DigitalOcean vs Cloudways: Comparing Cloud Hosting Solutions

Selecting the right hosting solution is essential for businesses venturing into the cloud. DigitalOcean and Cloudways are two great options if you’re looking for reliable and scalable cloud hosting solutions. DigitalOcean and Cloudways have been close partners since 2014. In 2022, DigitalOcean acquired Cloudways, a robust managed cloud hosting platform, broadening DigitalOcean’s service portfolio by incorporating managed hosting solutions specifically designed for the needs of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).

DigitalOcean caters to developers and businesses seeking full control and customization over their server infrastructure. This empowers them to fine-tune configurations and optimize performance for their specific needs. Cloudways, on the other hand, differentiates itself by offering a managed hosting experience. The platform handles all the complexities of server management and maintenance behind the scenes. This frees up valuable time and resources for SMBs, allowing them to focus on core business activities.

Both DigitalOcean and Cloudways are good options for businesses, but the best choice will depend on factors such as your technical expertise, the specific requirements of your website or application, and your budget. This article provides a detailed comparison of both cloud hosting platforms.

Overview of DigitalOcean vs Cloudways hosting solutions

Both DigitalOcean and Cloudways have distinct approaches to cloud hosting management. If you prefer hands-on management and prioritize simplicity in complex technical abilities and use cases, DigitalOcean as a web host is a good choice. Cloudways caters to those who value managed services, scalability, and flexibility across various cloud providers.

DigitalOcean Summary

DigitalOcean simplifies cloud computing, allowing builders to focus on creating innovative software. With its reliable infrastructure and fully managed services, DigitalOcean assists developers, startups, and SMBs in building, deploying, and scaling applications.

Its user-friendly control panel and thorough documentation boost its appeal for those valuing simplicity and users who still require code-level control over their infrastructure setup. Customers gain direct access to the following DigitalOcean cloud products for easy application deployment and management:

A startup building a mobile gaming app might use DigitalOcean to deploy its multiplayer game servers on Droplets that auto-scale to handle increasing multiplayer traffic, leverage Managed Databases to store and manage player profiles and game data in a fully managed PostgreSQL cluster, and use Spaces for scalable object storage of large game asset files.

Cloudways Summary

In contrast, Cloudways offers managed cloud hosting, simplifying cloud management complexities. Unlike traditional cloud hosting, where users take on the responsibility of server management and maintenance, Cloudways handles these tasks for its customers. It offers more options for digital agencies, e-commerce shops, bloggers, and freelance developers hosting their websites on WordPress, PHP, and Magento.

Cloudways is particularly well-suited for those with limited technical expertise or who simply prefer a hands-off approach to hosting. It is suitable for businesses of all sizes and offers a user-friendly dashboard and advanced features like automated backups, server scaling, and application monitoring. Here are the main products and features provided by Cloudways:

Digital marketing agencies and SMBs might use Cloudways to host client WordPress sites on managed LAMP stacks that automatically scale to meet traffic demands. They could also use the built-in caching services to improve WordPress performance for increased page views and leverage Cloudways’ one-click staging site cloning to test updates before deploying to production.

Comparing DigitalOcean vs Cloudways

Are you deciding between DigitalOcean and Cloudways? Below, we outline essential considerations when evaluating the two platforms, including key differences and their fit for various business use cases.

1. Performance

DigitalOcean: DigitalOcean provides 99.99% uptime, ensuring high performance and low latency. The platform offers a robust yet hands-on approach. Users with technical expertise can leverage its configuration options to fine-tune performance. However, this also means results rely heavily on user skill, potentially leading to performance issues without the necessary knowledge to resolve them.

Cloudways: Cloudways prioritizes ease of use and optimized performance. Their pre-configured solutions leverage industry best practices and modern technology for out-of-the-box speed. Additionally, Cloudways offers flexibility in choosing data center locations and cloud providers (including giants like AWS and GCP, and alternative providers like Vultr and LInode) for further performance optimization. Cloudways relies on the selected provider’s Service Level Agreement (SLA) for uptime guarantees.

2. Features

This table compares DigitalOcean and Cloudways features to help you decide which cloud hosting platform is best for your cloud hosting needs.

Feature DigitalOcean Cloudways
Service type Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), Databases, Managed Kubernetes,Storage Managed cloud hosting, Platform as a Service (PaaS)
Control panel Custom control panel Custom control panel with additional features (can lead to additional costs)
Server management Unmanaged server resources (you manage everything) Managed server resources (Cloudways handles server maintenance)
Operating systems Variety of Linux distributions,FreeBSD, Windows Server Variety of Linux distributions
Bandwidth 1TB to 12 TB, unlimited outgoing transfers sold by GB over the plan 2GB to 20TB
Applications supported Wide range, including web applications, databases, and custom applications Primarily web applications (WordPress, PHP, etc.)
Pricing Pay-as-you-go based on resource usage Fixed monthly plans with variable resource allocation. Cloudways Flexible uses the Pay-as-You-Go model; you only pay for the resources you consume.
Data center locations North America, Europe, Asia Varies depending on the chosen cloud provider (DigitalOcean (15), AWS (Over 105), GCP (37), Vultr (32), and Linode (11)).
Uptime guarantee 99.99% Uptime follows the chosen cloud provider’s SLA.
Security features Predefined firewalls, free private networking, automated backups, and free DDoS protection. Predefined firewalls, free private networking, DDoS mitigation, Cloudflare Enterprise and additional security features like automatic backups, 1-click SSL, and staging environments.
Team management Unlimited team accounts Limited team accounts, based on resource usage incorporated in the pricing structure
Customer support Knowledge base, community forums, ticketing system Knowledge base, community forums, ticketing system, live chat
Ease of Use More technical knowledge is required Easier to use for beginners
Scalability Vertical and horizontal scaling options Horizontal scaling within the chosen plan.
Customization Offers more granular control over server configuration Offers limited customization features

3. Pricing

DigitalOcean: Transparent pricing with a pay-as-you-go structure, meaning you only pay for the resources you use (CPU, RAM, storage). However, consider these additional factors:

  • Optional services: DigitalOcean offers a marketplace with various add-on services, such as security monitoring and backup solutions. These services can enhance your server functionality but incur additional costs.

  • Technical expertise: Managing a DigitalOcean server requires technical knowledge for server configuration, maintenance, and security tasks. Businesses without internal IT staff may need to factor in the cost of hiring a skilled professional or invest time in acquiring the necessary expertise.

Cloudways: Predictable monthly pricing with managed services included, translating to a higher upfront cost compared to DigitalOcean, but offers several benefits:

  • Simplified billing with a free trial: Familiarize yourself with the Cloudways Platform and test its capabilities with a 3-day free trial, without entering your credit card details, and experience simplified billing.

  • Cloudways Flexible: Experience the pay-as-you-go model; you only pay for the resources you consume. You will be invoiced for the services used in any given month at the start of the following month.

  • Scalability: Easily scale resources up or down as your needs evolve with a few clicks, ensuring you only pay for what you use.

4. Ease of use and customization

DigitalOcean: Appealing to developers and technically savvy users who enjoy granular control over server configuration. You can fine-tune settings to optimize performance for your specific needs. However, this requires a steeper learning curve and technical expertise for tasks like:

  • Server setup: Initially, the server configuration can be complex for beginners.

  • Ongoing maintenance: The user needs to manage regular server maintenance tasks like updates, security patches, and backups.

Cloudways: Offers a user-friendly interface with pre-configured servers for popular applications (WordPress, etc.). This simplifies server management, making it ideal for users with minimal technical knowledge. Key benefits include:

  • Quick setup: Launch your website or application quickly with pre-configured servers.

  • Staging environments: Cloudways goes beyond basic server management with features like staging environments and easy scaling, empowering efficient web project management. However, Cloudways offers less customization than DigitalOcean, and you have less control over the underlying server configuration.

5. Integration opportunities

While both DigitalOcean and Cloudways offer comprehensive features, DigitalOcean stands out for its extensive integration opportunities, mainly through its robust API ecosystem.

DigitalOcean: DigitalOcean offers users programmable access for seamless resource management, facilitating integration with various third-party services. This provides additional flexibility and more customization options. For instance, developers can automate infrastructure provisioning using tools like Terraform or integrate cloud monitoring tools like Prometheus for improved performance insights.

Cloudways: Cloudways managed service, although providing API access, lacks the breadth and depth of integrations present in DigitalOcean. The limited choices and complexity of integration processes may require additional development efforts.

How to choose between DigitalOcean and Cloudways for your business needs

Here’s a comparison of DigitalOcean and Cloudways to help you choose the right tool:

DigitalOcean is ideal for you if:

  • You require a platform that supports various workloads, including web apps, databases, and containers, and has robust API access.

  • You’re a developer or SMB seeking direct control over your cloud infrastructure, prioritizing flexibility and customization.

  • You value a user-friendly interface with comprehensive documentation for streamlined development.

  • You are looking for a range of support plans, troubleshooting tips, unlimited customized support, and quick response times so you can quickly bring new products to market.

  • You’re looking for other managed services, such as Managed Kubernetes, which are not available through Cloudways. These offerings make DigitalOcean a more comprehensive choice for businesses that require a wider range of managed services and greater control over their infrastructure.

Cloudways is best for if:

  • You want a managed hosting solution that has a choice of multiple cloud providers for optimal performance, location, or cost.

  • You prefer a platform that simplifies server management tasks, offering a user-friendly interface.

  • You are looking for scalability and flexibility but lack deep technical knowledge.

  • Managed security, automated backups, and regular monitoring are priorities.

  • You value access to expert support for troubleshooting and advice to resolve issues quickly.

Simply cloud hosting with DigitalOcean and Cloudways

DigitalOcean provides a user-friendly platform for deploying and managing cloud infrastructure, offering a wide range of products like Droplets, Managed Kubernetes, and App Platform. With competitive pricing and a focus on simplicity, DigitalOcean is an excellent choice for developers and businesses of all sizes.

→ Experience the power of DigitalOcean today.

Cloudways offers a managed cloud hosting platform that simplifies the process of deploying and scaling applications on top of popular cloud providers. With features like 1-click app installations, server cloning, and managed security and backups, Cloudways streamlines the management of cloud infrastructure.

→ Start your cloud journey with Cloudways.


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