In recent years as a webdesigner and developer I have tried different types and providers of hosting. Every web host has its pros and cons. Unfortunately, I couldn't find many recent reviews about Cloudways myself, so I started working myself. In this Cloudways review I describe my (spoiler: positive) experiences with Cloudways, a provider of Managed Cloud Hosting.
Managed Cloud Hosting, what does that mean?
Cloud hosting basically means that a website or application is not hosted on one server, but in a large network of different servers. This is very practical when a single server goes down or needs to be maintained, with Cloud Hosting other servers simply take over.
An additional advantage is the distribution of servers over different countries, with an international website visitors can see their website via a server that is closer to them.
The part Managed in Managed Cloud Hosting means that the technical issues are usually taken care of for you behind the scenes. So you don't have to worry about security, optimization and maintenance of a server as opposed to your own VPS, for example.
Such a solution is of course ideal for a web designer. Since he prefers to create a website instead of setting up a server.
What does Cloudways offer?
Cloudways offers the possibility to purchase Managed Cloud Hosting in combination with external data centers such as Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services, Linode, Vultr, and DigitalOcean.
They market this hosting with terms like 'Unmatched performance', 'Reliability' and '24/7 support'. And emphasize their USPs: unlimited number of applications/websites, own control panel, managed security, automatic backups, free SSL, built-in CDN and more. Fast and reliable hosting that should take care of most of your worries.
Please note, maybe not all providers have servers in your country. Check this before you buy. This may be important to your customers.
My first impression of Managed Cloud Hosting from Cloudways
My first impression of Cloudways was very positive, because they have a sleek modern website and are fairly transparent in their packages and costs. What their own website looks like, of course, says nothing about the quality of the hosting, but it does give a familiar feeling. They also offer a free two-day trial on the website with which you can test your website. I did this trial with the Vultr (High Frequency) Data Centers. In this way you are not committed to anything and you can immediately experience whether this hosting provider can be a solution for your website(s).
First results using the Trial
To get a good idea of the speed of this Managed Cloud Hosting with Vultr, I cloned a fairly simple website with a blog with WordPress as cms from my own VPS to the Cloudways server.
I immediately noticed that they offer their own Cache plugin to use for free for a WordPress website, called Breeze. in combination with this caching plugin resulted in enormous time savings on almost all pages. On some pages even more than one full second. Simply put, an easy step to make your WordPress website faster.
WordPress Caching with Breeze
Migrate your WordPress website very easily
Migrating/cloning the website was also made very simple by means of a proprietary migration plugin. You can install this plugin for free on your WordPress website. You enter some data from your (test) server at Cloudways and with one click the entire website is neatly copied to your Cloudways environment.
What applications are supported in Cloudways?
As described earlier in this Cloudways review, WordPress is supported and can be installed with one click. Other one-click-install options are a WooCommerce add-on, Magento, Laravel or a custom PHP application.
Cloudways' own Control Panel
In the past I have made extensive use of control panels such as DirectAdmin and Plesk. Using a new system can often be difficult if you cannot find certain options immediately. Cloudways offers its own control panel and does not have the option to use, for example, CPanel, Plesk or DirectAdmin.
My experience within this system that is new to me has been mainly positive. Options are easy to find and the control panel reacts quite quickly from experience. In old reviews I read that this used to be a lot slower, but luckily that has now been resolved.
Within the control panel you have an overview in statistics, all your servers, applications and projects. You can also scale down and scale your server in specifications with a few clicks when necessary.
Furthermore, you have freedom and options in setting backups, PHP versions/settings, security and FTP access.
Cost of Cloudways Managed Cloud Hosting
The cheapest plans (1GB RAM) at Cloudways start at $10 a month and are enough for a small website. The costs for the providers Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud are significantly higher than those for DigitalOcean, Linode or Vultr.
Larger packages are still affordable and offer the option to host multiple websites as well. Compared to WP Engine or Kinsta, for example, you can host an unlimited number of websites at no extra cost. Of course this is necessary when it comes at the expense of the performance of the hosting. With a larger number of smaller websites, this can be more favorable and cheaper.
In my opinion Cloudways is very affordable and excellent value for money for what they offer.
Scaling up specifications is very easy so as soon as your websites need better hosting this is possible. In this way you also scale in costs.
My opinion after using Cloudways for 3 months
Long-term use is of course important to make a rational Cloudways review. After the trial, I immediately hosted a few WordPress websites with the same package (Vultr High Frequency). In the meantime, the speed hasn't changed and I haven't encountered any problems yet.
All functions and necessities are offered for hosting multiple WordPress websites. Setting up new applications is still very fast and creating a staging website is done at the touch of a button.
Conclusion of the Cloudways review in 2021
After several months of using the Managed Cloud Hosting, I am still very satisfied with the speed, reliability and ease of setting up a website. For example, all websites still had an uptime of 100%. That's why I definitely recommend taking advantage of the free two-day trial. In this trial you have all the options to test whether this cloud hosting is something for your website(s) or webshop(s).
Do you have questions about using Cloudways that I haven't answered yet? Then you can always contact us!