be a minor inconvenience for some users, but there are numerous third-party email hosting providers available that can be integrated with your Cloudways server.
In conclusion, Cloudways offers a competitive pricing structure that caters to a wide range of budgets and needs. Whether you’re a small business owner looking for an affordable hosting solution or a large enterprise requiring extensive resources, Cloudways has a plan that fits your needs and budget.
11. Pros and Cons of Cloudways Hosting
Like any hosting provider, Cloudways has its strengths and weaknesses. Here’s a rundown of the key pros and cons based on user feedback and expert reviews:
- Excellent Performance for the Money: Cloudways offers impressive performance, even on their most affordable plans. This makes it a great choice for businesses looking for high-quality hosting on a budget.
- No Arbitrary Limits: Unlike many hosting providers, Cloudways doesn’t impose arbitrary limits on your usage. This gives you the freedom to grow your website without worrying about hitting a ceiling.
- Useful WordPress Tools: Cloudways provides a range of useful tools for WordPress users, including a free performance plugin and a staging environment.
- Server-Level SMTP: With server-level SMTP, you can send transactional emails directly from your server, improving email deliverability.
- More Complicated Than Traditional Hosting: Cloudways’ platform can be a bit more complex to navigate compared to traditional shared hosting providers. This might pose a challenge for beginners, but it also offers more flexibility and control.
- Pricing Isn’t as Good for High-Resource Servers: While Cloudways offers excellent value for low-resource servers, the pricing isn’t as competitive for high-resource servers. If you need a server with a lot of resources, you might find better deals elsewhere.
No Email Hosting: Cloudways doesn’t offer email hosting, which means you’ll need to use a third-party service for your email needs.
12. Testing the Website Performance
At the time of writing this post, I am using Digital Ocean to host my website. Yes, Digital Ocean because I chose it’s droplet on Cloudways.
If you have used Siteground before, you know they are now using Google Cloud platform to host the websites. So, if you check the hosting provider you will see Google, instead of Siteground.
Like that, when I checked my website’s hosting provider, It will show me Digital Ocean, instead of Cloudways. Because they only work as a link between you and the real hosting provider.
”I’m not Testing a blank website. I will test a fully functional website with more than 20 full posts in it and a premium theme. So, you’re not going to get a garbage reading of a blank website.”
Before we test our website’s performance, I will first check my hosting server, and by that test alone we will have a clear idea.
Bitcatcha Server Speed Checker
So, I first tested my website’s server with Bitcatcha.
And the score was quite amazing, I tested the server for 3 times straight and the average was always exceptional.
Let’s check out website’s performance with the best tools available,
Test 1- Google Page Speed Insights
I tested my website with Google page speed insights tool, and the results were amazing. I tested my website several times, and the average score for mobile was more than 90 every time.
Of course, my website had a good premium theme, a clean layout, and it was junk-free. But looking at this result you can have an idea about the host performance.
Test 2- GT Metrix Score
Here’s a result after I tested my website on GT Metrix. And, again the results were quite convincing.
Now, let’s use Pingdom Tools to test the performance of our website, before we come to a conclusion.
Test 3- Pingdom Tools
The load time was super amazing, I mean less than 1 second is phenomenal. The performance grade wasn’t that good, but from the load time, we can mark it as good.
13. How much I am Satisfied with Cloudways Hosting Services?
Now, after you read all the features that they promise to provide you with their services, I thought it’s worthy giving it a try.
I signed up for Cloudways, and chose Digital Ocean 20$/Month plan for my website.
Price Point: I have been using Digital Ocean for quite a long time, and I have memorized their every single plan (not all of them, but a lot of them). This 2 GB Droplet, is $10/Month if you buy directly from Digital Ocean.
So, it’s almost double the cost that you would pay otherwise if you go directly.
The real question is this more price worth the services they provide you?
And being honest here, I have had no issues with their services so far.
- The interface is quite easy to understand.
- Managing your website is easy.
- The support is also not bad.
- One-click app installation, make’s it look super easy.
- The free SSL is also worth it. Now, with Digital Ocean you can also install a free SSL with Cert Bot, which is also not a big deal if you know how to use SSH software.
- The support is also there to help you 24/7 on a live chat.
- I really like the pay-as-you-go system, then a long 1-year or 2 years contract.
Now, there are quite a few things they need to improve, and that I personally would like them to improve instantly.
What they Need to improve?
Cloudways is a powerful way to host WordPress websites. But, there’s a bit of a learning curve because it’s not based on c-panel.
It surely works great when it comes to performance, ease of use, security, and management.
But, the only way you can get support is through opening a ticket or a live chat. They surely do well their also, but i would like to see some improvement in that particular area.
And, if you read emails everyday, their newsletter is kind of annoying, I think.
But, overall they don’t seem quite compromising on their service, so I have no point to raise as a red flag here.
14. All Managed Hosting Providers + Coupons / Discounts
”By choosing any of the following hosting plan coupons/discounts will apply automatically!”
- Google Compute Engine (starts from $33.30/m)
- Vultr Cloud Hosting (starts from $11/m)
- Digital Ocean Cloud Hosting (starts from $10/m)
- Linode Cloud Hosting (starts from $12/m)
- WordPress Cloud Hosting (every hosting is compatible with wp)
15. Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
1. How does Cloudways work?
Cloudways provides reliable hosting service for Websites, they provide the interface and support for the dedicated hosting platforms. For example, if you’re using Digital Ocean, and you create a droplet on Digital Ocean (directly) you have to use a software to manage your server and everything is on you, because now you’re handling the server (so totally opposite to shared hosting).
While if you choose to buy Digital Ocean Hosting services using Cloudways, you will get 100% support for your Website, with super easy to use interface (like cPanel) to handle your server with ease.
2. How much does Cloudways hosting cost?
Cloudways charges for it’s services, so you’ll always see greater prices in their plans instead if you directly to the hosting provider. But their charges are reasonable, they are providing great customer support (for your server) and easy to use interface to manage your server easily, and all of this, is not possible if you go directly.
Now, here’s what I tell to most of the people, if services, and easy to use interface is not a issue for you, then you should go directly to the server provide, like Amazon, Digital Ocean or even Google Cloud Platform.
Let’s talk about the lowest possible price of Cloudways, so it’s $10 (it’s for Digital Ocean 1 GB server) and it goes all the way up as the services and resources increase.
3. How long is Cloudways free trial?
Cloudways offers a free trial of 3-days for you to get familiar with the platform, and see if this is for you. The trial period starts from the day you create a trial server.
4. What cloud hosting services does Cloudways offers?
Cloudways has seven hosting servers available including, Google Cloud, AWS, Vultr, StachPath, Digital Ocean, Linode, and MalCare
In conclusion, Cloudways offers a compelling package with its excellent performance, no arbitrary limits, and useful WordPress tools. However, it might not be the best fit for everyone due to its slightly more complex interface, pricing for high-resource servers, and lack of email hosting.
Cloudways is a hosting provider that stands out for its unique approach to cloud hosting and the impressive performance it delivers. However, it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. Here’s a comprehensive conclusion that takes into account the various aspects of Cloudways, including SEO keywords with low competition.
Cloudways is a trailblazer in the hosting realm, offering a blend of affordability and performance that’s hard to match. It’s a top choice for those who want to get the most bang for their buck, thanks to its hybrid “Apache + Nginix” stack and multiple caching layers, including Nginx, Varnish, and Memcached.
One word rule
If you’re a developer, a fast-growing startup, or a business that needs more than just an informational website, Cloudways is a perfect match for you. Its scalability and flexibility are invaluable for sites that require agility. However, if you’re a beginner just starting with your first website, you might find Cloudways a bit complex.
Cloudways’ pricing is dependent on the cloud hosting provider you choose and your server’s resources. The entry-level DigitalOcean server, priced at $10, already offers excellent performance. The price you see at Cloudways includes both the underlying cloud hosting charges and the charges for Cloudways.
However, Cloudways isn’t without its drawbacks. It’s a bit more complicated than traditional hosting, and its pricing isn’t as competitive for high-resource servers. Plus, it doesn’t offer email hosting.
Who should stay away?
In conclusion, Cloudways is a robust hosting provider that offers excellent performance for the money. However, it’s not for everyone. If you’re seeking high-performance hosting on a budget, Cloudways is a great option. But if you’re a total beginner, you might find it a bit complicated.
Remember, the best hosting provider for you depends on your specific needs and circumstances. So, weigh the pros and cons carefully before making a decision.