Cloudways takes a unique approach to managed cloud hosting. With affordability at its core, you also get to choose the cloud hosting provider of your choice. You get to choose from DigitalOcean, AWS, GoogleCloud, Vultr, and Linode; you have complete control of your cloud provider choice. With an excellent feature set, you are free to scale as per your needs. Moreover, the IaaS setup provides excellent availability, performance, and security. With this tool, you also get the option to host managed WordPress and eCommerce sites with any of the available cloud providers. In this Cloudways review, we will explore more about Cloudways and see what it offers.
Ease of use
Value for Money
Starting from: $10/month
Pricing Model: Subscription
Yes, has free trial
No free version
- Excellent technology stack
- Supports staging environment
- It comes with collaboration features
- Offers access to leading cloud providers
- Supports free trial from almost all cloud providers
- Highly scalable
- eCommerce ready
- Managed SSD servers
- OS-level patches and firewalls
- Not great for beginners
- Server modification is not supported
- Third-party control panels such as Cpanel and Plesk not supported
- Add-ons are paid(most of them)
- Small business
- Medium business
- Cloud, SaaS, Web-Based
Cloudways Hosting platform
If you are looking for flexibility in cloud hosting for your business, then check out Cloudways. Cloudways is one of the prominent and well-known managed cloud hosting platforms. They offer the choice to select a wide range of cloud providers, including DigitalOcean, Linode, Vultr, AWS, and Google Cloud. As a business, you can opt to host custom applications or websites. Cloudways also supports managed WordPress hosting with your own choice of cloud provider.
Are you looking to host eCommerce or do server hosting? Then, Cloudways is also well-equipped to manage your requirements. Our Cloudways review will look at its features and what makes it an excellent option for businesses primarily looking for flexibility in cloud provider choice.
What is Cloudways?
Cloudways is a cloud hosting company that provides managed hosting. Their managed hosting utilizes a unique approach where they give the user the ability to choose their cloud provider. Currently, they offer access to five cloud providers, including DigitalOcean, Vultr, Linode, Google Cloud, and AWS. This makes Cloudways a platform-as-a-service provider.
Cloudways is now more than a decade old as it was started in 2009 by Aaqib Gadit, Uzair Gadit, and Pere Hospital. Their headquarters are at Malta island; however, they have offices in different locations, including Dubai and Spain.
Cloudways pricing utilizes a pay-as-you-go model, which makes it affordable. Moreover, you also get access to plenty of features. As their service is managed, almost all of the server management is done by Cloudways. As a result, you can host as many websites or applications as you like. Moreover, Cloudways supports different content management systems, including WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, etc.
With excellent security, performance, and scalability, Cloudways is also ideal for eCommerce sites that heavily rely on an excellent performance. Moreover, you can also use Cloudways as server hosting, which means you can set up an off-premises physical or virtual server. If you are unsure about them, you can also try out their three-day free trial(no credit card required).
Is Cloudways good for WordPress?
Yes! Cloudways offers managed WordPress hosting. Their managed WordPress hosting is used by 250K agencies, individuals, and small to medium businesses. Cloudways managed WordPress hosting is completely managed. This means that Cloudways take care of critical aspects of the hosting environment, including actively updating security patches and other critical technologies to make your WordPress site perform as smoothly as possible. WordPress hosting is ideal for eCommerce, individuals, agencies, or SMBs.
The key features offered by Cloudways WordPress managed to host include:
- It supports SSD hosting for excellent reliability and speed.
- The managed WordPress hosting also has a built-in cache for improved website performance.
- The stack used by WordPress is optimized. Cloudways use NGINX and Apache as a web servers. For databases, they utilize MySQL/MariaDB and PHP-FPM.
- They also offer the Breeze plugin, their in-house plugin, to improve performance.
- They come with dedicated firewalls and also support SSL certificates.
- WordPress Cloudways login is supported by two-factor authentication, improving your site’s overall performance.
- Easily add additional storage with the help of block storage. Also, it supports vertical scaling.
- Supports Git integration for better code management and deployment.
- Supports team collaboration.
You can try out their WordPress-managed hosting for three days to check if it fits your requirement. If you are moving from another hosting, you can also use their automated WordPress migrations. Their engineer will take care of the whole process, and you do not have to pay anything for it. You can also use their in-built WordPress migrator to migrate yourself. But, most importantly, you can host as many WordPress sites as your need. Also, Cloudways cloud hosting provides pay-as-you-go plans, ideal for businesses with budgets.
To improve performance, Cloudways deploy multiple methods to tweak performance. Some of the best performance based featured offered by Cloudways include:
- SSD-Based hosting: Cloudways is powered by SSD, which is 3x faster than traditional storage. The faster SSD provides the necessary speed for faster loading sites.
- Built-in advanced caches: To further improve the optimization, Cloudways offers ready-to-use cache, including Varnish, Memcached, Redis, and Nginx.
- Dedicated environment: Cloudways utilize a dedicated environment to ensure that they dedicate resources for the proper functioning of the server without any performance degradation.
- CDN: To better deliver content across the different geographical locations, Cloudways provides their own CloudwaysCDN. It provides a better response with minimal effort from clients.
- Auto-healing: To improve uptimes, servers come with an auto-healing feature so that they can easily recover from crashes.
- WordPress cache plugin: Cloudways offers their own in-house WordPress performance plugin, Breeze. It is free to use.
Apart from the above, other key performance features include:
- Free Magento full page cache
- Redis support
- HTTP/2 supported servers
- Pre-configured FPM
- PHP 7 ready servers
- HTTP/2 supported servers
Cloudways provide excellent security features to ensure that all websites remain safe all the time. The key security features include:
- Dedicated firewalls: Cloudways utilize OS-level firewalls to protect their servers from third-party malicious actors and traffic.
- IP whitelisting: With IP whitelisting, you can easily block regions or networks.
- 1-Click Free SSL installation: You can install a free SSL certificate on your site with just a one-click option. They currently offer free SSL via Let’s Encrypt.
- Two-factor authentication: You can enable two-factor authentication to protect your Cloudways account better.
- Bot protection: To ensure that you are protected from Denial-of-Service(DoS) attacks, Cloudways deploy bot protection. It also protects your site from brute force attacks and malicious bots.
- Regular security patching: Cloudways carries out OS level patches to protect the server from new vulnerabilities.
With Cloudways, you get complete choice over your server. So even though you are not going to get as much flexibility as using a cloud-hosing provider, you still get a good number of choice options. These choice options include the following:
- Block storage: If you are looking to add more storage to your server, you can do so with the help of block storage. Adding block storage only takes a few steps.
- Renowned IaaS providers: Choose from the well-known IaaS providers, including DigitalOcean, Google, Amazon, Vultr, and Linode.
- No long-term contract: Cloudways do not make you enter a long-term contract. All you are pay-as-you-go which means that you only pay for what you use.
- Seamless vertical scaling: You can also add storage, CPU, and RAM resources with one click.
- PHP apps supported: Cloudways supports all PHP-based applications.
- Global availability: You are free to choose from 60+ data centers, giving you complete freedom to serve your target audience.
- Multiple PHP versions: Cloudways supports different versions of PHP, including 8.x, 7.x, and 5.6.
- MariaDB and MySQL supported: Create more with the help of MariaDB and MySQL database support.
To help teams collaborate, Cloudways supports a plethora of team collaboration and workflow features. Let’s list the features below.
- Git integration:
- One account, multiple teams:
- Server and application cloning:
- SFTP and SSH access:
- Staging area:
- Add team embers:
- WP Migrator plugin:
- Server transfer:
Want more control over your server? Well, you get it with Cloudways. Check how you can have more control over your hosting.
- Cron job manager: You can schedule jobs using the cron job manager.
- UI-powered settings: Change the server and packages settings using UI-based options, making it easy for you to work with the packages or the server.
- App settings: You can change app settings with UI without using any complicated commands.
- 1-click stop app: Want to disable access to an application? You can do it with a 1-click stop app.
- WP-CLI pre-installed: You can use WP-CLI to control your WordPress website.
- 1-cYouth automated backups, you can easily do one- with automated backups, click backups and restore.
- Change application webroot: It only takes a few steps to change it.
- Advanced/custom varnish settings: The varnish rule let you easily control cache. You can include or exclude cookies or URLs as per your requirement.
To help you monitor your server in the best possible way, Cloudways offers the following features:
- New Relic integration: Cloudways now support the New Relic integration, which in return helps you easily monitor your application and troubleshoot it with the available information.
- CloudwaysBot notification: The AI-powered CloudwaysBot sends you real-time notifications on performance and other vital aspects.
- 24/7 real-time monitoring: Cloudways offer 24/7/365 real-time monitoring covering more than 16 different metrics.
Integrations and Addons
There are a plethora of integrations and add-ons that come with Cloudways. However, not all add-ons are free of cost, and you need to pay extra for them to use them.
- Cloudways API
- CloudwaysBot channels
- Application migration add-on
- SMTP add-on
- Application upgrade add-on
Cloudways provides excellent support for their customers. You get access to a 24/7/365 live chat where you can connect with their experts in no time. They also support online ticketing. So, if you want support on complex supports, you can connect with them by creating a ticket from the dashboard.
However, If you want phone access, you need to take their premium support add-on. The add-on costs start at $500 per month. Apart from that, they also offer Advanced support at $100 per month. In addition, Cloudways offers enhanced SLAs to ensure proper support, making online ticket responses to 30 mins for high-priority tickets and 3 hours for normal priority support. The support also helps you fix application-level issues and server configuration and customization.
So, what does Cloudways offers when it comes to pricing? As Cloudways provides access to five cloud providers, their pricing is diversified and completely depends on the choice of your cloud provider. In addition, all the cloud providers supported by Cloudways offer a “pay-as-you-go” plan. You can benefit from the approach as you only pay for what you use as a business. Moreover, their pricing plans are transparent and flexible.
Let’s go through the different pricing plans offered under each supported cloud provider.
Access to DigitalOcean means you get access to one affordable cloud pricing. If you choose DigitalOcean, you get access to the following plans:
- $10 per month → Access to 1GB RAM, 1 Core processor, 25 GB storage, and 1TB bandwidth.
- $22 per month → Access to 2GB RAM, 1 Core processor, 50 GB storage, and 2TB bandwidth.
- $42 per month → Access to 4GB RAM, 2 Core processors, 80 GB storage, and 4TB bandwidth.
- $80 per month → Access to 8GB RAM, 4 Core processors, 160 GB storage, and 5TB bandwidth.
They also offer access to Premium DigitalOcean, which is slightly costly, and offer you better features. The Premium DigitalOcean plans start from $12 per month to $96 per month. The pricing is final, and all plans contain charges by Cloudways. All the plans come with similar features, including access to 24/7 real-time monitoring, 24/7/365 support, free migration, CDN Add-on, dedicated firewalls, automated backups, and much more! If you want to opt for additional offsite backup storage, you need to pay an additional $0.033 per GB. Currently, the DigitalOcean data centers supported via Cloudways include:
- New York
- San Francisco
Linde is another great cloud provider that you can choose for your business. However, Linode is slightly on the costlier side compared to DigitalOcean. The plans that you get with Linode using Cloudways include:
- $12 per month → You get 1GB RAM, 1 Core processor, 25 GB storage, and 1TB bandwidth.
- $24 per month → You get 2GB RAM, 1 Core processor, 50 GB storage, and 2TB bandwidth.
- $50 per month → You get 4GB RAM, 2 Core processors, 80 GB storage, and 4TB bandwidth.
- $90 per month → You get 8GB RAM, 4 Core processors, 160 GB storage, and 5TB bandwidth.
As usual, here also the Linode hosting charges are included. However, you also get access to features common to all plans. These features include automated backups, dedicated firewalls, staging environments, team management, auto-healing, and more. Linode also gives access to good data center options. You can choose from 13 data centers, including Tokyo, London, Newark, London, and more.
Vultr also gives you good options. Their plan starts from $11 per month for the Standard plan and $13 per month for the High-Frequency plan. The High-frequency plans give you access to more features, including better storage.
The Vultr plans include:
- $11 per month → Give access to 1GB RAM, 1 Core processor, 25GB storage, and 1TB bandwidth.
- $23 per month → Give access to 2GB RAM, 1 Core processor, 55GB storage, and 2TB bandwidth.
- $44 per month → Give access to 4GB RAM, 2 Core processors, 80GB storage, and 3TB bandwidth.
- $84 per month → Give access to 8GB RAM, 4 Core processors, 160GB storage, and 4TB bandwidth.
These plans come with features such as free SSL, free migration, dedicated firewalls, automated backups, CDN Add-on, auto-healing, staging environment, and more. Vultr data centers offer to include Chicago, London, Paris, Singapore, and 15 more servers across the world.
If you are looking for premium cloud services, you can choose AWS. Amazon AWS is a premium cloud service that offers high-scalable offerings. However, they also cost almost triple of DigitalOcean, Linode, and Vultr offerings. The plans currently offered under AWS include:
- $36.51 per month → You get 2GB RAM, 2vCPU, 20GB storage, and 2GB bandwidth.
- $86.77 per month → You get 4GB RAM, 2vCPU, 20GB storage, and 2GB bandwidth.
- $176.26 per month → You get 8GB RAM, 2vCPU, 20GB storage, and 2GB bandwidth.
- $274.33 per month → You get 16GB RAM, 4vCPU, 20GB storage, and 2GB bandwidth.
Like the other plans, AWS also comes with the same features. The AWS data centers are also plenty! You can choose from 20 data centers worldwide, including Singapore, Milan, Paris, Stockholm, and more!
If you are looking for another enterprise cloud provider option, Google Cloud is also available. The plan starts from $33.18 per month. However, here you do not get the option to try out a free trial available with other cloud hosting providers. Also, Google Cloud gives you the option to configure the disk sizes easily.
The plans include:
- $33.18 per month → You get 1.70GB RAM, one vCPU, 20GB storage, and 2GB bandwidth.
- $73.50 per month → You get 3.75GB RAM, one vCPU, 20GB storage, and 2GB bandwidth.
- $138.52 per month → You get 7.50GB RAM, two vCPU, 20GB storage, and 2GB bandwidth.
- $225.93 per month → You get 15GB RAM, four vCPU, 20GB storage, and 2GB bandwidth.
How long is Cloudways free trial?
Cloudways offers access to a free trial. However, they offer just three days of a free trial. You do not have to use a credit card for the free trial. Also, the free trial gives you access to all the Cloudways features. You can determine whether Cloudways is for you by using the free trial. In the free trial, you can choose the cloud provider as per your choice that supports free trials. Only Google Cloud does not offer to opt for a free trial.
Cloudways is one of the few clouds hosting providers that give you the option of multiple cloud hosting providers. It is a platform-as-a-service solution where you get the option to host your site or application in a managed environment. Even though Cloudways is affordable and feature-rich, it does have some cons.
For example, the lack of support for third-party control panels, including Plesk and CPanel, can make few users look for Cloudways alternative. Another reason you would want to check out alternatives is the lack of server configuration options.
As a business or an individual, you should look for the following things in a Cloudways alternative.
- Simplicity: Cloudways comes with options, which is not ideal for beginners. You may want to use the traditional hosting provider with known control panel options for that purpose.
- Lower prices: Even though Cloudways pricing starts as low as $10 per month, things can get costly when you ramp up your business for scalability. In that case, you may want to try an alternative. Also, the DigitalOcean cheapest price is $5 per month, which Cloudways bundles from their side and sells at $10 per month. So, if you are confident enough to work directly with DigitalOcean, you save a lot of money.
- Technology stack: Cloudways comes with a good technology stack using Ngnix and Apache web servers. However, it is not the fastest option out there. So, if you are looking for a better technology stack that performs faster, you may want to check out the alternatives.
There are plenty of well-known Cloudways alternative that you can try:
Out of these Cloudways alternatives, we will discuss two excellent options: Siteground and DigitalOcean. So let’s go through Cloudways vs. Siteground and Clouways vs. DigitalOcean below.
Cloudways vs. Siteground
Siteground is a great alternative to Cloudways. Just like Cloudways, it also offers managed hosting. However, Siteground only offers WordPress-managed hosting. This means Siteground qualifies as an alternative if you are thinking of hosting a WordPress-powered site. Google Cloud powers Siteground’s infrastructure, and hence you get the benefits of scalability, performance, and speed. In addition, with Siteground, you get their custom site tools for managing your site. However, do not expect the level of performance offered by Cloudways on Siteground.
Siteground is an ideal pick if you want a good package at a cheaper price. You get tons of features with Siteground, including:
- Free SSL certificate
- Free email hosting
- Automatic daily backups
Siteground plans tarts at $6.99 per month.
Cloudways vs. DigitalOcean
Cloudways vs. DigitalOcean? But doesn’t Cloudways offer DigitalOcean as one of its cloud hosting providers? Well, yes! And, that’s why the comparison becomes more interesting. The first benefit of choosing DigitalOcean over Cloudways is the price. When you choose Cloudways, you need to pay almost double the price for their plans. So, the 5$ per month plan of DigitalOcean costs $10 per month at Cloudways. The pricing is more because Cloudways manages the server for you. If you go directly to DigitalOcean, you need to do the hard work of setting up and managing the server. If you are confident in your server management skills, go for DigitalOcean.
In terms of performance, you get almost the same thing. With Cloudways, you can access tools that are otherwise not used directly with DigitalOcean. Overall, you should pick DigitalOcean if you know what you are doing. They offer excellent features where you can configure the server as per your liking. Moreover, they are secure and offer good support.
Cloudways improves DigitalOcean’s offering in every possible way and gives you overall a better package. However, you need to pay more for Cloudways.
Cloudways Review Conclusions
The plethora of options that you get with Cloudways is just great. With five cloud hosting providers, you have the luxury of choosing the one that fits your bill. The pricing is also just right, considering that you get an overall better package compared to individual cloud hosting provider packages. In addition, excellent security, capability to scale, and ability to host any type of website or application make it a great choice.
However, Cloudways does come with some drawbacks. The lack of server configuration options and third-party control panels makes it a deal-breaker for some. Still, they are overshadowed by other Cloudways features, as discussed within our Cloudways review. You can get started with Cloudways hosting with the three-day trial and then decide if you want to go with them. But, overall, you cannot go wrong with Cloudways.