Unlike other cloud hosting providers, CloudWays is a unique service that helps users host their websites on servers provided by various cloud hosting services.
It means that CloudWays don’t have their own data centers, but work with other providers, with access to more than 60 data centers across the globe.
Compared to other web hosting services, CloudWays presents you with the option to connect to the data center of your choice, giving it an enormous edge over its competitors.
According to the website, most of the data centers are spread throughout Europa and America, however, they also have access to some in Asia and even as far as Australia.
They work with the five best cloud providers in the industry, namely, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud, Vultr, Digital Ocean, and Linode.
What Is CloudWays? In-Depth Review
Although there are various hosting solutions available, most of them are not beginner-friendly. Some of the well-known providers such as AWS or Google Cloud don’t help you set up the hosting environment. This means you will have to manually set it up, installing the c-Panel, and performing maintenance and administrative tasks.
In case you don’t have the resources and skills available to oversee the day-to-day tasks, you might encounter several problems such as various glitches, downtimes, or ultra-slow loading speeds. If you don’t want to trouble yourself with all the technicalities, CloudWays is the way to go.
The service manages all the technical aspects of hosting a server, meaning you can spend your valuable resources on managing and growing your business. Since they act as a mediator between the actual provider and the end-user, they also offer you access to various features and customizations which traditional hosting providers lack.
Features Offered by CloudWays
Although most people use it as a WordPress hosting website, CloudWays also supports Laravel, PHP, Magneto, Joomla, Drupal amongst several other tools. As expected from a WordPress hosting platform, you can expect CloudWays to perform tasks such as SSL installation, automated backups, redirects.
That being said, let us look at some of the features the website has to offer:
1. Uncluttered Control Panel
First and foremost, let’s talk about the screen you will probably spend the majority of your time on, aka the Control Panel. After account creation, you’ll eventually land on the control panel. From here, one can easily manage all their servers and access other functions offered by the platform.
Most of the c-Panels are cluttered and might appearing quite confusing to a beginner, however, that’s not the case when it comes to CloudWays. The user interface has a modern design and things are quite easy to find. It gives you easy access to the most important functions such as Teams, Projects, Applications, and Server Management.
The first step after setting up a server is to add applications to it so you can start working on your website. CloudWays supports several open-sourced applications such as PHP, Joomla, WordPress amongst others.
The most common application used on the platform is WordPress. Once you have added the application you need, you’ll need to do is map a domain to your server. In case you don’t own a domain, CloudWays gives you access to a temporary URL through which you can start working on your website.
In case you encounter any problems with your application, the “Restore” tab under the application management settings allow you to undo your changes at just a click of a button. The platform also gives you access to several other options such as tracking disk usage, install SSL certificates, deploy code via Git, and some tools so you can easily migrate from other hosting services.
After installing and setting up the required applications, you can right away start managing all your servers which are listed under Server Management.
The hosting service lets you easily manage master credentials, along with easy access to monitor your CPU usage. The services tab listed lets you stop, start and restart any services you may wish to in just a matter of seconds.
In case you want to block some fishy IP addresses, the Security tab will easily help you do so. The service even offers an in-built firewall which offers protection from some of the most common cyberattacks such as DDoS.
Last but not the least, CloudWays allows you to manage and assign roles to your team members by providing them controlled access to the website.
2. Flexible Scaling Options
In case you need to upgrade your server, CloudWays can help you do so in just a few clicks. The platform offers a Vertical Scaling feature, which is designed to work both ways, meaning you can easily revert to your previous plan if the need arises. The function can be found under the Server Management tab.
This is something that other hosting services do not offer. Scalability will never be an issue when it comes to CloudWays.
3. Superior Caching techniques
Since CloudWays doesn’t host any website, it is not limited to infrastructural limitations of its own. All of the providers CloudWays makes provide access to high-speed SSD based dedicated servers, which makes sure your servers do not experience any speed degradation.
However, instead of solely relying on the optimizations provided by its 5 hosting services, the platform has developed some advanced caching solutions. The in-house caching solution, Breeze, is fairly easy to set up and use. Most importantly, the service has also developed its own content delivery network known as CloudWaysCDN.
The CDN works differently compared to other CDN by caching all your webpages located on different servers from all around the world and syncs them on various services supported by the platform. It can be found in the Application Management settings and can be enabled just by the click of a button.
It also supports two other caching mechanisms such as Varnish and Redi. The feature cannot be enabled if you are using the free 3-day trial but can be used in any paid plan.
4. Easy staging features
A staging site is basically a copy of your website in a sandbox environment, which you can use to test new features and code. Staging offers a parallel space where you can work on testing new things for your website without having to worry about making harmful changes to the original one.
Traditional hosting services make it hard for beginners to set up the staging area. CloudWays helps you do the same by just clicking the Clone App/Create Staging button which is located in the Application Dashboard.
Staging using CloudWays is quite straightforward and does not require technical expertise. The application you are testing gets marked as Staging so you can easily distinguish between several applications. Pushing the changes is also easy, with the Staging Management tab helping you push changes to the live website just by pressing the Push button located in the “Copy Data from Staging to Live” section.
One of the best things about this feature is that you can easily choose if you want to push the files, the database, or both. In case you encounter any issues after pushing, CloudWays automatically makes a backup before pushing so you can easily revert.
The service also allows you to copy all your data from the live website to the staging area, so you don’t have to worry about keeping the staging area updated. This is particularly useful for people who constantly work and test new features.
5. Easy WordPress migration
Another useful feature CloudWays offers is the ability to migrate unlimited WordPress websites to its server by using its inbuilt WordPress migratory plug-in. The plug takes requires no technical knowledge and can be found at WordPress.org.
All you need to do is find your SFTP details of your CloudWays and simply type it into the plugin’s interface, which will then automatically do everything for you.
6. Great Customer Support
Like other cloud hosting platforms, CloudWays offers 24/7 support with live chat in case you need urgent technical assistance. If you want to connect to one of the customer representatives through the phone or Skype, you will need to fill out a contact form and schedule a meeting.
Most of the difficulties encountered by users are covered under the FAQ with the Knowledgebase covering almost every issue with detailed instructions. It is useful to someone who is just getting started since it briefly explains all the technical terms one might need to understand to fix their issues.
The forum is also particularly helpful in case you cannot troubleshoot using the Knowledgebase. They have also developed a bot called CloudWaysBot which helps users notify of any issues and updates in real-time.
CloudWays also offers additional advanced support such as Proactive Investigation, phone support, and access to their private Slack channel, which will cost you extra apart from the plan you are using. The Advanced plan is priced at $100 per month while the Premium plan costs $500 per month.
Review Of CloudWays Pricing Plan
Let us talk about the pricing options available. To begin with, CloudWays has no fixed pricing model available. While pricing options may seem overwhelmingly complicated at first, CloudWays will cost you depending entirely on the hosting provider you opt for and the cost for CloudWays dashboard.
You just need to pick the provider of your choice and CloudWays will take care of everything, meaning you won’t have to pay to the provider separately. If you are someone who is just getting started, the basic plans using Linode and DigitalOcean will be enough for you.
If you opt for DigitalOcean, you will end up paying $33,30 per month which roughly translates to $0.0463 per hour. Linode will cost you a bit more but offers more raw hardware resources amounting to $73.62 per month.
However, the above plans will not be enough for power users. Heavy users should go for Amazon Web Services (AWS) plan priced at $138.64 per month. The most expensive plan on the site is priced at $226.05 per month with Google Cloud as the provider.
Don’t worry if you find yourself asking, why should I pay extra to CloudWays when I can get cheaper hosting options if I buy from the providers directly? Undoubtedly, dealing directly with these providers will cost you less, but they won’t help you set up the environment plus you will be missing out on the useful suite of tools CloudWays offer.
Basically, CloudWays offering a complete hosting solution that will help you skip all the technical complications you might encounter if you opt to buy directly from any of the providers.
The platform also offers a three-day trial. Although the trial isn’t long enough to get familiar with all the features offered by CloudWays, it lets you get the hang of it and decide if CloudWays is for you or not. Moreover, it does not ask for any credit card details, meaning you don’t have to worry about getting charged at the end of the trial period.
Like Amazon Web Services, CloudWays also charge only for the features you use. Also, unlike other providers, they charge per server with every plan including one free migration. Since credit card information is not required, CloudWays requires verification through both email addresses and phone numbers.
They also have a referral plan which will get you $20 for every friend you refer, with the friend getting $15 as a sign-up bonus.
CloudWays Pros and Cons
CloudWays is one of those hosting providers a majority of people can use without having to worry about the technical stuff such as setting up the hosting environment, routine maintenance tasks, and administration of servers. In a couple of hours, users can migrate their existing website from another platform and easily set up a server on the platform.
One can add applications such as WordPress, Joomla, Magneto, and others in just a few clicks. Even setting up SSL encryption is easy, with certificates installed with a click of a button. Unlike cPanel, there aren’t a lot of confusing options, with the UI being fairly modern and easy to navigate.
We don’t think CloudWays users will ever have to worry about speed, with a GTmetrix indicating that the average website loading speed is less than 5.7 seconds, taking just seven requests. which is quite impressive. That being said, the speed will depend on the plan users opt for.
Also, unlike other WordPress hosting websites that limit the amount of monthly traffic, CloudWays will never limit your monthly traffic, ensuring you will get the most of your business. This paired with the flexible vertical scaling options available make sure you will never experience any bottlenecks if you ever need some extra resources. Quick scaling down also helps you revert to your previous plan and save some money in the long run.
The platform also offers one of the easiest backup/restore and staging options compared to the competition, which often requires technical expertise and might take several hours. CloudWays CDN also ensures that your website loads quickly. The temporary URL provided by the service also comes in handy if you are just getting started with website building.
The service has one of the easiest User Interfaces compared to its competitors, making it extremely user friendly among beginners and experienced users alike. CloudWays also frees you from year-long contracts, with options to pay per hour or monthly depending on your requirement. If you decide only a few hours every day, CloudWays help you do the same.
Like every other hosting service, CloudWays isn’t perfect. It has a few shortcomings which might upset some advanced users such as developers. One of the biggest features the hosting service lacks is the absence of domain name registration. The lack of email hosting might also turn someone away from the platform.
Also, it is not beginner-friendly compared to other WordPress hosting websites such as Bluehost. The control panel might be hard to use for someone who has been using simpler hosting solutions such as Bluehost or Hostgator.
Since CloudWays manages the platform, the lack of finer controls might be worrisome for some. Even though it makes things easy and manageable, some users looking for a simple WordPress host might find it a bit confusing at first.
Final Thoughts On CloudWays Review
CloudWays is really a unique cloud hosting solution since it helps you avoid all the technical know-how of setting up an environment in case you want to use a hosting provider.
The features offered by the platform are really useful. It helps several people by simplifying complicated tasks such as staging, backup and restore, and CDN management at the click of a button.
Also, you don’t have to worry about maintaining your website since it automatically does it for you. Even though it might appear a bit overwhelming at first, casual users will take little to no time taking advantage of its advanced features.
The best thing? You can pay as you go, thus making sure you don’t spend a dime on features that you might never use. The majority of hosting services bind you to a monthly or yearly subscription, whereas CloudWays frees you from all those worries and even lets you opt for a pay per hour plan.
If you are unsure if CloudWays is the right solution for you, you can try it for free for 3 days without risking your credit card details.
Frequently Asked Questions
CloudWays ensures your websites do not experience any performance degradations since all applications on the platform make use of advanced services such as Memcached, Apache, Varnish, and Nginx.
CloudWays has developed its own console, which simplifies and helps people take control of all the features the platform has to offer. Unfortunately, this means cPanel cannot be installed.
No, CloudWays automatically manages and deploys all security updates, thus ensuring your server’s security.
CloudWays allows you to migrate the first website without any costs. However, if you want to migrate multiple websites, there is an additional fee associated with the same.
CloudWays does not offer email hosting services. However, they do support the Rackspace Email add-on along with a custom SMTP add-on.
Since CloudWays manages and handles all things related to the server, it is not possible to bring your existing Google Cloud, Vultr, AWS, DigitalOcean, or Kyup account over to the platform.