There are plenty of options to choose from when it comes to hosting a website. I am not speaking about the different providers but also the types of hosting available in the market. Majority of us are familiar with shared, VPS and dedicated hosting but today we will be talking about managed cloud hosting.
This here is a head to head Cloudways vs WP Engine comparison that’s looking at features, performance, prices and more – to help you choose between these two industry leaders in the managed WordPress hosting space.
But first, let’s take a quick look at the foundations of cloud WordPress hosting ..
What is Cloud Hosting?
Unlike traditional hosting, cloud network uses the network of servers to host the site. It keeps switching its network preferences depending on the load its servers bear at a time. Resources are managed and shared across the network to ensure maximum uptime and performance.
Therefore, cloud hosting is considered to be high performing web hosting method and both small and large businesses are migrating their sites to this kind of hosting.
Why Do You Need Managed Cloud Hosting?
Managing a server is a hectic task and even good programmers find it challenging to configure and manage their servers effectively. Speaking of non-technical individuals, this can get even worse.
Servers in its raw state do not have any GUI to interact with and most of the tasks need to be coded in its shell. This requires an expert system administrator which cost $$$.
Managed cloud hosting takes away the worry of managing servers which is ideal for small businesses and start-ups with limited resources and capital. With managed cloud hosting they get performance, as well as their complex server related tasks, are taken care of by their provider.
Fully Managed WordPress Hosting vs Managed Hosting
There are two common terms used in the cloud hosting industry. Managed WordPress hosting (i.e. Cloudways) and fully managed WordPress hosting (i.e. WP Engine). As the name suggests, fully managed that take cares of everything including your WordPress site.
It manages your server as well as your WordPress site in case you encounter any application related issues. Fully Managed WordPress hosting providers have a team of WordPress experts who can assist you with managing your WordPress sites such as back-ups, hacks, updates and other site related issues.
On the other hand, managed cloud hosting does not offer expert support on the application level. Although it completely manages the server for you and depending on the level of support it might also assist you in managing your WordPress site but it is not the part of their service.
Fully managed services cost more than simple managed hosting. If you are comfortable with paying less and managing WordPress on your own then the second option might be ideal for you.
Cloudways – Managed WordPress Hosting Platform
Cloudways is a PaaS developed on latest technologies to provide high performing cloud hosting to WordPress, Magento, Joomla and other PHP based applications.
Cloudways is a widely used hosting platform which offers a lot of services to multiple personas. Their customers include, creative agencies, startups, freelancers, bloggers and business owners.
Multiple Cloud Providers
Cloudways has brought five major cloud hosting provider under one roof. Cloudways users have the option of choosing from the list of top providers while enjoying the easy to use platform and services built to reduce server management at the user level.
Cloudways offers servers from the following providers:
- Google Cloud Platform
- Amazon Web Services
Global Data Centers
With Cloudways you can choose from 60+ data centers across the globe provided by five top cloud hosting providers. These data centers cover all the major regions and cities ensuring maximum coverage globally. So, with Cloudways you do not have to worry about the data center being close to your targeted market.
As a platform Cloudways succeeded because the technology its built on is capable of delivering high performing services with qualities of scalability and upgrades. The platform uses multiple tools for an advanced caching mechanism like Nginx, Varnish for reverse proxying and Redis for caching database queries.
It supports both MySQL and MariaDB for database and runs applications on the latest version of PHP.
Content Delivery Network is viable for the sites having an audience in multiple regions. It enhances the delivery of both the static and dynamic content. It is pre-installed at Cloudways Platform that can be activated in just a single click.
Free SSL Certificates
Cloudways offers free SSL certificate to its users through Let’s Encrypt. SSL is important for website security and authenticity on various web browsers. This also improves SEO ranking of your site.
As a platform, Cloudways is very mature and give close attention to details. It is well equipped with features required by various persona. Let’s dive deep to explore the featured platform has to offer.
At Cloudways, users are not limited to a single application: multiple applications can be launched on a single server and that includes the application of different kinds. For example, on one server I can install WordPress, Magento and PHP application simultaneously.
This feature allows the user to clone their application to the same and to another server effortlessly. Cloudways also allows its user to make a complete clone of their server. The cloning of application/website is ideal for developers who can make multiple clones and modify them depending on their client’s requirements.
Migrations are very easy with Cloudways Platform. Migration plugin can be used to migrate any WordPress site from any location to Cloudways server.
Cloudways recently launched its complete staging feature through which files and database can be pushed and pulled from the application. This is a great feature as it let the user work on the site comfortably without cloning or migrating the whole site from the development environment to production environment.
This feature as of now is still in beta state and has been tested extensively by Cloudways Team and its customers. Staging is an ideal solution for all web developers to test new features on their site and to selectively push or pull code without affecting the live site.
Besides this Cloudways also offers staging URL to test out the website which can be cloned to the production server when the development process is completed.
Server monitoring is important in order to understand your consumption at any given time. This lets you align your expenses and resources better with your ROI. Cloudways has a complete monitoring module which let you see stats in real time as well as has an integration available for New Relic.
Depending on the server, Cloudways users can scale their servers vertically almost instantaneously. This does not require any approvals from the support team and can be done using the platform itself.
Plans and Pricing
Cloudways has packages available for all types of customers. Cloudways hosting packages accommodate bloggers, freelancers, big and small business owners. The lowest package which is a 1GB server from DigitalOcean starts from $10/mo which can sustain traffic of 30K plus visitors. Other packages come with different set of hardware and provider.
Managed cloud hosting makes life easier and this is exactly what Cloudways does. Many complex features can be managed in just a single click. For example, if you need to launch a WordPress site with WooCommerce capabilities then you may simply choose the WordPress with a WooCommerce instance from the drop-down and the site will automatically be launched with WooCommerce. Not just that its varnish settings will also be configured according to that.
Similarly, WordPress multisite can also be launched in just single click which when done manually can get a bit confusing for beginners.
24/7 Expert Support
Cloudways users can live chat with their 24/7 expert support. For less urgent issues support tickets can also be opened and they also have an organized knowledge base support.
WP Engine – Fully Managed WordPress Hosting
WP Engine is a company known for performance and cutting-edge features. They are a fully managed WordPress hosting provider. They are the pioneers in managed WordPress hosting and over the course of time have acquired big names as their customers such as SoundCloud, WPBeginner and WebDev Studios.
WP Engine uses servers from Google Cloud Platform and Amazon Web Service. Both are the top hosting providers. WP Engine users can choose servers from there two providers depending on their requirements.
Multiple Data Centers
WP Engine has 18 data centers around the world. Depending on the targeted market; users can pick the data center nearest to their location.
Like Cloudways, WP Engine is built on cutting-edge technology as well. It powers its servers using high performing tools like Nginx, Varnish, and Memcached. Users can use their preferred programming language such as PHP, Python and Ruby.
Being one of the trusted hosting providers, WP Engine offers features necessary for both the management and performance of a WordPress site. Let’s have a look at some of the features it offers.
Migration tool makes the WordPress migration from any host to WP Engine easy. Tool is pre-built in the platform. It runs the whole migration automated.
There is a difference between staging and staging site. We have seen what staging is at Cloudways. WP Engine does not support staging it supports Staging Site feature that can be cloned to production server when development is completed. This feature can be used to test new features and later can be applied to the site in a production environment.
WP Engine offers excellent support when it comes to WordPress. They have experts on board who can get involved in case the user faces any issues on his server or WordPress website.
WP Engine claims to protect your site from security vulnerabilities by identifying attacks beforehand. It uses an active system to protect your site from any possible attacks and provide many security features to further harden the security.
Backup and Recovery
Backups are necessary for all WordPress sites and WP Engine manages them for you. It keeps offsite backups of your valuable files database and the media library so in an event of any data loss the recovery can be made easily. They also offer immediate disaster recovery to minimize any kind of loss at customer’s end.
For server monitoring, WP Engine also uses New Relic capabilities. It also uses Spark and Qubole for analytics. It monitors server resource consumption, storage and database. Their team is proactive to resolve any server related issues flagged by their monitoring system.
Plans and Pricing
WP Engine offers four packages for different kinds of users. Their startup package starts from $28.00 which can cater up to 25K visitors and has a bandwidth of 50GB.
Besides managing your server, WP Engine helps the user to optimize their WordPress site and offers features like page performance which helps you in enhancing the performance of your WordPress site.
This tool is integrated in the Dashboard and can be used to monitor site performance and gives valuable insight. Another cool feature is the content performance analysis. This tool helps user to understand and analyze their content and to determine how well it is performing on various channels.
We already know the expert WordPress support WP Engine offers to its users. It also offers live chat and bot support through its platform and customers can also take advantage of the FAQs on their website.
Another great thing WP Engine has to offer is access to Genesis Framework and 35+ premium, WordPress StudioPress themes that come included with all plans.
Comparison: Cloudways vs WP Engine
|Cloud Providers||GCE, AWS, Linode, Vultr, DigitalOcean||GCE, AWS|
|Pricing||From $10 / month||From $28 / month|
|Support||Live chat, Knowledge base, Ticket, CloudwaysBot||Live chat, Ticket|
|Applications||WordPress, Joomla, Magento, PHP, Drupal||WordPress|
|Free SSL Certificate||Yes||Yes|
|Fully Managed Hosting||No||Yes|
|WP Expert Support||No||Yes|
|More Info||Visit Cloudways.com||Visit WPEngine.com|