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Making the right choices in life is as important as earning money. Likewise, choosing the right hosting provider for your WordPress website is one of the most important decisions you have to make. In this Cloudways review, I’m going to share my honest opinion after using Cloudways for so many years. The main topics I’ll cover are its performance how this cloud hosting platform works and what features it offers, support, and pricing to help you decide whether it’s a good fit for you.
Introduction to Cloud Hosting
My journey to figure out which web hosting company was best for my needs, started around 8 years ago when I also discovered the passion for web design. In the beginning, I tried different shared hosting companies, these being the most popular as they have the lowest price. But shared hosting has also its disadvantages such as low performance, limited control over what you can change or install on your server, and that your server will be shared along with many other websites.
A couple of years later I discovered Digitaoccean, which is actually very affordable but the fact that it’s an unmanaged server ( meaning you can do whatever you want with it but you have to install any necessary software like additional security tweaks, on your own and in most cases without support ). Also, the lack of a user-friendly control panel, for me as well as for my clients, and no immediate support, made me think of a better alternative. That’s when I discovered Cloudways, a managed cloud hosting platform, and never looked back.
The problem with the majority of cloud hosting platforms – such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Google Cloud – is that they are too complicated for most non-developers to use. Cloudways aim is to make cloud-based hosting as simple as possible so that even non-developers could benefit from its user-friendly interface, where you can easily deploy a website on a high-performance cloud server in a few clicks.
Steps to Deploy a Cloudways WordPress Cloud Server
On this managed WordPress cloud hosting your website projects are called applications. So clicking on the Applications tab will show you the list of all your existing websites within your server(s). While logged on to your Cloudways account, click on Servers at the top of your screen, and then on the “Add Server” button. By doing so a popup window will appear and you’ll need to fill the following fields:
01. Your application type
This could be either the latest version of WordPress with or without a Cloudways Optimization, a WordPress plus Woocommerce installation, a PHP app, a PHP Laravel Framework, or Magento.
02. Name your Managed App
This will be the name of your project/website. This should not be confused with your domain name, as that option can be configured later.
03. Name Your Managed Server
This will be the name of your server, useful mostly in case you’ll manage multiple servers under the same account ( eg. a personal server, clients server, business server, .etc ).
04. Select Your Project
Here you either choose an existing projects folder or create a new one ( e.g personal, my blog, etc. )
05. Select Your Server Provider, Server Size and Location
Here you can choose between the five most popular cloud hosting providers such as Digitaloccean, Linode, Vultr, Amazon Web Services (AWS), or Google Cloud. My personal choice is Digitaloccean as it will offer you the best price-performance balance. For the server size, you can choose the smallest size of 1GB of ram memory if you have a small personal website. For bigger production websites, at least 2GB ( or higher ) is required but you can always scale your server size whenever is needed.
The location of your server should be chosen based on your target audience, meaning that you should choose the server that’s closest to your customers/visitors’ location. To give you an example, let’s say you live in Singapore but you target mostly USA customers, your website should be hosted on a US server and not Singapore.
06. Launch Your WordPress Cloud Server
So once you click the Launch Now button, you’ll have a short wait while Cloudways configures the server and in just a few minutes your new WordPress Cloud Hosting server will be ready. To access your pre-installed WordPress website, you can use the login information provided in the Application Management section. Additionally, if you want to install multiple WordPress sites on your cloud server, the process is also very simple.
Steps to Create a New WordPress Installation on Cloudways
Creating WordPress installations on Cloudways it’s a time saver as you don’t have to deal with filling login details or manually create databases as you normally would with a manual WordPress installation, Cloudways taking care of all that so you can launch your WordPress website in just a couple of clicks.
01. Add Application
To install a new WordPress website ( application ), click on the Applications navigation link at the top left side of your screen while logged into your Cloudways account, then click on the Add Application button. Once you’ll do that, a pop-up window will appear and you’ll need to select one of your existing installed cloud servers. Select the server and click Add Application.
02. Choose the Application Type
At this step you need to choose what type of application you want to install, whether is a Cloudways optimized version of WordPress, a fresh WordPress installation without any optimization, a WordPress plus Woocommerce, a PHP app, a PHP Laravel Framework, or Magento. Name your Application, select the project folder, and hit the Add Application button.
So once you click the Launch Now button, you’ll have a short wait while Cloudways configures the server and installs a fresh copy of WordPress. Usually, it takes just a few minutes and once it’s done you can access your server using the login information provided in your Application Management section.
Faster Page Loads
The managed WordPress cloud hosting offers their unique combination of caching technologies such as Thunderstack, a mix of static and dynamic caches with two web servers, Nginx and Apache that offer maximum uptime and great page loading speed which makes it a perfect fit for all WordPress based projects and PHP applications.
Using cloud hosting has numerous advantages. It’s easily scalable, multiple data centers, you can have a lot of control over server choices, and it’s often budget-friendly. Data centers are the foundation of network services because having a provider with multiple data centers means that in the event of a disaster, you can still use services from another data center.
The managed cloud hosting has also a pre-installed malware detection system that patches the latest security updates on a regular basis in combination with a 1-Click Free SSL Certificate by Let’s Encrypt that will secure your website.
The staging feature is simply awesome as it gives you the advantage of working on your website and test your changes before publishing them on your live website. In addition to that, connecting remotely on Cloudways is also possible by either through Git or connecting VS Code editor to your server as I described in my previous article.
The managed WordPress cloud hosting offers great support including Live Chat or Ticket System and they provided me great support every time I needed to fix or ask something related to my WordPress cloud server. Cloudways also provides two paid support addons, Advanced and Premium, for users who need closer interaction with the Support teams. These add-ons offer a faster response processing time and a more robust response from professional support engineers.
Team Management Functionality
If you need to grant access to other users to your Cloudways account, the Cloudways Team feature allows you to do so by offering multiple different access levels for your members. If you have a team or just want to allow a freelancer access to a particular server or website, this is a great option.
You can configure the access level for the team member to Billing, Support, Server Management, and Application Management areas.
- Billing Access: Checking this box allows the team member to access billing information. Your team member can view, download and pay invoices and also get invoice notifications. He/she can also update billing information (Credit Card data).
- Support Access: Checking this box allows the team member to access the support area. After this, he/she can create and answer tickets on your behalf.
- Server and Application Management: Checking this box allows the team member to access the Server and Application Management areas in the Cloudways Platform.
The list goes even deeper if you check the Console Access option and uncheck the Full Access, offering more different permissions from Server, Backups, Server Scale, Monitoring to Applications specific permissions in case you want to give the new member access only to certain apps ( websites ) for example.
To remove a member, click on the bottom right corner of your screen and the orange round button then delete the member.
If you require more performance for your server as your CPU and Memory are reaching the maximum thresholds, you can easily increase the hardware resources of your server at any time, so that your cloud server will become more powerful in managing heavy traffic and keeping your business always online, all just in a few clicks.
The process is called Vertical Scaling ( also referred to as scale-up ), and it t involves adding more compute power (CPU, Memory, and Storage) to an existing server within the region it had been created.
Cloudways backup services will save you both, time and money because it allows you to schedule your cloud server website backups on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. This ensures that you will never lose your data, no matter what happens, and by a click of a button you can easily roll back any of the previous backups.
I hope that the reasons I mentioned above are enough to demonstrate why I think Cloudways is one of the best managed WordPress Cloud Hosting to choose from, whether you are a web developer, company owner, digital marketer, or writer. The great thing is that there’s no risk in trying it out, and you can get started with a free three-day trial to experience all of its features.
- Affordable price
- User-Friendly dashboard
- Great performance
- Useful features
- Effective security
- Great support
- Free trial
- No support for Ruby on Rails
- No cPanel or Plesk