⏳ Do you want to skip the read and get right to my pick in this Cloudways vs SiteGround comparison? The better web hosting provider for most people is SiteGround.
Introduction to my Cloudways vs SiteGround Comparison Test
An increasing number of individuals, businesses, and institutions are seeing the benefit of cloud hosting over standard web hosting services. And why not? Cloud hosting is a surefire way of ensuring that your website is accessible all the time. It also has the additional benefit of being a more secure hosting platform.
Naturally, it’s unfair to assume that all cloud hosting services are made equal. However, potential users need to weigh their options when it comes to cloud hosting. Don't worry – we prepared this review just for that purpose.
Here, we pit Cloudways vs SiteGround, two site hosting platforms that have each gained a following online. Our review will touch on how each of these platforms performs in terms of ease of use, practicality, functionality, overall reliability, and cost-efficiency.
Quick Comparison Table
|🥇 SiteGround (My Pick!)
|Type of Hosting
|Managed Cloud Hosting
|Shared, Managed WordPress, WooCommerce, Cloud, and Reseller Hosting
|Fast speeds, PHP 7.3 support, built-in caching, CloudwaysCDN
|Google Cloud Platform, Nginx, PHP 7.4 support, SG Optimizer plugin, caching
|Pricing and Plans
|Starts at $10/month
|Starts at $6.99/month
|3-day free trial, no money-back guarantee
|30-day money-back guarantee
|24/7 Live Chat, Ticketing, Phone Support (add-on)
|24/7 Live Chat, Ticketing, Phone Support
|Easy scaling options
|Easy plan upgrades
|Depends on the chosen cloud provider
|Committed to sustainability practices, renewable energy matches
|Best for those looking for affordable managed hosting with control over cloud provider choices.
|Best for those looking for a diverse range of hosting options with excellent support and features.
Founded back in 2011, Cloudways was established in Barcelona, Spain though its current headquarters are located on the island of Malta.
The platform specialises in cloud hosting. Specifically, it offers a modified version of managed hosting that users can easily dive into without the hassle of a steep learning curve. Its hosting solutions include those specific for WordPress and managed cloud hosting.
SiteGround is easily one of the older hosting services on the internet, having been around since 2004, offering services that were specifically created for hassle-free website management. That said, it isn’t surprising that it has become the trusted hosting provider of more than two million websites across the globe.
The platform was among the first to use the cPanel framework as a site management interface; since then, others have followed and cPanel interfaces have practically become proforma for hosting providers.
Ease of Use:
With respect to ease of use, how does SiteGround vs Cloudways fare against each other?
This platform is quite easy to set up unlike most conventional hosting services. Its interface helps users build and deploy a site within minutes, and adding third-party apps to improve functionality can be done with one click. The fact that many site management processes are pre-automated by default (yes, that includes site backup and migration), then running a site is as easy as pie.
SiteGround’s services revolve around the promise of easy website management thanks to its proprietary UI which users can actually get into almost immediately out of the box.
Winner – SiteGround! Cloudways takes this ‘Ease of Use' round in our Cloudways and SiteGround showdown.
What features can we expect from SiteGround vs Cloudways?
Types of Hosting:
- Cloudways does not offer traditional shared hosting plans. Instead, it focuses on managed cloud hosting which acts similarly to VPS hosting.
VPS and Dedicated Hosting:
- Cloudways provides managed cloud hosting services which can be likened to VPS hosting.
- You get dedicated resources in a virtualized environment, ensuring that your website has reserved server resources.
- Cloudways allows you to choose from several cloud providers, including DigitalOcean, Linode, Vultr, AWS, and Google Cloud.
- Their platform provides scalable resources, so you can easily upgrade or downgrade as your site grows or shrinks.
- Managed WordPress Hosting is available through Cloudways, which is optimized specifically for WordPress websites.
- It offers features like automated backups, built-in caching, auto-healing databases, and staging environments.
- Cloudways also offers managed hosting for other PHP-based applications like Joomla, Magento, Drupal, and Laravel.
- SiteGround offers shared hosting plans which are especially known for their managed WordPress services.
- Shared hosting with SiteGround comes with cPanel, free SSL, daily backups, email hosting, and a CDN.
- They provide built-in caching solutions and security optimizations to ensure optimal performance.
VPS and Dedicated Hosting:
- SiteGround does not offer traditional VPS hosting, but its cloud hosting can serve as an alternative to VPS.
- They offer fully managed cloud hosting, where you can customize the amount of CPU, RAM, and storage.
- SiteGround also provides dedicated servers for those who need an entire server's resources. These servers come with WHM and cPanel, 5 dedicated IP addresses, and more.
- SiteGround specializes in WordPress hosting, which comes with features like automatic updates, built-in WP caching, free CDN, and free SSL.
- They also offer WooCommerce hosting for online stores and high-performance Geeky features for more resource-intensive websites.
For this Cloudways vs Siteground review, our issues with Cloudways kicks off with the fact that they don’t have their own domain registry. In fact, if you’re starting tabula rasa on your site, we suggest that you secure a domain name from a third-party registry.
That would have to depend on your subscription: you can have just one domain for your account or – especially if you signed up for one of the premium plans – an unlimited number of domains to suit each site you manage.
We should also point out here that SiteGround also has its own domain registry service and users can opt for regular, country-specific, and special domains; however, it will cost you, as it will set you back $17.99 annually per domain.
What about email services – which is better between Cloudways vs SiteGround?
We hate to break it to you, but you’re going to have to get a third-party email provider for your site if you’re getting it hosted on Cloudways. The platform has an email add-on called Rackspace, but it is an optional service you add to your subscription for an additional cost.
Why such a handy plugin isn’t part of any standard subscription plan on this platform is something we just can’t wrap our heads around.
Regardless of subscription, SiteGround users may create an unlimited number of email addresses for their accounts.
Cloudways takes pride in the fact that they use Thunderstack for databasing purposes – and this is a boon for MySQL users in particular.
This built-in SQL management system has its own tool kit and enables users to work from remote connections. Thunderstack is also quite fast and its core functions can be augmented with several easy to use plugins. Unfortunately (again), getting the Thunderstack system will cost you extra: depending on your subscription, it will set you back by $10 to $36.51 monthly.
Using SiteGround’s built-in databasing plugin is something that won’t break the bank: the platform allows users to have an unlimited number of databases with their standard subscription plans.
To really grow your website, how well does SiteGround vs Cloudways interface with third-party apps?
The platform is compatible with practically any PHP-driven application, as well as three specific building platforms: WordPress, Magento, and Laravel.
Interestingly, Cloudways’ compatibility with WordPress is one of its strongest points as it was one of the first platforms to offer cloud hosting for sites built with it. Today, it hosts more than 600,000 WordPress sites, along with management applications or enhancements for individual site owners, ecommerce entrepreneurs, and agencies.
Moreover, Cloudways’ dedicated content delivery network (CDN) also improves the loading time of WordPress sites regardless of their owners’ physical location anywhere in the world. A cache plugin called Breeze is another reason for this, as this solution was specifically developed to optimise the functionality of WordPress sites.
Those who want to expand the functionality and features of their websites are spoilt for choice as far as SiteGround is concerned as the platform is compatible with more than 500 third-party applications, including popular site builders like WordPress, Joomla, and osCommerce.
Ecommerce users will particularly appreciate how SiteGround’s R&D team is perpetually expanding the scope of the platform’s interactions with a variety of tools and add-ons that would enhance the online retail experience for both web store managers and their customers.
Are Cloudways vs SiteGround great for site staging?
Cloudways’ Staging Environment offers users a secure space in which to test out their sites before going live. Among its features are the ability to test how sites work on five different cloud providers, IP whitelisting, as well as SSL-enabled staging.
We should also point out that Cloudways gives users the ability to connect a test site to an already working site, in order to see whether or not links work or if running one will hamper the operations of the other. Another good thing about this is that you can use Cloudways’ built-in Push and Pull features to swap data between sites.
Most hosting services tend not to offer a testing or staging tool to users, unless they’ve built their sites with WordPress; even then, platforms tend to rely on the site builder’s built-in site staging tool. SiteGround differs in that respect as it actually offers two site staging tools to help site owners and developers out prior to site deployment – but we have to be clear at this point that the site staging capability is only available for the platform’s mid- and high-tier subscribers.
Mid-tier subscribers on SiteGround’s GoBig plan are stuck with the WordPress staging tool – something that is essentially useless if you didn’t build your site with WordPress. However, it’s a pleasant surprise to learn that the staging tool for the premium GoGeek plan is more inclusive: the tool allows staging of sites made via Drupal, Joomla, and PrestaShop.
Which offers the better website builder between Cloudways vs SiteGround?
Cloudways doesn’t have its own proprietary site building platform. However, users have the option to create a site on the platform using WordPress’ Elementor Page Builder. This linkage allows site creators to build from the ground up and put it online in next to no time.
What we particularly like about this aspect of Cloudways is the way you can choose the server on which to host your freshly-minted site and how you can scale it up (or down) depending on your purpose.
While it doesn’t have its own proprietary site builder, SiteGround allows users to choose between two of the world’s most popular site builders: Weebly and WordPress. In the case of the platform’s Weebly install, however, all you get is a basic edition of the platform – easy enough to use, yes, but rather limited in terms of functionality.
Let's talk about opening an online store. Which does it better?
Cloudways offers a specific hosting package for those working with scalable online shop building platform Magento and also for WordPress’ ecommerce plugin WooCommerce. One of the easiest hosting packages to set up, all a user needs to do is select a server, launch the store, and start selling almost immediately.
Regardless of builder, those availing of this ecommerce-friendly package will have a roster of tools at their fingertips, including solutions for building an eye-catching storefront and backend management.
Incidentally, SSL certificates are already included across all of Cloudways’ hosting plans.
This platform offers WooCommerce-centric hosting. That said, this WordPress-specific service allows users to create viable online stores using the CMS-driven builder.
All SiteGround hosting plans come with free Wildcard SSL certificates to help site visitors or online store customers to browse safely through sites.
Winner – DRAW! We’re calling this Cloudways vs SiteGround ‘Features' match a draw.
How does Cloudways vs SiteGround protect you from attacks and unexpected events?
- Cloudways offers free SSL certificates through Let's Encrypt.
- Users can schedule automated backups and also have the option for on-demand backups.
- Cloudways employs server-level firewalls to filter out malicious traffic and secure the servers.
- Regular security patching to protect against vulnerabilities.
Additional Security Services:
- IP Whitelisting lets you create a whitelist of IPs, granting them unrestricted access to SSH and SFTP.
- Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) adds an extra layer of security during the login process.
- SiteGround provides free Let's Encrypt SSL certificates, and also offers premium Wildcard SSL for a fee.
- SiteGround conducts daily backups and keeps them for 30 days. Users can easily restore backups with one click.
- SiteGround’s custom web application firewall (WAF) is regularly updated to protect against known vulnerabilities.
Additional Security Services:
- SiteGround offers a security plugin, SG Site Scanner, that monitors your site for malware and vulnerabilities.
- SiteGround shields websites against brute force attacks with its AI anti-bot system that blocks malicious traffic.
Winner – DRAW! We’re calling this SiteGround vs Cloudways ‘Features' match a draw.
A web hosting service has to be fast, efficient, and reliable. Who does it better in this department, Cloudways vs SiteGround?
|Speed (Load Time)
|Server Response Time (US, East Coast)
|Server Response Time (Europe, London)
|Server Response Time (Asia, Singapore)
|Varies, starts from 1TB
|Varies, starts from 25GB
|Starts from 10GB
|Yes, through Cloudflare
|Highly scalable, pay as you go system
|Scalable, but plan upgrades needed
Who has better and more server locations – Cloudways vs SiteGround?
Cloudways operates more than 65 data centres worldwide with locations in North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia.
Note, however, that only its Frankfurt, London, and Sydney locations host servers for all five of its affiliate IaaS services. Other locations only host one or two at the most.
SiteGround currently has servers in four countries:
- United States (Chicago/Iowa)
- United Kingdom (London)
- The Netherlands (Amsterdam/Eernshaven)
How does SiteGround vs Cloudways speed compare?
Cloudways-hosted websites load in less than two seconds.
SiteGround-hosted sites load in as fast as 2.67 seconds. The platform also works with Cloudflare CDN to help speed up loading time.
Average Uptime, Bandwidth, and Webspace Limits/Storage:
What about uptime and bandwidth allocations – how do SiteGround vs Cloudways measure up?
Cloudways sites are compliant with the standard: 99.96% is the hosting service’s current score when it comes to uptime.
Bandwidth and storage are dependent on each user’s hosting plan. The minimum allowance is usually 1TB of bandwidth and 25GB of storage; at the other end of the spectrum, users can get 5TB of bandwidth along with 160GB of storage.
Sites on this platform are up 99.99% of the time. However, uptime has been inconsistent of late.
In terms of bandwidth, the platform offers unlimited site visits. Storage, on the other hand, ranges between 10 and 40GB for managed hosting plans.
Winner – Cloudways! In this Performance Cloudways vs SiteGround matchup, Cloudways proves to be the faster and more reliable hosting provider between the two.
Support and Resources:
If you encounter any issue at all with the platform, which has better level of support between Cloudways vs SiteGround?
Cloudways offers 24/7 multiple channel tech support across all subscription plans and this is bolstered quite well with a regularly updated and maintained knowledge base. The service’s blog is also a great found of information and those looking for a third-party provider for specific functions will find it an excellent resource as it regularly features top ten lists for applications and plugins.
SiteGround users can avail of 24/7 multichannel tech support via phone, email, and livechat and response time is quite fast.
Aside from its frequently updated knowledge base, the platform also offers online how-to guides and tutorials on using WordPress, setting up an online store, and even a marketing guide to help drive traffic to an online store. Those who want to stay abreast of new developments can also subscribe to its Geek 2 English podcast.
Winner – Draw! Again, we are calling this SiteGround vs Cloudways ‘Support and Resources' showdown a draw.
On to probably the most important part for most people – SiteGround vs Cloudways cost. Which between SiteGround vs Cloudways offers more bang for your buck?
Quick Comparison Table:
|Dedicated (Google Cloud)
|Starts from $10/month
|Starts from $11/month
|Starts from $36.51/month
|Starts from $33.30/month
|N/A (Pay as you go)
|N/A (Pay as you go)
|N/A (Pay as you go)
|N/A (Pay as you go)
|Yes (3 days)
|Yes (3 days)
|Yes (3 days)
|Yes (3 days)
Let's compare all Cloudways vs SiteGround plans in more detail.
Cloud hosting prices for this particular platform are all dependent on which cloud service you want to use. Here are the current ranges being offered:
- Digital Ocean: $10 to $80 monthly
- Linode: $12 to $90 monthly
- Vultr: $11 to $84 monthly
- Amazon Web Services: $36.51 to $274.33 monthly
- Google Cloud: $33.18 to $225.93
Also depending on the IaaS of your choice, managed WordPress or WooCommerce hosting will set you back between $10 and $742 monthly.
SiteGround’s cloud hosting services may be significantly more expensive than most standard web hosts. But these come highly recommended for corporate sites or eCommerce hubs that are scaling up their operations. On average, the monthly cost for SiteGround cloud hosting will set you back between $100 and $400 per month.
Free trial, refund policy, and money-back guarantee:
Comparing Cloudways vs SiteGround, Cloudways has the shortest free trial period of any hosting provider we’ve encountered: just three days. Then you have to either terminate your contract or opt for a monthly plan.
Interestingly, Cloudways prides itself on its pay as you go billing. With this scheme, users only pay for the services they actually use.
Users may, thus, request for a refund if this is presented within three months of adding funds. However, you may not receive the full amount as payment will be deducted for any services used.
SiteGround doesn’t have a free trial period. However, it does have a 30-day money back guarantee that will allow you to collect a full refund if you cancel your subscription within the first month of service.
Winner – Cloudways! In terms of value for money, we’re giving this SiteGround vs Cloudways ‘Pricing' round to Cloudways.
SiteGround is highly regarded for its excellent customer service and robust hosting features, especially in the shared hosting segment.
- SiteGround has a great rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot.
- Customers frequently mention the outstanding support, with representatives being knowledgeable and responsive.
- The performance and uptime are also praised by users.
- Some users have expressed concerns over the price increases after the initial term.
- On Reddit, SiteGround is often recommended for shared hosting, especially for WordPress websites.
- Users value the speed and security features offered.
- Customer support is a recurrently applauded aspect.
- The higher renewal prices are sometimes a point of contention among users.
Cloudways is popular among users looking for managed cloud hosting with more flexibility and control over server configurations.
- Cloudways holds an excellent rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot.
- Users commend Cloudways for its customer support and the ease with which they can manage servers from different cloud providers.
- Performance is regularly mentioned as a strong point.
- Some users find the pricing slightly high compared to traditional shared hosting.
- Reddit users often suggest Cloudways for individuals who need managed cloud hosting.
- The community appreciates the platform’s simplicity and the control it provides over servers from providers like DigitalOcean and AWS.
- Performance is cited as a strong suit.
- Some users have noted the lack of phone support and have had billing issues.
These are two brilliant hosting providers. However, only one must have the edge over the other.
All things considered in this SiteGround vs Cloudways comparison, we are giving the win to SiteGround as Winner in terms of functionality, reliability, and cost.
My Personal Experience with Cloudways and SiteGround
Signing up with Cloudways is a breeze. Their platform offers a free trial without the need for a credit card, allowing users to explore and experiment with the service before making any financial commitment.
SiteGround has an intuitive and straightforward sign-up process. Although they do not offer a free trial, they have a 30-day money-back guarantee, which effectively lets you try out their services with minimal risk.
Setting Up a Website
Cloudways offers a custom control panel that is both powerful and easy to use. With one-click installations for popular applications like WordPress and Magento, as well as managed server maintenance, Cloudways is great for users who want to avoid the technicalities of server management.
SiteGround is known for its user-friendly interface. The SiteGround dashboard is intuitive, and setting up a website is simple with their one-click installations. SiteGround’s WordPress hosting comes with additional features such as automatic updates and SG Optimizer for enhanced performance.
Cloudways excels in performance due to its advanced caching mechanisms, choice of cloud infrastructure providers, and CDN integration. Users have the flexibility to choose their server locations, which is advantageous for optimizing website performance for specific audiences.
SiteGround is well-regarded for its performance, particularly in shared hosting. Their use of Google Cloud infrastructure, combined with custom caching solutions and integration with Cloudflare’s CDN, ensures high performance and fast loading times for websites.
Cloudways provides excellent customer support through 24/7 live chat and a ticketing system. The support team is knowledgeable and quick to assist. They also have a thorough knowledge base for users looking for self-help options.
SiteGround is renowned for its exceptional customer support. With 24/7 help via chat, phone, and tickets, SiteGround's support team is knowledgeable, especially in WordPress. They also offer extensive tutorials and guides.
Conclusion and Recommendations
What is Cloudways best for?
Cloudways is an excellent choice for those seeking flexibility and performance without the hassle of server management. The custom control panel, choice of cloud providers, and excellent support make it a strong choice for a wide range of websites.
What is SiteGround best for?
SiteGround stands out for its combination of user-friendly features, robust performance, and stellar customer support. It is particularly strong for WordPress hosting, making it a fantastic choice for individuals and small to medium-sized businesses.
Because you can scale it up quite easily, I recommend SiteGround for those who want to build everything from basic websites to scalable ecommerce hubs.
SiteGround Cloudways vs Alternatives:
Cloudways may have taken the win in our SiteGround vs Cloudways review, but we recommend that you shop around for a viable hosting service that is in sync with your specific needs.
Does Cloudways offer shared hosting?
No, it doesn’t. Cloudways is strictly a cloud-based managed hosting service.
What platforms can I use with SiteGround?
You may use SiteGround to host sites built with WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, and osCommerce.
That’s all for now:
If you've read our SiteGround vs Cloudways comparison review up to here, we are grateful. Please share any comments below! Remember always to keep abreast of the latest developments on website builders, eCommerce, and other articles, such as the ones below;