Cloudways is a web hosting provider that has been on the market since 2011. Based in Malta, it is known for its affordability, customer support, and excellent features. Additionally, users love it for its highly customizable performance, innovative control panel, and easy navigation.
Cloudways has managed to rank among the best web hosting providers because it does things a bit differently. Instead of having its own infrastructure, Cloudways enables its users to choose the cloud hosting provider they want and host their services on that provider’s infrastructure. It has partnerships with DigitalOcean, Vultr, Linode, AWS, and Google Cloud, providing services for both beginners and experts. Additionally, one of the most popular services that Cloudways offers is its WordPress hosting.
If you find yourself in a situation where you want to create a WordPress website, but you don’t know which plan you should choose, your solution lies with WordPress hosting. WordPress hosting plans are specialized plans that are optimized and custom-made for WordPress websites only. In these plans, you will find resources, apps, and features that are made to improve your WordPress website’s efficiency and performance.
With that being said, today we will explore the Cloudways WordPress offer and check out its advantages, disadvantages, and features so that you can determine whether its plans are appropriate for your website.
Getting Started with Cloudways WordPress Plans
The Cloudways website is well-designed, but finding your way can be a bit complicated. When it comes to choosing a plan with Cloudways, you have to choose one out of the five cloud hosting providers and go from there. As mentioned, you can choose from DigitalOcean, Vultr, Linode, AWS, and Google Cloud. To get started, click on the “Pricing” icon on the top Menu of the website.
On this page, you can choose the cloud hosting provider you want and select whether you want a Premium or Standard plan. Additionally, on the left side, you can choose whether you want to pay monthly or hourly.
After choosing your provider and billing cycle, you need to choose the plan you want to get. All the plans have many common features, and the key difference between them is how many resources they include.
Cloudways pricing system is a bit different from its competitors. The price you pay is based on the cloud hosting provider you choose and the number of resources you get. Additionally, Premium servers cost a bit more than Standard ones.
All Cloudways hosting plans are managed, meaning that both beginners and experts can use these plans easily. The cheapest managed hosting plan available with Cloudways is the DigitalOcean Standard entry-level plan, while AWS provides the most expensive one.
All Cloudways managed hosting plans come with the Cloudflare Add-on, 24/7/365 support, free SSL, free migration, and team management. Additionally, all plans include unlimited app installation, dedicated firewalls, 24/7 real-time monitoring, automated backups, a staging environment, and HTTP/2-enabled servers.
Cloudways also has a 99.99% uptime guarantee for all its plans and a 50% decrease in webpage loading times.
Now, due to the special infrastructure that Cloudways has, there are no separate WordPress plans. First, you choose from the plans that each of the five cloud hosting providers offer, and you set up your WordPress later on.
When it comes to getting a refund, Cloudways does not offer a money-back guarantee. However, if you are not sure whether you’ll like its services and don’t want to spend your money in vain, you can use the Cloudways free trial and test out the plan of your choice for three days for free. Additionally, you do not need to provide a payment method for the free trial and will not be charged.
Later on, if you decide to stay with Cloudways, you can choose to pay either monthly or hourly for the service, and you will only need to pay for the resources you use, nothing more.
Testing – Of course, a true brand review cannot exist without testing the brand’s services. I will use the cheapest plan available for my test and get a free trial. I believe the cheapest plan will suffice, seeing as the main difference between the plans is the resource amount, and I will not be hosting an app or website for my test.
To start the process, select the plan you wish to buy and click on the “Start Free” icon.
The first thing you’ll need to do is to create an account. You can use your LinkedIn, Github, or Google account if it’s more convenient for you. Or, you can use your email address to create an account. Once you’ve provided the required information, click on the “Start Free” icon.
The next step is to verify your account. To do so, click on the firstname.lastname@example.org email to contact the Cloudways verification team. Write an email asking about the verification process. The Cloudways team will respond immediately. In that email, you will get a list of requirements you need to meet to verify your account.
You must provide Cloudways with a government-issued ID, like a driver’s license or passport. Additionally, you will need to provide any two of the following: your Facebook URL, Twitter handle, link to your LinkedIn profile, company or personal website address, or your contact phone number.
After sending the email with the required information, you will need to wait a while so that the Cloudways team can manually verify your account. In my case, it took approximately four hours for my account to get verified.
Once the Cloudways team approves your account, you will receive an email with an activation link. Click on the link to activate your account.
After clicking on the link and activating your profile, you will be redirected directly to your Dashboard and can start setting up your Cloudways WordPress plan.
Setting Up a Cloudways WordPress Plan
Now that you’ve activated your account, it’s time to set up your plan. Cloudways will guide you through every step and tell you what to do to make the setup process easier if you wish.
The first thing you need to do is select your application.
Here, you have the following options: WordPress Version 6.0, WordPress Multisite Version 6.0, and Clean (No Cloudways Optimization) Version 6.0.
For my test, I will select Version 6.0. Other options you can choose from include WooCommerce, PHP, Laravel, and Magento.
Next up, you can name your managed app, server, and project on your Dashboard. Additionally, you can set the cloud hosting provider you want to use by clicking on its icon.
At the bottom of your screen, you will see a banner that moves each time you do and informs you of your hourly or monthly fee, depending on the cloud hosting provider, server size, and other features you choose.
The next thing you need to do is set your server size. In my case, I can choose from 1GB to 192GB RAM with my Digital Ocean plan. I will select the 2GB server size.
Last but not least, you can select your server location on your Dashboard. To do this, scroll down to the bottom of the page and choose the server that is closest to your target audience.
So, now that you have configured the basic settings for your server, let’s see what else you can do from your Cloudways Dashboard.
In the top Menu located on the top-left side of the page, you have access to the following sub-menus: Servers, Applications, Team, Projects, and Affiliate. Additionally, you can click on the square-shaped icon to see more options.
On the left side of the screen, you can see the Refer & Get $50 icon, a plus (+) icon to add a new server, app, or project.
In the search bar, you can search for a server or application you need. Next to the search bar, you can see your Notifications. You can access your account on the icon next to your notifications.
Lastly, you can click on the three vertical dots for more options and on the present icon to see new features.
In the Servers sub-menu, you can see the servers that you have and their details. To delete a server or modify it, click on the three vertical dots located on the left side of your server banner. To add a new server, click on the Add Server icon. Additionally, if you scroll down on this page, you will see a video guide that tells you how to migrate your WordPress website to Cloudways.
To see your applications switch from servers to applications on the left side of your page. Here, you can see your applications in detail, modify them, and add new applications. You get the same options by clicking on the Applications sub-menu as well.
In the Team sub-menu, you can add new team members to join your server and see more details about this feature.
In the Project sub-menu, you can see your projects, modify them, and add new ones.
In the Affiliate sub-menu, you can create your affiliate account, select your payout method, view your account info, access your real-time billing details, authorize a credit card, manage your invoices, add funds, and submit an Agency Partner application.
If you click on the square-shaped icon, you can access the CloudwaysBot, Add-ons, and Suggest a Feature options. The Cloudways bot redirects you to your notifications.
In the Add-ons option, you can see the different add-ons available to you and check out the requirements you need to meet if you want to purchase them by clicking on the pen icon.
The Suggest a Feature redirects you to the Cloudways Customer Voice page, where you can give feedback, visit the Cloudways Community forum, see the top ideas from the community, and post a new idea.
By clicking on the Refer & Get $50 sub-menu, you will get a pop-up screen with information regarding the Cloudways referral program. You will get a special link you can share on your social media accounts and invite your friends to buy Cloudways services. Additionally, you can see your rewards here.
In the Account sub-menu, you have two options: Account and Logout. In the Account option, you can add and edit your name, currency, country, city, phone number, and company name and enter your address. Additionally, you can change your password and set your account security features.
Lastly, you can see what’s new at Cloudways by clicking on the three vertical dots or the present icon on the left side of the Top Menu.
Overall Reliability – Performance and Security
Because Cloudways has partnerships with five different cloud hosting providers, it provides an infrastructure that delivers fast speeds and excellent performance. Additionally, it provides a 99.99% uptime guarantee and a 50% decrease in webpage loading times.
Cloudways also has a global presence, with data centers in Malta, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, France, Japan, Germany, and the Netherlands. So, you can provide an excellent user experience and low latency to your customers, no matter where you are in the world.
With Cloudways WordPress hosting plans, you will get pre-installed caches like Memcached, Varnish, and Redis, which will increase your website’s response time.
Additionally, Cloudways takes the security of its customers very seriously. It provides a free SSL Certificate, site backup, spam detection, firewalls, and malware detection tools, among other security features. Furthermore, Cloudways provides managed backups and two-factor authentication.
Also, all WordPress plans are managed and SSD-based, meaning that you will have full control over your cloud server and will be able to configure it according to your needs.
Cloudways WordPress Customer Support
Cloudways offers three levels of 24/7/365 customer support.
The first level, Standard Support, is free and can be accessed via Live Chat.
The second level can be obtained via the paid Advanced Support add-on and includes additional features.
The third and final level, i.e., the paid Premium Support add-on, includes all of the features that come with the Advanced Support add-on, quicker response times, a dedicated Account Manager, a private Slack channel, and phone support.
Moreover, Cloudways provides an extensive knowledge base, blog, case studies, and ebooks. You can also join its User Group on Facebook and contribute to the platform via Customer Voice.
To test out the Cloudways customer support, I will contact its team via the free live chat option and ask them whether you can switch from a monthly to an hourly billing cycle.
To access the Live Chat support, you must first log into your Cloudways account. Once you are logged in, click on the Need a Hand vertical banner on the left side of the page.
Once you click on the banner, a pop-up screen will appear where you can start a conversation with a customer support agent, see the status of the Cloudways systems, search for articles that might help you, see your support level, and create a support ticket.
If you want to start a conversation with a Cloudways agent, click on the Send us a message banner at the top of the pop-up Menu.
Once you click on it, a live chat will appear where you can choose to request either technical or billing help. I will choose billing help.
After choosing your preferred option, you will get an automated message from CloudwaysBot that informs you of your support scope, i.e., level. Afterwards, the bot will ask you to describe your issue. All of this is done within a minute of your request.
As soon as I asked my question, CloudwaysBot responded instantly by sending me an article about my issue. Additionally, if the answer does not help you, you can choose to ask another question or start a chat with a person. It’s worth noting that all responses thus far have been automatic and instantaneous.
To chat with an agent directly, click on Talk to a person. Once you click on that option, you will get a message that says that an agent will respond as soon as one is available.
In my case, an agent responded within a minute. Not only was the response instantaneous, but the agent also responded directly to my question without me having to repeat it. The agent also provided me with more details regarding their billing and links I can visit relating to my issue. The agent was polite and extremely helpful, and the response was immediate.
You are able to rate the conversation you had with the Cloudways agent as soon as the conversation ends. You can also add your own personal feedback if you want.
Specific Features of Cloudways WordPress Hosting
Now that we’ve gone over the Cloudways WordPress offer in detail, let’s summarize the features that make it stand out from the competition:
- One-click WordPress installer
- Managed support
- A 99.99% uptime guarantee
- A 50% decrease in webpage loading times
- Partnerships with DigitalOcean, Vultr, Linode, AWS, and Google Cloud
- Scalable performance
- Pay-as-you-go system
- Innovative control panel
Pros and Cons of Cloudways WordPress Hosting
- Global presence with over 60 data centers in 15 countries
- A 3-day free trial
- Supports numerous applications
- Full server control
- Affordable prices
- Excellent performance and security
- No free or paid domain name registration
- A bit more complicated than traditional hosting
- No email hosting
To sum up, the Cloudways WordPress offer is one of the best available. It provides separate solutions for individuals, eCommerce, agencies, and for small to medium-sized differences. All of these solutions are available in five different plans based on the cloud hosting provider you choose. Additionally, Cloudways offers amazing features and tools for an affordable price.
Although it is a bit different and more complicated than traditional hosting, and users might need some prior knowledge to set it up, the benefits and excellent performance make up for that department. So, no matter whether you have a small WordPress website or an eCommerce store, you can find a solution in Cloudways.
With that being said, we approve of the Cloudways WordPress offer!