TL; DR: Founded in 2011 in response to market demand for a customer-centered hosting solution, Cloudways quickly gained traction in the industry with its robust managed cloud platform. Cloudways sees its purpose as handling the technical aspects of hosting so site owners can focus on their core business goals. And the company’s Cloud Platform-as-a-Service (CPaaS) delivers, allowing organizations to build and scale web apps through a number of infrastructure options, including AWS, Google, and DigitalOcean, among others. Cloudways is committed to developing its products and approach to support around the user experience, which is why businesses around the world are turning to the host to power their mission-critical applications.
As a growing web development agency, Joslex Studios oversees the design-build process for the responsive sites of an ever-expanding customer base. Though the company was quite adept at creating quality, functional sites, the Joslex team realized its servers were not up to the task of handling its rapid growth. Load times were exceeding five seconds for many of its clients’ sites, and Joslex found this unacceptable.
The company knew how important load times were for the businesses it serves to effectively engage customers, and aimed to reduce the rates to less than a second. That’s when Joslex turned to Cloudways for a solution.
“We really needed a partner who could handle the server optimization for us,” said Jeff Weese, Joslex’s Founder. “We wanted a managed platform that was optimized for WordPress…And we found the perfect match.”
Joslex tested the new Cloud Platform-as-a-Service (CPaaS) from Cloudways using a free trial and saw a significant improvement in load speeds. Jeff found the combination of reliable uptime, consistent support, and fast performance ideal for his company. And, after migrating its infrastructure to the managed cloud platform, Joslex was able to achieve its one-second page load goal and saw customer satisfaction rates soar.
Since its inception, Cloudways has operated with the central mission to help organizations, like Joslex, manage and scale their web applications so they can focus on what matters most — their customers and their bottom lines.
“We have had experience with sites using WordPress, WooCommerce, Magento, and many other CMS and PHP-based applications,” said Owais Khan, Marketing Manager at Cloudways. “It’s our job to act as experts where we handle server optimization, administration, security, scalability, and performance.”
Founded to Let Businesses Focus on Clients — Not the Details of Hosting
Cloudways owes much of its early success to its adaptability, offering solutions tailored to unique client needs. Even in the late 2000s, the hosting industry still lacked a lot of accessibility for fledgling businesses — issues regarding transparency, affordability, and convenience made finding the ideal host a significant challenge.
“We got started around 2011 when there were multiple hosting options,” Owais said. “However, many of them were complicated for users and were missing that element of convenience. We caught some traction because at that time we were managing users and servers individually.”
As seen with Joslex Studios, Cloudways doesn’t just provide technical support — the company delivers direct consultation for the best management strategies and setups. By offering a high level of versatility to its clients, Cloudways makes it easier for businesses to focus on their own end users.
The company takes the guesswork out of server management, so businesses are not overwhelmed by IT issues and technical details. This is especially valuable for small businesses without IT departments.
“Our goal was to let these agencies and eCommerce businesses focus on their core business and leave all the techy stuff to us,” Owais said. “We do the dirty work and help these businesses to focus primarily on the rapid growth of their business.”
A Managed Cloud Hosting Platform Created for Scaling Organizations
The flexibility of the Cloudways platform goes hand-in-hand with the needs of scaling businesses. Its pay-as-you-go model helps growing companies with tight budgets grab the resources they need without having to commit to an over-powered package. Once wider revenue streams begin to flow, these businesses can scale accordingly.
“You can manage anything — be it your server or web application — even if you’re not technical,” Owais said. “And the process of upgrading to expanded services is simple.”
According to Owais, there are few technical details involved to get up and running. Users first choose their desired apps, pick up a cloud provider, and then the preferred server size — that’s it.
Over the years, Cloudways has added support for multiple apps, such as Drupal and Magento, Laravel, which are often employed for online stores. Cloudways has also partnered with AWS, Google, Digital Ocean, Vultr, and Kyup to help power its platform.
“We started off by first offering Amazon as a provider, and we had WordPress, Magento, and a few other apps,” Owais said. “Now we offer five different cloud providers and more than 14 different applications. And any PHP-based app can also be hosted on our platform without any problems.”
Product Development and an Approach to Support Built Around UX
Cloudways aims to provide top-tier support and performance based on the best possible user experience. The original Cloudways CPaaS product was introduced in 2014. But, by 2016, developers noticed the UI had begun to look outdated. When revamping its interface, Owais told us Cloudways drew from its multitude of users for inspiration.
“We are quite cautious in considering our customer base,” he said. “Everything was revamped, a few improvements were made, and the resulting feedback was very positive.”
Because Cloudways is a bootstrap company, it doesn’t have to show big returns to investors. As a result, the company is able to zero in on user experience and redirect ROI toward improving the overall customer experience. Cloudways is willing to provide a great degree of flexibility, ease, and transparency not commonly seen in the industry.
“As long as you are making your customers happy, your customers help you grow,” Owais said. “This is the main reason for our success.”
When clients select customized plans based on a pay-as-you-go model, Cloudways gains direct insight into what options are the most popular and what should be implemented into future plans and products.
Because Cloudways attracts so many unique clients, its approach to innovation has aligned smoothly with industry shifts. The company has implemented many of its features and apps gradually, and as needed, to craft the most effective CPaaS solution.
“We have added nearly 90% of our features based on customer needs,” Owais said. “Everything we do is based on what our customers are demanding from us.”
In Beta: New Plugins Designed to Boost Application Performance
In 2016, the Customer Success Team at Cloudways was flooded with support requests regarding the complexity of caching on WordPress sites. As a CPaaS company, Cloudways concerns itself with site speed and other performance factors that can be improved with optimization — so it devised a solution.
Installing Cloudways’s WordPress caching plugin Breeze is one of the fastest and easiest ways to boost site performance. Breeze is free and 100% plug-and-play. Users can simply install the plugin and forget about caching.
In addition to WordPress, other popular tools, such as Magento, Joomla, and WooCommerce, are used to build business sites. Plugins or modules for these products help simplify both the developer and end-user experience. Cloudways now offers a full-page cache plugin for Magento and plans to release more features in near future. According to the company’s recent announcement, Cloudways will be launching new features, including Cloudways Cluster, CDN, Linode, and Block Storage.
Cloudways was created out of user demand for a more cost-friendly, customer-centric hosting solution. And, ultimately, Cloudways manages to strike a balance between affordability, customization, and user-friendliness.
“Our goal has always been to bring simplicity, ease, and transparency to hosting at reasonable rates,” Owais said. “And we owe much of our success to our hands-on approach.”