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Cloudways In-depth Review

By: Redwan Hussain

Updated on: 02 October 2023 | ★★★★★

Cloudways is a top-tier managed WordPress hosting service, and you have probably never seen anything like it before. Companies like WP Engine, Flywheel, and Pressable (among many others) offer WordPress-specific hosting with optimized server environments, full security suites, and often specialized dashboards.

Cloudways is a managed hosting provider (not just for WordPress) that offers customizable hosting plans so that customers can get exactly the kind of management they require. Compared to the gated communities found on many managed servers, this is a considerable departure. 

We can already tell that this is attractive to a wide audience, so let’s dive into our in-depth analysis of Cloudways to find out if it’s the ideal fit for you.

What does “Managed WordPress Hosting” mean?

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To begin, Cloudways is not limited to the WordPress platform. Cloudways supports a wide variety of content management systems (CMSs), including Drupal, Joomla!, and others, even though we’re focusing on WordPress here. To be specific, we found that Cloudways excelled most as a WordPress host.

You get all the benefits of WordPress without the headache of setting it up yourself. That implies a lot when you’re using WP-CLI, building a multisite network, or trying to get an SSL certificate up and running in its default configuration.

What sets Cloudways Managed Hosting apart?

Modular hosting is a key selling point for Cloudways, as we discussed previously in the research. This allows you to customize your website to your own needs and those of your visitors by picking and choosing from a wide variety of features and settings.

Cloudways, unlike nearly all other hosts, does not charge a flat rate for its plans. Everything is modular, so you only have to pay for what you actually need.

Your costs could be greater or less than average hosts’, depending on the configuration you go with. You’ll spend more on Amazon Web Services (AWS) than on Digital Ocean if you opt for an AWS server. That’s not a reflection on the value of either service; it’s a fact about how they make money.

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Many managed hosts charge around $50 monthly for hosting between one and three websites. When using Cloudways, you can host as many websites as you wish on a single server, just as with a shared hosting service like SiteGround.

Cloudways currently offers a Digital Ocean server with 1 GB of RAM, 25 GB of storage, and 1 TB of transfer data for $14 per month. However, a more reasonable starting point would be $28, and doubling those numbers would yield substantially higher performance.

At this point, we would also like to bring to your attention that unlike other managed hosting, Cloudways does not have a blacklist of plugins or themes that you are required to check. Security and essential updates are often taken care of by managed hosting firms. As a result, it’s common for them to compile a list of applications (plugins, etc.) that could pose problems for their methods.

Cloudways doesn’t put restrictions like that on you and claims you can use any plugins and themes you like. While we’re happy to provide a hand in the development of your WordPress site, we insist that you retain full ownership.

However, just because Cloudways doesn’t restrict third-party performance and security plugins doesn’t imply you’re not safe. They provide top-notch platform-level firewalls and constantly updated security hardening technologies.


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Cloudways Dashboard Review

Cloudways does not include cPanel or any other control panel for managing your website. Because of the modular structure of their platform, their dashboard is quite complex. However, it could be intimidating for those without technical backgrounds. However, it’s intuitive and easy to pick up quickly.

The /wp-admin URL will still take you to the WordPress control panel. Nothing has changed in WordPress’s back end. You receive all the benefits of a managed host, plus a plethora of server-side customization possibilities.

When you first log in, you’ll get a simple dashboard with a list of your servers. Remember that you pay for each new server, not for the software running on that server. While the average user will see only a single server, developers and agencies may have many.

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If you flip the switch for Applications at the top of the list, you’ll be taken to a rundown of all the programs (i.e. websites) you have on your device. WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla installations will all be displayed. There is just one list containing them. However, Server and Project tags will help you find what you’re looking for.

Cloudways provides numerous configuration settings for each program. You have complete discretion over your server’s configuration. There’s no obligation to get your hands dirty if you don’t want to. If you launch Cloudways with the default settings (which we recommend you do), we’ve already optimized it for you.

Integrating Git, handling SSL, scheduling cron jobs, and having access to FTP and MySQL are just some of the features available. (Just so you know, you’ll need an FTP client in order to handle your files on Cloudways; unlike cPanel, there isn’t a native file manager.)

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More Freedom Than Other Managed Hosts

Cloudways is a managed hosting service that allows you complete access to your account settings. You get to decide where your data center is located, which server provider you use, and how much storage space you need.

The base price you’ll pay is also displayed, which varies from provider to provider (like Digital Ocean hosting to AWS hosting) as we discussed earlier. How much money you’ll have to spend each hour to make your system scalable. (At the time of this writing, Vultr seems to offer the best value with a starting pricing of roughly $11 USD per month.)

It’s simple to switch to a new datacenter and service provider if you ever change your mind. If you’re looking to scale, but currently using Vultr, moving to AWS is a breeze thanks to Cloudways.

Moving a WordPress site from one web server to another is a complicated process, as anyone who has done it can attest. Lots. Cloudways makes switching “hosts” a breeze.

Without worrying about losing data and experiencing significant downtime, you may easily switch between Digital Ocean, Google Cloud Server, and Vultr.

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Installing WordPress on a New website

A fresh WordPress installation can be easily set up. You can install WordPress in a variety of configurations, including a single site, a network of sites, or an online store powered by WooCommerce.

Another option is to install WordPress without Cloudways’ optimizations, creating a “clean” installation. Everything goes well and quickly. It is remarkably similar to setting up a server, except the server details, of course. The choices provided by Cloudways were practical.

Installing and configuring WooCommerce can be time-consuming for developers and designers, adding up over the course of a career. The same holds true for configuring the multisite network within the PHP files.

These are the kinds of easy, helpful, quality-of-life updates you hope to find with a managed WordPress hosting.

Is Cloudways Fast?

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Server speeds are a selling point for Cloudways. In addition, they provide lightning-fast servers. They are fantastic, and they can move quickly. Using GTmetrix to rate Cloudways sites for this review, we found that their speeds improved from a B- to an A.

Aside from switching from a shared host to Cloudways (which is the same Digital Ocean that was mentioned earlier), we did not make any other adjustments.

Also, we have not encountered a more user-friendly Content Delivery Network (CDN) than this one, which can significantly increase your site’s speed. Enter the application’s (or site’s) URL and click Create on the CloudwaysCDN tab of the Application Management page.

The Breeze plugin, which is pre-installed with Cloudways WordPress apps, allows you to control the CDN without leaving your dashboard.

Cloudways produces great results for Divi users. That is why we teamed up with them to provide our user base optimal Divi Hosting that fits the distinctive design of Cloudways.

Elegant Theme recently increased the performance capabilities of Divi to their absolute maximum, and when combined with the speed optimizations that you receive from Cloudways, your websites will load in the blink of an eye, which will increase your SEO rankings as well as other valuable page speed metrics.

Keep in mind that the site we cited above, which improved from a B- to an A on GTmetrix, was using a version of Divi released before the update’s performance improvements were implemented. We aimed to demonstrate the significant benefits that Cloudways provides for any WordPress user.

Cloudways Conclusion

On its own, Cloudways’ managed hosting service excels. It’s quick, flexible, cheap, and reliable; in short, it’s everything it claims to be. With just a few mouse clicks, you can easily scale to meet your needs and migrate to a new environment.

Users are free to work on projects together, hand over control and hosting to customers, and employ any security or caching plugins they see fit. In contrast to comparable managed hosts, We think you should look into Cloudways if you enjoy complete control over your website’s appearance, content, and functionality.

Special Hosting Offer | $2.75/m

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