Create cloud servers on Cloudways and host them with 5 best cloud providers. Amazon (AWS), DigitalOcean, linode, Vultr or Google Cloud Platform. This gives you access to over 60 data centres. Cloudways sets everything up on its own, so you don’t need to have these accounts.
Unlike Shared Hosting, this cloud server provides dedicated resources to improve website speed and reliability. But that is only the beginning. Cloudways supports a variety of performance-enhancing technologies, including PHP7, Memcached, Varnish, Nginx, Redis, HTTP/2, and company-specific CDNs. You don’t need to know about most tasks. But there are various tweaks and customization options if needed.
Cloudways is not just a low-level technical detail. You can also automatically install popular apps like WordPress, Magento, Drupal, Joomla, OpenCart, PrestaShop and Laravel. You can’t compete with hundreds of applications like Softaculous. But the generic ‘PHP application’ option allows you to install other applications, and of course, you can manually install anything else you need.
Elsewhere, a free SSL certificate encryption SSL certificate is available to protect your site. And on-demand and scheduled backups are provided free of charge.
(Image Source CouldWays)
Plans And Pricing
Pricing for Cloudways is rather complicated. As different cloud providers for each Cloudways can use different plans.
For example, Linode has 10 plans, DigitalOcean has 11, and AWS has 14 and I get an idea. Each plan may have different prices depending on the data centre and resources allocated. However, since this is cloud hosting. You can change it at any time by adding additional RAM or storage as needed.
Fortunately, you can ignore this complexity at first and start with one of the low-cost plans.
DigitalOcean offers 1GB RAM, 1 core, 25GB storage and 1TB bandwidth products for $10 per month. Vultr’s equivalent setup is $11, Linode is $12, Google Cloud and AWS are priced at $33.30 and $36.51 respectively.
Advanced systems are also worth the price for $80 per month with DigitOcean’s 8GB RAM, 4-core, 60GB storage and 5TB bandwidth plans.
(Image Source CloudWays)
It is intended to make it easy to compare with other suppliers while quoting monthly prices. In practice, you are billed hourly for the resources you use. For example, a system that costs $80 a month is actually $0.1111 per hour or $2.67 per day.
In addition to the convenience of not having a fixed contract. You can try out a high-spec system for a small fee. For example, if you’re not sure if your $80 server will really supercharge your website. Try it on the weekend and you’ll pay less than $5.
Even better, Cloudways offers a 3-day free trial, no credit card information required. Simply put, I’m only bringing in a relatively basic server (2GB RAM, 1 core, 50GB storage). But it’s enough to fully understand how the service works.
(Image Source CloudWays)
Creating A Server
Setting up Cloudways servers is easy by combining all the key features you need in a single panel.
The process starts by choosing a cloud provider and preferred server size. We chose DigitalOcean and accepted a standard 2GB trial server.
The’data centre’ list includes the ability to host servers in North America, Europe, Singapore and Bangalore.
The’Applications’ list includes a variety of apps that can be pre-installed on your server. Including WordPress, WordPress with WooCommerce, Laravel, Magento, Drupal, OpenCart, PrestaShop, Joomla, and more.
You can assign custom names to managed applications, servers, and projects. You can easily identify them by setting multiple names.
Whichever option you choose. The current hourly and monthly costs are displayed at the bottom of the page.
When done, click Run and Cloudways will add and activate the server. The test setup took about 6 minutes. But if you are bored. The 3-minute tutorial video explains how to migrate your existing WordPress site to Cloudways (the company Migrator, its own free WordPress plugin).
(Image Source CloudWays)
Creating A Site
Cloudways servers are managed from a custom control panel rather than a standard cPanel or Plesk typesetting. It’s relatively complex and it’s about low-level details of server configuration, but don’t blackmail. There are several quick shortcuts.
For example, you can go to the application’s settings page with just a few clicks. The WordPress page has a screen where you can set up a domain or install an SSL encrypted certificate in a click. If you don’t have a domain yet, Cloudways assigns temporary URLs to your website and admin panel, and you have access to standard WordPress dashboards with a single click. And once you visit, you can work on the website as usual.
The Cloudways control panel has useful options. For example, the Monitoring tab charts CPU usage over time. If it is consistently high, it affects performance, but if you go to the vertical scaling tab, you can increase server resources with just a few clicks.
The backup function allows you to automatically run backups on-demand or on a schedule you like.
The SMTP tab allows you to set outgoing emails from the server, configure PHP settings, PHP and MySQL versions, etc. in the Settings and Packages panel. In the Security section, you can also block certain IP addresses from accessing your resources.
If that is still not enough, experts can log in to the server via SSH to check and adjust the desired settings.
Cloudways are generally not aimed at web novices, and the control panel may seem complicated at first, but overall is not difficult to use. If you have enough knowledge and experience to set up a site with WordPress, Cloudways doesn’t have much difficulty doing this.
(Image Source CloudWays)
Getting started with Cloudways is relatively simple. But there are times when you want to check the manual through its unusual architecture and interface.
‘Do you need a hand?’ The tab on the right side of the screen opens the well-known help centre. First highlights useful articles for beginners, including a getting started guide. Tips on adding and running new applications on the server. And tips on how to connect to your settings using SFTP or SSH.
Cloudways is aimed at developers and professional users. But anyone can read the support articles. The main steps are described in one or two sentences using minimal jargon. And several screenshots highlight where you need to click, type or set your system. If you’re an expert, you might want some lower-level information and guidance, but everyone else would appreciate clear and simple advice.
Searching the knowledge base revealed more surprising examples of details. For example, I searched for’WordPress’, hoping for a few articles needed to set up the application on the server, but Cloudways went a lot further. There are individual articles on how to migrate a WordPress site from a specific web host (e.g. Bluehost, Siteground, GoDaddy, HostGator, Namecheap, etc.), WordPress setup with various caching schemes, some WordPress troubleshooting, etc.
There is also community support through the Cloudways forum. You may not want to use this forum, but it’s worth taking a look before signing up to see what real Cloudways users complain and discuss.
If this doesn’t fix the problem, everyone has access to live chat 24/7. And ticket-based support is provided if needed (unfortunately, not a trial version).
Measuring web host performance is always difficult. As many variables are involved. But Cloudways makes it a whole new level of complexity. The speed displayed depends on the provider you choose, the data centre, the application you are using, the server settings, and your location.
Anyway, I set up a simple test using Uptime.com to monitor my DigitalOcean WordPress settings every 5 minutes for 3 days.
During the short test period, the uptime of the site was 100%.
Response time is 293-379ms, average 299ms, and fast for WordPress sites. It takes more time for many hosts to serve a much simpler static site used for regular performance testing.
Consistency is another advantage, with most response times within a few milliseconds on average. This is what high-quality cloud providers expect, but it’s a good idea to check it out here.
As mentioned above, these figures are only very general indicators and the results may be very different.
Cloudways servers are billed hourly. So there’s plenty of scopes to run your own speed test. A variety of providers, data centres, server specifications and settings are all available at a minimal cost. And you can see who is offering the fastest speeds.
For beginners, it’s overkill, but experienced and demanding users will find that Cloudways offers powerful, high-performance cloud hosting solutions at a very affordable price.