Cloudways Review 2019

by Adam @ WPCrafter   |   Last Updated: July 30, 2019

Cloudways in a managed cloud server service where you choose the cloud provider and Cloudways connects their platform to it which makes it incredibly easy to manage. You pay a small monthly premium vs going direct in exchange for the management platform and support when you need it.

Current Pricing: $11 And Up

Ease Of Use

8.5/10

The service is extremely easy to use, but you have to understand certain technical things for a smoother experience.

Price / Value

10/10

While the normal servers are an incredible value, as you scale your server up, the premium you pay also goes up and can get pricy.

Support

8/10

In the past Cloudways support needed improvement, but over the first half of 2019, I have experienced a huge improvement with their support.

Cloudways Pros

  • Choose From 5 Cloud Hosting Services
  • Insanely Fast Servers
  • Easy To Use Control Panel
  • 24/7 Support & Live Chat
  • Free SSL Certificates
  • One Click Staging For WordPress
  • Free WordPress Caching Plugin

Cloudways Cons

  • Doesn’t Include Email Hosting
  • Lacks File Manager
  • Support Can Be Technical
  • Can’t Register a Domain Name
  • Bigger Server Means a Bigger Fee
  • Multisite SSL Limited To 100 Sites

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Cloudways: Overview

There are many web hosting solutions out there, but choosing one that you won’t regret afterward is difficult. Among the different providers, Cloudways will surely catch your attention with its unique but simplified approach to web hosting.

First, this Malta-based company works with five top cloud providers—DigitalOcean, Linode, Vultr, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Google Cloud. These five provide the infrastructure, but you don’t need to set up a direct account with them as Cloudways will set things up for you. As a managed hosting platform, Cloudways will help you deploy your website in just several clicks and within a few minutes. It supports not only WordPress but also Joomla, Drupal, Larvel, Magento, PHP, and other open-source tools.

Another attractive aspect of Cloudways is its flexible pricing. The company operates on a “pay-as-you-go” structure, making Cloudways an excellent choice for small-to-medium-sized businesses and users with a limited budget. Read this Cloudways review to learn more about this cloud-based hosting provider.

Common Problems with Hosting Services

When it comes to speed and reliability, dedicated servers and virtual private servers (VPS) are always the better choices over shared hosting solutions. While many providers do offer dedicated servers, only a few offers managed hosting support.

For instance, if you go directly with dedicated server providers like DigitalOcean, AWS, or Google Cloud, expect to do the heavy lifting yourself. You need to set up the hosting environment manually or install a cPanel. Besides, you also have to oversee the maintenance and the day-to-day operation of your server. If you don’t have the experience and skills for such tasks, expect to get unfortunate headaches whenever there are glitches, slow loading speeds, or worse, downtimes.

This is where Cloudways comes in. As a fully-managed hosting provider, it will free you from worries and hassles of operating a server. Cloudways is designed to make things simpler, without costing you a lot or sacrificing the must-have web hosting features.

Key Features of Cloudways

Cloudways is mainly known as a WordPress hosting platform. Whatever you need for your WordPress site, you can expect Cloudways to be able to do that for you, like SSL installations, HTTPS redirects, backups, and other tasks that can be tricky for not-so-experienced users.

Here is a rundown of Cloudways’ features:

Cloudways Features

Let’s tackle in detail the key features of Cloudways.

1. Custom control panel

After you created an account, you can manage your servers through Cloudways’ control panel. It’s unlike the typical cPanel of most hosts, but Cloudways’ custom control panel is intuitive and modern by itself. Through this panel’s menu, you can access Servers, Applications, Teams, and Projects.

Cloudways Menu

Application Management

Let’s talk about the settings found under Applications. Once you have set up a server, you can add applications any time; for instance, WordPress.

Cloudways Add Application

You will then enter the Applications page. You can set up many things here through the tabs. One relevant tab is for domain mapping.

Cloudways Add Domain

If you don’t have a domain name to be mapped or you haven’t registered one yet, you’ll be provided a temporary URL by Cloudways. This way, you can start building a website and access the control panel, as shown here.

Cloudways Temporary URL

There’s also a page for one-click SSL installation where you can install free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates. You can also get your certificates then install them here.

Cloudways SSL Certificate

Recovery is also a one-click operation, and it’s located under the Restore tab.

Cloudways Restore

Server management

Once you're done with setting up an application, you can now work on running the usual aspects of your website under Servers.

You can check your login credentials under Server Management.

Cloudways Master Credentials

There’s a page for monitoring CPU usage. This is very important as consistently high usages could affect your website’s performance.

Cloudways Monitoring CPU Usage

The services running on your server are listed under Manage Services. Here, you can start, stop, and restart one or many services at any time.

Cloudways Manage Services

You can configure PHP settings, PHP and MySQL versions, and other server-level settings under Settings & Packages.

Cloudways Settings and Packages

In the Security section, you can block certain IP addresses from gaining access to your resources.

Cloudways Security

If this isn’t enough, any expert users can log into the server via SSH to check and tweak the settings. Cloudways also provides cloud-based firewall as protection against malware and other types of cyberattacks.

Backups will run daily by default, but you can change the schedule.

Cloudways Backups

Lastly, there’s an SMTP tab for setting up outbound emails from your server.

Cloudways SMTP

Team management

A great collaboration feature, Team provides you a way to add team members and assign them full or limited access to your website.

Cloudways Team

2. Staging and cloning

For changes you want to test first before making them permanent on your website, Cloudways’ staging will be a handy feature. Deploy a staging area, do the test, and when the changes look good, you can push the changes to your actual website. This way, you won’t need to worry about introducing harmful changes that you can’t reverse.

Cloudways Staging and Cloning

Cloning is somewhat similar to staging. You can make several clone sites when you’re changing to new servers or showcasing your website to clients.

3. Advanced caching

Cloudways gets its server infrastructure from five cloud providers: DigitalOcean, Linode, Vultr, AWS, and Google Cloud. All these providers are known to provide SSD-based VPS and dedicated servers, which ensure fast server performance.

Apart from this cloud infrastructure, Cloudways takes advantage of several caching mechanisms to optimize servers. The company uses an in-house caching plug-in called Breeze. This plug-in can be easily set up, enabled, and disabled. More importantly, it supports Cloudway’s own content delivery network called CloudwaysCDN.

CloudwaysCDN adds more speed and reliability by caching your web pages on different servers located across the world. While this feature is not available for the free trial account, you can avail it with any of Cloudways’ paid plan at a low cost. This feature is accessed under Application Management and can be added with just one click.

CloudwaysCDN

Cloudflare CDN can also be used on websites deployed on Cloudways; Cloudfare will work alongside Breeze. Other popular caching mechanisms Varnish and Redis are also supported, but Cloudways recommends not to use both.

4. Vertical scaling

If for any reason you need to upgrade your server, you can increase your server resources in just a few clicks through Vertical Scaling. The function is found as a tab under Server Management.

Cloudways Vertical Scaling

Scaling works both ways, which is a good thing. You can downgrade if you need to revert to your previous hosting plan.

5. Customer support

Cloudways has 24/7 live chat support to provide you instant assistance. You can also request a call, send an email, check the blog and knowledge base, or visit the community forum and Cloudways’ social media platforms. Cloudways also has CloudWaysBot that monitors the servers and gives notification whenever there is an update or any issue.

Cloudways Customer Support

Cloudways Pricing

Cloudways offers flexible pricing plans and operates on a “pay-as-you-go” model. You may find the pricing complicated at first, as Cloudways has several plans based on its five different partners—DigitalOcean, Linode, Vultr, AWS, and Google Cloud. Here are the plans:

Cloudways DigitalCOean Plans
Cloudways Linode Plans
Cloudways Vultr Plans
Cloudways Amazon Web Services Plans
Cloudways Google Cloud Plans

The basic plans under DigitalOcean and Linode are enough for starters. However, if you're a heavy user, you should get one under the AWS or Google Cloud plans.

You may ask yourself: If Cloudways is using the infrastructure of these cloud providers, why can't I go directly to these five companies? While you could get a lower price if you set up directly with these five providers, remember that you'll be left to set up everything by yourself. With Cloudways offering managed hosting support, you'll be free from the burden of doing complicated tasks.

If you want to give Cloudways first a try, then take advantage of the free three-day trial. It's short, but you can build servers and test Cloudways' features right away without providing your credit card details. This trial, however, is only available for DigitalOcean, Linode, and Vultr plans.

Cloudways Start Free
Cloudways Start Free 2

I liked the flexibility and affordability of these offered plans. With the “pay-as-you-go” structure, you will only need to pay what you need and avoid locking yourself into costly plans that can run for year or more. Better yet, if you need to upgrade, you can easily do so with Cloudways’ Vertical Scaling.

Cloudways accepts payment through major credit cards and PayPal. The company will also refund unused funds if the request is made within three months of fund addition.

Cloudways: What I Liked About It

Cloudways is quite easy to use. Building websites and adding apps are done with just a few clicks. WordPress, Magento, and other apps can be automatically installed. If you have an old site, Cloudways can quickly help you migrate through the custom plug-in.

Some users who are more familiar using cPanel, however, may get some surprises here. However, I'm sure they won't get lost with Cloudways' control panel. The Monitoring and Vertical Scaling tabs under Server Management are worth the mention. These two will let you monitor your server's performance at a glance and provide insights when it's high time to scale up.

Unlike shared hosting, Cloudways is a managed hosting provider so you won’t have to worry about your website all the time. It uses several technologies, like its own CloudwaysCDN, to ensure speedy page loading and site performance. Moreover, the staging, cloning, and the temporary URL are features that should be welcomed by new users.

Lastly, there's the flexible, “pay-as-you-go” pricing which you can tailor depending on what you need. You can scale up or scale down your hosting plan as desired. There's also a free three-day trial which, while short, should be enough to test Cloudways' features.

Cloudways: What I Don’t Like About It

Cloudways is a fully-managed hosting platform. So if you want to have control over how your site runs (like having root access), then Cloudways might not be suited to your liking. Moreover, you're out of luck if you want to create a custom app in a programming language not named PHP. However, I think these issues would only affect developers and advanced users.

Cloudways also doesn’t have domain name registration, though you’ll be given a temporary URL for a start. Some people may not like the fact that Cloudways doesn’t have email hosting, though lacking such a feature is arguably beneficial in some situations.

While there are several support channels, this is one area where Cloudways needs to improve on. During those times I contacted support, I am getting an inaccurate or a too technical response, or my ticket takes a long time to get resolved.

Cloudways: Final Thoughts

Cloudways is a scalable, fully-managed, cloud-based web hosting provider. While the pricing can be confusing at first, the plans offer great flexibility so you can choose the right plan that will meet your demands. The “pay-as-you-go” model makes Cloudways ideal for businesses and users who have a limited budget for hosting their websites. Moreover, such a pricing structure ensures you won't get locked up in a lengthy, expensive subscription plan.

The custom control panel of Cloudways makes things easy for users who are unfamiliar with command lines and are entirely new to website building. While Cloudways offers several one-click integrations, it still lags behind some of its biggest competitors.

Overall, Cloudways is one of those cloud-based hosting companies that strike a nice balance between affordability and features. By partnering with five of the top cloud providers out there, Cloudways offers cloud-based hosting services that are made for speed, performance, and reliability. If you're still unsure about Cloudways, there's always the free three-day trial for you to test out its services.

Cloudways Coupon Discounts

There is currently is an active Cloudways Coupon / Cloudways Discount available. When ordering your plan, enter WPCRAFTER for the promo code to receive 20% off your first invoice. Also, if you do order Cloudways through the link on this website, I will give you access to one of my premium training course which normally sells for $99.

Cloudways Review: Wrap Up

I really like what Cloudways is doing. Sure you can go directly to the various cloud hosting providers, but for the modest premium you pay, you get the Cloudways control panel and more importantly, support.

But in my personal experience support was not fast, or that interested in helping me.

Cloudways Alternatives

Video Transcript

29 thoughts on “Cloudways”

  1. e

    Hey Adam
    I have a digital agency and I am hosting around 20 websites, Some Ecommerce and some Informational sites total websites have less than 15000 views per month.
    I need a good hosting company that will be very fast and will give great customer support.
    I am thinking of getting Cloudways or Siteground and not sure what one to get.
    Could you please help me decide and give me your recommendation?.

    1. It would depend on 1 question, do you need to host the email as well. If the answer is no, I would go with Cloudways because its gonna be higher performance at a lower cost. But if you also need to host the emails, SiteGround will be the better option because it’s included. Both are great hosts though.

  2. E

    Hi Adam,

    Thanks to your great review we believe Cloudways would best suit our needs.

    Are you aware of any major differences in performance when it comes to the 6 cloud hosting services? (Besides the costs and the specific details they give on their pricing page) Would you recommend any specific cloud hosting service over another?

    Also, we notice that Cloudways offers “Enterprise WordPress Hosting” that uses the Google Cloud Platform. Have you used this service and is it any good? And do you know the reason why they power this service with Google Cloud Platform over one of the other cloud hosting service options?

    Any help you can give will be much appreciated,
    Thanks a lot

  3. L

    I have recently tried to sign up for cloudways after doing a little bit of research online for a good WP hosting solution. After filling a short form they prompted me to a chat bot and assigned me an assistant who asked for some info. After chatting with him, they put me on ‘Pending’ and I waited days with no response from them.

    So after a few days I tried to talk (very politely) with another chat assistant to see whats going on with my sign up application process. He requested AGAIN the same info, and assured me I will shortly get a confirmation message. Ok, so after waiting another hour I got a little bit annoyed and initiated another chat – with the same guy – he told me not to worry, he will check my application and get back to me.

    As soon as he said that, he closed the chat and blocked my IP so I cannot contact the chat again. That was very rude and disrespectful and I got pretty pissed. So from my own experience, I totally NOT RECOMMEND them. They are very unprofessional and wasted my time as I waited days for trying to do a simple sign-up which should only take 10 minutes.

  4. I’m definitely considering this route, although it scares me because of the notable differences from all traditional VPS systems. Namely, the fact I can’t offer someone a CPanel feels strange. I keep feeling like some functionality I am accustomed to suddenly won’t be there — and what if a client i’m reselling to wants access to their server and their server only?

    Lots of questions remaining for this big leap….

  5. You should let people know that Cloudways will delete their server and all the work they have done at the end of the free trial. My trial was up, they told me to upgrade, I did and they deleted everything. They recovered the server but there is nothing on it.

  6. Things can fall apart quickly if the customer support is lacking, especially if the UI is customised (and WordPress instal). For me that was also the problem with Flywheel. I went with Siteground and haven’t looked back

  7. Hi Adam,
    I signed up for a Cloudways account via your link and am really liking it so far (;

    Anyhow, just wondering how you have setup your emails with Cloudways? I want to have multiple websites on the same server and for each of those sites will obviously need a bunch of different email addresses. In the past I set these up via CPanel, but this hosting does not work with CPanel so was wondering how you set things up with regard to email?

    Thanks,
    Dan.

    1. For anyone that has used shared hosting in the past, we were spoiled with having our email hosted on the same server as our website, but for performance, it’s a bad idea. So with Cloudways and all managed WordPress hosting providers, they host the website only.

      There are many email hosting providers, many just use paid Google Apps accounts. That may not be feasible in every situation, but there are many affordable options to host emails.

  8. I thought cloduways was the answer to my prayers…super fast servers, staging environments, easy to upgrade php etc. UNTIL I needed support.

    As you’ve mentioned in this review, this is were they fail – miserably!

    Their support is reeeeaaaalllllllly slow! Yes they have live chat, however, they can’t really do much and you get passed to 2nd line and then expect to wait for hours, even if your sites are down. And without very little communication from them about what is going on.

    I would not recommend these for critical services or client sites. I’m now looking at other solutions.

  9. V

    Hi Adam,

    For a new startup company we want to have 1 or 2 eCommerce site (developed in WP /Woo commerce)within India. Currently I ended up wrongly subscribing with Bluehost.in . Not comfortable with their support. Kindly best and low cost option but should have better speed and support.

    Regards,
    Vigneswaran

    1. I

      Don’t go to siteground. Their servers are in Singapore. Data localisation policy is going to amend in India. So your data should not stay out of India. Try Cloudways platform with digital ocean Bangalore servers. I personally use this. And I’m from Tamilnadu, India.

  10. Hello Adam,

    How about their customer support? Because, it is not cPanel, then we might their help often. Do, they hesitate to help?

  11. M

    Hi Artan, just an afterthought, but a risk free way to dip your toes with Cloudsays would be to migrate a site and rename as staging.yourdomain.com. that way you can safely play with installing SSL, adding an smtp provider live Sendgrid etc. and see what performance feels like.

    Cloudways bill at the start of every month, but you are charged by the hour, so if it isn’t for you, it won’t have cost much to experiment.

  12. A

    Hey Adam

    I’m willing tu purchase a hosting service from your links the upcoming month.

    Which one do you recommend, cloudways basic plan or siteground go geek?

    I have 8 websites with less than 100k monthly traffic overall.

    Thank you

    1. You will end up with better support from Siteground, but you will have better performance with Cloudways, but you will also pay a bit more with Cloudways. I wouldn’t recommend the lowest plan with Cloudways for 8 websites. Well if they are basic it may be ok, but I have this website on the $85 per month plan.

    2. M

      Hi Artan,

      My recommendation would be to create a small 1gb Vultr VM in your region and test migrate one of your sites to Cloudways. The Cloudways migration plugin is superb. It is actually provided by Blogvault.

      You might want to disable the Varnish cache if you dont have a caching plugin capable of clearing it. I have it disabled on all of my servers.

      Once migrated, keep an eye on the server monitor for cpu load and memory usage. Also self healing restarts in case it has had an issue and had to restart a service.

      If the website shows np signs of pressure, you can migrate another site. I have found the sweetspot to be 6 low traffic sites per 1gb server. The only time the server shows any significant cpu or memory usage is when I install updates across multiple sites or if Im working n the backend.

      I previously had a larger VM before realising that it was overkill. I prefer to start small and spread my sites (and risk) between different servers and even providers. That way one server going down wont take out all of my client sites. If one site does demand more resources, you can step it up to the next server and monitor.

      Good luck!

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