Quick Facts & Checklist
|Speed||109 ms (over the last 6 months, updated March 2021)|
|Uptime||100% (over the last 6 months, updated March 2021)|
|Features||Free Migration, Free SSL Certificate, CDN, Automated Backups, Staging Environment, Dedicated Firewalls|
|Hosting Plans||Managed Cloud Hosting|
|Support||24/7 Live Chat, Phone, Email, Knowledge Base|
|Pricing||Plans start from £7.47 per month|
What Is Cloudways?
Based in sunny Malta, Cloudways is a highly rated hosting provider, which places an emphasis on high quality, managed hosting.
They are control freaks; well-versed in managing all areas of web hosting, so that all the user has to do is sit back and watch their website grow.
They often rank highly in web hosting comparisons, due to their strong performance, reasonable pricing and premium customer service.
However, the fact that they exclusively offer a cloud-based managed hosting service can turn certain users away, as this service removes user autonomy when it comes to having root access to servers.
If you’re new to the web hosting world, then Cloudways is arguably one of the best web host providers for you but if, like Cloudways, you are a control freak when it comes to hosting, you may want to look elsewhere for a hosting provider which affords its users a little more control over their servers.
In this Cloudways review we’ll take a look at the features that make the company such a popular hosting company, delving into the good, the bad and the ugly of Cloudways.
Speed & Reliability
How Fast Is Cloudways?
Picture this; it’s a bleak day. The clouds are low and morose, and you start to feel the odd splatter of raindrops falling from the sky. You need protection from the impending storm, and fast.
You have no umbrella, but you’re just about to walk past a couple of shops who all promise that they have umbrellas somewhere in their stockroom. Which shop will be able to provide you with your shelter from the rain the quickest? According to the statistics, it’s Cloudways.
This frantic search for an umbrella is a little like waiting on a web page to load. Let’s be honest, whatever you’re looking for online, there’s no shortage of webpages desperately waiting to be opened by web users. So naturally, the fastest page to load is going to be the one with the highest number of visitors
It is the job of the website’s hosting provider to ensure that their websites load quickly and effortlessly, so their page load time reputation is super important for people looking for a new web host provider.
Cloudways Speed Test
Credit where credit is due, Cloudways are fast; so fast that you won’t even notice their pages loading. Based on our page test speeds, the load time of Cloudways comes in at 109 milliseconds which, if you hadn’t guessed, is super-fast.
This means that you can guarantee that with Cloudways, your website’s visitors won’t be waiting around in the pouring rain. Plus, high speed means a higher rating for your website. Win, win.
Load Impact & Stress Test Results
On the topic of speed, we wanted to see if Cloudways server held up under a bit of stress, so we ran a test using K6 (formerly known as Load Impact) to simulate 50 active visitors over 5 minutes.
The purpose of this is to determine the performance and reliability of the server when multiple users are accessing and using the site at the same time.
Cloudways K6 Stress Test Results
The above chart shows that as the visitors increase (the grey line), the response time (the blue line) stayed completely stable and never went above an impressive 47 milliseconds!
From our research, we have ascertained that Cloudways response time is exceptional.
Speed is pretty important when it comes to web server reviews, however, so is Uptime. So how does Cloudways fare in this category?
Let’s find out.
Cloudways Hosting Uptime
When the weather is overcast, all you want is for the clouds to pass and the sun to make an appearance (rare in the UK, I know). You ask, “how long will this last for?” and pray that the answer is “not too long”.
However, in the web hosting world, you want the cloud to last as long as possible, ideally 24/7, 365 days a year. Here, we are talking about Uptime.
The percentage of Uptime recorded outlines the reliability of the company as a whole. Ideally, you want your website to be up and running 100% of the time, so that you can have a continuous stream of visitors.
This is especially important when your website attracts revenue as, naturally, the second your website is down your revenue will be too.
Not good news for the money minded. However, it is really difficult to actually reach this faultless 100% Uptime accolade.
Whether it’s a nasty cyber-attack, operating system failure or a simple loss of connection, your website is bound to drop under the radar every now and then.
However, it is the job of your web host provider to reconnect the server, fix any bugs and ward off any hackers as soon as humanly, or technologically, possible.
So how does Cloudways rank? They fall into a perfect 100% Uptime rating (based over the last 6 months) which, in this industry, is essentially as good as you can get.
Uptime and speed are debatably the most important features of any hosting provider, working as the foundations for successful hosting servers. Cloudways have clearly got their foundations laid, but the question is how will they build upon them?
Pricing & Plans
How Much Does Cloudways Cost?
One of the things that distinguishes Cloudways from its numerous competitors is their pricing. Not only is it affordable, but surprisingly flexible. Ordinarily, hosting companies in 2020 would offer three or four different hosting plans, charging gradually more as the number of features increases.
Flexible Pricing Options
This is a fairly good payment model, as it means that users can opt to pay more, or less, depending on their hosting needs. However, these plans are often pretty strict, leaving little to no room for movement and limiting the possibility of scaling their websites up or down.
Cloudways Digital Ocean Hosting Plans
Cloudways successfully breaks away from this somewhat archaic mode of charging with their nifty ‘pay as you go’ approach. on four different payment plans.
Cloudways operates by buying services from giants like Google Cloud, Digital Ocean, Amazon Web Services (AWS), VULTR, and Linode.
The cheapest plan (Digital Ocean) starts at £7.47 per month, with the most expensive plan costing a minimum of £58 per month. The idea here is that they can charge a lower monthly rate, when compared with their competitors, but if users which to add more features they can charge these additions on a pay as you go basis.
This means low prices, no contractual lock ins and an overall sense of freedom for the user.
Another great feature of Cloudways’ pricing is the fact that you can chose from monthly and hourly billing options.
Perhaps you wish to launch a website, only for a matter of hours and need a hosting provider to cover you? Not a problem, Cloudways have made this very easy for you.
Cloudways vs Competitors Prices
Furthermore, they offer free migration on your first website, an added feature that many hosting providers charge for, and unlimited applications on every single plan.
Typically, the primary way in which hosting companies validate the increase in price across different plans is by only allowing one website application to be hosted on the cheapest plan.
From there, you are allowed more and more websites/applications as the price increases. But Cloudflare, once again, go against the grain with their approach to pricing. It’s an attractive feature, and certainly one for their competitors to look out for.
Cloudways Hosting Options
Help & Support
How Good Is Cloudways Support?
Finding a new hosting provider can be an intimidating process. The internet is full of scammers, hackers and false promises, so it is essential that you find yourself a hosting company with a good reputation and a solid community of customer support so that, going back to our initial analogy, you’re never left in the pouring rain without an umbrella for protection.
Quality Customer Service
With this in mind, web hosting comparison always look to the quality of hosting server’s customer support to determine the overall quality of the providers.
Cloudways consistently rate highly for their customer service, with their live-chat feature often being marked as above the industry standard in terms of accessibility and cooperation.
Cloudways offers great support with plenty of resources to help you with your site
Whilst there’s a lot to be said about informative blogs and FAQ forums, being connected with a human voice is often the most effective form of customer support, and Cloudways seem well aware of this.
Their knowledgeable advisers are able to troubleshoot and solve hosting problems effortlessly and at no extra cost.
Advanced Support Options
However, we all know that nothing truly comes for free nowadays. Whilst Cloudways do offer a good amount of customer support, on the house, they have also established a pricing plan for more advanced forms of support.
Cloudways advanced support options
They offer an ‘advanced support add-on’ as well as a ‘premium support add-on’, for users who require a higher level of protection and assistance.
These add-ons include faster response times, direct phone support and customised troubleshooting, all great features, but at a cost.
Essentially, Cloudways provide good customer support to all of their customers, but excellent customer support for those who are willing to part with a little more money.
Features & Products
What Features & Services Do Cloudways Offer?
The features of a hosting provider are, in a sense, the icing on top of the cake. Added features give hosting companies the opportunity to really propel themselves ahead of their competitors, marking themselves as the best website host in an environment of cut-throat competition.
Feature Rich Custom Hosting Plans
Cloudways certainly don’t hold back when it comes to features. The list of add-ons, both complimentary and at cost, is so extensive that you would need to set aside an entire lunch break to fully read up on what’s on offer.
They group their added features into the following categories: expert support, performance, security, choice, collaboration, control, integrations and add-ons and monitoring.
Cloudways Hosting Features & Comparison
|Main Features||Digital Ocean||Linode||Vultr||AWS||Google Cloud|
|Unlimited Application Installation||✔︎||✔︎||✔︎||✔︎||✔︎|
|24/7 Real-time Monitoring||✔︎||✔︎||✔︎||✔︎||✔︎|
|Optimised With Advanced Caches||✔︎||✔︎||✔︎||✔︎||✔︎|
|Regular Security Patching||✔︎||✔︎||✔︎||✔︎||✔︎|
|HTTP/2 Enabled Servers||✔︎||✔︎||✔︎||✔︎||✔︎|
|SSH and SFTP Access||✔︎||✔︎||✔︎||✔︎||✔︎|
But what features can you expect to come as complimentary with their most basic plan? Well, each plan comes with free SSL protection, as well as a CDN add-on, designed to improve your site’s performance, and various usability add-ons, such as team management and application and server cloning.
Cloudways offers free SSL certificates on all their plans
The fact that all of these features are available on each Cloudways plan is really impressive, and surprising when comparing the company with its competitors.
This inclusive pricing makes the process a whole lot simpler, as you essentially gain access to most of the features that the company offers, simply by signing up. Are you tempted yet?
Security & Protection
Is My Website Secure With Cloudways?
The stakes are high when it comes to site hosting. The internet is a dark thunderous cloud, in which things like security and privacy can easily get lost in bad weather.
When your website experiences a cyber-attack or system failure, the data stored on your site can suddenly become vulnerable.
Cloudways has a good range of security options
Cloudways’ security features are impressively extensive and comprehensive. They’re big fans of offering security, not as an added-on feature, but as a given on all plans.
Every single Cloudways account comes with firewall protection, login security, bot protection, application isolation, database security, SSL Certificates, GDPR compliance and end-to-end encryption. Did you get all of that?
Cloudways security settings are user friendly
What I love the most about their approach to security is that it is equally developed, no matter how big or small your website may be. Now that’s what I call inclusive.
Pros & Cons
What We Like & Dislike About Cloudways
What Are The Alternatives To Cloudways?
Do We Recommend Cloudways?
We certainly do! Overall, there are a lot more pros than there are cons when it comes to Cloudways as a hosting provider.
They are one of the cheapest hosts, as well as being renowned for fast and reliable hosting, balancing good prices with high performance; something that can be hard to come by in web hosting.
Furthermore, the flexibility of pricing makes the service accessible for all kinds of users, and I love the way that most of their added features are included in all of their plans, no matter how cheap.
However, I get the sense that Cloudways is more suited to web applications, rather than for building websites from scratch, so this is something to watch out for if you are only just starting out.
Moreover, I’m not a fan of the way that they charge premiums for certain levels of support. Hidden fees like these ones can be a slippery slope of spending, so make sure you’re aware of the cost of every service offered by Cloudways, before accidentally investing.
Having said that, we are still a big fan of Cloudways, so much so, that we host this website on Digital Ocean servers!
Editor & User Ratings
High performance scalable cloud hosting that’s affordable and feature packed.
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