I’ve had the opportunity to test out many hosting solutions over the years, but now I’ve finally settled down with the best: Cloudways.
It didn’t come to that easily, though. It was a journey of discovery, and to give you a clear picture of why Cloudways has proven to be the best hosting solution for me and why it should be your next web host, I’ll start from the beginning.
I’ve been in the “digital agency” business since 1998, and some of the most successful services I’ve sold (or resold) have been web hosting and website updates.
In the past, I’ve lost a few clients here and there due to web hosting issues, so I know from firsthand experience how important it is to have a reliable hosting service at the foundation of your online presence.
I’ve done my best to keep pace with changing technologies over the years. We started developing websites solely with WordPress back in 2008-2009. As WordPress itself developed, website functionalities increased and along came the demand for increased server resources.
As far as servers go, I usually purchased what I like to call “middle-of-the-road products.” They weren’t cheap, but neither were they expensive or high-end. Simply put, if the clients weren’t complaining, I wasn’t either.
The First Few Resource Issues & Server Limitations
The very first issues I faced, as far as server limitations go, came with my personal sites.
Like most in this space, I like to experiment. So I purchased a few scripts but discovered that they wouldn’t run properly on the server. Yes, I could get them to run, but certain limitations kept me from using the scripts the way they were designed to be used.
One script, for example, required a cron job to run every minute. Most shared hosting plans only allow cron jobs to run at 15-minute intervals, though, since excessive cron jobs can cause high loads on the server. Another popular WordPress security script occasionally caused a spike in resources and one of my websites got flagged and shut down.
But then it also happened with a client’s site; the security plugin was using too many resources and I received a warning.
Most hosts don’t inform you of these limitations when you sign up with them. You think you have everything you need until you don’t and little problems like these pop up without warning. That’s when you realize you need a better solution.
Dedicated Servers and VPS
If you’re running a small, local business like many of my clients were at the time, server resources and heavy traffic may not be an issue. But once you start focusing more on content creation and eCommerce, however, that can change quickly.
So at this point, I started looking into other hosting options that would go above and beyond what we were currently using. In the back of my mind, there was a growing concern that some of my clients would eventually outgrow the solutions I was providing them. So no matter how I looked at it, it was time for a change.
Cost Plus the Technical Hurdles
There were many hurdles, but two basic ones needed more attention. Let’s start with the most important one: cost.
A dedicated server doesn’t come cheap and managing one isn’t a simple task either. Sure, there are plenty of DIY videos out there, but you can’t use your clients’ websites as test subjects. Also, experience counts for a lot, and when something goes wrong, you want people who know how to handle things around to assist you, and that costs a lot. This is why server maintenance and security are, in my opinion, full-time jobs.
Virtual Private Servers (VPS), on the other hand, seemed to be a better fit for what I was looking for. A VPS would give me root-level access along with the kind of dedicated server resources I was looking for.
There were a lot of options available, but I decided to go with Cloudways, and I’ll tell you why in detail.
Why I Chose Cloudways Over the Competitors
During the planning process, I was using my personal brand site as my “test case” for VPS hosting. A few of my friends were already using Cloudways at the time and their personal experience plus the Cloudway’s site itself helped me make my decision.
This was something I deliberated over a good six to eight months just to be sure and because there were so many options.
Making the Switch to Cloudways
When I finally opened my account with Cloudways, I decided to test the waters with a basic DigitalOcean server. Although Cloudways does offer to migrate one website to your new server, I followed the instructions and did it myself.
I created the server and launched the app (WordPress). From there, I used UpdraftPlus to manually download my existing site and re-uploaded it to the new server. It was a smooth process.
That was May of 2018. Since then, I’ve upgraded my plan to a 2-core processor with 80-Gigs of storage and 4-terabytes of bandwidth.
Cloudways support has never let me down as well. I seldom need to contact support, but when I do, most challenges are standard WordPress issues that happen with plugin conflicts or upgrade issues.
With those kinds of problems, it’s usually just a matter of deactivating and activating the plugins one at a time until the issue is identified. From there you either contact the plugin vendor and/or reinstall the previous version until they fix the issue.
However, when it comes to needing assistance, Cloudways and their team members (apart from their support) are ever-ready to help you out. They are really active on social media and there are Facebook groups where other Cloudways users create tutorials and video walkthroughs.
Cloudways’ website has a large knowledge-base as well along with video tutorials to answer most of my questions.
All in all, I’ve never felt alone or stuck when I run into a problem.
What Makes Cloudways Unique?
Apart from everything I’ve said above, moving my sites with them has meant I get to enjoy increased speed and control over my website. With Cloudways, I never have to worry about managing the server or pay someone to do it for me. That’s a winning combination for my needs, and Cloudways ticks all the boxes.
Before I had migrated my site, I left my email with my original cPanel hosting. But after duplicating my site on Cloudways, I simply changed the A-Record to point to the cloud server and the entire process was seamless. Also see cpanel alternative
They also offer Rackspace Email and Elastic Mail add-ons at affordable prices, so you can move everything (including your email) over to your new account without any worries.
Cloudways: The Right Choice for My Business
I’ve been with Cloudways since May 2018, and they’ve never stopped advancing and developing their platform.
During November last year, I had a two-week product launch that resulted in many people buying the product, getting their login details, starting the course, and watching videos. The server was tested to its limits, but it didn’t fail me once. Pages loaded quickly and the customer experience was excellent.
Simply put, the right kind of server with dedicated resources was the reason behind that successful campaign.
Today, I migrated an existing site onto my Cloudways server using their Migrator plugin for the first time. Again, it was pretty easy to use and there is even a video tutorial you can follow if something is not clear.
Make Your Choice
If you’re thinking about making the switch but aren’t sure about cloud hosting, you can start small with a basic server on Cloudways and scale it up when you need to. In fact, you have nothing to lose if you give Cloudways a go on their free-trial.
The sooner you get started, though, the sooner you can get away from all the issues that come with having your site hosted on a slower, shared-hosting setup.
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Mustaasam is the WordPress Community Manager at Cloudways - A Managed WordPress Hosting Platform, where he actively works and loves sharing his knowledge with the WordPress Community. When he is not working, you can find him playing squash with his friends, or defending in Football, and listening to music. You can email him at [email protected]