Cloudways is a managed hosting platform that offers excellent hosting services to its customer. It allows the customers to build, deploy, scale, and manage their websites and web application with ease.
Cloudways is known for cloud hosting, with the option to choose from the top cloud hosting provider. When signing up for a plan, you can select a cloud provider from Digital Ocean, Linode, Vultr, Amazon Web Services, and Google Cloud.
Cloudways hosting plans include managed WordPress hosting, managed Magento and WooCommerce hosting, PHP and Laravel hosting, managed Amazon, Google Cloud, Digital Ocean, Linode, and Vultr hosting packages. Prices can go as low as $10 per month for a single site and as high as $1000+ for multiple WordPress sites.
Aside from managed hosting, Cloudways offers free trial, free demo, multiple server location, excellent control panel, advanced caching, Cloudways content delivery network (CDN), pay-as-you-go payment model, support to many website building tools, vertical scaling to customize your resources according to your needs, easy SSL certificate installation, multiple payment options, excellent customer support, multiple data centers, and many more. A detailed list of all Cloudways features can be seen on the Buyer’s Guide portion of this review.
Getting Started With Cloudways
The first thing I noticed with Cloudways is the number of hosting plans it offers. It has 60+ global network data centers scattered in 15 countries.
After browsing and making necessary comparisons, I decided to try out its managed WordPress plan to create a more comprehensive and detailed review of Cloudways’ cloud hosting features.
I chose Digital Ocean as my cloud hosting provider and selected the standard hosting plan, which costs $10 per month. This is also the cheapest plan available on their page. It comes with its own managed platform, 1 GB RAM, one core processor, 25 GB storage, 1 TB bandwidth, free trial, and all key features of Cloudways’ managed cloud hosting (See Buyer’s Guide).
One thing I like about Cloudways is the feature where you can start a web hosting plan for free. Most web hosts offer a money-back guarantee, meaning you pay upfront fees and get a refund when you cancel. Not having to pay for the first few days is a thoughtful and generous action from Cloudways.
The first step of the sign-up process is to create a Cloudway account. You can choose to create an account using your LinkedIn, Github, and Google, or you can manually input your name, last name, and email.
I am also asked to describe myself from the following options: Digital Agency, Ecommerce, Other Businesses, Blogger, and Freelance Developer/Designer. For this review, I choose Freelance Developer/Designer.
After clicking the Set-Up button, I was redirected to my Cloudways homepage and greeted Cloudways’ Welcome message.
Next, I opened my email and activated my account. After I input my cellphone number for the phone verification option, I received a message with my Cloudways’ verification code and input it on the page to proceed to the verification.
Once my account was fully verified, I was brought to Cloudways’ Clients Area.
Using and Managing Your Website in Cloudways
Managing your hosting account using Cloudways’s dashboard is easy. The tabs are arranged in a straightforward and clean manner. I like how minimalist it looks without any unnecessary clutters.
Below are the different tabs you can see in your dashboard:
This tab shows your profile, password, and security. From here, you can update your profile information, change your password, and configure your security settings.
Real-Time Billing Tab
This tab lets you access your current billing details for the month.
Credit Card Tab
From here, you can manage your credit card details and billing information. For first-time users, this will be empty, so you need to add a credit card first and authorize the deduction of your monthly payment.
This tab displays all your invoices. You can see from here your invoice ID, amount, invoice date, invoice type, status, and payment method.
This tab shows your funds. You can add more funds and view a summary of available funds. A fund can be used to purchase Cloudways products and services.
Affiliate Program Tab
This tab is for Cloudways’ affiliates to manage their affiliate account.
Partnership Application Tab
This tab is for agencies that want to partner with Cloudways web hosting.
Cloudways Control Panel
A web hosting control panel is used to manage website servers and hosting services. cPanel, Plesk, and WHM are some of the industry-standard control panels available on the market today. Some web hosts integrate any of these three into their web hosting services, while others use their own.
Below are the parts of Cloudways control panel.
From this tab, you can view your rented cloud servers. It displays your disk space, server location, and date created. You can also add a server by clicking the Add Server button.
From this tab, you can access your server management page by clicking the name of your server.
Below are the subtabs under server management:
This tab has your IP address, username, and password. You can also access your SSH Public Keys and the Launch SSH Terminal buttons from here.
This page contains the features for monitoring your server resources, a summary of your server health, detailed visualization of your web insights, and the New Relic App Monitoring. Server health shows RAM, CPU, disk, and bandwidth usage.
This tab shows the control core services enabled to make your web applications run smoothly. For beginners, it is best not to touch this part just yet without making sure you understand its impact on your website to avoid any complications.
Settings and Packages
This tab allows you to manage your server settings. The settings are arranged by basic, advanced, packages, optimization, and maintenance.
This page allows you to manage your server security settings, whitelist IP addresses and manage SSH/SFTP and MySQL connections.
This tab lets you scale your server resources. You can increase your server size and attach block storage easily by simply dragging the button.
This tab shows your backup settings. From here, you can schedule a backup, set backup frequency, manage backup retention, and enable local backups.
This tab lets you manage your Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) settings.
This tab shows your installed applications, server name, and project. You can easily add web applications by clicking the Add Application button. You can choose to install WordPress, Woocommerce, PHP, Laravel, or Magento.
From here, you can access your application’s control panel by clicking your application name. This will redirect to your application management page.
Below are the tabs included on this page:
This tab shows all information related to your applications. It includes the application URL, admin panel URL, password, username, MySQL access, applications credentials, and many more.
This tab shows your website analytics and logs. The Analytics shows the web traffics, PHP performance, MySQL connections, running cron jobs, and disk usage. The Logs tab displays the access and the error tabs.
This tab lets you manage your bot protection feature. It blocks unnecessary traffic, brute-force attacks, and hackers from harming your WordPress site. This page also displays traffic requests, login requests, login attempts, and traffic from bad bots.
This tab lets you connect your domain to your WordPress site. It also has features for your DNS management.
Cron Job Management
This tab lets you manage your cron jobs from basic to advance.
This tab lets you install your SSL certificates from Let’s Encrypt.
Backup and Restore
This page allows you to manage your backup and restore application data with ease.
Deployment Via Git
This page allows you to deploy codes in Git.
This tab lets you configure your application settings.
This tab shows the migration tools you can use to transfer your data and database from other cloud servers to Cloudways in just a few minutes.
Cloudways Content Delivery Network
This page lets you configure your Cloudways CDN. This speeds up your server and makes load times faster.
This tab shows your team members and their specific roles.
This tab displays your current projects.
Cloudways bot is a server assistant designed to help you manage your website performance, security server, and applications.
This page lets you manage your add-ons.
Cloudways Website Builder
Cloudways uses WordPress, a content management system that is used by almost 50 % of the websites available today. To create a WordPress site, you can choose from the different categories like blog, technology, real estate, portfolio, nonprofit, marketplace, and many more.
After choosing a category, I was asked to select a theme. Some themes are free while others are paid. One thing I liked about Cloudways is that it offers free demos on each theme. The next step is to select a plugin. You can filter the plugins according to their function by clicking the corresponding button for Marketing, Business, SEO, Security, Email, or Agency.
Cloudways WordPress Themes
In creating WordPress sites hosted at Cloudwyas, you can select from a comprehensive list of themes that are categorized accordingly. They have almost every business needs, so you won’t have a hard time choosing one. A free demo is available so you can glimpse how it looks once online. Some of the themes are free, while others are paid.
Cloudways App Installer
Installing applications using Cloudways is quick and easy. Go to the Applications tab, then click the Add New Application button. You will be prompted to select your desired server before you can proceed.
Up next, you can select the application you wish to install from the drop-down menu. To manage your newly installed application, check out the Applications tab. If the installation is successful, you should be able to see it there.
Cloudways Customer Support
Cloudways offer managed WordPress hosting to its customers. By the name manage, we should be expecting a lot of help from our managed cloud hosting provider. Cloudways hosting understands this assignment well as they offer various mediums for the Cloudways users to the help they need. You can contact support through email, phone calls, tickets, and live chat. They have a support team available 24/7 to answer your queries.
Cloudways support comes in three different levels: Standard, Advanced, and Premium.
For this review, I tried the live chat options and asked about Cloudways managed cloud hosting, site performance, domain registration, server resources, free trial, free demo, and website builder. You can access the Live Chat from the Need Help? button at the right part of the page. The response was swift and informative. Omar was accommodating and patient in answering my questions. I was given links to support article that relates to my question.
Aside from the options mentioned above, you can also find support from Cloudways’ knowledgebase, customer stories, blogs, community forums, case studies, and FQA’s. But despite offering a managed platform, there are still items that are not part of their support.
Buyer’s Guide for Cloudways
Cloudways offers cloud hosting to its customers. Unlike traditional hosting platforms using physical servers for shared hosting, Cloudways used a cloud provider to deliver its hosting service. The following section discussed the different hosting plans that Cloudways offers.
Plans and Pricing
All Cloudways hosting plans come with the following key features:
- 24/7/365 Support
- Free Let’s Encrypt SSL Certificates
- Cloudways CDN
- Free Migration
- Server and Application Management
- Dedicated Firewalls
- 24/7 Real-time Monitoring
- Automated Backups
- Staging Environment
- Auto Healing
- Regular Security Patching
- HTTP/2 Enabled Servers
- SSH and SFTP Access
- Optimized With Advanced Caches
- Unlimited Application Installation
- Two Factor Authentication (TFA)
- Vertical Scaling
- Free trial for three days
In managed hosting, the hosting provider takes care of all the website and cloud server-related issues. It aims you give you a hassle-free experience so you can focus on your website content and performance. As a managed cloud hosting platform, Cloudways ensures that you will have an exceptional cloud hosting experience.
Below are the cloud server specifications and the pricing for managed hosting plans.
Digital Ocean Premium Plan
Digital Ocean Standard Plan
Linode Hosting Plan
VULTR High-Frequency Plans
VULTR Standard Plans
AWS Hosting Plans
Google Cloud Plans
Here are some of the managed hosting plans that Cloudways offer:
Managed WordPress Hosting
In Cloudways managed WordPress hosting, you can choose to host your site from five different cloud providers. These are Digital Ocean, Linode, Vultr, AWS (Amazon Web Services), and Google Cloud Platform. This plan is trusted by more than 250 000 SMBs (small and midsized businesses), agencies, and even individuals.
Cloudways started its WordPress hosting in 2011. Part of their promise is to give their clients a reliable & scalable web hosting experience. For over a decade, they have hosted more than 600,000 WordPress websites. They offer excellent performance, security, support, and cloud servers optimized for WordPress hosting.
You can easily install WordPress and plugins into your hosting server.
Managed Magento Hosting
Magento is an open-source e-commerce platform written in PHP frameworks. It was released in 2008 and was acquired by Adobe Inc. in 2018.
Cloudways managed Magento hosting comes with a dedicated server stack necessary to prevent hosting issues. Cloudways make sure to update all essential services by following the recommendations of Magento. This simply means you could enjoy a fast, reliable, and robust hosting experience so that you can focus your energy on your business and brand.
Magento applications can quickly be launched in Cloudways’ easy-to-use dashboard. This dashboard is very intuitive, allowing easy and quick monitoring, scaling, cloning, cloud backups, restores, and many more.
Cloudways managed Magento hosting price and plans already include all web hosting management and cloud server infrastructure costs. This means you don’t have to pay extra, unlike other cloud hosts.
Managed WooCommerce Hosting
WooCommerce is an open-source e-commerce platform that you can customize to meet your business and online store needs.
Cloudways Managed WooCommerce hosting uses dedicated cloud servers and leases it to the client. It offers enhanced security, supports, and hosting packages tailored to meet specific performance requirements for WooCommerce.
WooCommerce is cheaper since it is free. WooCommerce hosting pricing plans on Cloudways start as low as just $22/month or $0.0305/hour.
Cloudways PHP hosting offers the following versions 5.6, 7.0, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, and 7.4. You can choose which versions to use and switch one to the other in just a few clicks.
Cloudways supports remote MySQL connections for all your web applications. This feature is already included in the pricing, so no need to pay extra. Cloudways Managed PHP Hosting Servers are scalable according to your needs. It is powerful enough to handle all types of PHP and MySQL applications for websites of all sizes.
Cloudways PHP hosting comes with an administration console you can use to easily install clouds and web applications like free SSL certificates from Let’s Encrypt. All applications on the Cloudways PHP MySQL hosting platform are optimized for performance, speed, and security.
Laravel is a free, open-source PHP web framework for the development of web applications. These applications include common tasks such as authentication, routing, sessions, and caching.
Cloudways Laravel Hosting is powered to handle all kinds of Laravel sites. They provide 24/7 Live Chat support from experts to assist you every time an issue arises. Also included is a free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate, which you can install easily.
Ecommerce hosting is a hosting plan that offers services to e-commerce websites, including features such as a content management system, 24/7 support, and plugins for online stores.
Cloudways offers a fast, secure, and scalable platform for e-commerce hosting. Pricing starts at $10 per month, which includes all manage hosting features plus more. This plan is best for e-commerce websites.
Cloudways’ e-commerce hosting platform is optimized for hosting e-commerce websites. It comes with easy website management and easy application installations. You can also launch multiple servers at the same time.
This plan is managed, so you only need to create awesome stores and leave the server configurations to Cloudways’ pool of experts. It also comes with top-notch security to make sure you and your customers are protected.
Below are the dedicated servers and server resources you can choose from:
Cloudways offers managed cloud hosting platform which allows you to host, monitor, and scale according to your needs. One of the advantages of using cloud infrastructure is its fast performance and loading time.
Below is the list of server specifications and pricing from the top cloud providers you can choose from when hosting your site using Cloudways.
Managed Amazon Hosting Plans
Managed Google Hosting
Managed DigitalOcean Cloud Hosting
Managed Linode Hosting
Managed Vultr Hosting
Here are some of the features included in your hosting plan when choosing Cloudways as your web hosting provider.
Integrations and Add-ons:
Security and Backups
Cloudways’ security features include the following :
- Dedicated Firewalls
- SSL Certificates
- Two-factor authentications
- IP Addresses Whitelisting
- Applications Isolations
- Database Security
- Regular Security Patching
- Bot Protection
Cloudways offer 99% uptime guaranteed for all its hosting plan. It also offers an excellent site speed compared to another web host offering the same plans but for a lesser price.
Below is a comparison between Cloudways and another hosting company in terms of monthly visits, bandwidth, storage, and average response times.
All these features are thanks to Cloudways’ Thunderstack, a PHP stack packed with the server software and pre-intalled on the world’s best cloud providers.
Here are some of the advantages of using Cloudways as your hosting company:
- Top Cloud Providers to choose from
- Unlimited Applications
- All PHP Apps Supported
- Innovative Control Panel
- 24/7/365 Expert Support
- Managed Security
- Automated Backups
- 24/7 Real-time Monitoring
- Optimized Stack
- Built-in CDN
- Auto-Healing Servers
- PHP 7.3 Ready Servers
- Free trial for three days
- Good reviews from Trustpilot and G2
- Free demo for WordPress themes
- Vertical Scaling Feature
- Excellent server speed and website load times
- Two Factor Authentication
- Pay-as You Go Feature
Here are some of the disadvantages of using Cloudways:
- Some support features are not free
- cPanel, WHM, and Plesk are not included
- Offsite backups are not for free
- Cloudways CDN bandwidth is not free as well
- No email hosting included
- No file manager included
- No domain name registration
As a managed cloud hosting platform, Cloudways offers excellent features that you can’t get from traditional hosts. But despite using resources from top cloud providers, the support you’ll get will be from Cloudways.
Overall, my experience with Cloudways is excellent, and they are commendable in their hosting service.
I hope this Cloudways hosting review helped you in your web hosting journey!