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Cloudways offers managed cloud web hosting services with the aim of helping businesses focus on other aspects of their organization. Customers receive automated backups, fast load speeds and a choice of different cloud servers such as DigitalOcean and Google Cloud.
However, Cloudways’ basic customer support is only through their knowledge base or live chat—premium support add-ons are available for an extra fee.
Cloudways offers a lot to like for small businesses hosting needs. But are its features enough to outweigh the lackluster customer support options?
Cloudways at a Glance
Founded in 2011, Cloudways offers five cloud servers to host your managed WordPress website. The company aims to help small businesses in a wide range of industries with their websites—freelancers, e-commerce stores or agencies. All plans include unlimited WordPress websites, 24/7 live chat support, free website migration, in-house cache plugin (helps with faster loading times) and team collaboration features.
Pricing depends on whether customers choose the standard or premium tier, and their cloud server of choice. The more you pay, the more storage, RAM and bandwidth you’ll receive. For instance, at $10 per month, Cloudways will host your website on DigitalOcean servers with 25 GB of storage and 1 TB of bandwidth. Contrast this with paying $50 per month, where your website will be hosted on Google Cloud servers with 128 GB of storage and 3 TB of bandwidth.
Cloudways doesn’t offer email hosting as part of their website hosting package—it’s featured as an add-on and customers can choose from a Gmail SMTP server or a fully managed email service. The company also doesn’t have domain name registration. You’ll need to find this service elsewhere.
You can choose from five cloud server providers through Cloudways. These top providers are DigitalOcean, Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services, Linode and Vultr. Each one is robust enough for small business needs, with cloud-based servers offering varying amounts of processing power, memory and storage space.
There are a few security features Cloudways offers on all their plans, including:
- Free SSL certificates
- Ability to create an IP address whitelist
- Regular firmware upgrades and patches to prevent potential threats
- Built-in security system to prevent vulnerabilities and unauthorized access to data
Users who log into their dashboard will be able to monitor the load on their cloud server. There are more than 15 variables you can monitor, including the amount of incoming traffic received. This feature is helpful if you want to see whether you need to anticipate a surge in website traffic and upgrade plans temporarily to accommodate for it.
Customer service is only limited to the knowledge base and 24/7 live chat. If you want features such as a customer service hotline, application and other customization support, you’ll need to upgrade—pricing starts from $100 per month. For all plans, Cloudways won’t provide support for items such as changes to plugin or theme functionality, website content and debugging codes.
How Cloudways Stacks Up
Shopping around web hosting companies allows you to ensure you’re picking one for your small business. MochaHost and GreenGeeks, two competitors, offer similar services, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.
Both GreenGeeks and MochaHost offer self-hosted solutions for those who aren’t interested in paying extra for managed hosting services. However, all three have systems that can handle e-commerce websites and fast loading speeds.
For what you’d pay, MochaHost stands out as it offers unlimited storage and no bandwidth limit. GreekGeeks also doesn’t have a bandwidth limit, but it does not have unlimited storage. This company also stands out because it touts itself as an eco-friendly solution, purchasing three times the amount of renewable energy credits their company generates.
Starting at $9.50 per month
24/7 Support Team
Is Cloudways Right for You or Your Business?
Small businesses who want a provider that specializes in managed, cloud-based hosting will find Cloudways a great fit for their needs. This is especially true for those that want a WordPress host.
However, if you want a totally hands-off experience you will still need to pay for services such as a web designer and customer service add-ons.
The company will also require you to register your own domain name and pay more for email hosting, which can be a deal-breaker for some. If you’re fairly tech-savvy and don’t mind doing some of the legwork yourself, there are other companies offering more competitive pricing structures packed with more features.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is managed WordPress hosting?
Users who sign up for managed WordPress services will have their website hosted using this platform. The web hosting company also handles simple tasks such as installing WordPress, automatically making core updates, backup files daily and enhanced security measures.
What is the difference between dedicated and shared hosting?
Users on shared hosting plans will have their website stored on a server alongside other users and their websites. Dedicated hosting, on the other hand, a website will have its own individual server.
What is a bandwidth limit?
Bandwidth is data transmitted to a website visitor or when the visitor uploads data to the webserver. The bandwidth limit is the amount of bandwidth a website hosting company allows on a certain plan each month. If the bandwidth limit has exceeded, then visitors may have trouble accessing the website.
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Rob is an SMB writer and editor based in New Jersey. Before joining Forbes Advisor, he was a content producer at Fit Small Business. In that role, he was responsible for writing, editing, and strategizing content geared toward small business owners. Before that, he worked at PCMag as a business analyst.
First Published: Aug 26, 2021, 12:00pm
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