This article contains the Cloudways Review as a web hosting provider. The way we used to host websites 10 years ago and now is completely different. More and more people are moving onto cloud hosting platforms than the traditional web hosting options. With this review, you’ll able to realize why cloud solutions are actually better. We’ll follow the practical approach for this review and rather than just theoretical analysis, I’ll be testing the Cloudways platform by hosting a demo website. The review will primarily comprise of Pros and Cons with further sub-sections.
Introduction to Cloudways
Cloudways is one of the leading managed cloud hosting platforms. It follows a very simple approach to hosting. It allows you to create as many applications as you want without any restriction and you pay accordingly at some hourly rates. The best part of it is that it is managed. Your technical worries are reduced a lot.
You need not to signup for multiple cloud service providers to host on different cloud platforms. Cloudways offer multiple cloud service provides under one roof. The management is so cool that you can launch an awesome web application in just a few minutes. We’ll see in a later section, how easy it is to create a website(s) with Cloudways in just a few minutes.
Scalability, CloudBot, and Support are the other cool attractions of Cloudways. They have tried to design their interface in a minimal way still providing you the maximum insights of each and everything about your application. They have partnered with some of the leading cloud hosting platforms like Google Cloud and Amazon’s AWS Cloud platform to offer you the ultimate cloud hosting experience.
Before mentioning the various Pros and Cons, I’ve thought of testing it in a fresh way. If you just want to see the results and want to go quickly through the review, you can skip reading this section.
The process is simple, quick and easy.
So, I created a fresh account on Cloudways and now we’ll setup up a default WordPress website installation on it and will observe how the flow of the setup goes on.
In cloudways, you first set up a server. Don’t worry, you need not do any technical work here. Everything is managed. You just have to go through a setup wizard. It’s like a super quick Q & A session.
You can create any number of servers here and in each server you can further set up your applications. For the testing purpose, we’ll create a very basic server with minimum resources allowed by Cloudways and then we’ll install the latest version of WordPress on it. It’ll have the default WordPress 2019 theme installed and then, we’ll do the server response time and load time to get the statistics.
I just clicked on the Launch button and the wizard as shown in the following screenshot just opes up.
Here the first step is to choose an application. In this dropdown, multiple applications including various versions of Magento, WordPress, Drupal, etc. are available. Even you can simply choose PHP and can set up your custom-written PHP application.
Next, just give a name to your app, server, and project. These are three things in Cloudways, Project, Server & App. We are creating WTMatter Testing App under Demo Server which is further under Demo Project. You can individually create any of these in using the Plus Button given at the top bar.
Anyways, I just chose WordPress 5.2.2 and now you’ve to choose the Cloud Platform. Five platforms are available including DigitalOcean, Linode, VULTR, AWS, and GCP (Google Cloud Platform). I chose the default one, DigitalOcean.
Next, you choose the server size. As you can see in the above screenshot, I have set it to the default size of 2GB. You can also choose from the various locations of the server. In our case, I just selected Bangalore as the server location.
In this server, we’ll get 2 GB RAM, 50 GB SSD Disk, 2TB Bandwidth, and a single-core processor. The next step is to check the hourly calculated pricing and launching the application.
You can see the hourly price of the server comes to be $0.0306 and monthly at max it will cost us $22. Once ensuring the pricing, just click on the Launch Now button.
After that, it will start setting up our server and as you can see it will take some time as in my case, it is saying that our application will be ready in approximately 7 minutes. This time is dependent on various factors.
Anyways, once the server will be ready to use, it will be like as shown in the following screenshot.
You’ll be able to access the server directly using the provided IP address. You can simply do more with the server by clicking on this card.
I just typed the IP in the browser and got to see my freshly installed WordPress application. You can see in the screenshot the website can also be accessed with the generated subdomain of cloudwaysapps.com.
Now, I can do the testing of the site to test the server speed and performance. I’ll share the results into the applicable features in the Pros section.
There are so many good things about Cloudways, Let’s discuss them here.
Uptime is mostly an issue with traditional web hosting companies. When we talk about cloud technology, your websites are backed up with the features of data mirroring onto multiple servers. This means that in case of technical issues with one server, your website will not face downtime as the control will be shifted to some other copy of your server. That’s why cloud services are a kind of always up kind of solution and also in our testing, we don’t face any downtime.
Therefore, we observed 100% uptime here.
Speed & Performance
This is an important aspect of any hosting service. Again the speed and performance directly depend upon the resources of the server. In our server, we have SSD for faster reading or writing speed, we have got a single-core processor and 2 GB RAM. These much resources are enough to run a default WordPress installation at super speed. Now we’ll check the server response time and performance we gained with the site using Google Page Speed Insights Tool.
Test results were shocking. The website response time was just 180 ms. Can you imagine the speed? It is even less than most of the average recommended response times of 400-600 ms.
Moreover, in the Google Page Speed Insights Tool, it got a 100 score. Well’s that really appreciable.
Let’s check the website load time with Pingdom Website Speed Tools.
It got an A Performance Grade with a load time of just 1.77 seconds. These tests simply justify the speed and performance that you get with Cloudways.
Cloudways has made the server monitoring simpler than ever. You can view the starts in a summarized way as well as in the form of detailed statistics.
This summarized monitoring gives you a quick idea about how your server is performing and whether you need to scale it or not. On the other hand, you can use Detailed Monitoring Statistics to judge the usage of resources by some critical scripts or critical applications on doing some specific actions. New Relic is a better option for monitoring. For this, you’ve to first enable it in the Services section.
Services Management & Settings
With Cloudways Hosting platform, management of services is very simple. You can manage all the services at once place with minimal options.
The Varnish is a great caching service offered along with Cloudways Servers. When enabled, this simply caches the dynamic pages and server them as static HTML pages next time, so as to reduce the load on the server and for faster loading of the web pages. Likewise, there are other services, which you can restart whenever needed. It was good to see NGINX and Apache, both running on the same server.
You can also do different types of setting very easily in Cloudways servers. For example, to change the version of PHP, you just need to choose the version and click.
In short, they have simplified most of the technical aspects settings of the server into a cool user interface.
Vertical Scaling allows you to increase the server size whenever you feel the requirement of increasing it. Simply, choose the new server size and click on Scale Now button. Your server will be scaled.
In case you just require more storage and don’t want to scale up the processor and RAM, you can simply go with the Block Storage option. Therefore, Cloudways has made scaling simpler as well.
Vertical scaling does not allow to reduce the server size. To reduce the server size, you’ll first need to clone the server.
One of the best features that Cloudways server include is Backups. You can set an automatical schedule for the backup. Simply choose the frequency, time and retention period. A maximum retention period of 4 weeks is allowed. The backups are by default off-site backups, but you wish to store backups locally as well. Just make sure that latest backup copy will be stored locally, while other backup copies remain off-site only. You can choose to store the latest backup copy on the server or not.
You can also take backup manually anytime with just one click, by clicking on the Take Backup Now button as shown in the screenshot above. Off-site backup storage service is charged the extra price of $0.033/GB per server.
Security & Email Services
Cloudways has offered plenty of good options to secure your server. You can add a WhiteList IP, only from which you can remotely access your server with SSH/SFTP. Likewise, similar WhiteList IP feature is available to access MySQL Database remotely as well.
Likewise, you can also set up SMTP to receive emails with your server. They have provided the option to choose from a number of email applications to make this job easy as well.
Browser-Based SSH Terminal & Other Technical Features
To manage your server in a bit more detail, you need to do the stuff with SSH. We require some SSH application installed on our local computer system for the purpose. But with Cloudways, you even need not any SSH application like Putty for Windows on your computer.
Cloudways offers a browser-based SSH Terminal using which you can do the things quickly.
They also offer a Database Manager using which you can control the MySQL Database(s) with a Graphical User Interface rather than doing things on a command-line interface. Some of the other great technicalities offered with Cloudways are highlighted in the following points.
- User-friendly Interface for Cron-Job Management
- Free SSL Certificate with Let’s Encrypt
- Git Based Deployment
- Cloudways Migrations
- Premium CDN (At Extra Cost)
You can choose to enable free SSL Certificate with Let’s Encrypt or you can also use your own custom SSL Certificate. Cloudways Migration Tool is a great feature. WordPress Migration from one server to another is also super easy and you can view my guide for it here. In case you want to migrate your application from one Cloudways server to another you can do it easily with this feature.
Although the hosting is managed still you may require support at any moment of time. Cloudways offer ultimate support and that too 24/7. There are various aspects of Support, which makes us build more trust on Cloudways.
The Live chat and Live Ticketing support are available always 24/7. Moreover, there are very rare chances that you’ll ever need to contact the support as everything you get is actually pretty easy to use and most of the aspects are managed. Moreover, they have already published knowledge base which can help you in the case you’re really stuck somewhere.
Free Migration To Cloudways
For non-technical users, migrating your website from one web hosting to another is actually a difficult task. That’s why many hosting companies offer migration services but most of them provide this service at a cost which is quite high. But this is not the case with Cloudways. You can ask Cloudways to migrate your first website to their server for free.
It’s very hard to find any Cons in Cloudways as they have got quite impressive features as a Managed Cloud Hosting service provider. But yes, there’s a thing that most people want to be there for hosting management and that’s not here in Cloudways.
The only con that I found here is the absence of cPanel. For many people, hosting management is incomplete without cPanel. Although, Cloudways has provided SSH to control each and every aspect of the webserver.
But still, not everybody is that technology to control server with SSH. Cloudways has that’s why provided most of the basic control options in their pretty user interface.
Likewise, to manage MySQL Databases, custom database management which has quite limited functionality as compared to phpMyAdmin is provided.
In any of the cloud hosting platform, pricing is never fixed and it varies with the resources that you allocate for requirement time. Still, on their official website, they have prepared plans of estimation according to some common resources used for a month.
All plans will have the same features as the only varying thing is the resources of your server. More there will be resources, powerful will be your resources. Here, you get dedicated resources, which you can monitor anytime.
The above pricing plans are for DigitalOcean Hosting with Cloudways, while hosting with other cloud platforms, mentioned above, will have different pricing. As far as pricing is concerned, I feel DigitalOcean is a good option to go.
Cloudways offer a free trial for 3 days in which you can create your own web server and can add resources as mentioned in the Digital Ocean 2 GB RAM plan. This trial will be great to help you analyze and check the cool features and computing power of Cloudways Hosting Platform. You even don’t require credit card details to start the trial!
Without any doubts, Cloudways is one of the greatest managed cloud hosting platforms. They offer 5 different cloud hosting platform options under one service, which is highly appreciable. Moreover, the managed way in which we can create Projects, Servers, and Applications is just fabulous!
I have specifically included the Testing Section in this review and have shown you people, how easily you can set up the things on Cloudways. I hope, that section cleared most of the doubts about Cloudways and have given you clear insights.
They have everything a cloud hosting service provider should have. That’s why we highly recommend Cloudways as a Managed Cloud Hosting Platform.
Self-usage gives better clarity. As they offer Free Trial, you should go ahead and Try Cloudways now!
My Rating For Cloudways
I’d like to rate Cloudways with 4.8 stars.
So, that’s our review of Cloudways services. Please feel free to ask us any questions related to this article in the comments section and it’ll be great if you share your own views and reviews about Cloudways if you have ever used it for hosting any kind of applications. Also, don’t forget to share this review with others who might find it useful for them as well.