Cloudways is a serious hosting company focused on developers and advanced site owners who need extensive features for their applications. If words like “containerized,” “deployed,” or even “virtual reality” make you shudder, then this review is not for you.
Founded in 2011 and based in Malta, Cloudways specializes in managed cloud hosting and meets the requirements of various services, including WordPress, Magento, Laravel and custom PHP applications.
There is a small technical feature. Cloudways provides a single console for managing multiple cloud services and allows PHP developers to deploy container applications (i.e. you can deploy and open PHP applications without starting a virtual machine for each program).
Since this service works with all major cloud hosting providers, it offers servers located in more than 42 data centers in more than 25 locations around the world. However, Cloudways is available in English only.
Cloudways has over 50 employees serving 20,000 customers worldwide. Despite the fact that Cloudways has a reputation as a fast, secure, reliable and affordable hosting company , it is still not the largest of them.
In addition, although the plans are wonderful, they include many more features than most beginners need. Cloudways is best suited for business owners or web developers who want to increase the productivity of their work, leaving all the tasks to improve security and productivity for professionals.
In this review on Cloudways, we look at features, ease of use, performance, support, pricing, and more. You will find answers to the following questions:
- How easy is it to use the platform?
- How are things going with support?
- What is the ping speed in each location?
- What are the best features of Cloudways?
- What could be better?
If you take 15 minutes of your time, then after reading the review you will understand whether Cloudways is right for you .
Powerful hosting focused on professionals
In order to test the Cloudways platform, I decided to work with managed hosting WordPress. I am glad to inform you that this service is affordable, multifunctional and fast.
With Cloudways, you can use basic functions such as site migration from other hosting providers, firewalls, automatic backups and more. It does not offer domain registration or SSL certificates, however you can install a free certificate from Let’s Encrypt through the admin panel.
Let’s skip these basic features and look at the most interesting features offered by Cloudways.
Cloudways is best known as the “cloud integrator.” For this reason, it is popular among developers and owners of large websites with high performance requirements (therefore, it is completely unsuitable for owners of regular websites).
The essence of the above is that you can create a server and place it on one of the six main cloud hosting services without the need to register an account anywhere other than on Cloudways.
In addition, since Cloudways is a managed hosting, you don’t have to bother with daily technical tasks such as updating software and setting up a server. A win-win option, right?
Test Sites and URLs
Cloudways offers an unlimited opportunity to test sites and URLs, which means that you can easily add new elements and change the code, which will not affect your current site.
Moreover, there is a tool that allows you to clone the entire server (or even individual files and databases), so you can easily move your site to a test URL and save the changes as soon as you finish.
This premium hosting provider provides many built-in tools to optimize page loading speed, especially when reaching peak traffic values, namely SSD storage, built-in caching (Memcached, Varnish and Redis), as well as CloudwaysCDN. If you encounter a peak in traffic due to the promotion of your site, you should not worry about its failure.
Today, given the emergence of an increasing number of remote workers, you will need tools for productive teamwork. With Cloudways, you can easily assign tasks to your colleagues, as well as assign each employee the appropriate level of authority to access the server, application or site.
This is important for the security of your website, and I highly recommend choosing a hosting service with similar features.
If you’re a developer, you’ll be happy to know that Cloudways offers a range of workflow tools that make your life easier. For example, automatic deployment from Git means that changes made to remote repositories are applied immediately. Of course, there are common features like SSH and SFTP access.
See the full list of features.
You have so many things to do, and I understand that very well. To run a successful business, you have to invest exorbitant efforts daily. Thanks to managed hosting, you can focus on the most basic and leave Cloudways all the other, daily (tedious) technical tasks.
Creating an account on Cloudways will not be difficult because of the excellent organization of both the main site and the user interface. Despite the fact that the platform is mainly aimed at developers and large sites, even for beginners it will seem easy to use.
Just see how quick and easy it is in my walkthrough .
Domain Connection and WordPress Installation
The process of connecting a domain and installing WordPress is also quite simple. You can easily find the necessary guides on the Internet, and even from Cloudways. Every time I encountered some problems while setting up my site, I contacted support via online chat from the main control panel.
Since Cloudways does not offer the option of registering a domain, you will have to buy a domain from an accredited registrar and then bind it to Cloudways. The process itself is simple, as it may seem to beginners because of the need to perform additional steps.
Both beginners and experts can familiarize themselves with my guide , which describes the entire process in detail.
WordPress Auto Migration Tool
Transferring a site from one hosting to another is not an easy task (I know for myself), especially if you work with a large amount of traffic. With Cloudways, you can easily do this with the automatic migration tool.
Nevertheless, if you really need help, then you can use the one-time free professional transfer feature of the site from Cloudways.
One-click application installer
No, this is not Softaculous, but Cloudways offers more than ten (yes, you read it correctly, only ten) applications that you can install in one click, namely WordPress, Magento, Laravel, Drupal and more. Unlike standard auto-installers, the Cloudways installer allows you to deploy programs to multiple websites on a single server.
If you want to scale your website, you can do it instantly with a couple of mouse clicks. The best part is that this will not affect the already installed settings and parameters. In addition, thanks to the Cloudways pricing system, you only pay for the features you use.
Great speed and performance
Since the Cloudways platform is compatible with the services of third-party cloud providers, you need to contact individual companies to obtain a service level agreement. The good news is that Cloudways only works with trusted providers, namely DigitalOcean, Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud.
Since they are the best providers of cloud hosting, Cloudways boasts a download speed that is 40-50% higher than conventional hosting. No one complained about problems with downtime or slow loading sites. In addition, Cloudways has gained a reputation as a reliable and fast service.
Nevertheless, if you are the owner of a site with a large volume of traffic, you must be sure that the hosting will cope with it. In order to make sure that Cloudways really won’t let you down, I decided to test it myself using the Sucuri Load Time Tester.
The results were impressive: Cloudways is very fast. The performance of the site I created on this platform as a whole reached A + level, while the loading time for most countries was less than half a second.
The worst performance was in Australia and Tokyo (loading time in Tokyo is almost two seconds), but given the fact that my servers were located in London, this is not surprising. On average, the total time of the first byte was 200 milliseconds.
24/7 Live Chat Support
You can contact the round-the-clock online chat and ticket system support service , which, in principle, I was pleased with. However, if you prefer to resolve issues by phone, you can leave a request for a call back. After all, on Cloudways you will not find the phone number of the support service, as well as on the websites of many modern companies.
I am sure that online chat is the most preferred way to contact support (who wants to talk on the phone these days?).
You can also take advantage of Cloudways’ extensive information database, which includes many reference books and guides . However, if you want to get an answer from developers or programmers, then just post the question in the active community forum.
Like the site as a whole, the user support pages are well organized and easy to use.
While working with Cloudways, I turned to online chat several times, and even when I decided which cloud hosting provider to choose.
Each time, I could easily contact a company employee who answered me for several minutes, regardless of the time of day. Just the time my question took him by surprise, and he gave me an inaccurate answer, but in general he always provided me with useful and complete information.
Since Facebook is listed on the “Communication Methods” page on Cloudways, I sent a message to check the quality of the support service through this social network. I asked a simple question (What is the duration of the free trial?) And, of course, hoped that I would get an answer soon. Unfortunately, although I was waiting for an answer for several days, I still did not receive it.
Twitter is also mentioned on the “Communication Methods” page , so I decided to test the support service through it. I asked a question about how I can find out how many resources I have already used (a fairly simple question).
They almost immediately read my question, so I was hoping for a quick answer. And again, no one answered even a few days later. Cloudways does not seem to provide any support through social networks.
4.6Cloudways is a rather expensive service. The cheapest prices are equal to the prices of the most expensive packages of most shared hosting providers. Nevertheless, this is not at all surprising, given the fact that Cloudways is considered a premium company focused on site owners who need high performance.
On the other hand, you can upgrade to a plan higher, lower, or cancel your subscription at any time. In addition, your account is formed based on the time and functions you used. As soon as you go to the control panel, you will see a snapshot with the time of using the service and current expenses.
The company offers only a three-day free trial , which is not bad in principle, since most shared hosting providers do not provide such an opportunity at all. If you decide to subscribe, you can pay using Visa, American Express and Mastercard.
Unsubscribe and Refund
In order to test CDN, I had to purchase a paid tariff. Although I was a little disappointed due to restrictions in the free trial, I was still glad to be able to view my current account in the admin panel.
Since you pay for what you use, there is no refund policy or guarantee in the case of Cloudways . The conditions clearly indicate that the company will refund you only for functions that were not used by you.
However, I was curious to know what would happen if I sent a refund request. The whole process was completed by online chat. An employee of the company transferred me to the basic version of the subscription (without any questions) and carried out the refund procedure. Since the money was still not debited from my bank account (the invoice is issued a month later), I had nothing to return.
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SUMMARY OF CLOUDWAYS
Cloudways – good value for money. Although the company offers many features designed for developers (Git, middleware, collaboration tools, etc.), beginners will also appreciate the smooth and easy to use interface.
The only problem is that if you are not sure about Cloudways, you can use only a three-day free trial. But in order to test the CDN, you have to upgrade to the paid version. This means that in reality you have no choice but to pay to test the service.