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Cloudways Expert Review
Based around the idea of scalability and flexibility, Cloudways’ hosting services stand out for their powerful features. The company focuses exclusively on providing cloud-based managed hosting, but it distinguishes itself with a pay-as-you-go model, making it ideal for small and medium businesses on a budget.
For our Cloudways expert review, we put the company’s hosting through a several-month trial that tested its performance and features. Overall, we found that Cloudways gives you excellent value and customizability thanks to its multiple cloud options. Read our Cloudways review below to see if this is the right hosting service for your business.
Pros and Cons
- Choose the best hosting tool for you with AWS, Google Cloud, DigitalOcean, and more server options available.
- Pay only for what you need with a convenient usage-based subscription model that lets you pay as you go.
- The company’s uptimes are among the highest in the industry, and loading times are equally fast.
- Give your applications an added layer of trust with free SSL certificates with your hosting plan.
- Find answers to any question or problem easily with Cloudways’ outstanding customer support.
- Avoid unnecessary vulnerabilities and protect your servers with automated patching and firmware updates.
- Keep your team coordinated and effective with automatic GIT implementations, unlimited staging areas, and more.
- Cloudways’ service is geared more towards web applications, making it less useful if you’re building a website.
- The company’s hosting plans are fully managed, which means you do not have root access to your servers.
- The variety of available scripts to easily deploy on your servers is somewhat limited.
Pricing and Payment Methods
One of the more unique aspects of Cloudways is the company’s pricing model. The service bills itself “pay-as-you-go”, and we were pleased to see that it delivers. You can choose from one of the company’s five available infrastructures: DigitalOcean, Linode, Vultr, Amazon Web Services, and Google Cloud.
Cloudways’ most affordable plan is the DigitalOcean basic package at $10 per month, which features 25GB of storage, 1TB of bandwidth, and 1GB of RAM. The equivalent Linode plan starts at $12 per month, while Vultr starts at $11 monthly. The highest tiers offer 8GB of RAM, 160GB of storage, and 5TB of bandwidth. Digital Ocean’s offering starts at $80 monthly, while Linode offers the most expensive plan at $90 monthly.
We have more heavy-duty needs, so we also studied Cloudways’ AWS and Google Cloud services and were impressed with the results. Amazon’s more affordable solution starts at $36.51 per month, and offers 1.75GB of RAM, 20GB of storage, and 2GB of bandwidth. AWS servers are fully configurable, and your bandwidth is based on usage, so you don’t have to worry about going over your initial allotted space.
Google Cloud gives you a similar deal, starting at a slightly more affordable $33.30 per month, though it comes with a minor reduction in RAM. Overall, we liked the flexibility and budget friendliness all these plans offered, as they let you pay only what you must, and avoid locking yourself into plans that can cost you dearly in the long run.
Ease of Use
We were very impressed with how much control Cloudways offers users. The platform uses its own personalized control panel (unlike most hosting services that provide the standard cPanel), which gives you several options off the bat. We liked the CPU Monitoring tab, which lets you see your servers’ performance and make smarter decisions about scaling capacity at peak times. If you do need to add or remove server space, use the Vertical Scaling feature, which lets you select how much space you need in a few clicks.
The lack of cPanel may be overwhelming to beginners who are unfamiliar with some of the more complex features Cloudways offers. Even so, you can still easily build websites and create new instances for your applications with a few clicks and some useful 1-click integrations for e-commerce and web development. While the service is geared toward more experienced developers, you can still get great value if you’re a beginner thanks to educational resources and customer support.
Load Times and Reliability
A server that crashes constantly or fails to load things quickly can cost your business revenues, so we were pleased to see that Cloudways performs well on both counts. Our Cloudways review measured the company’s uptimes and loading times over a period of several months to determine its average performance. Cloudways offers at least 99.99% uptime across its available server options, with some, like Vultr, offering an impressive 100.00% in our tests. Loading times were equally impressive with loading speeds ranging from 0.4 to 0.6 seconds on average, which is well above the industry average.
A major selling point for us when reviewing a hosting service is the features it offers. Cloudways gives all its plans a well-rounded list of features that include over ten 1-click integrations such as Drupal, Magento, WordPress, and more. You can also easily add SSL certificates to all your sites and applications with a single click.
Take advantage of 1-click server cloning if you need to quickly set up a new instance, and managed backups help in case something goes wrong. In terms of security, Cloudways gives you dedicated OS-level firewalls, automated software patches and updates, as well as two-factor authentication.
If you need more advanced features, Cloudways also offers a suite of developer tools. The company gives you unlimited application installs, compatibility with both MySQL and MariaDB, dedicated staging areas and temporary URLS, and multiple PHP versions. Although we would have liked to see more 1-click app integrations, you can still use PHP to install new ones, or manually add any applications you need.
It can be terrifying to have a crisis arise with your website and feel helpless. Luckily, our Cloudways expert review found that the company offers a variety of excellent support channels. If you want to solve the issue on your own, you can take advantage of Cloudways’ active user community to ask others for fixes or search the company’s large knowledge base.
If you need more in-depth support, teams are available around the clock via live chat, and an online ticketing system. We found that Cloudways’ support staff was well-trained and able to resolve most of our issues.
Cloudways User Reviews
We focus our reviews on providing a broad overview of a company’s services and features. If you want to see what others have to say about their experiences, read our Cloudways user reviews below:
Overall, we were happy with the service Cloudways provides. We appreciate the availability of multiple cloud server providers, which give you the flexibility to choose the right service for you. The usage-based payment model is also ideal if you’re on a budget or would rather not lock yourself down to a costly annual or multi-year plan.
Although the company doesn’t offer as many 1-click integrations as some of its competitors, it does give you a rich ecosystem to build web applications and websites with top-tier security and excellent back-end tools. With a remarkable suite of utilities and the backing of stellar customer support, Cloudways is suitable if you’re looking for a cost-effective solution for your web applications or websites.
Cloudways Prices, Plans & Features - 2019
Cloud Hosting Plans
|DigitalOcean Starter Plan||20 GB||1 x 1.00GHz||1 GB||1 TB||NZ$15.62||9.1||Details|
|Vultr Starter Plan||25 GB||1 x 1.00GHz||1 GB||1 TB||NZ$17.19||8.4||Details|
|GCE Starter Plan||20 GB||1 x 1.00GHz||1.7 GB||2 TB||NZ$52.03||9.5||Details|
|AWS Starter Plan||4 GB||1 x 1.00GHz||1.75 GB||2 TB||NZ$57.05||8.4||Details|
|Linode Starter Plan||25 GB||1 x 1.00GHz||1 GB||1 TB||NZ$18.75||6.2||Details|
|DO 2GB||50 GB||1 x 1.00GHz||2 GB||2 TB||NZ$34.37||9.6||Details|
|DO2GB||50 GB||1 x 1.00GHz||2 GB||2 TB||NZ$34.37||9.2||Details|
|Linode2GB||50 GB||2 x 1.00GHz||2 GB||2 TB||NZ$37.50||10||Details|
|VULTR2GB||55 GB||1 x 1.00GHz||2 GB||2 TB||NZ$35.94||10||Details|
|DO4GB||80 GB||2 x 2.00GHz||4 GB||4 TB||NZ$65.62||9.8||Details|
|Linode4GB||80 GB||2 x 2.00GHz||4 GB||4 TB||NZ$78.12||10||Details|
|VULTR4GB||80 GB||2 x 2.00GHz||4 GB||3 TB||NZ$68.75||10||Details|
|AWS Medium||20 GB||1 x 1.00GHz||3.75 GB||2 TB||NZ$135.94||9.3||Details|
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A few words from Cloudways
Cloudways also offers the following features;
-Free Cloud CDN and HTTPS support
-Vertical scaling of servers
-Staging area for testing websites
-Git integration for instant deployment
-One-click stop for applications and servers
-Folder-like structure for managing multiple projects
-Support for Multiple PHP versions