Out of the thousands of web hosting platforms, why should you go for Cloudways? Gone are the days of traditional web hosting. New technology is helping companies expand and offer new methods of web hosting services. One such company that stands out in the features they offer to clients is Cloudways.
Cloud hosting is a fairly new method of web hosting and it’s why we need to go through a detailed review of Cloudways. Cloud hosting is generally the best option when it comes to scaling to the traffic required, but as mentioned above, it’s a new technology in the web hosting industry.
We’ll review Cloudways using this criteria:
- Customer support
- Packages and Pricing
Who Are Cloudways?
It is a fairly well-established managed cloud hosting platform through which businesses, individuals and teams can host and manage their web applications. Cloudways launched in 2009 and has its headquarters in Malta. When specifically talking about cloud-based managed WordPress hosting, it is one of the very few companies that strike a perfect balance between functionality and price. The main mission is to let the customers concentrate on running their business successfully without worrying about any hosting issues. They have launched more than 12,000+ servers worldwide. Along with this, they have also launched 25,000 web applications.
Sure, all cloud hosting companies provide the same services. But, there are some features that Cloudways provides that make it one of the best cloud hosting providers around. The most striking feature is that it lets you set up and host an entire website without even paying! Yes, this is true. You can take up to 3 days to try out Cloudways and then decide if you want to go ahead and buy a plan or not. This is the level of confidence they have about their services.
What Is Managed WordPress Hosting?
Undoubtedly, managed WordPress hosting is the new buzz word in town. When we talk about it, we mean that multiple copies of the content will be duplicated. This will be done through the data center you choose. Moreover, the entire switching process is done through a very complex algorithm. If there is some glitch and your server breaks down, your website does not go down. A copy of the website is loaded through the next server it was saved on. Thus, leading to higher performance and higher service reliability.
Now, let’s throw light on the pros and cons along with the features of Cloudways.
- Simple to set up
- Excellent customer support
- Server customization
- High-speed servers
- Amazing uptime
- 3-day free trial
- Option of site-cloning
- Pay on the go plans
- Flexible account tiers
- Dedicated firewall for protection
- One-click installations
- Automatic site backup
- Extra costs
- No option to register your domain
Like all the other companies, Cloudways servers provide different amounts of the following in different plans:
- Storage Space
High-Speed Performance and Website Uptime
Undoubtedly, the most important feature of a hosting service is the performance of the website. But, what use is having the coolest website on the internet if your users and you keep facing downtime? If your website is down most of the time, how your customers access the information or any product/service you are offering. Not only is it a loss to them, but a huge blow to you. They will not be coming back if they have experienced any downtime with you. This is why uptime is of immense importance. To check this, we used a special tool for monitoring our website uptime. After every 15-mins, the software pings the website and sees if it responds or not. If it is unable to make contact with the application/website, it sends an email. Surprisingly, we didn’t get a single email even. We continued this for 1-month. Therefore, through personal experience, we can say that it provides excellent uptime.
Performance depends on many things. The following features raise the bar when it comes to the performance of Cloudways servers.
Overall, when we tested Cloudways, the performance met the ‘fast’ standard, as well as many other users that have verified Cloudways’ great performance, uptime, and overall quality of service.
Is Cloudways Hard To Setup?
Unlike its competitors, Cloudway allows you to build your website for free. Yes, that is exactly what I said; Free. With the help of the already mentioned 3-day free trial, you can sign up to make an account. Better yet, log in using LinkedIn, Github, or Google credentials. That is even better, isn’t it? Once that is done (remember we are still getting all this free), you can select from one of the following CMS (Content Management Systems):
- Media Wiki
- PHP Stack
Wow, that is some list. And, it does not end here. You can further select a server and build your site atop of them. These include:
- Amazon Web Services
- Google Computer Engine
- Google Cloud Platform
- Digital Ocean
Again, you can pick from any server location worldwide. The hack here is to select a local server. If that option is not available, look for the nearest one. This will ensure the lowest rate of latency.
How To Launch Your Website
First of all, you need to select a hosting plan. You can choose from Google Cloud, AWS, VULTR, Linode, and Digital Ocean. All of these plans come with a different price tag and different RAM, Storage, Bandwidth, and Processor.
Cloudways manages your site over a number of different servers. This means that it has to leverage resources amongst a cluster of servers to give a balance to a load of your website. It offers a pay-as-you-go package. Along with this, you get an hourly package in which you simply pay for the exact time you have used it. Even if you decide to cancel a plan and have used it only for 15 days, you will only be charged for 15 days, not the entire month. Lastly, there are monthly plans. These are charged on a monthly basis just like the traditional plans.
The monthly plans begin from $10 and can reach a maximum of $1,035. The main difference between these plans is the number of features being offered. Let’s take a look at the comparison between the features being offered in both these plans. Just like this, all other plans offer different functions at a different price.
If you opt to go for some of the most expensive plans of Cloudways, you can easily see how those plans come on par with the SMB-friendly Liquid Web. Amazing, isn’t it? Lastly, the option of hourly billing starts from a mere $0.01 and can go up to $1.43. This is because the more the features, the higher the price! So, all that is needed is that you see which plan fits your criteria and needs and select that one.
Issues You Can Face
One of the issues you can face when opting for this server is that it does not offer you domain registration. Yes, that’s a bummer alright! But, that is not the end of the world. You can easily get a domain from any third party like NameCheap or other sellers in the market. There is another glitch related to the URL. Cloudways has a very uniquely designed back end. For a newbie, it can get really tiring trying to connect the dots. Even though I made the connection pretty quickly, people will surely face a little problem while making sense out of it. This results in the interface becoming a little complicated and can mess things up for Cloudways.
Another issue or con as you can say is the email offering system. You will get zero email account options. Even though they do offer it separately for a fee, it is not free. That came as a surprise because almost all web host providers do give some sort of email account for free. On the other hand, they have collaborated with RackSpace and offer an email account for $1 per account/ month. Even though it does not seem much, it can prove costly for many people.
Starting with Cloudways
Once you have decided which plan to go for, the work becomes easier from here on. Building a site is not a complicated matter and can take only up to a few minutes. We went with WordPress to see how things turned out. It took almost 6.5 minutes to create a server. Impressive, isn’t it?
After selecting WordPress, you need to configure the server according to your needs. There is a slider present on the page. Through this, you can choose the number of views you expect to have on your page/website. Of course, this does not need to be exact. Actually, it is impossible to quote an exact figure here. Just type in a rough estimate.
With this information, Cloudways recommends a server size. It is up to you to go with the recommended one or set your server specifications. This is done by customizing the storage, RAM, processor size and bandwidth you require. Finally, you will be asked to select the server location. Choosing a local one or the nearest one will ensure the site does not face any lag issues.
After the configuration process, you only need to go to the “application management tab” and choose the installation you require. For WordPress in particular, there are the following 3 installations to choose from:
- WordPress with WooCommerce hosting
- Standard hosting for WordPress
These few steps are all it takes to set up your website. You get an option of monitoring the different applications that are being hosted on your server. There are two ways you can do this. One is through “Analytics” and the other is “Logs”. Analytics shows your traffic information, Disk usage, MYSQL requests and PHP requests. On the other hand, Logs have all the information about the error and access log of your website. You can easily log in and tweak how your website/application looks like. Sure, for us, setting up was a trouble-free and delightful experience.
There are so many features offered. For example, for this particular WordPress installation, you get auto-updating CMS. Because of this, you don’t need to go ahead and save everything you do. Cloudways has you covered. It has automatic updates to save your data as you work. Moreover, the option of one-click cloning is unique and very useful. Now, creating duplicates of your applications and servers is no longer a hassle.
As if this was not enough, you can also test different elements of your website without even putting them out on the market. This process is known as staging is one of the reasons why Cloudways is so popular. So, you don’t need to place everything live on the website and see how it works out. You can check that before also.
Dedicated Resources: There is no concept of shared hosting. Instead, all the servers you launch from here have separate, dedicated resources.
High-end Servers: All the servers are PHP 7.3. These are top-class, fast and reliable servers. Hence, the high-performance quotient of Cloudways
Auto-Healing Restart: It goes without saying that technical glitches do occur. But, Cloudways has you covered with the auto-healing option. Now, you don’t need to worry when the website crashes, it will automatically be resolved and back to the original without any hassle.
SSD-Based Hosting: This ensures that the page load time is reduced manifold. Not only this, it is 3 times faster. Hence, translates into the excellent performance of your website/application
Built-In cache: Even the cache has been optimized. There is an optimized stack which has ready to use caches to ensure expedited response times. These include options like Varnish, Redis, Nginx, and Memcached.
Along with these, there are many other features that Cloudways provides to ensure the user gets an optimum performance level.
A major and often overlooked feature of any web host is the security it provides to the clients. You can easily access any platform from the e-commerce library it has. With the help of it, you can establish your store within a few minutes. All you need to do is to drag and drop different website elements you require and tada! The store is up!
But, how do we keep our website/store/application safe from malicious malware and viruses? Yet again, Cloudways has already thought of that. All the different installations are protected by firmware and OS upgrades. Also, the host offers SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificates that are essential to selling any plan. Apart from this, you get DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) and SPF (Sender Policy Framework) for added security
You get 24/7/365 support from customer service. But, to speak to a human, you need to fill in a form and wait for a Skype call or phone call. Other ways in which you can contact them are through:
- Online ticketing
- Phone access
- Enhanced SLA’s
The easiest and fast way to speak to a representative is through webchat option. The response time if fairly quick and you don’t need to wait more than a minute to be answered. Above all, the staff is very courteous and knowledgeable. Overall, we would rate it a solid 9.5/10. I took 0.5 because, well, no one is perfect, is it?
Usually, companies have a 30-day, 45-day or 60-day, money-back guarantee. But, Cloudways has such a detailed refund policy that you need to check it yourself to understand it. It did take me quite some time.
How Fast is Cloudways?
Comparing Cloudways to both SiteGround and HostGator, Cloudways produces about 2x-3x the lead-times that both of the other hosts provide. The site almost loads instantly, using the most up to date PHP and MariaDB ensures that Cloudways is very fast.
Is Cloudways Expensive?
Cloudways is paid in monthly amounts and is slightly more expensive than some of the other hosts, but the plans are highly customizable and have plenty of options.
How Does Cloudways Work?
Cloudways is pretty much a middle man of a variety of the biggest hosts like AWS, GCP and Vultur, Cloudways manages all of this for you, if you have enough time to manage a cloud server then you can go directly to the cloud host.
Is Cloudways Good?
In our eyes, and many others, Cloudways is beyond good. They’re extremely fast and many other website admins have provided evidence to significant improvement once migrating to Cloudways from popular web hosts like SiteGround and HostGator.
Cloudways Review Roundup
The bottom line is that Cloudways has a lot going on. Best of all, I like all of it. With fast and quick service, fast setup, flexible and easy to pay plans, amazing uptime, and one of the best customer support I have seen in the last few years, it gets a thumbs up from our side.
Also, the fact that it is a well-established company, I can totally count on it to keep my apps/site up and running. Therefore, if you are looking for an excellent server, which gives high performance at a reasonable price, give Cloudway a chance. Who knows you might get exactly what you are looking for. After all, it is one of the best and who does not want to go with the best. So, what are you waiting for? Get your server today and thank us later!