JohnnyVPS vs Cloudways – webhosting comparison

Cloudways (aka CW) is a new but popular managed-VPS webhost. What makes them awesome and how does JohnnyVPS (aka JVPS) compare to them?

*benchmark image coming soon*

CW/JVPS similarities:

  • Both are WordPress-specialized hosts – JVPS specializes purely in WordPress and WooCommerce. Cloudways goes beyond WordPress to offer stacks for other applications such as Joomla, Drupal, Magento, etc.
  • Both offer the standard stuff – free migrations, SSL certificates, server security. Basically all the usual stuff you would expect from any credible webhost.
  • Both use similar hardware vendors – Cloudways offers all the vendors we use but also some extra ones. Either way, we both run our webhosting service on similar VPS instances.

CW advantages:

  • CW is cost-effective – CW is especially cheap at the $10-25/month range, you get a VPS with nice little control panel and tech support for only $10/month more than what you pay for the bare VPS itself. (Imagine paying only $20/month and you get to have unlimited sites/visitors and 80GB of SSD storage—WOW!) But go beyond that $40/month range and CW gets pricey!
  • CW has developer -friendly environment – CW is especially great for developer environments where you have many applications and staging environments and/or need to share access with multiple users. Each application is confined to a separate environment with different login credentials for website and FTP. It’s GREAT for multi-user development projects but can be annoying if you’re just one user having to keep track of multiple logins for every site.
  • CW offers support – you can chat with a live human being any time you need, but they aren’t as helpful and responsive as say SiteGround support (which can solve most issues immediately). CW support is known to be slow, either they’re busy looking up documentation or handling too many other users simultaneously. Tougher issues may take 1-2 days for them to get back to you and resolve your issue. With that said, it’s nice that they offer any support at all.
  • CW has more hardware vendors – we like our servers on Linode and VULTR,  or sometimes Digital Ocean. CW also offers those 3 but includes others like Google and Amazon. It’s useful if you prefer a specific vendor for performance/familiarity reasons or because the vendor has a datacenter located nearby your target demographic. Datacenter location doesn’t matter as much if your audience is wide-spread, though. This is also useful if you need to manage multiple servers from different vendors. Of course, many of these benefits aren’t relevant for the average site owner.
  • CW is up-to-date – we consider Cloudways to be especially trendy. Their plans are well-integrated with many other popular web services and all the latest trendy server modules. Again, they’re a great service to use for development as you can test any site under various scenarios. However, if you’re not a developer…you may find all these extra features to be distracting/annoying or overloading your control panel.
  • CW has 1-click backup and staging – this is a really nice feature and especially convenient. In just one click, you can back up your site and/or also create a staging environment where you can test themes, plugins, and updates without breaking your live site. Creating backups and staging on JVPS is also possible but takes a few more clicks.
  • CW has cheap $1/month Rackspace emails – if you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to G-Suite, Cloudways has a very affordable $1/month price for Rackspace email hosting. This is a great savings if you don’t want to pay $5/month per email with G-Suite.

JVPS advantages:

  • JVPS is higher-performance – JVPS server stack is far more aggressive. Cloudways is considered “average speed” and runs far slower than many other true performance hosts, although still faster than the usual shared hosts. It may be shocking to hear considering that Cloudways lets you have full usage of your server but the key lies in the stack. We believe Cloudways stack to be optimized for developer-environment (compatibility & flexibility) rather than true production environment (performance & stability). With that said, small/simple sites (probably without pagebuilder) will run just fine on Cloudways. It’s only when you have heavier sites, busier WooCommerce stores, and thousands of users that Cloudways starts to crawl.
  • JVPS is more stable – we are shocked to hear that many Cloudways users have stability issues. Big sites are lagging or crawling and sometimes ERROR 500 issues.
  • JVPS has a much friendlier interface – we offer the familiar cPanel (which most of you already know how to use). Cloudways can feel daunting to get around as you have to click through many screens, switch between servers vs applications, and wade through many developer options, etc. It can feel very “organized” if you manage many sites/servers/options, but annoying if you have only 1 or 2 sites.
  • JVPS offers email-hosting – this may be a huge difference for many people. Our email hosting is not the best and far from the main focus of our operations but we allow it! *HOORAY!* This can be especially convenient if you need to have some email accounts and don’t want to pay extra like for G-Suite ($5/month per email address) or even Rackspace email ($1/month per email address).
  • JVPS offers little support – why is this a good thing? It’s to keep away all the newbies and irresponsible customers that break their sites everyday. We feel high-experience/low-maintenance clients should not have to pay for newbie support costs. Why not put that money towards the server instead of tech support staff? Now that’s how you get true performance! 😉

Reasons to pick Cloudways or JohnnyVPS:

Pick Cloudways (over JohnnyVPS) if:

  • You’re coming from shared hosting and want super cheap pricing for “unlimited everything” plans.
  • You have a smaller site and don’t mind the slower speed.
  • Want to host many sites (over 20) for only $10-25/month and their total traffic is below 100k monthly visitors.
  • Need tons of space.
  • Need tech support.
  • Need a developer-friendly environment with lots of server modules and options, access for many users.
  • Want to manage multiple servers yourself but don’t want to provision/admin them.

Pick JohnnyVPS (over Cloudways) if:

  • You want the fastest performance possible.
  • You have a serious production site and want top-notch stability.
  • You have a heavier site, or WooCommerce site, and/or more traffic.
  • You know what you’re doing and don’t need much support.
  • You want to have basic email hosting but don’t want to pay extra for it.
  • You prefer our clean cPanel over Cloudway’s busier UI.

Ready to try JohnnyVPS? Sign up now!