After using Shared Hosting for ten years, it was time to move on. My clients were mostly other small businesses with lead generation and brochure sites, built on WordPress.

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.

Is Cloudways worth it?

The main reason that I now use and recommend Cloudways is that it gives small businesses the power of a managed cloud web host, makes it easy to use, and it’s affordable. 

Yes, Shared Hosting is cheaper, but there are clear benefits to choosing Cloudways.

  • Faster than Shared Hosting with more server resources
  • Choose closest server location
  • Affordable monthly price
  • No long term contract; pay as you go; pay at month’s end
  • 1-click Staging and cloning sites! 
  • Built-in backup and restore
  • 1-click free SSL certificates
  • Know exactly which websites are on your server

How to get a Cloudways trial

Since Cloudways is basically giving you a server for 3 days for free, they have to ensure it’s not being abused by spammers.

To defeat this, Cloudways has implemented a 2-step verification process that uses your email and phone. This ensures only real people (like you) are signing up for their free trial. 

Please don’t see this as a hindrance; you will be very happy with Cloudways. You may need to take similar steps to fight spam hitting your own website. 

Here are the steps to get a Cloudways trial:

Step 0: Visit Cloudways and click on the “Start Free” button
Step 1: Complete their sign up form
Step 2: Verify your account
Step 3: Verify your telephone number
Step 4: Verify your email address
Step 5: Choose and configure your server
Step 6: Launch!

Step 0: Visit Cloudways, Click the “Start Free” Call-to-Action Button.

To get started, go to the Cloudways website to sign up. 

Cloudways Free Trial

Step 1: Complete the Cloudways Free Trial Sign Up Form

Once you enter your information in all the fields and you click “Start Free”, you will see it change to a button that says “Please Wait…”.

Enter the Cloudways Promo Code CW10IMKT to get 10% off for 3 months!

Step 2: Verify your account

On the next screen, you will be asked to verify your new account before you can actually create your server.

In my opinion, this could be a little less confusing. There’s a line of text at the bottom of the screen that says “To launch the free trial server, you need to verify your account first.”

So click on the button at the top that says “Verify Your Account”.

The next screen will begin your Cloudways verification using your telephone number and email account.

Step 3: Verify your telephone number

To verify your telephone number, you must enter your real telephone number. Cloudways does not accept VoIP or Skype numbers.

When you enter your telephone number, you can choose either an SMS message or Voice Call to receive your activation code.

If you choose SMS, you will receive a 6-digit code from Cloudways like this, which you will enter on the next screen:

Step 4: Verify your email address

Once your telephone number has been verified, you must verify your email address.

Cloudways will automatically send you an email to the address you used to sign up for your account.

In that email is a button to “Activate Account”, which you must click to complete verification of your account and receive your Cloudways free trial.

Your account is now activated and your 3-day free trial is live and counting down!

Step 5: Choose and configure your server

Cloudways is basically a reseller of other cloud hosts’ services. They add their proprietary point-and-click management system to make things easy for non-developers to work with.

The cheapest plan at Cloudways should be more than sufficient to start and build out your small business website with. That’s Digital Ocean’s 1GB RAM plan, which also includes 1 CPU core, 25GB of storage and 1TB monthly data transfer.

You can always scale up resources if you need it.

But, here’s some advice. If you are building a website for a local or regional business, you may want to choose a provider with a server located close to you. Check the Linode and Vultr server locations as well.

Step 6: Launch!

Once you’ve made your choice, click “Launch Now” to deploy your chosen server.

Your server will take a few minutes to launch. Once it does, dig in to the Cloudways knowledgebase to learn how to easily install WordPress or how to migrate your website from another web host.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long is a Cloudways free trial?

Your Cloudways free trial lasts for precisely 72 hours (three days) from the moment you launch your server.

How do I activate my Cloudways account?

Your Cloudways account is activated after completing the telephone and email address verification when you sign up for the free trial.

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