Which web host are you currently using? Is it delivering the right experience for your customers and helping you grow your business? Well, I might just have a better suggestion for you in this Cloudways review.
You see, most web hosts have challenges. Here are common issues associated with most web hosts:
Imagine an affiliate site that loads as slow as molasses in January. If you were on this kind of site, you would indeed press the back button.
Slow speeds come from inefficient servers.
Rigid hosting plans:
A web host needs to have flexible hosting plans. It shouldn’t offer storage or RAM size that you don’t necessarily need.
It should allow you to choose the storage and features you need to make your online business a success.
Slow or unresponsive customer support:
You need a web host that offers excellent support. If they are unresponsive or take long to respond when your site is down, you will lose many leads and sales.
The security of your site needs to be your highest priority when choosing a web host. There is no point in selecting a web host, which can be hacked at any time.
Cloudways is a platform-as-a-service and you can choose to host your WordPress site on a cloud server from DigitalOcean, Linode, Vultr, Amazon Web Services or Google Cloud Platform
- A Completely Free Trial Period
- No Limits
- Pay As You Go Pricing System
- Free Site Migration
- Free Automatic Updates
- No cPanel
- No eMail Accounts or Domain Registrations
Well, Cloudways came in to solve all the challenges above. It’s a managed web hosting platform that allows you to choose the server size you want, RAM, and websites and offers up to 5 different cloud hosting providers to choose from.
And just for your information, there is a lot of difference between cloud hosting and shared hosting.
It’s a secure, easy to use, and efficient web hosting company owing to its heavy investment in large servers. It’s a bit expensive compared to some web hosts but offers the best kind of web hosting services I know.
In fact, it’s what these top affiliates, e-commerce stores, and other large business sites are using. Most of them love the improved website speed.
Cloudways Review: Here Are Some Features
Cloudways has lots of features poised towards making your website hosting a huge success. Let’s see some of them:
1. Server-level caching in place
Caching is critical if you have to create a fully-responsive site. Without proper caching, you will always have a sluggish and poor-performing website, which can chase customers away and lead to slow business growth.
Here is why server-level caching is essential:
Reduces remote web server workload: you see, Cloudways has different server locations in the world that provide cloud hosting solutions. The main aim of doing this is to reduce the workload.
Think about it; if about 1 million computers are accessing the server at any given time, the server will take time to process each request from a client computer and hence slow server response times.
Cloudways as a tool has a system to reduce the workload, which spreads data widely among the many proxy caches in a network and hence a fast website.
Reduces bandwidth connection: with effective caching, a server will lead to faster load times. In addition, it decreases network traffic and reduces the congestion of computers in the network.
This leads to the effectiveness and efficiency of a website
Boost web service robustness: sometimes, a remote server can go down for some reasons. Your web visitors will still need to access your site. Instead of going offline, caching helps to avail a copy at a proxy to your web visitors.
Thus, it doesn’t matter if a server goes down due to partitioning or crash; your services will still be online. That’s awesome, right?
2. It has self-healing servers
What happens if your server goes down since it is a common norm? Do you want to lose your web visitors? I bet no.
You see, the concentration span of a human being is about 3 seconds. So, that means if your site is slow or gives error 404, then the person browsing skips your site to your competitor’s.
One customer could translate to losses. Several customers could lead to a considerable margin. That’s not the case with Cloudways; they ensure that you always control all the functionalities such as caching and PHP processes.
There is also a function that allows self-healing of the servers. It does that if a server goes down, the system employs a restart and troubleshooting process.
That ensures that you are never offline. You also have control over your server. You can always restart it and troubleshoot if you want. Or you can also install an application called New Relic, which can act as a great troubleshooting resource.
3. Offers excellent server visibility and daily backups
How would you feel if you saw precisely all that’s happening with your server? You will innovate much more and have greater control over your website and hence your business.
Most managed WordPress hosting doesn’t allow you to have this kind of visibility; Cloudways does. It enables you to have control of the following;
Bot traffic: If you know the bots causing potential problems and consuming server resources, you can easily block them in your robots.txt file. Robots can cause a sluggish site.
Status Codes: with this, you can quickly identify sites likely to give a 404 Error! If you can check out all these, you can fix them and allow better interlinking and outlinking.
IP requests: With this feature in hand, you can identify the IP addresses that are hitting your server the most. With that, you can specify IP addresses that are abusing a particular URL in your site and block them.
URL requests: Cloudways allows greater server visibility. You can identify some of the most visited URLs and avoid bot traffic.
4. Unlimited number of websites on different platforms
Thus, it would help if your host accepts that feature. But that’s not the case with some of these popular web hosts we all know; if you want another website, you will need to upgrade your plans, which can be expensive in the long run.
That’s not the case with Cloudways. The company understood that you would want more than one website and application. Thus, with Cloudways, you can create any number of websites you need.
You can also install any application such as WordPress and others. I know most websites run on WordPress. Hence, one of the primary aims of Cloudways is to integrate effectively with WordPress.
In addition, unlike most web hosts that have all your apps under one roof, Cloudways has each app on a separate server. Thus, the security of your application is improved.
Even though Cloudways has fewer applications, they are all secure.
5. They prioritize the experience and security of your site
Nothing is more important than the safety of your websites. There is no point in investing all your time and marketing resources into a site, which hackers can access anytime.
Imagine investing in an e-commerce site for a whole year and waking up one day to a blank site, depressing, right?
So, that’s why you need to invest a lot into a webhost that understands this aspect. Luckily, Cloudways has taken server management into full consideration.
It has firewalls and proactively patches servers in place to prevent any external attacks from malicious hackers. These firewalls are hard to by-pass. So, your website is secure.
And even before you log into your site, there is another security layer. Apart from the built-in database security, the site has a two-factor authentication to prevent unauthorized access to your site.
In addition, to prevent any other IP from accessing your server via SSH or SFTP, Cloudways has a function called IP whitelisting, which allows you to have control over your single server. It will enable you to block non-listed IP addresses.
What I like about Cloudways
Clowdways is amazing. In fact, it’s one of the best web hosting services provides at the moment. Here are some things that justify this fact:
Your web host needs to have a great support system in place. Issues will arise any time, either from the web host or the user side.
For instance, if you want to transfer your domain name, site migrations issues, change your name servers or if the server is down. Sometimes you might find yourself needing help, which only the support can provide.
In such cases, you need to either call them or chat with them live. Most web hosts have a flawed customer support system. They are unavailable for chats.
But not Cloudways; it has an excellent support system. Apart from the knowledgeable base geared towards beginners, they have a private Slack channel for any questions. They are also available on calls at any time.
The community is also engaging and can help at any time. Just post your questions in the forum and get real-time answers.
Ease of use – Even WordPress users
Your web host needs to have an easy-to-use interface. A clogged one will make you confused and wastes time trying to use certain features.
Imagine trying to find the WordPress install button for years. Or even the C-panel section. They should be readily available.
Cloudways has a simple and easy-to-use dashboard. Once you log into the client area, you can be able to access all the features easily.
For newbies, the dashboard might appear complicated, but you can have a much greater control of your website once you get used to it.
Perhaps another thing you would love about Cloudways is the freedom to choose the features you want. You can select the cloud services provider – Digital Ocean, Google, Linode, Amazon, or Vultr, the size of the server you wish to, and any other application.
As you select the features, the price is shown at the bottom of the screen. Just take what you need. What you don’t need to leave it behind.
High speed from cloud providers
Who wouldn’t want a website that loads at blazing speeds? With fast load time, higher SEO rankings, good customer experience, and leads ultimately convert to sales.
Most sites promise high load time but don’t deliver. I had experience with some of these sites. With Pingdom as a tester, I found out that they don’t always deliver as promised.
Most of the customers who use Cloudways are reporting high upload and download speeds. In fact, websites hosted on the site experience up to 45% better load times.
To make it even better, they have a 99% uptime. That means your site will rarely go offline. Unless otherwise.
Supports lots of useful application
Cloudways gives you a choice to install some essential applications to make your online businesses a success.
I know you would want to install some applications such as Magento, WordPress, Joomla, or even Php, right? It’s okay because they make work easier for you.
Once you log into your site, you can view all these applications in the C-panel and install those you like.
What I don’t like about it
Despite all the factors above, some challenges come with the use of Cloudways. Here are some of them:
You cannot register your domain
One of the main drawbacks of the company is that they fail to host domain names for you. They mainly focus on hosting your site but not your domain name.
That means the site can sometimes lose visitors to companies that give both of these services, like [your current hosting provider]. Customers sometimes like to have everything in one place.
If they can pay the domain name and hosting at the click of the button, they will go for that option.
They will give you a custom free URL but one that doesn’t match your brand. You will need a domain name.
The support and performance is limited based on the plans
Even though Cloudway support is excellent, they have limitations. It’s not that you cannot call them or chat with them and get help fast, but they limit the chat time according to the plan you have purchased.
Thus, their support is divided into tiers. If you have purchased the basic plan, you get 15 minutes of live chat with one of their representatives.
If you pay for their support add-on, you can get more minutes.
Despite the few downsides, Cloudways remain my preferred web host.
There are several Cloudways pricing plans.
This is the least costly plan and begins at $10 if you choose Digital Ocean as your data centre. Google Cloud is the most expensive data centre in this plan since it costs $33.18 per month. However, it’s also one of the best cloud hosting platform based on its efficiency. Think about it; Google is the market leader in data collection and storage.
Here is what the plan gives you if you choose Digital Ocean
As you can see, Cloudways has some of the best features for powerful sites and helps get rid of a traffic surge.
The plan costs $22 per month on the Digital Ocean plan. It is a slight improvement to the features in the first plan.
The RAM increases to 2GB, the storage to 50GB, and a 2 TB bandwidth. These specifications favour websites that get tons of traffic and use other types of content other than text.
Other data centres will have their specifications, as well. So, it’s worth checking out each of them.
The third plan is nothing much but just an improvement to the second plan. Like other preceding plans, each cloud service provider has different storage, bandwidth, and RAM sizes.
Digital Ocean is the most affordable at $42 a month.
They recommend this plan based on the features it comes with. It’s free to start out. So, you have nothing to lose.
The final plan is the most expensive and offers robust features. I wouldn’t advise you to go with this plan unless you already have a fully-fledged business website with a lot of traffic.
The massive features and large storage are meant to offer your users a seamless experience and boost your business.
Check out all these plans here and get started without entering your credit card details [affiliate link]
I know you still have some questions regarding Cloudways, don’t you? Well, let me try and answer some of them.
How do I get started with Cloudways?
It’s easy to get started with Cloudways. Just follow these simple steps and with a few clicks, you are set:
Sign up to get started for free: first things first, Cloudways needs your basic information before accepting your application. They will need your name, email, username, and some other information about your business.
You will also verify your email address before anything else like site migrations.
Choose from several cloud providers: once your information is in their system, they will give you a free trial without keying in your credit card information.
Since you can now access the client area, there are many controls in the Cloudways console. Before configuring your server, choose from some of the top cloud infrastructure providers.
Here are some of the cloud hosting service providers:
Google Compute engine
Amazon web services
These companies provide infrastructure as a service to enable you to sell products and services with ease.
Configure your server:
Once the cloud server is set, you can begin to configure your server. Begin by selecting the amount of traffic you anticipate per month, bandwidth, core processors, RAM, and storage. Cloudways will use this information to recommend the best server for you.
WordPress is the best CMS based on the fact that it powers about 39.5% of websites online. So, the first feature you have to consider if you are picking a web host is whether it supports WordPress. Cloudways is fully compatible with WordPress.
In the “application management” tab, however over to the application section and select WordPress. There are three kinds of installations to choose here; standard, multi-site, and woo-commerce.
Once you install it, you can begin building your site or choose a web-builder to do it for you at a fee.
What are some of its alternatives?
Apart from Cloudways, there are several web hosts you need to check out. They may not necessarily have the same features as Cloudways, but they are among the best in the Webhosting niche.
- Hostinger: Hostinger has one of the most affordable hosting plans. Their plans begin at $0.99 per month. They offer shared VPS, cloud, and WordPress hosting types. Once you have their hosting, they will provide you with a free SSL certificate to improve your site’s credibility. With some other web hosting companies like BlueHost, you will need to pay a separate fee for an SSL certificate.
- Siteground: A Bulgarian company launched in 2004 by students now has a customer base of about 200 million domains. Guess what lead to that? Well, their loading speeds are high. They have invested a great deal into keeping their servers effective and efficient. Even though Siteground is a bit expensive at $6.99 a month, their services and support are fantastic.
- Kinsta: It’s a bit higher than low-cost web hosts but more powerful and has robust features. The pricing shouldn’t put you off since they offer bigger SSD space, many domains and subdomains, and other features. Their high levels of uptime are also incredible.
- GoDaddy: It’s not just a web host but also a domain name registrar. Thus, it’s a great competitor to Cloudways because Godaddy is a well-known domain registrar site. However, Godaddy is not so powerful compared to Cloudways. Their features and plans are a bit lower compared to other web hosts.
- Namehero: They have a great support system in place. When migrating your site to their company or registering a new domain name, the live chat can help you with literally everything you need. They aren’t expensive as other sites but don’t offer great features, as well. So, it’s suitable for smaller sites that don’t need a lot of traffic.
Is it worth the time and money?
I will always say you get what you pay for. Cloudways might be a little expensive than other web hosts like BlueHost or Hostgator, but it offers value for your money.
The features favour business sites that get or are hoping to get a lot of traffic. It also favours e-commerce and music streaming sites that need huge storage space and speeds.
But what about affiliates?
Well, it’s a great idea. You see, if a website loads fast, it leads to a great user experience and business growth. Besides, an efficient and fast website leads to higher SEO rankings.
So, since they offer a FREE trial on all their plans, why not try it out. If you feel it’s something you can stay with, go with it. If you think the experience is not as promised, you can always find more affordable options.
I hope this Cloudways review has been useful. Join it today. No need to enter your card information. It’s FREE.