In my experience, it’s hard to go wrong with Cloudways. They provide a platform with very affordable access to the best cloud hosting servers in the world including Google and Amazon. And if you aren’t sure about something, their 24/7 online support is there to help. This Cloudways review will help you decide whether they are a good fit or not.
What is Cloudways?
Firstly, what is Cloudways?
Cloudways is a managed cloud hosting platform, which provides arguably the best type of hosting available due to its high performance and reliability.
What is Cloud Hosting?
Just so you know, there are 4 main types of WordPress hosting including: Shared Hosting, Dedicated Hosting, VPS and Cloud Hosting. I’m not going to go into too much detail below… Just know that Cloud Hosting is the best out of them all (at least the best available today). Shared Hosting being the worst.
Simply put though, when your website runs via Cloud Hosting, your website is served via a network of servers aka a ‘cloud’ of servers. This is what ensures high performance , uptime and reliability. As opposed to shared hosting, which uses a single server that shares its resources among other websites owners. This usually results in low performance, downtime and unreliability (especially if your website gets lots of traffic).
Hopefully that makes sense!
Considerations Before Signing Up
The main consideration you should make before signing up to Cloudways is that you should be somewhat tech savvy. This isn’t a worry if you have a developer like myself maintaining your WordPress website. But if you plan on maintaining it yourself, you should be familiar with a bunch of settings from PHP version and memory limits to SMTP.
Cloudways does provide a free migration but they also allow unlimited WordPress installations. So if you plan on setting up more than one website then you’ll need to know what you’re doing (or at least keen to learn). For example, once you’ve created your website or migrated it to Cloudways, initially it will be on a temporary domain. So you’ll need to point your actual domain name to Cloudways. i.e. from your old hosting provider to your new one. This is actually very easy and quick to do (if you’ve done it before).
So if you know how to log into your domain registrar and change the DNS settings then you are probably good to go 🙂 But even if you don’t know, Cloudways will help guide you.
If you manage multiple websites with domains from different registrars then I’d recommend creating a CloudFlare account (it’s free) and running all of your domains through here (DNS only). This way you can manage the DNS of all domains from one place. Doing this will save you loads of time!
Cloudways WordPress Hosting.
Cloudways Features & Benefits
It is a breath of fresh air to have a hosting provider that provides everything you need. Cloudways has all of the most important features to create and maintain a successful business website.
Custom Control Panel
Firstly, Cloudways doesn’t have a typical cPanel like other providers. I listed this above as a negative but it’s actually a positive. Instead of an old and boring cPanel AND having to click through from your hosting account dashboard to the cPanel, Cloudways have streamlined and connected the two.
Cloudways have created a custom control panel that merges your account dashboard with all of the typical cPanel features – a much better user experience in my opinion.
Benefits of Cloudways Custom Control Panel:
– Much better experience
– Saves you time
– Modern feel
See screenshots below.
Backups, Staging & Cloning
This is one of my favourite features. If you look hard enough, you’ll find other great hosting providers BUT they just use the same cloud hosting vendors that Cloudways gives you access to AND many of them don’t provide automated backups (or restoring) staging environments or cloning capabilities.
Cloudways provides all of this in an extremely easy to use fashion. I normally schedule my backups to be taken daily but you also have the option of every 12 hours, 6 hours, 3 hours and even every hour! You can also take backups on demand whenever you want.
Benefits of Cloudways Backups, Staging & Cloning:
– worry free experience.
– if something goes wrong you can easily restore your website.
– create a testing environment without affecting live site.
– test new software without affecting live site.
– make changes without affecting live site.
Cloudways Custom Control Panel.
This is the number one reason you should move to Cloudways. Or at least start using Cloud Hosting instead of the usual shared hosting that most people use (alternatives to Cloudways below).
Worldwide Server Locations
If you want your website to be fast, you absolutely need a server that is close to your location. If you are in Australia (like me!), you’ll get access to servers in Sydney from a range of server vendors (all from your Cloudways control panel).
VULTR, Google Cloud and Amazon Web Services all have servers in Sydney so you can expect very quick connection times.
Benefits of Worldwide Server Locations:
– ability to choose a server closest to your location.
– Faster website for your target audience.
Cloudways Server Locations.
Best Cloud Hosting Providers
The Cloudways platform gives you extremely easy access to the best cloud hosting vendors in the world.
If you are in Australia, you should be choosing VULTR, Google Cloud or Amazon Web Services (AWS).
This website uses VULTR 🙂
– Digital Ocean
– Amazon Web Services (AWS)
– Google Cloud
Benefits of Cloudways Cloud Hosting Providers:
– your website will be hosted by the best of the best.
– highest potential for a blazing fast website.
Cloudways Server Vendors.
Cloudways ThunderStack & Advanced Caching
Cloudways performance comes down to their PHP stack. A PHP stack is essentially the server technology and caching mechanisms used to power your WordPress website.
Cloudways Thunderstack is what makes your website super fast. By default your website will have advanced caching built-in including memcached and varnish. Redis is another caching mechanism which boosts your website even further. But you’ll need to install this from your Cloudways control panel.
Benefits of Cloudways Thunderstack:
– blazing fast website
– integrated by default
– boost your site further with REDIS caching
If you plan on boosting your website further with Redis server assisted client-side caching, then I recommend upgrading your server from 1GB to 2GB as it will consume more resources than normal.
Cloudways gives you the option of free SSL certificates on all of your websites. Unlike shared hosting providers like GoDaddy that make you pay for these!
They also have dedicated firewalls to protect your websites from security threats, essential login security and even a built-in database security system.
Benefits of Cloudways Security:
– Free SSL certificates
– Protect your website from hackers
Once you’ve installed WordPress, I’d recommend installing a limits login attempts plugin to bolster your website security even further. It’s amazing how many people try to hack into websites each day, just trying to guess passwords.
The support at Cloudways really is world class. They provide 24/7 expert support so if there is ever a problem, you can count on them to help. They are so good it’s like having an expert developer work alongside you (for free!).
You can even opt for their ‘premium support’ where their support engineers work as part of your team. How good is that!
Benefits of Cloudways Support:
– Expert Developers & Engineers within reach.
– Get support any time of the day or night.
– Access to their knowledge base if you prefer to do it yourself.
When starting an online chat to get support, type in ‘Cloudways Support’ to get past their chatbot a little quicker.
Is Cloudways Worth It?
I personally think Cloudways is worth it. Especially if you opt for a VULTR setup, which starts from $11/month (USD).
The AWS and Google Cloud plans are much more expensive but aren’t necessary if you’re based in Australia. Just go with the VULTR setup. You will be very happy. Trust me!
The best alternatives to Cloudways are:
Note: SiteGround wasn’t very good for Aussie websites but now that they have partnered with Google Cloud to provide a server in Sydney (not Singapore as was previously), they are a good alternative.
For Aussies >> check out the best WordPress hosting providers in Australia.
I personally think Cloudways provides the best value out of any hosting provider. They are a platform that gives you easy access to all of the best cloud hosting providers in the world.
Again, I don’t think you can go wrong with Cloudways.
Hopefully this Cloudways review was helpful.
Let me know if you have any questions.