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Established in 2009, Cloudways is a unique platform-as-a-service provider. They offer easier to use applications, simplicity and website tools for developers, designers and even those that just want a site, but don’t want to acquire the knowledge to run it. Their highly efficient process and affordable managed hosting plans make starting and holding on to a website easy – and they even offer free trials so that you can see if Cloudways is right for you.
- Managed cloud hosting
- Unlimited domains and accounts
- One-click deployment
- High performance servers
- Faster server speeds than competitors
- SSL certificates
- Magento, WordPress, WooCommerce, Drupal, Joomla and Prestashop friendly
- Extremely complicated – not for beginners
- High price considering lacking features
- Add-ons are extra (including email)
CloudWays Scoring and Rating
Hosting Package: (Rating: 6/10)
Cloudways offers managed cloud hosting. They are a platform-as-a-service solution ideal for bloggers, designers and developers that want to host their own websites. Instead of offering large packages full of features, you can select add-ons to compliment your existing package – some with a fee, others for free. They do still offer a variety of features as part of their package price, but their plans center around servers that include Amazon EC2, DigitalOcean and Google Compute.
They offer six core packages as well as an Expert Mode. Expert mode requires you to call in and specify what you want (ideal for developers) and then the team at Cloudways will give you exact pricing. Hosting packages run from $5.00 per month to $280.00 per month with sizes ranging from 512MB to 16GB.
The exact price will depend on which server you choose (DigitalOcean, Vultr, Amazon, and Google). You can then pick your hosting location once you pick your hosting service. All of these options, however, are designed for advanced users.
Compared to others, Cloudways is extremely limited on their hosting packages. They only offer managed cloud servers – no shared or VPS. Also, their amount of data for the price can be too costly for those just starting out with a new website. In reality, they will most likely only work for those skilled in web design.
Features: (Rating: 6/10)
There aren’t tons of features included with Cloudways. They do have their features divided into two tabs: server management features and application management.
In server management, Cloudways offers the ability to control your server (start it, stop it or restart it). You can also use monitoring items, interact with services, configure settings, backup the server, etc. With the application management option you can choose from apps and add-ons to make your site more functional, check URLs and credentials, manage domains, install an SSL certificate (not included for price), restore backups, etc.
They do have multiple add-ons that are used to enhance your hosting package. Some are free, but others will have a monthly price of their own. For example, email is not included. You have to add this feature on at about $1.00 per month. Other addons include DNS, app upgrades, security analysis, application migration, etc. They don’t have tons of add-ons either – but hopefully they will add more in the future.
Security: (Rating: 9/10)
Security is good with Cloudways – and you can’t beat managed hosting on a private server. Their dedicated cloud servers and one-click SSL management as well as automatic patching will ensure your site remains secure while on the Cloudways servers.
WordPress: (Rating: 9/10)
Cloudways can handle WordPress sites, but they don’t have hosting packages specific to WordPress. Instead, you would load the WordPress to your dedicated cloud server. Cloudways does claim to have the fastest WordPRess hosting guaranteed (based on industry averages). They use VMAN technology (varnish, memcached, apache, nginx combination) for 50 percent faster loading times. They also offer firewall protection and dedicated servers and you can have as many WordPress sites and domains on your server as you like – as long you don’t surpass the limitations of your server and package.
With their WordPress managed hosting, you get user-friendly consoles, server managing, staging areas, managed backups, application freedom, server cloning to replicate a WordPress site, restore and rollback options and 24/7 support from WordPress experts.
Ease of Use: (Rating: 5/10)
While they have their own dashboard and user panel, Cloudways is still only meant for advanced users. Those new to creating websites would find themselves quickly overwhelmed and we don’t recommend Cloudways for the average blogger (despite their marketing efforts).
Because they are limited to advanced users, Cloudways may find that their customer base is equally limited.
Reliability: (Rating: 10/10)
Cloudways offers a 99.9% uptime guarantee with DigitalOcean, 99.9% with Vultr, 99.999% with Amazon and 99.99% with Google. These reliabilities are based on the cloud provider your choose from Cloudways.
Server locations also depend on the cloud provider. Some have as many as 14 locations, while others are limited to just three locations. Servers can be found across the world.
They do offer a service level agreement at Cloudways, which is always a good sign. When service is not met, Cloudways will issue compensation or credits to customers. They also specify which situations will not warrant credits.
Help and Support: (Rating: 9/10)
There are a few options for support with Cloudways. You can instantly start a conversation online with Cloudways technical team – when they are online. You can also submit a ticket or request more information online. They can answer some questions via their knowledge base as well as their FAQs and tutorials. But, again, this is a service for those with experience so you may find tutorials a little lacking.
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Some plans come with a 15 to 30-day trial. They also have their plans spelled out by the cloud service provider you choose, which includes:
- 512MB – 512 MB RAM, 1 core processor, 20GB storage, 1TB bandwidth, unlimited installations. Starts at $5.00 per month.
- 1GB – 1GB RAM, 1 core processor, 30GB storage, 2TB bandwidth, unlimited installations. Starts at $15.00 per month.
- 2GB – 2GB RAM, 2 core processor, 40GB storage, 3TB bandwidth, unlimited installations. Starts at $30 per month.
- 4GB – 4GB RAM, 2 core processor, 60GB storage, 4TB bandwidth, unlimited installations. Starts at $70 per month.
- 8GB – 8GB RAM, 4 core processor, 80GB storage, 5TB bandwidth, unlimited installations. Starts at $140 per month.
- 16GB – 16GB RAM, 8 core processor, 160GB storage, 6TB bandwidth, unlimited installations. Starts at $280 per month.
- 768MB – 768MB RAM, 1 core processor, 15GB storage, 1TB bandwidth, unlimited installations. Starts at $9.00 per month.
- 1GB – 1GB RAM, 1 core processor, 20GB storage, 2TB bandwidth, unlimited installations. Starts at $14 per month.
- 2GB – 2GB RAM, 2 core processor, 45GB storage, 3TB bandwidth, unlimited installations. Starts at $29 per month.
- 4GB – 4GB RAM, 4 core processor, 90GB storage, 4TB bandwidth, unlimited installations. Starts at $66 per month.
- 8GB – 8GB RAM, 6 core processor, 150GB storage, 5TB bandwidth, unlimited installations. Starts at $132 per month.
- 16GB – 16GB RAM, 8 core processor, 300GB storage, 6TB bandwidth, unlimited installations. Starts at $264 per month.
- Small – 1.7GB RAM, 1vCPU, 20GB storage, 10GB bandwidth, unlimited installations. Starts at $38.60 per month.
- Medium – 3.75GB RAM, 1 vCPU, 25GB storage, 10GB bandwidth, unlimited installations. Starts at $91.10 per month.
- Large – 8GB RAM, 2 vCPU, 30GB storage, 10GB bandwidth, unlimited installations. Starts at $184 per month.
- XL – 16GB RAM, 4 vCPU, 35GB storage, 10GB bandwidth, unlimited installations. Starts at $364.30 per month.
- 2XL – 32 GB RAM, 8 vCPU, 38GB storage, 10GB bandwidth, unlimited installations. Starts at $678.20 per month.
- 4XL – 64GB RAM, 16 vCPU, 45GB storage, 10GB bandwidth, unlimited installations. Starts at $1308.70 per month.
- Small – 1.70GB RAM, 1 shared cpu, 25GB storage, 10GB bandwidth, unlimited installations. Starts at $36.28 per month.
- N1-STD-1 – 3.75GB RAM, 1 vCPU, 25GB storage, 10GB bandwidth, unlimited installations. Starts at $69.95 per month.
- N1-STD-2 – 7.5GB RAM, 2 vCPU, 30GB storage, 10GB bandwidth, unlimited installations. Starts at $135.64 per month.
- N1-STD-4 – 15GB RAM, 4 vCPU, 35GB storage, 10GB bandwidth, unlimited installations. Starts at $259.17 per month.
- N1-STD-8 – 30GB RAM, 8 vCPU, 38GB storage, 10GB bandwidth, unlimited installations. Starts at $499.04 per month.
- N1-STD-16 – 60GB RAM, 16 vCPU, 40GB storage, 10GB bandwidth, unlimited installations. Starts at 957.66 per month.
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Starting Monthly Price: $5 - $280
# of Domains: Unlimited
Money Back Guarantee: 30 Days
Bandwidth: 1TB - 5TB
Disk Space: 20GB to 160GB
# of MySQL Databases: Unlimited
Data Backups: Hourly
Unique IP Address
Optimized Wordpress Hosting
# of Email Addresses: Limited based on app
Email Storage: Based on app
1-Click App Installs
Dedicated SSL Certificate
Help and Support
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What we Like About CloudWays
Server Scaling: Servers can be scaled up or down based on storage, bandwidth, processor and RAM. If you need less, you can scale down. If you need more, scale back up. They are extremely flexible.
Server Features: They have a lot of great features, including 15 real-time monitoring options, service management, advanced settings, vertical server scaling, unlimited application and installations, dedicated IP, SSL certificates, etc.
Free Trial: They do offer a free trial on certain plans, but these free trials are limited and you will want to read the fine print. You can’t actually access all features – so it’s more of a demo than a free trial.
Pay by Bitcoin: Kind of a unique feature here, but you can use Bitcoins to pay Cloudways. Bummer is they don’t let you use PayPal – something most people prefer to pay with.
Pay as You Go: With Cloudways, you have pay as you go. They really charge hourly – and only estimate monthly based on what the average website uses in that same category. So, the good news is, you could end up paying much less if you do not use as much in the plan.
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What we Don't Like About CloudWays
Speed and Reliability Complaints: Despite their claims that they are faster, there are numerous complaints online regarding Cloudways actual reliability and speed. This is because you are combining Cloudways service with another cloud provider – and relying on two companies to keep your site up. Some have even complained that Cloudways is slower than shared hosting plans.
Only for Advanced Users: While they like to throw around the term “simple” a lot in their advertising and all over their site, the reality is that Cloudways is a very complex service and you will need to be more advanced in order to even use it. This definitely not for the beginner.
Free Trial Issues: If you delete your server your free trial will automatically end – even if you are within the free trial period. This isn’t advertised blatantly and plenty of users have accidentally cut themselves short on a free trial – so it needs to be noted.
WordPress Complexities: To create a WordPress instance on Cloudways, you will have to go through a lot of steps – and they’re definitely advanced steps. It involves everything from adding the applications to the private server, picking the application and version, installing, updating, managing, creating access details, etc. If you’re new to WordPress or online hosting, the first step alone might be too much.
MySQL Added Later: You can use MySQL on Cloudways, but must add it. If you do not, your site will not have the HTTPS URL and it will show up as an unprivate connection to users. You will need to go to your PhpMyAdmin section to make changes and this is fairly complex.
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Who Is This Web Hosting Company Best For
Overall, Cloudways is ideal for those creating or designing customized websites and need to be more in control of the server. It is perfect for web designers and more advanced users, but we wouldn’t recommend it for those just starting out or the average blogger. Instead, you’ll need a good deal of tech knowledge to even start with Cloudways.
CloudWays provides multiple options for server setup and configuration for advanced users. It may not be the best choice of web host for the entry level or intermediate web hosting user.