Cloudways Vs WPX: UFC Style
By Terry Kyle
Chief Dog Lover/Co-Founder WPX.net (With Georgi Petrov, CEO)
Arguably The World’s Fastest WP Host
The Independent Founder Of The "WordPress Hosting" Facebook Group (15k+ members), Andrew Killen, Compared Cloudways & WPX This Way:
Andrew Killen is completely independent and not connected to WPX in any way. Membership of this private Facebook Group is required to view the whole discussion here.
Cloudways Requires Sys Admin Skills. Is That How You Want To Spend Your Time INSTEAD Of Building Your Business?
If you choose to use Cloudways for your WordPress hosting requirements, these are the System Administration-level technologies you will need to know already OR learn about, manage and monitor: Apache/Nginx (or comparable), Memcache, MySQL, Varnish etc – something that Managed WordPress hosts like WPX do for you:
Is Cloudways A Hosting Company?
Remember what the respected and independent founder of the “WordPress Hosting” Facebook Group (15,000+ members), Andrew Killen said above (membership of this private Facebook Group is required to view the whole discussion here.):
Cloudways is NOT a hosting company or service.
It is a software platform that connects you, the site owner, with different Cloud hosting platforms, namely, Digital Ocean, Linode, Vultr, Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud.
They do not host your websites. Other companies do that.
That may not matter if it works for you but it means that you, the site owner or solopreneur, will need to know or commit to learning some Sys Admin server management skills, OR hire someone with those skills.
BUT if you already had those System Administrator skills, why wouldn’t you just work DIRECTLY on the Cloud platforms supported by Cloudways: Digital Ocean, Linode, Amazon, Google and/or Vultr and then SAVE the profit markup from Cloudways?
I could understand it if Cloudways massively simplified Cloud hosting and largely removed the need for Sys Admin-type knowledge and skills but if they don’t – and I don’t see it in our Cloudways test account – what exactly is the appeal of Cloudways?
You can read here exactly how WPX defines what it manages and does not manage when it comes to ‘managed WordPress hosting’, something Cloudways likes to call themselves – cheeky! – but which Andrew Killen completely rejects.
Does Cloudways Remove Malware For Free? No.
Malware is everywhere and is a growing problem, especially through vulnerable WP plugins and templates.
Some hosts will scan your sites for free.
Unlike WPX, very few will actually clean it up for free e.g. Cloudways support, September 17 2020:
Even SiteGround try to get you to buy a $200+ a year Sucuri (owned by GoDaddy) subscription for malware removal through their affiliate link to here:
So if you don’t want to learn how to remove malware from your websites (it ain’t easy), that extra $200+ a year add-on cost at Cloudways or SiteGround starts to make their hosting look a lot more expensive.
It’s free for all customers at WPX.
Are You Actually Getting 'Dedicated' Server Resources With Cloudways Or Is It Yet Another Hosting Scam?
In the hosting industry, there is quite a con going on with ‘dedicated’ VPS resources.
The general consensus is that a VPS is always better than shared hosting because you supposedly have dedicated CPU and dedicated RAM, theoretically making your websites run faster.
Anyone repeating this naive nonsense to you is frankly ignorant of the technical and financial realities of Web hosting.
Because when you look at the economics and ‘run the numbers’, somethin’ is real fishy here.
For example, a decent server – like the kind we buy and own at WPX – is about US$10k (at the time of writing, we are using Intel Xeon Gold 6238R Processor, 28 CPU cores, 56 Threads @3GHz) based servers.
This is how WPX servers rated on Kevin Ohashi’s annual ReviewSignal.com independent comparison (more details below) in the light-heavyweight $51-$100 monthly category.
According to Kevin:
“WPPerformanceTester performs two benchmarks. One is a WordPress (WP Bench) and the other a PHP benchmark. WP Bench measures how many WP queries per second and higher tends to be better (varies considerably by architecture). PHP Bench performs a lot of computational and some database operations which are measured in seconds to complete. Lower PHP Bench is better. WP Bench is blue in the chart, PHP Bench is red”
And Is This Dedicated VPS RAM All That It Seems?
Notice in this independent testing how little RAM mattered here (see Kevin’s graphic below) for WordPress performance – WPX had the least by far but outperformed many with much more RAM and still achieved the highest grade, Top Tier, in this category and all entered categories – for 2 years running in these independent tests.
And this particular test had nothing whatsoever to do with caching.
In fact, at WPX, 128 Mb is actually per PHP process and there are 3 PHP processes per website on this tested plan, NOT in total for this one site or the whole hosting account (384 Mb RAM per website).
In this Ohashi test, Nestify with 32 Gb of RAM lost on both tests to WPX with our ‘puny’ 128 Mb per PHP process. So much for the power of RAM – in fact, all the RAM in the known universe will still struggle when dealing with horribly coded software.
Plus, the advertised RAM on VPS hosting offers is usually shared between the Web server (Apache/Nginx/Litespeed), the database server (MySQL/MariaDB), PHP processes for each website, DNS, mail, FTP and any other system usage.
WPX server performance also slightly exceeded the Cloudways/Vultr 8GB ($84 monthly via Cloudways) entrant here in both categories, despite a seemingly tiny RAM allocation.
Yet there are loads of seemingly cheap VPS hosts, like Digital Ocean and Vultr (if you regard them as hosts) that offer VPS’s for just $5 a month.
And if these resources were all actually dedicated – especially CPU – they could fit maybe 30 or 40 of these maximum on 1 server.
Is Digital Ocean really going to build a sustainable business on making $200 a month from each expensive server?
Because when you really dig into resources being ‘shared’or ‘dedicated’ – and this stuff is really hard to find on their site – the CPU is shared with every other user on that server e.g.
and when you get into actual DEDICATED CPU, prices skyrocket into the thousands of dollars per month which makes more economic sense:
Judging by their prices quoted on Cloudways, it looks like Linode and Vultr have a similar shady deal going on there. Quoted Google and Amazon prices look less unrealistic.
Does Cloudways Migrate Your Sites There For Free?
The first site is migrated for free but after that, each migrated WordPress site via Cloudways costs $25 and is done within 48 hours.
At WPX, all site migrations are free and normally completed within 24 hours.
The exception to that is the much rarer kind of migration where a domain change is required e.g. changing the site from terryscoolblog.com to terrysawesomeblog.com – that’s because there is a lot of additional database editing and checking required than a normal migration ($98 and these are very rare).
Yeah Yeah Yeah, But What About Raw Speed?
For the last 2 years running, WPX crushed the competition on page loading speed, including Cloudways and Google-powered SiteGround and WPEngine – results from independent blogger Matthew Woodward’s most recent tests:
That’s in addition to the ‘Top Tier’ awarded status for the last 2 years running in Kevin Ohashi’s ReviewSignal.com annual WordPress hosting shootout:
Better Customer Support Costs BIG At Cloudways
At WPX, we treat all customers on all plans with equal urgency.
That’s why we’re as trusted as we are and why we are the only host with a Fixed For You Free Guarantee.
However, at Cloudways, if you want better quality customer support – pretty important in hosting – you really have to pay:
And What About The Reputation Of The Companies Actually Hosting Your Website?
So Cloudways are not a hosting company themselves and rely on some ‘big name’ brand companies to do your actual Web hosting.
But just because they are big brands, does that mean that they actually deliver a good service?
Let’s take a look on Trustpilot.com, arguably the world’s largest review site and see if the companies where your sites would be hosted if you use Cloudways are actually any good.
Here is how Digital Ocean customers feel about their service – 62% of reviewers gave them a Bad rating with 1 star, apparently providing quality support or service on $5 a month hosting is financially impossible, same situation over at Hostgator and Bluehost:
and in the case of Vultr, 48% of reviewing customers gave them a 1 star Bad rating so it’s 50/50 if they are going to prove to be a good host for you through Cloudways:
Linode did slightly better with only 40% of their reviewing customers rating them as Bad, Poor or Average, at least from this small sample on Trustpilot:
Amazon Web Services came in with 49% of their reviewing customers here rating them as Bad, Poor or Average (small sample as well):
And with the Google Cloud, there is just 1 review for them on Trustpilot and, you guessed it, it was Bad, 1-star:
In comparison, how is WPX doing on Trustpilot?
And to their credit, Cloudways is also doing well on Trustpilot, pity they need those other Cloud companies for actual hosting though:
Conclusion? Save $10 A Month With Cloudways Hosting & Lose Hours/Days A Month On System Administration
No product or service in the world suits everyone’s needs.
In the case of WPX.net, we have built our entire service for solopreneurs/digital marketers/changepreneurs who want to get on with building their online business, changing their life, possibly changing the world and don’t want to worry about a ton of boring, difficult and complicated System Administration tasks.
That is precisely the type of user that we have built WPX.net for.
Not for enterprise clients.
Not for the IT departments of banks and insurance companies.
Not for newbies seduced by seemingly cheap but terrible $3 a month hosting with even more terrible support (as I was once seduced, dammit)
And not for people who ALREADY have System Administrator skills.
With Cloudways, yes, you will save $10 or $20 a month on hosting compared to WPX but unless you already have a bunch of Sys Admin skills and know exactly how to remove malware from your site/s, you can expect to be spending a lot of time managing your VPS (with shared NOT dedicated resources, see above).
And the awful service reputation of those Cloud companies used by Cloudways – wow!
The question for you and your business then becomes whether you value your time to grow your business OR saving $10 to $20 each month?
Here’s What You Get With WPX:
– WPX is one of the very few INDEPENDENT hosting companies still existing today (meaning that we can INNOVATE without begging 19 committees for permission)
– WPX offers Chicago, London & Sydney hosting options (+ free high-speed CDN with 26 global end points)
– WPX crushed all other competitors on page loading speed for 2 years in a row, according to Matthew Woodward’s independent tests
– ‘Top Tier’ winning speed and load handling performance, as proven by Kevin Ohashi’s independent 2020 testing (same in 2019), in addition to Matthew Woodward’s testing
– Among the most trusted Web hosting companies in the world on Trustpilot.com
– Unlimited free site migrations/transfers to WPX from any other hosting company, usually completed within 24 hours
– Superfast custom free Content Delivery Network (CDN) with 26 global end points
– 30-second average support response time on Live Chat (most hosts hide these stats)
– ‘Fixed For You Free & Fast’ Guarantee if your site goes offline
– Free malware scanning & removal (some hosts charge crazy fees for malware removal), note there can be a queue for removal work
– Unlimited free SSL certificates
– Free email (many newer WP hosts don’t offer that)
– A high-quality host committed to helping homeless/shelter dogs & cats
– Clearly-defined Managed WordPress Hosting responsibilities
You can also read a fair comparison of WPX and Kinsta here.