Cloudways Review From a REAL Customer

If you’re looking for a Cloudways review from a and not from one of the dozens of “comparison” sites and “Top Web Hosts” lists out there, you’ve come to the right place my friend!

I’m Sherwin from iMarket, a website design and digital marketing agency. Our clients are mostly other small businesses with lead generation and brochure sites, built on WordPress.

Who Is This Cloudways Review For?

The small business managing their own website on shared hosting
Web designers providing managed web hosting services for additional income
The DIY for-profit website owner or blogger using shared hosting

After using shared hosting for TEN years, it was time to move on. We needed the increased reliability, speed and security that cloud hosting would bring. 

(FYI, Speed = increased search rankings.)

In March 2019, we moved all our clients’ websites as well as our own over to Cloudways from Bluehost Shared Hosting...and haven’t looked back.

I give Cloudways a rating of 4 out of 5 stars.

But is this web host right for you or your clients as well? Keep reading our Cloudways review and you’ll find out.

Cloudways Review from a REAL Customer

I read many of the web hosting comparison blog posts and reviews about “The Top Ten Cloud Hosts…” and “Best WordPress Managed Hosting”. I found all the big names I already knew in the WordPress Hosting space: WPEngine, Kinsta, Siteground. 

But I found a new name that I had not heard about before -- Cloudways -- and I checked them out. So far things have turned out great.

Before getting Cloudways, this website was on the second page of results for our major local search term “Trinidad web design”. Shortly after, we moved all the way up to #4, and I can attribute that change purely to getting better hosting because we made no other change.

What is Cloud Hosting and how does it work? Click to find out.

If you’ve ended up here but have never heard of cloud hosting before, here’s an overview:

Cloud hosting basically means that your website can be served from multiple servers that each have a copy of your website, instead of one single server hosting your website. Nowadays, the biggest selling point of cloud hosting is increased speed of your website or app because of better equipment used, and the ability to scale resources. 

Setting up cloud hosting is pretty technical for people who aren’t developers so cloud hosting companies like Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Digital Ocean target developers in their promotions. 

But if you have any experience managing a website on shared hosting, Cloudways has made it easy enough for us to use their service. 

The Best Cloudways Features for People Like Us

What Cloudways has done is to make it easy for a person with a little experience managing a website on shared hosting to take the leap into Cloud Hosting. 

Cloudways does not actually own the cloud servers themselves, like AWS does. What they actually do is to act as a reseller for some of the best cloud hosting companies (Digital Ocean, Vultr, Linode, Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform), with additional features that allow you to easily choose what you want, then set up and manage the system using their proprietary point-and-click control panel.

In our Cloudways review, here’s what we felt were the best features for people like us:

An emphasis on speed and performance - and that results in more traffic and conversions

*Hassle-free server management - Cloudways manages the security and updates of the server so you don’t have to

Quick and easy website migration - the ability to very quickly make a complete, working copy of your existing website to Cloudways from your other web host

The ability to add multiple domains (websites) to a single server account, like you would be allowed to with most shared hosts

Free, 1-click SSL certificate installation from Let’s Encrypt (with auto renewal)

No long contracts! Pay monthly, or only for what you’ve actually used

Pay for your usage at the end of the month, not before

The ability to quickly and easily scale up for additional server resources, when needed

1-click staging sites or development URLs so you don't break your live site

The ability to know exactly what websites are hosted on a server

A Refer-a-Friend program for earning account credits

*This is what is meant by “Managed Cloud Hosting”, since if you went directly to the cloud host provider like AWS, you would have to create your own server from scratch, then fully manage it doing updates and security patches etc. With Cloudways, they do it for you.

If you're interested in speeding up your WordPress website for increased conversions or higher search rankings, one of the best things you can do is to get better hosting. If your website is on a shared hosting plan, give Cloudways a try right now!

What's Different About Cloudways and Standard Shared Hosting?

No cPanel:
Cloudways has their own server management software

No email hosting or domain names:
I didn’t need this as I separate email hosting and domain name management from the web hosting anyway

No DNS hosting:
I was hosting the DNS for some country TLD domains on Bluehost but solved that problem by moving them into a Namecheap account with FreeDNS

No file manager:
I never used FTP and did everything necessary through the cPanel File Manager. This may have been the only real gripe for me, but again, I quickly got over it and adjusted my workflow

How Does Cloudways Work?

Pretty simple:

Step 0: You sign up

Step 1: Pick a provider

Step 2: Pick your server options

Step 3: Choose your first “Application”

Step 4: Add your domain and go live.

 

Check out the overview video from Cloudways below:

What Does Cloudways Cost?

In our Cloudways review, we found that your monthly fee depends on what you choose as your provider and server options

For example, we started with their lowest cost set-up: 1GB RAM, 1 CPU Core, 25GB storage and 1TB bandwidth VPS from Digital Ocean. That costs $10.00 a month. 

TEN WHOLE DOLLARS! That’s $5 less than we were paying Bluehost month-to-month for shared hosting!

Many of our clients’ websites are low traffic local businesses. We are able to comfortably host twenty WordPress and HTML websites on those resources. 

I don’t think it matters how many websites you host on your set-up as long as you monitor the usage and see that things aren’t hitting a red line. If they are and your website is making you money, you would want to increase your package. 

If you have a blog or lead generation website with decent traffic (more than 1,000 uniques per day), you may want to start with 2GB RAM + 1 CPU package at around $22 per month, from Digital Ocean, Vultr or Linode.

The pricing tool will give you an indication on plans and prices per combination. 

Who Needs Cloudways?

Give Cloudways a try now if:

You’re managing your own website on Shared Hosting from Bluehost, Dreamhost, Hostgator, Godaddy or some other popular shared hosting company

You’re managing clients’ sites on Shared Hosting

You have experienced any kind of bad customer service with whatever web host you’re using (shared, cloud, dedicated, whatever)

If you're paying more than $10 a month for a Shared Hosting plan

You’ve done all the speed optimizations you can on your website but still need to get your site to load faster

Cloudways May Not Be For You If…

  • Lowest cost is your top priority (I understand that for some people and businesses, keeping costs low is a big consideration)
  • You’re uncomfortable at the thought of not having cPanel and a file manager

Cloudways Review Summary

I hope my Cloudways review helped you to decide if they are right for you, and that you would click our link to make your purchase.

We would receive a small commission from the sale for referring you if you do, which does not increase the price you are paying. 

In fact, if you’re a web designer or DIYer and you’re looking to switch from shared hosting to a VPS or cloud host, I highly recommend Cloudways. 

I gave Cloudways 4 out of 5 stars even though I love it, as I believe a 5-star review would be unrealistic and not leave room for them to improve on what they already offer. 

I guess that’s the difference between a Cloudways review from us (a real customer) and a review/comparison website that may have never actually used the service. 

Click here to get Cloudways. Get a faster website.

**Cloudways has a 3 day free trial that you don’t even have to enter your credit card details for, so there's no harm in taking it for a spin =)

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