Cloudways Hosting Review: As Good as Managed Cloud Hosting Gets?
More and more businesses need web hosts that can cater to the needs of their websites without any lapses in service. Stellar cloud hosting is the need of the hour.
Cloudways stands out from the competition with its easy setup, near-perfect uptime, support for multiple platforms, and cost-effective pay-as-you-go plans.
However, like all web hosts, Cloudways has its pitfalls – like the lack of domain registration and email.
I will review Cloudways to determine who it is right for and if its services are worth the money.
The Problem with Most Hosting Companies
The web hosting industry is getting increasingly crowded – with over 330,000 hosting providers worldwide – and one would think the increased competition pushes companies to provide more features at better prices.
However, there’s a considerable lapse between customer expectations and the reality of contemporary web hosts. Managed hosting solutions are barely managed at all.
Opting for a managing hosting solution, you would expect stellar performance, fortified security, and zero downtime.
But customers don’t get much other than the increased bandwidth, some basic optimization, and persistent backups. The latter of which can be achieved with relative ease using WordPress plugins.
More often than not, customers are left to deal with poor security, slow performance, lack of PCI compliance, and an inadequate tech stack.
The high cost and absence of scalability pressures customers to hire a WordPress expert that can help make the most of the managed hosting making managed hosting more expensive rather than more affordable.
Cloudways – An Interesting Solution to An Age-Old Problem
Google Cloud, AWS, and DigitalOcean are amongst the top cloud providers in the industry; they offer excellent performance.
However, there is a pitfall that circumvents many website owners from using these services to host their websites; they are unmanaged. Even getting started on one of these cloud platforms requires a ton of tech skills.
In my experience with Cloudways, it bridges this gap perfectly.
However, the way it works is a little unconventional. Rather than providing the hosting directly, Cloudways helps you set up your website’s hosting with a high-performing cloud back-end (of your choice).
You don’t have to avail of the cloud hosting services separately and set them up to work together. The hosting is included in their plans.
You get the benefits of managed hosting for only a minuscule increase in price. Not to mention, it removes the need for tech skills to manage your cloud hosting.
The Cloudways Advantage
Reviewing Cloudways, I found it to offer a host of practicable features that not only improve the overall managed hosting experience, but also prove to be cost-effective alternatives to existing solutions.
Hyper Optimized Hosting at A Fraction of The Cost
Top hosting providers such as Bluehost and A2 Hosting provide managed hosting for upwards of $24 a month.
Cloudways supplies the same services for as little as $10 – a fraction of what you would otherwise need to pay.
Unlike other managed hosting providers, Cloudways does not have a lock-in period. You can freely use their services without being tied up in a contract.
If you do not use your server throughout the month and only use it for a few hours, you will only be charged for the number of active hours.
Easy to Scale Up Server Without Technical Help
Scaling involves two elements: server size, which is the CPU and RAM of your server collectively, and server storage, which is the volume of space your server has.
Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud allow flexible scaling meaning you can scale server size up or down as you see fit. You can also increase or decrease the size of your server’s disk (storage) independent of your server’s size.
On the other hand, DigitalOcean, Vultr, and Linode require you to scale up your entire server – the CPU, RAM, and storage – all together. Scaling is not flexible.
Also, you must keep in mind that scaling is permanent with these three hosts. You cannot downscale once you’ve scaled up.
You can check your current server size and storage by clicking on the Servers button on the top bar on Cloudways.
Scaling your server’s size is also easy. All you need to do is click on the Vertical Scaling link under Server Management. Next, select Server Size, choose your new server size, and click on the Scale Server button.
The applications on your server will be down for a few minutes when you scale the server. You must also keep in mind that the process of scaling differs slightly from host to host.
If you want to change the disk’s size, you can go to the Disk Size For Application tab and make the adjustments there.
You can confirm your changes by checking the top menu bar.
Cloudways makes monitoring your server’s usage and also the application-wise usage easy. You can get an overview of the server’s usage under the Summary tab under the Monitoring section in the Application Management menu.
Finding an individual application’s usage statistics is as simple as expanding the Application Wise Details menu and clicking on the application. Cloudways offers a host of metrics that can supply a lot of insight into your web applications.
The Details tab displays the connection stats of your website via an interactive graph.
Install Multiple Applications on A Single Server
Installing additional applications on Cloudways is super simple. All you have to do is navigate to the Applications tab from the top bar, toggle the mode to Applications, and click on the Add Application button.
After you add the required details, the application will appear in the Applications section of Cloudways.
One-Click CDN Activation at A Per-Use-Pricing
You can enable the CloudwaysCDN for individual applications by navigating to the Application Management settings for the application and hitting the Create button under the Cloudways CDN section.
Configuring setup will not take more than a few minutes. The CDN service is affordable, and you pay for it on a per-use basis.
Dedicated Hosting at Shared Hosting Prices
In addition to getting the features of dedicated hosting at prices equivalent to that of competing hosts’ shared hosting plans, you also get the flexibility of scaling and installing multiple applications on a single server without comprising on performance.
Expert Environment Setup with Advanced Caching Modes
In addition to cache purging, Gzip compression, and minification features, Cloudways’ Breeze plugin also gives you access to advanced options that enable file grouping and deferring JS loading.
All of Cloudways’ servers are HTTP/2 optimized, fortifying your website’s security.
Every Cloudways server comes loaded with a firewall that blocks all unnecessary ports. It only allows access to ports that are required by applications to run.
Which Providers Does Cloudways Support?
One of the best parts of my experience with Cloudways is hosting flexibility. You can pick from five of the most trusted infrastructure-as-a-service solutions in the industry, depending on your budget and requirements.
DigitalOcean has data centers in eight countries, and they have the most affordable plans out of all the five platforms.
The solution is known to serve developers and small applications better than larger, more scalable applications. Cloudways takes care of this lapse and makes it apt for use by beginners and advanced users alike.
Linode is slightly more expensive than DigitalOcean, but it has data centers in 11 countries, making it worth the extra cost.
The solution is best known for its high-quality hardware which further fortifies Cloudways’ implementation.
Vultr impresses with its superior spread of data centers that covers four continents and its low pricing.
It’s best known for its 100% SSD storage and robust cloud infrastructure, and Cloudways takes excellent advantage of both these traits.
Amazon Web Services has an excellent reputation in the industry, but the complexities of its infrastructure often drive away beginners.
Cloudways makes full use of its services and bridges the gap between the user and the infrastructure perfectly making it so that anyone can make full use of their platform.
Google Cloud boasts both. Excellent performance and broad geographic coverage, which fortifies its reputation as a first-rate cloud infrastructure provider.
Since Cloudways harnesses its strengths perfectly, the two services combined make for a near-flawless managed web hosting experience.
Which CMS/Tech Does Cloudways Support?
Another characteristic I found impressive during my review of Cloudways is the support for several CMS and eCommerce solutions.
Launching a WordPress website is simple and quick with Cloudways. No wonder it is trusted by 100,000+ agencies, SMBs, and individuals.
If you already have a WordPress website, you can have it migrated to Cloudways for free. Cloudways also offers the WordPress migrator tool that enables you to migrate as many sites as you please free of charge.
The free WordPress cache plugin, 24/7 monitoring capabilities, automated backups, and staging areas all make your website faster, more secure, and a lot more flexible.
Cloudways helps run over 80,000 online stores, which is not surprising because it is cheap, fast, secure, and scalable.
The intuitive platform enables you to create a WooCommerce app in minutes, and the powerful stack ensures that your store comes equipped with the latest tools and software required for optimal performance.
Cloudways boasts a stack optimized for M1 and M2, enabling the platform to deliver up to ten times faster store performance.
The optimization also helps with your eCommerce site’s security and scalability.
Cloudways enables you to deploy major PHP applications in one click, shortening setup time and making building a web application more convenient.
In addition to making installation effortless, it also supports PHP frameworks like CakePHP and CodeIgniter.
Laravel (PHP framework)
Laravel can be installed in one click, and Cloudways improves Laravel app performance with its pre-configured optimization tools, including PHP-FPM, Supervisord, and also Redis, among others.
Cloudways’ stack comprises of Apache, Nginx, PHP–FPM, and MySQL/MariaDB, boosting your Joomla site’s speed and making for faster processing.
Cloudways makes building your WordPress shop super easy with its class-leading performance, ironclad security, and intuitive workflows that make collaborating simple.
Analyzing Cloudways’ Performance
In my experience, Cloudways’ performance has been amazing right from the beginning. I had no trouble setting apps up, and getting a website up and running was easy.
Even if one server goes down in Cloudways’ cloud cluster, another takes its place which explains the zero downtime.
At one point, the server was overwhelmed with traffic which I learned about when I received an email notification. The server self-healed, resolving all the issues caused by the crash. I didn’t need to intervene at all!
I find the fact that I can check real-time server resource use inside the admin area very handy, and the fact that Cloudways is transparent about outages and other issues is reassuring.
They keep you posted about every outage and update the status site when the issue is resolved with the resolution time never spanning more than a few hours.
Cloudways works with five different hosting platforms: DigitalOcean, Linode, Vultr, Amazon Web Services, and Google Cloud.
Each platform has four plan tiers and each plan offers different combinations of storage, size, and bandwidth.
The DigitalOcean plans are the most affordable, with the lowest tier coming in at $10 a month. The plan provides you with a server with 1GB of RAM, 1 CPU core, 25GB of storage, and 1TB bandwidth.
AWS plans are the most expensive, with the lowest tier coming in at $36.51/month, and the highest tier costing $274.33/month.
Reviewing Cloudways, I recommend this service to anybody without hesitating. Not only are its servers flexible and scalable, but also its plans are suitable for both individuals and agencies.
If you’re looking for a host that virtually never fails, require a scaling-friendly web host, or are looking for a solution that can host multiple web applications with ease, Cloudways may be perfect for you.