In today’s highly competitive digital landscape, choosing the right hosting platform can make or break your online presence. With countless options available, it’s crucial to select a service that meets your unique needs and budget.
Enter Cloudways – an innovative managed cloud hosting solution, lauded for its performance, affordability, and feature-rich offerings. In this comprehensive review of Cloudways, we’ll dive deep into its pros and cons to help you determine if it aligns with your business objectives.
- Cloudways is a managed cloud hosting platform that offers exceptional flexibility and customization. Users can choose from five different cloud hosting providers, 41 server locations, and granular control over server settings and application configurations through its custom-built dashboard.
- Cloudways specializes in WordPress hosting with one-click installations, automatic updates, free performance plugins such as Breeze, WooCommerce compatibility features geared towards e-commerce businesses requiring high-traffic handling capabilities and secure environments for transactions.
- Cloudways has advanced security features like automatic server-level backups, site cloning, free SSL certificates with two-factor authentication; Let’s Encrypt Wildcard SSL certificate auto-healing servers; regular OS patches to ensure website safety & reliability.
- The user experience of Cloudways is seamless with its custom dashboard for managing servers and applications being user-friendly and easy to navigate. The platform also provides account management features suited for teams working on multiple projects or client sites while maintaining centralized communication about project status updates or any issues that arise during development.
What Is Cloudways Hosting?
Cloudways Hosting is a managed cloud hosting platform that offers users an easy-to-use interface and the flexibility to choose from five different cloud hosting providers: DigitalOcean, Vultr, Linode, AWS, and Google Cloud.
Cloud Hosting Vs Traditional Hosting
Cloud hosting and traditional hosting differ significantly in terms of performance, scalability, and cost-effectiveness. Traditional hosting typically comes in two forms: shared or dedicated servers.
In shared hosting, multiple websites share the same server resources, which can lead to slower site performance when neighboring sites experience a sudden influx of traffic or consume more than their fair share.
In contrast, cloud hosting operates on a network of interconnected virtual servers that distribute resources dynamically as per need. This decentralized approach offers superior performance and uptime compared to traditional methods since it eliminates single points of failure like CPU bottlenecks or hardware issues.
Key Features Of Cloudways
Cloudways offers flexibility and customization with their choice of five different cloud hosting providers and the ability to configure server settings. They specialize in WordPress hosting, providing one-click installations, automatic updates, and a free performance plugin called Breeze.
Flexibility And Customization
One of the standout features of Cloudways is its exceptional flexibility and customization. Catering to a diverse range of users, from small business owners seeking user-friendly solutions to web developers needing feature-rich options, Cloudways allows customers to choose from five different cloud hosting providers – DigitalOcean, Vultr, Linode, AWS, and Google Cloud Platform – and 41 server locations across the globe.
Furthermore, Cloudways provides granular control over server settings and application configurations through its custom-built dashboard. Users have access to a wide array of tools for optimizing website performance such as Apache + Nginx hybrid stack deployment and multiple caching layers like Varnish cache controls for improved site speed.
Additional benefit includes staging environments for testing new features before pushing them live on your site or even using advanced app control options like Git integration for seamless updates.
As a managed hosting platform, Cloudways goes the extra mile to cater to WordPress users, providing seamless integration and optimization geared towards individuals and small businesses alike.
With their effortless one-click installation process, you can have your WordPress site up and running in no time.
Recognizing that e-commerce businesses require high-traffic handling capabilities and secure environments for transactions, Cloudways also emphasizes WooCommerce compatibility.
Web developers and designers will appreciate Cloudways’ extensive list of pre-built application settings designed to boost performance on both platforms. Combining PHP 8.0+, MariaDB 10.4, and expert-level server configurations with their innovative ThunderStack technology stack ensures lightning-fast load times while maintaining stability even during peak traffic periods.
Cloudways offers a range of security features to ensure that your website is always safe and secure. These include automatic server-level backups, site cloning, free SSL certificates, and a built-in content delivery network (CDN).
The platform also implements OS-level firewalls and bot protection through their partnership with MalCare. Automatic backups are performed at no extra cost, with the option to schedule backup frequency and restore websites easily.
Cloudways provides two-factor authentication and SSL certificates with every plan, including the option to set up a free Let’s Encrypt Wildcard SSL certificate.
Additionally, the platform prioritizes security by offering features such as auto-healing servers and regular OS patches.
Keywords: Security features, Cloudways hosting, server-level backups, site cloning, CDN integration, OS-level firewalls; 2FA authentication; Let’s Encrypt Wildcard SSL certificate; auto-healing servers; regular OS patches
Cloudways Performance Tests
We conducted performance tests on Cloudways using WebPageTest and Load Focus, analyzing the testing environment and methodology to determine fast load times and response times.
Testing Environment And Methodology
To ensure that our Cloudways review is comprehensive and accurate, we tested the platform in a controlled environment with a WordPress website and custom theme. We conducted performance tests on various cloud hosting providers offered by Cloudways using tools like GTmetrix, Pingdom, and WebPageTest.
Our focus was on evaluating speed and performance based on page load time, server response time, and TTFB. Through our tests, we found that Cloudways’ ThunderStack technology significantly improves website speed and performance.
Additionally, we evaluated security features such as two-factor authentication, regular OS patches, firewalls, and auto-healing servers to gauge how well they protect user data.
Results And Analysis
Cloudways performed exceptionally well in our performance tests, showcasing its ability to handle high traffic volumes and scale server resources seamlessly.
Using tools like WebPageTest and Load Focus, we tested Cloudways’ speed, uptime, TTFB (Time to First Byte), and CPU usage under varying website loads.
Notably, DigitalOcean servers on Cloudways were able to score 100% on the Pagespeed insights report as they come with pre-installed PHP-FPM (PHP FastCGI Process Manager) setting by default.
Additionally, using the Breeze caching plugin helped achieve even faster loading speeds for WordPress websites.
Cloudways provides a seamless user experience with its custom dashboard and one-click WordPress hosting.
Ease Of Use
Cloudways offers a user-friendly experience, making it an excellent option for those seeking an affordable and straightforward solution.
With its custom dashboard, users can easily launch servers and install applications like WordPress with just one click. Additionally, managing server details such as monitoring resources, vertical scaling, backups, and SMTP for transactional emails is made simple through Cloudways’ intuitive interface.
This ease of use makes Cloudways ideal for small business owners who want to manage their hosting platform with little technical expertise or web developers in need of flexible options.
One-click WordPress Hosting
Cloudways offers one-click WordPress hosting, giving users the ability to install WordPress quickly and easily. This feature allows individuals and small business owners seeking affordable, user-friendly solutions to get started with their website in no time.
Web developers and designers needing flexible, feature-rich options can also benefit from this feature since it saves them time on manual installs. E-commerce businesses requiring secure, high-traffic handling capabilities will appreciate Cloudways’ optimized servers for WooCommerce.
Digital agencies managing multiple client sites can make use of the site cloning feature that simplifies site management while maintaining a consistent workflow across different sites.
High-traffic websites needing fast, scalable resources will experience seamless server scaling without any downtime or loss of data during traffic spikes.
Control Panel And Account Management
Managing a cloud hosting account can be daunting without an intuitive control panel. Fortunately, Cloudways offers a custom dashboard for managing servers and applications that is user-friendly and easy to navigate.
The interface allows users to manage server details, monitor resources, backups, and SMTP for transactional emails all in one place.
For teams working on multiple projects or clients’ sites, Cloudways provides account management features that ensure better workflow management. With team collaboration features like different access levels based on roles, it’s easier than ever before to coordinate work across distributed teams effectively.
This centralized approach makes client communication simpler since all parties have access to the same information about project status updates or any issues that arise during development.
Cloudways support is available 24/7 through live chat, but its limitations should be noted.
Live Chat Experience
Cloudways offers live chat support as one of their 24/7/365 support options, making it easy for users to get quick and helpful assistance. The support team is knowledgeable and provides prompt responses to queries and issues raised by users.
This is particularly beneficial for individuals and small business owners seeking affordable, user-friendly solutions or web developers needing flexible, feature-rich options.
For e-commerce businesses requiring secure, high-traffic handling capabilities or digital agencies managing multiple client sites, the responsive live chat experience offered by Cloudways ensures that any concerns are addressed in a timely manner.
Additionally, high-traffic websites needing fast, scalable resources can benefit from this feature as they require reliable server management expertise readily available at all times.
Cloudways support is limited to hosting server and platform-related issues, and does not cover applications like WordPress. Premium support is available for advanced application support at an additional cost.
This means that users who require more advanced assistance with their WordPress sites may need to pay extra for access to expert help. While Cloudways offers helpful live chat support, it may still not be the best fit for total beginners due to its slightly more complicated setup compared to traditional hosting.
Pricing And Plans
Cloudways offers a pay-as-you-go system, with pricing varying depending on the chosen cloud hosting provider and server resources, making it an affordable choice for individuals and small businesses looking for flexible options.
Cloudways’ pay-as-you-go system is a great feature for individuals and small business owners seeking affordable, user-friendly solutions.
With this system, users only pay for the resources they use on an hourly basis, allowing them to easily track and manage their expenses. This is especially beneficial for businesses with fluctuating traffic or seasonal spikes in demand, as they can scale up or down their server resources depending on their needs.
Comparison With Competitors
Comparing Cloudways to its competitors is essential in understanding its position in the market and how it caters to different users’ needs. The following table provides a side-by-side comparison of Cloudways with Hostinger, ScalaHosting, and WP Engine, highlighting their key features, performance, and pricing.
|Hosting Provider||Key Features||Performance||Pricing|
|Cloudways||– One-click WordPress installation|
– Flexibility and customization
– Security features
– Pay-as-you-go system
|– Exceptional speed (median load time under 0.5 seconds)|
– High uptime
|– Plans range from $11.00 to $183|
|Hostinger||– Easy-to-use website builder|
– LSCache plugin
– Automatic daily backups
|– Good speed|
– Reliable uptime
|– Plans range from $1.39 to $3.99|
|ScalaHosting||– Managed & unmanaged VPS options|
– Free domain
– SPanel control panel
|– Fast speed|
– High uptime
|– Plans range from $3.95 to $41.95|
|WP Engine||– WordPress-specific hosting|
– Advanced caching technologies
– Built-in CDN
|– Exceptional speed|
– High uptime
|– Plans range from $30 to $290|
While Cloudways stands out for its flexibility, customization, and exceptional speed, its competitors offer their unique features and pricing structures. Depending on the user’s needs, each provider caters to specific requirements, making the hosting landscape diverse and competitive.
Pros Of Cloudways
Cloudways offers high performance and affordability with unlimited websites and applications. Additionally, features like advanced security and caching options, self-healing servers, server resource monitoring, and scalability make it an excellent choice for businesses of all sizes.
High Performance And Affordability
Cloudways offers an exceptional balance of high performance and affordability, making it a great option for individuals and small business owners seeking cost-effective hosting solutions.
Furthermore, Cloudways’ use of top-tier cloud providers like DigitalOcean, Vultr, and AWS ensures that your website runs smoothly with fast server response times and minimal downtime.
This makes it ideal for tech-savvy users seeking full server control and customization as well as e-commerce businesses requiring secure, high-traffic handling capabilities.
Unlimited Websites And Applications
One of the standout features of Cloudways is its ability to host unlimited websites and applications on all its cloud hosting plans, making it an attractive option for small business owners seeking affordable solutions.
This means that you can host multiple websites or web applications under a single account, streamlining your hosting management and reducing costs.
For web developers and designers needing flexible options, this feature allows them to easily manage their clients’ websites without having to set up separate accounts for each client.
E-commerce businesses requiring secure, high-traffic handling capabilities will appreciate the ability to scale resources as needed while keeping all sites under one roof.
Digital agencies managing multiple client sites can save time and effort by using Cloudways’ pay-as-you-go system with no contracts or long-term commitments.
Security And Caching Features
Cloudways takes website security very seriously and has implemented several features to ensure that their customers’ websites remain safe from potential threats. Regular OS patches, two-factor authentication, firewalls, and bot protection are just a few of the security measures in place.
Furthermore, Cloudways provides multiple caching layers to improve website performance while reducing server load. Nginx, Varnish, and Memcached are among the available caching options for better speed optimization.
In addition to these caching mechanisms, users can also leverage Breeze – a WordPress performance plugin available on Cloudways – which helps optimize website speed further using advanced cache controls and database optimization techniques.
One of Cloudways’ standout features is its self-healing servers. These servers automatically detect and resolve any issues that may arise, without requiring manual intervention from the user.
This means increased uptime and reliability for your website or application, particularly useful for high-traffic eCommerce sites that require constant availability.
Overall, self-healing servers are a valuable selling point for users seeking an affordable yet feature-rich hosting solution with added convenience and peace of mind.
Server Resource Monitoring
Cloudways offers granular monitoring of server resources, traffic, IP and URL requests, PHP usage, and status codes. Optimizing server resource monitoring is crucial for optimal performance.
Cloudways allows users to easily configure Varnish rules and increase PHP-FPM memory limit for improved speed. Moreover, Cloudways provides a comprehensive cache system with options such as Memcache, Varnish, and Redis to ensure better caching management.
If you’re running a website that requires consistent uptime and fast load times like e-commerce businesses or high-traffic websites, Cloudways’ robust server resource monitoring tools make it easier to keep your site running smoothly while also providing more control over configuration settings for power users.
One of the top advantages of Cloudways’ cloud hosting is its flexibility and scalability features. Users can easily scale server resources up or down, making it an ideal option for businesses expecting rapid growth.
With Cloudways, users have the freedom to choose from a range of cloud providers and plans that best suit their scaling needs. Additionally, with self-healing servers that automatically restart in case of any scalability issues, businesses can rest assured that they won’t face significant downtime during periods of high traffic or demand.
The built-in content delivery network (CDN) allows faster content delivery across different regions by caching copies on multiple servers globally improving website performance with minimal latency issues when serving visitors from distant locations enabling high-traffic websites needing fast scalable resources.
Moreover, account management tools enable team members to segregate roles seamlessly based on access levels creating easy management opportunities while ensuring there are no overlapping responsibilities allowing digital agencies managing multiple client sites ample time/resources on each project without overstretching their workforce capacity.
Cons Of Cloudways
Support could be improved, offsite backups are chargeable, CDN is not free, and email is only available through an add-on.
Support Could Be Improved
While Cloudways offers a highly configurable and affordable cloud hosting solution, their support could be improved. The live chat experience is generally positive, but the helpfulness of the agents can vary.
Additionally, while Cloudways provides excellent server and platform-related support, they do not provide official application support for popular platforms like WordPress.
This may require users to seek further assistance through forums or third-party sources. However, premium support is available at an additional cost for those who require advanced application-specific troubleshooting or consultation services.
Offsite Backups Are Chargeable
One of the cons of Cloudways is that offsite backups are chargeable, unlike some web hosting providers who offer this service for free. However, Cloudways offers automatic server-level backups and on-demand single-site backups at an additional cost.
This means individuals and small business owners seeking affordable options may want to consider this extra cost when weighing their hosting options. On the other hand, web developers and designers needing flexible, feature-rich options can benefit from Cloudways’ granular control over server-level backups, allowing them to choose when and how often backups run according to their needs.
E-commerce businesses requiring secure handling capabilities will appreciate the additional security offered by these backup features as well as built-in firewalls and two-factor authentication.
CDN Is Not Free
One of the downsides of Cloudways is that their CDN (content delivery network) service comes at an additional cost. While this may be a drawback for some users on a tight budget, it’s worth noting that not all websites require a CDN to function properly.
For example, Cloudways offers high-performance hosting services through multiple cloud infrastructure providers such as Digital Ocean, Amazon AWS, and Google Cloud Platform.
They also specialize in WordPress hosting with easy installation options and free migrations. Plus, they provide advanced security features like two-factor authentication and auto-healing servers to ensure maximum safety for your website or application.
Email Only Available Through An Add-on
Cloudways does not provide email hosting by default, which means users will have to opt for a paid add-on service. Although this may seem like an inconvenience, the setup process is straightforward and can be completed in just a few steps.
However, it’s worth noting that Cloudways recommends using third-party email services for better delivery rates and spam protection. If you encounter any issues with configuring your email add-ons, Cloudways provides support to help resolve them quickly.
It’s important to keep in mind that while the email add-on is available on all cloud providers except Vultr; external SMTP servers can still be used for sending emails from your domain if necessary.
If you’re curious about other options in the hosting space, we’ll be discussing some of Cloudways’ top competitors like Hostinger, ScalaHosting, and WP Engine to help you make a more informed decision.
One of the alternatives to Cloudways is Hostinger, which offers affordable shared and cloud hosting plans suitable for individuals and small business owners.
Hostinger also boasts a user-friendly interface with an easy-to-use control panel, making it a good option for beginners. The platform provides flexibility when choosing between different levels of service, including WordPress-specific plans and VPS hosting for greater control over server settings.
Its security features are robust enough to protect websites from common threats such as DDoS attacks and malware.
When it comes to Cloudways alternatives, ScalaHosting is certainly a strong contender. With its affordable pricing plans, free domain names, and fast loading times, this hosting provider has carved out a niche for itself in the market.
One key advantage of ScalaHosting is that it offers managed cloud VPS hosting solutions that come with full root access and advanced security features.
In terms of performance optimization, ScalaHosting also offers LiteSpeed web servers, which are known for being faster than Apache or Nginx servers. Additionally, the company provides users with CyberPanel – an intuitive control panel that enables easy server management and application installation.
For businesses handling sensitive data or high-traffic websites, ScalaHosting’s automatic backups and advanced security measures provide peace of mind knowing that their website will always be up-to-date and protected from threats.
WP Engine is a managed WordPress hosting provider that offers premium features and customer support. It’s a great solution for users who want a hassle-free experience with their website, as WP Engine handles everything from server management to security updates.
This means that individuals, small businesses, and e-commerce sites can focus on creating quality content without worrying about the technical side of things. However, compared to Cloudways, WP Engine can be more expensive.
If you’re looking for a cloud hosting platform that offers high performance and flexibility at an affordable price, Cloudways is an excellent choice. While there are some limitations with support and additional charges for offsite backups and CDN, the pros far outweigh the cons.
With unlimited website hosting, self-healing servers, server monitoring features, and scalability options, Cloudways provides everything you need to manage your web applications efficiently.
Final Thoughts And Recommendations
In conclusion, Cloudways is a solid option for individuals and small business owners seeking affordable cloud hosting solutions. It’s also an excellent choice for developers looking for flexible, feature-rich options to customize their server settings in real-time.
That being said, if you’re expecting the support to assist with non-server-related requests or need a simple website builder tool, Cloudways might not be the best fit.
Overall we recommend exploring other hosting options on our related posts discussing affordable web hosting providers; however, if you’re willing to invest some time configuring your setup and value excellent performance-to-price ratio as well as full control of your server environment – then you should definitely give it a try!