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Cloudways Hosting Review (2022) - From An Agency - Speed, Value and Price

By James LePage
 on January 17, 2022

Cloudways Hosting Review (2022) - From An Agency - Speed, Value and Price

By James LePage
 on January 17, 2022

In this hosting review, we're going to take a look at the Cloudways hosting platform. Cloudways is based on the same cloud services as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud Platform (GCP), providing the speed, reliability and scalability that you would expect from a major public cloud provider. They offer a wide range of applications for your website/business, including Magento 2 ecommerce hosting, Laravel, PHP, WordPress and WooCommerce hosting.

Cloudways hosting review

We'll take a look at the features they offer, support, pricing and speed of their servers. In addition to this, we'll put some of these services through a load test to check out just how strong their infrastructure is.

Our agency hosts many client websites using Cloudways and have been a customer of theirs since 2018. We have a sense of the market and have used many platforms over the last few years. So we know what to look for in a host.

Use our Agency Discount on Cloudways with the coupon code ISOTROPIC when you sign up.

Overview

The company offers a management platform alongside dedicated support that makes it easy to host a website or webapp on your choice of 5 hosting providers. They sit on top of existing infrastructure, making it easy to spin up a new hosting server and manage it through their systems.

Features

Cloudways offers a wide range of features, which we'll take a look at below:

- Choice of 5 hosting providers: AWS, Google Cloud Platform, DigitalOcean, Linode, Vultr

You can choose the server location via the control panel. And as it's a cloud hosting provider, you essentially have a dedicated server that's infinitely scalable. Each server has a dedicated ip address. These servers come standard with server level backups, and you can ad as many as you'd like.

5 server choices for Cloudways

More: Breaking Down Cloudway's Five Server Choices For WordPress Hosting

- 1-click installation of Magento 2, PHP, WordPress, WooCommerce and other applications

You can install WordPress or any other app multiple times on the same server.

- 24/7 support via chat, phone and ticket system

Many users choose Cloudways as a managed WordPress hosting platform, but there's one click WooCommerce, Magento and more. We've hosted a ton of PHP apps (like 66Analytics) with this web host as well as it makes server management easy and simple.

- Free Object Cache Pro

A new addition in 2022, Object Cache Pro

wordpress object cache from Cloudways

Vertical Scaling

Cloud hosts (like Cloudways) are able to increase the amount of power your server has on demand. So if you're having a heavy load day, they can temporarily allocate additional servers for your account. This ensures that you will always have enough resources for your project which is great if you are experiencing unexpected traffic bursts.

1 click application staging areas

This hosting platform allows you to test your app via a staging area, allowing you to preview how it will appear live without impacting the live version. This is great for testing new features or code changes before going live. This is default for all Cloudways servers, but isn't always the case with Managed Hosting.

Speed Optimization

Server speed is incredibly fast no matter which of the 5 cloud hosting providers you choose. And with Cloudways, you're essentially getting a dedicated server that's infinitely scalable. This makes it an ideal platform for hosting high-traffic websites and applications.

Any, if you're coming from shared hosting, any cloud server will seriously blow the previous performance out of the water. Small business owners are shocked when they make the switch. (see some performance stats here).

All hosting services are fast, but there are some premium ones available like Google Compute Engine.

Hosting and Website Security

The managed cloud hosting platform offers free SSL certificates to all of its users. This is a great feature, as it ensures that your data is always secure when traveling between your computer and their servers. The SSL certificate is from LetsEncrypt, but you can also install your own.

Cloudways also offers automated server backups, so you can rest assured that your data is always safe. This is a great feature, as it ensures that your data is always safe in the event of a disaster.

Migrations

Cloudways offers professional migrations for users who want to move their website or application to their platform. Professional migrations are a great feature, as they ensure that your data is always safe and secure during the migration process. In addition to this, professional migrations are a great way to get started with this cloud hosting provider quickly and easily.

free migrations and guidance

Read: How To Migrate To Cloudways

Team and Project Management

You can easily add team members to server resources or a WordPress site. This is great if you're an agency selling high performance hosting, white labeled through the Cloudways platform.

team members for hosting
Cloudways Team Management

Other Addons

Cloudways also offers a wide variety of other addons, which include:

- SMTP Provider (Elastic Email)

- Cache Addon (Varnish)

- PHP 7.2 Addon (included with all plans)

- MySQL 5.7 Addon

- Memcached Addon

- Redis Addon

Cloudways CDN

Cloudways manages a free CDN for their customers, which is a great feature. This will allow your website or application to load much faster globally. It's a special version of the Stackpath CDN which is industry leading.

What They Don't Offer

For this Cloudways review, it's also important to understand what they don't offer. the web host doesn't offer a VPS service, which may be a deal breaker for some users. Additionally, they don't offer a cPanel, which may make it difficult for some users to manage their websites and applications. You need to use the Cloudways control panel, which takes some getting used to but is relatively easy to use.

They do not have email hosting or domain registration. For domains specifically, you point it to your server's ip address, and assign it via the Cloudways dashboard to a single application. They are a hosting company - and when you work with these kind of enterprise level offerings, you'll find that this is quite standard.

Cloud hosting Vs Traditional Hosting

There's a difference between traditional hosting and cloud hosting, but what is it? Traditional hosting will vary - VPS hosting , dedicated servers, etc. Cloud hosting is your website and associated data stored on a virtual machine (VM) instead of a physical server.

Traditional hosting isn't good because it can't be scaled easily. If you need to add more resources, you have to buy a new server and move your website data manually. This can be time-consuming and difficult if you're not technically minded. Cloud hosting, on the other hand, is scalable - you can add more resources (CPU, memory, storage) with just a few clicks, and the provider will take care of all the details.

The main benefit of cloud hosting is the ability to quickly scale your infrastructure as required. This means that if you experience an influx of traffic or go viral on social media, you don't have to worry about your website going offline.

Cloud hosting also has the benefit of fault tolerance, meaning that if a physical server fails, you can quickly restore your services on another server. This means that there is no downtime and even zero latency.

vertical scaling in ram and storage
Easy vertical scaling

Cloudways is a cloud host, meaning that it's easy to scale resources when necessary (it takes just a few minutes), and you only get billed for what you use. They also are much cheaper than most hosting options and managed services out there, while offering a ton of storage space and unmetered bandwidth.

More: Bluehost VS Cloudways In 2022

Platform Ease Of Use

The platform design is quite simple and intuitive. All the features are on a single screen so you won't easily get lost trying to find a particular feature.

Platform package and settings manager
Server management screen for Cloudways

The platform is split up into 3 main categories: Servers (where you create, manage and monitor your servers) Applications (here you can see all the apps that work with Cloudways - CMS, Ecommerce, etc.) Account (where you can access billing and support).

App management from Cloudways
App management screen for Cloudways

It's easy to understand how everything works, and you can access advanced features like PHP.ini without even needing to make a FTP account or connect via SSH.

Cloudways Support & Service

The support that comes with Cloudways isn't bad - it's a pretty standard ticket-based support system. You won't find a knowledge base or any video tutorials, but their support team is responsive and helpful.

Cloudways support

They offer 24/7 support via email which you can use to submit a support request from the platform. They'll respond almost instantly. For most cases (especially if you're hosting a simple website as a local business or smaller company), that agent will be able to rapidly resolve your issue. The same goes for crisis situations. But for some more complex questions, they'll elevate to senior engineers, who may take a few hours to answer your questions.

On Cloudways, they'll also offer a pre-sales chat. This is useful for people who want to know more about how cloud hosting works and what it can do for them before spending money. There's also a community forum that dates back several years which Cloudways support is pretty active in.

You can also pay for Advanced Support, and engineers will integrate with your business via phone or Slack.

Hosting Uptime

Uptime is a measure of the percentage of time over a given period that a server is operational.

If you're looking for a host that guarantees 100% uptime, you're going to be disappointed - it's simply not possible. Even the most reliable hosts will experience downtime from time to time.

That said, Cloudways offers good uptime. I've been a customer for over two years and have never experienced an outage. In fact, I've only ever seen one Cloudways outage that affected all customers. That said, your mileage may vary depending on which provider you choose and where your server is hosted.

But, unlike traditional hosts and virtual private servers, a cloud hosting provider like Cloudways has many different servers running. If one fails, there's always another physical server that can take its place without any downtime. This is what makes cloud hosting so reliable.

Cloudways Pricing

Cloudways has a solid pricing model that's built around usage. This means you pay for what you need, and if your website experiences an influx of traffic or goes viral, you won't have to worry about paying overage fees. Pay as you go for hosting services is awesome for the users, especially if you have multiple servers.

The pricing is based on the top cloud providers that they work with. The cheapest DigitalOcean server starts at $10/mo. This includes everything - the security, speed optimization, and more.

You can also get free Cloudways hosting - there's a 3 day trial without needing to enter a credit card.

Cloudways Speed Testing

We did some serious speed testing and comparisons with Cloudways over the years:

  • WordPress loads in ~1.6 seconds on Cloudways DO Premium
  • WooCommerce loads in ~1.9 seconds on Cloudways Google (massive site always under load)

In this real world test with matching sites and no optimization, the speed index for shared hosting was 5.5s compared to the cloudways speed of 2.3s.

Cloudways speed test 1

For first meaningful paint, Cloudways Digitalocean was 142% faster compared to a shared host.

Cloudways speed test 2

Alternatives To Cloudways (Competitors)

The following are three noteworthy alternatives to Cloudways. They might not be the best hosting service for you, but they are definitely worth checking out if you are looking to host your website(s) on a cloud-based platform.

Kinsta - Kinsta was built specifically for WordPress websites. Their hosting is powered by Google Cloud Platform and comes with a free SSL certificate from Let's Encrypt.

WPEngine - WPEngine is a managed WordPress hosting service that has been in business for over a decade. It's built specifically to handle WordPress sites so you can't use it for other CMSs or static websites.

Pressidium - Pressidium is another good WordPress host that has all the features you'd expect from a premium hosting service. You can get started for free, but if you want to take advantage of everything Pressidium offers (such as dedicated IPs), it'll cost at least $50/mo.

You can also try other cloud hosting providers like Vultr, Digital Ocean, Amazon Web Services, Linode and Scaleway. But make sure you choose a reputable company that offers full-stack cloud hosting .

That said, Cloudways has earned its place in the market for providing high-quality cloud hosting service at affordable prices. It's great for small business owners who are looking for an easy but effective hosting solution that helps them focus on their business rather than managing hosting.

Cloudways Hosting Best Use Cases

If you're looking to host multiple websites on a single cloud hosting platform, you can't go wrong with Cloudways. With their managed servers and pre-installed apps (like WordPress), Cloudways is one of the best managed cloud hosting providers out there. A big bonus is that they also provide high availability by offering server clusters across different regions.

We have many types of clients on this web hosting - digital magazines, DTC WooCommerce brands and more. Each with dedicated servers as they are high traffic sites with serious website load. Also - many teams are not technical but can use the customer support without any issues. For us, this company is an extension of our team and manage services related to web hosting for us.

Conclusion

Cloudways is a great cloud hosting solution for people who want to improve the performance of their WordPress website(s) without having to spend money on buying powerful servers. Their support team are always available to help you solve problems, and don't have any strict rules when it comes to needs-based billing - which makes them even more appealing.

We hope that this Cloudways review was helpful in clarifying all your doubts about this popular cloud hosting provider. If you have any questions or need further assistance, feel free to ask for help in the comment section below!

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James LePage
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James LePage is the founder of Isotropic Design, a digital agency that builds WordPress websites. I read, write and design constantly!
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