Cloudways review

If you’re thinking about using Cloudways as your WordPress host, this review will help you see if it’s the right choice for your needs.

Cloud hosting, known for its scalability, control, and often being budget-friendly, can be tricky to use on platforms like Google Cloud or Amazon Web Services. This is where Cloudways comes in and makes it a lot simpler – even for those who aren’t tech-savvy. But how good is it really?

In this review of Cloudways, we’ll examine the features, performance, uptime, support options, and pricing to help you decide if it’s the best choice for your website. Let’s begin!

Cloudways

4.7 out of 5

Cloudways specializes in managed cloud hosting, providing a platform that allows users to easily deploy and manage websites on popular cloud infrastructure providers such as AWS, Google Cloud, and DigitalOcean. With features like easy scalability, dedicated resources, and 24/7 support, Cloudways is a great option for those looking for high-performance and reliable cloud hosting with a user-friendly interface

User Rating
4.5 out of 5
Reliability
4.7 out of 5
Performance
4.9 out of 5

Pros

Highly scalable

Amazing performance

User friendly solution for managing cloud hosting

Cons

Requires some technical knowledge for best results

Slow support response times

Complex pricing

An overview of Cloudways

Load times 1.21s (US avg.), 0.23s (EU), 1.43s (Asia)
Uptime 100% (avg. over 3 months)
Server tech cloud hosting via DigitalOcean, Linode, Vultr, AWS, and Google Cloud
Support 24/7 “expert WordPress support” boasting a 90 sec average response time
Key features multiple server tiers to choose from, free SSL, multiple PHP versions, SSH and FTP access, free migrations, automated backups, regular security patching
Apps easy installer for WordPress, 1-click app deployment, Git integration, dedicated firewalls, 24/7 real-time monitoring, staging environment, Cloudflare add-on, CDN available
Price From $11.00 / month, multiple tiers of hosting available depending in your needs, type of app/site you want to run, plus you can also pay hourly
Best for WordPress users who want to give cloud hosting a go but are afraid of the technical challenges of making a traditional cloud setup running.

Cloudways vs main competitors

Cloudways WP Engine Kinsta
Rating 4.7 / 5 4.7 / 5 4.8 / 5
Load time avg. 0.92s 1.13s 1.25s
Uptime avg. 100% 99.99% 100%
Price from $11.00 $20.00 $30.00
Free domain
Email hosting available via Rackspace
Free SSL
Easy staging
Infrastructure DigitalOcean, Linode, Vultr, AWS, and Google Cloud Own hosting stacks Google Cloud Platform
# of sites Unlimited 1-30 1-40
Traffic allowed 1TB of bandwidth and up 25k-400k visits monthly 25k-600k visits monthly
Visit Cloudways WP Engine Kinsta
Cloudways compared to market average
Cloudways market avg.
Load times US 1.21s 1.08s
Load times EU 0.23s 0.98s
Load times Asia 1.43s 2.13s
Uptime 100% 99.84%

Cloudways review for WordPress: Features ⚙️

The Cloudways Homepage

First off, it’s important to make it clear that Cloudways isn’t a hosting provider per se. Instead, it enables you to set up web applications on one of several cloud hosts, including DigitalOcean, Linode, Vultr, AWS, and Google Cloud. WordPress, of course, is among the available applications:

Choosing a cloud hosting provider.

When you set up a new website, Cloudways enables you to configure everything from which cloud service to use to your server size. Depending on the host, you might also get to choose from multiple server locations:

Configuring your server's resources and location.

All this happens on a single screen. In practice, Cloudways enables you to set up a WordPress website using your cloud provider of choice in a matter of minutes.

When it comes to ease of use, Cloudways gets top marks. Regardless of how you decide to configure your server, you can also access the following features:

  • Managed hosting and security services
  • One-click SSL certificate setup
  • Simple server scaling should you need more resources
  • Support for multiple PHP versions
  • Support for both MySQL and MariaDB database management systems
  • SSH and FTP access
  • Git integration

One thing Cloudways doesn’t support, though, is sending or hosting emails. However, Cloudways does have a simple integration with SendGrid for free email sending, and you can use services such as Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) (paid) or Zoho Mail (free) to host your email. Or, Cloudways also has a dedicated integration with Rackspace for affordable email hosting.

Overall, Cloudways offers a wealth of features that are comparable to some top WordPress managed hosting options (such as SiteGround or WP Engine). Plus, keep in mind that although we’ll be focusing on WordPress for this review, it also works with platforms such as Magento and Drupal.

Performance 📈

Since Cloudways relies on third-party cloud hosting platform servers, performance can vary depending on your configuration. For our test website, we chose the most basic DigitalOcean setup, with 1 GB of RAM and 25 GB of SSD storage. Beyond that, every server also includes the following:

At any time, you can choose to scale your server to add more RAM or storage, in case you need a performance boost. However, downgrading requires you to clone and restore your server configuration. In any case, Cloudways also offers one-click backup and restore options.

Theoretically, cloud hosting should provide near-perfect uptime, but your mileage may vary depending on the host you choose. Cloudways itself keeps detailed records of incidents you can review at any time:

The status of Cloudways' services.

On paper, Cloudways should deliver top-of-the-line WordPress performance. We ran some tests to find out if it lives up to expectations.

Load time tests ⌛

First, let’s look at how well Cloudways performs when it comes to classic load time measurement from multiple locations.

In our assessment, we created a test website featuring the Neve theme, incorporating a range of popular plugins and sample content. This configuration aims to replicate a real-world website as accurately as possible.

The loading times we recorded are as follows:

Cloudways loading times 🔃
East Coast USA: 0.87s ⭐West Coast USA: 1.59s
Central USA: 1.16sLondon, UK: 0.17s ⭐
Paris, France: 0.29s ⭐Mumbai, India: 1.43s

Uptime tracking 📊

Over the span of three months, here are the uptimes we’ve recorded for our test setup:

Cloudways uptime 📶
March 2024April 2024May 2024
100.00% ⭐100.00% ⭐100.00% ⭐

See the live status page and historical data for Cloudways.

Page speed tests with BlazeMeter

A single page loading test doesn’t paint a full picture when it comes to performance. You also want to find out how your website will hold up under traffic spikes. That’s where BlazeMeter comes in. We used this tool to simulate up to 30 virtual users hitting our site over a period of three minutes. Here’s what the results look like:

Running a load impact test with Blazemeter.

On average, it took 0.25 seconds for our site’s server to respond, even under moderate stress. This tells you that even with the most basic Cloudways setup, your website should be able to handle moderate amounts of traffic. From a performance standpoint, Cloudways gets a thumbs-up for its optimized server configurations.

Support options 🧑‍💻

After setting up a WordPress website on a DigitalOcean server, we had some questions to ask Cloudways’ support team. They’re available 24/7 and claim to have excellent response times.

Cloudways offers support via phone, live chat, and a ticket system. One standout feature is that the service assigns you an ‘account manager.’ You can schedule calls with this agent if you have any questions:

Scheduling a call with your Cloudways account manager.

Since we didn’t want to wait for a scheduled call, we opened a live chat. Before you can get to an agent, Cloudways uses a chatbot to help you find answers to common technical questions:

Chatting with the Cloudways bot.

However, navigating the bot to get to an agent is simple, and we were connected with someone almost immediately. Sadly, the support experience itself could’ve gone better. We periodically had to ask the agent if they were still there due to slow response times. When we did get replies, they weren’t as informative as we would have liked:

Chatting with a Cloudways agent.

Keep in mind that your own experience with Cloudways support might vary. Live chat agents may be fielding multiple requests at once, so they’re not always the best option for in-depth technical queries. That said, for simple questions like the ones we posed, we would’ve expected better service, particularly from a ‘premium’ platform.

If you want more focused support, you can pay an extra fee for premium support.

Cloudways pricing 💸

Here’s where things get a bit more complicated with our review. As you may know, most cloud hosting providers typically charge based on resource consumption. With Cloudways, you’re paying for hosting through a secondary service, which means it’s going to be more expensive than paying the host directly.

Likewise, prices vary depending on which cloud hosting provider you choose. Cloudways doesn’t offer ‘plans’ per se, but it enables you to set up as many servers as you want and then bills you at the end of the month.

With that in mind, Cloudways offers both monthly and hourly pricing for all its cloud hosting solutions:

Some examples of Cloudways' pricing.

DigitalOcean and Vultr are the two best options if you’re looking for relatively cheap cloud hosting. For around $10–20 a month, you can get basic servers with around:

  • 1–2 GB of RAM
  • Single-core processors
  • 20–50 GB of SSD storage
  • 1–2 TB of bandwidth

These specs are more than enough for a growing WordPress website, and you can always scale up when needed. At this starting point, Cloudways is a little cheaper than most managed WordPress hosting options.

On the other hand, AWS and Google Cloud both have monthly options starting at around $30 per month. This is more in line with managed WordPress hosts such as Kinsta or WP Engine.

Pros 👍 and cons 👎

We’ve covered a lot of information in this review, so let’s quickly go over the pros and cons of this service.

Pros

It’s the most user-friendly way to get into cloud hosting

Cloudways takes care of server optimization for you

You have full control over your server resources

You can set up a WordPress website in minutes

You can scale up resources at any time

Cloudways has excellent performance across the board (though exact performance will depend on your chosen cloud provider and specs)

Cons

Customer support could be better (although your mileage may vary)

It can be hard to determine what resources you need if you don’t have experience with server management

The pricing structure is a bit complicated and some options could become quite expensive

Conclusion 🏁

Cloud hosting, often seen as complex, becomes approachable with Cloudways. This host will be perfect for WordPress users eager to explore cloud hosting but wary of the technicalities involved in traditional setups of this kind.

With Cloudways, you benefit from top-tier cloud hosting platforms (such as DigitalOcean) and their features while enjoying a user-friendly experience, making deploying a WordPress site as straightforward as with any standard hosting service.

Overall, we see Cloudways as a great alternative to more expensive managed WordPress hosts such as WP Engine or Kinsta. You get much of the same features (and even more) for about half the price.

Do you have any questions about our Cloudways review? Ask away in the comments section below!

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