Cloudways targets experienced developers who don’t mind acting as system administrators. However, when it comes to managed WordPress hosting, it doesn’t offer the support, premium features, or prices that Kinsta does.
Cloudways is mainly a server reseller. Although it offers managed WordPress hosting as a service, that’s not what this provider specializes in. At Kinsta, we hear every day from frustrated clients looking for a Cloudways alternative, who want to hear what makes Kinsta unique.
That’s what we’ll cover here. We’ll explain what distinguishes Kinsta from other providers such as Cloudways, and explore the many benefits of using us as your managed WordPress host.
How Kinsta Compares to Cloudways Hosting in a Nutshell
Before we take a deep dive into the specifics of Kinsta vs Cloudways, we first want to provide a breakdown of some of the key differences.
Kinsta is the first host to be powered exclusively by the Google Cloud Platform (GCP). We leverage Google’s premium-tier network to maximize the speed, security, and performance of each site hosted on our platform.
We are also the highest-rated managed WordPress host on G2, the world’s leading software review and comparison site:
Some additional differences between Kinsta vs Cloudways include:
- Kinsta is a leading managed WordPress hosting provider, which offers all-in-one solutions for managing your website. Cloudways is a cloud hosting and server reseller platform that is not specific to WordPress.
- Kinsta uses Google Cloud’s premium global tier network and Google’s latest generation Compute-Optimized VMs (C2) – these are the most expensive and fastest machines. Both are available for all customers starting at $35/month.
- Kinsta proactively monitors every website every two minutes (720 times a day) making sure it is up and running. Cloudways doesn’t include any monitoring system in its plans, and only makes this available as a paid add-on.
- Kinsta provides 24/7 premium support on all plans. Our support team consists of WordPress experts and Linux engineers who are knowledgeable and quick to respond. Cloudways premium support is only available as a paid add-on, starting at $100 per month.
- Besides native English we offer multilingual support, including a knowledge base with resources available in 10 languages
- Kinsta provides free, expert, and human-performed migrations with all of our plans. Cloudways doesn’t offer expert assistance migration services, only a dedicated “do it yourself” plugin.
- While Cloudways offers some caching through a dedicated caching plugin, Kinsta has a unique system that caches pages at the server level. This provides much better results than any plugin.
- Cloudways’ bandwidth allowance on Google Cloud setups is 2GB, which is only enough for a few hundred visits a month. All data transfers above this limit will be charged as overage.
- Kinsta plans include everything you need to maximize site performance and security, including a premium DNS, uptime monitoring, and firewalls. With Cloudways, many of the security and support features you’d expect from a managed WordPress host are only available for additional fees.
- Kinsta has a free APM tool with full stack traces that are helpful for debugging WordPress code. Cloudways’ APM only lists slow pages without detailed stack traces.
- Kinsta has 33 data centers across the globe, and unlike Cloudways, uses servers that are optimized for WordPress.
- Kinsta includes a free Content Delivery Network (CDN) on all plans. Cloudways offers its CloudwaysCDN as a paid add-on.
- Kinsta offers straightforward hosting plans and packages at affordable prices. Cloudways’ pay-as-you-go pricing plans can be complex and confusing, with a lot of hidden fees and premium add-ons.
- Kinsta offers a built-in Cloudflare integration that includes DDoS protection and other security features at no additional cost.
- Kinsta has a 30-day money-back guarantee, while Cloudways only offers a three-day free trial.
- Kinsta offers a 100% hack-fix guarantee.
Try it out for yourself with our free MyKinsta dashboard demo! Register your account to see the user-friendly interface and explore our various tools.
Kinsta is Built for Performance and Scalability
Kinsta’s unique, powerful infrastructure was custom built to deliver unparalleled performance, speed, support, and scalability. Our solution doesn’t fit into any of the categories of traditional hosting, such as shared, VPS, or dedicated plans.
Starting at just $35 per month, Kinsta plans use compute-optimized C2 Google Cloud machines, LXD managed hosts, and orchestrated LXC software containers for each website. Every WordPress site has its own isolated container which has all of the software resources required to run it, including Linux, Nginx, PHP, and MySQL.
We have over 30 different software packages and PHP extensions, as well as custom-compiled Linux packages and Nginx rulesets, which help maximize the performance of your WordPress site. Our scalable cloud infrastructure also makes it easy for you to upgrade or downgrade with ease.
At first glance, the entry-level costs of Cloudways managed WordPress hosting plans may seem like an advantage. However, they can also be misleading. It’s difficult to calculate your total monthly cost because there’s a lot of variance depending on your machine and usage.
For example, Cloudways Google Cloud machines for managed WordPress hosting plans only come with 2GB of bandwidth. This means you could be paying as much as $226 or even $722 per month, yet still have to pay for bandwidth overages. Then there’s the additional costs for premium support, offsite backup storage, etc.
Also, if you select a Cloudways GCP server, you won’t be served by Google’s premium tier global network. On the other hand, all Kinsta clients benefit from the GCP premium tier. Simply switching to Kinsta can help you see significant response time improvements, because our servers are fine-tuned for WordPress sites.
For example, we previously had a client move from a Cloudways AWS server to Kinsta due to performance issues. The following screenshots highlight some of the major differences after the DNS propagation. No additional optimization was made on this site, and the results shown were achieved just by moving it to our WordPress optimized servers: the site is now twice as fast as it was on Cloudways!
As you can see, there was a significant drop in loading times for U.S. locations:
Let’s take a closer look at these results. In Portland, OR, the load time after moving from Cloudways to Kinsta went from about 400 ms to 139 ms:
Additionally, there were impressive loading time improvements in two California locations. In Fremont, CA, the load time dropped down to 58 ms:
In San Francisco, CA, load time decreased even further to 33 ms:
It wasn’t just U.S. locations that showed notable improvements, either. In Dublin, Ireland, there was a sharp dip in load time, dropping from about 700 ms to 90 ms:
Similarly, in Frankfurt, Germany, load time was even faster at 65 ms:
Finally, there was a dramatic difference in network timings:
Conversely, we also had a site move from Kinsta to Cloudways, which caused a load time increase. A few weeks later this customer returned to Kinsta, as they were not happy with their site’s performance at Cloudways:
As you can see, simply changing from Kinsta hosting to Cloudways increased this site’s loading times in the Washington D.C. location from approximately 680 ms to 1.30 seconds:
Another benefit of using Kinsta is our unique caching system that helps to optimize speed and performance. Kinsta eliminates the need for any caching plugins, such as the Breeze cache plugin required by Cloudway.
We cache everything on a server level, which is much faster than doing so on a PHP level with plugins. We also offer different types of caching systems to reduce server load and accelerate response times, including Bytecode, Query cache, Page, CDN cache, and Object cache.
MyKinsta: A Custom-Built Dashboard for Powerful Site Management
Kinsta makes managing your WordPress site as simple as possible. We custom-built our own user portal, the MyKinsta dashboard, specifically for WordPress site management:
Cloudways also uses its own admin interface. However, it’s not WordPress-specific. Let’s take a look at some of the powerful features that make our MyKinsta dashboard so beneficial, some of which aren’t included with Cloudways plans:
- One-click staging environments, and an option to restore backups to production or staging. Cloudways also offers one-click staging environments, but charges vary based on your disk space.
- Quick phpMyAdmin access.
- Premium Amazon Route 53 DNS, to manage your DNS records directly in the dashboard. Cloudways does not offer a premium DNS.
- Detailed analytics and insights such as bandwidth and visitor data, CDN usage and insights, performance analysis data, and cache HIT and MISS ratio.
- Free, one-click CDN setup. With Cloudways, you have to pay to implement and use its CloudwaysCDN add-on.
- A built-in Cloudflare integration with optimized settings to secure and boost the performance of your site without the need for a separate Cloudflare subscription.
- A WordPress debugging tool.
- A search and replace tool to perform bulk updates with ease.
- One-click PHP version switching, as well as the option to restart PHP when needed.
- A dashboard tool to purge the site cache.
- Automatic Cloudflare SSL certificates with wildcard support, and the option to import your own.
- Simple password protection for your environment, with the option to add your SSH keys to the dashboard to strengthen security.
- A free APM (Application Performance Monitoring) tool for identifying performance bottlenecks on your site.
- Multilingual dashboard that’s available in 10 languages: English, Italian, Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Japanese, Swedish, Danish, and Dutch.
Why just take our word for it, when you can try this dashboard out for yourself with our MyKinsta demo? Simply register for a free account, then explore the user-friendly interface and tools to see for yourself what makes MyKinsta unlike any other!
At Kinsta, we value our clients’ feedback and are always striving to be better. This is why we regularly seek out opportunities to improve, and incorporate the requests and feedback we get from clients into our offerings. If there’s a chance something can make your site or hosting experience even better, we’re all ears!
Free Performance Monitoring Tool
WordPress is a dynamic CMS, which means it’s constantly executing PHP code in the background. Depending on your theme and plugin configuration, it’s possible for your site to get bogged down with bloated and inefficient code.
That’s where APM (Application Performance Monitoring) tools can help. An APM monitors requests to your site, and tracks various metrics like external API requests, database queries, PHP execution time, and more. This information allows you to quickly debug and troubleshoot performance bottlenecks.
All Kinsta plans come with a free custom-built APM tool that can be easily accessed right in the MyKinsta dashboard. Kinsta APM provides you with key WordPress performance insights without the need for expensive third-party subscriptions to other APM services.
With Kinsta APM, you can debug the following and more:
- Slow WordPress plugins and themes.
- Long calls to external APIs and domains.
- Unoptimized MySQL database queries.
Cloudways plans come with a built-in APM tool, but it doesn’t provide granular insights like Kinsta APM. For example, Cloudways’ APM tool lists the slowest pages on your site, but doesn’t provide you with a complete stack trace. With Kinsta APM, you can use full stack traces to debug WordPress performance issues down to a specific line of code.
Optimized for WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads
At Kinsta, we understand that, when it comes to online stores, speed is a critical priority. We’re also familiar with the unique challenges associated with managing ecommerce sites. This is why we optimized our platform for WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads.
We use a variety of methods to deliver lightning-fast performance and speed for your online stores. We do this by:
- Excluding pages that shouldn’t be cached by default, such as ‘my account’, checkout, and cart pages.
- Bypassing the cache automatically for users when “edit_items_in_cart” or “woocommerce_items_in_cart cookie” are detected, to ensure a quick, smooth, and seamless checkout.
- Using server-level page caching, and implementing specific rules to allow EDD and WooCommerce functionality.
Each year, Review Signal performs an annual performance testing review on some of the most popular hosts. For five consecutive years, Kinsta has earned “top tier” performance!
In the most recent round of benchmark reviews, Cloudways’ Pro plan ($80/month) was tested. We’ll be comparing that below with our Kinsta Pro plan ($70/month).
Web Performance Benchmarks (Pro Plans)
To conduct the web performance benchmark tests, Review Signal created identical WordPress dummy websites with the same plugins installed (with the exception of any tools required for each provider’s specific caching mechanisms).
WebPageTest.org was used to measure the overall loading time (in seconds) in 11 different geographical locations around the globe. Let’s take a look at the results:
As you can see, Kinsta edged out Cloudways in six of these tests.
Two services were used to perform uptime tests: UptimeRobot and StatusCake. Both providers had a perfect uptime:
Next is the Load Impact test, which was used to assess the caching system’s performance on each site:
|Data Transferred (GB)||33.49||28.70|
|Peak Average Load Time (seconds)||608||1,210|
|Peak Average Bandwidth (Mbps)||571||413|
|Peak Average Requests/Sec||1,220||903|
Even with more requests and data transferred, Kinsta still outperformed Cloudways when it came to the average loading time.
The Load Storm tests were used to simulate real users visiting each site:
|Peak Response Time (ms)||2,372||8,848|
|Average Response Time (ms)||440||786|
Although Cloudways didn’t show any errors, it did experience increased response times as the test scaled. With more requests, Kinsta still showed almost half the average response time that Cloudways did.
Kinsta is Developer-Friendly
At Kinsta, many of our team members are developers and engineers. That’s why we built our platform and tools with developers in mind.
As your managed WordPress host, we provide you with a plethora of developer-friendly tools and features that help streamline your workflow efficiency and productivity.
Some of the developer-friendly features you’ll have access to at Kinsta include:
- The option to load your site over reverse proxy.
- Unrestricted access to your site’s critical files.
- One-click staging environments for all plans.
- Git, WP-CLI, and SSH access included, regardless of your plan.
- Five different types of backups available: automatic/daily, optional hourly, manual, system generated, and downloadable.
- The ability to restore backups to staging as well as production, with a one-click backup restoration feature directly in the MyKinsta dashboard. Unlike Cloudways, we don’t count backups as part of your total disk space usage.
- A Redis add-on for quicker database performance.
- The ability to use custom setups such as Bedrock and Trellis.
- An option to run a different version of PHP for each live and staging site, and the ability to switch your PHP version with one click.
- Default enabled post and page revisions.
- Built-in APM tool with full stack traces for debugging plugins and themes.
I am pleasantly surprised at the ease and speed of setting up WordPress with Kinsta. I love the staging environment and the deployment to production!
Feature Comparison Overview
At this point, we want to take a moment to look at some of the biggest differences between Kinsta vs Cloudways:
|Pricing||Plans start at $35/month||Plans start at $10/month|
|Money-Back Guarantee||30 days on all plans||X|
|Plan Tiers||10 (not including custom)||7-11 (depending on cloud provider and based on CPU/storage needs)|
|Premium 24×7 Support||All plans||All plans|
|Core Infrastructure||Same across all plans (GCP)||Varies by plan (Digital Ocean, Vultr, Linode, AWS, Google Cloud Platform)|
|SSH Access||All plans||All plans|
|Global Data Centers||33 locations||65 (Varies by plan)|
|Bandwidth Limits||No limits (within AUP)||2 GB|
|Container Technology||100% resource isolation on all plans||Varies by plan|
|Free Migrations||All plans||No (Manual via plugin)|
|Staging Environment||All plans||All plans|
|One-Click Backup and Restore||All plans||All plans (charges vary)|
|PHP Versions||PHP 7.4, 8.0, 8.1||PHP 5.6, 7.x, 8.0|
|Switch PHP Engine||One-click change in dashboard||✓|
|Free CDN||34 (All regions)||Premium add-on|
|Free Premium DNS||Amazon R53||X|
|Free SSL Certificates||All plans||All plans|
|Uptime Monitoring||All plans||Premium add-on|
|Resource Limits||Only limited by PHP workers||Varies by plan|
|Free APM Tool||Kinsta APM||Cloudways Basic APM|
|Multisite Support||Pro plans and higher||✓|
|Firewall Powered by Cloudflare||✓||X|
|Free DDoS Protection||✓||X|
|Reverse Proxy Support||✓||Not specified|
|New Relic APM|
|Multilingual Dashboard||English, Spanish, German, Dutch, Portuguese, Italian, French, Swedish, Danish, Japan||Not specified|
Kinsta is Safe and Secure
At Kinsta, we know how important it is to secure your site and servers. This is why we take both active and passive measures to safeguard not only your server but also your WordPress site, to keep it protected from malicious intruders.
Our security features include:
- Monitoring your sites every two minutes for uptime
- Strict software-based restrictions
- Free DDoS protection powered by Cloudflare
- Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)
- Firewall powered by Cloudflare
- Automated backups
- Isolated LXC containers
- Self-healing PHP
- Only support for encrypted SFTP and SSH connections (no FTP)
Kinsta provides premium uptime monitoring for all of your WordPress sites via our in-house developed monitoring system. We check the status of each site every two minutes.
In the rare event that anything were to happen to your site, we’ll notify you immediately. We also offer a 100% hack-fix guarantee, meaning that we will resolve the issue free of charge.
All sites on Kinsta are automatically protected by Cloudflare’s firewall, which includes free DDoS protection. With our Cloudflare integration, you’ll get the benefits of enhanced security and performance without having to configure your own Cloudflare account.
Cloudways, on the other hand, only takes basic security measures. Most of the advanced security features and tools you would need to protect your site are your responsibility.
For example, it offers server monitoring alerts. However, there are no such security notifications included for individual sites. Since Cloudways doesn’t offer a built-in Cloudflare integration, website monitoring and firewalls are only available as a paid service through Sucuri. In addition to tedious, this can also be costly depending on how many sites you run.
Kinsta Has a Global Presence
Another advantage of using Kinsta as your managed WordPress host is our global footprint. We have 33 data centers (and counting) around the globe, which spans five continents.
Our data center locations include:
- Changhua County, Taiwan
- Hong Kong
- Tokyo, Japan
- Osaka, Japan
- Seoul, South Korea
- Mumbai, India
- Delhi, India
- Jurong West, Singapore
- Jakarta, Indonesia
- Sydney, Australia
- Melbourne, Australia
- Warsaw, Poland
- Hamina, Finland
- Madrid, Spain
- St. Ghislain, Belgium
- London, United Kingdom
- Frankfurt, Germany
- Eemshaven, Netherlands
- Zurich, Switzerland
- Milan, Italy
- Paris, France
- Montréal, Canada
- Toronto, Canada
- São Paulo, Brazil
- Santiago, Chile
- Council Bluffs, Iowa, USA
- Moncks Corner, South Carolina, USA
- Ashburn, Virginia, USA
- Columbus, Ohio, USA
- The Dalles, Oregon, USA
- Los Angeles, California, USA
- Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
- Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Thanks to our massive global presence, it’s easy for you to pick a different server location for each of your WordPress sites. Plus, there are no hidden fees or extra charges!
With Cloudways, the data center location options you have to choose from depend on which of its cloud infrastructure providers you choose.
Free WordPress Migrations
Cloudways doesn’t offer free, expert migration services. Your only option is to conduct the migration yourself using its Cloudways WP Migrator plugin.
On the other hand, at Kinsta we provide hassle-free migrations, whether you want to move one site or 100. Our WordPress experts handle the entire migration process for you, so you won’t have to deal with complex technology or risk losing critical data.
If you’re interested in moving your site to managed WordPress hosting, we’re now offering unlimited free migrations from Cloudways!
To get started, simply complete our site migration request form, and a member from our team will reach out to schedule a time for the migration. Then you can track the migration status directly from your MyKinsta dashboard.
If you have problematic high traffic sites like us, you’ll love their migration service — they took care of everything and even identified some problem plugins that had been installed by former members of our team. I would have spent hours on the migration due to the size without their help.
Turbocharging Your Content Delivery with Kinsta CDN
All Kinsta plans include a free CDN, which you can easily enable for your sites directly through the MyKinsta dashboard. Unlike Cloudways, all of our plans also include free bandwidth.
KinstaCDN is a premium HTTP/2 and IPv6-enabled CDN. Our content delivery architecture is built specifically for high throughput and low latency, delivering and caching your content from our CDN’s 34 POPs across the globe. These locations span all major regions, including North America, Europe, Australia, South America, Asia, and Africa!
With Cloudways, you’re charged for the amount of bandwidth you use, with prices varying based on your resources. Also, to leverage a CDN with Cloudways, you need to purchase the CloudwaysCDN add-on and implement it yourself.
Expert Support for WordPress
At Kinsta, we always put our customers first. Our support team is made up of skilled engineers and WordPress experts, who treat each customer and inquiry as a mission-critical priority. We provide 24/7 premium support regardless of your plan.
In addition to knowledgeable and accessible, our support is also quick and convenient. Our average initial ticket response time is under two minutes!
Perhaps this is why, in the past two years, over 97% of Kinsta customers left a chat support session happy or satisfied:
Besides native English, we offer multilingual support, including a knowledge base with resources available in 10 languages.We use the Intercom customer messaging platform, and all conversations are logged so you won’t ever have to repeat yourself to multiple agents.
Kinsta has allowed us to offer a bulletproof service to our top tier clients and keep them happy. Especially those who have traffic spikes with sudden server demand.
Cloudways offers 24/7 support on all of its plans. However, this is only the ‘standard’ support that includes chat and a ticket system, which many customers have expressed frustrations over.
With the standard support, if something were to happen to your site, you would need to submit a ticket in order to receive help. There is no active monitoring like there is on Kinsta plans.
If you want a “quicker response time, and enhanced access to [its] support team”, you’ll need to pay for the Premium Support add-on, which starts at $100 per month.
Best Affiliate Program in the Industry
Kinsta takes pride in constantly going above and beyond to exceed our clients’ expectations. Our happy customers, eager to spread the word about our managed WordPress hosting, have helped us become one of the fastest-growing hosts in the industry.
This is why we’re also proud to offer an affiliate program that gives you the opportunity to share in our profits. We provide one of the highest-paying affiliate programs in the industry, and present the opportunity to earn a passive income.
As our affiliate partner, you can earn as much as $500 (depending on the plan) for every signup referred to us by you. Additionally, you’ll receive a 10% monthly recurring commission for the lifetime of the referred customer! Our customers have an impressively low churn rate, making this an effective way to earn a passive income.
We also use a unique WordPress hosting affiliate dashboard, so you won’t have to deal with complex third-party platforms. It doesn’t get any easier.
With the Cloudways affiliate program, you’ll only earn up to $125 per sale.
Develop Locally with DevKinsta
For developers and agencies, Kinsta offers a simple to use (but powerful) local development tool called DevKinsta. With DevKinsta, you can launch WordPress sites with a full hosting stack and SSL support on your local computer with just a few clicks.
DevKinsta is fully integrated with MyKinsta and Kinsta’s hosting platform, which means you can develop locally and push updates directly to a staging environment on Kinsta! Cloudways doesn’t have an integration with a local WordPress development tool, which means there is no way to clone and push WordPress sites for Cloudways customers. If you’re a busy freelance or agency developer, DevKinsta’s advanced features and MyKinsta integration can be a huge time saver.
Join Others Making the Switch to Kinsta
We take pride in offering the fastest and latest technology possible. This is why we’re constantly evolving and leveraging the most innovative solutions available. When you check out our many feature updates, you’ll see that no other hosting provider releases new features, tools, and integrations at the same speed and frequency.
We are proud of our solutions, and want you to be completely satisfied with your hosting. Unlike Cloudways, we offer a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you’re ready to make the move away from Cloudways and switch to a new managed hosting provider, try out Kinsta risk-free for 30 days!