Cloudways In 2018: What Do Cloudways Client Reviews Say?
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.
Services Offered by Cloudways
All customers can add “servers” to their account at any time.
Based on the provider and disk space you choose, Cloudways will set up a cloud-based virtual server. It usually takes under a minute.
Cloudways supports them as managed services. It supports several content management systems, including the following 5 most popular ones:
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.
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
Most Helpful Reviews
harshith sv sugandhalaya.com
Jul 05, 2018
Joseph VanTine yobd.digital
Jun 08, 2018
alberto speggiorin albertospeggiorin.com
Feb 16, 2018
Nick Young themovielist.usaussie.com
Jun 04, 2018
Suman Basuli tropyl.com
May 30, 2018
Bhadrajith Prasanna lankatraveldirectory.com
May 07, 2018
Reto Kaeser retokaeser.me
May 07, 2018
Jeroen Sijbom lab-050.nl
Jan 30, 2018
Marcos Aurelio Tadeu Silva xboxplus.net
Jan 29, 2018
Gabriel Calil wheelofcommerce.com
Jun 21, 2018
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
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.
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.
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:
- The application name
- The server (that you created) to put it on
- The application type.
Cloudways has a decent list of supported apps, but won’t support many custom-built apps.
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.
The software infrastructure is built on Cloudways’ “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.
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.
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.
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|
|SSD Space||40 GB||Custom|
|Data Transfer||5 TB||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 are in addition to this price and are billed on a monthly basis.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- No root access – While Cloudways does a great job maintaining healthy and functional servers for you, sometimes you need root access yourself.
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.