With so many hosting options in the market today, it is easy to lose a hang of all the technical details that each brings alongside itself. Amidst them are cloud-based web hosting giants that, unlike the traditional hosting provide a platform to create virtual machines that are capable of hosting sites, apps, and more. That is exactly what Cloudways does; it acts as a hub of services where users are able to manage cloud services powered by Amazon, Google Cloud Platform, Linode, VULTR, and DigitalOcean. In other words, it provides a layer of abstraction for users looking to set up and run a scalable server with quick and simple deployment.
Cloudways was conceptualized in 2009 by its first founders Pere Hospital, Aaqib Gadit, and Uzair Gadit who were enthusiastic on cloud-based hosting that was novel at the time. They set their headquarters on Malta Island in Europe from where they expanded to Spain and then later to UAE. Today, Cloudways powers approximately 12,000 servers and over 25,000 web apps in 43 different countries. The company works with five major cloud providers, supports PHP apps, and provides an innovative control panel to manage services with ease. With it, you can use several content management systems including WordPress, Drupal, Moodle, Magento, and Joomla. For PHP-based CMSs, customers are required to configure everything from scratch with ability to obtain any number of servers while at it. Actually, it is the only do-it-yourself service offered by the company.
Since Cloudways only focuses on managed hosting, customers rarely handle web maintenance functionalities. These are instead done by the company which compares to web host providers that offer Virtual Private Servers alone.
To get started, Cloudways allows for creation of free-trial account that expires in 3 days. You can choose to sign up using GitHub, LinkedIn, or a valid email address and password.
On successful login into your account, the interface tasks you with the choice of several content management systems (CMS) ranging from Magento, Laravel, SugarCRM, Media Wiki, PHP Stack, WordPress, to PrestaShop. The choices are in plenty and mostly from popular, well-respected sources. Moving on, Cloudways allows you to build the site atop accredited infrastructures such as Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and VULTR. From there, you can pick any of multiple choice of server locations available which suit well your business needs. If within the 3-day trial period the services and experience are appealing, you can go ahead and choose the paid Cloudways Cloud Hosting Plans which we’ll review shortly. But first…
|Plan Name||Disk Space||Bandwidth||Admin panel||Cores||RAM||Core Speed||CPU||OS||Backups||SSH||Managed||Location||Price|
|test1||unlimited||unlimited||Admin panel||1||-||2GHz||2||$ 32.00|
|DO192GB||3840GB||12000GB||Admin panel||32||192GB||1.00GHz||32 Cores||$ 1035.00|
|DO128GB||2560GB||110000GB||Admin panel||24||128GB||1.00GHz||24 Cores||$ 715.00|
|DO96GB||1920GB||10000GB||Admin panel||20||96GB||1.00GHz||20 cores||$ 555.00|
|DO64GB||1280GB||9000GB||Admin panel||16||64GB||1.0GHz||16 Cores||$ 395.00|
|DO48GB||960GB||8000GB||Admin panel||12||48GB||1.00GHz||12 Cores||$ 315.00|
|DO32GB||640GB||7000GB||Admin panel||8||32GB||1.00GHz||8 Cores||$ 230.00|
|DO16GB||320GB||6000GB||Admin panel||6||16GB||1.00GHz||6 Cores||$ 135.00|
|DO8GB||160GB||5000GB||Admin panel||4||8GB||1.00GHz||4 Cores||$ 80.00|
|DO4GB||80GB||4000GB||Admin panel||2||4GB||1.00GHz||2 Cores||$ 42.00|
|DO2GB||50GB||2000GB||Admin panel||1||2GB||1.00GHz||1 Core||$ 22.00|
|DO1GB||25GB||1000GB||Admin panel||1||1GB||1.00GHz||1 Cores||$ 10.00|
While features from one package to the other vary, Cloudways is consistent on delivering basics that work decently for every level user. In this section, we’ll discuss them in six primary categories:
When it comes to performance and speed, Cloudways has embarked on a good number of tweaks to push for maximum gains. Furthermore, working with accredited IaaS means customers have a vast range of options to better their experience while still working within a reasonable budget. Anyways, below are major features employed at Cloudways to enhance performance and speed:
Any server you launch from Cloudways has unlimited access to dedicated resources. In other words, accounts here don’t experience the shortcomings inherent in shared hosting. With this, there is a guarantee for optimal app and site performance.
Advanced Caching Technologies
As aforementioned, all the top hosting packages at Cloudways have exclusive access to caching technologies from Varnish, Redis, and Memcached. Redis enhances the performance of MarlaDB, PHP-FPM, and MySQL databases. The other two assist with site loading and work excellently when powered by Apache and Nginx web servers. WordPress users have access to Breeze Cache Plugin while Magento to Full-Page cache which are significantly competitive in caching technology.
CloudwaysCDN is a recently adopted service that aims to improve server response time by delivering web content relative to geographical location. Installation is free with minimal technicalities to launch and use it.
HTTP/2 servers are also recent additions which significantly improve the speed of communication made between the browsers and the web servers.
Every hosting package at Cloudways avails Solid State Drives (SSD) for storage; these drives are approximately 3x more efficient than traditional hard disk drives.
Preconfigured PHP-FPM Database
This database is inherently efficient at storing and availing content on demand. It comes preconfigured with optimal parameters for users of PHP environment which improves website loading time.
On security, Cloudways uses the following technologies to maximize it:
All the servers at Cloudways rest behind dedicated firewalls mostly working on the operating system level. Their purpose is to deter intrusions by filtering out malicious traffics and attacks.
Regular Server Patching
Whenever a vulnerability has been identified, Cloudways must install OS patches and upgrade the server firmware to eliminate the risk of attacks. All subscribers of managed cloud servers enjoy this critical undertaking for free.
Although it is not activated by default, Two-Factor Authentication provides an extra layer of protection against attempted login to your account. It is worth enabling if you have an account on Cloudways.
One-click SSL Installation
Every account has free access to Let’s Encrypt SSL which provides a trusted certificate that enables clients to relay traffic via a secure tunnel. It is a one-click installation module.
Cloudways handles the customer support system by:
Cloudways provides an interactive control panel with the ability to:
Well, for Cloudways there is no money-back guarantee but rather a free 3-day trial for any plan. The period allows you to test applications, explore features, and eventually evaluate whether to purchase the hosting plan or not. You’ll need to sign up an account to get started. The prerequisites are having a valid email address and a temporary but strong password. Alternatively, you can register with Google, LinkedIn, or GitHub account which will give you a temporary access for 3 days. It is important to read the terms of service before starting the free trial period to understand how Cloudways works, rules to adhere to, and the conditions specified when owning an account with them.
Staging Area and URLs
Cloudways provides a platform that helps you to test applications, websites, and URLs before transferring them for use in a live session. These is essential for benchmarking new and updated applications for an informed decision when installing them.
Changes made on the code repositories that the server uses are auto-deployed. This addresses vulnerabilities, offers live updates, and provides patches in real time.
App and Server Cloner
In a single click, you can make copies of the applications and websites needed for staging purposes. They’ll be served under a new URL making the evaluation phase easier to handle.
CloudwaysBot was designed to assist in monitoring web activities and send notifications whenever targeted events occur. It can be integrated in channels such as HipChat, API, and Slack.
DNS errors are common and can affect site’s online presence whenever they occur. Cloudways offers a DNS Troubleshooter tool that redirects traffic to a preconfigured secondary IP whenever Domain Name Server issues arise.
On this section, we shall explore the wins and fails of Cloudways as a hub of services for top cloud hosting providers.
How long is the trial period for Cloudways?
Cloudways offers a 3-day trial period to help clients familiarize with the platform before making purchase of a preferred plan. The counter for the period kicks off on creation of the trial server. The company recommends upgrading an account before the period expires.
What payment methods can I use?
Currently, Cloudways supports all major credit cards (American Express, MasterCard, and Visa) and payment requests from PayPal. The latter needs prior request via live chat or email for proper guidance on making the transactions.
Can I change my registered email address?
Yes, that’s possible. Just contact the Support Team through Ticketing System or Live Chat. Also, you can detach your Google, LinkedIn, or GitHub accounts from Cloudways through a similar approach.
Aside from server cost, is there any other extra cost?
Yes, when using paid add-ons and automated backup function. The storage for the backup is charged per server but the rates are significantly low.
How does the pay-as-you-go payment plan work?
Well, Cloudways monitors your usage and bills for what you use at the moment. Unlike fixed plan payments, you can scale server parameters to increase or lower the charges relative to your needs.
Does Cloudways support cPanel and custom file managers?
For the control panel, no, they don’t support cPanel. Instead, they provide a powerful platform that’s easy to use for management of the servers, apps, and sites. File managers supported include Putty and FileZilla which access web applications via SFTP or SSH.
Do you have demo websites to test performance of your services?
What Cloudways offers isn’t exactly a demo site but rather a staging environment where you can test your migrated site prior to taking it live.
Any free SSL certificates?
Yes, Cloudways issues a free Let’s Encrypt SSL to ensure traffic between your web server and client’s browser is securely tunneled. On installing its certificate, your website’s URL will serve content via HTTPS.
What kind of support is available under Cloudways managed hosting service?
Cloudways Managed Hosting Service covers areas described briefly below:
How many applications can I host on a Cloudways single server?
Cloudways gives freedom to customers to install more than one application on a single server. Nonetheless, the specific number will depend on factors such as amount of traffic to site, server specifications/resources, and CMS type i.e. Magento, Laravel, WordPress, etc. A 1GB server will handle around 4-5 sites with traffic of up to 50k monthly while a 2GB server up to 100k page views. Stores built using Magento or PrestaShop require a dedicated server to run faster. As you can see, number of applications will be relative to your specific needs.