Why I switched to CloudWays

Why I switched to CloudWays

I’m not usually the type of person that shills services or products, but I just have to shout from the mountain top about CloudWays. I have used LOTS of hosting companies. VPSes are crazy expensive for a small business, and shared hosting doesn’t cut it when you’re using a multipurpose theme. I’ve been looking for an alternative to my very old shared hosting account for several months. I tried Digital Ocean, I even moved my site there briefly. And then everything went to hell and I realized I have ZERO help if that server has problems. Which it did, almost immediately. I basically ran back to my shared hosting company after spending far too many hours trying to manage my Digital Ocean server issues.

In the meantime I was having some problems with my SSL, which is used in the hidden contracts area of my website. That’s what motivated my decision to start looking elsewhere. I also recently switched from a pretty lightweight theme to a lumbering bull-in-a-china-shop multipurpose theme called Bridge. I like Bridge, you can do a lot with it, but it loads SO SLOWLY on almost any shared hosting, it’s painful. I can’t have a slow site when I’m touting my wares as a site developer, so I started reluctantly looking again for that magic bullet hosting company. Cheap VPSes with good support. Let me tell you, this combo basically doesn’t exist.

But then I found CloudWays a few days ago. Honestly I was originally going to go with DreamPress but I just happened to stumble into a review for Cloudways and thought I’d check it out first.

So let me tell you all about CloudWays. They have built their company on top of large cloud computing companies like Amazon, Digital Ocean, and Google. The sell hosting through those companies. The difference is they act as a middle man. They do the server management, and they provide you with a super-easy-to-use admin panel with everything you’d need to manage your site/server on a basic level, including easy install SSL, and a MySQL manager. It took me less than an hour to get my website moved over. It was so crazy easy, and I didn’t even use the free migration they offer for new customers. I bought a 1Gb Digital Ocean instance (because actually this site doesn’t get a huge amount of traffic). I could not be happier with the performance so far. The best part is it costs the same as if I was paying for that service directly through Digital Ocean. So same price, but with support and admin panel. I’m SO in.

Some other benefits of CloudWays include Varnish Caching, auto-setup of W3 total Cache and opcache, apc object caching, I mean, the caching alone is brilliant, I’ve never had so much caching!

I’m going to continue to monitor my site and I’ll update this post if anything changes – I do have my misgivings, the company is not run by english speakers and the website is… lacking, but so far I’m really excited by this company.

Update: Nov. 19, 2017 – I’m still very happy with Cloudways. I have some issues with how Varnish interacts with WooCommerce sometimes and I still find the Varnish rule system annoying, but the newer Kyup scaling servers have been fabulous for multiple clients. As you can see in the comments, any slowness you experience here on spunmonkey.com are my own making, not the fault of Cloudways. 

  • Toby Karlevid
    Posted at 05:23h, 30 October Reply

    Hi Sarah, still using CloudWays? I was just getting a trial account. Looks really impressive. I’m in the pretty the same situation as you where. Using VPS, high cost – bad performance.

    • Sarah Bailey
      Posted at 07:20h, 30 October Reply

      Toby, YES! I am still with CloudWays and totally happy! I’ve just had one minor incident and it was resolved within 10 minutes, believe it or not. I’ve NEVER had support responses that fast before. I still 100% recommend them, you won’t regret it!

      • Toby Karlevid
        Posted at 07:29h, 30 October Reply

        Cool! Thanks for your reply.

  • Sushant Bhargav
    Posted at 02:47h, 29 October Reply

    Did you put spunmonkey on cloudways or some other website ?
    I am asking because your server took 3 seconds to respond for first byte.

    Load Time First Byte Start Render User Time Visually Complete Speed Index Result (error code) Time Requests Bytes In Time Requests Bytes In Certificates
    First View (Run 1) 18.592s 3.016s 11.094s 12.723s 18.791s 12006 0 18.592s 112 2,545 KB 18.801s 113 2,581 KB 31 KB

    mapsapi_apiboot2_main Colordepth RUM First Paint domInteractive domContentLoaded loadEvent
    12.723s 24 10.907s 18.423s 18.424s – 18.508s (0.084s) 18.577s – 18.643s (0.066s)

    I also want to switch to DO but using managed hosting seems like a good idea.

    • Sarah Bailey
      Posted at 08:11h, 29 October Reply

      Spunmonkey.com is on Cloudways, but the response time is purely my own issue. It’s a combination of my theme and the fact that I don’t get enough visitors for the cache to be consistently generated. I need to change out the theme, I just haven’t had time. The other thing is I’m running the smallest DO server and serving 5 sites on that server. They’re all fairly low traffic but it adds up. I still really like Cloudways and I do have a lot of clients on Cloudways who are very happy. I’m just not willing to put more money into scaling up just for this website with the traffic I get. Almost all of my business is by referral, not random people who land on my site, so I don’t think it’s a big deal for me.

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