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I switched my WordPress website to Cloudways in the last few months. Stay tuned to know if you should do that too with this pinpoint review!
There will be times as a website owner you start thinking about ditching shared hosting.
Mine was around June 2022 when I bid farewell to Fastcomet and switched to Cloudways.
Previous to that, I hosted Mustechie at Namecheap for some 1.5 years. And contrary to the general perception, my experience with them was good, and I recommend them to beginners.
However, you want to upgrade when it’s time to up the game. Though Namecheap had higher tier plans, this time the negativity caught me.
I didn’t want to gamble based on my personal experience alone!
So, I switched to Fastcomet. But except for the discounted first year, I could easily switch to something like Cloudways by paying just a little extra. So, I made the move and landed here.
What is Cloudways?
Cloudways is different from what we consider typical web hosts.
They don’t have servers of their own. They are middlemen helping you set up your website with the cloud infrastructure companies like Digital Ocean, Google Cloud, Linode, etc., with their cloud server control panel and expert support.
Notably, you can also set up your WordPress directly with these companies if you have server administration skills. For smaller teams, I suggest avoiding such endeavors as it would work up to a point after which you’ll need support or extensive googling about DIY, which carries some risks.
Still, there is one more option we’ll discuss in Cloudways alternative section.
Till then, we’ll stick to it. Here are some features:
- 1-Click WordPress install
- Simple WordPress Migration
- Server Firewalls
- 24/7 support
- 1-Click staging
- 1-Click free SSL install
- Managed backups
- SSH and SFTP Access
- Easy scaling
- No credit card trial
- Cloudflare CDN addon
- Offsite backups (Charges extra)
However, the best thing I felt to date is their documentation which helped me solve everything without bothering support. In addition, their server monitoring which shows the resource consumption per your website traffic is a great way to know when to upgrade.
Notably, this review is about WordPress, though you can also host other applications at Cloudways.
Let’s get started.
Switching to Cloudways is a simple process that includes installing Cloudways Migrator, filling out some details, and waiting as per the size of your existing database.
After transferring the data and checking its accuracy, you can easily take your website live with Cloudways. First, you will map your domain to the Cloudways application and then make changes at your domain registrar.
These things may sound scary to some, but they aren’t more than some copy-paste at the right places, and you have the guides for everything.
Finally, the last step is to enable the SSL certification.
Continuing the trend, this is also hassle-free. All you have to do is enter the domain name and enable the auto-renew at the right. This will use a free SSL provided by Let’s Encrypt.
However, you can also use custom SSL certificates.
Billing & Pricing
Cloudways pricing is a pay-as-you-go affair where you’ll be invoiced at the end of each month. You can also top up the account in advance to manage future invoices.
The best part is you can cancel anytime without any annual contracts.
As of this wiring, the lowest it charges is $10/month for Digital Ocean introductory droplets having 1 Gb RAM, 1 core processor, 25 GB storage, and 1 TB bandwidth.
And though, it seems nothing special on paper, its real life performance is robust.
So, What’s the Catch?
There is none for beginners.
The support is good, the performance is great, and you never feel like you’ll ever leave Cloudways until you climb higher on the subscription ladder.
At that point, you may notice about paying substantially more than the actual cost of resources.
Check this for an 8GB RAM Digital Ocean plan, with and without Cloudways:
Don’t get me wrong!
This is a small price compared to what other web hosts may charge for the same set of resources.
Still, you may feel like paying more for almost the same set of services offered in the introductory plans for much less. Except for this, I haven’t found a single drawback in their services.
And frankly, given my experience at Cloudways, I would easily pay that surcharge.
But, if you want an even economic option, there might be some…
Other than the support, Cloudways is essentially a cloud server control panel. This packs the server management tasks behind the one-click buttons helping you do it all without using a typical command line interface.
The one which closely resembles it is Nestify which hosts exclusively with Amazon Web Services at dirt cheap price points. You can check its performance and how it fares against Cloudways in our Nestify review.
Some other alternatives listed here charge you a fixed monthly amount based on the server number, not its size. Put simply, you’ll be paying some $x per month for linking and managing your server. And generally, you can de-link from these services and use any other at any point in time, so there aren’t any vendor locks.
However, you will be managing two billing accounts, one at the cloud infra company and the other at the server control panel. And though I haven’t used any of these services, I would suggest checking for quality support before opting for them.
So that was Cloudways, a user-friendly control panel to manage cloud servers hosted at Amazon Web Services, Vultr, Linode, etc. Besides, their support makes them a complete package helping everyone to go the cloud-way with pocket-friendly plans.
Currently, Mustechie is using a Digital Ocean server with Cloudways with absolutely no complaints. And while the mentioned alternatives may save you some bucks, make sure to test them out with side projects first.
For me, I’m staying here until I find a reason otherwise.
PS: Check some ways to change the font in WordPress.