At GretaThemes we not only recommend the best themes for WordPress users, but we also try our best to guide them through the essential products and services that they need to run their websites.
When we talk about essentials to run a WordPress site, we cannot ignore web hosting. Web hosting is the foundation that your website is built on and it is crucial that you make the right decision from the word go.
Your web host is like your business partner which means it has to align with your business goals as well. At GretaThemes we believe managed cloud hosting is the way forward to ensure optimum speed, high availability, and scalability.
What is Managed Cloud Hosting
Managed cloud hosting is not something that is unheard of but it does need some explanation. Why? Because many WordPress users find it difficult to differentiate between managed and unmanaged cloud hosting. Let’s see how these two compare with each other.
Managed Cloud Hosting vs Unmanaged Cloud Hosting
So a managed cloud hosting provider takes the burden off your shoulders of managing your servers and its capabilities. How? It provides you with a platform where you can manage your server functionalities with a click of a button. Functions that take hours are carried out in minutes and this is the essence of managed cloud hosting.
When you buy hosting directly from a provider, let’s say Amazon Web Services, you need a sysadmin to deploy and maintain your server and application on that server. This will not only cost you a lot but will also take up hours of your time.
So the key distinction between managed and unmanaged hosting is the platform that allows users to manage their servers while saving time and effort.
Another difference is that your server is updated frequently so you don’t have to do it manually or worry about patching it.
For a detailed comparison, have a look at our guide on Managed vs Self-managed WordPress hosting.
Key Features of Managed Cloud Hosting
So we know what sets apart unmanaged cloud hosting from managed cloud hosting but why is the later a perfect solution for your hosting needs? Let’s have a look at some of the key features of a managed cloud hosting provider.
Managed cloud hosting lets you scale your resources whenever the need arises and that too with a few clicks. Say for example you have a Black Friday campaign planned and you have forecasted a spike in your traffic that will last for a week.
If you are running your WordPress application on an unmanaged hosting provider, you would have to scale your resources the hard way, probably with the help of a sysadmin.
OR if you are using a shared hosting plan you would need to change your plan before and after every campaign which is a big hassle in itself.
One of the reasons why we recommend managed cloud hosting is because it is reliable and ensures high availability. This ensures that your WordPress site is always accessible for everyone who wishes to access it from anywhere around the world.
There are a few good names in the cloud hosting industry that provides a great network of servers which includes:
- Google Cloud
These infrastructures have their data centers located in all the major parts of the world for example United States, Europe, Asia, and Australia so that your applications are always up and none of your visitors have to experience slower speeds and sluggish loading times.
A good managed cloud hosting provider offers a number of options when it comes to infrastructure providers, data center locations, RAM size and more.
For example, you are a blogger who is based in India and you are targeting the US market. You wouldn’t want your server to be located in India rather you would want it to be somewhere in the US or Canada. Managed cloud hosting allows you to choose from a number of data centers.
A decent cloud hosting provider like Cloudways offers flexibility where you can launch multiple applications on a single server.
There is no doubt that cloud hosting is much more secure than traditional shared or dedicated hosting. This is because managed cloud hosting is backed by cloud infrastructure and since they are a network of virtual servers making them free from physical threats.
Also, these servers are protected by dedicated firewalls, secure VLANS, and IDS/IPS to further strengthen and solidify their security.
Also, managed cloud hosting providers come with free SSLs or Secure Sockets Layer that encrypts the communication between your browser and your server so important information and data doesn’t get compromised.
Why Cloudways is The Ideal Managed WordPress Host?
Earlier in the article, we mentioned how we always recommend the best products and services for our customers so that they can run their sites smoothly. When it comes to managed WordPress hosting, we recommend Cloudways. Most of you must have already heard of Cloudways, but for the rest of you, here is a detailed overview of the managed cloud hosting provider.
What is Cloudways?
Cloudways’ managed cloud hosting is built on top of its powerful stack which is a combination of state of the art technology that ensures optimum performance and availability. The stack includes NGINX as a reverse proxy server, Apache as a web server, Varnish, Memcached, and Redis for advance caching and a lot more.
Let’s discuss some of the factors that make Cloudways a modern-day cloud hosting provider.
Choose Cloud Server from 5 Different Cloud Partners
Most managed WordPress hosting providers offer a single infrastructure which is mostly Google Cloud or Amazon Web Service. As a result, their basic plans start from $30 per month which is a bit out of reach for a new user.
Cloudways, on the other hand, offers 5 different cloud infrastructures so that users can choose as per their budget and requirements.
DO, Linode and Vultr are ideal for users with limited budgets as these providers offer great performance at an affordable price. If you choose any of these providers, your pricing plan will start from $10 per month which is considerably lower than any managed cloud hosting provider.
AWS and Google Cloud are high-end providers that are highly reliable and promise optimized speed and performance. These providers are more suited to users with deeper pockets and larger businesses.
State of The Art Platform
Cloudways platform is up there with the best and considering the number of features it offers, it is the simplest too. Let’s walk you through the platform to give you an idea of how the platform works and how simple it makes for users to launch their servers and manage it.
So Cloudways gives a number of options to its users when launching a server. You can choose your desired RAM size, cloud provider, and data center so that you have the perfect hosting solution that fits your needs.
Once you are done choosing your server specifications, click on the Launch Now button on the bottom right corner of your screen. In a matter of a few minutes, you will have your server ready with your WordPress application.
This is the platform where you will be able to manage your server features.
On the left, you can see a list of things you can do through this platform. Let’s have a look at some of the main features of the Cloudways platform.
The Monitoring tab allows you to keep an eye on your server usage so that you can ensure your resources are being utilized properly and that you don’t have idle resources that you may be paying for. Also, you will be able to see if you are over-utilizing your server and that you might need to scale your resources.
The Manage Services tab lets you manage your Cloudways stack, which we discussed earlier in the article. You can enable or disable stack features from this tab as per your liking.
Settings & Packages will let you manage your PHP version, database version, enable elasticsearch, install Reddis, and even schedule server maintenance.
To manage your server security, Cloudways allows you to whitelist IP addresses, block IP addresses SSH/SFTP and database access.
As mentioned earlier in the article, scaling is one of the stands out features of managed cloud hosting and Cloudways makes scaling a piece of cake. All you have to do is go to the Vertical Scaling tab on your platform and choose the RAM size that you want to scale to. Click on Scale Now and your server will be scaled.
The Backups tab lets you schedule your backups and adjust the backup frequency. You can also manage your local backups, backup retention and can also request on-demand backups.
You can configure your SMTP mail server from the SMTP tab. You can choose between your own SMTP account or Elastic Email which is a paid service.
Now that we have walked through the server management of Cloudways platform, let’s have a look at how you can manage your application features.
So this is the application area of your Cloudways platform where you can see your admin credentials, MySQL credentials, and your application URL.
The Domain Management tab lets you point your domain to your server. Just enter your domain name click Save Changes and update the DNS records.
You can install an SSL certificate to your WordPress application through the SSL Certificate tab. You can either choose Lets Encrypt which is free or any other third party SSL certificate of your choice.
The Backup And Restore section allows users to backup and restore application files and databases. This section also lets users take multiple on-demand backups.
Cloudways comes with its very own migration plugin that migrates your application from any other host to Cloudways.
You can easily add CloudwaysCDN to your WordPress application to boost its performance.
Test Driving Cloudways with TheFour Theme
Now that we have understood what Cloudways is and why it is the ideal hosting partner for your business, let’s take it for a test drive and see how it performs with one of GretaThemes products, TheFour.
Now that we have installed and activated the theme, we will test our Cloudways WordPress application on GT Metrix.
It is clear that there has been an improvement in the performance after installing TheFour Theme from GretaThemes.
To understand the importance of a good web host, we not only need to reach such articles but we need to alter our mindset. We need to think of our web hosts as our business partners who are crucial to our business growth.
In this article, I took you through an overview of Cloudways to explain how it is the perfect hosting partner for your business and how it will help your business grow without any hiccups.