Updated · Oct 10, 2022
Best for: Small and medium-sized enterprises
Cloud hosting is increasingly becoming the platform of choice for most enterprises. Unlike traditional hosts, it relies on multiple hardware. These work simultaneously to deliver excellent reliability and flexibility. Best of all – it enables businesses to scale services on demand.
Cloudways is one of the most reliable vendors of this tech. Its platform as a service (PaaS) solution provides customers with robust servers for running demanding projects. You can host websites, applications, or offer custom services.
It gets better.
The vendor has a wide range of amazingly cheap pricing plans!
All Cloudways hosting services come fully managed. In this setup, you get to enjoy superior support round the clock. The technical team will handle updates, maintenance, and security. While on your part, you’ll dedicate your entire time towards handling tasks.
But that’s just the beginning.
Read this Cloudways hosting review till the end to find out all the juicy details.
What Is Cloudways?
Founded in 2009, Cloudways provides affordable cloud hosting solutions. It offers customers flexible products that are easy to scale. The strategy provides a user-friendly environment for running complex projects hassle-free. With flexibility, businesses can upgrade and downgrade resources effortlessly.
When it comes to services, Cloudways web hosting doesn’t fail to impress. It combines multiple vendors in one place, which gives customers more options. Some of its technology partners include Google Cloud (GC) and Amazon Web Services (AWS). By having them on board, it guarantees high availability of products at competitive prices.
As for the product packages, this host is far ahead of the competition. You get a content delivery network, staging environment, and free website migration. Likewise, the service comes with all popular content management systems (CMS) out there. It ranges from Joomla, Drupal, PrestaShop, and of course, WordPress. The applications enable anyone to run websites and apps on the fly.
Cloudways headquarters are currently in the city of Mosta, Malta. It also operates regional offices in Dubai and Spain. It’s in these regions where it houses a team of 137 employees. Together, they help keep the company’s 100,000+ customers satisfied.
Unlike most hosts, Cloudways LTD doesn’t own any infrastructure. Instead, it collaborates with some of the top-notch cloud technology providers in the industry. GC and AWS sit at the core of the company’s operations. Other partners include Linode, Vultr, and DigitalOcean. Altogether, they enable this host to have a pool of 60+ data centers globally.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
The host uses server clustering to stand apart. The tech relies on software that interlinks servers within the network. With this setup, it creates multiple failover points for boosting service availability. When one web server fails, others from within the system will readily take over. Another upside of this arrangement - the efficient handling of traffic load. At busy times, it distributes traffic to less active nodes to maximize uptime.
A top-of-the-edge global Cloudways CDN is the icing on the cake. It’s powered by industry-leading infrastructure as a service (IaaS) vendors. On that list, you’ll find the likes of Rackspace, StackPatch, and Sucuri. They help to accelerate the delivery of websites and applications to your visitors. Likewise, these suppliers offer out-of-the-box solutions for securing your projects. Some noteworthy mentions include a spam filter, DDoS defense, and bot protection.
The company boasts of having 120,000+ active servers at the moment. These power 600,000+ websites for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMBs) worldwide. Cloudways has a solid net promoter score (NPS) of 72. That means 7.2 out of 10 customers trust the quality of its services.
Cloudways Webhosting features include the following:
Ease of Use
Even though Cloudways doesn’t offer cPanel or Plesk, it’s still easy to use. The host provides a custom dashboard with a clean user interface. Every feature is well-labeled and easy to navigate as well. It makes managing your server something worth appreciating.
Somehow, the walkthrough process for first-time configuration is missing. That can be challenging for novice users. On the upside, Cloudways has a help desk where you can seek support. It provides hundreds of lengthy articles that offer step-by-step guidance. Most of them have screenshots, which makes them more engaging.
An applications installer is present to assist you in deploying apps with speed. You can use it to install popular CMS platforms quite easily. Apart from WordPress, you get WooCommerce, Magento, and Joomla. These allow anyone to host not only responsive but also high-performance websites.
And this list goes on!
Cloudways premium DNS service helps increase the availability of your projects. The feature allows you to hook your web server to multiple IP addresses. Should any go offline, the network will redirect traffic to the available IPs.
On the downside, this vendor doesn’t offer domain registration services. Worry not - GoDaddy is available to fill the gap. You can have a memorable domain for just $1.00/year. Aside from that, Cloudways offers a 3-day free trial. A credit card isn’t a requirement to sign up.
Cloudways’ web servers are custom-designed for speed. As earlier said, you can choose between GC, AWS, Linode, Vultr, and DigitalOcean. Each of the servers is tailor-made to fulfill different purposes. You can tell this by looking at the allocation of resources. The entry-level server starts at 1GB RAM, single-core CPU, and 1TB of bandwidth. For the higher tiers, you can get as much as eight times that.
How about the storage?
Cloudways web hosting servers come fitted with SSD drives. These offer up to 4X the read and write (I/O) speeds of traditional hard disks. You’ll experience faster processing and execution of requests. Furthermore, these storage devices have a longer lifespan. By using them, you’re less likely to encounter failures.
Multiple technologies power the servers. Top of that list, you’ll find popular ones such as Nginx and Apache. For better performance, accelerators are in use to deliver the necessary boost. It includes the likes of Redis, Memcached, Varnish, and FastCGI.
Auto healing is often a point of discussion in Cloudways user reviews. The feature uses smart monitoring technology to scan for misconfigurations round the clock. Should any errors arise, it will apply repairs automatically.
Content Delivery Network
80% of US consumers switch to competitors if a website is slow. But with Cloudways CDN, your business is destined to flourish. It relies on a network of strategically positioned servers across the world. These work together to speed up the delivery of content to your audiences.
Here’s how it works:
CDNs operate as a middleman between your web server and end-user. It’s designed to cache data to a data center that’s closest to your visitors. The arrangement reduces network ping that speeds up access to your server. It also guarantees impressive web page loading time.
That’s not the best part, however.
A CDN’s biggest advantage is bandwidth savings. They use aggressive file compression to reduce web objects by up to 70%. WordPress clients can boost that figure by using Cloudways Breeze. It uses Varnish and internal caching to slash the size of static files further.
Superfast delivery of content to the end-users at a fraction of a cost.
Advanced Develop Tools
Cloudways is a haven for advanced users. It has a wide range of tools to run backend functions. You can create a staging environment for development purposes. It’s ideal for testing new changes without affecting your live website. Using it minimizes errors arising from publishing half-baked updates to your site.
Next, Cloudways gives you root access to your server via SSH and sFTP. Both of them help you connect to the web server from another computer hassle-free. You’ll need to use third-party desktop clients to do so, however. Some good ones are SolarPuTTY, PuTTY, and Bitvise. Cost shouldn’t be an issue, as the majority are free for non-commercial use.
Server cloning is another way that you can use to experiment safely. It creates an exact copy of your setup alongside all its applications. From here, you can modify the settings, upload new scripts, explore other apps, and more. You’ll also find it useful in working on client projects. Once complete, you can export the work to a client’s machine. Easy-peasy.
Cloudways file manager is available to WordPress users via third-party plugins. Regardless of what you choose, you’ll find almost the same features. You can organize, duplicate, transfer, or delete files.
For this Cloudways review, I tested FileZilla. It’s one of the most powerful cross-platform software for webmasters. It’s good for transferring data from your computer to the web server securely. You can install it on Windows, macOS, and Linux computers.
Ecommerce enthusiasts will find robust apps to skyrocket your business. WooCoomerce is the most popular among them all. It comes with advanced functions for running online shops of any size. Using it gives you access to over 300+ extensions to customize your shop. Notable mentions include themes, reporting apps, payment processors, and so on.
PrestaShop also appears frequently in Cloudways user reviews. It’s a free, open-source platform for building attractive storefronts. Apart from templates, it provides the user with thousands of customizable widgets. These make it easy for you to enhance the shopping experience for everyone. Brands such as McDonald’s France and Carrefour love it.
Cloudways values the security of its customers. You can tell this from the long list of safety features. First, there’s a dedicated firewall that protects web servers at an operating system level. It monitors all incoming traffic to filter out intruders and malicious visitors.
Cloudways has bot protection to lockout bad guys. It does the heavy lifting of protecting your website from bad bots. For better defense, the vendor uses Malcare to shield you from cyber threats. The application does a perfect job of filtering brute force and DDoS attacks.
Cloudways offers SSL certificates for free as well. It’s one of the most common ways to secure sites. When active, it encrypts connections between your web server and end-user. The approach hardens all data transactions that take place on your web pages. That way, you’re bound to take hackers for a rough ride always.
Cloudways doesn’t offer email hosting services. In its place, you get tons of integration to make your life easier. So, if you want to send mails, the Rackspace add-on will take care. It has premium mail features for business use. These include 100% uptime, end-to-end encryption, and round-the-clock support.
And here are some other noteworthy integrations:
- CloudwaysBot channels: The tool helps you link popular platforms such as HipChat and Slack. It sends real-time alerts that relate to server activities.
- CloudwaysAPI: You can use this extension to build custom applications.
- Migration plugin: This option makes website migrations easy. You’ll experience zero downtimes during the transfer.
- Backups: Cloudways offers automated backup services round the clock. All the data is kept safely in an offsite location. This improves the availability of your backups at all times. The feature is ideal for disaster recovery and restoring your website.
- Network monitoring: Cloudways uses New Relic software for monitoring server activities 24/7. It gives simultaneous stats for CPU/RAM usage, bandwidth transfer, storage space, and more. The application additionally uses CloudwaysBot to send you notifications.
- Collaboration for teams: You can invite colleagues to work straight from your account. It supports assigning roles, activity tracking, and file sharing. Regardless of member location, you’ll be able to work on projects easily.
Cloudways has an incredible uptime guarantee of 99.99%. That means service interruptions shouldn’t exceed four minutes within a given month. After all, the vendor has multiple integrations in place to keep services running.
But is that just a claim?
To confirm this, I set up a simple site for testing. I then installed the Cloudways Jetpack plugin to monitor for online status. If your site goes down, it sends an email to notify you.
And the results?
Nothing short of amazing. At no point during the month of testing did I receive any alerts about website unavailability. For the most part, I had to perform manual checks to ensure everything is fine. For accuracy, however, I cross-checked Cloudways user reviews for any complaints. I didn’t find any recent ones.
Another thing I tested for this Cloudways review was speed.
Ping is the first that tests for server responsiveness. To determine this, I relied on Fastorslow.com for better reliability. It allows for testing from multiple regions. Regardless of location, my site recorded an impressive time of 30ms.
Next on the line is the time to first byte (TTFB). The measurement tests for the duration it takes for a web server to fulfill requests. For this one, the tool over at Pingdom.com came in handy. After making several retests, the response averaged around 150ms. That’s great for SEO as it falls in line with Google’s recommendation of 200ms or less.
What about the overall page loading time?
Of course, that’s the icing on the cake. Thanks to GTmetrix.com, my website took 900ms to load fully. The CDN did play a major role in accelerating the site. I didn’t even use the Cloudways Breeze plugin to compress the website’s assets. When you apply it, you should expect things to happen even faster.
Cloudways Hosting Plans
At the time of writing of this Cloudways review, the plans below:
Cloudways DigitalOcean is an entry-level plan that’s best for beginners. It offers a choice of eight server locations globally. Most of these are in North America and Europe. It has very few data centers in Asia, however - in India and Singapore.
There’s so much to talk about on the resource side. For a start, you get HTTP/2-enabled servers with dedicated resources. These include anywhere from single-core to 32 multicore processors. As for storage, it ranges from 25GB to 3.8TB. Combine that with up to 12TB bandwidth, and you’ll virtually run unlimited websites.
You’ll get unlimited installation for applications. It’s great for experimenting! As an example, you can install Cloudways WordPress for a start. Or better yet, use the staging environment to try out other CMS platforms. It will give you all the freedom to learn the ropes of hosting.
The price is also great. The cheapest option costs just $10/month and you get to enjoy all the premium features. Some of them include free migrations, automatic backups, and 24/7 support.
Cloudways’ Vultr plan offers flexible hosting to both first-timers and advanced users. It comes with the choice of two servers, namely standard and high-frequency (HF). If you have lightweight projects, however, you should consider the former. The latter option offers web servers with powerful CPU cores for handling any workload.
That’s not all.
Vultr plans also come with larger storage options. $11/month will get you 32GB SSD space. On Cloudways DigitalOcean, you’ll only get 25GB for $10/month. The hardware uses NVMe storage for super-fast I/O speeds.
Unlike its closest peer, you get a wide range of server locations - across 17 data centers globally. Apart from North America, Europe, and Asia, Australia is available as well. These options give you more flexibility when it comes to scaling operations. You can gradually deploy servers to more regions as you expand.
The Cloudways Linode plan is an extension of the cheaper DigitalOcean tier. It gives you better access to affordable cloud hosting. From just $12/month, you can have a high-performance web server of choice. Its data centers are available in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.
All plans come with advanced premium caching. The feature is essential in compressing your website’s resources. Aside from that, it broadcasts your content to all CDN nodes across the globe. Your users are guaranteed a smooth browsing experience.
You also get to benefit from advanced developer tools. For example, Cloudways staging for cloning your website for development purposes. If you’re an expert, SSH and sFTP are available to do more. It’s best for installing custom apps, monitoring activities, and performing updates.
Other noteworthy features include regular security patching, auto-healing for web servers, and automated backups. Likewise, you can use Cloudways migration service to bid a bad host goodbye. Sounds good, right?
Cloudways Google Cloud plans offer more power for running complex projects. However, its premium pricing and resource allocation are a downside. The prices start at $33.18/month for just 20GB of storage and 2TB bandwidth. You also get 1.70GB RAM and a single-core CPU. For larger projects, the prices may balloon to $1,000+ monthly. Even with the premium price, you’ll still get a handful of server features.
Here’s why this plan is expensive:
To begin with, it runs on the Google Cloud Compute Engine (GCE). The servers come with incredible performance and high flexibility. It can automatically scale up or down, depending on demand. That’s a major advantage, especially for websites with heavy processes. Some good examples include ecommerce, gaming, and streaming sites.
Cloudways pricing for this product is flexible in some cases. You get to enjoy traffic usage and storage on a pay-as-you-go (PAYG) basis. On the downside, offsite backups will set you back $0.033/GB extra per month. It additionally doesn’t have any option to test the service for free. While the cost is high, it’s fairly more affordable than purchasing directly from Google.
Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Cloudways AWS is another premium alternative to Google Cloud. Prices start from $36.51/month, which comes with fewer resources. At that price, you get 20GB storage, 2CPU cores, and 2GB of RAM. Just like in GCE, bandwidth is payable either through fixed pricing or PAYG. The same equally applies when it comes to expanding disk size. Depending on your budget, you can upgrade and downgrade as you wish.
AWS has the world’s largest cloud infrastructure. It controls over 32% of the market, which is 15% more than Microsoft’s. Others such as Google and Alibaba follow suit with 6% and 5%, respectively.
This package is well-built for performance. It comes with auto-scaling that perfectly supports the Cloudways multi-site feature. You can use it to run multiple websites without affecting performance. Even with traffic spikes, expect your server to handle it like a champ.
Other add-ons that come with this plan include team management. You can take advantage of it to add more users to your account. And the cherry on top – SSH and sFTP is available for collaboration. As the administrator, remember to use the CloudwaysBot add-on to receive timely notifications.
Cloudways Customer Support
Cloudways offers support both via email and live chat, 24/7. As usual, I chose the second option.
Here’s how it goes:
The first thing to do is click on the message pop-up. You’ll be required to enter personal details such as name and email. From here, the next available agent will take over to offer assistance. The fun part is it takes seconds, be it night or day. It’s thumbs up for that.
As for the outcome, the agents are pretty much formal. They don’t waste any time beating around the bush. Instead, they will provide you with quick, short, and straightforward answers. Most people like that, and I do too. All in all, they’re welcoming and provide working solutions at all times.
The Cloudways knowledge base is also great. It has hundreds of useful articles to help you get around. For ease of use, you can use the search bar to filter topics fast. You’ll find the guides well-detailed and easy-to-read.
Cloudways vs Flywheel
Flywheel is often mentioned as the best alternative in Cloudways user reviews. Both are reliable, feature-rich, and have a wide range of services.
Flywheel specializes in providing WordPress-only plans. It offers custom servers that perfectly fit different types of websites. The resource distribution is also worth mentioning. For each package, the host provides important details to help guide you. For example, you can view storage, bandwidth, and the number of supported websites.
Cloudways web hosting is a jack of all trades. Other than WordPress, you’ll find popular CMS platforms such as Joomla and Drupal. Its choice of ecommerce applications is equally amazing. You’ll have access to apps such as Magento, PrestaShop, and WooCommerce.
Overall, Cloudways has an upper edge when it comes to pricing. You’ll pay $10/month for the entry-level plan. With that, you get 1TB bandwidth, 1GB RAM, and 25GB of storage. For Flywheel, you’ll need to part with $13/month on the lower side. As for the resources, you’ll receive 5GB storage and 20GB of traffic only. To be honest, Flywheel’s plans feel like a rip-off.
Here’s Cloudways hosting price for plans below:
The plan comes with a free SSL, CDN add-on, and automated backups. You also get access to website migrations at zero cost.
It offers a team management app, auto-healing servers, and real-time monitoring. Furthermore, SSH and sFTP are available to carry out advanced server operations.
It comes with robust web servers with premium features. These include a multicore CPU, NVMe SSD storage, and dedicated firewall. It also has high-frequency web server options that offer more processing power.
The package provides powerful servers for handling complex tasks. It includes instant upscaling and downscaling, advanced monitoring, and enterprise-grade security.
The Cloudways 3-day trial offers a simple way to jump on board. It will help you gauge whether the service suits you or not. Just know that this host doesn’t offer any refunds. So, test thoroughly, before updating!
Cloudways Review - Verdict
It’s without a doubt that Cloudways hosting services are top-notch. The host offers robust web servers for deploying different types of websites. Some best use cases include blogging, ecommerce, and general websites. All that is made possible through collaboration with industry-leading technology providers - Google Cloud, AWS, Linode, DigitalOcean, and Vultr.
When it comes to resources, the list is incredibly long. Some of the goodies are free migrations, automatic backups, and auto-healing servers. Developers get access to the server’s backend via SSH and sFTP. The feature is ideal for handling complex optimization tasks on your web server.
Cloudways CDN does a perfect job of accelerating your website. The integration caches your site’s contents on thousands of servers globally. Your visitors get a smooth browsing experience. It also compresses web assets resulting in a lower amount of data transfer.
The vendor needs to improve in some areas, however. As most Cloudways user reviews reveal, it needs to enhance the server setup process. The company can offer a step-by-step guide to make the process simple. It also needs to add domain registration as well.
I highly recommend you sign-up for the 3-day trial to test the waters. Cloudways has a lot to offer, for sure, but you’re better off seeing for yourself.
Does Cloudways have cPanel?
Sadly, it doesn’t. Cloudways provides a custom control panel for managing its servers. The dashboard is simple, feature-rich, and easy to use. Unlike cPanel, it offers top-notch tools for handling Cloudways’ demanding web servers. These include root access, real-time monitoring, and automated backups. The auto-healing feature is another upside that automatically fixes any errors. So, you don’t really need cPanel.
How long is Cloudways free trial?
Cloudways has a free trial period of three days only! While it’s short, you get access to all the features without limits. The only thing that you need to do is sign-up and verify your email. Best of all – a credit card isn’t a requirement to enjoy the offer.
How do you access file manager in Cloudways?
You can access your Cloudways file manager in three ways.
The first is by using any WordPress plugins for accessing a server’s backend. They support drag-and-drop, organizing assets into folders, and cleaning your database.
You can also use the FileZilla desktop client to manage your web server’s data. All you have to do is use your login credentials to gain access. From here, you can transfer, modify, and even delete any file easily. The application is ideal for both beginners and advanced users due to the ease of use.
Еxpert users can depend on any SSH and sFTP software. The tool provides a more secure environment for running complex tasks. Other than managing files, you can install applications, monitor activities, harden security, and more.
How do I install WordPress on Cloudways?
Here’s how to do it:
- Log in to your Cloudways control panel.
- Locate the menu bar and click on “Servers.”
- Select a web server from the servers’ list.
- Click on the bottom left grid icon.
- Next, choose “Add App.”
- Select “WordPress” from the choice of apps.
- Then click on “Add Application” to install.
How do I cancel my Cloudways account?
You can cancel your Cloudways account by following these simple steps:
- Login to your account.
- Select “Servers” on the menu bar.
- Click “Delete” on the list of active web servers.
- Enter the reason explaining why you want to delete the account.
- Next, select add-ons from the menu bar.
- Choose deactivate to remove all your subscriptions.
- From here, open your profile on the menu bar.
- Select account.
- Scroll to the bottom and click on “Cancel my account.”
Is Cloudways shared hosting?
No, it’s not. The host provides dedicated hosting plans only. Unlike in shared, you get resources that are entirely yours to use. You’ll also benefit from greater uptime, fast speeds, and unbeatable security. And as Cloudways user reviews confirm, the support is top-class always.
Daniel is a curious thinker that loves everything about tech. If he spots something interesting, rest assured that he’ll reverse-engineer it. Apart from being an internet addict, he loves building web servers from scratch. Well, it’s not his profession per se. But it’s a passion he picked up after a series of unfortunate events involving terrible hosts. He’s the “hosting guy”.
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