Cloud-based hosting is now a common service, but Cloud ways stands out from the crowd with several unique features. It offers a variety of pay-as-you-go plans and allows you to choose from five different platforms including Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure. You can also sign up for a free trial without having to use a credit card. Its lack of features, like domain registration and email, can make it seem a little less attractive. This excellent cloud hosting service deserves consideration.
Cloudways is different from other web hosting providers in that you can build a website without paying a penny. Sign up for a 3-day trial by creating a username and password or log in with your Google, Linked In, or Github credentials. You’re then asked to choose a CMS from a list of popular and well-respected sources. These include Drupal, Joomla Koken, Magento Media Wiki PHP Stack Prestashop and WordPress. This site is very flexible.
This flexibility extends to the server selection, too, as you can build a site atop one of several infrastructure-as-a-service solutions, including Amazon Web Services, DigitalOcean, Google Cloud Platform, Linode, Stackpath, and Vultr. You can also choose from several different server locations around the country.
Cloudways Hosting Plans
Cloud ways uses the resources of multiple clustered servers in order to balance the load on your website. It does not offer traditional hosting plans such as shared, VPS or dedicated. The company instead offers several hourly Cloud Hosting packages which only charge for the time used. If you cancel your plan 10 days into the month, only 10 days of hosting will be charged. Hosts such as the Editors’ Choice Award-winning DreamHost, and HostGator charge you for the whole month even if your cancellation is only a week in. It also offers traditional monthly billing.
Monthly web hosting plans begin at $10 for 25GB storage, 1TB monthly data transfer, 1GB RAM and a single-core processor. They can scale up to $1,035 for 3840GB storage, 12TB monthly data transfer, 192GB RAM and a 32-core processor. The most powerful dedicated server plan from many web hosts is outclassed by the high-end offer. It’s high-end specs are more similar to the SMB-friendly Liquid Web which allows you to outfit a server up with 512GB RAM. The plans above start at just under $0.01 per hour and go up to a little more than $1.43.
A Few Omissions
Cloudways does not offer registration. You will have to purchase a domain through NameCheap, or another seller. Cloud ways’ backend is designed in a way that makes it difficult to link the URL you purchased to your hosting. Although I had no problem connecting the dots after reading the online documentation, the process could be confusing for novices. If they don’t have a firm commitment to Cloud ways, users may never return if they need to start elsewhere.
Cloudways plans include zero email accounts. Cloud ways, in conjunction with Rackspace, expects you to pay $1 per email per month. Depending on your needs, this could be expensive. Even the most basic plans of other web hosts include some level of service.
Cloudways does not have all the usual web hosting features, but it is still easy to build a website. WordPress, my CMS of preference in testing was created in seven minutes. Logging in using my Cloudways credentials I selected a theme and tweaked the appearance of pages and posts. Finally, I added images. The experience was smooth.
Cloudways also offers useful features such as one-click cloning (so you can quickly create duplicates of your apps and servers) and staging areas (so you can test website elements without placing them live on your site). Cloudways offers useful features such as one-click cloning, which allows you to quickly duplicate your servers and apps. You can also test your website elements in staging areas without putting them live.
Cloudways allows customers to monitor applications on a single server. The application monitoring is divided into two sections, Analytics and Logs. Analytics shows traffic data, PHP requests and MySQL requests. Logs show the access logs and error logs for your website.
E-Commerce and Security
Cloudways has a large app library with many e-commerce tools. These include the popular Magento, Prestashop and platforms. Drag-and-drop website elements allowed me to quickly create a beautiful store using Magento.
Cloudways’ engineers, who manage the cloud, protect your installation by regularly releasing operating system and firmware updates. Cloudways also offers free Secure Socket Layer certificates (SSL), which are essential for data protection when you intend to sell products. Rackspace’s recommended email also comes with Sender Policy Framework and DomainKeys-Identified Mail (DKIM), which provide additional security.
Cloudways Excellent Uptime
The uptime of your website is a very important aspect of any hosting service. If your website is down, customers or clients will not be able to access your services or products and may even stop coming back. It has a great uptime, and I am happy to say that.
In order to test the uptime of my Cloudways-hosted site, I used an online monitoring tool. The tool sends an email to me if the website is not reachable for more than a minute. It pings every 15 minutes. For each site, I review the data from the last 30 days. It was very stable in my most recent tests. It didn’t even go down one time.
Cloudways provides 24/7 customer support, so you can reach someone at any time. If you want to speak with a person, there is a catch. To request a Skype or phone call, you must complete a form.
You can also speak to a representative of the customer service via web chat. You can receive answers immediately. Cloudways never took more than a couple of seconds to answer my chat question. Also, the team is very knowledgeable. I received accurate information from the members about the difference between cloud hosting and traditional hosting and the payment structure of the company. I also received an infrastructure-as-a-service primer.
It’s refund policy isn’t like the 30-, 60 or 90-day guarantee you’ll find at most other web hosting companies.
Cloudways has a lot of positives. It offers flexible cloud hosting, quick setup, excellent web-based support and high uptime. You can rely on this company to keep your website up and running for services that provide those features. Some people will not like the strange way to reach a customer support rep. It is worth a try if these caveats don’t deter you. It may be just what you’re looking for to keep and get your website online.