Cloudways VPS Hosting

Cloudways is a managed hosting platform that was established in 2011. The Malta-based hosting company works with five top cloud infrastructures: DigitalOcean, Linode, Vultr, Amazon Web Services, and Google Cloud. You can choose the infrastructure of your choice, but you won’t have to deal with them directly, as the Cloudways platform will set up things for you.

Cloudways is a reliable web hosting platform that operates as an hourly pay-as-you-go service, meaning you only have to pay for the resources you have used. They also offer excellent 24/7 customer service, top-quality features, and uptime of 99.9%.

Today, we’ll review their VPS hosting plans and see whether their services are worth the attention. We’ll dig into the details of each feature offered and help you decide if they’re the best choice for you and your business.

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Getting Started With Cloudways VPS Plans

Cloudways gives the option to start free, meaning you’ll get a chance to test their services for three days without giving out credit card information. Before we test that option, we will view the offered plans.

DigitalOcean offers four Standard and four Premium plans. The prices vary depending on the resources you need.

The entry-level plan offers 1GB RAM, 1 Core processor, 25GB storage, and 1TB bandwidth.

If you need more resources, you can get up to 8GB of RAM, 4 Core processors, 160GB storage, and 5TB bandwidth, with the most expensive plan.

Important: You don’t need to pay extra money to DigitalOcean or open a special DigitalOcean account. Cloudways will do the work for you.

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At first glance, the Standard and Premium plans look the same, with a slight change in pricing.

The difference between the plans is that the Premium packages come with fast Intel and AMD CPUs and an NVMe for more efficient performance. The Premium plans will enable you to host your website on ultrafast 2nd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors, and the results will be unmatched. You’ll also be getting improved memory performance and quick content delivery.

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Note: The most expensive plans on both the Standard and Premium servers can’t be tested for free. To test the plan, you must purchase it first because the testing 3-day period is unavailable.

Vultr also offers four Standard and four High-Frequency plans.

The Standard basic plans come with 1GB RAM, 1 core processor, 25GB storage, and 1TB bandwidth. As the price point increases, you can get up to 8GB RAM, 4 core processors, 160 GB storage, and 4TB bandwidth.

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The High-Frequency server also looks similar to the Standard, with a few adjustments that slightly raise the price. You’ll get blazing-fast 3.8 GHz Processors, NVMe storage, and an HF server lineup 40% faster than the standard servers. You’ll have full root access and a dedicated IP address, and it’s even possible to enhance the capability of the cloud server through various add-ons.

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Linode offers four plans that focus on providing Linux-powered virtual machines.

You can get 1GB of RAM, 1 Core processor, 25GB storage, and 1TB Bandwidth in the entry-level plan. As the price increases, the available resources increase, and you can get up to 8GB Ram, 4 Core processors, 160GB storage, and 5TB bandwidth.

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AWS plans are more expensive than DigitaOcean’s, VULTR, and Linode, and they all include a free object cache pro. Four plans are available, offering 20GB storage and 2GB bandwidth.

The difference is in the RAM, where you can get from 2GB up to 16 GB, and in the vCPU, with all three plans offering 2 vCPU, while the most expensive has 4 vCPU.

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Warning: AWS plans don’t have a 3-days free trial period; they need to be purchased to get started. Disk sizes are configurable, and bandwidth is on a pay-as-you-go basis.

And lastly, in the offer, we have Google Cloud with its four available plans. These plans are also a bit more pricey, and they all have 20GB storage and 2GB bandwidth.

The difference in the plans is in the RAM, starting from 1.70 GB in the entry-level plan to 15GB in the most expensive plan. Also, according to the price, you can get 1,2, or 4 vCPU.

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Warning: Free trial is also not available with Google Compute Engine. To access the GCE servers, you need to upgrade your account. Also, the disk sizes are configurable, and the bandwidth is on a pay-as-you-go basis.

Aside from the difference in resources, all the plans from the five cloud infrastructures come with Cloudflare add-ons, free SSL, free migration, unlimited application, dedicated firewall, automated backups, 24/7 real-time monitoring, staging environment, auto-healing, advanced caches, and HTTP/2 enabled servers. You’ll also get SSH and SFTP access that will enable you to perform operational tasks and 24/7 customer support. Also, besides the entry-level ones, most plans contain free Object Cache Pro.

It’s time to put Cloudways to the test. I’m choosing DigitalOcean’s entry-level plan because the plan’s resources and features will be enough for me to complete the review.

Since I have the option to test the plan, I’m going to click on Start Free.

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Once I clicked on the free trial, I got to the following page. You need to type in your personal information, answer three questions, and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy before you go any further.

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A few seconds later, I was welcomed into the Cloudways family. I was ready to start using the platform with a few simple clicks!

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Setting Up a Cloudways VPS Plan

The first thing you need to do is verify your account. Cloudways has 2-step verification, including phone and email verification. Enter your phone number, and they’ll send you a text message with a code.

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Then, you’ll receive an email for activation.

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Once you click on Activate My Account, you’ll see the following window.

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In less than 10 seconds, you’ll be able to set up your account. First, you need to select your application. Once your first server is ready, you can deploy more apps.

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Although I initially clicked on Digital Ocean’s plan, I was again given the option to choose a cloud provider.

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Lastly, select the location nearest to your targeted audience.

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Once again, Cloudways reminded me that I wouldn’t be charged for anything during my trial period. My billing will start once I upgrade.

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Since everything is set, it’s time to launch the server.

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To find all information for the server and the management features, click on Your Server.

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Here you’ll find the Master Credentials; the SFTP and SSH access details for all applications. If you don’t want password prompts to access the Cloudways server, you can upload and use multiple SSH Public keys or launch an SSH terminal.

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In the Server Management section, you also have Monitoring, Manage Services, Settings and Packages, Security, Vertical Scaling, Backups, and SMTP.

The Monitoring will show you the health of your server, CPU usage, Disk Usage, and Bandwidth usage. These resource utilization statistics are the easiest way to monitor your server’s resources.

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The Manage Services button or the Control Core Services will allow your application to run. The settings are automatically set, so remember that changing the settings may break your web’s functioning.

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Through Settings & Packages, you can manage various server-level settings and packages.

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Using the Security section, you can manage all the security settings, your IP, and IP subnets for SSH/SFTP and MySQL connections. You can allow all IP addresses except those loved by the Cloudways security system or block all IP addresses except those on the Whitelist.

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Increase your server size by using Virtual Scaling.

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Manage all your backup references through the Backups section. You can schedule automated backups at your preferred time and even make an additional backup copy to your local server so you can download it through SSH/SFTP. Another incredible option is that you can perform an on-demand backup of your server.

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You’ll also get the option to configure SMTP service to set up outgoing email delivery on your server. You have two options: to use your SMTP or pay additional money to use Elastic Email.

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Warning: DigitalOcean’s plans offer vertical scaling, meaning you can increase the server size, and scaling down is possible only through the cloning feature.

Next to the Server Button, you’ll find Applications, Team, Projects, and Affiliate.

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The Application button will take you to the application management section, where you have Access Details, Staging Management, Monitoring, Bot Protection, Domain Management, Cron Job Management, SSL Certificate, Backup and Restore, Deployment Via Git, Application Settings, Migration Tools, Cloudflare and Safe Updates.

Cloudways Staging gives you an isolated environment where you can test new code, plugins, and themes without breaking your live site.

Through the Monitoring section, you’ll be able to monitor analytics such as traffic, PHP, MySQL, Running Crons, and Disk Usage. You can also monitor the access log and error log.

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You can activate or deactivate Bot Protection to ensure your site is safe and secure. This application will block hackers and bots. From this section, you’ll also be able to manage your domain, add additional domains, manage the Cron jobs, install an SSL certificate, create backups and restore files and databases, migrate application data to your new cloud server and even check out the newest application updates.

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After the Application, we have the Team section. Cloudways enables you to add new team members and make your collaboration super easy. You can easily invite people to your team and assign them different roles on our server and apps.

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Tip: You can add unlimited websites to your server without artificial restrictions. Cloudways doesn’t charge per application but per server.

Through the Project section, you can create, name, and update your projects and applications to it.

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You can join the Cloudways affiliate program using the Affiliate section. You must set up the affiliate’s personal information, account details, and commission structure and select the payout method.

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You also have additional options, located right next to Affiliate, that includes CloudwaysBot, Add-ons, and Suggests a Feature.

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The CloudwaysBot is your server assistant, designed to help you closely monitor your Cloudways account. This assistant will notify you of alerts for your server, security, applications, billing, and overall performance.

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Using the Add-ons section, you can get support add-ons, use DNS services, subscribe for email hosting, use Elastic email for transactional email delivery and management services, request an application migration, keep your applications up to date and get stylish sites up and running in a matter of minutes.

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If you’re satisfied with your server and want to purchase a plan, you can easily do it by clicking Upgrade My Account.

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Overall Reliability – Performance and Security

Cloudways emphasizes simplicity and excellent performance, and it’s the hosting company that will take care of the server management so that you can be focused on growing your business.

Cloudways has multiple servers in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, France, Japan, Germany, and the Netherlands. Most countries we mentioned above allow you to select a city, so your server is geographically closer to your visitors. The closer the server is to your visitors, the better performance you’ll get.

Digital Oceans’ virtual machines use an Intel Xeon Platinum processor that will provide you with a top-notch performance. Although the Standard plans have enough power to give you excellent performance, the Premium plans operate on Gen Intel Xeon scalable processors for even better results. The terabytes of NVMe storage will also come in handy if you have bigger projects.

Note: NVMe is a far better option than SSD. Not only is it more technologically advanced, but it’s also better encrypted and faster.

Another huge plus is that you can activate the Cloudflare Enterprise CDN, which dramatically improves performance compared to a traditional CDN. Using the reserved for enterprise network, you’ll be able to deliver your content faster globally and reduce latency, loading time, and bandwidth costs. Of course, this option will cost you additional money.

When it comes to uptime, Cloudways guarantee an uptime of 99.9%, which is incredible. This means that you don’t have to worry about any downtimes and whether your visitors can access your site or not.

Cloudways do their best to keep all your servers safe and secure. All the servers are protected by OS-level firewalls that filter out malicious traffic. You’ll also get a built-in Let’s Encrypt SSL that will provide top security for your website.

One unique security feature that Cloudways offers is their Enterprise add-on that protects from DDoS attacks in less than three seconds. This add-on will keep your application online and protected at all times. The company also offers managed backups, so you won’t have to worry about losing important data. The two-factor authentication is also an excellent extra layer of safety provided by Cloudways.

 

Cloudways VPS Customer Support

Cloudways VPS is a managed hosting service, which means that you won’t be bothered with the technicalities of server management, so you can focus on growing your business. The setup is easy and quick, even if you have limited knowledge of managing cloud services.

Cloudways offers live chat support, with a usual reply time of a few minutes. Let’s ask them a question and see if their customer support team is that fast.

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I wrote to them to ask about their money return policy, and although I got a response in 2 seconds, it was an automated message offering me answers from the Help Center.

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Since I didn’t find an answer to my question and wanted to test their live support, I clicked on Talk to a person.

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Approximately five minutes later, I contacted their customer support, who pleasantly explained everything.

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Uzma was kind enough to explain that Cloudways is liable to refund your unused prepaid account funds if the refund request is presented within three months of fund addition.

Warning: The refund doesn’t include the amount already deducted for services consumed.

Another way to get help is to browse through Cloudways articles. You can use the Search button to find a proper article faster.

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Lastly, you can submit a ticket. This is not the fastest way to get an answer, but the support team will get back to you in less than 24 hours.

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Note: Cloudway VPS has three levels of 24/7/365 customer support. Most customers get the standards to support, but you can also get Advanced Support Add-ons and Premium Support Add-ons.

Advanced customer support speeds up the response time, and you can get customization support. The Premium offers an ever closer partnership, a quicker response time, a dedicated account manager, a private Slack channel, and direct phone support.

 

Specific Features of Cloudways VPS

Let’s see what makes Cloudways the best option for VPS users:

  • Managed hosting that takes away server management hassles
  • In-house developed panel to manage the server and apps
  • Intel Xeon Platinum processor that will provide you with a top-notch performance
  • SSH and SFTP access
  • Several data centers worldwide
  • 99.9% guaranteed uptime
  • Pay-as-you-go service
  • SSL certificate, backups, DDoS protection, and two-factor authentication
  • Cloudflare Enterprise CDN, which dramatically improves performance
  • 24/7 customer support via live chat and ticketing

 

Pros and Cons of Cloudways VPS

Pros:

  • Easy setup and navigation
  • You only pay for the used resources
  • Excellent performance and guaranteed 99.9% uptime
  • Top-notch security
  • Super easy scaling done directly through the dashboard
  • Excellent team management for collaboration
  • Helpful customer support
  • Free 3 day trial without adding a credit card

Cons:

  • No domain registration
  • Off-site backups ate chargeable
  • Email is only available through an add-on
  • Customer support is not the same for all users

 

Summary

Cloudways is an excellent hosting provider that works with five top cloud infrastructures to give you the best performance. The service is fully managed, so you won’t have to worry about any technical issues, and you’ll have more time to focus on growing your business. I find it especially easy to set up the server, and the platform is user-friendly, meaning you don’t need to be tech-savvy to use it.

What I liked the most about Cloudways is that you pay for the resources you use per hour. This feature is excellent, you won’t be paying extra money for something you don’t use, and it’s only offered through this platform.

With so many varieties of cloud infrastructures and plans offered, Cloudways is the ideal solution for anyone on the hunt for a great VPS service!

FAQ

Which cloud infrastructure providers are available?

You have five cloud infrastructures from DigitalOcean, offering Standards and Premium Plans; Vultr, with four Standard and four High-Frequency plans; four by Linode; and four from AWS and Google Compute Engine.

Does Cloudways offer a free trial?

Cloudways offers a 3-days free trial, where you can test the server without giving credit card information. The free trial offer doesn’t include AWS and Google Cloud plans.

Is there any customer support available?

You have 24/7 live support available through live chat and ticketing support, or you can browse through the Cloudways articles. The only downside is that the live chat support is not the same for all users, meaning there are three levels of live support: Standard, Advanced Add-ons, and Premium add-ons. If you aren’t willing to invest further, you might feel left out in some scenarios.

What is the difference between the Standard and Premium VPS plans by Digital Ocean?

Both the Standard and Premium VPS plans have the same resources. The Premium packages come with fast Intel and AMD CPUs and an NVMe for more efficient performance and enable you to host your website on ultrafast 2nd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors.

Do Cloudways VPS plans have a money-back guarantee?

Cloudways doesn’t have a standard money-back guarantee since it’s pay as you go service. The company is liable to refund your unused prepaid account funds if the refund request is presented within three months of fund addition. Also, the refund doesn’t include the amount already deducted for services consumed.