Cloudways is among the most popular managed cloud services. Its core plans are geared towards medium-sized websites (although it has enterprise-grade solutions as well).
Here’s what’s in its offer.
What Sets Cloudways Apart
Cloudways specializes in straightforward solutions for CMS users. Expect an array of features that help you set up and run apps like Magento on the cloud.
Cloudways’ technical staff monitors the managed cloud servers 24/7 for any malware or other issues.
A piece of software called CloudwaysBot does that automatically. It can identify any issues slowing down your website’s performance—and give you tips on how to speed up your website.
To make this even more practical, you can choose where to have those tips show up. You can even get notifications through Slack.
If you want to personally track your website, Cloudways has a real-time monitoring tool. You can see 16 different metrics from the dashboard.
Aside from the CloudwaysBot, you get a variety of custom integrations.
The Cloudways API makes things easier for PHP developers. You can deploy containerized PHP applications, so you don’t have to launch a virtual machine for each one.
Cloudways integrates discounted Rackspace email plans for $1/month.
You can also get a variety of addons like premium support, advanced DNS management service, and custom application upgrades.
Cloudways covers the managed cloud hosting basics with automatic backups, several layers of security, and free website migrations.
The hosting is designed for running PHP-based CMSs like WordPress and Magento. It’s also geared towards custom PHP apps.
Apart from the standard caching technologies like Memcached, Varnish, and Redis, Cloudways offers custom caching for WordPress and Magento. The caching tools work with CloudwaysCDN for optimum content delivery speeds.
You manage everything from a custom control panel. It offers a host of functions, including a bunch of developer tools. You can also give users different levels of clearance, which is handy for collaborating on bigger projects.
The offer is extensive. Cloudways’ cloud-based hosting provides a fantastic environment for CMS lovers and PHP enthusiasts.
Cloudways is partnered with AWS, Google Cloud, Linode, Vultr, and DigitalOcean. All five are popular cloud computing providers, so you have a wide choice of infrastructure.
You use the pay-as-you-go model, so you only pay for the resources you use. You can scale resources up or down in seconds with no additional fees.
Keep in mind that scaling up is easy, but you have to clone the server if you want to scale down vertically. This is a straightforward process, but it’s best to ask the support for help if it’s your first attempt.
Cloudways’ support is decent.
The frontline live chat support has been outsourced. Agents can go through basic troubleshooting with you, but any advanced issues need to go through email ticketing.
One thing to note is the basic support is limited to issues with the default server infrastructure and configuration. Premium support can customize the configuration of your cloud hosting server or help you with themes, plugins, databases, etc.
The basic support is enough for most users. You might want to upgrade if you’re working on a larger project or need additional assistance.
There are plenty of misconceptions about Cloudways’ pricing model.
You can only pay as you go. Meaning you spend a certain amount of resources and get charged at the end of the month.
The price depends on the resources you spend and your cloud computing provider. So, going for AWS costs more than, let’s say, DigitalOcean.
The fees are generally double the price of hosting without management. Unless you’re working on a massive project, this is cheaper than hiring a team to manage everything.
One thing is that going directly to a cloud hosting company like AWS lets you reserve server resources at massive discounts. This makes it incredibly affordable if you prepay for lots of resources.
This is not possible with Cloudways—you can only pay as you go. This is alright for medium-sized websites, but not ideal for enterprise-level hosting.
Keep in mind offsite backups are $0.033 per Gb of data. It’s affordable, but it can pile up if you do multiple backups a day.
Premium support is costly. The two plans are $100/$500 or 10% of your monthly hosting fee, whichever is larger.
Getting to several thousand per month in hosting costs is highly unlikely for most users. If it does happen, though, upgrading to an enterprise-level service might save you money.
Cloudways has an excellent platform for PHP developers or users running CMSs. It’s the go-to provider for managed Magento, Joomla, or WordPress cloud hosting.