Cloudways Hosting Review

Cloudways is a reliable, affordable, and fast website hosting provider. However, this is not a typical hosting solution as it is geared mainly towards delivering Cloud hosting through any of its five different hosts, including Linode, DigitalOcean, Amazon AWS, Vultr, and Google Cloud. Using this provider’s hosting, you can configure everything from RAM size to storage and which Cloud to use.

Cloudways was founded back in 2011 in Malta. Regardless of the size and niche of the business, it can entirely rely on this solution as it is designed to accommodate any needs and deliver top-notch customer service to small to large-scale businesses alike.

In this in-depth review, we shall discuss all those essential aspects that can make or break the company’s reputation as an advanced cloud housing provider.

Nevertheless, before diving deeper into the matter, let’s summarize the significant pros and cons of Cloudways.

Cloudways Pros & Cons

Multiple data centers: With Cloudways, you are enabled to choose one of several data centers offered by five cloud hosting services (Vultr, GCP, AWS, Linode, and Digital Ocean).
Affordable pricing system: You can use the Cloudways services at $14 per month (plus $0.5 for mandatory offsite backups), a relatively reasonable price in the market.
Free Object Pro Caching plugin: Subscribing to a higher Cloudways plan with 2GB RAM, you get a free Object Cache Pro Plugin to boost the database fetching significantly.
Premium uptime: The guaranteed high uptime is justified. All Cloud hosting providers available at Cloudways deliver premium uptime. Neither should much downtime be expected.
Short-term commitment: The hosting provider bills per hour while the maximum cap is per month. It has also adopted a postpaid billing system.
High scalability: Cloudways is a highly scalable website hosting provider. Whether you need only 1GB RAM or have launched an enterprise-level site and need 384 GB RAM, Cloudways will have that covered.
Top-notch speed: Although Cloudways doesn’t offer LiteSpeed WebServers, the delivered speed is superb. The company is a server stack powered by NGINX + Apache; hence its speed is still impressive (partially thanks to the free Object Cache Pro plugin available with 2 GB and higher plans).
Cloudways is developer-friendly: The solution has a number of features, including developer-friendly tools. It offers auto-healing servers, a private slack channel, unlimited apps, round-the-clock real-time monitoring, automated backups, integrated advanced caches, etc.
No file manager is available: There’s no File Manager on the Cloudways control panel. To access files, you have to rely on SFTP.
No SMTP servers or email hosting are available: With Cloudways, hosting emails on the server is impossible. Furthermore, there’s no SMTP support, either. The only ways out are using your hosting and SMTP server or purchasing an addon from Cloudways.
Intricate brand control panel: At Cloudways, the interfaces of App Management and the Server are different. This makes it rather complicated to find the necessary features in the panel.
Paid offsite backups are a must: Although the price for offsite backups is pretty low at $0.5, the fact that you can’t turn them off is a bit frustrating.
No website builder is available: Cloudways deals merely with server resources and the barebones features included in all subscriptions, like speed, security, performance, and customer service.

Cloudways Features

Cloudways comes packed with multiple features to remove the complexity of cloud hosting and let the user focus on the most important thing, their business. To understand better what lies at the core of Cloudways web hosting provider, let’s delve into its functionality.

  • Cloudways SSL: According to the latest changes applied by Google, the SSL certificate installation in a website is no longer an option but a must. And while other WP hosting providers charge a fee for adding SSL to users’ sites, Cloudways-managed WP hosting already includes the feature.
  • The one-click free SSL certificate can be found in the in-built Let’s Encrypt SSL provider. Use the auto-renewal option to extend the certificate’s expiry after three months. You can as well obtain a custom SSL.
  • Automated Free Backups: Cloudways incorporates free automated backups in all available hosts. Thanks to this feature, you can automatically store and retrieve all your files with only one click in case the site gets hacked, and the files are corrupted. To create backups of your site, log in to your Cloudways account and find the Backups option to set the frequency of backups or take them manually when you need.
  • Real-Time Billing: The biggest perk of Cloudways is its real-time billing system. The hosting solution charges a customer on a pay-as-you-go basis. It means that you get charged only for those resources that you consume. Besides, Cloudways has no lock-in period, i.e., you can use their services without subscribing for a whole year or even longer.

Cloudways Features

  • Site migration: Although Cloudways does not perform the site migration automatically, it provides a WP Migrator Plugin and a site migration tutorial to make it on your own. The self-migration is free and pretty straightforward.
  • Free Object Cache Pro: By getting 2GB RAM or higher VPS, customers receive the Object Cache Pro plugin free of charge. Otherwise, they would have to pay $95/mo for the plugin.
  • Cloudways CDN: CDN is recommended for WP business sites and dedicated bloggers as they need to deliver content quickly to their loyal visitors more than others. Speed of content delivery plays a major role in converting visitors into customers.
  • Cloudways has a built-in CDN, which takes a couple of clicks to set up. Since it has a partnership with StackPath, a reliable content delivery network, Cloudways CDN helps users get to different audiences through its quick-loading websites.
  • Complete scalability: Cloudways is unique in providing an impressive level of scalability. So, when you start as a small site, but it grows into a big-scale business, and the traffic grows, the company allows you to extend the server resources, including RAM, CPU, and Storage. All this is completed with a few clicks and without any changes to server configurations.
  • Website Monitoring: Cloudways ensures round-the-clock website monitoring. Overall, approximately 16 performance metrics describe your site’s performance through the dashboard. CloudwaysBot virtual assistant delivers real-time updates on the site and supervises its performance. The latter can also integrate with email, HipChat, Slack, and other third-party platforms.
  • Manageability: Cloudways is completely manageable. It allows controlling several server parameters and deploying the apps, adding or removing the Cookies and URLs through the Varnish cache settings, and disabling access to apps from SFTP/SSH and the entire web.
  • WP-CLI: Coming already pre-installed, the tool enables users to control WP sites.

Cloudways Dashboard

Cloudways has a modern interface with an attractive design. Actually, all tabs and options are well-organized.

However, Cloudways doesn’t have the standard cPanel that most other website hosting providers offer. The company comes with a custom panel. The latter looks complicated at first sight, primarily if you have not dealt with hosting services. However, after a short learning curve, you will familiarize yourself with all the features and see that it leaves the traditional cPanel behind.

The perk of Cloudways brand control panel, and at the same time its difficulty, is that it combines the app-level and server-level access under one roof. Switching between the servers and apps is done through a simple toggle button. The first is for managing the servers, and the other is intended to manage your apps. Accessing and managing the server is done right through Cloudways’s console.

When you log into your Cloudways account, you are redirected to the Cloudways dashboard by default in Server Mode. All the available servers and apps will be displayed. For instance, when in Server mode, add a new server with the “Add Server” option located in the right-hand corner. Use the Recover Server option to restore a server if it’s been deleted. Cloudways keeps the backup of a server for 15 days.

The Server Dashboard

As Cloudways doesn’t introduce any root access, the Server Dashboard includes plenty of options. Particularly, you get the following:

  • Master Credentials: Needed to access the apps on the server through SSH or SFTP.
  • The monitoring option involves three tabs – Usage (RAM, CPU, Disk, and Bandwidth), Details, and New Relic for debugging app-related problems.
  • Manage Services to control core services, like restarting Apache Webserver, MySQL, Memcached, PHP FPM, and Nginx.
  • Setting and Packages has five subsections: Basic, Advanced, Packages, Optimization, and Maintenance.
  • The Security section enables users to whitelist their IP addresses for MySQL and SSH access.
  • Vertical Scaling: the section lets you increase the server size (note that scaling down the server is impossible).
  • The Backups section is where you can take offsite backups. Actually, the hosting provider has made this feature mandatory, yet at a fixed $0.5 price. Do not even try to find the option of disabling this option – there’s no way.
  • SMTP: Since Cloudways doesn’t let users send emails from the company’s servers, you must rely on SMTP servers for transactional emails.

The App Dashboard

All your App managing tools are within the Application dashboard. So, switch to the Application mode to see what options are available:

  • Add New App: Above the list of all your apps is the button for adding new ones. Click on it to open a window to choose a server you want to add an app on.
  • Recover App: Like in the case of servers, Cloudways keeps the backups of your apps for 15 days. Use the Recover App button to restore any.
  • Miscellaneous App Options: Head to the three dots on the right hand of the app you are currently managing to delete, clone, or create its staging.

The Application dashboard has an extended settings section with such options as access details, monitoring, bot protection, domain management, cron management, SSL certificate, backup and restore, deployment via GIT, App settings, Migration Tools, etc.

Cloudways Security

Security is a priority for Cloudways as it makes the core of a successfully managed website. Aside from the already standard unlimited SSL certificates available entirely for free at Cloudways (third-party SSL certificates are also supported), the solution has adopted a series of other tools to enhance the security of the hosted sites.

Cloudways Security

With 2FA, your login will be securely protected with codes generated by Authenticator apps such as Google Authenticator or Authy. Whenever a new, unauthorized device logs into your Cloudways account, you can get a security code or email notification to verify that device. This function is optional, though.

Meanwhile, bot protection effectively blocks bots and hackers to prevent them from damaging any Cloudways website. The Firewall stands for the protection of the site from cyber-attacks and malware.

Furthermore, Cloudways incorporates Server Monitoring Alerts, which will alert the user through an email notification if the server or any used resource registers more than ten minutes of downtime.

And finally, Cloudways allows blocklisting an IP address if you find it shouldn’t access your platform. Note that whitelisting it later is also an option.

Customer Support

When dealing with a website hosting service, it’s essential to ensure the company provides reliable customer support that can back you up in case of any issues. No matter how much you want your site to run smoothly, problems are unavoidable. Cloudways offers a few ways of contacting its tech specialists. Primarily, you can submit a ticket and expect the support team to reply within a business day.

Additionally, the company suggests booking a 15-minute discovery call during business hours. The Live Chat service is available 24/7/365. All these are standard support methods. Once you grow beyond a regular support relationship, Cloudways can provide Advanced Support and Premium via an add-on. The latter can open up a more comprehensive range of Cloudways expertise as you receive much deeper app troubleshooting, the company’s best expert answers, proactive monitoring, etc.

Cloudways Help Center

Aside from such a well-schemed customer support system, Cloudways also features an extended Knowledge base. Over 200 articles cover the most critical phases of hosting a website with Cloudways in detail. If you devote some time to studying the section, you will have answers to all possible questions in advance.


Cloudways ensures a whopping 99.9% uptime even with its cheapest server of Digital Ocean, thanks to thousands of technologies that boost speed and performance. Some of the most powerful tools of the kind are MySQL, NGINX webserver, Memcached, Redis, PHP 8, Varnish Cache, and others.

Besides this, Cloudways cooperates exceptionally with the best cloud hosting providers, which all can guarantee top-notch uptime. As a result of having your site hosted with Cloudways, you can expect exponential monetization growth.

Overall, Cloudways provides customers with superior performance in terms of scalability, speed, page loading time, and uptime.


Cloudways offers a three-day free trial period to test the functionality of its hosting services even without using a credit card. Since the company allows paying only for what you use and there’s no lock-in (you can cancel your subscription anytime), no refund policy is active.

However, so that you get a better comparison with other services, we shall introduce Cloudways plans with a monthly price (hourly pricing is also available). All hosting tiers include unlimited app installs, dedicated firewalls, free SSL, free migration, auto-healing, round-the-clock 24/7 monitoring, regular security patching, SSH and SFTP access, etc.

Cloudways Pricing

  • Digital Ocean – Offering from 1GB to 16 GB RAM, the pricing ranges from $14 to $170 per month. The introductory DO plan offers 25GB storage and 1TB bandwidth.
  • VULTR – VULTR plans are priced from $16 to $334 per month for 1GB to 48GB RAM. This is a more robust hosting solution, as the starting VULTR 1GB plan covers 1TB bandwidth, 32GB storage, and 1 Core processor.
  • Linode – Linode hosting comes with 10 tiers, priced from $14 to $1,253 per month. The power of this hosting solution lies in its higher-priced plans since an enterprise-level website can get 20TB bandwidth, 3840GB storage, and 192 GB of RAM.
  • AWS – This hosting costs higher, though it has better functionality. The starting price for an AWS tier is $38.56, while the most expensive one is $3569.98 per month.
  • Google Cloud – If you want your website to be hosted by Google Cloud Hosting, the lowest cost is $37.44 per month. You will receive 2GB bandwidth, 20GB storage, 1vCPU processor, and 1.75 GB RAM at this price. However, the most expensive tier with 64GB RAM is $1593.58 monthly.

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Final Words

Whether Cloudways hosting is a decent service or not has a clear answer – yes, it is an excellent platform. The company ensures faster, more secure, and more reliable hosting services than most of its contenders in the market at relatively more affordable prices. Cloudways deals with five hosting solutions, all offering multiple feature-rich tiers. The pricing system is unique in that it doesn’t demand any subscription. Instead, you pay as much as you use the services and are free to cancel the chosen plan anytime.

However, on the other hand, Cloudways doesn’t have an integrated or brand website builder, as it’s solely a hosting provider. No free domain is offered, as well as no file manager or email hosting is available. And although the control panel is unique in its functionality and design, it takes some time to get accustomed to it.

Summing up all these Cloudways features, website developers and bloggers should undoubtedly stick with Cloudways, while non-technical users may find it inconvenient and difficult to use.

Howard Steele
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