What is Cloudways?
Cloudways is a managed cloud hosting service where you get to select from different cloud hosting providers like DigitalOcean, Vultr, Linode, AWS, and Google Cloud. Deploying a server with Cloudways is easy and it takes only a few steps to install WordPress and get your blog up and running. Of course, being a managed hosting platform, the charges are higher than what you would normally pay by working directly with the infrastructure providers.
Like it or not, one of the key components of your website’s or blog’s success is the web hosting company that you are choosing. A bad hosting company can leave you with hours of headaches in form of frequent downtimes, crashing or stalled server, and what not.
So, I never suggest people to go for shared hosting providers who often end up cramming in thousands and thousands of websites in a single server. All the websites share the server resources and end up fighting for getting the bigger share whenever there is a surge in traffic.
Sluggish websites with frequent server errors and downtimes! Yes, shared hosting may sound cheap, but when you look at the bigger picture, the opportunity cost eventually trumps the low price. Honestly, shared hosting is not a right choice.
In my opinion, you should always go for cloud hosting where you get dedicated resources for every VPS instance your launch. People often try not to indulge in cloud hosting on two grounds:
- Some think it is expensive (not always true).
- Everyone thinks it is extremely complicated (umm… may be).
But trust me, it is better to start with $5 or $10 monthly payment rather than getting into a long-term contract and pay hundreds of dollars at once. That’s plain, RIDICULOUS.
If you think cloud hosting is complicated, well, you are right! It is. If you think it is difficult, you cannot be wrong! Complication and difficulty are different. It is just that you don’t get to click around on everything and configure a lot of things with caution. That doesn’t make it difficult. It is just complicated. You untangle the strings, the puzzle solves itself, giving you a ridiculously clear insight into how cloud hosting works.
If you are still not convinced and you think you want a platform where you can just focus on your site while someone else handles the dirty task of server management, say hello to Cloudways – a managed cloud hosting platform where you need to deal with only a few things initially.
After the initial configuration, all you need to do is focus on your blog.
Advantages of Cloudways Managed Cloud Hosting
I can think of a few reasons why you should opt for Cloudways managed cloud hosting. Those reasons are:
- You don’t have to make a large upfront payment amounting to hundreds of dollars. If you are running low on budget, Cloudways gives you the option of paying monthly, and you can get away by paying as little as $10 a month. If you want something even cheaper, go for unmanaged cloud hosting.
- With Cloudways, you can choose between the infrastructure provided by multiple cloud hosting companies including the likes of AWS and Google Cloud.
- You don’t have to deal with the complexities of server management. Cloudways take care of updating server software, and an assortment of other security features and patches.
- You can deploy a server with WordPress installed on it within a couple of minutes.
- There are provisions for upward scaling with only a few clicks. No need to change server and migrate your site.
Disadvantages Cloudways Managed Cloud Hosting?
I will be fair. If there are advantages, there are drawbacks as well. Here are the shortcomings you need to know:
- It is more expensive than what you would pay by directly working with the cloud hosting providers. For instance, deploying a DigitalOcean server with 25 GB disk space, 1 vCPU and 1GB RAM will cost you $5 month. Deploying the same server through Cloudways is going to cost you $10 a month. That’s double the price!
- Cloudways doesn’t own the infrastructure. So, if your server is down for some reason, Cloudways can’t do anything. You must wait until the infrastructure provider takes care of it.
Okay, now that you know about the advantages and disadvantages of Cloudways, let us go through the detailed review. Shall we?
Cloudways Review and Setup
Creating Account and Setting Up Server
Getting started with Cloudways is simple. You need to start by creating an account. If you already have an account, you need to login.
The signup process is simple. You can use your Google account to sign up. However, do not forget that you must create a password later.
You need activate your account through the link that you receive in the email. Once you activate your account, you need to login.
Once you log in, you will get the option of deploying your first server. You will see this screen:
Once you click on the ‘LAUNCH’ button, you will find the next screen where you need to select the server application, a server provider, the server size, and the data center location.
This is the scree you will see after you click on that button:
Everything will stay greyed out until you start by selecting the application you want to install. You can select from the drop down that you see on the top.
There are multiple applications to select from. If you want to install WordPress with optimizations done by Cloudways, select an option appropriately. Alternatively, you can install WordPress that is not optimized by Cloudways. It is totally your choice.
Once you have selected the application you want to install, you have to provide a name for your application, and a name for your server. After you provide the names, you will get to select the server provider and the server size and data center location.
This is what you will see:
For the sake of this review, I will use DigitalOcean with 1 GB RAM and data center in New York.
Hovering your mouse pointer over the RAM size will show additional details that include. In this case, this is what you will get:
SSD Disk space: 25 GB
Bandwidth: 1 TB
CPU core: 1
Usually, this is enough for any new website, and you can happily stay with this configuration for up to a year. If somehow you get more traffic, you can scale quickly.
Once you select the server, you can see the price you need to pay per month at the bottom of the screen.
That’s the minimum price you need to pay when working with Cloudways. Once you are happy with your selection, click on the ‘LAUNCH NOW’ button you see at the bottom of the screen. Doing so will deploy the server and the application will be installed on it.
This is what you see when Cloudways adds or deploys the server:
It will show you the approximate time it will take to deploy the server. You won’t have anything to do at this point. You need to wait.
Once the server addition is completed, you will see this:
Notice the toggle switch on the top. It will be set to Servers by default. However, if you toggle it to Applications, the interface will show you the application that was installed during the server deployment process.
That’s all! You have successfully installed your WordPress site on a cloud server deployed through Cloudways managed cloud hosting platform.
Okay, that you have successfully installed your web application, you need to work on to make your website complete. What do you do next?
The next step will be to go through the different options you have at hand. This is not your average shared hosting where you get a cPanel and you click around happily.
This is cloud hosting. There will be no cPanel to deal with. To find the options you have in hand, you need to be on the Applications window (the last image you see above) and then click on the application that you installed. In this text example, the application installed in WordPress and I named it as Testing Installation. You can give the actual name of website you are building.
Clicking on the application, you will notice this:
What you see above is the control panel you will get. With a typical cloud hosting (an unmanaged one), you will not get such control panel unless you decide to install a control panel like cPanel or Cyber Panel.
Now, let’s go through every option you get here.
This tab will give you the URL of your WordPress installation, details of your WordPress login, and even MySQL database details. You can even create user credentials for SSH or SFTP access. You can edit passwords here by clicking on the small pencil icons you see.
Now, the application URL you see is not the domain name you want to use. This is the temporary URL. When you add your domain to this server and application, you can access the website through your domain URL.
The monitoring tab has two sub menus, which are Analytics and Logs. There is nothing to do here. All you can do here is observe. You will get some fine details that can help you drill down on problems that your website many be facing.
The Bot Protection tab is where you can see how many bots have been blocked. Bot protection is already active. You can deactivate it, but I will never recommend doing that. Bots can eat up a significant part of your allocated bandwidth. So, preventing bad bot from hitting your website is always a good idea.
The only thing you can do is toggle the bot protection switch on or off. Here is how the segment looks like:
You can get more details by scrolling down the page. This segment can help you identify how many bot requests you get per month. If there are unknown bots that Cloudways Bot Protection system is not stopping, you can block them separately via your .htaccess file or by other means.
This is where you need to add your domain to your Cloudways application. You need to add your primary domain. In case you want to create subdomains, you can add them using the ADD DOMAIN button under ADDITIONAL DOMAINS.
This is how the domain management area looks like:
Once you add the domain, you need to point your domain to the server where your website is installed. You can add A records or Nameservers. Both works fine. For adding A records, you need to grab the server IP.
Where do you find the server IP?
You can get the server IP from the server list. Just click on Servers in the blue menu you see on top. This will take you to the list of servers. You will find the IP address of the server there.
You need to grab this IP address, visit your account with your domain registrar, and add it as A record in the domain management area.
I will skip a detailed explanation for this because different domain registrars have different interface for domain management. You need to figure it out by yourself. If you can’t understand something, you can always ask your domain registrar. The support team will guide you.
Cron Job Management
This is for advanced users. I will suggest you leave it as is if you are not aware of what cron jobs are and how to set them. It doesn’t matter if you are not setting up cron jobs.
Cron job essentially refers to scheduling tasks that will be performed later. For instance, you can set up a cron job for automatic server cleanup or automatic database cleanup. But as I said, cron job can be difficult to set. If you fail to set cron jobs properly, your site can become inaccessible.
You don’t need to worry about cron jobs at all! If you need to perform certain tasks, perform them manually. It is a safer bet doesn’t put load on your server.
This is where you can install SSL certificate on your domain. Make sure that you are adding your domain first before you go ahead with the SSL installation.
You can always install the free SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt (a joint venture between Google and Facebook), but if you want, you can always install a certificate that you purchased.
In case you are building a big ecommerce store, it is wise to purchase a premium SSL certificate and install it.
You can install the SSL certificate on your domain-based email as well. However, I will always suggest that you use Google Workspace for your email requirements. This eliminates the need for configuring SMTP on your server. Also, Google’s mail servers are trustworthy, and hence, you don’t have to worry about your outgoing emails ending up in the recipient’s spam folder.
Do remember that while adding the SSL certificate to your domain name, do not forget to add www. This will add www to your domain. Of course, your website will run just fine without that, but it only looks good and far more professional.
Backup And Restore
This is where you can take application-level backups. This means that only your website files and your database will be backed up. This is an on-demand service. So, you need to manually run the backups every time you want to take backups.
You can even restore backups from here. It is always a good idea to backup your website from time to time. This will keep you protected against unexpected events like hacks and malware injections. You can quickly restore your website from backups, thereby preventing massive revenue losses.
Deployment Via Git
If you have any code on Git that you want to deploy, you can do that directly from here. However, I will assume that if you are reading this, you are a noob. If you were a developer, you wouldn’t need this in the first place.
You can happily skip this tab. There is nothing interesting here unless you are a developer.
This is where you can change certain settings for the application you installed. In this example, I installed WordPress. So, there will be certain settings specific to WordPress. You should worry about only one part of this entire segment. For the rest, you should leave everything to their default values.
Honestly, I don’t you should be worried about anything else in this area. However, if you want to fiddle around, it is okay to do so provided you know what you are doing. If you don’t know what to do and why to do that, you better leave everything intact.
I have highlighted the things that you need to worry about. You can follow the settings. When you are installing SSL certificate, you need to enable HTTPS redirection. If you don’t enable this, your site will not show the padlock icon you see for SSL-enabled sites.
You can live without SSH keys, but I will suggest you enable this option. This will require you to create SSH keys and upload them to your server. Everytime you connect to your server using PuTTY or SFTP, you will not be prompted for a password. Also, SSH is the most secure method of remotely connecting to your server.
You can find a full guide on generating SSH keys here.
Leave CORS (cross origin resource sharing) Headers and XMLRPC disabled. They can be easily exploited by hackers.
GEO IP? Enable it only and only if you have the means of accessing the data from within WordPress. This is more like analytics data, but on much lower scale. However, I don’t recommend enabling this because it will increase database size. You are better off with Google Analytics. You will find everything you need to know from Google Analytics.
Leave application access and varnish enabled. If you disable application access, no one can access your website. Varnish is a server-side caching application. Leave it enabled. Cloudways has already preconfigured everything. Caching will speed up your website.
This is a plugin that will help you to migrate your website from another server to the server you deployed by Cloudways.
This is essentially a plugin-based migration. It will work well if your website is a small one. If you have a very large or a very complex website, I will never suggest using automatic migrations using plugins. You should manually move your website.
Anyway, you can always use it, and it is free. You can download the plugin and then upload it to your existing server with some other hosting provider. Just install it the way you install any other WordPress plugin. Once you install and activate it, follow the on-screen instructions.
Using migration plugins is not difficult. Unfortunately, I never used this tool because I always migrate my sites manually. This gives me complete control over my site.
You can use Cloudways CDN if you want. It is a low-cost content delivery network. The cost is $1 for 25 GB of traffic. For every extra GB of traffic after the first 25 GB, you need to pay $0.04.
CDN helps to speed up your website by caching static files of your site and serving them through CDN endpoints. Basically, the cached files will be stored on servers spread globally.
When a visitor requests your website through a web browser, the CDN server closest to the visitor will serve the static files, thereby speeding up the website by decrease the website load time.
It is not necessary to use Cloudways CDN. You can always use any other CDN you want. I recommend using Cloudflare.
Not only Cloudflare is free, but it also provides protection against DDoS and DoS attacks. In fact, Cloudflare is known to thwart the most massive DDoS attacks in the history of the Internet.
In case you don’t want to go through the pain of setting up Cloudflare, you can always use Cloudways CDN. It is simple to set up and only takes adding your website URL. Cloudways will do the rest.
Okay, that’s pretty much everything in application management. A few things can be different here and there, specifically in application settings segment if you are installing something else other than WordPress.
It is now time to look at server management options. Ready?
To access server management options, you need to visit the server list. To do that, you need to click on the Servers tab on the top menu. It will take you to the list of servers you have.
If you have multiple servers, all servers will show up here in as a list. Now, to get to the server management options, click on the server (in this example it is Test Server). This will open a new window where you can find the options for server management.
This is what you will see when you click on the server from the list:
Let’s go through every option individually and see what you get there.
This is the first option. You can find the public IP of your server. It is the same IP you will use as A record to point your domain to the server.
You will also find username and password. You will use this user ID and password if you want to access your server using PuTTY or an FTP client. Alternatively, you can upload SSH keys if you don’t want to enter passwords again and again.
You can keep a note of these details or you can access them directly from the Cloudways interface whenever you need them. You can even edit the details.
This is the segment where you monitor the server resources. For instance, you can know the amount of disk space used and the amount of RAM in usage. You cannot edit, add or remove anything from here.
All you get here is only statistic that will allow you to know vital information about your server. Combine the data with the application-level monitoring data, and you can drill down on the issues that are cause problems with your server or your web application.
You can manage the different services from here. For instance, if you want to restart Apache from here, you can do that. If you want to delete or purge server-level varnish cache, you can do so.
You shouldn’t be touching this segment unless you know that restarting or disabling certain services will actually help to improve the performance of your website.
Settings & Packages
Be careful about what you do here. Everything is preconfigured to work properly. However, you may need to edit a few things depending on your requirements. For instance, you may want to change the upload size or change the memory limit. You may even want to change the PHP version.
You can do everything from here!
You will also find optimization and maintenance options. Under optimization, you can remove files from temporary folders or remove local backups. You can even enable automatic disk cleanup so that you don’t have to do these things by yourself. Be careful about what you are removing.
In the maintenance tab, you can set automatic server maintenance time. All software updates and security patches will happen at the time you set here. During server maintenance, your website may become inaccessible temporarily.
For instance, if you are upgrading or updating the software of your server, your website will become inaccessible. The usual error that people see at this time is 5xx error. It simply indicates that something is wrong with the web server.
Once all maintenance work is completed, your web server will restart and your website will become accessible once again. Usually, such updates and upgrades take a few minutes.
This is the place where you can define which IP addresses are allowed to access your website by SSH or SFTP. You can also allow or deny IP address from accessing MySQL database.
The default settings are just fine, but if you want only specific IP addresses to access your website files or database, you can mention them and block everyone else. This is particularly helpful if you want to prevent hackers from harming you.
If you are the admin of your website and web server, whitelist your IP and blacklist everyone else.
What if your website starts getting more traffic than what your server can handle? What will you do in that case? Should you migrate to a higher plan?
No, that’s the beauty of cloud hosting. You can simply increase your server resources instantly without affecting your website. You can scale up using this segment of vertical scaling.
But what happens if there is a massive drop in your website traffic and you no longer can afford to keep a server with better specifications? You will possibly think of scaling down. You don’t have to migrate. You can scale down. However, to scale down, you will have to use site cloning feature.
Once you clone your site, you can go ahead and use that clone to create a new server will fewer resources. Once the new server is created, just go ahead and change the A records in your domain management area provided by your domain registrar.
Now, your website will be served from a different server when domain propagation completes.
You will also notice something called block storage in this segment. Block storage essentially refers to additional storage space. You may not need to increase your server’s RAM capacity or CPU cores. You may only need additional storage. In that case, you can add some storage space and attach it to your existing server.
I talked about application-level backup earlier. However, you can actually take server-level backups and store them offsite to save some crucial storage space. You can also save these server-level backups locally.
The good thing is that you can schedule these server-level backups with backup frequency as low as 1 hour and backup retention as long as one month. You can also decide on the time at which these automatic backups will run.
This is where you can configure the SMTP services if you are setting up emails. You can set up your own SMTP account or you can choose to use the paid Elastic Email.
I usually prefer going for Google Workspace. Of course, Google Workspace is a paid service, but you get access to many more services that can help you organize your workflow. No one will force you to setup SMTP. It is absolutely your choice.
That’s all you get in server management! Essentially, you get everything essential. The overall system is similar to what you see in managed WordPress hosting services that often use cloud-based hosting. Unfortunately, such managed WordPress hosting services are quite expensive.
If you really want to use a managed service, going for Cloudways is a much better choice. But there is something more you need to worry about.
What is that?
Cloudways and Website Speed
You see, I am a big advocate of OpenLiteSpeed or LiteSpeed server and I also ask people to use LiteSpeed Cache to achieve speed.
The problem with Cloudways is that they don’t have support for LiteSpeed or OpenLiteSpeed web server despite the fact that providers like DigitalOcean, Google Compute Engine, and AWS all offer OpenLiteSpeed or LiteSpeed choices when you go for them individually.
So, is Cloudways worth the money they charge? Will you website be fast?
This is always a grey area irrespective of what server you are using, what web server you select, and what theme you select. The optimization of your website is always in your hands.
If you can optimize your website properly, there should be an issue.
Since I am not hosting any website on Cloudways and the server I deployed is only a test server, I decided to test the basic WordPress installation for speed. Some shared hosting provides will perform bad even if you are testing only the basic setup.
Here are the test results:
Now, that’s a surprising good speed even with Apache web server. The test website is already optimized by Cloudways using varnish cache (server-side caching) and Breeze cache plugin (developed by Cloudways).
Here are the plugins you find pre-installed with the optimized WordPress installation:
Of course, there’s no CDN and the website doesn’t contain any content (text or rich media).
Things will change when you start adding themes, plugins, and content. Your website will slow down. It will also slow down when you add external scripts like Google Analytics and Google AdSense.
That’s where your optimization skills will come in handy. If you really want to achieve great speed (after hosting with Cloudways), I will recommend you go through this check list:
- Use a very lightweight theme. I will recommend GeneratePress.
- Use a CDN. I will suggest Cloudflare, but you can always opt for options like CloudFront, BunnyCDN, Key CDN, etc. You can even opt for Cloudways CDN. If possible, shun Breeze caching and get LiteSpeed caching and use it in conjunction with QUIC.cloud CDN.
- Do not use a plugin for adding Google Analytics. Select a theme that will allow you to add the code without a plugin. With GeneratePress you can do that.
- Use only and only the essential plugins.
- Do not use a contact form. Use Google Workspace and let their servers handle your emails. This will not only save your server’s resources, but will also ensure that your website is not slowed down by extra plugins for forms and SMTP configuration. Also, Google Workspace can help you to build forms. Add the links to those forms on your site instead of offering embedded forms to your website visitors.
- Do not use any page builder plugins. They add a whole lot of bloated CSS that can slow down your website.
- Minify HTML, CSS, and JS files (combining them or inlining them should be done with caution).
- Enable browser caching and Gzip compression.
- Always use scaled images and ensure that WebP version is served whenever possible. Not all browsers support WebP.
- Use fewer images per post (unless absolutely necessary).
- Do not use Google fonts. If you want to use Google fonts, make sure you are localizing them but uploading them to your server and calling them from your server instead of calling them from third-party servers.
- Try to defer loading to CSS and JS files. However, do remember that deferring the loading of CSS and JS files is not always a desirable thing because that can lead to what is called Flash of Unstyled Content (FOUC).
- Try to use SVG logo.
- Get rid of unnecessary plugins.
A Quick Look into the Features
Well, if you have gone through the entire setup process, you might have figured out the different features that Cloudways has to offer. In case you want a quick recap, here is what you will get:
- A free migration tool: you will get a plugin that will allow you to migrate your website(s) from another hosting platform to a server you deployed with Cloudways.
- Multiple infrastructure provider: You don’t have to stick with a single provider for hosting. You can settle for one among five different hosting providers. All the providers are highly reputed cloud hosting companies.
- SSD storage: Every infrastructure provider you get to work with through Cloudways offer SSD storage. Vultr, in particular, offers high-frequency compute storage units that can help you achieve unmatched speed. AWS, Google Compute Engine, etc. don’t require introduction.
- Free SSL: You can enjoy free SSL through Let’s Encrypt. However, if you want, you can always use an SSL certificate that you purchased separately.
- Secure Firewall: Cloudways implements an OS-level firewall to protect your website against hackers and malware injections.
- Cheap CDN: If you want, you can use Cloudways CDN, which is quite cheap and super-easy to integrate.
- Easy vertical scaling: When time comes, you can quickly scale your server resources with a few clicks. You don’t need to migrate to another server. You can even scale downwards by using site cloning feature.
- Cloning: You can clone your entire website quickly with a single click. This is particularly helpful if you want to launch a similar site with same configuration and theme settings. You don’t have to go through the pain of building the site from scratch.
- Staging: Cloudways will give you the ability to create a staging site where you can make all the changes you want to without impacting the production site. Once you are happy with the changes you have made, you can publish those changes to the production site with a few clicks.
- 1-Click installation: There are about 10+ web apps that you can install using their single-click installation process. Of course, that’s not a big number but that pretty much more than enough, because you get the commonly used web applications.
- Database: Cloudways offers both MariaDB and MySQL databases. You can easily switch between the two. When you install WordPress MariaDB is the default database.
- SSH & SFT access: You get both SSH and SFTP features so that you can access your web server quickly and securely.
- Easy Git integration: You can deploy web applications directly from Git Hub. The integration process is very simple. The integration will ensure that when you update the code in Git repo, it gets updated on Cloudways server.
- Backups: You don’t need to pay extra for backups. Everything is included in the price you are already paying. You can run manual on-demand backups on the application level. You can also schedule automatic offsite backups on server level.
- Block storage: You can easily add additional storage space to your hosting account using block storage. This is particularly helpful if you are storing a large amount of data.
- Advanced cache: Cloudways deploys both Varnish and Memcache to speed up your website. Often these two are more than enough. However, if you want, you can always enable Redis cache.
- Free caching plugin: Cloudways will give you a free caching plugin called Breeze if you are installing Cloudways-optimized WordPress. It is a brilliant caching plugin that offers essential caching activities like minification, Gzip, browser caching, etc. It even allows for CDN integration and works perfectly with Varnish caching.
- Two-Factor authentication: With two-factor authentication, you can enable another layer of security for your website to keep hackers and other malicious actors away.
- Bot blocking: Cloudways automatically blocks bad bots that are often responsible for eating up the vital bandwidth allocation. There is nothing to configure. For WordPress users, the Bot Protection plugin is preinstalled and it works out-of-the-box.
- No contract: There is no contract. You can deploy a server and delete the server whenever you want. You will be charged only for what you have used. However, do keep in mind that if you keep a server running, but never use it, you will still be charged. So, if you don’t want to use a server anymore, make sure you are deleting it.
- PHP support: The default PHP version that you get is PHP 7.3. However, if you want, you can always change the version. PHP 7.4 is also available. Also, because there is full PHP support, you can install any web application that uses PHP.
- Unlimited applications: You can host as many applications as you want on a single server. There are no restrictions. If your applications are collectively attracting more traffic than the allocated bandwidth, you can go for vertical scaling anytime you want.
Support is an essential part of any hosting service. While most of the shared hosting providers will offer run-of-the-mill support, it is usually different for managed hosting providers. With managed hosting, you can expect classy support.
You can access their support through various channels. The easiest way is to go for their 24×7 live chat support that is available through the account dashboard. You can see a small sticker on the right edge of your screen. Clicking on it will give you access to their different support channels.
You will usually have access to Standard Support, but if you want, you can opt for Advanced Support or Premium Support that will cost you $100 a month and $500 a month respectively. Of course, when you pay for support, you can expect top-notch support and a lot of hand-holding.
Oh, I forgot to mention that if you are gong for their Advanced or Premium support, you can request customizations that they will happily deliver. For Premium Support, you will get access to phone support and a Private Slack Channel, both of which will be available 365/24/7.
Among other support channels, you will get knowledge base, ticket system, and support forums. If you are going for the forums, you can expect help from other Cloudways users.
Honestly, unmanaged cloud hosting can be scary. If you are brave enough to explore the possibilities and learn a lot of new things, I will always recommend that you go for unmanaged cloud hosting with providers like Linode, DigitalOcean, Vultr, AWS, and Google Compute Engine.
However, if you want to focus only and only on your website without worrying about the sever management, and if you don’t mind paying some extra bucks, Cloudways is definitely a hosting provider that you should opt for.
The many advanced features you get with this managed cloud hosting provider will make your life easy. Be it server cloning or application cloning, or be it transferring your entire server to another Cloudways user – everything is possible. On the downside, you don’t get a wide range of one-click application installation support that you will usually find with providers like AWS, GCE, and DigitalOcean. But I don’t think that is a major drawback, because most likely you are going to install WordPress.
I RECOMMEND CLOUDWAYS to people looking for managed cloud hosting! Cloudways is both reliable and easy to use.