Is Cloudways the Best WordPress Host?

On this publish I’m going to overview Cloudways as a WordPress host. This web site, in addition to our Impartial Journey Cats website and Journey Images Course are powered by WordPress and hosted by Cloudways.

As a little bit of background, earlier than I grew to become a journey blogger I labored as a software program developer constructing web sites, and I deal with all of the coding and administration of our three websites.

Having nicely performing web sites is necessary to our enterprise, and a superb host is a key a part of that.

On this publish I’m going to do a overview of Cloudways from the angle of a WordPress website operator, that can assist you resolve if that is the suitable WordPress host for you. I’ll examine it to quite a few different common WordPress internet hosting suppliers in the marketplace, and hopefully show you how to resolve if Cloudways is the suitable host to your WordPress web site.

We’ve been utilizing Cloudways to host our WordPress websites since 2019. I’ve been wanting to write down a overview for some time, however I did need to guarantee I’d used the service in the actual world for a superb size of time so I might share my actual world experiences.

This consists of my expertise migrating to Cloudways, technical assist, efficiency, and value. I’ve additionally bought an superior Cloudways promo code you need to use to avoid wasting in your first three months of internet hosting.

Let begin with an summary as Cloudways as a service.

What’s Cloudways?

Cloudways is a managed cloud internet hosting supplier. Which means that they supply and handle servers which can be utilized for a variety of net functions.

They provide these functions pre-installed and able to use, so all you must do is design your website and create the content material.

Cloudways homepage

By way of net functions, Cloudways affords WordPress, in addition to different common functions like Magento, Joomla, Laraval and Drupal. Cloudways handles all of the technical facets of managing the servers and putting in this software program.

On this publish, I’ll be speaking particularly about Cloudways as a WordPress host. WordPress is a chunk of software program which is used to energy over 450 million web sites, or over 20% of the web.

WordPress makes it straightforward for content material creators to publish and handle content material, and is appropriate for every thing from static enterprise web sites by means of to blogs, ecommerce outlets and extra. It’s virtually infinitely customisable, and also can scale to deal with hundreds of thousands of customers.

We’ve used quite a few completely different WordPress hosts over time of working our web sites, so we’ve got expertise with lots of the internet hosting choices on the market.

As I discussed, we’ve been working our three websites on Cloudways since September 2019, so we’ve had a good bit of time to become familiar with what it affords.


Cloudways Internet hosting Particulars

Cloudways affords customers what is named a Digital Personal Server, or VPS. There are three major kinds of server internet hosting – shared internet hosting, VPS internet hosting, and devoted internet hosting.

Shared internet hosting is greatest for these with low site visitors web sites ( lower than 10,000 guests a month), VPS is for medium to excessive site visitors (10,000+ guests a month), and devoted is for very giant websites (within the hundreds of thousands of holiday makers a month).

A VPS resembling Cloudways affords is a major step up from the cheaper shared internet hosting that many WordPress website house owners begin with by means of suppliers like Bluehost.

A VPS has a number of benefits over a shared server. The primary one is that you’ve got a particular variety of sources devoted to your web site.

On shared internet hosting, quite a few web sites compete for a similar server sources, which implies that one web site being overloaded can rapidly overload the opposite websites on the server.

With a VPS, you’re allotted a particular set of sources and your website is far more strong because of this. You additionally often have much more management and entry to the server if you’d like it.

If you’re on shared internet hosting, we might suggest transferring to a VPS when you attain round 10,000 t0 20,000 guests a month. Relying in your web site design, you possibly can scale a VPS to in extra of one million customers per 30 days. As you begin to scale past that, you may then think about a devoted server. 


What Options Does Cloudways Supply?

You may see a full checklist of options on the Cloudways website right here.

Listed below are a few of the major options of Cloudways that we like:

  • Managed internet hosting. Cloudways affords a alternative of varied net functions on their platform. While we use WordPress, and this overview relies on utilizing Cloudways for WordPress internet hosting, we might additionally use Cloudways to run quite a few different functions like Laraval, Drupal, Joomla or Prestashop ought to we select.
  • Managed WordPress internet hosting. These of you working, or trying to run a WordPress website, then you’ll doubtless use Cloudways managed WordPress internet hosting. What this implies is that you just don’t want to fret concerning the server itself or the software program on the server. Cloudways manages that for you. All you must do is the web site administration (design, plugins and so forth), in addition to creating content material.
  • Alternative of suppliers. You may choose from a variety of VPS providers to select the one which most closely fits your price range and viewers location
  • Optimized WordPress Stack. Cloudways have constructed a expertise stack that works to provide you a quick WordPress set up with minimal work required in your finish in case you use WordPress
  • Alternative of software program. WordPress requires PHP and a database, and Cloudways helps you to select which PHP model and database supplier you favor. If you happen to use WordPress, I like to recommend PHP 7.x and MariaDB 10.1+ for the most effective efficiency.
  • Scalability. You may simply scale a server up and down in measurement, and even change suppliers if you want, all with just some clicks.
  • Hourly billing. You solely pay for what you employ, so in case you spin up a VPS, use it for just a few hours after which delete it, you solely pay for the hours it was in use.
  • 24/7/365 assist. If in case you have an issue, stay chat is at all times there to assist out
  • No contract. If you happen to cease utilizing Cloudways, you cease paying.
  • Limitless Purposes. There are not any limits to what number of websites you possibly can run in your server, even on the most affordable plan. You simply pay for the server. All you’re restricted by are the sources you employ. So if in case you have a lot of low site visitors websites, you don’t need to pay extra to host them.
  • Free migration. If you’re coming from one other WordPress host, Cloudways will migrate your website for you, and even present recommendation as to what measurement server you want based mostly in your present site visitors ranges
  • No restrictions. In contrast to many managed WordPress hosts, Cloudways doesn’t prohibit what plugins you put in in your server
  • Superior options. In order for you superior options, Cloudways has them and doesn’t cost additional. Options like Redis, memcached, and Varnish, in addition to full SSH and SFTP entry to your server
  • Safety. Cloudways affords two issue authentication to guard your account, you possibly can arrange IP whitelists so solely particular customers can entry your database or filesystem, and so they have bot safety to assist defend your website from hack makes an attempt
  • Straightforward, value efficient incremental backups. Backing up the positioning occurs routinely, on a schedule of your selecting, from each few hours to each few weeks. You can even set how lengthy backups are saved from, from per week to a number of weeks. And since the backup is incremental, it’s very value efficient even in case you run it each few hours.
  • Staging surroundings. When a significant plugin replace or WordPress model is launched, with the ability to check it on a non-production model of your web site can prevent the headache of crashing your major website

After all, there are lots of extra options, however these are a few of the most necessary in our opinion.


How A lot Does Cloudways Value?

Cloudways pricing presently begins at round $11 a month, after which the costs go up relying on the dimensions of the server you require.

We’ve got an unique promo code for Cloudways, which provides you with 10% off your internet hosting for the primary three months. Simply use the code TRAVELCATS once you join.

One factor to concentrate on is that Cloudways don’t really run their very own servers. They mainly provision servers from well-known VPS suppliers, then set them up for optimum WordPress efficiency. This consists of managing the safety updates, and supplying you with technical assist.

I’m telling you this as a result of the price of Cloudways depends upon the dimensions of the server you select, in addition to the precise server supplier you go for.

At present, there are 5 suppliers to select from in case you use Cloudways. They’re Vultr, Digital Ocean, Linode, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and Amazon Net Providers (AWS).

The primary three of those provide straightforward to know pricing. There’s a mounted month-to-month value for every server, which will increase based mostly on the capabilities of the server.

Pricing begins at $10/mo for the bottom value Digital Ocean server, $11/mo for the bottom value Vultr server, and $12/mo for the bottom value Linode server.

You may see full pricing for all their plans right here.

Cloudways Pricing

Even these low-cost servers provide a beneficiant 1TB of bandwidth, which needs to be sufficient for many customers particularly when paired with a free content material supply community (CDN) like Cloudflare.

A CDN shops copies of your mostly used recordsdata, resembling pictures, on servers world wide. This improves the efficiency of your web site to customers positioned additional away out of your server, and likewise reduces your servers bandwidth use.

If you happen to exceed the included bandwidth on Cloudways, you do pay an overage payment, which is detailed right here. Nonetheless, I really feel that the majority customers are unlikely to exceed the included bandwidth on these plans.

Google Cloud Platform and Amazon Net Providers have a barely completely different pricing mannequin. While there’s the same value scale based mostly on {hardware}, bandwidth is billed on a pay as you go foundation. At time of writing, AWS fees $0.12 USD per Gigabyte, and GCP fees $0.14 USD per Gigabyte. You may see these particulars right here.

For many customers, I believe Vultr, Digital Ocean, or Linode will doubtless be the best choice because the pricing is simple to know and the efficiency is sweet.

Notice that while pricing is quoted month-to-month on the Cloudways web site, it’s really billed hourly. So in case you begin a server, use it for just a few hours, after which delete it, you’re solely billed for the hours you really use quite than the entire month.

There are another fees to concentrate on with Cloudways. First, backup prices $0.033 USD per GB, which is rounded as much as the closest $0.50. Backups are incremental, so having common backups gained’t value you an amazing deal.

For instance, with our three web sites our backup is round 25GB in whole (we’ve got lots of pictures!) and so prices us a quite insignificant $1 USD per 30 days ($0.825 rounded up).

Provided that we take a backup of all three websites each 6 hours and maintain them for quite a few weeks, that’s remarkably low cost for the peace of thoughts it affords.

As well as, Cloudways doesn’t provide built-in e mail providers. Nonetheless, you possibly can pay for the Rackspace e mail service by means of Cloudways for $1 a month in case you don’t have your individual e mail resolution already. Once more, not precisely a giant value.


Cloudways Promo Code and Free Trial

We’ve got an unique promo code for Cloudways, which provides you with 10% off your internet hosting for the primary three months. Simply use the code TRAVELCATS once you join.

This Cloudways low cost code may be utilized to any internet hosting plan or software, so it’s not restricted to WordPress or any particular supplier.

As well as, Cloudways comes with a Three day free trial, so you possibly can join and check out it out for your self with no dedication.


Cloudways Value vs Different Common Net Internet hosting Suppliers

General, I believe Cloudways is a really aggressive providing contemplating what you get. Let me undergo some instance web site setups so you possibly can examine pricing with different common WordPress hosts, for quite a few completely different web site sizes.

These web site examples are all commonplace blogs and web sites with pretty repeatedly up to date content material and feedback, however no e-commerce.

For e-commerce, membership websites, or websites with very quickly altering content material (e.g., day by day information web sites), you may want greater specification servers because the demand on the server goes to be greater.

  • Web site 1 – 10,000 guests a month. 5GB of storage.
  • Web site 2 – 50,000 guests a month, 10GB of storage
  • Web site 3 – 250,000 guests a month, 20GB of storage
  • Web site 4 – 1 million guests a month, 50GB of storage

I’ll use DigitalOcean for my instance. I’d select the next setups for every web site. These setups will probably be greater than able to working every server in my expertise, with loads of headroom for site visitors spikes, backup duties, and the rest you may need to do on the server.

  • Web site 1 – 1GB RAM, 1 Core CPU, 1TB bandwidth.
  • Web site 2 – 2GB RAM 2 Core CPU, 2TB bandwidth
  • Web site 3 – 4GB RAM, 2 Core CPU, 4TB bandwidth
  • Web site 4 – 8GB RAM, Four Core CPU, 4TB bandwidth

For web sites 2 – 4, in case you needed to save cash, you could possibly most likely downscale to a decrease priced plan and nonetheless get good outcomes.


Cloudways Value

Based mostly on every web site, the whole value of Cloudways will probably be as follows. I’ll additionally embody backup and even e-mail. Costs don’t embody any taxes that could be due relying on the place you reside.

  • Web site 1: $11.50 USD / mo ($10 internet hosting + $0.50 backup + $1 e-mail)
  • Web site 2: $23.50 USD / mo ($22 internet hosting + $0.50 backup + $1 e-mail)
  • Web site 3: $44 USD / mo ($42 internet hosting + $1 backup + $1 e-mail)
  • Web site 4: $83 USD / mo ($80 internet hosting + $2 backup + $1 e-mail)

I believe you will see that that this pricing could be very cheap. Let’s examine it towards another common suppliers to see the way it compares.


Cloudways vs Bluehost

Bluehost is a well-liked host, particularly for these beginning out. In truth, Jess ran Impartial Journey Cats for 3 years with Bluehost, earlier than the variety of guests necessitated a transfer.

On the time, Bluehost primarily supplied shared WordPress internet hosting. As of late, nevertheless, Bluehost additionally affords VPS and devoted servers.

The primary draw back is that while they provide engaging pricing, to make the most of that value you’re locked into a 3 12 months contract, after which the costs enhance considerably.

For this comparability, I’ll use their commonplace pricing quite than the low cost pricing, which I imagine is a extra honest comparability.

Utilizing my earlier web site examples, pricing for these on related Bluehost packages can be:

  • Web site 1: $7.99 (fundamental shared internet hosting, new signups can get this for $2.95)
  • Web site 2: $29.99 (Commonplace VPS, new signups can get this for $19.99)
  • Web site 3: $59.99 (Enhanced VPS, new signups can get this for $29.99)
  • Web site 4: $119.99 (Final VPS, new signups can get this for $59.99)

For web site 1, this isn’t precisely an apples for apples comparability as a result of Bluehost don’t have a smaller VPS. Nonetheless, their fundamental shared internet hosting is definitely advantageous at these site visitors ranges. We ran Impartial Journey Cats for just a few of years on a shared Bluehost plan with out points, till our site visitors ranges required a transfer.

General, you possibly can see that the usual pricing for Bluehost for roughly equal {hardware} is greater for web sites 2, Three and 4. The distinction varies, from round $6 a month on the cheaper ranges by means of to over $30 a month on the dearer tiers.

If you will get the introductory pricing, then it’s extra aggressive, however you’re committing your self to a 3 12 months contract, after which the value will go up.


Cloudways vs Kinsta

Kinsta is usually considered one of many quickest WordPress hosts round. They construct out a really quick stack which takes benefit of the Google Cloud Platform. This runs on very quick {hardware} and tremendous high-speed community connections, so efficiency is usually nice.

Nonetheless, you definitely pay for this pace. Kinsta bases its pricing on customer numbers, so for our web sites the pricing can be:

  • Web site 1: $30 / mo (starter)
  • Web site 2: $60 / mo (professional)
  • Web site 3: $200 / mo (enterprise 2)
  • Web site 4: $600 / mo (enterprise 1)

As you possibly can see, the pricing at Kinsta isn’t precisely low cost. It can save you by paying yearly, which saves you the equal of two month-to-month funds, but it surely’s undoubtedly nonetheless costly.

As well as, superior options like Redis and Elasticsearch that are included as free add-ons with Cloudways, value an additional $100 / month every with Kinsta.

Now you might be pondering, Laurence, this isn’t a good comparability. Kinsta is utilizing Google Cloud Platform, and you’re evaluating it towards a slower DigitalOcean VPS product.

Actually, in the actual world, for the standard web site or weblog, I’d argue that the distinction just isn’t going to be that nice. It’s definitely not going to be greater than $500 a month nice, as you’ll be paying on the greater site visitors quantity instance.

Kinsta is pricey as a result of at excessive site visitors volumes you’re probably utilizing lots of bandwidth. In 2019, the typical webpage was 4MB in measurement, so with one million guests a month you’d be taking a look at 4TB of bandwidth. Based mostly on Google’s bandwidth fees, that’s over $500 in bandwidth. So Kinsta has to cross this value on to you.

Nonetheless, this assumes no CDN. I believe Kinsta’s pricing may very well be made fairer by charging based mostly on bandwidth used as an alternative of customer numbers.

In my expertise, most customers can be higher off spending a few of that saved cash hiring an online developer to carry out some pace optimizations on their website, which is able to doubtless lead to a sooner general expertise than shaving off just a few milliseconds of server response time.

You may see all of the Kinsta plans right here.


Cloudways vs WPEngine

WPEngine is one other premium managed WordPress host. They use Amazon Net Providers and Google Cloud Platform providers within the again finish, which once more has the potential to ship a really quick internet hosting expertise.

Nonetheless, once more, it comes at a value. Listed below are our 4 web site examples, and the place they fall on the pricing scale with WPEngine. That is based mostly on month-to-month pricing, once more, there’s a low cost in case you pay for a 12 months.

  • Web site 1: $30 / mo (Startup)
  • Web site 2: $115 / mo (Progress)
  • Web site 3: $290 / mo (Scale)
  • Web site 4: ? / mo (Customized)

Like Kinsta, WPEngine bases its pricing on customer numbers. And since AWS and GCP invoice based mostly on bandwidth, they need to cross these costs on to you, the client. In contrast to Kinsta, WPEngine additionally caps bandwidth per plan with charges for overages.

Once more, the DigitalOcean server we suggest is likely to be marginally slower in benchmarks, however the actual world distinction by way of the customer expertise goes to be negligible for many WordPress web sites.

And, in case you actually need to check out the efficiency distinction, it’s a matter of some clicks in Cloudways to clone your server onto a GCP or AWS occasion and check it your self.


Cloudways vs Flywheel

Earlier than we moved to Cloudways, our two websites have been hosted on Flywheel. This was as a result of we have been utilizing a developer to host our websites who was utilizing Flywheel.

As our websites site visitors grew although, the price of internet hosting with Flywheel was going to extend, so we seemed for different providers, and we migrated to Cloudways. We left our developer at this level as I used to be pleased to deal with every thing ourselves, however he additionally migrated all his purchasers to Cloudways based mostly on our expertise. Which was a constructive signal.

Anyway, again to Flywheel. Flywheel has a very nice trying interface, and so they additionally use the Google Cloud Platform for his or her providers.

As of 2019 Flywheel are literally owned by WP Engine, nevertheless, they nonetheless provide their very own platform and merchandise so I needed to incorporate them as they’re a preferred choice. Let’s take a look at how the pricing works out. Once more, they use customer numbers to distinguish between plans.

  • Web site 1: $30 / mo (starter)
  • Web site 2: $115 / mo (enterprise)
  • Web site 3: $290 / mo (enterprise 2)
  • Web site 4:  ? / mo (Customized)

That is based mostly on month-to-month pricing, once more, there’s a low cost in case you pay for a 12 months. If you happen to take a look at the pricing, you may discover that it’s mainly the identical as WP Engine. Like WP Engine, additionally they cap bandwidth per plan.


Cloudways vs Agathon

Agathon are a comparatively small internet hosting firm, however they get excellent opinions from bloggers I’ve spoken to who’ve used them. I’ve additionally chatted extensively with their assist staff and so they definitely know what they’re doing.

Agathon, fortunately, don’t cost based mostly on customer numbers (you possibly can see their reasoning for that right here). In addition they imagine that as a consequence of their optimized stack, most bloggers and web site house owners will match advantageous onto their commonplace plan.

Let’s take a look at our web site examples, and see what the pricing can be with Agathon. You may see their full pricing right here.

  • Web site 1 – $80 / mo (2GB RAM, 1 Core CPU, 50GB storage)
  • Web site 2 – $120 / mo (2GB RAM 2 Core CPU, 60GB storage)
  • Web site 3 – $200 / mo (4GB RAM, 2 Core CPU, 80GB storage)
  • Web site 4 – $300 / mo (8GB RAM, Four Core CPU, 160GB storage)

At present, I can’t discover any reference to bandwidth limits on Agathon, and so they don’t cost based mostly on customer numbers. Billing is month-to-month quite than yearly.

Evaluating the value between Cloudways and Agathon, you possibly can see that Cloudways are considerably cheaper.

Nonetheless, Agathon does provide a extra hands-on service, particularly in relation to WordPress. So if in case you have points along with your WordPress website that solely require a couple of minutes of labor, they will often assist out. Whether or not that is well worth the value premium is in fact as much as you.


Cloudways vs BigScoots

BigScoots is one other common managed WordPress host that quite a few my blogger mates use. Their service is definitely absolutely managed, which implies they deal with every thing for you, together with backups and plugin updates. Their assist staff can also be available that can assist you with any WordPress or internet hosting points you may have. And, if you want, you possibly can nonetheless get your fingers soiled with full SSH and FTP entry, in addition to staging.

Regardless of this hands-on strategy, BigScoots remains to be reasonably priced. Their costs are based mostly on customer numbers, however fortunately they’ve fairly excessive thresholds for every plan, so the pricing just isn’t too unhealthy. Right here’s how every of our instance web sites would look on Bigscoots.

  • Web site 1 – $34.95 / mo (starter)
  • Web site 2 – $34.95 / mo (starter)
  • Web site 3 – $98.95 / mo (Skilled)
  • Web site 4 – $248.95 / mo (Enterprise)

There are just a few extra variations between these plans to think about. For instance, the starter plan solely consists of 1TB of bandwidth and just one web site is allowed. For that reason, many customers will doubtless as an alternative think about the skilled plan which has limitless bandwidth and might take as much as 10 web sites.

In comparison with Cloudways, BigScoots is dearer; nevertheless, they typically do a bit extra for you by way of serving to you handle your website.


WordPress Host Value Comparability Abstract

Okay, clearly there are much more WordPress internet hosting suppliers on the planet which I haven’t included on this overview.

Nonetheless, this part ought to have given you an thought of the place Cloudways suits by way of the value, in addition to the data to have the ability to make your individual comparisons with different suppliers.

In abstract, I believe you’ll discover Cloudways affords outstanding worth for WordPress internet hosting, no matter measurement of web site you may have.

As well as, the power to scale servers up and down in measurement as your wants evolve, and the truth that you’re billed on an hourly foundation, makes it a wonderful platform for the long run.

If you happen to really need much more hands-on technical assist, then you definately may think about BigScoots or Agathon as strong options. For my part although I really feel that Cloudways will work completely for many customers.


Which is the Greatest Cloudways Supplier?

If you come to enroll in Cloudways, you’ll have to resolve between Vultr, DigitalOcean, Linode, Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and Amazon Net Providers (AWS).

Cloudways Hosting options

For many WordPress web sites, my suggestion can be to decide on one of many first three choices: Vultr, DigitalOcean, or Linode. The pricing of those is simpler to know as they embody a beneficiant quantity of bandwidth.

While GCP and AWS are extensively considered the quickest internet hosting choices in the marketplace, you must pay for bandwidth, and this could rapidly develop into costly. I’d additionally argue that for many WordPress websites, particularly with caching in place, the pace distinction won’t be well worth the elevated value.

When selecting between Vultr, DigitalOcean or Linode, my recommendation can be to select the host which has areas closest to the vast majority of your customers, and which inserts your price range.

There’ll actually not be an enormous distinction in efficiency between these three suppliers.


How Massive a Server Do I Want for My WordPress Web site on Cloudways?

Choosing the right server measurement to your WordPress web site is essential. If the server isn’t highly effective sufficient, customers will expertise sluggish load occasions and even web page timeouts.

If the server is extra highly effective than you want, you’re mainly losing cash.

If you come to host your web site on Cloudways, after you may have selected a supplier, you’ll have to resolve the dimensions of the server.

There are lots of components that go into selecting a server measurement, together with how dynamic the positioning is, how repeatedly you replace it, and what kind of caching you implement.

As well as, in case you put a CDN  in entrance of your website, this may offload a lot of the work your server does to a 3rd occasion.

As a tough information although, think about the next server necessities for a WordPress web site.


Server Necessities for a WordPress Web site

  • 0 – 50,000 guests a month: 1GB RAM, 1 Core CPU, 1TB bandwidth.
  • 50,000 – 250,000 guests a month: 2GB RAM 2 Core CPU, 2TB bandwidth
  • 250,000 – 1 million guests a month: 4GB RAM, 2 Core CPU, 4TB bandwidth
  • 1 million+ guests a month: 8GB RAM, Four Core CPU, 4TB bandwidth

Notice that reminiscence is measured in bytes. 1 Megabyte (MB) is one million bytes. 1 Gigabyte (GB) is 1,000 MB. 1 Terabyte (TB) is a thousand GB.

After all, you could possibly undoubtedly run every of those WordPress websites efficiently with a decrease specification VPS, relying on the setup and kind of website it’s. However these are a superb common.

One factor to keep in mind is that with Vultr, DigitalOcean and Linode you possibly can scale these up in measurement in case you want extra sources with simply a few clicks.

Nonetheless, if you wish to scale right down to a smaller server, this takes a bit extra time. It’s nonetheless comparatively straightforward as you simply need to clone the server onto a brand new server, however there are just a few extra steps concerned.

So my suggestion when selecting a server is to start out with the bottom measurement that matches your wants, after which scale up if wanted, as that is simpler than cutting down.


How Quick is Cloudways for WordPress ?

By all of the metrics that matter, Cloudways is blazing quick for internet hosting a WordPress website. That is with all of the default settings, earlier than you even begin to tweak.

Cloudways additionally comes with all of the options that you just want in case you want to additional optimize a website. This consists of assist for superior caching methods together with memcached, Redis and Varnish. You can even allow the Cloudways  Content material Supply Community, or CDN function, which may enhance website pace occasions at a value.

On this website for instance, which is working adverts (these are unhealthy for efficiency!), I nonetheless rating over 90/100 on Google’s Pagespeed Perception scores.

Pagespeed Insights score for Cloudways hosted site

Webpagetest has the identical constructive outcomes, with quick server response occasions and “A” scores throughout all of the exams they carry out.

webpagetest score for Cloudways hosted site

By way of precise consumer expertise, Google Analytics reviews that the typical time to completely load a web page on this website is beneath three seconds.

Google Analytics site speed

Once more, not each metric within the above exams is instantly associated to server pace, however a sluggish server would undoubtedly negatively affect these scores.

It is because a sluggish or overwhelmed server may have a sluggish server response time.  That is also referred to as the Time to First Byte (TTFB), and if the server takes a very long time to reply to the customers request, the entire load course of is delayed.

Google recommends a TTFB of beneath 600ms for the most effective consumer expertise.

In my exams with Cloudways, our server responds in beneath 50ms when examined from a location close to to the bodily server (New York Metropolis). This means the server is greater than quick sufficient. Even areas farther from this are nicely inside the necessities.

TTFB test

You need to use this instrument to examine the TTFB to your server from areas worldwide.

General, Cloudways is for my part a wonderful base for making a extremely performant WordPress web site.

Out of the field it has Varnish enabled, which is a quick server facet caching mechanism. As soon as your net pages are cached in Varnish, they are often returned to your consumer with out even invoking WordPress .

Energy customers can additional tweak by making the most of extra superior caching options like Memcached or Redis, however even in case you don’t need to use these options, your website won’t be held again by the Cloudways platform, which is optimized for quick WordPress websites.


Is Cloudways Just for Technical Customers?

I’ve been requested if Cloudways is just for extra technically savvy web site house owners. I personally don’t assume that is the case.

The interface is likely to be a bit completely different from what you’re used to, however you could possibly say the identical for many VPS WordPress suppliers which every are inclined to have their very own feel and appear.

The advantage of Cloudways is that actually it just about simply works. Launching a WordPress website simply takes just a few clicks, and the default setup will work nicely for many customers.

If you wish to tweak issues, then all of the options that energy customers will need (SSH entry, SFTP, useful resource monitoring, Redis, direct log file entry and so forth.) are all there, however you possibly can simply ignore all that if you’d like and nonetheless have an amazing expertise. Or you possibly can rent a WordPress professional and know that they may have all of the instruments at their disposal to get essentially the most out of your host.

If you’re migrating from one other WordPress host, then the Cloudways staff provide a free migration as a part of their service, which guarantees no downtime throughout the migration. In addition they have a free migration plugin and detailed migration recommendation which incorporates taking a server stay in case you would favor to do it your self.

When you may have any questions or points, I’ve at all times had a constructive expertise with the technical assist staff. Whether or not it’s recommendation on cloning a server, establishing a staging surroundings, or putting in an SSL certificates, the response has at all times been inside a couple of minutes and has at all times answered my query.

After all, this isn’t a completely managed resolution. So you must deal with issues like plugin updates, theme updates, and main WordPress updates your self. That is once more only a one or two click on course of from the WordPress dashboard, as with every different host.

Safety updates to the primary WordPress set up are routinely put in.

It’s additionally value noting that Cloudways additionally provide some superior assist addons, the place for an affordable month-to-month payment they may show you how to troubleshoot extra particular website and WordPress points, together with plugin and theme points.

If you’re new to a bunch like this, then paying for a month of two of a sophisticated assist plan may present you the peace of thoughts you require as you get began with them.

Lastly, really technical customers may choose to bypass Cloudways fully. You may in any case arrange an account with a VPS supplier with Vultr or Digitalocean, and set up all your individual software program on a server stack your self.

This provides you whole management, though for my part the slight additional value of getting Cloudways deal with all that for me is greater than value it. Time spent managing a server at that degree is time I may very well be higher spending writing content material, answering pupil questions, or taking images. I’d say that is an choice extra for people who run their very own internet hosting corporations or who actually like to tinker.


Cloudways Assessment for WordPress Internet hosting

We’ve got been working our three web sites on Cloudways since September 2019. I’ll now undergo our private experiences utilizing Cloudways as a WordPress host.

Migrating to Cloudways

We migrated our web sites from Flywheel, the place we had been hosted for a few years.

Cloudways does provide a free migration service for brand spanking new customers; nevertheless, we did our website migrations ourselves utilizing the Cloudways migrator plugin since we had a couple of website emigrate.

The migration was a comparatively painless course of which simply concerned establishing the websites and copying the information throughout, earlier than updating our DNS supplier to level on the IP handle of our new servers.

Initially, I arrange our web sites on two completely different DigitalOcean servers, with 4GB of RAM and a twin core CPU. At the moment our shared month-to-month customer numbers throughout our web sites was at round 1 million guests.


The Cloudways Interface

Cloudways affords a clear interface which is split into servers and functions. You may have a number of servers per account, and you too can set up a number of functions on every server.

From the server interface you possibly can carry out duties like monitor useful resource utilization, allow, disable or restart providers like Redis or Apache, change between PHP variations, scale the server up and configure backup frequencies.

Listed below are some screenshots to indicate you a few of the options.

Cloudways server monitoring screen 1Cloudways server settings and packages screen 1Cloudways server scalingscreen 1

On the server display screen you too can add new servers, clone a server to a brand new server, create a staging surroundings, cease the server and even delete it.

The appliance interface is the place you management settings particular to a single software or web site. For instance, that is the place you possibly can configure issues like your SSL certificates, backup and restore single web sites, and get entry to server logs. You can even setup cron jobs, and regulate particular software settings.

For essentially the most half, you don’t want to the touch most of this, however once more, it’s there in case you want it. Plus, if in case you have any questions or issues, stay chat is only a click on away.

Cloudways Application Screen


Cloudways Monitoring

With Cloudways, it’s straightforward to observe server useful resource utilization. From the server display screen within the Cloudways dashboard, you possibly can see a high degree view of the primary sources (CPU, RAM, disk and bandwidth) being consumed at any given time. If any of those are constantly near their limits, a warning will probably be proven with an orange image.

You can even click on by means of and monitor particular person useful resource usages, over time durations various from 1 hour by means of to six months.

Cloudways server monitoring screen 2

The server useful resource monitoring function is nice for checking in case you are over or beneath using your servers.

For instance, after putting in our web sites on the 2 Digital Ocean servers,  I monitored our server useful resource utilization. I rapidly got here to grasp that with good caching in place, as Cloudways affords, I didn’t want two servers as they spent a lot of their time idling.

As such, after just a few months I migrated all three of our websites to a single server. This was a easy job – I used the appliance clone function to repeat an software from one server to the opposite. Then all I needed to do was replace the DNS data, examine every thing seemed as anticipated, after which I might delete the unused server.

I did this with no downtime and it was a straightforward course of with clear documentation out there to stroll me by means of the appliance cloning course of.

For a time, I continued to run all three websites on the one unique DigitalOcean 4GB/2CPU server. Nonetheless, in 2020 Cloudways launched entry to VULTR high-frequency servers. These are greater efficiency servers with sooner SSDs and CPUs.

I needed to see if I might save a bit of cash by migrating to one in every of these choices. I used the Cloudways server clone function to instantly copy all our websites from a DigitalOcean VPS to a Vultr VPS, which solely took a couple of minutes.

Now the websites are hosted on a single core 2GB RAM Vultr HF server. For essentially the most half, even with site visitors volumes in extra of one million distinctive guests a month throughout our websites, the server sits with 90% of its CPU not getting used. It’s solely when one thing like a backup course of runs that the CPU utilization goes up a bit.


Cloudways Efficiency

By way of efficiency, that is undoubtedly one thing I get a bit obsessed about. No-one likes a sluggish web site, and I do my greatest to ensure our websites are as quick as doable.

As I mentioned earlier within the part on how briskly Cloudways is, we’ve got definitely discovered their service lets us get nice efficiency from our web sites.

With Cloudways, I take full benefit of their varied caching options, together with Varnish and Redis, in parallel with the free W3TC caching plugin. Cloudways additionally provide their very own caching plugin referred to as Breeze, which many customers choose as a consequence of its simplicity.

I’ve managed to place collectively three web sites which can be often interactive in beneath a second, even lengthy weblog posts with a lot of pictures and adverts.

While solely a few of that is pace is to do with the host, I undoubtedly really feel that the Cloudways setup means I can get the most effective efficiency from WordPress which is, to be trustworthy, fairly a heavy and probably sluggish software for internet hosting net content material.


Restrictions on Cloudways

One factor I actually like about Cloudways, particularly in comparison with many different hosts, is that I’m not restricted by what plugins I select to run. In WordPress, plugins add performance to a website, and there are actually a whole bunch of thousand of plugins to select from that may do every thing from add ecommerce capabilities to a web site, by means of to picture sliders, backup plugins and extra.

Nonetheless, many hosts block sure plugins as a result of they will intervene with their setup, or trigger excessive server load. These usually embody backup plugins or cache plugins. For an thought of what hosts won’t permit, see this checklist of disallowed plugins at Kinsta, this checklist at Flywheel or this checklist at WP Engine.

As a particular instance, many hosts block the Damaged Hyperlink Checker plugin as a result of it could use lots of server sources. Nonetheless, we discover it useful for maintaining a tally of our hyperlinks, and admire that we are able to run it if we wish.

I do perceive that it could usually be simpler to dam plugins quite than need to cope with the troubleshooting that plugin conflicts may trigger, and on shared internet hosting particularly plugins can rapidly overwhelm a server.

Nonetheless, as I’m paying for a VPS, I like having extra management over what I can set up on it.


Cloudways Value

One of many main benefits for me in relation to evaluating Cloudways to different managed WordPress hosts is that it’s remarkably value efficient.

For instance, our single VULTR VPS server, which so far has proven itself greater than able to dealing with from 500Ok to one million guests a month, presently prices us $26 USD a month for all three of our websites. Then there’s a few additional {dollars} a month for backup and e mail.

All in all, it’s beneath $30 USD a month. And even when I have been to scale to the subsequent degree of server, which has double the ability, it will be beneath $60 a month.

I believe that’s fairly cheap.

After all, your outcomes may fluctuate relying in your website kind and content material, and what you’ll be able to cache or offload to a CDN.

We use Cloudflare as our free CDN, which saves us lots of bandwidth while additionally offering a further layer of server safety.


Cloudways Technical Assist

Relating to technical assist, I’ve at all times had a really constructive expertise with Cloudways. I prefer to tinker (most likely greater than I ought to) and have sometimes wanted to achieve out for help.

Whether or not that’s been for recommendation on cloning a server, elevated OPcache reminiscence limits, or establishing my SMTP credentials, I’ve at all times discovered the Cloudways staff to be responsive and useful.


Server Entry on Cloudways

I undoubtedly admire having full server entry, so I can get to the positioning by SFTP and SSH, and do issues like monitor server sources utilizing linux instructions, arrange cron jobs, and edit recordsdata.

For instance, our promoting supplier requires us to maintain a file on our server, which is repeatedly up to date. I created a cron job which routinely updates this file as soon as a day, so I don’t have to do it manually, or depend on a plugin.

Once more, I admire not everybody will need this degree of management, however I at all times assume it’s greatest to have issues and never want them than the opposite manner round.

It additionally implies that in case you rent somebody to do work in your website, they may have all of the instruments at their disposal that they want with out being hampered by restrictions that your host may need imposed.


Cloudways Safety

Web site safety is clearly necessary, particularly in case your web site is your corporation.

Cloudways has quite a few options that assist defend your web site.

First, as a result of they deal with the server, you don’t have to fret about outdated software program variations being exploited. Like a Home windows or Apple pc, a server runs an working system and software program stack which wants common safety updates, and Cloudways handles all that for you.

On high of that, Cloudways has quite a few safety features to maintain your web site safe, together with in-built firewalls, software isolation and so forth. You may learn extra about a few of their safety features right here.

In 2020, Cloudways launched a safety function they name “bot safety”. It is a safety function to assist defend web sites from frequent assaults. For instance, it’s frequent for hackers to try to “brute power” a login web page, making an attempt hundreds of username and password combos in fast succession to guess the admin account of a web site.

The bot safety function helps to mitigate this type of assault by recognizing threats and defending the positioning from them. This additionally improves website efficiency, as one cause a website may expertise sluggish efficiency is when it’s being overwhelmed by malicious requests.

Bot safety is enabled by default on all new Cloudways accounts, and in my expertise it really works nicely to guard a website from frequent threats.

There are many different safety features to maintain your web site and Cloudways account safe, together with assist for 2 issue authentication, the power to limit direct IP entry to your website, the power to whitelist particular IPs for distant database entry and so forth.

Lastly, superior customers also can manually edit their .htaccess file as nicely, for added safety.


Downsides of Cloudways

After all, not every thing is ideal. There are a few issues to concentrate on.

First, Cloudways don’t really personal or have bodily entry to any of the servers they supply. They mainly take a VPS from a supplier like Digital Ocean, Vultr, or Amazon Net Providers, provision it for WordPress, and supply administration and technical assist.

Which means that if there’s an issue with the precise server {hardware}, Cloudways are on the mercy of the third occasion supplier to resolve it. With that mentioned, within the first full 12 months we have been with Cloudways, we skilled lower than an hour of downtime, and that was solely on one in every of our three websites.

This was as a consequence of a difficulty with the VPS host. Cloudways has largely mitigated this situation by selecting a few of the most well-known VPS suppliers on the planet, so this isn’t one thing to essentially fear about.

I take advantage of a free service referred to as Uptime Robotic, which displays downtime on our websites, and as you possibly can see, it’s been good for a very long time!

downtime monitor

One other element which may hassle extra superior customers is that you just do have to make use of the technical stack that Cloudways supplies, and the hosts that they use.

Some superior customers may choose a Litespeed based mostly server, or a pure NGINX resolution for instance, and this isn’t an choice. Nonetheless, if that is you, then you’re most likely already planning on working your individual VPS instantly anyway, quite than going by means of Cloudways.

One other small situation is which you could’t flip the backups off. So even in case you don’t need Cloudways to do any backups of your website for some cause, you continue to need to pay the minimal of 50 cents a month for the minimal quantity of backup. Actually, I don’t assume it is a massive deal, however on condition that it’s unavoidable, I believe it needs to be included on the pricing web page.

While Cloudways does assist extra superior caching applied sciences like Redis and Memcached, setting these as much as get the most effective efficiency out of your setup does require a little bit of technical knowhow and using some third occasion plugins.

It’s not that arduous, and Cloudways do present guides for Redis and Memcached, but it surely might maybe be extra of a single click on choice.

My final gripe, in case you might name it that, is round pricing. I imagine Cloudways affords improbable worth for cash, however as you get to the very excessive finish server choices costing hundreds of {dollars} a month, I really feel that the fee is greater than it must be. It’s nonetheless definitely aggressive, however there’s room for enchancment.


Is Cloudways Proper for You?

General, I’d recommend that for almost all of customers trying to host a WordPress web site, Cloudways is a wonderful choice.

Nonetheless, let’s do a fast abstract based mostly on varied wants.

If you’re simply beginning a WordPress web site

If you’re simply beginning out and have lower than 10,000 guests a month, then a shared internet hosting supplier will doubtless be less expensive to start out with.

On this case, Bluehost is a superb choice, and it can save you much more with our hyperlink.

After all, there’s nothing stopping you from beginning with Cloudways, and you may select a decrease priced server after which simply scale it as you go.

If you happen to assume you’ll rapidly develop your website, then beginning with a service which lets you rapidly scale and the place you possibly can keep away from having emigrate between hosts, is probably going a extra wise choice in the long run.


If in case you have a longtime website

If in case you have customer numbers in extra of 10,000 to 20,000 guests a month, then I believe Cloudways is a improbable and value efficient alternative.

They’ll deal with all of the nitty gritty of server administration, provide around the clock assist, and have a expertise stack which means your website will probably be quick. That is the case regardless if it’s a normal weblog with just a few updates per week, an ecommerce retailer, a images portfolio or a repeatedly up to date information website.

On high of that, Cloudways have a value efficient backup resolution, glorious built-in safety features, and all of the superior technical instruments you may want do you have to be extra of an influence consumer.

The interface is clear and nicely laid out, and even in case you aren’t notably technically minded you shouldn’t have any points. In addition they have an in depth data base with a lot of guides for every thing from going stay to managing your backups.

Cloudways will migrate your website from one other host without spending a dime with a zero downtime promise. Since you pay hourly for what you employ, you don’t have to fret about being locked in to a prolonged contract. You additionally get a free Three day trial to check the service out.


If you happen to want lots of assist along with your website

The Cloudways assist staff is nice in my expertise, with 24/7 assist and free migration help.

Nonetheless, in case you want a lot of assist on the software degree, which implies WordPress, Cloudways might not be the suitable alternative. If you happen to choose to keep away from issues like plugin updates, or need assistance with enhancing your theme recordsdata, that is exterior their commonplace assist.

If that is you, you may have just a few choices. First, there are many sources on the web the place you possibly can be taught some basic items your self. As a result of Cloudways has staging capabilities and a strong backup instrument, you possibly can undoubtedly use it to develop your abilities.

Alternatively, you possibly can pay additional for a sophisticated assist plan with Cloudways. This consists of issues like plugin and theme troubleshooting, and this is likely to be a superb choice to your first few months.

Another choice is to rent somebody, both on an ad-hoc foundation or extra completely, who can deal with this stuff for you. Most websites want minimal upkeep over time, so I believe that this often works out cheaper in the long term that paying for dearer internet hosting.

After all, in case you actually would favor to let another person do extra of the give you the results you want, then you definately may think about a bunch like BigScoots or Agathon.


If you’re an influence consumer or have a number of websites

If in case you have a number of web sites, Cloudways makes managing them straightforward. You may have a number of servers beneath one account, and set up as many or as few functions on each as you need.

You can even arrange completely different customers with entry to completely different functions or servers in case you want, making Cloudways a superb choice in case you host web sites for a number of customers.

Cloudways do greater than WordPress internet hosting as nicely, and you may even combine software sorts on completely different servers.

If you’re an influence consumer who needs to squeeze essentially the most efficiency out of your website, once more, Cloudways may also help you try this. From superior caching applied sciences like Redis and Varnish, to look optimization methods like Elasticsearch, by means of to the choice to modify between PHP variations and database engines, there’s a lot right here to make you cheerful.

Plus, it’s very easy to start out and cease servers from completely different suppliers and with completely different specs, and check how they give you the results you want and your website. So in case you’ve at all times questioned if a Google Cloud powered server would make your web site sooner, you possibly can attempt it out for brief time interval and see!

After all, you may choose to run your individual VPS quite than join with Cloudways, and naturally you’ll save a bit of cash in case you accomplish that.

Nonetheless, I’d argue that except you make a dwelling from internet hosting web sites, it’s going to work out less expensive in the long term to let Cloudways handle your server stack, so you will get on with duties that really create you an revenue.


Cloudways Assessment Abstract

In abstract, I believe that the majority web site house owners will probably be more than pleased with Cloudways and the providers they provide.

If you wish to it out for your self, don’t neglect that we’ve got an unique low cost code for Cloudways.

This provides you with 10% off your internet hosting for the primary three months. Simply use the code TRAVELCATS once you join.

As well as, you additionally get a 3 day free trial with Cloudways, so you possibly can check out the service with no dedication. Click on right here to attempt it immediately.


Additional Studying

Hopefully this overview of Cloudways WordPress internet hosting has helped you resolve if Cloudways is the suitable host to your WordPress web site.

We’ve got quite a few different articles and sources that we expect you will see that helpful, masking each running a blog and images. Listed below are some to get you began.

Thanks for studying, and as at all times, if in case you have any questions on Cloudways or selecting a WordPress host, simply use the feedback part beneath. We’ll get again to you as quickly as we are able to!

This detailed Cloudways review has everything you need to know to decide if Cloudways is the best WordPress host for your website!

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