Hey, I’m Dave from Profitable Tools, where I review software to help you grow your business. Now today I’m looking at Cloudways, which is a hosting platform, does things a little bit differently. You can host WordPress on cloud ways or really any PHP application. If you’re not familiar with the channel, you don’t know how I do things. I get very detailed.
I go into every single element of the interface. So if you’re in a hurry, you just want to skip around. There is a table of contents down below or you can click on the timeline to find the part that’s interesting to you. However, if you want to stick with for the entire video, I’ll go through each feature, tell you what I like about it, and tell you what I think needs improvement while hopefully teaching you how to use the platform along the way. All right, without further ado, here is the Cloudways website.
So this is their sales page, obviously trying to show you why they are worth your time and I’ll just kind of cut to the chase for you. What makes Cloudways different than other hosting providers is that they are really selling you or renting you software so you can connect to other hosting providers. Now they do a really nice job of this in my opinion, because you don’t actually have to have accounts on these other providers. So if you’re just dealing with one or two websites, I think Cloud Ways is a pretty good choice. What I’m talking about for providers is things like AWS.
AWS runs a huge percentage of the internet. You can use Google Cloud. You can use other providers like Digital Ocean Vulture or Linode. Now these are very technical servers, right? So if you wanted to go and set something up over on a Linode server, you’re going to need to be able to SSH into the server and do some administrative work.
What Cloudways is going to do for you is handle all of that with a nice graphical user interface. Let me show you what I mean. So here is a fresh Cloud Ways account. I don’t have any servers set up, so I’m going to go ahead and create one. This right away is different than other hosting providers, right?
Because you’d set up an account, you’d log in, your time would start being charged right away because you signed up for a one or a two or a three year plan. Cloudways does things a little bit different. So I’m just going to choose my application here. I want to start up a WordPress application, although like I said, I can literally run any PHP application I want, including things like Magento is ready to go right out of the box. For now, we’re going to stick with WordPress.
I’ll give this a name of my test application and I’m going to name my server my test server. There is a folder system on Cloud Ways which I think is unique to cloud ways. I haven’t encountered another hosting platform that does it quite like this. Basically the idea is you can create a folder or a project for each client that you work with and then your servers kind of live inside of those folders. Really nice for doing things like delegating access to different servers or just kind of getting a bird’s eye view of what properties are owned by which company.
Next up, we can choose our hosting provider. As I mentioned, there are some of the most popular hosting providers available. I’m going to go with Vulture in this case, but I highly recommend checking out either Digital Ocean or Vulture for the best value. It’s also great to go with something like AWS or Google Cloud. They’re all very fast in general.
I mean, we’re really splitting hairs when we start talking about different speeds. But Vulture sendy to be the absolute fastest for things like E WooCommerce or Online Courses because they have this option for instead of a standard server, choosing a high frequency server. High frequency means a higher clock speed. Just like when you buy a PC from from Best Buy or something like that, and it tells you it runs at 3.2 GHz or something like that. So these are going to be faster clock CPUs, which is really important for things like Online Courses, which has a lot of CPU requirements.
Next up, we can choose how much Ram our server has. There are other attributes that scale with this as well. So right now I’ve got a 1GB server selected. If I move up, I go to a two gigabyte server selected, but the SSD and transfer or the bandwidth also doubles as I go up. So we can see back over here.
I just have 32GB of SSD go up to 2GB and I have 64GB of SSD. If I go to 4GB of SSD, everything continues to double. Well, not the bandwidth, I just get an extra terabyte, but I also get a two core processor. Now I think this is generally where the sweet spot is for online Courses with some volume to them, right? So if you’re getting a lot of customers logging in at the same time, that’s really the important part is how many concurrent users you have either going through your checkout or taking your online quizzes, things like that.
That is where you’re going to need the extra CPU power. Now that said, I always recommend starting low and then scaling up because with all of these providers except for, I believe AWS, they let you scale up, but they don’t let you scale down. I wonder why. Obviously they want to lock in in your value each month. So the only way to go back down is to clone a server to a smaller capacity and then migrate sites over, which is obviously a lot more work.
So it’s always best to just start low and scale up as necessary. It’s a single click to just boost the resources of your server. The last thing I need to do is just tell Cloudways where I want the server to be located. Now I always recommend to go closest to wherever the majority of your audience is. That will just keep things as fast as possible.
For me, that’s going to be Chicago because I’m located in the Midwest. And you know what, chicago is kind of in the middle of, of the United States. So if most of my customers are in the United States, that’s not a bad location to choose. But you do you. Now, before I adlaunch my server, I do want to check out what this is going to cost me.
So down here we can see that it says pay as you go. It’s going to cost me approximately right around two cent per hour to run this server, when that equals out to about $13 a month. I really like this pricing model. I do want to say it sounds like I’m kind of glowing about Cloudways right now. This is not a sponsored video.
I am an affiliatewp for Cloudways. So if you want to help support the channel, you find this video helpful, you can click the link down below. But they didn’t give me any money to produce this video. I’ve been a happy Cloudways customer for years. So the general idea here and why I like it so much is that you know what it’s going to cost you to run your servers.
It’s not going to be a surprise. Like if you go with something with one of the other shared hosting providers, I won’t name any names, but they typically run these ridiculously discounted rates for the first year and then you get sticker shock after the renewal comes and it’s three or four times as much for the following years. And if you have dozens of sites on those servers, it’s quite a lot of work to try to constantly play this game where we’re moving to keep our server costs low. So I feel like $13 a month to run a business website, or even if I scale this up, to say, a two gigabyte server or even a four gigabyte server, $25 to $50 a month to run my entire business using something like WordPress WooCommerce, learn dash, that is a really, really reasonable price in my opinion. So I’m going to start off at this $13 a month server just so you can see how fast these small servers are.
If you’re just getting started, this is probably going to be enough for you to get your first round of customers. All right, so we’re all set. I’m going to go ahead and adlaunch this server. It is going to take a few minutes to get going. You can see all of the specs show up right here.
The server is called my test server. It is a high frequency server located in Chicago. It’s going to take about 13 minutes for this to load up. I’ve noticed that it doesn’t tend to take that much time. They just kind of set your expectations high.
It’ll probably be sendy in about seven or eight minutes or so, and I’ll see you when it’s loaded. All right, we’re back. You can see that my test server has been created, and I am ready to get rocking with WordPress if I want to. So let’s give you a little birth eye view of the cloud ways interface. So the first thing I can do is switch between servers and applications.
So the server is the physical box. You can think of it as being an actual computer. It’s not really, but if it helps you envision it, that’s a good way to think of it. I can switch over to applications, which are going to be the software applications that are running, or the apps if you think about your phone that are running on the actual server right now, I just have one application, and that is called my test application. It’s a test WordPress.
Site. I could add an additional site to the server, so that way I have multiple sites running on the same computer. Simply click Add Application and it’s going to look very much like the screen we saw previously. I just need to choose which server I want to add the application to, and then I’ll hit Add application, and now I can choose which application I want to add. So whether it’s another installation of WordPress or maybe a PHP custom app, my advice is typically if you have a transactional type of website, just keep it to one site per server.
They’re fairly cheap to spin up as you get more clients, but if you have a lot of brochure sites that don’t have any real interaction going on them, you can certainly load up several websites on a single server. Even these smaller servers, if they’re not getting a lot of traffic. For now, I’m not going to add any additional applications. So let’s get back to the screen we were on previously, so we have some good orientation of where we’re going. Here I’ll just click on servers up at the top, and here we see the toggle switch again to go between servers and applications.
Now, if I click into my server right here, here I can see my master credentials, which gives me my server IP address, as well as the username and password that I need to be able to log into the server via SFTP or SSH. If I prefer to use something like SSH keys, I can add them over here, and I can even launch an SS terminal right inside of the browser. So you don’t have to use something like Terminal on Mac or putty on PC. One thing I really like about the cloudways user interface is the ability to copy important information with a single click. So for example, if I wanted to get my IP address, a single click on the IP address copies it to my clipboard.
Same goes for the username and password for the entire server. The next tab down is first server monitoring. So I can see how things are running. Maybe I need to increase the amount of CPU available to my server or increase Ram. Well, I’ll be able to see how things are going.
Right here I’ve got a very nice summary view, which is kind of gives me the raw information without going into any sort of detail. I’m using 382 megabytes of Ram. CPU usage is very low. Disk usage has plenty of space available and I’ve not used any bandwidth yet. If I want a little bit more detail, I can click over on the next tab here and I can see a graph for each particular element.
So right here, this is a CPU graph. You can see the server was just launched at 1145. And if I go up to, let’s say, free disk space, I can also see how much free disk space is available. Now these graphs are blank right now because the server is brand new. I can view it in increments of 1 hour, 12 hours, all the way up to the last six months.
If you want even more detail, you can click over on this third tab for New Relic. This is a third party service that works with cloud ways. They’ve got a partnership. You can read about that with this link right here. Essentially, New Relic is going to be able to monitor your server resources with even greater detail than this dashboard on the cloudways panel.
The third tab down here says Manage Services. And this is where I’m going to be able to see what services are currently running at the server level. So I’ve got Apache installed, I’ve got memcache installed, I’ve got MySQL, I’ve got New Relic, which is actually stopped right now. We’ve got NGINX, PHP, FPM, and Varnish running. So I’m going to do something like disable varnish because I’m not a big fan of Varnish server level caching.
And if I made some change on the server to Apache, which is the web server software itself, I could quickly come into this panel and simply click Restart. Apache will quickly reload and then any changes that I made will take effect. The next tab down is for Settings and packages. This is where I can set the specifications of the server. So things like memory limit or upload size.
So maybe I want to increase this to 50 megabytes upload size and I want to increase the memory limit to 56. I can do that right at the server level. Now this is different than setting it inside of WordPress, which is still important to do. I can also set the time zone for the server here. I think that’s a nice thing to do.
That way the software always is kind of going back to the master time zone on the server level, still in Systems and Packages, but under the advanced tab, I’ve got even more input in terms of configuring the server. Some PHP options, the ability to configure my SQL to function how I’d like. We’ve got some Apache options, some NGINX options, including the WAF module, which I can set up to work with Security Cloudways or disable it. And then we have some system information where I can set the location of the system as well as the Varnish lifetime cache. Now I just disabled Varnish, so that one is not important to me.
The third tab over under Settings and Packages is Packages themselves. This is where I can configure the software that is pre installed on my server, as well as install some additional packages. So we’ve got PHP 7.3. If I needed to upgrade or downgrade, I’ve got the option to do that right here. Simply choose the version you want, hit save, it will reboot your server, and you’ll be ready to go in just a moment.
We can change the version of MySQL that you’re using. We’ve got MariaDB 10.1, but I can choose any of the more modern versions of MariaDB as well. If I prefer that, we can turn on Elasticsearch, we can turn on Redis Caching, and we can also turn on Supervisor. This optimizations tab is fairly new to the cloud waste platform. This will allow you to automatically clean up any unused disk space, and you can even automate the process.
So I can do things like remove all files from the Temp folder, or remove all files from the private HTML folder, so on and so forth. I can check all of these and then hit Run Cleanup. If I want the disk to be cleaned up automatically, I can turn this on right over here, and whenever the disk capacity reaches 80%, it will run the disk cleanup without me having to take any action myself. This is really important because if your server starts to run out of space, the performance of the server obviously suffers. In fact, it can completely bring the server to a crawl.
So I do recommend checking this out. And the last tab under Settings and Packages is for maintenance. And this is basically to schedule any particular downtime you might have when you need to do things like software updates to the server. By default, it’s going to do it between six and seven UTC. If you want to change it for a different time, that works better for your business, you can do that right here.
All right, moving on from Settings and Packages, the next tab down is for Security. Now, this is where we can whitelist specific IPS to be able to access our server. So if you’re doing something that’s more of like an intranet, or you only want specific people to be able to access your server. Intranet is probably the wrong word. You could go ahead and choose this toggle right here that says block all IP addresses except for those listed on the whitelist, and then go ahead and add everybody who should have access to this server to the whitelist.
So this could be very useful. If you’re running a private server for your company, it’s not client facing at all. You could go ahead and really lock this thing down. The next tab is for vertical scaling and this is where you can scale up your server. So we started this off at the 1GB server.
If I wanted to bring it up to a two gigabyte server, I can do that right here. Simply click scale. Now it typically only takes a minute or two to bump up those resources and you’re back in business with a beefier server. The next tab down is for backups. This is where we can set up our backup schedule.
We do have several options here, so we’ve got backup settings, we can schedule a time, say once a day. We can do as frequently as once per hour. If you’re running a high traffic WooCommerce site, maybe you want frequent backups to make sure you always have all of your recent transactions. We can retain the backups for a certain period of time under local backups. It’s off by default, but I can toggle that on if I want.
If I turn it on, it’s going to copy the server to the same server. You can’t turn off offsite backups. That is the default. So it’s going to copy your data over to another server, although you don’t really have access to that server. So I’d still recommend, even though I do recommend turning on backups at the server level, also turn on backups someplace else so you have at least two, preferably three, copies of your websites.
You can do that using any sort of WordPress plug in. Ones I’ve recommended in the past are WP time capsule and WP vivid. So what I like about this interface is that it’s very easy to set up a backup schedule, set it and forget it. However, if you’re making some updates to your server or to your site and you want to make sure you’ve got a recent backup, you can always come into the server level and just click take an on demand backup and it’ll be backed up for you in a matter of a few minutes. The last tab at the bottom here is for SMTP, which is Mail.
It’s Email, so it’s a very important setting. It’s even more important if you’re not familiar with having to configure email settings for your server. If you’re coming from a shared hosting provider, chances are they took care of that for you. Now, very important to understand what I’m talking about here. I’m talking about the emails that are sent by your application.
So as an example, WordPress, let’s say you’ve got a contact form on WordPress, someone fills it out and then that email form has to be sent to you to notify you that someone filled out the contact form, right? If you don’t get that email, the form is very useless. So by configuring the SMTP settings at the server level, you can be certain that no emails will get accidentally lost. I’d still recommend setting it up at the application level, but if you want to do it at the server level, that is a good backup plan. Now you can use their Elastic Email service which will let you send, I think it’s 1000 emails for a dollar a month or something like that.
Or maybe it’s ten cents a month. It’s very, very cheap. Yes, I just went and checked and it is in fact 1000 emails for ten cents a month. And that just scales up proportionally. So every 1000 emails will be an additional $0.10.
Now what I don’t like about using Elastic Email is that they put your address at the bottom of every single transactional email that goes out. This is for can spam requirements. But the problem is, if you’re using this on clients websites, they don’t probably want your address, your marketing agency, your WordPress agencies address at the bottom of their emails. So I’d recommend using your own SMTP option. You can use Mailgun.
There’s other options here as well. Mailgun is a very reliable one. I definitely recommend checking them out. Okay, so that’s it for the server settings. Now you can see the breadcrumbs up here at the top.
If I had multiple servers configured in my account, I could simply click this drop down and then switch between the servers to do the server configuration. For each server, as I like right now, I’ve only got the one server. So what we’re going to do is actually jump over to the application level. Now we have these funny icons over here to the right. The Www is actually the applications.
The next one over is the projects, and the last one is for any team members that have access to this server. So at a bird’s eye view, you can see, okay, there’s only one application running here. I’ve got a single project assigned to this server and no external team members are assigned as well. So I do really like that user interface. Once you get used to their icons, it’s very easy to navigate the platform.
Now if I want to get over to my application settings, I can either click right here or I can simply click on the menu bar where it says Applications. Let’s do the www and I see a list of my applications just like we had on the dropdown for the server. Let’s go over to my test WordPress application. Very similarly, I can see my application settings over here with a list of options on the left and then everything that I’m configuring on the right. Now in the access details.
This is going to be where you find a URL for your website. Now you can change this URL, but of course they’ve got to give you something so you can access the site right out of the gates. So if I click right here where it has the application URL, you can see that this is going to open up a website. It’s going to open up a new tab. So here is a default WordPress website running right out of the gates.
It’s got this really long funny URL which we’re going to be able to change. But I can actually log into this and start using WordPress right away. Here’s a link for the admin panel. So what I’m going to do before I click on that is just grab my password by copying once here and then opening up the admin panel. I’ll enter the username and password that they provided and then hit Login.
And here I am on the back end of my WordPress website. I can go ahead and configure this kind of though it’s in staging, right? Because no one’s probably going to use this URL. And then when I’m ready, I can transfer it over to the proper URL. Or if you don’t want to wait, we can do it right away.
We’re going to skip around a little bit on the application management section just so that we can get this URL configured to something a little bit more manageable right away. So I’m going to go down to the fourth section right here where it says Domain Main Management and I’ll enter in a new primary domain. I’m going to use this domain called Brainrevenue.com and hit Save Changes. Okay, so I’ve got my primary domain configured to be Brainrevenue.com. But in order for this domain to actually work, I still have to tell my DNS provider to point at this server.
So for me that means logging into my namecheap account and using the IP address of the server. For you, it’s going to probably be wherever you purchased your domain name or maybe you’re using a service like Cloudflare. So let’s head over to the server settings first and get our IP address again. So remember that’s that number right up here, we can copy it very easily by clicking into the server and then clicking under the master credentials to copy the IP address. Now I’m going to log into my namecheap account and head over to the domain name that I want to edit.
I’m in the advanced DNS section right now and I really just need to update a couple of records. So first of all, I’ve got an A record. In this case, if I didn’t have one, let’s say I deleted all of these records. What I’d want to do is create a new record and it would be an A record. The host is going to be blank and I’ll add the IP address of that server TTL means time to live.
It’s how long it’s going to take for this to propagate. I’m going to leave it at automatic and I’ll click the checkmark to make it live. Whoops. It looked like Namecheap is making me add in a host name. Here.
I will add in an app symbol and go ahead and hit the Save changes button there. All right, great. So now I’ve got an A record. And what this is really doing is telling my domain name provider that the domain should point to this server over on cloudways. That’s what that A record is.
Now, I do want to do one more thing, which is to grab anybody who might type www at the beginning of the URL and send them over to that same server. So to do this, I’m going to add another record. And in this case, I’m going to grab a CNAME record. CNAME records are like redirects. So what I want to do here is type in www as my host, and then the value will simply be Brainrevenue.com.
Now of course, to test this, I could simply type in the URL. But there’s another way to do it, just to see how it’s working all over the world. I’m going to head over to Whatsmydns. Net. I’m going to type brainrevenue.com and notice that I have the A record selected.
That’s the default option. And if I type search, I should hopefully see that IP address resolved. Now, you can see I’m kind of getting a mixture. So different parts of the world have the new IP address, whereas others have the old IP address. So it’s going to slowly propagate.
Sometimes it takes a good two or three minutes, but it usually goes pretty quickly back over in cloud ways. I’m going to head to the application settings, enter my test application, and I’m just going to click this little icon right here, which will load up that URL. And right now, my local DNS is probably cached to the old one. So I’m getting this error that this is not allowed. So let’s just give this another moment and see if everything straightens out all right.
So good news. My website is now loading correctly. I’ve got the Brain revenue domain name, and it’s loading up that same default WordPress website. So let’s continue back over on cloud ways. And the next thing you’re probably going to want to do is set up an SSL certificate.
So over on the left hand sidebar, we’re going to go down to where it says SSL certificate. I’m going to click here, I’m going to use let’s encrypt, and then I’m going to enter my email address in as well as the domain name that I’m using. And the last step is simply to click Install Certificate. Now, it is important to check to make sure that your DNS has propagated using something like what’s mydns net beforehand? Otherwise the certificate won’t issue.
All right, let’s go. Ahead and do this. You can see that it’s working in the background. Now, I could keep using Cloud Ways at this point, but I’m just going to stay here until the SSL certificate is issued. All right, so our SSL certificate has been successfully installed.
Now, I didn’t really explain what this is. If you are starting a website, you want to make sure you have an SSL certificate. What it does is it adds that little padlock next to your URL. Let’s see if I’ve still got the website up here. You can see that it says Not Secure in the browser here.
I’m on safari right here. If I was on Chrome, they’d even do it in red letters. So now that I have it installed, if I reload this page, it still says Not Secure because I actually need to type in the redirection with Https and then the colon bracket, bracket, slash. Excuse me. And now we can see I have the little padlock.
So not only does this give people peace of mind, but it actually provides encryption between the server and people connecting to the server. So really, really critical just for the protection of your users. It also gives you an SEO boost. Definitely want to do it. It doesn’t cost anything extra.
Now, after the SSL certificate has been installed, cloud Ways is asking if I want to enable this by default, and it gives us some examples of what’s going to happen. Basically, any iteration at which you type in your URL will now add that S at the end of the Http. So I didn’t have to do it manually. Let’s do that. Now.
I’ll enable this, and now the redirection is done for me. All right, so I’ve got the confirmation that the redirection has been enabled. Let’s test this out. I’ll go back over to the website. I’m simply going to delete the S in the URL here, and we should see that.
Yep, it still loads with the S, so there’s no way to get rid of it, which is a really good thing. Now there’s nothing else I need to do in terms of SSL certificates. I’ll be good to go for life. It will automatically renew for me. If I had different domains that I wanted to use for the same website, I could simply repeat this process, go over to Domain management, add an additional domain, and then head back over to the SSL certificate and add that domain on, making sure that you, of course, add an A record pointing to the correct server for each domain.
The benefit of this would be not that you’ll have separate websites, but that you can have two URLs pointing to the same website. All right, continuing our tour of the cloudways interface here, let’s head over to monitoring, where we can see some analytics as well as some logs. I’ve got the disclosure triangle dropped down there, so I can see analytics in terms of traffic to my site. The PHP analytics, what is going on, what pages are loading slowly in PHP? I’ll be able to see that right here.
Now obviously this site is brand new. It doesn’t have anything going on wrong with it. I can see the disk usage. Remember, we saw some analytics before in terms of the server level, but this would be at the application level. So it would just affect this one website brain revenue.com.
If I had multiple sites on the server, that’s when I’d want to see how the overall health of the server is and go over to the server level. I can see any existing Crons that are running. There is a Cron manager built right into the cloudways interface, which is really nice. The Cron management is right down here. I can click on that, simply type in the Crons that I want to add if that’s important for your applications.
Things like WordPress don’t really need to have any Crons added. There are some modifications you can do, but right out of the box you’re pretty much good to go back over. In the monitoring section, we looked at the analytics. We can also see logs, the access logs, see what is going on, what is hitting our server, as well as any errors that are coming about. Here’s the error logs.
You can see it takes a second for these to kind of populate. It’s going out to the server, pulling them back into the dashboard for us. So here’s the access logs for Apache. I can see all of the connections that have been made to the server. It’s just me basically, right?
So I’m using Safari and you can see that happening right here in the access logs. A really cool feature is their bot protection, which will basically make your site more secure from, let’s say, scraping or any sort of bot attacks where they’re accessing your site repeatedly using a lot of your resources. Very simple to set up. You just toggle it on and it’s ready to go. If you want to turn it off, it’s causing problems for you simply toggle it off.
It’ll just take a second to restart the system and you’ll be ready to go. The bot protection does give you a lot of statistics about what it’s actually doing, how many traffic requests it is blocking, how many login attempts are coming. You can see that I just logged in a few moments ago, so it’s showing that down here, but I can also see traffic from bad bots. And if you hover over the little eye here, it says it lists all bots visiting your site. You have an option to whitelist any bot.
The last five bots are shown. So it’s going to tell you a lot of information about what computerized systems are actually visiting your website that might not necessarily be up to all good, right? So Google is going to be visiting your website scraping it to make sure that it’s got the latest information for their search engine. But other people might be visiting your website, trying to look for holes or ways to get in that are not necessarily with good intentions. Moving on down the line, we’ve got backup and restore.
Now this is going to be at the application level. We already looked at backing up at the server level, so that will include all applications on the server. This is if you want to back up, just say one website. You could go in here, take a backup, make any changes that you want. If something goes wrong, restore that backup.
So this is nice to have. You can’t set a schedule like you can at the server level, so it’s just kind of a temporary thing. I do recommend always using a plug in to do backups as well. All right, the next option down the line is deployment via git. So if you are using the git repository, you’ll be able to connect cloudways up to it directly with an SSH key.
Moving on down the line, we’ve got our application settings. This is where we can configure several application specific settings for our web app. So what does that mean? Well, we can turn on things like varnish. Now I’ve got that disabled at the server level so that’s not showing up here.
We can turn on and off SSH access by default it is turned off, which is a security precaution. If you’re not using SSH, you might as well leave it off. But it’s very easy to turn on right here. We can edit the headers, we can change the application access entirely. So if we don’t want anyone to be able to get it, we can just turn it off.
Right, so if I turn this off and I visit the website again, there we go, we can see the entire application is turned off. Let me just toggle that back on and we’ll visit the website one more time and sure enough, we’re back in business. If I needed to turn off or disable that Https direction for some reason, maybe I click the wrong button that set up or whatever the idea is. I can easily enter the settings for that. Right here you’ve got some other settings like GeoIP which will allow you to track the location of people visiting your website that is off by default.
You’ll need some third party software to be able to use this. And we also have XMLRPC, which is kind of more of an antiquated software as more WordPress applications have moved over to Rest API. So that is off by default. But if you’re running older software and you want to turn that on, there are settings for that here as well. We’ve got some PHP FPM options here where we can actually get access to that config file.
And then once again your varnish settings, I turn that off because I don’t like using Varnish. If you’re considering moving over to Cloudways from another hosting provider, you’ll be really happy to know that, well, Cloud Ways can migrate your site for you. So if you’re concerned about that, they’ll take care of it for you. I think you get one migration depending on the plan that you sign up for. But the good news is you probably don’t even need that because they’ve got such a great migration tool here.
It’s actually using the migration guru. They’ve kind of white labeled it. It’s a free plug in, but they’ve really set it up to work extremely easily with Cloudways. So you simply download this plugin, install it on your source website where you’re coming from, and you’ll be able to connect right into your Cloud Ways website and do the migration very, very seamlessly. And the last tab to look at over here is the Cloudways CDN.
If you’re not familiar with what a CDN is, it simply gives you access to servers all over the world to deliver things like your CSS files, your HTML files, and of course your images and other multimedia assets. So Cloud ways CDN is actually using StackPath, which is a very high quality CDN. You’re going to be able to get a very good rate. Here you can see that you’re charged $1 for every 25GB per application and additional consumption is four cents per gigabyte. So hopefully you’re feeling pretty good about the Cloudways interface so far.
There’s just a few more features I want to point out. If I click up here on this little rectangular grid, I’m going to see a few more options. The first one is called the Cloudways Bot. What this is going to allow you to do is connect your Cloudways account up to something like Slack. And then anytime something goes wrong with one of your Cloudways sites, let’s say it’s running low on disk space or maybe knock on wood, one of the servers is down.
You’ll get a notification over on Slack. Setting this up is really easy. You just simply just choose what notifications you want to get and then connect it up via Slack. Here are the channels that you can connect it right here. You can use Slack email or their custom API back over in that grid.
The next tab down is add ons. Now I briefly went in here to demonstrate that you can use Elastic email that was setting up emails to be sent from your server. I think that’s a good one to turn on, just kind of as a backup. But we have some other options as well. You’ve got DNS made Easy, which is a higher quality DNS provider.
So if you’re using something like Namecheap, you could possibly decide that that’s not enough for you. And you want to switch over to DNS Made Easy that will provide a slightly faster response time for your server. We’re talking milliseconds here. It’s probably not something that’s necessary unless you’re an extreme power user, but it’s a nice option that Cloudways has provided here for you. The next option down is Rackspace email.
So this is another pain point. If you’re moving over from SiteGround, you might have all of your email addresses on SiteGround. Now I wouldn’t necessarily recommend Rackspace Email as my favorite go to business email provider. I’d probably recommend just working with Google G suite. That tends to be the most reliable solution.
But Rackspace is really affordable and they’re pretty good on deliverability as well. You’re going to be able to get email addresses for $1 per email address per month. Yeah, at $12 a year. Basically to get your email delivered and then multiply that by how many people are on your team. The last add on I want to talk about is their support add on.
It’s actually the first on the list here I’ll click a little pencil icon so we can see some details. So their standard support comes with all accounts. Standard support lets you submit tickets and they’ll get back to you when they can. I found that their reply times are maybe something that leave a little bit to be desired. So if you want someone more involved almost, you know, an extra person on your team, you might consider upgrading to either their Advanced or Premium support.
This will give you access to live chat and much faster response times. So it just kind of depends on where your business is at and how technical your team is. It might be in your best interest to just have a little bit more support, pay for that extra bit. Now that is kind of the constant dig at Cloud ways is that their service is not quite there. I know they are working to make it better, but I don’t think it quite holds up to something like Akinsta at this point.
Before we go, I’ll just mention that if you do want to have Cloudways migrate your sites for you, you can go right here to where it says Application Migration. Click on the little pencil icon and you can choose which application you want to have them migrate to. You’ll enter in your site details, you can do the request right here and they’ll get it done for you. I think it usually takes 24 to 72 hours somewhere in that time frame to get things moved over, but they will contact you afterwards and kind of set up the schedule and walk you through it. I have used this service before and it works pretty well.
I did have a couple of Glitches along the way. So for me, I’m technical enough that I’m just going to do it myself from here on out. Same goes for this application upgrade option. If you want them to go ahead and update your website, you can pay them to do that, which is probably a nice thing for some people that don’t really want to mess around with breaking something with an upgrade. All right, let’s check out this team section right up here.
This is where we can add team members to be able to work on our servers and our applications. I’m going to add a new team member here, and you’re going to see that I have a lot of specificity with what I’d like to give people access to. So I simply enter their email address in. I can choose whether they’re active or not active. So obviously, if you had a team member that left, you could just change them to be not active, enter their name and their job title.
We’ve got some defaults in here. Then down below we can choose what access we’re giving them. Do they have billing access? Do they have support access? Can they get into the support area to create tickets on your behalf?
And then do they have console access, which is entering this back edd that we’ve been looking at in terms of managing the servers and the applications? I can give them full access or limited access to only a specific server, to specific add ons, or even just to manage projects, which are, if you remember those folders we can set up to put our servers into. So now that I’m done with this tour of the cloudways interface, I’m free to delete my test server again. It’s only going to cost me a few cents per hour. Now, I do want to point out that I have some options here.
I can click on these triple dots over towards the end, and I can actually just stop the server, which will stop all applications on the server from working, but I’ll still be charged for the server. I can also restart the entire server here, similar to pressing the restart button on your computer. I can delete the server, which is what I’m going to do in a moment. I could add another application right here. I could transfer the server to another user.
And I use this function all the time where we’ll build sites for clients. They don’t want us to take care of the site, so we’ll just simply have them create their own cloud based account and transfer over to them. And the last option is if I want to do some testing on a server, I can clone it entirely and begin working on the same applications over there without any harm of, hey, Oliver, sites breaking. So let’s go ahead and delete this server. As the video is nearing an end, it’s going to ask me why I’m deleting the server.
I’ll just choose, no need. Type the word delete in, and now my server is being destroyed. There we go. It says my test server is deleted successfully and I am back where I started the video. So if I had to sum up my thoughts on the cloud ways interface, I think it’s a really beautiful experience.
Anyone who has done any sort of management of servers using the command line interface will be able to appreciate how easy it is to get access to some pretty detailed and advanced features right inside of a nice graphical user interface of Cloud ways. It really can save you a lot of time, especially if you only do this every once in a while. That said, I think Cloud ways is best fit to smaller companies that are managing fewer servers. If you get up to a larger amount of servers, you might want to look at some other options because Cloudways actually makes their money. Each time you provision a server right, they add a markup.
So if you had dozens or hundreds of servers provisioned through Cloudways, you’ll end up paying quite a bit extra per month versus just going directly to the Cloud provider. Here’s an example. The Vulture server I set up in this video was $13 a month on Cloudways. If I go right over to Vulture, it’s going to be, I think, six or $7 a month. So you can see if you multiply that by 100 servers, it really is going to be a little bit of an expensive proposition to work solely with Cloudways.
However, if it saves you enough time, time is money. You could see the value in it. So that is up to you to decide. I’m going to go ahead and give Cloudways a very admirable 9.2 out of ten. This is definitely one of my favorite hosting providers available today.
All right, that’s going to do it for this review. I hope it’s been helpful to you. If you have any questions, make sure you leave me a comment down below or you can check out the Facebook group I will link to that in the description as well. I’ll see you in the next review.