Which Host is Right for You?

Comparisons of Cloudways and SiteGround in discussions often come up against a wall. While one is a more established brand, the other rapidly charges up the popularity scale. Yet many consider the comparison of these hosts to be like pitting apples against oranges.

The truth is that, like Cloudways, SiteGround offers Platform as a Service (PaaS) in the form of its Cloud hosting plans. The key is knowing the right things to compare since there are distinct areas each provider encompasses.

Company Background

In this Cloudways vs SiteGround review, I’ll be removing the apples and oranges and doing a pear to pear comparison. 

What is SiteGround?

siteground homepage
Siteground homepage

SiteGround is an easily recognizable name and not simply because of service excellence. This hosting provider has been around since 2004 and calls Sofia, Bulgaria, home. Unlike many web hosts, SiteGround spread its wings and established multiple local offices – for example, in Madrid, London, Frankfurt, and more.

What is Cloudways?

Cloudways homepage

Cloudways is significantly younger than SiteGround and only launched in 2012. The brainchild of Aaqib Gadit and Pere Hospital, Cloudways aims to simplify the Cloud and make it more easily accessible to the general public. Significantly, it provides a choice of five different Cloud infrastructure providers.

Notable Features: SiteGround vs Cloudways

The feature comparison between SiteGround and Cloudways needs careful consideration. SiteGround offers a much broader range of services, while Cloudways is deeply entrenched in the Cloud hosting space.

SiteGround Key Features

SiteGround Supercacher includes 3 different caching options for maximum optimization
SiteGround Supercacher includes 3 different caching options for maximum optimization

Whatever you need for hosting a website can be found at SiteGround. That includes your domain name, various types of hosting, and even ancillary services. Let’s consider only the more unique features their Cloud hosting plan offers to keep this comparison more focused.

One key highlight at Siteground is its SuperCacher plugin. This tool can make your site faster by using three caching activities. These are NGINX Direct Delivery, dynamic cache, and Memcached. It’s nothing revolutionary but also not something that’s always universally available.

These advantages go one step even further, though, in the form of SiteGround CDN. Most web hosting providers (Cloudways included) work with Content Delivery Network (CDN) providers like Cloudflare. Siteground builts a CDN from the ground up, tightly integrating it into their DNA to be as seamless as possible for you.

Perhaps the most desirable part of Siteground’s Cloud hosting plans is that they work exclusively on Google Cloud infrastructure. Google Cloud is considered the Rolls Royce of Cloud hosting – powerful and disgustingly expensive. 

One more thing that needs mentioning is that SiteGround offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. While that’s by no means above and beyond the norm, it’s better than the three-day free trial that Cloudways provides.

Cloudways Key Features

Breeze is a WordPress caching plugin developed by Cloudways.
Breeze is a WordPress caching plugin developed by Cloudways.

Like SiteGround, Cloudways offers its unique spin on caching in various forms. There’s stuff like Varnish, a server-level caching option, alongside Redis and other choices. However, I consider Breeze as the jewel in Cloudways’ crown.

Breeze is a WordPress cache plugin developed by Cloudways. They’ve managed to build a plugin that’s effective enough to keep up with top commercial dogs like W3 Cache and WP Rocket. Of course, it isn’t perfect, and there’s room for improvement.

The similarities end there, though. Unlike the focus that SiteGround seeks via Google Cloud, Cloudways chooses to diversify. That’s keeping in line with making the Cloud more accessible. Different infrastructure providers come with unique characteristics.

Cloudways offers you a choice between five Cloud service providers; Digital Ocean, Lindo, Vultr, Amazon Web Service, and Google Cloud. The first three come at the lower end of the price bracket, while Amazon Web Service and Google Cloud are the premium brands.

Ease of Use

Don’t be alarmed by the term “Cloud hosting,” especially when it comes to Cloudways and SiteGround. These are both PaaS services, meaning they place a management dashboard on top of Cloud infrastructure to make your life easier. 

No complex code, no challenging configurations; it’s fully interface-driven. If you’re used to using web hosting control panels like cPanel or Plesk, then using the Cloud on SiteGround and Cloudways is no different.

SiteGround Ease of Use

SiteGround’s Cloud hosting management system is super easy to use. Even by web hosting control panel standards, they’ve streamlined it so much that even a shared hosting user will have no problems transitioning.

The menu system is easy to understand and not packed with technical jargon that might leave newbies scratching their heads. Even more importantly, it’s fast. The smooth experience makes you feel like you are working with an app directly on your desktop instead of a remote server.

Cloudways Ease of Use

Cloudways dashboard
Some parts of the Cloudways dashboard may have new users scratching their heads

Like SiteGround, Cloudways developed its backend Cloud management system to be simple enough for most. I found it extremely easy to employ and managed to start new servers, migrate WordPress websites, or do anything else reasonably quickly.

Yet I happened to discuss the matter with a friend and realized that user-friendliness perception might be a little narrow-view. Taking fresh eyes to the Cloudways system made me realize that user-friendliness might not be so accurate for the average Joe. For example, Cloudways uses terms like Vertical Scaling, Credentials, Packages, and more. To novices, this may sound like complete gibberish. 

One special mention in Cloudways’ favor deserves special mention, though. They provide a WordPress plugin designed to help with site migrations to the Cloudways platform. In honesty, I’ve never been so impressed with a WordPress migration.  

You have to fill in a few fields and click a button. Your site is moved automatically with not a hair out of place. It took me minutes to migrate several small WordPress websites to Cloudways.

Customer Support

Having used many hosting services over the years, I’ve given up hope of finding great help consistently from a service provider. Siteground and Cloudways somewhat prove me a cynic, but perhaps my expectations are too high. 

Because of that, let’s consider what everyone else is saying about their support instead.

SiteGround Customer Support

SiteGround Trustpilot
SiteGround gets resounding accolades from its users

The benchmark for my judgment of customer service on Sitegroun comes primarily from Trustpilot, a user-driven rating system for service providers. As a whole, SiteGround scores an impressive 4.7 stars (out of 5) from over 10,000 customer reviews.

That’s overall, though, and not just on customer support. Diving deeper into the comments gave me a surprise as to how supportive their customers are of SiteGround’s support system. Here are some randomly picked customer headlines regarding their support;

“Fast and professional customer service!”

“Support you can rely on.”

“SiteGround has incredible customer service.”

While a company may be able to get away with a few fakes, it’s unlikely to maintain such a high level of customer satisfaction over so many years.

Cloudways Customer Support

While I haven’t been a Cloudways customer long enough not adequately assess their customer support, Jerry (the evil WHSR boss) has been using them for ages. I asked for his opinion, and it was a firm “good!” His affirmation was enough for me, but I had to press for more detail.

Cloudways offers customers the silver spoon treatment. That means you get in touch, tell them your problem, and they’ll fix it. And they’ll handle almost anything ranging from updating PHP files to helping manage third-party app APIs. Even something as mundane as removing an application.

They’re responsive, and help is never far away. The system works seamlessly as well. You go through a simple Q&A with an AI chatbot, and it passes you to the right support staff. Once there, the issue can quickly get resolved in a single chat. 

There’s also a comprehensive knowledge base in case you prefer to try some DIY stuff.

Plans and Pricing: SiteGround vs Cloudways

The plans that SiteGround and Cloudways offer is very different. Scrutiny is required to allow you to tell the real difference between these two hosts. Again, don’t get shocked by the pricing on the visuals – it’s there to offer convenience, not interpretation.

Siteground Cloud Pricing

SiteGround Cloud Pricing
SiteGround Cloud starts at $100/mo

At first glance, you may have near-heart attacks at SiteGround’s Cloud pricing. The cheapest plan on their Cloud hosting range starts at $100/mo, and it goes upwards to $400/mo. However, there are good reasons for these price tags.

Remember that you’re essentially paying for management services (and the platform) on Google Cloud. The latter is already pretty expensive, not to mention somewhat confusing if you buy direct. SiteGround just dramatically simplifies the plans.

It’s also likely that anything lower than this price bracket makes it difficult for SiteGround to justify their excellent services in Cloud hosting management. If you look at the specifications, the Cloud hosting plans here definitely target those who really need this level of service.

For example, the cheapest plan brings 4 CPU cores, 8GB of RAM, and 5TB of bandwidth. That is a massive amount of resources that can competently handle almost anything thrown at the hosted website without breaking a sweat.

Cloudways Pricing

Cloudways Google Pricing
Google Cloud on Cloudways is by no means cheap

Cloudways may seem cheap compared to SiteGround Cloud, but that’s only true if you consider one of the more affordable infrastructure providers like Digital Ocean, Linode, or Vultr. Once you look at their Google Cloud plans, the gap rapidly closes.

For example, the $138.52/mo Cloudways plan for Google Cloud. At a $38.52/mo price above what you pay at SiteGround, you get less than half of the resources. We can consider storage space insignificant, but a comparative lack of 2 entire CPU cores is massive.

Yet despite this steep price on Google Cloud, Cloudways offers something unavailable at SiteGround – and that’s choice. At Cloudways, for a mere $13/mo, you can run any number of websites on cloud hosting.

Verdict: Should You Choose Cloudways or SiteGround?

In this rare case, I would say that it’s a battle of the price tags. Unless you absolutely need extra-high performance Cloud, then there’s no way you’d be able to get SiteGround Cloud. I’d choose Cloudways for affordable pricing and the pay-as-you-go model. That’s especially true if you’re still experimenting with Cloud hosting.

If you need to power a massive volume eCommerce website or something similar, Siteground is more cost-effective.

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