cloudways review 2021

Cloudways Review 2021: One of the Best Cloud-Hosting Providers

I decided to write a review and overview of Cloudways as it is the cloud-based hosting provider I'm looking to move to if/when Borderpolar grows bigger. Cloudways is one of the few companies that offer an outstanding balance between affordability and great functionality for cloud-based managed WordPress hosting.

Cloudways delivers fully managed cloud hosting and promises no more slow loading WordPress sites and no more WordPress hosting headaches.

Their platform-as-a-service cloud servers come with a fantastic feature set, and you can scale hosting resources as your website grows. Cloudways has optimized its infrastructure for speed, performance, and security. Moreover, if you consider Cloudways as your future managed WordPress host, you can sign up for the 3-day free trial that Cloudways offers to test their platform.

What Is Cloud Hosting?

Cloud hosting is where your site is stored on multiple servers, which lets you pull resources from various locations. This makes cloud hosting scalable, reliable, and flexible, perfect for sites that experience hikes and dips in things like traffic. At the same time, it guarantees site availability, contrary to shared hosting.

Cloudways cheapest managed WordPress hosting plan is $10.00 per month.

Start a free trial NOW with Cloudways!

About Cloudways – Overview

cloudways logo

Cloudways was founded by Uzair Gadit, Pere Hospital, and Aaqib Gadit in 2009, and their headquarters is on the island of Malta in Europe. They also have offices in Spain and Dubai, and their 30+ staff helped 8,000 users from 43 different countries to launch 12,000+ servers, 25,000+ web apps.

Cloudways’ mission is to provide managed cloud hosting solutions so that their customers can concentrate on the business side while they handle their hosting headaches efficiently. Cloudways is one of the few companies that offer an outstanding balance between affordability and great functionality for cloud-based managed WordPress hosting.

Start a free trial NOW with Cloudways!

Cloudways address: 52 Springvale Pope Pius XII St. Mosta, Mosta, MST2653, Malta
Phone number: 44 330 001 0338
Official Cloudways website
Cloudways Facebook page
Cloudways Twitter account
Cloudways company details
cloudways wordpress hosting stats

Managed WordPress Cloud-Hosting

Cloudways offers managed cloud-hosting services for WordPress sites on a cloud server. The cloud will replicate multiple copies of the website's data throughout your chosen data center in one of the 25 available worldwide locations. In essence, a cloud service is a large-scale distributed system where data is stored in replicas and served from different locations.

The cloud behind the scenes handles the switching of data, and if your main server goes down, a copy of your website is served from the next available server. This is what provides availability. To go even further, since your content is present in multiple servers, it's easy to scale up if there are spikes in your site's traffic and ensure load-balancing among the various servers. In most cases, the cloud will be prepared for whatever challenges your website is going to bring.

This approach allows for the rapid deployment of computing resources, high performance, and service reliability and Cloudways is among the leaders in the industry

Cloudways & Cloud-Hosting vs. Traditional Hosting

Cloud servers ordinarily have a lower entry cost than dedicated servers. However, cloud servers tend to lose this advantage as a company scales and requires more resources. Some features can increase the cost of both solutions.

  • Cloud hosting means your site is stored on multiple servers, compared to traditional hosting, where your site is stored on one server (with a backup)
  • Because your site is on multiple servers, you can migrate it easily in the case of any incidents.
  • Cloud hosting improves uptime because one of the other servers in the network can take over if anything goes wrong.
  • It’s usually faster than traditional hosting; the server can detect your customers’ location and transmit content from the server nearest to your customer.
  • In general, cloud hosts offer more security than traditional hosts. Cloudways uses a range of security techniques to process your WordPress site.
  • Cloud servers can scale very quickly; this is ideal if your business site suddenly sees a spike in traffic.
  • You have more control of your hosting bill with pay-as-you-go pricing.
  • SSD-based WordPress Hosting keeps your site fast with dedicated resources. SSD disks offer maximum speed and reliability than traditional disks while accommodating modern websites’ demands.

Start a free trial NOW with Cloudways!

What are the Key Features of Cloudways Hosting?

As with any hosting company, Cloudways servers provide varying amounts of processing power, memory, bandwidth, and storage space. The most basic hosting plan offers a cloud server with 10 GB RAM, 25 GB of storage, 1 Core Processor, and 1 TB bandwidth.

Here’s how Cloudways keeps your WordPress site secure, fast and easy to maintain:

  1. If you are switching from another host, Cloudways will take care of your site's migration.
  2. CloudwaysCDN helps to reduce latency and improve response times when serving a WordPress website worldwide, thus improving website speed, an essential aspect for online stores.
  3. The auto-healing feature resolves any issues, lowering the risk of your site crashing.
  4. Cloudways uses a dedicated firewall to secure your WordPress website.
  5. Built-in Cache Cloudways' built-in cache mechanism includes Varnish, Memcached, and Redis that enhance the speed of your WordPress websites.
  6. Built-in Let’s Encrypt SSL secures communication between your site and your customers. SSL certificates allow you to gain your visitors’ trust and ensure that their data is transmitted encrypted. With Cloudways, you can deploy your SSL certificate with just one click.
  7. Optimized Stack – Cloudways' stack includes Apache and NGINX as web servers, PHP-FPM, and MySQL/MariaDB as databases for better performance.
  8. Breeze Plugin – Breeze is our in-house developed cache plugin pre-installed with WordPress websites for better performance.
  9. PHP Versions – Cloudways supports PHP 5.6.x and the latest versions of PHP 7.x so that you can test compatibility and switch versions accordingly.
  10. Two-factor authentication and suspicious login detection offer an extra layer of security against attackers.
  11. Application Isolation – Multiple WordPress sites hosted on a single server are isolated to prevent them from getting affected by the other website.
  12. Vertical scaling – You can scale up your server resources whenever necessary with a single click.
  13. Easy set-up for new sites – deploy a new site and install apps on your server with a single click.
  14. Access to 24/7/365 expert support

Launching Your Server on Cloudways is Easy

Cloudways lets you configure the specifications of your desired server directly from their hosting control panel.

Choose From 5 Top Cloud Providers

Before you can start to configure your server, you have to choose your preferred cloud provider on the Cloudways console. A cloud provider is essentially another company that offers Infrastructure-as-a-Service to Cloudways (in this case, it’s the access to data centers and cloud-based servers for hosting websites).

Cloudways works with five cloud providers:

  • Digital Ocean
  • Vultr
  • Google Compute Engine
  • Amazon Web Services
  • Linode

Configuring Your Cloudways Server is Easy

Once you’ve selected a cloud provider, you can configure your server. A slider on the control panel lets you choose the number of page views you anticipate receiving every month. Cloudways uses this information to recommend a server size that would be ideal for your specific hosting needs.

Alternatively, you can set server specifications manually by specifying how much bandwidth, core processors, RAM, and storage you need. Finally, Cloudways will prompt you to select your server location. The server location options include:

  • DigitalOcean: The UK (London), the US (San Francisco, New York), Singapore, Netherlands (Amsterdam), Germany (Frankfurt), Canada (Toronto), Bangalore.
  • Linode: The US (Newark, Dallas, Fremont, Atlanta), the UK (London), Germany (Frankfurt), Singapore, Japan (Tokyo), India (Mumbai), Australia (Sydney).
  • VULTR: The US (Seattle, Silicon Valley, Los Angeles, Dallas, Chicago, Atlanta, Miami, New Jersey), the UK (London), Netherlands (Amsterdam), France (Paris), Germany (Frankfurt), Japan (Tokyo), India (Seoul), Australia (Sydney), Singapore, Canada (Toronto).
  • AWS (Amazon Web Services): The US (Seattle, Silicon Valley, Los Angeles, Dallas, Chicago, Atlanta, Miami, New Jersey), the UK (London), Netherlands (Amsterdam), France (Paris), Japan (Tokyo), India (Seoul), Australia (Sydney), Singapore, Canada (Toronto).
  • Google Cloud Platform: The US (Iowa, South Carolina, Oregon, North Virginia, Las Vegas), Belgium, the UK (London), Netherlands, Germany (Frankfurt), Finland, Canada (Montreal), Mumbai, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan (Tokyo), Australia (Sydney), and Brazil (Sao Paolo).

Install WordPress

After configuring the cloud server specifications, you can install WordPress from the “application management” tab. There are three available WordPress installation options:

  1. Standard WordPress hosting with built-in caching tools.
  2. WordPress Multi-Site.
  3. WordPress with WooCommerce hosting, for e-commerce websites.

Each installation comes with the W3 Total cache plug-in installed and configured to boost site speed and performance.

cloudways cloud-hosting features

The Cloudways Console and its Features

Cloudways is a managed cloud hosting service. It does not use cPanel for its dashboard but has its unique interface for cloud hosting features.

On the Cloudways console, you’ll find many other settings under the “Server Management” tab. Scrolling further down that tab reveals more features that you can manage as desired.

The following is a quick rundown of Server features that you will get when using Cloudways to host a managed WordPress site:

Master Credentials

The “Master Credentials” tab shows your credentials for SSH and SFTP access to your Cloudways server. You can also set your SSH public keys or even launch an SSH terminal in your browser.

Security

The security tab allows you to manage SSH/SFTP access to your Cloudways web app. You can either allow all IP addresses, except for those blocked by the Cloudways security system. Alternatively, you can block all IP addresses except for those you add to the IP whitelist. You can also whitelist IPs that will have remote access to your MySQL server.

Monitoring

The Server monitoring section provides key information about your server status and health, like CPU, RAM, DISK, and bandwidth usage. It also provides time-based graphs of key server stats like Auto-healing restarts, CPU idle time, Free Disk, Reads per second, Writes per second, Free memory, incoming & outgoing network traffic, APC fill ratio and hit rate, the Varnish & Memcached hit rate and fill ratio.

Cloudways monitoring details graph - Free Disk

Backups

Cloudways lets you set up automatic backups of your cloud server images. You can choose you server backup settings and you can even perform a manual backup on-demand.

Manage Services

In this section you can control Core Services that allow your application(s) to run. Changing these settings may break your web app's functioning, so you need to know what you are doing. You can enable/disable services like Apache, Nginx, Memcached, Varnish, PHP, New Relic, and Redis.

cloudways service management

Vertical Scaling – Handle Traffic Surges

There’s nothing like paying for an ad, getting a crush of traffic, then having your site go down because it can’t handle all those visitors coming in at once. With vertical scaling, you can adjust allocated server resources at any time with a few clicks. This is a brilliant feature when experiencing a traffic surge.

You can control the server RAM size and disk space via block storage. If you’re scaling up for just a short period, Cloudways offers a “Pay as you go” system so that you don’t have to pay for server resources you won’t need later on.

Settings & Packages

You can manage various server-level settings and packages, memory execution limits, upload limits, PHP execution limits, MySQL & Maria DB limits, and schedule server maintenance.

Other Tools and Settings

Cloudways provides a host of other tools besides those mentioned above. For instance, under the “Manage Services” option, you can configure services like MySQL, Apache, and cache memory. Under the “Migrator Tools” option, Cloudways offers a WordPress Migrator tool to help you move an existing WordPress site to their cloud hosting platform. Using the “Application Add-on” section, you can install application-specific add-ons for DNS management, transactional email services, and so forth. Also, the Cloudways console offers extra tools such as backup restoration, SSL certificate installation, and GIT integration, to name a few.

Is Cloudways Good for E-Commerce Hosting?

Cloudways Hosting includes a wide range of e-commerce-friendly features designed to make selling your wares online a piece of cake. The company currently hosts over 10,000 e-commerce stores. The host boasts 100% reliability with super-fast page loading times as low as two seconds thanks to a combo of Memcached, Apache, Varnish, Nginx, and Redis. The host’s e-commerce options also come complete with a user-friendly console, unlimited storage, managed security and backups, alongside 24-7 support.

Supported E-Commerce Platforms

Cloudways Hosting supports several popular e-commerce platforms, including Magento, WooCommerce, Prestashop, and opencart, which you can use to sell your goods and services online. You can install Magento and WooCommerce with just one click.

Magento

Cloudways promises one-click installation of Magento in a move designed to take the fuss out of installing the open-source e-commerce platform. The hosting provider is also optimized to run Magento stores at high speed, meaning higher conversions for your company. Additional features include multi-SSL deployment alongside built-in SSH and Git Environments.

WooCommerce

WooCommerce is another popular e-commerce platform supported by Cloudways hosting. Cloudways facilitates WooCommerce hosting with advanced caching technologies for an optimized store and better conversion rate by offering a solid foundation powered by industry-leading IaaS cloud providers. Meanwhile, the host’s WooCommerce hosting plans also include features including WP-CLI support and one-click server scaling so that you can grab some extra resources for your businesses during busy periods.

Cloudways Performance and Uptime

Cloudways has partnered with some of the top cloud providers in the industry. As a result, you can count on them to provide over 99% uptime when hosting your website on their WordPress cloud servers.

WordPress sites hosted on Cloudways have 40-50% better load times. This is made possible by Cloudways’ proprietary VMAN technology, which deploys Varnish, Redis, Memcached, ElasticSearch, MySQL, MariaDB, Apache, and Nginx to optimize site speed.

Will My Site Load Fast?

Page speeds are critical to small businesses as poor loading times can affect your company’s Google search rankings and drive impatient customers away. Cloudways boasts super-fast page loading times thanks to their cutting-edge technology stack, created for maximizing speed:

  • Apache
  • Nginx
  • Varnish
  • memcached
  • Redis
  • PHP-FPM
  • MySQL/MariaDB for databases
  • SSD (solid-state drives) for storage

The combination of multiple available datacenter locations, along with Cloudway's optimized stack and CloudwaysCDN, or the option to use your CDN like Cloudflare or WP Rocket CDN, will ensure industry-leading performance for your website. You will even have the option to use the StackPath CDN (content delivery network) — which uses a global network of 65+ PoPs (points-of-presence). Those datacenter nodes store copies of your website. When someone visits your site, the system automatically detects their geographic region and delivers your site from the network node closest to them.

Cloudways Application Management

Moving away from just server management Cloudways allows you to manage your site at an application level. You can set your WordPress administrator panel password, your MySQL access credentials and you can set multiple SSH and SFTP credentials for your application.

You can also monitor your traffic and check your site's analytics including PHP requests, MySQL Queries (along with a summary of the slow queries), running cron jobs on the application server and disk usage.

There is also a section for “Bot Protection”, where you can see the blocked traffic and blocked logins.

Domain Management allows you to set your primary domain along with additional domains. Unfortunately, Cloudways does not offer domain registration services, so you will have to buy the domain name from another provider.

Moreover, you can add, edit, and remove cron jobs. You can set the frequency cron jobs run and more.

Finally, you can take care of backup and restore, along with git deployment, set your application's general, PHP FPM, and Varnish settings, use the free WordPress automated migration tool, and control CloudwaysCDN (not available for trial accounts).

Website Security, Firewalls and Defense Mechanisms

Server security is something that Cloudways take seriously, which is why the new WordPress Managed Hosting Click and Go platform safeguards cloud servers with sophisticated firewalls. Cloudways technical experts deploy what they call “security hardening techniques” to safeguard servers from hacking attempts. As mentioned earlier, Cloudways offers automatic site backups, and you can choose how frequently you want your server to backup data.

Application-Level Security

Application-level security refers to those security services that are invoked at the application level as opposed to the network level. It provides an additional layer of security to prevent your online business from external threats.

Load WooCommerce store

The Cloudways Affiliate Program

Yes, Cloudways does have an affiliate program. You can earn up to $6,000 a month with a choice of two commission structures: “Slab” or “Hybrid.” Cloudways will supply you with affiliate links, banners for your website, exclusive deals to promote, and seasonal campaigns.

cloudways affiliate program
Ready to get started? Signing up with the Cloudways affiliate program is easy. You can sign up for free.

Cloudways has an impressive program. They provide you with a dedicated affiliate manager and quality learning resources.

You may want to consider this if you have a design agency, are a blogger, or are a freelancer in the website design and development business or some other tech arena.

The “Slab” Commission Structure

CustomersCommission per sale
1- 5$50
6 – 20$75
21 – 45$100
46 – 80$125
80+Contact Cloudways

The “Hybrid” Commission Structure

It is better to use the hybrid affiliate program calculator to figure out your potential earnings as a Cloudways affiliate. You can have a look at what the Digital Ocean 1GB plan can earn you in the table below, but you pretty much can make around $415 per customer in the first year and $7.70/mo for the rest of their subscription duration.

CUSTOMERS/monthFirst-year earningsLifetime monthly earnings
1$415$7.70
5$2,073$38.50
10$4,146$77.00
15$6,219$115.50
20$8,292$154.00

How is Their Customer Support?

Getting help from Cloudways is easy. You can contact the support team via phone call, live chat or email.

Alternatively, you can find answers to billing, sales, or technical queries on their support page, which comes full of knowledgebase articles and answering FAQs.

Cloudways Support screen screenshot

Pros and Cons of Cloudways

Is Cloudways a good managed WordPress hosting solution?

Pros

  1. 3-day free trial is available for the cloud servers that feature 512MB and 1GB of RAM. No credit card information is necessary, so you won't have to worry about canceling before the 3-day trial expires.
  2. Cloudways Console is a user-friendly control panel for managing your server. It includes plenty of valuable features, the most notable being server monitoring and scaling tools.
  3. Automatic site backups are easy to configure and can be scheduled as you desire.
  4. The Pay-as-you-go pricing system ensures that you only get billed for what you need after scaling server resources.
  5. Apart from WordPress, Cloudways offers hosting solutions for many other content management systems such as Magento, Joomla, Drupal, and Moodle.
  6. Cloudways offers one site migration at no additional cost.

Cons

  1. Unfortunately, you cannot use Plesk or cPanel. Cloudways is a Platform-as-a-Service company, so they provide their console to help you manage applications hosted on cloud servers.
  2.  Cloud-based hosting is not for everyone because it requires a certain degree of expertise. If you want to avoid technical details altogether, you would probably be better off with a traditional managed WordPress hosting service from reputable companies like Bluehost, DreamHost, SiteGround, WPEngine, or InMotion.

Summary

Cloudways is one of the few companies that offer an outstanding balance between affordability and great functionality for cloud-based managed WordPress hosting. Their WordPress cloud servers come with a fantastic feature set, and you can scale hosting resources as your website grows.

If you’re still on the fence about hosting your WordPress site on a cloud server, then sign up for the 3-day free trial that Cloudways offers to test their platform.

Start a free trial NOW with Cloudways!

Cloudways Plans & Prices

Flywheel offers a range of scalable managed WordPress hosting plans. Cloudways is a platform-as-a-service, and you can choose to host your WordPress site on a cloud server from DigitalOcean, Linode, Vultr, Amazon Web Services, or Google Cloud Platform. Below is an overview of their monthly plans (using DigitalOcean’s cloud servers) and the current price list. For the latest and most up-to-date prices, visit the Cloudways website.

You can also

Note: Cloudways offers “pay-as-you-go” billing: each month, you only pay for the resources that your website consumed.

Server NameRAMProcessorStorageBandwidthMonthly Price
DO1GB1 GB1 Core25GB1TB$10/mo
DO2GB2 GB1 Core50GB2TB$22/mo
DO4GB4 GB2 Core80GB4TB$42/mo
DO8GB8 GB4 Core160GB5TB$80/mo
DO16GB16 GB6 Core320GB6TB$135/mo
DO32GB32 GB8 Core640GB7TB$230/mo
DO48GB48 GB12 Core960GB8TB$315/mo
DO64GB64 GB16 Core1280GB9TB$395/mo
DO96GB96 GB20 Core1920GB10TB$555/mo
DO128GB128 GB24 Core2560GB11TB$715/mo
DO192GB192 GB32 Core3840GB12TB$1,035/mo
Server NameRAMProcesorStorageBandwidthMonthly Price
Linode1GB1 GB1 Core25GB1TB$12/mo
Linode2GB2 GB1 Core50GB2TB$24/mo
Linode4GB4 GB2 Core80GB4TB$50/mo
Linode8GB8 GB4 Core160GB5TB$90/mo
Linode16GB16 GB6 Core320GB8TB$150/mo
Linode32GB32 GB8 Core640GB16TB$250/mo
Linode64GB64 GB16 Core1280GB20TB$470/mo
Linode96GB96 GB20 Core1920GB20TB$680/mo
Linode128GB128 GB24 Core2560GB20TB$860/mo
Linode192GB192 GB32 Core3840GB20TB$1,205/mo
Server NameRAMProcessorStorageBandwidthMonthly Price
VULTR1GB1 GB1 Core25GB1TB$11/mo
VULTR2GB2 GB1 Core55GB2TB$23/mo
VULTR4GB4 GB2 Core80GB3TB$44/mo
VULTR8GB8 GB4 Core160GB4TB$84/mo
VULTR16GB16 GB6 Core320GB5TB$139/mo
VULTR32GB32 GB8 Core640GB6TB$225/mo
VULTR64GB64 GB16 Core1280GB10TB$385/mo
Server NameRAMProcessorStorageBandwidthMonthly Price
AWS Small2GB2vCPU20GB2GB$36.51/mo
AWS Medium4GB2vCPU20GB2GB$86.77/mo
AWS CO Large 4GB2vCPU20GB2GB$158.26 /mo
AWS Large8GB2vCPU20GB2GB$176.26/mo
AWS CO XL 8GB4vCPU20GB2GB$252.73/mo
AWS XL16GB4vCPU20GB2GB$274.33/mo
AWS CO 2XL 16GB8vCPU20GB2GB$395.02/mo
AWS 2XL32GB8vCPU20GB2GB$428.70/mo
AWS CO 4XL 32GB16vCPU20GB2GB$641.82/mo
AWS 4XL64GB16vCPU20GB2GB$705.18/mo
AWS CO 9XL 72GB36vCPU20GB2GB$1353.82/mo
AWS 8XL128GB32vCPU20GB2GB$1358.14/mo
AWS CO 12XL 96GB48vCPU20GB2GB$1721.02/mo
AWS 12XL192GB48vCPU20GB2GB$1911.10/mo
AWS CO 18XL 144GB72vCPU20GB2GB$2455.42/mo
AWS 16XL256GB64vCPU20GB2GB$2464.06/mo
AWS CO 24XL 192GB96vCPU20GB2GB$3189.82/mo
AWS 24XL384GB96vCPU20GB2GB$3569.98/mo
Server NameRAMProcessorStorageBandwidthMonthly Price
GCE Small1.70 GB1vCPU20GB2GB$33.18/mo
GCE n1-std-13.75 GB1vCPU20GB2GB$73.50/mo
GCE n1-std-27.5 GB2vCPU20GB2GB$138.52/mo
GCE HC4 4 GB4vCPU20GB2GB$187.48/mo
GCE n1-std-415 GB4vCPU20GB2GB$225.93/mo
GCE HC8 8 GB8vCPU20GB2GB$366.33/mo
GCE n1-std-830 GB8vCPU20GB2GB$412.70/mo
GCE HC16 16 GB16vCPU20GB2GB$563.43/mo
GCE n1-std-1660 GB16vCPU20GB2GB$721.94/mo
GCE HC32 32 GB32vCPU20GB2GB$923.32/mo
GCE n1-std-32120 GB32vCPU20GB2GB$1290.30/mo

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