Here’s a company name you won’t hear too much about. Cloud hosting has more and more weight on the hosting market, simply because it’s awesome and useful. If the technology is in the hands of a trustworthy company that makes it work, than using it can be beneficial for any business or private website. It makes things infinitely simpler for the end user and we can also have much faster and more reliable websites thanks to cloud hosting. Since our website is stored on an entire architecture of servers instead of just one hard drive, there is virtually no down time.
CloudWays has definitely succeeded at bringing all these benefits to the table. They even offer a killer managed WordPress hosting that takes a lot of the weight off the user’s shoulders. Yet I have quite a few mixed feelings about them. There’s nothing to rant about though, but CloudWays has many oddities compared to other companies. So, let’s see what kind of company this is, what kind of services they offer and at what price.
CloudWays is a company located in Malta, which serves as an integration point for numerous cloud services. All of these services are managed from a single console and serves as a rich environment for PHP app development and websites. Because CloudWays has data centers located all around the world, the user will always be within reasonable distance to one. This further guarantees the quality and speed of service you require.
CloudWays received mostly positive reviews that is due to its stability, reliability and the overall consistency of all the services they offer. Not to mention that CloudWays has other pleasant surprises in store for its clients. They might not be the most inexpensive (only $2-$3 more) among commercial hosting companies, but they definitely have web hosting solved.
ColudWays Plans and Pricing
A really awesome thing I liked about CloudWays, is that you can try their services and get a website up and running without paying a dime up front. You can try their basic hosting plan for two weeks, get your website up and running and then decide whether you want to use their services or not. That is a truly fair way to start off ideally with a potential customer.
They even offer some wallet-friendly pay-as-you-go plans. This is great because you basically only pay for what you use. If you decide to cancel your service while being 10 days into the month, you’ll only be charged for said 10 days of service. Very few other hosting providers have this pricing structure and CloudWays is definitely worthy of praise for it. But the shine is dulled due to the lack of domain registration, included email addresses and a not always reliable phone support.
Every user has its own dedicated server hardware and its own IP address. You can pick yourself a server from one of these locations. All of them have SSDs for storage, so they’ll definitely perform at high speed. While this is good and all, CloudWays manages to make it even better. It doesn’t tie you down to their services alone and lets you add services from other providers such as DigitalOcean, Google, Amazon or Vultr.
Needless to say, that CloudWays supports just about every major content management system and shopping cart you would use. You can install WordPress, Joomla!, Magento or Drupal within a few short clicks, but you can also add any other PHP based CMS you wish to use.
CloudWays is unique to most hosting providers in that it uses the resources gathered from several clustered servers. You won’t have to mess around with classic shared hosting plans where you share your server resources with hundreds of other sites. You’ll instead have your own set of dedicated resources, even if you start with the most inexpensive plan, which is $5 per month. For this, you’ll get 20 GB of storage, 1 TB of premium bandwidth, 512 MB of RAM and a single-core processor.
But you can go all the way up to $765, depending on how much resources you need. For that kind of money, you’ll be getting 640 GB of storage, 9 TB of premium bandwidth, 64 GB of RAM and a 20-core processor. This is CloudWays way of saying “unleash the kraken”! The amount of flexibility in how you can apply resources to your website is great for any growing or large online business out there. Especially if you’re running it on a resource-hungry system like Magento.
These are all great things, but CloudWays does lack a few essential features. They aren’t big problems though, since you can easily work your way around them, but they are important to mention. For starters, you won’t get any email accounts with CloudWays plans, while just about every hosting provider offers about 50-250 email accounts with most of their plans. Secondly, there’s no domain registration option, so you have to go to another registrar like GoDaddy to buy your domains.
Performance and Uptime
CloudWays has an incredibly solid cloud based system, which is mainly thanks to the fact that they have partnered with some of the best cloud providers within the industry. Similarly to other cloud hosting services, CloudWays boasts a 99.99% uptime and loading speeds around 400 – 600 milliseconds. Their loading times are 40%-50% better than what you would get from a regular hosting service, which proves that cloud systems are the way to the future.
Server Monitoring – One of the most useful features of CloudWays is server monitoring. You can view variables like idle CPU, incoming traffic and reads per second through a drop down menu. You can also view a graph that shows your load on the cloud server.
Free Site Migrations – Having someone to move your already existing site to a trustworthy cloud service is always great. Not to mention that it goes easy on your wallet and takes weight off your shoulders. BlueHost demands $150 for the same service.
Daily Backups and One Click Recovery – Because your data isn’t only stored on a single hard disk, rather an entire network, recovery is incredibly simple. There’s no backup feature for you to pay for, because it’s done automatically every day and you can recover your website in a single click.
Notifications Through Chat Programs – You can set CloudWays’ to send you a message on Slack, HipChat, email and other services. For example, if your website can’t be reached for more than a minute, you’ll get a message saying so. It also will notify you if there’s an update you have to install, has a recommendation for you and it will also answer many support questions you might have.
Great Developer Features – CloudWays offers a really awesome environment for developers to test and coordinate their work. They are able to set up deployment from their Git repository and can also deploy unlimited applications. Developers can use RESTful API to facilitate their scripting operations. The built-in staging mechanism allows developers to move their new codes to a testing environment as well.
Automatic Backups – You can set up automatic backups of cloud server images and restore your site with a single click. The server will back itself up every day, two days, every week or any other time period you set for it. This is a great freebie to have, since so many other companies charge $2-$20 per month, just to back up your site regularly.
Vertical Scaling – Vertical scaling lets you to add or take away server resources at any time, according to your needs. If it’s a holiday season for example and you’re expecting a higher surge of traffic, you can always upgrade your plan accordingly. The “pay as you go” pricing structure lets you pay only for what you use, so you don’t have to pay extra for resources you won’t use later on.
CloudWays Customer Support
Customer support offers the same possibilities as any other company does. You can reach the support team by submitting report tickets, using live chat, email or phone. If you want a fast response, you can ask the CloudWays Bot for help. But if you’re willing to wait a little if need be, than you can also reach out to their support team 24/7/365. You can immediately reach someone through online chat. CloudWays is consistent in keeping the time you have to wait below 5 minutes. Their team is quite knowledgeable and reliable as well. They have given us accurate information on the difference between basic cloud hosting and their WordPress hosting plan.
CloudWays Pros and Cons
I’m really glad to have come across a company that gets this many things right and offers a number of unique services. CloudWays has given us many reasons to use their services or at least try them for free. So the pros far outweigh the cons in this section.
The Pros – Why Should You Choose CloudWays
- A Completely Free Trial Period – The possibility to get your website up and running without even paying a dime and seeing how well the service performs for a few weeks is really awesome. Few companies come forward with such a positive gesture.
- No Limits – CloudWays imposes no limits on the number of websites you can install while most of other hosting providers do. Even if you pay twice as much money (about $10) for your hosting service like you would at CloudWays. Here you just pay for the resources you use and you’re free to do with it as you please. You can always upgrade your hosting with additional resources as you go.
- Pay As You Go Pricing System – It’s awesome to finally see a company that isn’t just about getting money off you for nothing. While other companies make you pay for fictional services or services that should otherwise be free, you’ll only pay for what you use at CloudWays. It’s a fair and square deal and it also comes with numerous useful features.
- Easy to Install Content Management Systems and Apps – Although this has been a standard for many years, it is important to mention. CloudWays makes it easy for you to install any CMS or PHP based system. There are also plenty of app integrations you can use.
- Free Automatic Updates – CloudWays offers the wonders of cloud hosting for free. You can set your server to make backups every day, every second day, every week or whenever you want. Once you have your backups in place and something goes horribly wrong, it will only take you a single click to recover your website, which is really awesome.
- Free Site Migration – It’s odd to see a company that asks you to pay for a site migration these days, but there are some. CloudWays doesn’t cross that line and they’ll gladly devote one of their experts to you for a few hours and have him migrate your website to their cloud servers.
The Cons – Why to Avoid CloudWays
- No cPanel – CloudWays offer their own console to help you manage your applications and everything else you host on their servers. It isn’t too hard to get used to, but cPanel is much more comprehensive.
- It Takes Some Knowledge To Use – Using cloud hosting requires a level of expertise to use, because you’ll have yourself an entire virtual server to manage. If you’re not that much into the technical details and neither are you into learning them, you’re much better off choosing a managed WordPress hosting.
- No eMail Accounts or Domain Registrations – Unfortunately, CloudWays doesn’t offer one of the most basic services of a hosting company. These are the possibility to register domain names and have numerous email accounts. You’ll have to go to a separate domain registrar like GoDaddy or Namecheap to get a domain name for your site.
Is CloudWays your way to host a website? Do I recommend it? It might be and I can wholeheartedly recommend them. While it does take some expertise to use their cloud hosting service, it comes at an amazing price and offers outstanding performance. Those who would like to skip any tinkering with technology should go to HostGator or InMotion and other reputable companies that offer a great managed WordPress hosting. Other than that, CloudWays is an outstanding option for hosting your website.