Cloudways - The Best Managed Cloud Hosting: Reviewed by Experts
There are countless hosting options available.
However, there are few which focus exclusively on managed cloud-based hosting – yet this is how Cloudways stands out from the competition.
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There is just one question:
Is cloud hosting simply a trend, or should you be going with Cloudways for your hosting needs?
- Top Features
- Cloud providers
- Cloudways Pricing Options
- The Pros and Cons of Cloudways
Are you looking for the best web hosting providers? Check out our review here.
An Introduction to Cloudways Web Hosting
In operation since 2011, Cloudways is a smaller web hosting company than major players like GoDaddy and HostGator.
It is currently the web host of choice for 70,000 developers, businesses, and agencies.
However, don't let this relatively small number make you think Cloudways is any less worthy of your attention.
In fact, Cloudways is significantly different from the standard operators in the web hosting realm. While you usually see a combination of shared hosting, VPN hosting, dedicated servers, etc.,
If you're searching for a cheap shared hosting plan, you won't find it here. Now, that's not to say Cloudways is an expensive option – it's much the opposite in reality.
You can find cloud-based hosting plans starting from as little as $10 a month.
For cloud hosting, that's a heck of a deal. You also don't have to pay on a month-by-month basis. Pay-as-you-go plans are available, which are easily scalable.
Even if you've never experienced cloud-based hosting before, you'll experience a lot of similarities when compared to other hosting solutions.
You receive free SSL. A free migration service is available. 24/7/365 support is supplied. Real-time monitoring is provided 24/7.
The list goes on and on.
If the desire is to benefit from cloud hosting, the wealth of features makes Cloudways an excellent option on the surface.
Yet before you decide to sign-up, it's important to see if Cloudways' performance lives up to its potential.
Cloudways Top Features
Cloudways is home to a wide assortment of features. All play their part in creating a comprehensive web host experience. However, we have taken the opportunity to spotlight the main features below:
When website owners are searching for cloud-based hosting, they're doing so with one priority in mind: superior performance.
Other hosting solutions match up well in terms of bandwidth, storage space, website design features, and so on.
However, cloud hosting is known for delivering high-speed performance.
This is especially the case with Cloudways.
They've gone to the next level, continually fine-tuning their operations to deliver the best performance. The evidence is found with their SSD-based hosting, which delivers 3x faster speeds to dramatically reduce webpage load times.
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They also utilize PHP 7 ready servers, built-in advanced caches, and Cloudflare Enterprise CDN.
You might not understand the terminology. What you should understand, however, is all of these elements equals a whole lot of juice when it comes to performance.
Flexibility to scale up and down
With other hosting options, the tendency is you have to jump up or down to a different plan.
A shared hosting plan, for instance, you may have to go from a beginner plan to a mid-size one because you've outgrown the resources supplied by the former.
However, the jump in cost is not small – and you're likely to be receiving more resources than you currently require.
With Cloudways hosting solutions, seamless flexibility is offered. Due to its pay-as-you-go nature, you can effectively hop onto whatever plan that best matches your needs at the time.
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Then when traffic quietens down, drop back down to a more appropriate – and cheaper – plan.Try Cloudways >>
In this day and age, a hosting provider has to excel with its customer service. Fail to do so, and they will be left behind by the competition.
As a result, and with an emphasis on matching – and even exceeding their rivals – Cloudways goes to great lengths with its customer service.
This begins by being available at all times. Whether you require assistance on New Year's Day or 4 am on a Sunday, a representative will always be on-hand to answer any questions you fire in their direction.
Free standard support includes Live Chat and ticketing functionality, while the paid premium support includes everything from phone support to a dedicated account manager.
Numerous security features are supplied by Cloudways, which shows how seriously they take this element. They don't want your website to be compromised, as they know how damaging a cyberattack can be for the health and data of your site.
Free managed backups are one of the features offered. With backups in place, it's possible to restore your website back to an earlier time period.
Going back in time can be particularly useful if your site crashes due to either a cyberattack or a mistake at your end. SSL certificates are dished out free of charge, too, which gives your site an added layer of security.
It's also possible to enjoy enterprise-grade security by signing up for the Cloudflare Enterprise add-on. This is available through Cloudways for an additional $4.99 per month.
Five different cloud providers
It's true: you don't have a choice between the likes of shared hosting, dedicated servers, and so on.
What you do have, however, is a selection of five different cloud providers. Cloudways has partnered with the following outlets:
- Digital Ocean
- Amazon Web Services
- Google Cloud
It's important to note that you don't have to sign up for a direct account with either of these cloud providers.
Cloudways takes care of all that on your behalf. You then get to benefit from the infrastructure of whichever provider you opt to go with, along with the location of their respective data centers.
Cloudways Pricing Options
Cloudways' pricing model is one that can lead to confusion – at least initially. There are several cloud providers available, several plans underneath each one, and both hourly and monthly pricing options.
To give you a greater idea of how the pricing works, we have focused on the plans available through DigitalOcean.
Overall, DigitalOcean is the most affordable cloud provider out of the five available.
Their most basic standard option is available for just $10 monthly. However, it understandably comes with a number of restrictions compared to the pricier options.
Here's how the standard DigitalOcean plans work out:
- $10 monthly: 1GB RAM, 1 Core processor, 25GB storage, 1TB bandwidth
- $22 monthly: 2GB RAM, 1 Core processor, 50GB storage, 2TB bandwidth
- $42 monthly: 4GB RAM, 2 Core processor, 80GB storage, 4TB bandwidth
- $80 monthly: 8GB RAM, 4 Core processor, 160GB storage, 5TB bandwidth
All plans include Free SSL, 24/7 support, Cloudflare add-on, free migration, and other beneficial features.
The $22, $42, and $80 plans also include Object Cache Pro free of charge.
Remember: these plans are all available on an hourly basis.
This is where the pricing can be rather confusing. For example, the $10 per month plan turns into $0.0139 per hour.
Nevertheless, this hourly billing is particularly useful if your website traffic fluctuates or you're expecting to grow your audience significantly in the near future.
You maximize your expenditure while receiving the exact resources you require at all times.
The pricing can differ substantially based on the cloud provider you choose.
Linode and Vultr sit alongside DigitalOcean in the most affordable bracket.
Their cheapest monthly plans are $11 and $12 respectively, while their most expensive are $84 and $90.
The pricing starts to fluctuate once you move on to the two big hitters: Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud.
The cheapest AWS plan is $36.51 per month. The most expensive AWS plan is $274.33 per month.
As for Google Cloud, the price drops a little, with the cheapest being $33.18 monthly and the most expensive being $225.93 monthly.
The Pros and Cons of Cloudways
If you've made it to this portion of the review, you'll know the above information paints a very positive picture about Cloudways. However, it's not all in one direction, and there are some "negative" aspects to consider.
Performance is the linchpin of any web hosting service. If page load speeds are slow and uptime is unreliable, your visitors are not going to be happy. Google won't be either, and they will penalize this poor performance by dropping your site's SEO score.
As a result, it's great news that Cloudways excels in this department.
The cloud-based nature of the hosting delivers super-fast speeds where page loading delays are kept to a minimum.
It's also a similar story with its uptime performance. With a 99.9% uptime guarantee, Cloudways won't let you down with an offline site for any substantial period of time.Try Cloudways >>
Flexibility with hourly pay-as-you-go rates
Flexibility is undoubtedly one of the main reasons to opt for Cloudways over their competitors.
Their hourly pay-as-you-go model is unlike pretty much anyone else out there at the moment, and it allows you to switch up plans whenever it's necessary.
This is a great way to save money by only paying for what you need.
Over 65 data center locations across the globe
Even the most popular web hosts will only utilize a limited number of data centers.
They'll also typically be limited in terms of their global presence. A standard example would be for them to have one or two servers in the United States, another in Europe, and that's it.
The result: performance isn't optimized if you're targeting an international audience or if you're based in a different continent to where the servers are located.
Due to Cloudways partnering with infrastructure partners like Amazon and Google Cloud, they get to directly benefit from all of their combined data center locations.
New York, London, Singapore, Toronto, Bangalore, Tokyo, Sydney, Hong Kong, Sao Paulo – all of these are covered as part of the 65+ servers under the Cloudways banner.
Custom control panel
If you enjoy the familiarity of using cPanel, this may not be viewed as that much of a positive.
Nevertheless, Cloudways utilizes its own custom control panel.
This control panel, which is modern and intuitive compared to the aforementioned cPanel, makes it easy to manage applications, projects, teams, access servers, and more.
Are you not sure about going with a cloud-based hosting solution?
Would you like to test it out before committing to a plan? In that case, you should pay attention to the free trial offered by Cloudways.
This 72-hour trial allows you to sample what this service has to provide – and you don't even have to give them your credit card details to begin.
Not the easiest platform
If you're used to the functionality of the cPanel, moving over to Cloudways custom control panel can be jarring. Plus, while there is a knowledge base that delivers helpful guides when required, the platform is not geared towards beginners. It's certainly more suited to technical users overall.
Email hosting is not included
A website owner will use email not only to respond to inquiries from visitors and contact others but also to conduct their own email marketing campaigns. As a result, not having dedicated email hosting as part of the Cloudways package is an inconvenience.
Unable to register a domain name
A lot of web hosts not only offer the option to register a domain name, but they'll often include the first year's registration for free when you sign-up for a long-term package. Sadly, you cannot even register a domain name with Cloudways – you'll have to do this through a separate service.
Summary: Will You Hit the Heights with Cloudways?
Cloudways is not the most accessible web host around. You will require some technical nous to get the most out of this platform.
However, if you manage to do so, you will benefit from one of the best and most affordable cloud-based hosting solutions available on the market today.
With superior performance, excellent flexibility, and a wide selection of features available, it's easy to recommend Cloudways to anyone that seeks cloud hosting for their website.Try Cloudways >>
Are you looking for the best web hosting providers? Check out our review here.