This is just a short post that’s mostly aimed at current bloggers, and those considering starting a blog. It’s also a bit of shameless promotion, but CloudwayCloudwayss have genuinely impressed me!
When I first started tinkering with Warhamateur I was hosted with Bluehost, one of WordPress’ recommendations. For various reasons I quickly changed to Vultr, which is where I host The Warp Storm. A couple of weeks ago however I decided that things still weren’t quite right. I like websites that are fast (who doesn’t?), and despite trying out various solutions for CDNs, caching, compressing etc I still wasn’t getting the results I wanted. Image-heavy posts like the impcat guide in particular were much slower than I was aiming for.
Enter Cloudways! It’s a name I’d seen a couple of times before, so after a little research I decided to try out their free 3 day trial. They allow you to start up a server from a provider like Vultr (among others) through them, so you get the benefits of both the hosting provider and Cloudways’ own suite of tools. I mirrored my live site over using their migration plugin (surprisingly painless!) and got to tinkering, and the results really impressed me.
Cloudways handle a few things behind the scenes that hosts like Vultr expect you to do yourself. Vultr is designed for people who know what they’re doing (not me!), so they don’t sort things like setting up SSL certificates, SFTP access, automatic backups, caching, security packages etc. Cloudways do, either preinstalled or with one click. After spending hours learning how to break things via SSH and trying out countless plugins I’ve found somewhere to do a lot of the messy work for me!
In my eyes one of the biggest improvements is speed. When I decided I was going to move across I did a quick website speed test on the old server. I then spun up a Cloudways installation and took advantage of their offer to manually migrate your site for free. Another speed test, and we have the results below.
After (Vultr via Cloudways):
Huge improvements, right out of the box! The only change is the addition of the default Cloudways tools, with no tweaking. The underlying files and plugins are identical. This alone has already made it worth the (admittedly minimal) effort of switching. I still have some minor efficiency changes to make, too!
Another thing that has really impressed me is their support team. I’m used to Vultr’s fairly hands-off approach. That’s not at all suggesting they’re bad, it’s just that they’re there to deal with issues within their own systems. Holding the hand of a blundering fool like me isn’t part of their job. Cloudways however have shone in this respect. I’ve spoken to support a couple of times, either with questions or looking for a fix when I’ve been stupid and broken things on my end. Their 24/7 support team have been consistently polite, helpful and fast – I don’t think I’ve waited more than a minute to be connected to somebody!
Finally (for now – I still haven’t looked into the discounts they offer on some email and security packages!) I like their options for scalability. With many platforms (including Vultr) you choose your package specs and then you’re tied in. If you want more space/bandwidth/etc then you have to spin up and clone to a new server. Cloudways let you scale your server in real time with no fuss, which will be helpful if anybody ever starts reading this blog!
So here’s the bit you’ve been expecting. If you’re a blogger (or maybe just want to be) and you’re interested in trying Cloudways out, CLICK THIS. Three days free (without card details) to try the platform, though I doubt you’ll need all three. You can then use the promotional code WARHAMATR for an extra 10% off your first three months. Absolute bargain!