Cloudways Hosting Review: High Speed, Best For Highend Websites

cloudways-hosting-review

Want to upgrade your web hosting? But not sure which web host to select?

If you want the best performance, cloud hosting is one of the best hosting services.

But which cloud hosting provider should you select?

We have selected an awesome cloud hosting service, for you.

So, in this Cloudways Hosting review, I will be sharing their Features, Benefits, Pros, Cons and Performance. Let’s Get Into Cloudways Review.

Cloudways is an interesting hosting solution, geared towards more experienced users, which lets you choose one of five available cloud providers for hosting purposes. This means that, while they act as an intermediary between you, the client, and the actual hosting provider, they also offer you access to more data centres than you would otherwise get, and they combine it with their own features and customizations.  We have provided a detailed, Cloudways Hosting Review.

Cloud-based web hosting services are now common, but Cloudways does several interesting things with its cloud hosting that makes it stand out in a growing field. It lets you select from one of five platforms, including Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform, offers wallet-friendly pay-as-you-go plans, and even lets you sign up for a trial run without whipping out a credit card. The shine is dulled a bit by its lack of amenities, such as domain registration and included email. Still, this excellent cloud hosting service is well worth considering.

Getting Started

Unlike most other web hosting services, Cloudways lets you build a site without spending much time. You can sign up for a three-day trial account by creating a username and password, or logging in using either Github, Google, or LinkedIn credentials, which is a nice touch. After you’ve logged in, you’re tasked with selecting a Content Management System (CMS) from several popular and respected sources, including Drupal, Joomla, Koken, Magento, Media Wiki, PHP Stack, Prestashop, and, of course, WordPress. There’s a lot of flexibility on display here.

This flexibility extends to the server selection, too, as you can build a site atop one of several infrastructures as a service solution, including Amazon Web Services, DigitalOcean, Google Cloud Platform, Linode, Stackpath, and Vultr. You also pick one of several server locations scattered around the country. Let’s Get Into Cloudways Hosting Review.

Cloudways Hosting Reviews
Cloudways Hosting Services

Cloud Hosting Plans

Cloudways leverages the resources of several clustered servers to balance your website load, it doesn’t dabble at all in the Traditional Shared, VPS, and Dedicated Hosting Plans. Instead, the company offers several pay-as-you-go, hourly cloud hosting packages that only charge you for the amount of time you’ve used. For example, if you cancel a plan while 10 days into a month, you’ll only be charged for 10 days’ worth of hosting. Hosts like the Editors’ Choice award-winning DreamHost and HostGator bill you for the entire month, even if you cancel just a week into the cycle. Cloudways offers traditional monthly billing, too.

The monthly web hosting plans start at $10 (for 25GB of storage, 1TB of monthly data transfers, 1GB of RAM, and a single-core processor) and scale upward to $1,035 (for 3840GB of storage, 12TB of month data transfers, 192GB of RAM, and a 32-core processor.) The high-end offering outclasses many web hosts’ most powerful dedicated server plans. In fact, Cloudways’ top-level specs have more in common with the SMB-friendly Liquid Web, which lets you outfit a server with a wild 512GB of RAM. If you prefer hourly billing, the aforementioned plans start at just over $0.01 and scale up to slightly more than $1.43.

Benefits of Cloudways Hosting Service

The exact features you’ll get from Cloudways depend on the hosting plan you choose. Advanced plans give you access to more bandwidth, memory, storage, and processing power. But all Cloudways users get:

1. Free site migrations

If you already have your website hosted on another site, you can easily choose Cloudways to handle the migration for you. This can save you a lot of time trying to collect all the information required from one server to move to another.

2. High-speed server performance

Cloudways strives to ensure your site loads as quickly as possible, with access to the latest technology from 5 of the top cloud providers in the world. The provider also relies on CDN to deliver content via a geographically distributed network of servers, which helps minimize lags in loading web page content.

When it comes to speed, Cloudways users are unlikely to have any issues a GTmetrix test shows that the time it takes for the main website to load is less than average at 5.7 seconds and takes a mere seven requests. Users’ experience might differ depending on the plan they purchase, but the hourly billing rates mean they can experiment with what they need and how much they’re willing to pay for it.

Since Cloudways offers data centres from other providers to their users, they don’t make any uptime promises on their website – those should be traced back to the cloud services they use. But we still put their main website to a two-week-long test, which recorded no downtime at all, but quite a few oscillations in response speed. Overall, however, since users won’t be hosting directly with them, this should not take away from their score.

3. Auto healing

Cloudways makes it easy to handle any issues your website might have with a unique automatic healing feature. The auto-healing system identifies the source of a problem when a crash is imminent and addresses it by itself. No manual intervention is needed.

4. Excellent security

For peace of mind, Cloudways offers a dedicated firewall to help protect you and your customers. Additionally, you get features like two-factor authentication to prevent intruders from gaining access to member accounts. Users can also access a free SSL certificate (via Let’s Encrypt) to protect all data moving between your site and your visitors.

5. Simple setup

Cloudways allows you to set up a website with one click. There’s also a one-click app and plugin installation if you want to add new functionality to your site. The provider fully supports PHP-based applications and CMS frameworks like Magento, Drupal, Laravel, and WordPress.

6. Staging and Cloning

Staging allows you to create a dummy website where you can test any changes before they go live. This is a great way to ensure everything works properly before making a change. You can also clone sites and make copies to ensure you can easily back up your site or switch servers when required.

7. Advanced caching

Cloudways offers various caching mechanisms for server optimization. Users can access a proprietary caching plugin called “Breeze,” which supports the Cloudways CDN. Other popular caching plugins like Redis and Varnish are also available.

The cloud infrastructure from Cloudways is built on the technology of five different cloud providers all of which are ranked among the most reliable companies in the world. The cloud partners offer VPS and dedicated servers for extra-fast performance.

8. Flexibility and Scalability

Cloudways hosting can adapt to suit your business. If your traffic starts to grow and you need to upgrade your server access, you can use the “Vertical Scaling” feature. This functionality allows Cloudways users to increase their hosting plans’ RAM, CPU, and storage features in a couple of clicks.

As Cloudways follows the “pay as you go” pricing model, you’re also not tied to specific contracts. You pay only for what you use, and you can change services at any time.

9. Automated Backup and Restore

Cloudways makes backups of your site to ensure your data is recoverable in case anything goes wrong. The “Backup and Restore” feature is enabled by default, and you can enable a local backup option with an additional fee.

10. Excellent Customer Support

Cloudways offers one of the best customer services in the web hosting industry. The company offers 24/7 live chat support, and users can access a community forum for DIY solutions or send an email. You can even request a call from Cloudways if you prefer to speak with a human rep.

Cloudways has a 24/7/365 support system, but additional features like proactive investigation, private Slack channel & phone support, and customization support will cost you extra – the Advanced plan starts at $100/mo while the Premium plan starts at $500/mo. 

While you can contact support through live chat at any time, to actually talk to a person through phone or Skype, you’ll need to schedule a meeting through their contact form. Still, many questions are covered in their FAQ, while almost everything you could think of has a dedicated article in their Knowledgebase. The latter is especially friendly towards beginners, as it has a collapsible section with explanations of basic technical terms used throughout the article.

There’s also a user community forum with employees answering questions, but it is not particularly active.

Cloudways offers 24/7 customer service, so you’ll be able to reach someone around the clock. There’s a catch, though, if you wish to speak to a human being. You must fill out a form to request a phone or Skype call.

You also have the option to speak with a customer service representative via webchat. That way, you can get answers in an immediate fashion. I never waited more than a few seconds before a Cloudways rep fielded one of my chat questions. The team is quite knowledgeable, too. The members fed me accurate information about the differences between cloud hosting and traditional hosting and the company’s payment structure. I also received an infrastructure as a service primer.

Cloudways refund policy isn’t the typical 30, 60, or 90-day money-back guarantee that you find with most other web hosts. In fact, the structure is so detailed that Cloudways’ customer service team simply referred me to this link. It’s a lot to digest.

11. CloudwaysBot

The CloudwaysBot is an AI solution offering real-time insights into your website performance and valuable notifications. You can integrate this bot with your email and Slack account to get alerts about your apps and servers.

12. Building a Website

Cloudways may not possess some of the typical web hosting elements, but building a site is a fairly straightforward affair. WordPress was my CMS of choice in testing, and the service created a server in just seven minutes. I logged in with my Cloudways credentials, selected a theme, tweaked how pages and posts appeared and added images. It was a trouble-free experience.

This particular WordPress flavour is of the managed variety, so your installation receives the white-glove treatment by auto-updating the CMS, performing automatic daily backups, and providing real-time site monitoring and WordPress specific security. Cloudways also has useful one-click cloning (so you can quickly create duplicates of your apps and servers) and staging areas (so you can test website elements without placing them live on your site).

Cloudways lets customers separately monitor the applications hosted on a server. This application-level monitoring has two sections: Analytics and Logs. Analytics displays traffic information, PHP requests, MySQL requests, and Disk Usage. Logs, on the other hand, show your website’s access log and error log.

13. E-Commerce and Security

Cloudways’ app library has many e-commerce tools, including the popular Magento and Prestashop platforms. I used Magento to create an attractive store in just a few minutes by dragging and dropping website elements.

In terms of security, as a managed cloud hosting platform, Cloudways engineers safeguard your installation from attacks by releasing regular operating system and firmware upgrades.

Cloudways offers Free Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificates, which should be considered essential data protection if you plan to sell a product.

In addition, the recommended Rackspace email comes with Sender Policy Framework (SPF) and DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) authentication technology for added security.

14. Excellent Uptime

Website uptime is one of the most important aspects of a hosting service. While your site is down, clients or customers are unable to find you or access your products or services and they might not come back. That’s why I’m happy to report that Cloudways offers excellent uptime.

For this testing, I used a website-monitoring tool to track my Cloudways-hosted test site’s uptime. Every 15 minutes, the tool pings my website and sends me an email if it is unable to contact the site for longer than one minute. I look at the data for the most recent 30 days for each site’s review. In my latest tests, Cloudways proved very stable. In fact, it didn’t go down once.

15. An Excellent, Focused Web Host

There’s a lot to like about Cloudways. The service has flexible cloud hosting plans, fast setup times, top-notch web-based customer support, and excellent uptime. It’s a company you can count on to keep your site up and running to services that offer those items. Additionally, some people won’t like the odd way of getting a customer service rep on the phone. If those caveats aren’t dealbreakers, however, give Cloudways a chance. You may find it offers just what you need to get and keep your website online.

16. Pricing

Cloudways approaches pricing slightly differently from most web-hosting providers, which means exact prices are hard to determine. 

They have a pay-as-you-go system of only charging for what you’re actually using, and they charge hourly – meaning you can add or remove features from your account and only be charged for the time you used them. 

A general overview of the prices shows they start at $10 per month, but there is a three-day free trial available. They also charge per server, not per website, and include one free managed migration in every plan. Offsite backup hosting is charged extra at $0.033/GB per server.

17. Ease of use

When first visiting Cloudways, you’ll be prompted to use their three-day free trial without entering any credit card details. What you’re not told, however, is that you can only get a server of up to 2 GB. What’s useful is picking out the features you need (server size, cloud provider, and the application you want to use) and getting the price calculated in real-time at the bottom of the screen. Available cloud providers are DigitalOcean, Linode, Vultr, AWS, and Google Cloud Platform. You’ll have to verify your account through both your email address and your phone number before you can proceed.

Your Cloudways Bot is your “server assistant” which lets you know everything related to your server (like when it’s down), security issues, billing, as well as sending you tips and tricks – and it can be integrated with HipChat and Slack, so you get notifications delivered directly. You will also be prompted to refer a friend and receive $20 as part of their referral program, which also gives them $15 for signing up. 

You will have to register a domain separately, but for your most basic needs, Cloudways will give you a temporary URL. Its control panel is relatively complicated and obviously aimed at more experienced users, but even newbies can quickly familiarize themselves with the features they need and safely ignore most of the others. A WordPress installation takes only a few clicks and serves most website-building needs, but keep in mind there is no email.

Competition

Choosing between Cloudways and DigitalOcean depends heavily on your technical know-how. If you know exactly what you’re doing, DigitalOcean offers far more detailed pricing depending on what you’re using, while Cloudways gives you access to DigitalOcean without that precision. 

Although both of these companies offer excellent WordPress website hosting, they operate in fundamentally different ways. Bluehost offers a significantly wider array of hosting options. Cloud host, however, has far more extra features in terms of tools and applications, as well as great customer support.

The situation is similar to DigitalOcean: Cloudways offers Linode as one of the cloud providers on its platform, as the latter requires significantly more technical expertise and is not beginner-friendly. If you have that knowledge, Linode may be the better option, but if you prefer having multiple features in one place, Cloudways is the way to go.

Cloudways offers superior server infrastructure – in that, they don’t have their own data centres at all, but make use of 60+ different ones – but Hostgator has pricing that is considerably easier to track for users that can’t handle hourly rates since it’s charged on a monthly basis. 

Conclusion

Cloudways is a great hosting provider with a ton of features, but not beginner-friendly – anyone looking for simpler managed WordPress hosting may be better off using Hostgator or Bluehost. However, hourly rates mean every feature can be perfectly tailored to everyone’s needs without breaking the bank.

Also Read: Bluehost Review

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