Many of you asked me to do a WordPress cloud hosting review, so here you go. I'm hosting my WordPress sites with Cloudways for well over a year now, so I think I can give you reliable feedback and share my experiences.
Before I was hosting my sites with Bluehost and a German web host called Strato - both of which weren't satisfying me. There were several issues with my old web hosts:
- The websites were loading slow, usually longer than 4 seconds.
- The sites were getting throttled, resulting in random errors for my visitors
- The support of the German web host was disgustingly bad
While planning the WP Summit, Cloudways reached out to me and offered to sponsor the summit. Some emails were sent, and after a few days, I decided to move my summit website to Cloudways.
For the non-patient readers amongst you, here's my video review on Cloudways:
Migrating existing sites to a new web host can be a pain.
But not so with this WordPress cloud hosting provider. Here's how it all went down:
- As Cloudways doesn't manage domains, I moved thewpsummit.com from Bluehost to Namecheap. I just asked Bluehost to send me the Auth-Code and registered the domain newly with Namecheap.
- I gave Cloudways my logins to Bluehost and Namecheap and gave them a time window in which to perform the migration.
These two steps were all it took.
The Cloudways support team handled everything, from transferring the files and the database to making sure the website was working after the migration. They even configured the domain for me. The migration was seamless.
But what does Cloud Hosting mean?
Hosting your website in the cloud is drastically different to being on a shared web host (like the cheap Bluehost, Hostgator, etc. plans).
On those shared hosts you're literally on one server with hundreds of other websites, whereas on Cloud Hosting you run your very own server.
Imagine a data center. You're renting a tiny little piece of the data center, which becomes a virtual server for your WordPress site - and nobody else has access to that virtual server.
WordPress cloud hosting means, which your WordPress site runs on its virtual server in a massive data center. You have 100% access to the server capacity, and there's nobody throttling your site as they do on shared web hosts.
Benefits of WordPress Cloud Hosting with Cloudways
Let me explain the main benefits I experience from hosting my website in the cloud.
- My site loaded twice as fast almost instantly, going down from 4s to 2s loading time.
- My site is running stable without any throttling.
- I can increase my server capacity as my traffic grows, with just one click of a button. I only pay for the server capacity I need.
- There's nobody else using the virtual server, only me.
- I can specify in which data center I want my website data to be stored.
- I don't need to worry about configuring or managing the server; Cloudways has me covered.
- The server configuration is specifically tailored to WordPress sites, including caching systems.
- I get detailed reports on my server usage.
- Whenever I have a question, the 24/7 support chat provided the answer.
Oh, did I say that Cloudways now comes with a smart bot, providing you assistance?
The biggest difference to other WordPress cloud hosting providers like WP Engine are, that Cloudways doesn't manage your WordPress installations. They don't install updates for you, but that's no biggie to me - so I won't put this into the "drawbacks" category.
Cloudways doesn't host your emails or domains.
Those are many benefits, so you might be wondering if there are drawbacks in using Cloudways.
Well, there are. But those are very tiny ones, and you'll get used to them over time.
Since Cloudways is a WordPress cloud hosting provider, that's what they focus on and do best. They don't do emails or domain hosting.
I'm buying my domains at Namecheap currently and then connecting them to Cloudways. They've got a helpful tutorial on this process, so you'll be able to do this even without tech skills.
I'm using Google Mail for my emails, which is something most people probably already do. I've just connected my domain to Google and then set it up so I can send from email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. Again, no biggie as there are countless tutorials on doing this.
Those two things are the only "drawbacks" I've experienced in the past. And they only were noticeable when moving to Cloudways.
Once my sites were hosted with Cloudways, I could easily buy new domains and copy the configuration from the existing ones.
I didn't look back after moving my WordPress sites to the cloud and choosing Cloudways as my new host.
A solid online business needs a solid web host - and Cloudways is just that.