Cloudways are a hosting provider who, like ourselves here at GridPane, allow you to choose your own Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider as a part of their service. Because of this, we occasionally get asked by prospective clients how we compare with each other and so we’ll seek to explain the key differences here, as fairly and accurately as possible.
If you’re looking to understand the differences between GridPane and Cloudways and decide who is the better choice for your business, you’re in the right place.
Cloudways allow you to choose from 5 infrastructure as a server (IaaS) providers to host your websites. These are DigitalOcean, Vultr, Linode, Google Cloud Compute, and AWS EC2. Their platform comes with a nice UI for managing your websites.
GridPane allows you to provision servers from providers such as DigitalOcean, Vultr, Linode, AWS Lightsail, UpCloud, and essentially any quality VPS provider that you wish through our Custom VPS option (including Google Cloud Compute, AWS EC2, Hetzner, OVH, Reliablesite, Hivelocity, etc). You choose and control your own infrastructure, and you can use our platform to manage your websites and servers.
With the exception of Pagely, pretty much every “managed” WordPress host charges based on “views” or extra PHP workers. This is due to the rigid way in which these platforms operate. Charging based on these metrics often leaves users with no choice other than to upgrade to a higher plan. The PHP worker restriction in particular can be highly problematic for eCommerce and LMS websites.
Neither GridPane nor Cloudways charge based on these types of metrics. You have a VPS or dedicated server, and these can handle what they can handle, with no restrictions.
The main difference between GridPane and Cloudways is the markets we serve. Cloudways bills themselves as a managed hosting company. That’s a great service for individual businesses looking for better performance with fewer restrictions than a shared hosting provider, or WordPress pro’s who need a low-budget friendly host in the early days of their hosting service offering.
GridPane is built for serious WordPress agencies and developers who are looking to grow their WordPress business and provide high-end hosting services and/or website care plans for their clients for a premium price.
We’re pushing the boundaries of what WordPress hosting looks like. GridPane was the first-ever hosting control panel dedicated to WordPress, and we’re now so much more. We’re now the first to offer both Nginx and OpenLiteSpeed (beta) servers, and Percona 8 or MariaDB database options. We’ll soon be launching the most comprehensive backup solution available anywhere, and we have multiple WAF integrations, DNS integrations (including Cloudflare), UpdateSafely 2.0, and more.
We’re focused on building the absolute best WordPress hosting solution in the world.
Cloudways are a hosting company serving many different markets.
Cloudways pricing is based on doubling the cost of the server that you rent with them. This can work out great for WordPress pros in the beginning, especially when compared to traditional managed hosting companies, but it’s more suited to website owners vs WordPress agencies.
GridPane has 3 set plans that are designed to help you at different levels of your hosting venture’s journey. The more sites and servers you add to your account, the more you’ll benefit from the higher-tier plans. We don’t sell infrastructure directly, so you can create accounts at whichever IaaS providers you prefer. There are no preset server or site limitations on any plans. We will never recommend a server upgrade if there are other alternatives as that’s not how we make our money – and when we do recommend an upgrade it’s because that’s what’s needed for your website/s.
Also, you can likely get a substantial amount of free credit at multiple IaaS providers that could cover the first few months of your server costs.
We both have 24/7 live support, but one of the biggest differences you’ll notice between ourselves and Cloudways is the level of WordPress specific support we offer. We have engineers available 24/7, and as we’re solely focused on WordPress we literally solve WordPress specific issues 24/7 and nothing else.
Also, as a company, we have no incentive to ask you to increase the size of your servers as that’s not how we make our money. Being completely independent of your infrastructure provider means we can advise you on how to fine-tune your server vs upgrading it. We allow you to customize your servers to meet your website’s requirements, and the average $10-$20 VPS can easily handle a TON of traffic.
Cloudways run on an Nginx stack that’s far more performant than regular shared hosting. On regular, non-complex, low traffic sites, you may not notice much of a difference in performance between Cloudways and GridPane. At scale though, we perform better.
We each entered Review Signals 2020 testing. Cloudways earned an “Honorable Mention” in the tier below enterprise. GridPane earned “Top Tier” honors in the Enterprise category (Cloudways chose not to compete at this level). To summarise those findings, GridPane competes with the absolute best at the very highest levels, and one of our core goals as a platform is to help our clients create enterprise-capable servers.
GridPane is the only platform to offer multiple stack options. With our developer accounts, you have the ability to customize your server stack with either Nginx or OpenLiteSpeed (beta), and MariaDB or Percona for MySQL 8. Our out-of-the-box defaults are ideal for most WordPress websites, but you have the ability to further customize them to meet your website’s specific needs. Need to tweak your PHP workers for a WooCommerce or LMS website? No problem at all, you can do it right in your GridPane dashboard.
We see ourselves as partners to our clients, and one of our goals as a company is to help our clients develop their skills and grow their business. This literally helps us create our own perfect clients.
Like all managed hosting companies, Cloudways have no incentive to help you grow your hosting skillset, but they are incentivized to get you to scale up your servers as this is how their business model works.
If you’re serious about growing an exceptional and highly profitable WordPress hosting service, GridPane is the perfect partner.
If you’re a website owner or a WordPress pro just starting out and need a low-budget friendly host that’s better than shared hosting, Cloudways may be a great fit for you.
If you’re a WordPress agency or developer and you’re looking to grow your monthly revenue from your hosting offering, GridPane exists to serve your needs. We’re purpose-built for serious WordPress agencies and developers who are looking to grow their WordPress business and provide high-end hosting services and/or website care plans for their clients for a premium price.
Are you looking to build a high-end hosting service and add a steady, predictable stream of recurring monthly revenue to your WordPress business? We’d love to assist you on that journey. We also have a 2-week free trial that we may be able to extend to 4-6 weeks!
Test drive GridPane today for FREE and see for yourself the awesome suite of features and tools we’ve built for serious WordPress professionals like you. We’re flipping managed WordPress on its head… care to join us?