Cloudways In 2018: What Do Cloudways Client Reviews Say?

What Is Cloudways?

What Is Cloudways?

Cloudways is a host for developers that provides a layer of abstraction to remove the pain of setting up and maintaining a server.

As the name suggests, all their services are based on highly scalable, managed cloud hosting, that can be deployed quickly and simply.

Company and History

Cloudways, based in Malta, has two distinct faces. It’s an integration point for many cloud services, all managed from a single console.

It’s also a site which lets PHP developers deploy their own containerized applications. It offers a rich array of features for PHP app development.

The company was founded in 2011. It completely revamped its site in 2016, calling it “Cloudways 2.0.”

Cloudways has data centers all around the world. Customers and users will always be within reasonable reach of one. It has added more in 2016 and 2017.

Cloudways Services

Services Offered by Cloudways

All customers can add “servers” to their account at any time.

The customer can add services from cloud infrastructure providers such as Amazon Web Services, DigitalOcean, Google, and Vultr.

Based on the provider and disk space you choose, Cloudways will set up a cloud-based virtual server. It usually takes under a minute.

Managed Services

Cloudways supports them as managed services. It supports several content management systems, including the following 5 most popular ones:

  1. WordPress
  2. Drupal
  3. Magento
  4. Joomla
  5. Moodle

Customers can use other PHP-based CMSs, though they’re basically a do-it-yourself effort.

A customer can obtain any number of servers and clone an application or cloud server as necessary. As usage grows, the customer can add more servers.

The process of adding a server on Cloudways.
The process of adding a server on Cloudways.

E-commerce Cloud Platform and One-Click Installs

The Cloudways E-commerce Cloud Hosting platform lets customers set up online stores. They get one free migration from their previous site.

Alternatively, they can build an e-commerce site on one of the supported CMSs.

The Cloud Console makes management very convenient, with features such as one-click SSL certificate management and domain mapping. Operations that might otherwise require a support call are easy to carry out.

Backups and CloudwaysBot

Backups run daily by default, and recovery is a one-click operation. The account owner can change the backup schedule using the console.

The CloudwaysBot provides notifications about server status, backups, and upgrades, as well as offering tips and recommendations.

It can answer many support questions. Customers can choose to get its messages by several venues, including Slack, email, and HipChat, and they can select the types of notifications they want to receive. Developers can access the bot with a custom API.

Cloudways Reviews by Our Community

Overall Rating from 83 Reviews by Cloudways Customers

Support
Quality
Features
Value

Most Helpful Reviews

harshith sv avatar
harshith sv sugandhalaya.com
Jul 05, 2018

I have been using different hosting services since 6 years and believe me this is one of the best service in this price range and top cloud service providers

Dont judge by reading reviews. They will also provide a 3 day free trial you try it then you will come to know.

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Joseph VanTine avatar
Joseph VanTine yobd.digital
Jun 08, 2018

I’ve been with Cloudways for quite a few years. Their features are some of the best in the game and I highly recommend them for that, but I will be completely honest, their support absiouly sucks. It is not English speakers that seem to care less if they help you or not.

It’s almost pointless asking for help. They have been increably rude sometimes. I highly encourage Cloudways to seriously invest in this area and sort it out.

They will be much better off if they do. That being said I will keep using them for the foreseeable future.

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alberto speggiorin avatar
alberto speggiorin albertospeggiorin.com
Feb 16, 2018

you rocks
I am a developer and I can find all I need without the hassle of logging a ssh terminal: PHP ini vars, cacheing system already in place, WordPress working very fast. All is really at hand and fast, new app, scale server, etc… and it works!

Plus prices keep on going down… we are so happy!

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Nick Young avatar
Nick Young themovielist.usaussie.com
Jun 04, 2018

Cloudways rocks because it delivers on what it promises to provide. It’s easy, it’s quick, and it’s cost-effective. I tried other free and paid-tier hosting solutions, and didn’t find the right match of features for a lower price.

I don’t need all the bells and whistles… just git deployment, laravel support, latest php, easy administration, database support, and low cost. Cloudways does all this and probably a lot more than I actually use. Simply put….it’s great, I can definitely recommend their services.

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Suman Basuli avatar
Suman Basuli tropyl.com
May 30, 2018

Hosting my website on cloudways was an amazing experience. I hosted my website on cloudways on top of AWS generally AWS doesn’t provide with standard technical support which was a great problem and I was not a system admin so that I can manage my website, it’s speed, it’s security. It was like impossible to do all that stuff at a time.

So, I choose cloudways it hosts my website on my favorite cloud provider AWS, with awesome support on every small to big matter. They usually replies to my problem within 2-4 minutes. Oh!

One thing usually scaling my servers on these cloud providers is just like a nightmare, cloudways does all the heavy lifting for me. Cloudways is awesome, specially their WordPress hosting which I usually use, websites hosted on cloudways gives 3x more speed than other regular hosting and I think that they provide a great value for money for their awesome support team, huge features. The most valuable thing they provide is that if you choose like I will host my website on AWS and they you thought like no I will use digital ocean as my cloud provider then you know how scary it feels in transferring your website from one cloud provider to another, but if you choose cloudways like me it is no more a scary job it is just click of a few button and 1-2 minute and you are done. So, to me Cloudways rocks!!!

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Bhadrajith Prasanna avatar
Bhadrajith Prasanna lankatraveldirectory.com
May 07, 2018

I stopped testing the site speed after moving my WordPress sites to Cloudways. The speed is really good and almost no downtime. You can easily clone apps to new servers with one click.

Servers are easily scalable. The support team is very helpful and available 24×7. Have the peace of mind and focus on your content.

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Reto Kaeser avatar
Reto Kaeser retokaeser.me
May 07, 2018

Cloudways rocks because of it’s intuitive interface which allows for easy creation and management of all kinds of services. I have never had a Laravel site up & running in such a short amount of time. I still hardly can believe it. I also appreciate the transparent pricing with no hidden extras together with the wide choice of physical cloud hosters to choose from.

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Jeroen Sijbom avatar
Jeroen Sijbom lab-050.nl
Jan 30, 2018

This hosting company matches my exact needs. Very easy and fast to setup servers, applications, cloning, varnish, SSL, GIT, CDN, scaling and much more. If there is a problem, you’ve got 24/7 support through chat and email. I would recommend Cloudways to anyone who is looking for managed hosting for fair prices!

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Marcos Aurelio Tadeu Silva avatar
Marcos Aurelio Tadeu Silva xboxplus.net
Jan 29, 2018

CloudWays is one of the best hosting companies with which I have worked with. The technical support is kind and amazing, doing, many times, things beyond what is displayed in the TOS. This means they can also help you with your WordPress installation, many times, if you get stucked here (WP stopping working, for example). Great company, great support, great people, great services!

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Gabriel Calil avatar
Gabriel Calil wheelofcommerce.com
Jun 21, 2018

Cloudways definitely has the best tech support team I’ve ever come across in any hosting company. They offer competitive prices, are available 24/7 through live chat at no extra cost, and are extremely patient in dealing with even the most complex websites. These are very substantial advantages when you compare them with other hosting companies.

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CDN

Cloudways has an easy to integrate content delivery network (CDN), referred to as CloudwaysCDN at a low cost.

The CDN is based on StackPath (formerly MaxCDN).

Sites hosted on the providers that Cloudways support already run pretty quickly, but adding a CDN adds more speed and reliability.

Cost and Integration

Cloudways CDN
Cloudways CDN

It costs only $1 per 25 GB of bandwidth, which for most sites will be a negligible fee.

Cloudways has guides to integrating their CDN with your site for all the major CMSs, although it’ll be a bit more difficult if you have a custom-built app.

Cloudways Developer Features

Developer Features

PHP developers can choose from several frameworks or work with bare PHP 7. They can set up deployment from a Git repository. A customer can deploy unlimited applications.

Cloudways provides a RESTful API to facilitate scripting of operations. For example, a script could pull the latest version of an application from a Git repository, clone the application, and restart the cloud server.

An API Playground is available for testing scripts.

Assistance for Developers

Granular team controls help developers and testers to coordinate their work. The account owner can add team members, assign them titles, and set their access level.

They can have full access to the console or be allowed only certain console functions. Their access can be restricted to certain applications.

The owner can set intermittent team members, such as consultants, to inactive status when they aren’t on the project.

Staging and Command Line Access

A built-in staging mechanism lets developers move new code to a test environment. The default installation subdomain is preconfigured for staging and testing code. Developers can create additional staging areas as needed, so new versions are confirmed before going out to the public.

Command line access by SSH is available to developers, but they can’t have root access for security reasons.

Cloudways Control Panel and Infrastructure

Control Panel and Infrastructure

Cloudways isn’t your typical cPanel host. Many hosts that don’t use a control panel like cPanel have an outdated, hard to use custom control panel.

But the Cloudways control panel has a modern design and is intuitive to use.

Once you have a server up and running, you can add applications to it at any time in under a minute.

There are 3 main fields:

  1. The application name
  2. The server (that you created) to put it on
  3. The application type.

Supported Applications

Cloudways has a decent list of supported apps, but won’t support many custom-built apps.

Adding applications on Cloudways.
Adding applications on Cloudways.

The only general programming language they support is PHP. The expectation is that most Cloudways users will be using a CMS like:

You can start, stop, and restart services on your server at any time through your control panel.

General Infrastructure

The software infrastructure is built on Cloudways’ “Thunderstack.”

It consists of the Nginx and Apache web servers, MySQL, MariaDB, PHP 7, and several kinds of caching. The operating system is Debian Linux. All applications use Thunderstack.

Security measures include platform-level firewalls on each server and continuous monitoring. Two-factor authentication is available and recommended. API keys based on OAuth restrict access to the Cloudways API.

SSL Certificates

Managing services with Cloudways.
Managing services with Cloudways.

Customers can install free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates through the user interface.

Alternatively, they can obtain their own certificates and install them on their sites.

Most customers, other than those working only with their own PHP applications, will require additional infrastructure from one of the third-party services. They can use as many services as they want from one account.

Cloudways Support and Pricing

Support and Pricing

Customers can get support through Live Chat or by submitting report tickets.

They can also query CloudwaysBot for help. Support is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Premium support is available at additional cost. Premium customers get priority resolution on issues. In addition to the regular support channels, they can get phone support or use a private Slack channel. They can request application support and server customization.

Finally, even though it’s incredibly common to seek help on social media, Cloudways is active on all major social platforms. There are always multiple ways to get in touch if need be.

Knowledge Base and Blog

While live chat is nice, most developers I know are happy to turn to support documentation for help and figure out problems on their own.

CloudWays provides a lot of tutorials and solutions to hosting problems through their knowledge base.

Additionally, they also have an active blog where they regularly publish posts about frontend tutorials and growing a business.

Pricing

Four pricing levels are available. Each one provides a specified level of RAM, processor, storage, and monthly bandwidth.

Pricing is per server hour, on a pay-as-you-go basis. Take a look at the model in comparison to an example of a usual VPS service below:

SiteGround Cloud (Entry Level) Cloudways PAYG
Memory 4 GB Custom
SSD Space 40 GB Custom
Data Transfer 5 TB Custom
E-Mail Accounts 50 Custom
Price Per Month $60 Whatever You Use

Customers can pay for multiple servers and scale up to a higher level for high-volume periods or for as long as they need. There are no contracts; customers just pay on a monthly basis.

Infrastructure Services

Infrastructure services are in addition to this price and are billed on a monthly basis.

Major credit cards and PayPal are accepted. At one time Cloudways accepted Bitcoin payments, but it has discontinued them.

A free trial is available to let potential customers try out the console. No credit card is required. An affiliate program lets customers collect commissions for bringing in new customers.

How Pay-as-you-go Works

If you’ve never used pay-as-you-go before, it might seem a little scary. You don’t want to wake up with a bill that is hundreds or even thousands higher than expected. It’s very unlikely that something like that would happen with Cloudways.

You can view your real-time resource consumption and bill at any time in your control panel.

Real-time billing due to Pay As You Go infrastructure.
Real-time billing due to Pay As You Go infrastructure.

It also provides an estimate of how much you’ll need to pay on your next invoice.

Liking This Host? Try These

There aren’t many hosts like Cloudways that are aimed at developers. But there are 2 other alternatives that share some of the best aspects of Cloudways:

LiquidWeb

They specialize in high performance, managed servers, although are much more expensive. LiquidWeb supports all types of applications, and you’ll have root access on most plans.

It’s best for sites that require a lot of resources and reliability. Here’s a detailed LiquidWeb review.

HostWinds

If you were interested in Cloudways initially because you heard they accept bitcoin, HostWinds is a good alternative.

It’s not built for developers but does have an emphasis on website speed and pretty good support. Here’s a closer look at HostWinds.

Cloudways Pros and Cons

Pros and Cons

Overall I think Cloudways is a great hosting option for developers in many situations, but there are times where it’s not the best choice.

Here are the pros and cons of the platform in my eyes, which will hopefully help you make a decision.

Pros

  • Intuitive and simple UI – It’s easy to use Cloudways, even if you’re new to it. It’s developer-friendly, but even someone with low technical skills could use.
  • Spinning up a server or application takes under a minute – Compared to the time it takes to set up a Digital Ocean Droplet (or equivalent), this is very convenient.
  • Extremely reliable – Cloudways has a 99.999% uptime guarantee.
  • Affordable, pay-as-you-go pricing – The pricing is incredibly fair, barely above what the base cloud provider charges themselves.

Cons

  • Limited applications supported – Cloudways is great if you’re hosting a common CMS (like a WordPress site), but if you’re creating a custom app in Python, JavaScript, Ruby, etc., you’re out of luck.
  • No root access – While Cloudways does a great job maintaining healthy and functional servers for you, sometimes you need root access yourself.

Cloudways Summary

Summary

Cloudways is a young and ambitious company. Its 2016 revamping shows that it’s eager to expand its offerings to attract more customers.

The one-stop Cloud Console makes operations simple for customers who don’t want to deal with command lines and multiple user interfaces.

The company seems to be trying to encourage two different markets. In addition to the console-based hosting, it encourages PHP developers with features such as Git integration and unlimited application deployment.

Caution Over Pricing Model

The pricing model may be confusing. In addition to charging for the use of its services on an hourly basis, it charges for infrastructure services on a monthly basis. Customers should be careful to understand what they’re paying for.

Malta is an EU nation with a stable government and sound economy. Having their web hosting with a European company may be a concern for some North American businesses with strict requirements, though.

Cloudways’ record is impressive but not as long as that of some other hosting companies. Conservative customers may prefer a better-established hosting service, but Cloudways is eager to satisfy those who can bear a certain amount of risk.


Additional material by Dale Cudmore.

Most Popular Cloudways Hosting Plans

DO1GB DO2GB DO4GB
Disk Space 25GB 50GB 80GB
Bandwidth 1TB 2TB 4TB
Price $10 / mo $22 / mo $42 / mo
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Gary McGath

About Gary McGath

Gary McGath spent years as a software developer before turning to writing. In addition to writing many articles on technology, he's the author of two crowdfunded e-books. His tech passions include data security and digital preservation.

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