Cloudways Review – Is the Managed Cloud WordPress Hosting worth Your Money and Time?

When most of us hear about cloud hosting, we all have certain fear and uncertainty. In fact, most of us think the cloud is not for us. There may be several reasons like the complex configurations, need to look after the server and its security, etc. However, Cloudways is different. In this Cloudways review, lets us see if it is worth your money and time.

Let us find out the pros and cons in this Cloudways review.

So, What Cloudways Actually Is?

Cloudways is a managed cloud hosting service where you can select different plans from different cloud hosting services like Digital Ocean, Vultr, Amazon, Google Cloud Platform, and Kyup.

Cloudways Review - Cloud Hosting Plan
Cloudways Review – Different Cloud Hosting Plans To Choose From

As you can see, with Cloudways, you are not limited to one cloud service. For instance, you can create a $14 Vultr server for your main WordPress website and a sperate $5 Digital Ocean server for your staging environment. All of this is done under a single account and with just a few clicks.

Cloudways Review - Setting Up Server
Cloudways Review – Setting Up Server

Cloudways make this possible by acting as a middleman between you and the actual cloud service. All the while, making it easy to configure and monitor server resources.

Since the servers are maintained by the Cloudways team, you don’t actually have to worry about any security threats like regular operating system patches, firmware upgrades, etc.

Moreover, Cloudways prides themselves with their performance oriented servers with multiple levels of caching and server optimization techniques.

Cloudways cloud hosting service uses Nginx and Apache web servers with Varnish and Memcached caching system. If you want to, you can even replace Memcached with Redis. In fact, you can even choose between the database software between MySQL or MariaDB.

Cloudways Review - Multiple Levels of Caching
Cloudways Review – Multiple Levels of Caching

Of course, you don’t have to choose everything for yourself. Cloudways optimally selects everything for you. But, you have the choice to change the options if you know what you are doing.

A Few Questions You May Have about Cloudways

If this is your first time with Cloudways or with the cloud services then you might have some questions. Hopefully, you will find your answer below.

1. Do I have to pay for Cloudways and the cloud services like Digital Ocean, Amazon, Google, etc.?

  • No. You will pay according to the plans display in the Cloudways website and that’s it. You don’t have to pay anything extra for the cloud services.

2. Do I have to know server administration in order to use Cloudways?

  • No. Cloudways is a managed cloud hosting service. They will look after everything. All you have to do is select the cloud service, server size and hit the create button.

3. Do I have to pay the hosting charges upfront?

  • No. Cloudways will charge you on an hourly basis and you will make the payment at the end of the month. If you’ve created a server, used it for a few hours then destroyed it, you will only pay for that few hours. You don’t have to pay the full monthly charges like in normal hosting.

4. Does Cloudways support multiple apps?

  • Yes. Cloudways supports multiple apps like WordPress, Magento, Drupal, etc. In fact, you can install almost any PHP based application.

5. Is there any cap on how many websites can I install on a server?

  • Nope. You can install as may websites as you like. You are just limited by the server size and resources.

6. Is Cloudways optimized for WordPress?

  • Yes. In fact, WordPress websites installed on Cloudways run on par with websites installed on managed WordPress hosting services like WP Engine, Godaddy managed hosting, etc.

7. Do I need to contact Cloudways every time I want to change server settings?

  • If you know what you are doing, you can change most of the server parameters using the Cloudways console.

8. Do I have root access?

  • No, you don’t.

Cloudways Review – Features

Below is the list of all the best features you will get from Cloudways managed cloud hosting. However, the below list is in no way exhaustive. I’m just listing the features I like the best.

  • You can choose between multiple cloud infrastructures like Digital Ocean, Amazon, Google, Vultr, etc.
  • You can choose between 25+ data centers thanks to the multiple cloud infrastructures.
  • Supports a wide range of PHP based web apps like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, etc.
  • One-click backup and restore.
  • All your data is stored on SSDs for higher performance.
  • Install all major web apps like WordPress in One-Click.
  • Built in support for the staging area and staging URLs.
  • Ability to create teams and assign them specific roles with specific permissions.
  • Built-in support for Git.
  • Multiple layers of firewall protection.
  • All the servers and their configurations are maintained by Cloudways folks.
  • Real-time monitoring of server resources.
  • Ability to upscale or downscale with just a click or two as per your requirements.
  • Unlimited domains.
  • Built-in Cron job manager to automate tasks.
  • Built-in support for Let’s Encrypt. With Let’s Encrypt enabled, you don’t have to pay expensive dollars for SSL certificates.

When it comes to support, you will have access to 24×7 chat support. As per the email support, the typical response time to high-priority requests is within 30 minutes and for normal priority, it can take up to six hours.

If you ask me, the response time for support tickets is really good. In fact, it is better than almost any other web host out there.

Cloudways Review – Control Panel

Unlike traditional control panel (like cPanel for example) that is available in web hosts like SiteGround, HostGator, A Small Orange, etc.., Cloudways has its own cloud control panel. From here, you can easily control almost all the server settings, monitor server resources, add or remove applications, etc.

Once you log into your Cloudways control panel, you will see a list of all your servers. As I said before, you can create multiple servers from different providers.

Cloudways Review - Active Server
Cloudways Review – Active Server

By clicking on the server, you will be able to access all the options that can be used to control and monitor your server. As you can see, on the main screen, you will be given the master credentials that can be used to access SFTP and SSH.

Cloudways Review - Ease to Use Server Management Console
Cloudways Review – Ease to Use Server Management Console

On the top right corner, you will get a list of all the apps installed on this particular server. By clicking on the app name, you can get the application settings.

Cloudways Review - Installed WordPress Sites
Cloudways Review – Installed WordPress Sites

From the Application Settings panel, you can activate Let’s Encrypt, manage your domain, create Cron jobs, request migration service, add or activate add-ons, restore backups with one-click, etc.

Cloudways Review - WordPress Account Details
Cloudways Review – WordPress Account Details

For instance, from the SSL certificate tab, you can easily enable Let’s Encrypt with just a click. The good thing is, Cloudways automatically renews your Let’s Encrypt certificate (generally, the certificate will be expired in 90 days). If you want to, you can even add your own SSL certificate.

Cloudways Review - Free SSL
Cloudways Review – Free SSL

Moreover, Cloudways has a special WordPress plugin that makes it easy for you to transfer your existing website from your old host to Cloudways.

Cloudways Review - Free Migration Tool for WordPress
Cloudways Review – Free Migration Tool for WordPress
>>>>SIGNUP using this link and Get 14 DAY FREE TRIAL to try Cloudways (for Digital Ocean only, no credit card required).

Cloudways Review – Installing WordPress

If you’ve ever used cPanel’s one click installation, it is that easy to install WordPress on Cloudways.

1. To install WordPress on Cloudways, launch your server, click on the menu icon located on the bottom right corner and then select the option “Add Application.”

Cloudways Review - Add New Application
Cloudways Review – Add New Application

2. Now, select WordPress version from the application type drop-down menu, name you application and then click on the button “Add Application.”

Cloudways Review - Enter Application Details
Cloudways Review – Enter Application Details

3. That’s it. You’ve installed WordPress on Cloudways. Simply open the application on your server, navigate to Domain Management and then add your domain to complete the setup process.

Cloudways Review - Add Your Domain
Cloudways Review – Add Your Domain

4. If you want to migrate from the other host then use the Cloudways migration tool. This tool helps you to transfer your website.

If you don’t want to go through the hassle then use this like to signup and get a free migration from experts at Cloudways.
Cloudways Review - Migration Tools
Cloudways Review – Migration Tools

Cloudways Review – How’s the Support?

Cloudways support is really good. With every web host I use or test, I do a variety of things to test their support and see if they can help with basic WordPress troubleshooting. Cloudways is no different.

Here is my experience with Cloudways support.

To optimize image uploaded to Bloggersignal, I use the WordPress plugin EWWW Image Optimizer.

For this plugin to work properly, you need to have certain modules like jpegtran, optipng, gifsicle, etc.., installed on the backend. However, since I don’t have the root access, I fired up the chat session and asked the Cloudways support to install those modules for me.

As per their support system, I expected the reply within six hours as it is not a high-priority request. However, to my surprise, I got the reply within half-hour letting me know that the requested packages are installed on my behalf on my server.

Cloudways Review - Support Email
Cloudways Review – Support Email

As you can see, the support is pretty good and you can rely on them for your needs.

Cloudways Review – Site Uptime and Site Speed Report?

Site uptime is one of the most important things of many bloggers out there. Of course, no one wants to suffer random downtimes from time to time. This is because the downtime is not only uncomfortable to your site visitors but it can also affect your site’s search engine rankings.

As of writing this, Bloggersignal and my other website are hosted on Cloudways. In fact, it has been over two months. So, below is the site uptime report from Pingdom for last 30 days.

Cloudways Review - Site Uptime
Cloudways Review – Site Uptime

As you can see from the above image, the uptime is 100% and the response time is also pretty good.

When it comes to website loading speed, as you can see from the below image, the site is loading in less than one second. That loading speed is on par with managed WordPress hosting services like WP Engine. I think the performance grade and the load time speaks for itself.

Cloudways Review - Site Speed
Cloudways Review – Site Speed

Cloudways Review – Where It Lacks?

Of course, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. Cloudways has its own cons including but not limited to.

  • No root access (understandable, but still)
  • Not being able to add custom sub-domains to Let’s Encrypt
  • No better way to clone servers, etc.

However, the pros outweigh the cons and unless you are an advanced user, you don’t even need the root access, need to clone servers, etc.

That being said, unlike other web hosting services, Cloudways has an open service improvement page where you can submit your own ideas. If your idea is good enough and will improve the service for many other Cloudways users, they will take it up and implement it.

A few examples for this would be the addition of MariaDB, ability to rename application folder, support for PHP-FPM, etc. All these ideas are pitched by users and are implemented by Cloudways team.

Cloudways Review – Conclusion

Even if you are a beginner to WordPress or blogging, Cloudways hosting is really easy, super fast and good for you. You don’t have to worry about complicated settings and your website will be fast. Moreover, unlike traditional web hosts, you don’t have to pay for the hosting upfront.

So, do give Cloudways a try and I can say for sure that you won’t be disappointed.

If you want to try out Cloudways then use this link to signup and then use the promo code CLOUDWAYS2 to get one month free. Yes, no credit card required.

Signup for Cloudways Now

Hope the Cloudways managed cloud hosting review helped you. Do comment below if you have any questions or if you have any experience with Cloudways managed cloud hosting.

3 Comments

  1. Here is my review of Cloudways

    I have spent a lot of time trying to find a good Hosting service for my blog [pmfias(dot)com]. Godaddy was expensive. Bluehost and Hostgator had no genuine reviews. Finally one of the nice guys on Quora recommended Cloudways [Which hosting plan/company is best for predominantly Indian Traffic website with 5,000 – 10,000 visitors a day? goo(dot)gl/PDvJiq].
    After testing and using it for a month…
    Pros
    1) Don’t have to be a geek to manage a server via cloudways. Basic knowledge of shared hosting is more than enough.
    2) Migration is a breeze. They have a wonderful plugin that does all the heavy lifting.
    3) Support is top notch (both pre and post purchase)
    4) Cloud infrastructure means downtime is ZERO.
    5) Transparent Real Time billing. [No hidden charges. Payment is postpaid. I got 10$ credit too (coupon stuff)]
    6) Server management is a layman stuff. It is just pressing few buttons. [Cloning, Vertical Scaling are all pretty simple and straight forward. Downscaling is a bit complex in DO and few more]
    7) Has various layers of caching. Varnish caching is wonderful. Varnish + WP Rocket + Cloudflare = Below 2-3s load time can be easily achieved for any ordinary website. [Varnish has compatibility issues with WP Rocket CSS, JS magnification and Concatenation. Merge + Minify + Refresh plugin should be used for this purpose]
    8) Straightforward SFTP credentials to use Filezilla.
    9) Cloudways can store upto 8 backups outside the server (They use Amazon Cloud Infrastructure to store backups). Both Real time backups and scheduled backups are allowed. 1GB backup takes only few minutes. 1 on demand backup can be stored on the server for downloading via SFTP (Filezilla).
    10) Every type of resource usage (CPU, RAM, Disk space etc.) can be monitored in real-time.
    11) One can analyze the overall performance of the website (load times of each plugin, page and more) using New Relic (Basic, free add on)
    12) Free SSL certificae
    Cons
    1) The server doesn’t send transactional emails. One has to look for external services like SendGrid (12k emails free/month. No credit card required. It can be added as a free add on cloudways).
    2) Documentation is not comprehensive enough (In most of the cases it may not matter).

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