I’m going to give you my review of Cloudways hosting. Cloudways is what I use for WordPress hosting. They can host other types of systems, but I want to compare this to some of the popular managed WordPress hosting sites and show you why you’re better off with Cloudways for better performance and probably a lower price, it fastest hosting for WordPress. And today, one of the things I want to do is show you why Cloudways is a better option than sites like SiteGround, WP Engine, and WPX hosting. I’ve used a number of these things in the past. I thought they were great when I started, but then I found out that there are limitations and there are things that they aren’t telling you about performance.
There are some necessary requirements that WordPress needs in a server that if we understand it in a simple way we will understand why something like a Cloudways virtual private server or VPS is really going to be the best option for people who are in business, running WordPress sites and businesses, or maybe something else, maybe Magento for a shopping or e-commerce site. Now let me show you what we’ve got. All right.
How to choose the right host?
performance is definitely a key indicator for search engine optimization. It starts with your hosting and there are a lot of caches. There are a lot of performance products. I use them and they do help, but they cannot overcome a lack of resources. And that’s the problem with most managed WordPress hosting sites. So for example, start off with this comment “more server power costs, but it’s a good investment because of what you need to consider for WordPress performance”. Cost is not as bad as you might think.
There are definitely some extensive providers out there. Cloudways is not one of them. It is solid. It’s using some of the same infrastructures that services like WP Engine use, but not charging as much. Usually, you are looking for storage space and disk type, working memory, and where is the server? And of course, the CPU is neglected!
The first thing that we really talk about is the CPU. The more cores, the better. When you look at WP Engine, WPX, and SiteGround, you’re not going to find any mention of how much CPU resource they’ve allocated to you. You know, that you’re dealing with shared hosting. In other words, they’re going to be multiple sites, WordPress sites, loaded on the same server, but you don’t know how many neighbors you have on a server. You don’t know what allocation of the CPU you have. You don’t even know where that server’s located.
So these are things you might want to keep in mind when you’re evaluating your next host for WordPress. Basically the more cores, the better. One of the things I like about working with Cloudways, you can choose your server and you can choose the RAM and CPU resources. So I’ll show you what mine looks like later on in this article, but the more cores, the more processes can happen simultaneously. And that is a performance indicator. If you can do two things at once instead of one, you’re going to be that much faster.
2- Driver & Memory
Your hard disk speed is really going to be important as well, too. So not only do you need capacity, but you need speed. Solid-state drives are up to times faster than hard disc drives. That is a key indicator you want to look at as well. What kind of drives are they using and what kind of performance? Because the longer it takes for your computer to go to the disc drive, retrieve some data and send it back is a delay in your website performance.
The next item that we’re looking at is memory. How much RAM are you allocated? My previous most was WPX. And with the plan that I had, they allocated 256 megabytes of memory to a host. If you’ve got a higher plan, you might get 512, but usually, it was 256 megabytes of RAM, not even a full gigabyte of RAM.
Then, the next thing down was PHP. PHP workers have a separate RAM space. So I had a couple of PHP workers. So they were trying to tell me that, well, if you combine my RAM and the PHP workers, I had 768 megabytes of RAM available to me. It doesn’t quite work out that way. The more PHP workers and memory limit for them are helpful, but also there’s RAM that you need to have for your internal storage.
So let’s take a look at basically the more you can get the better, and that allows you to keep things in RAM for quick storage and retrieval. So that way you’re not waiting on delay time going to and from a disk. Basically, RAM storage is ready to work Material. Things can be served up quickly.
PHP is basically the process that WordPress works on. If you log in, it’ll be your domain name.com/wp-login.php. These scripts that work on PHP are going to require some memory, and how much memory are they assigned to each one of these workers, may affect also how often they have to go back and forth to the drive. So you can have the standard host between 100MB to 128MB. More powerful ones have 256 megabytes. On Cloudways, you can make your own determination of what you want for a limit on these, on the PHP workers.
4- server location
The server location, the closer it is to your customer, the better. Now, if you have global sites, you may need a content delivery network (CDN). You may need multiple servers and a way to differentiate that, but it depends on where you are and where your customers are. And usually, for most websites, I think there’s a predominant location that works best. And for example, if you’re in the United States like I am, you probably don’t want a server in London, Taiwan, or any of a number of other foreign locations. You’re going to want something that’s in the United States. Whether it’s going to be San Francisco, New York, Atlanta, or Miami, that’s a different choice as well.
And it may depend upon if you have a geographic location for your customer base. So for example, if you serve people in Atlanta, then having a server in Atlanta is your best idea, not one in Miami. So the hardware, the location, and the resources of your server are of paramount importance to the speed that you get from your WordPress or other website hosts.
Fastest Hosting For WordPress
We’ve talked about resources, and you’ve probably already figured out what resources your site needs, so you’ll now need to know how much they’ll cost you. But let’s first take a look at some of the competitors, so you know, how cheap Cloudwise is.
Cloudways Vs WPengine Vs WPX
In this article, we will make a comparison between Cloudways, WP engine, and WPX, and we will notice the big difference between them and the brilliant Cloudways. In the upcoming articles, we will make detailed comparisons between Cloudways and other hosts such as SiteGround.
Let’s start with WP Engine they’re going to give you all sorts of sales reasons and all sorts of things like this in order to buy them. And it’s the world’s number-one managed WordPress hosting platform. Just like McDonald’s is the world’s number one hamburger vendor. Doesn’t mean it’s the best. It just means that it’s more popular than anything else. The way that WP Engine gets performance is the same as SiteGround or WPX. They cache everything. In other words, if you have a blog with static content, this may work for you and that’s because the caching will not have to go to the disc. It will just say, I’ve already got that page in memory. Let me give it to you.
The problem is if you run a dynamic site, such as if you’re a course creator, everybody who logs then is going to look at something different because it’s going to be personalized for them. The course video that I look at is going to be different than the course video that you look at. The same thing with a membership site. People are going to be going in, looking at their own private configuration of your website. All the data are going to be posted dynamically. If you’re a coach, you may have something similar. If you’re an e-commerce site, people are going to be looking at different pages as well, there that are dynamically produced for them.
So in other words, these are pages that can’t be reasonably cached, or else people aren’t going to get current information. If they get a cached page that’s old and out of date, it doesn’t reflect changes that they just made. It’s useless to them. But if you’re just running a blog, you have static information for WP Engine, WPX, SiteGround, and sites like that. That’s where they excel. They’re expecting you to have a very flat site that does not change. As soon as you’re in business, and you’re working with things that do change, the things that are dynamic, then you’ve got a problem.
So let’s take a look at their pricing. So you’re a startup, you should pay $23 a month. If you choose the annual plan, the cost for the first year will be $270, and then the annual cost will be $300, and you will also get a few themes, you get free automated migrations, which most of these providers will provide you with free migration. Daily backups, a free certificate, and again, most of them will provide you with a free certificate. I would not do business with any web hosts that would not give you a free SSL certificate, and a one-click staging site.
So what do you get out of that? You can have one site and you’ve got a cap here, 25,000 visits per month. So in other words, if you get popular, they’re going to charge you more for your success. Local storage, you get 10 GB, and also 50GB of your bandwidth. If you’re running a photography site, kind of like I do on one of my sites, you’re going to take more bandwidth simply because you have more images. Well, you’ve got a cap on your bandwidth.
Again, these prices are based upon (per month) based on yearly payment. In other words, you’re buying into this for a year and if you find out it’s not right for you, you’ve got a, probably a limited time that you can go in and cancel, but that’s a pain because you may have to suddenly move your site to another host “for a lot of reasons”, and lose what you paid for a year to your current host. So that’s why it’s important to make sure that you get the right host upfront.
In the second plan, you have a few different changes. Now you can have three sites, you get a few more visits, you get a little bit more storage, and a little bit more bandwidth, but you must pay $44 per month, which will be $590 per year.
The Third Plan, which I had when I was with him was this Growth plan. And I was paying a hundred dollars a month and I got 24/7 support, which 24/7 support means somebody is working. It doesn’t mean that you get instant support from them. So you have to wait. So 100,000 visits per month, 20 GB Storage, 200 Gigabits of bandwidth. Well, how much is the price? $1150 a year! Do you know what this means? This means if you have more than three sites, you have to pay $1150, really crazy prices.
Now, If you want to change the payment instead of the annual payment to the monthly payment. And if you want to go month to month, you can see how the prices have suddenly gone up to $30, $59, $115, and so on. That’s what you’re going to get and keep this number, in mind, this $115. What you don’t see here is any mention of what resources you get. There’s no mention of RAM. There’s no mention of where your server is going to be located. There’s no mention of CPU cores. There’s no mention of PHP workers. They don’t tell you.
If we go to WPX. That’s where I went to after I had problems with WP Engine, it’s kind of the same thing. I like these folks better. If we go to their official website, and then we go to the prices of WordPress hosting. First off the prices were much better.
So we’re looking at annual pricing right now. I got the professional plan. Instead of 10 sites. I got 15 sites. And look at the difference in the price instead of nearly 100$ a month, $41.58. It was much more cost-effective to get the same kind of service from WPX than from WP Engine. 20 gigs of storage are not that much. 200 gigabits of bandwidth, and they have their own cloud CDN, which some of these places, much like WP Engine, offer you a CDN doesn’t mean they’re really great, or really the best thing to have. It means they have one.
Cloudways is a different kind of provider. They are not the people hosting the servers. They are a front end to different providers. Some of them also provide services for WP Engine and WPX, but you’ve got a few other options. So there are, as it says, up to five cloud providers. Let’s take one like Digital Ocean. Years ago, I used Digital Ocean for one of my employers and it was just basically a Linux server. It did not have a graphical user interface. I went in and I had to do my work through the command line. And that’s what I did. I was in IT. I worked on technical issues. So I could do that.
Most people who are working for business themselves don’t really have the time or the patience to learn the ins and outs of server management and server configuration. What happens here with this cloud hosting with Cloudways, they provide a user interface that is easy to understand, easy to operate, and does all the things that I used to have to do manually through a command-line interface. So you’ve got up to five cloud providers. You have unlimited applications and by applications, WordPress would be considered an application. And I will show you an example later.
And of course, you can see that they’ve got their support 24 by seven, they’ve got automated backups, they have monitoring, and you can also extend that with New Relic monitoring. We’ll show that. And then they also have a built-in CDN, which you can use or not use. And basically, it just makes it very easy to work with.
Cloudways provides many options to choose the type of application. So in my case, WordPress, and you can see that they have others like PHP, Laravel, and WooCommerce. And you can also select your server. So you’ve got Google Cloud and Amazon Web Services. That’s those are the two that power WP Engine. And in the middle is VULTR. And that’s the one that I liked. They’ve got a specific high-performance server. There’s also a Digital Ocean and Linode, and you can scale your server size.
Best performing server on Cloudways
I want to show you how the server selection works. Because when we talk about the importance of knowing what resources you have on your server and where it is, this is going to tell you because you’re going to choose what you want. So for pricing, it depends on how you pick your server. You can see that the lowest price is $10 per month, and you can go up and up. And you can also go for a premium one and which I did.
You do not have to rush and choose the higher plans, the plan at a price of $ 10 may be enough. In our previous article, we reviewed how a 1GB RAM plan, at $10, can host 10 websites. It depends on the size of the sites and the number of visits they get. You can also start with a $10 plan, and when you see it as insufficient, you can easily expand your server whenever you want. Cloudways provides you with a lot of options that make your work easier, so I prefer it in addition to being the fastest hosting for WordPress.
So what I did was I selected VULTR, and you’ll notice, depending on which one you select, the prices are going to be different. Some of them have premium versions and some of them do not. And I’ve found, as far as the performance, doing my research, VULTR high-frequency was the best performing for WordPress, its fastest hosting for WordPress. It outperformed AWS. It outperformed Google Cloud and all these others. So a VULTR high-frequency is the one that I recommend for people who are doing business. And you don’t have to get necessarily the $50 per month.
The plan for $26 a month would probably be good for many business users. I am putting more things on my server than I think some other folks would. So you have to decide how many sites are you putting on your server and how much performance do you need? And you notice that they tell you how much RAM you get, how many cores you get, how much disc storage you get, and how much bandwidth. Remember we were looking at 200 GB of bandwidth. Well, you start off with one Terabyte on the lowest plan over here. I’ve got up to 3TB of bandwidth. I’ve got 128GB of storage.
No Long-Term Commitment
Monthly or hourly. There is no annual plan. You can actually configure a server for a short period of time. Maybe you want to do some testing and evaluate it or do some specific application for a period of time. And you can actually use it by the hour. It starts at about 2 cents per hour, you could use it and then be done. But for most of us, we’re going to choose a monthly plan.
There’s no long-term contract. You can get in for a month. And then when you’re done, you can get out. If you want to. For the other sites, remember that their best pricing had an annual commitment. In other words, you were stuck with them for a year. Whether you found problems or not getting out of it was probably not going to happen. Unless you got out during their trial period. Some of them will give you a free trial. For example, Cloudways will give you a free trial. You can check this out before you’re committed to it. And it says, no lock-in. Freely use our services without being tied into a contract.
How to create a server in Cloudways
if you want to add a server, let me show you what the process is. The first thing it’s going to select your application. So it has some things in here that you can just put onto your own. So if you want to do the Magento, that’s the e-commerce server. PHP custom App, woo commerce. In our case, we will choose WordPress, but you will also notice that there are three options for WordPress: multi-site, regular site, and Clean (no Cloudways optimization). I prefer choosing the regular site with its optimizations in place. They have their own caching plugin called Breeze. And I think it gives you a nice start.
Now, you can give a name for your new App and a name for your server and you can select a project. Then you’re going to choose which type of server you want. but the one I’m recommending is the VULTR. And again, high-frequency and that’s the one that’s got the best performance. You don’t have as many options for the configuration, but you know exactly what you’re going to get.
If you’re running a blog and you’re not getting that big traffic, you can start with 1GB RAM. It’s not going to be a problem because you’re still going to have a lot more resources than you would get from WP Engine or WPX or SiteGround for $10 a month. Compare that to the $30 a month at WP Engine. And you can see you get better performance and more resources, and you also get to choose your location.
So if we go down the page you can see that we’ve got options worldwide. And you know, it defaults to Seattle, but maybe I want to go to Dallas. Maybe I want another one in Atlanta. Maybe I want one in Miami or New York. You can choose what you want. And then if you click “Launch Now”, that goes ahead and builds it. So for what we’ve selected (Vultr), we are $13 per month. And the $11 a month was without the high frequency.
Cloudways server management
After registering with Cloudways, you can create a server and install the application (WordPress) you want, specify the size of RAM, storage, CPU, PHP, and specify the rest of the server’s resources. You can increase server resources as your sites grow.
In the server management there are several tabs on the left, but let’s go to the “manage services” tab and you will notice as shown in the image above. The reason “New Relic” isn’t working for me right now is because this New Relic is the monitoring system. So it’s comprehensive insights. Its New Relic is a third party. But everything else, you can see how easy it is. Redis and Varnish are both caching systems. And Redis typically holds the whole data set in memory. Varnish kind of sits between your server and the client’s browser. It’s a different kind of caching. And if you use WP Rocket, it will automatically detect Varnish and configure itself for that. And of course, you can start and stop, or you can purge your cache. Anytime you want to.
I don’t want to go over each one of these settings and packages. I want to do some videos/articles where we dive deeper into this, but I’ll just kind of want to give you a look at what you have. You can set your upload size to a maximum. You can set the amount of memory that a PHP request is allowed to allocate. So I’ve got that set of 256, which is pretty good. I could still go higher if I wanted to, but for right now, I don’t see any need for it to be any higher. Also, you can set your time zone.
We’ll go to “Advanced” tab and you can have a number of variables. If you don’t know what these are, leave them at the default. They’ve already got these optimized very well. I think for the majority of people, I would say unless you have a need to change some of these, I wouldn’t change them. So if you look at the packages, you can see there are your PHP versions, and your, MySQL versions. And you’ve got options of what these are. So I’ll go back and do a video on configuring this and kind of give you a walk through what they are.
Now, vertical scaling lets you choose the size of your server. So you might want to start off small. And then if you run into issues, you can go ahead and increase and you’ll see what the cost difference is as you move to. The idea is, that as you grow, you can see for yourself what resources you’re getting. And so you can go ahead and change the scale of your, of your server setting. Also, notice it’s got a warning that scaling down is possible but through the cloning feature. In other words, it’ll set up a different server and it’ll clone things over to it, and with fewer resources.
You have backups and you can schedule the time for when they happen. How often, how long do you want to retain them. Do you want to have local backups? You can get that. And then of course you can do an on-demand backup.
How to get FAST performance
that is my recommendation. I would start off with a VULTR high-frequency, It’s the fastest hosting for WordPress, and the price is reasonable. I would if you’re running a dynamic site like if you got BuddyBoss as your platform and theme if you’re running LearnDash if you’re running things, like I said, for courses, coaching memberships, I would at least get 2GB. If you look on the BuddyBoss site, they recommend at least 2GB. I run 4GB of RAM. It’s excess of what I need for one BuddyBoss site. But I’ve got more than one BuddyBoss site. So that’s why I’ve chosen to get something with a bit more RAM.
Also, you should know that when you choose 2GB RAM, you will get 1 core, and if you choose 4GB RAM, you will get 2 cores. So in order to get the best performance for the sites that I’m running at, it, I’m working with this one. And for a business at about $50 a month, that’s on par with what I was paying for WPX hosting. It’s half the price of what you would pay with WP Engine And Cloudways has better performance and better service than all of them.
One of the ways I noticed this was twofold. First off, I’d go to GT Metrix and the Google page speed insights and other sources like Pingdom tools and never really got great performance. I might get up to on GT Metrix. I might get up to a B grade. Usually, it was a D or an E and I had done everything I’d put in WP Rocket. I’d put in Perfmatters, I’d put in all sorts of things to try and enhance my site. But those things don’t work on dynamic sites. So I had to exclude a lot of things. When I looked at my WordPress dashboard, it took a long time to go from one page to the next. It was slow.
Well, that’s simply because there was not enough RAM. There were not enough CPU cores. I didn’t have the resources for performance. So while the front end site was getting bad marks, the back end site was even worse. It was miserable to work with. Once I moved over to Cloudways and put on more resources, things changed as far as my performance scores. My backend performance was snappy and my front-end performance was getting A scores on GT Metrix. It was getting good scores on page speed insights. There are still things that you need to do on-page and with some caching.
but just having the right resources to run your application is really what was important. So that’s why I’m going to recommend Cloudways for your WordPress hosting, it fastest hosting for WordPress. There are other applications that you can run here.