Cloudways Review 2019: Best Managed Cloud Hosting Platform

Pros:

  • Very affordable pricing
  • Quick 1-click WordPress setup
  • 24/7 expert support
  • Amazing speed and performance
  • Free 1-click Let’s Encrypt SSL setup

Cons:

  • Slow live chat support

Since I have started working as a WordPress developer, I have been obsessed with the performance and speed of all my websites.

In the process of doing so, I have tried many hosting providers as hosting plays a very crucial role in the performance of every site … and finally after many tests, I decided to use only two hosting companies, Cloudways and Kinsta.

Now, I use Cloudways for all of my projects and even for my clients as well. And all of my sites (more than 30) are having super fast speed with the best performance.

As you can see, the page load speed is under 1 second in all the cases.

And in this post I will share with you everything about Cloudways and why you should use them for your websites…

So if you’re looking for an in-depth Cloudways review and tutorial, you’ll love this post.

Let’s dive right in…

Overview of Cloudways

The Cloudways launched in 2011 and the company is located in Malta, Europe is a managed cloud hosting platform for web applications such as WordPress, Magento, Drupal, Joomla, and other PHP based systems.

Cloudways overview

You can choose the servers from any of the cloud service providers which are Vultr, Digital Ocean (DO), Linode, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Google Cloud Platform.

Cloudways only manage the servers and not physically own them. They take care of the server software installation, security, updation, backup etc. so that users like me and you don’t have to worry about all the super technical stuff.

Also, Cloudways have 1-click apps which makes it very easy to install web apps like WordPress and set up the site under a few minutes only.

You can even host multiple websites on a single server provided that enough server resources are available for the app.

Previously, cloud hosting was considered difficult to handle and very costly, but now the Cloud service is becoming very affordable for everyone.

Note: Websites on Cloudways are considered as Apps which means a WordPress website will be called as an app on the server and in this post, I have mentioned apps as well so don’t confuse them with anything else.

Note: Use BK10 as coupon code if you want 10% off for the first three months.

Features (Reasons to Choose Cloudways Web Hosting)

Cloudways has a lot of features that would be great for every WordPress or custom site.

And some of the core features of Cloudways are…

1. Dedicated Environment

The best thing with cloud servers is that all the resources are only dedicated to one particular server and the installed apps can have all the resources they need without sharing them with others.

And this results in so much better overall performance… and fast performance also helps with better user experience.

Unlike shared hostings, cloud hostings don’t put any limitations, and you can scale as much you want without facing any unnecessary downtime of the website.

And you can maximise the performance of your apps on cloud-based servers by optimising them according to your preferences which is not possible with shared hostings.

2. 24/7 Expert Support

Cloudways provide 24×7 live chat support where you can talk to their customer support agents to get any of your problems solved.

This is very important for those who are just starting out and don’t know a lot about WordPress or servers.

When I started with websites, I encountered a lot of problems, and their support helped me multiple times.

They also have a strong knowledge base with many in-depth support articles, and you can also open a ticket with their support if you prefer support via emails.

All the technical support agents of Cloudways are Cloud Engineers and WordPress experts, and they can help you with any problem you might face. They sometimes even solve the problem themselves if it is too technical.

3. Free WordPress Cache Plugin

Breeze is a free cache plugin developed and managed by Cloudways especially for their cloud hosting users.

It is engineered to give the best performance to all the sites hosted on Cloudways servers and the plugin in pre-installed if you select the Cloudways optimised version while installing WordPress.

4. Secure Servers

Security is something which you cannot ignore now, and Cloudways knows this very well.

That is why they have security features like dedicated firewalls to protect the servers, regular security patching and two-factor authentication. They regularly update their servers to keep them safe from malicious traffic.

With TFA, you can keep your account secure from unauthenticated logins as well.

5. SSD Based Hosting

As we all know SSD based drives are much better than the HDDs and that is why all the storage with Cloudways is in the form of SSD only.

They give a breathtaking performance and reduced page load times for the websites.

6. Support of Advanced Caching Systems

Cloudways support all type of latest advanced caching systems like Memcached, Varnish, Nginx, and Redis to deliver the best caching.

The Varnish and Memcached are enabled on every server, and you can even check the hit ratio in the server settings. Varnish can sometimes create some issues, so it is suggested to use this only when you know what you are doing.

These caching systems are integrated well within Cloudways servers but if you want you can modify them according to your needs as well.

7. Team Collaboration

Cloudways allows you to add other users to your account for a smoother workflow where different roles can be assigned to specific team members.

Multiple websites can be easily classified with the help of Projects so that all the members can perform their assigned tasks.

8. Automatic Backups

Backups are by default enabled on all the Cloudways servers.

You can also create a backup whenever you want, and full backups are available for download as well. Every server is itself backed up at a set interval (which you can change in the server settings).

Other than onsite backups, they also have offsite backups, but those are chargeable at $0.033/GB per server.

Cloudways for eCommerce

The Cloudways also offers hosting for E-commerce sites, and you can quickly get your store up and running in just a few minutes.

Cloudways support WordPress (WooCommerce), Magento, Prestashop and all PHP based eCommerce solutions.

You can even ask Cloudways to migrate your online store for free if you are a new customer.


Other things I love about Cloudways is that it allows you to do a lot of things with just 1 click without spending unnecessary time in repetitive tasks.

Like if you want to create a copy of any of your site, you can do so with just a click.

This is very useful in multiple cases like you can create a site with all the basic theme and plugins and then just copy it every-time you are setting up a new website. This will save you time, and you can quickly start your project.

Cloudways also provides the option to migrate the site to different servers in different locations or to different service providers as well. Meaning you can transfer your Vultr server to Digital ocean or you can transfer your server in the different datacenter of Vultr only.

This is very useful and handy as it gives us full flexibility of what we want to do.

As Cloudways is based on a solid cloud-based system, it boasts a 99.99% uptime and offers loading speeds of around 400 to 600 milliseconds.

Both uptime and page loading time is far better than what you will get with any other hosting like GoDaddy or Bluehost.

Cloudways also gives you a simple way to monitor your server performance which is not possible with many other hostings.

You can go to the Monitoring tab under Server Management for a simple summary of how your server is performing. It will show you your server RAM, storage, CPU and bandwidth usage.

If you want detailed reports, you can either integrate New Relic or just go to the Details tab.

Here you will find simple graphs for everything. You can monitor the performance and check if your server needs an upgrade or not.

If the CPU usage is consistently below 20% and/or RAM usage is below 100 MB, your apps will start crashing, and you will then have to upgrade your server to give all the resources to your apps.

Note: Use BK10 as coupon code if you want 10% off for the first three months.

Cloudways Add-ons

The Cloudways also offers a few add-ons which can be used to extend the functionalities of your apps.

Add-ons available with Cloudways are…

  1. Rackspace Email Hosting
  2. Gmail SMTP
  3. DNS Made Easy
  4. Application Upgrade
  5. Application Migration

You can use the Rackspace email if you want to create a custom email with your domain. It costs $1/mailbox/month, and it is super easy to set up.

Now that you know all about Cloudways, it’s time to talk about its pricing and then how to set up your account in the next sections…

Further Reading: SEO Trends and Ranking Factors of 2018: Infographic

Cloudways Pricing

The pricing on Cloudways is based on the different cloud service providers, and you can choose a plan according to your needs.

Cloudways pricing

A free 3-day trial is available for you to try and explore all the features of Cloudways without making any payment or giving them your credit card details.

You have to sign up using your email address, verify it and the dashboard will be available for you to start and set up the server.

Note: Use BK10 as coupon code if you want 10% off for the first three months.

As for the detailed pricing plans, you will have to choose a plan based on the storage, and RAM required and the processor you need.

Plans start from $10 per month for 1GB RAM, 25 GB SSD storage and 1 Core Process for Digital Ocean and goes up to $1,035 for high-end servers. Similarly, prices vary for servers of Vultr, AWS, GCP and Linode.

You can either pay through your credit card or use PayPal as the payment method.

Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform plans are on the higher-end and cost more as they are based on the bandwidth.

All plans cover standard features like 24/7 support, free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates, free migration and unlimited apps support.

And as their experts manage all the servers on Cloudways, you don’t have to spend your time in configuring or optimising them, and you can use all of that time in growing your business.

Finally, Cloudways charges you hourly so you will pay only for what you will use. You can even check the current bill generated under My Account based on the server you have deployed.

If you are just starting out then pick either Vultr or Linode as they have better performance compared to DO at almost the same prices.


Cloudways also offers Enterprise solution now, so if you are planning to move a big website having significant traffic, you can sign up for their Enterprise plan.

Getting Started with Cloudways WordPress Hosting

Setting up a server on Cloudways is very easy.

Follow the steps to create an account and deploy your first app (WordPress site) on Cloudways.

1. Go to their sign up page and enter your details to create a account.

Note: Use BK10 as coupon code if you want 10% off for the first three months.

2. Once you are done with the signup, you will have to verify your email address to complete the setup of the account.

3. Then login into your account with the email id and password.

4. Now select the cloud service of your choice and then select the server size, location and click on Launch Now.

5. Your server will be ready in around 7 minutes.

Once the server is ready, you will be able to access the server settings and all the apps. You can now easily start, stop or restart your server any time you want.

By default, one app is created with each server install. After that, you can create as many as you want depending on your server configuration.

Now to get your site live from Cloudways server all you have to do is connect your domain.

Go to Domain Management listed under Application Management and enter your domain in the Primary Domain box.

After this, change your domain DNS to your server IP address to point the domain to the server.

Once the domain is successfully connected, you can install the Let’s Encrypt SSL with just 1 click.

Go to SSL certificate under Application Management and enter your email address, and both versions of the domain (www and non-www) and click on Install Certificate.

Now your site is completely ready.

You will find the username and password of your site admin panel under the Access Details tab.

Click on the URL and enter the details to login into your newly launched site.


If you encounter any problem with the process, you can click on the Need Help button on the right and enter your query to quickly get support articles or click on live chat support if your question is not listed under the search box.

15 Reasons Why you should choose Cloudways over other Hostings

I am using Cloudways from almost last 1.5 years now, and I am happy with their service.

And in this section, I have listed some of the reasons why you should go with Cloudways over other hostings.

1. Affordable pricing: The most important and deciding factor for most of the users is the pricing and with Cloudways pay as you go model, you only have to pay for what you use. They don’t force you to pay for those services which you don’t need.

2. Unlimited websites: Unlike other hostings which put a limitation of the number of websites on every plan, Cloudways lets you set up as many websites you want. This is very useful as you are free to set up test sites or sites for your clients without the need for plan upgradation etc.

3. CloudwaysBot: They also have a bot powered by artificial intelligence to assist you with all the tips and recommendation to keep your servers smoothly running and fully optimised for best performance.

CloudwaysBot also sends real-time alerts related to server, application and account level notifications.

4. Vertical Scaling: You can scale as much you want and even transfer the servers from one cloud service provider to another with just a click.

5. 1-click Apps Install: Cloudways makes it very easy for everyone to install any CMS, eCommerce or PHP based web applications.

WordPress (WooCommerce and Multisite), Magento, Drupal, Joomla, Prestashop etc. are available as quick and straightforward 1-click installations.

6. Staging Site Option: Cloudways gives you the option to create a staging site to test out the site without affecting the live version.

Staging can be created in 1-click, and you can push or pull the changes as per your needs.

7. Latest PHP Version Support: All servers of Cloudways are PHP 7.x ready to give a faster performance to all the apps.

8. Built-in Cloudways CDN: They also have a CDN (Content delivery network) service which costs $1 per 25 GB per application and offers a better performance if your audience is all over the world.

9. Server Monitoring: This is a handy feature by Cloudways which allows you to monitor every aspect of your server. You can monitor variables like Free memory, Free disk, Idle CPU, Reads and writer per second, Monthly bandwidth, Varnish hit rate, MySQL connections etc.

If you want a closer look at your server and if you are comfortable with all the technical things, you can connect your server with New Relic as well.

10. Free Site Migrations: They offer a free site migration for new customers, and you can have their experts migrate your site carefully while you sit back and relax.

11. Simple user interface: Unlike other hostings, Cloudways doesn’t offer the traditional cPanel, and they have their custom dashboard tailored to give you the best experience on their platform.

They have included only those features which are needed and no other useless things are included in their dashboard which makes it very easy to navigate and work.

12. Completely free trial period: You can have your website up and running without even paying or giving them your credit card details. Very few companies provide this much of freedom to their customers.

13. Automated daily backups: This is a very standard feature now with every hosting, but still it is essential to mention here.

All the backups at Cloudways are automated, and they also have both onsite and offsite backups to make sure your data is secured. You can even create local backups if you want to download a copy.

14. Easy Team Collaboration: You can easily add your team members in your account and give them specific access only.

15. 60+ Data centres: You can select a data centre from 62 different options available with Cloudways. The data centres are spread in 15 countries and 33 cities worldwide.

What Other People Are Saying?

If you still cannot decide if Cloudways will be good for you or not, look at what existing customers of Cloudways are saying about them…

Source of reviews: Facebook

I believe Cloudways are offering great service and their technical support capabilities and responsiveness are second to none. Highly recommend.
by Sabry Macher

Don’t really understand the bad reviews. I love the guys! Awesome support, they kindly help me to transfer my site to them. And I really absolutely happy with their service.
by Youssef Bull

So far so great. Two servers. Two applications. Everything runs fast and nice and support is great and available always. Guys are really giving efforts to make customers happy! All recommendations for Cloudways!
by Branko Mrki Vidovic

Cloudways is by far one of the best leading cloud support companies, and their services are never down and up 24 * 7 and their support are the best in industry.
by Krunal Lathiya

Source of reviews: TrustPilot

The only thing common on most of the few bad reviews by unhappy customers is of their customer support.

Their support agents can be slow at times, but you get what you pay for. With all the excellent features and everything, it’s worth every penny.

Let’s talk about Cloudways alternatives in the next section if you want top-notch customer support as well…

Note: Use BK10 as coupon code if you want 10% off for the first three months.

Cloudways Alternatives

If you are not satisfied with Cloudways and looking for its alternatives, then try Kinsta.

Kinsta is a premium managed hosting specifically engineered for WordPress sites. With Kinsta, you get the best speed and performance, expert support (better than Cloudways) and the top-notch infrastructure.

But the plans of Kinsta starts at $30 per month for only 1 WordPress install and goes up to $1,500 for 150 WordPress installs. And with every plan, they offer one free migration by their expert WordPress migration team.

The complete infrastructure of Kinsta is based on Google Cloud Platform with all the basic features included like server monitoring, 24/7 expert support, automatic backups and secured servers.

They also have a Hack Guarantee where they will keep your site secure from any malicious attack, and if by chance your site gets hacked, they will fix it for you at no extra cost.

I am also a user of Kinsta, and I like their support. All of their engineers are WordPress experts, and they reply quickly without wasting any time.

Finally, they don’t have a free trial, but they offer a 30-day money back guarantee so you can sign up and try the hosting yourself.

So if you are looking for a high-speed, secure, scalable hosting with expert support, you can either go with Cloudways or Kinsta (on the premium side).

Conclusion

After testing multiple hosting providers like GoDaddy, WPEngine, Kinsta, Bluehost, Siteground, I can say that Cloudways is one of the best cloud hosting solution.

Apart from their support, everything is perfect, and I like their simple dashboard and all the features.

You can quickly get the performance you want with your website by hosting it on the servers managed by Cloudways.

And Cloudways is for everyone, individuals, Agencies and Small Business Owners. They also offer one free website migration so if you are looking to change your hosting, Cloudways will migrate your site for you.

The best part?

They offer a free 3-day trial so you can test the platform yourself before making a purchase.

Also, don’t forget to use the coupon code BK10 to get additional 10% discount for the first three months.

Have Questions? Ask Me Anything About Cloudways in the comments or contact me directly.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.