We have been in business for over 12 years (how time flies when you’re having fun!), and finding a reliable hosting company to host WordPress websites was a challenge right from the beginning. Many hosting companies offer. “unlimited” everything for $5 per month; what a deal! So, we tried and tried, but only got poor results. We have used shared hosting, manage VPS, DIY VPS managed dedicated, DYI dedicated, and AWS. We quickly learned that shared hosting was not for us. VPS was an attractive option for hosting WordPress websites when we had only a few clients, but we finally outgrew it, and adding more resources (with 2014 technology) was not much of an improvement.
Once we were convinced that we cannot get what we need from a VPS, we tried dedicated servers with Hetzner. The price/performance was amazing, but this created another nightmare: not only we had to deal with specialized IT staff, but we were also on our own if anything happened to the server. We were courageous, though! We switched from Apache to LiteSpeed for still better performance and had to manage and upkeep a dedicated server.
Here are a few companies we tried: In-Motion hosting, A2 Hosting, Small Orange, Amazon AWS, and Hetzner. While the dedicated server gave us the performance we needed, having all our websites on one server was something that kept us awake late nights when we were updating server software. Even though we took daily backups of the entire server, still a single point of failure is nerve recking.
This 12-year journey finally landed us with Cloudways. While still managing our dedicated server, I came across the company’s website, and I kept reading. Everything sounded great, yet, moving to another hosting company was met with great skepticism of the entire team. To my surprise, what I was reading was hard to let go of. So I opened an account and started experimenting incognito. Everything the company’s website claimed was actually true. These folks have mastered the art and science of webserver management, especially the needs of agencies such as us, and provide it at a reasonable cost. So, I invited our developers to see it for themselves. And impressed they were.
Being impressed with Cloudways is one thing, moving over a 100 website and distribute them on various servers is another. But we took a calculated risk and set up several servers and started moving our websites over. It took us a couple of months to complete the migration. To be sure, we kept our dedicated server for six more months will all the websites intact just in case we had to abandon the new platform for whatever reason. Thankfully, we had no reason to go back. We are on Cloudways for nearly 2 years now, and we never looked back.
We minimized the single point of failure by distributing our websites over several servers, giving each the resources they need to manage the load. We also placed our popular websites on their own server, allowing us to upgrade the server as needed. This “vertical scaling” is only a click away through the dashboard.
As with any hosting company, it is not only the price-performance that is important. 24×7 technical support is equally critical. With their live chat managed by technical staff, we always have our answers within minutes. And this is one reason we are going to stay where we are for the next few years.
Here is a great overview of Cloudways’ blog: Why Cloudways Is the Ultimate Platform for WordPress and WooCommerce Hosting?
PS – We still have dedicated servers with Hetzner for special websites and web applications. But our WordPress sites are all on Cloudways.