Are you looking for a web hosting company that’s fast and simple as well as affordable and reliable?
Finding the host that meets the above criteria is no easy feat with so many options available nowadays, but we are here to help by taking a look at Cloudways.
Cloudways has been around since 2011 and comes highly recommended by some of the most reputable online publications such as Forbes, VentureBeat, PC Magazine, and others.
But does it really live up to all the hype?
In this post, we’ll take a look at the features, explore pricing and hosting plans, and see what kind of support they offer.
Without further ado, let’s dive in! 🏊♂️
Table of Contents
Cloudways is a Malta-based company founded in 2011 that aims to take care of all cloud hosting hassles while providing their customers with all the benefits of managed cloud hosting so they can focus on growing their business.
The company firmly believes in empowering individuals, whether they are a small business owner or an experienced developer looking for an affordable and reliable hosting solution.
Their core values include simplicity, innovation, data-driven ideology, and teamwork. They also believe that customer always comes first and focus on prioritizing customer feedback so they can continually improve their services.
In fact, Cloudways takes real pride in putting their customers first. Their customer-oriented approach is backed by dozens of positive customer reviews that are found almost on every page of their website. They even state on the testimonials page that word of mouth is their real asset.
When it comes to hosting, Cloudways works with the top five cloud providers: DigitalOcean, Linode, Vultr, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Google Cloud. They provide the infrastructure which Cloudways uses to deploy and host your website.
Standard hosting features include but are not limited to:
- Support for PHP-based applications including WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Magento and Laravel
- SSD-based hosting
- One-click installers for WordPress and other applications
- Free SSL certificates
- Free website migrations
- Real-time monitoring and dedicated firewalls
- Managed backups
With that out of the way, let’s take a look at Cloudways pricing and what can you expect when you sign up for one of their hosting plans.
Cloudways offers several pricing plans which are based on the “pay-as-you-go” model. In other words, you will only pay for the number of resources you use in a given month.
Prices vary depending on the chosen cloud provider. This makes Cloudways a great hosting provider for any budget.
Here’s a brief overview of the pricing plans:
|Cloud Provider||Price||RAM||Disk Space||Data Transfer||vCPU Cores|
|AWS||$36.51-$274.33||1.75GB – 16GB||20GB||2GB||1-4|
|Google Cloud||$33.30-$226.05/mo||1.70GB – 15GB||20GB||2GB||1-4|
Each plan, regardless of the provider, includes 24/7 support, free migration, free SSL, and unlimited app installation. There are no contracts and you can cancel your hosting plan at any time.
In addition to that, you can try any of the plans free for 3 days. After the trial period is up, you can upgrade to a paid plan and pay as you go or cancel the service.
What can you expect?
Now that we’ve covered the pricing plans, let’s take a look at what you get when you choose Cloudways as your hosting provider.
Custom Control Panel
Unlike other hosting providers that use cPanel or Plesk as control panel, Cloudways uses its own, custom control panel. The control panel looks very different and while it’s easy to use, it can be a little intimidating if you’re used to the usual control panel interface such as cPanel.
The first thing you see when you log in is your server status along with a video that explains how to migrate your site.
The navigation menu at the top allows you to access your servers and your applications and projects.
Once you click on the server, you can manage services, set up a backup schedule, restart and manage services such as Apache, Varnish, and others as well as manage the security of your server.
Clicking the application link, you can access your websites and perform various tasks such as adding an SSL certificate, connecting a domain, restore files from backup, and more.
You can also invite other members of your team to your Cloudways account and assign them different permissions so you can collaborate on your website or application together.
If you’re a developer, you’ll appreciate how easy it is to clone a site and create a staging environment. This means you can easily make changes to yours and your client websites and test theme and plugin updates before applying them to a live site.
This reduces the chances of something going wrong during the update process and your site going down as a result of a rogue update.
Other notable developer features include:
- Git integration so you can automatically deploy updated code to your applications
- SSH and SFTP access so you can access your server and update files securely
- The ability to organize your applications and websites into projects or by clients
Caching and Performance
One of the ways Cloudways ensures optimal performance of your website is the advanced caching. For starters, they use a proprietary WordPress caching plugin.
Secondly, they use an optimized stack that comes with built-in caches such as Memcached, Varnish, and Redis for faster responses. Their servers use the latest PHP versions and Apache and Nginx as web servers paired with MySQL, and MariaDB as databases to further improve the performance.
In addition to the above, you can enable CloudwaysCDN which is their own Content Delivery Network that helps improve server response times.
As mentioned earlier, with Cloudways, you only pay for the resources you use. That means you can easily scale the resources your website is using. This includes the amount of RAM, disk space, and bandwidth.
Keep in mind that it is only possible to scale up the resources. If you need to scale down, you will have to clone your site first. This is, however, a feature that is unique to Cloudways, at the time of writing it would appear that they are the only way to vertically scale a VPS without experiencing any downtime.
Cloudways will migrate your first website for free. All you have to do is provide them with a few details about your current website and the traffic it receives, grant them access, and they will take care of the rest.
If you prefer to migrate your WordPress website yourself or have more than one site that needs to be migrated, you can take advantage of their WordPress Migrator plugin.
Aside from SSL certificates, Cloudways includes a number of security features to ensure your site is protected from hackers and other online threats. All of their servers are protected by OS-level firewalls that act as the first line of defense and filter out malicious traffic.
The company performs regular OS updates and applies security patches which minimizes the chances of vulnerability exploits.
In addition to that, you can set up 2Factor Authentication for your Cloudways hosting account and create a whitelist of IP addresses that are allowed to access your SSH and SFTP accounts.
Cloudways offers 24/7 support which is available via live chat. You can also contact them using their contact page or request a callback.
Cloudways also offers an extensive knowledge base with detailed articles and video tutorials that cover every aspect of using the Cloudways platform and launching your site.
On top of that, you’ll find a community section and a blog with even more helpful articles and guides.
Cloudways offers automated backups to help keep your website safe. There is no extra charge for the backup functionality and the backups can be set on a regular schedule: hourly, daily, and weekly.
On-demand backups are available as well. You can store each backup for up to 4 weeks. Backups are stored offsite by default, however, you can enable local backups as well. If you enable local backups, only one copy will be stored in your local backups folder so you can download it using SFTP or SSH access.
If you ever need to restore your website, one-click restore is possible by using one of the available backups.
Cloudways Speed & Performance Tests
Nowadays, your website speed matters more than ever. Not only is it important if you don’t want to lose customers but it’s also one of the ranking signals that Google and other search engines are using to determine how high (or how low) your site will rank.
When it comes to speed, your hosting provider plays a large role and Cloudways won’t disappoint in this department. For starters, they offer several performance-oriented features for better load times. They include:
- SSD-Based Storage
Given that SSD drives are up to 3x times faster which will help improve your page loading times
- Dedicated Resources
Unlike shared hosting plans, each site has dedicated resources to use which can be scaled up and down depending on your needs and site performance
- Custom Caching Plugin
Cloudways offers Breeze, which is an in-house caching plugin developed specifically for WordPress websites
- PHP 7 Ready Servers
PHP 7 is significantly faster than older versions of PHP
As you can see in the screenshots, the demo site in this example loaded in under a second.
What Makes Cloudways Stand Out?
Cloudways has a unique approach to hosting. They have partnered with the top five names in the cloud infrastructure industry to offer their customers all the benefits of cloud hosting without the technical hassle that often comes with cloud hosting.
They handle the behind-the-scenes technical details of setting up a Digital Ocean or AWS account as well as configuring/deploying servers, and the actual day-to-day managing of the server.
All you have to do is choose the amount of disk space and the amount of RAM to get started. And since you can always adjust the settings, you don’t have to make an exact guess right away. You can easily monitor your server usage and scale up the resources when you notice a pattern in how much RAM or bandwidth your site is using.
Another way Cloudways stands out that they only offer cloud hosting. In a nutshell, this means that:
- Multiple copies of your site are stored on multiple servers so if one server goes down, your site is still accessible
- Your site will be inherently more secure as each server operates independently
- Your site will load faster as there are no other sites using up the resources assigned to your site
Pair that with affordable pricing and it’s easy to see how Cloudways is different from other hosting providers.
Cloudways Review: The Verdict
As you might guess, we definitely recommend Cloudways as a hosting company. Not only are their plans affordable but they are also easy to scale so you can adjust server resources as your site grows.
They are also one of the rare hosting companies that managed to find the balance between offering just the right amount of features to satisfy the needs of developers without overwhelming less-technically inclined users such as bloggers and business owners.
In addition to that, Cloudways prides itself on customer support and making their customers happy, not to mention they offer features that will help protect your site against the ever-growing online threats as well as ensure your website loads as fast as possible.
In other words, if you are looking for a host that offers a secure, fast, and reliable hosting environment that can grow with your site without the high price tag, Cloudways is definitely worth looking into.
Have you ever tried Cloudways? We’d love to hear what you think!
Let us know in the comments below 💬
Cloudways in 2019 – Are they the WordPress host for you?
All in all, Cloudways offers a lot of bang for your buck. Their hosting plans are suitable for all budgets and you won’t find yourself locked into a contract loaded with features you don’t need or missing those key features that will make your site’s performance suffer.
- Fast servers
- Built-in caching for WordPress sites
- One-click staging and cloning
- 24/7 support and beginner-friendly knowledgebase
- Free SSL certificates
- No ability to register a domain name through Cloudways
- Email hosting has to be purchased separately through Rackspace or a different provider