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How managed hosting can save you time and resources

When developing an application, launching an e-commerce store, or creating a website, web hosting is one of the first and most important decisions you will have to make. The hosting provider and type of hosting you choose can have large implications on how your business will be able to grow, and what hosting will cost. Choosing the wrong hosting provider or hosting plan may result in challenges down the road, such as having to migrate to a different solution, which can be costly and time-consuming.

How managed hosting and unmanaged hosting differ

In addition to choosing the right cloud hosting provider, anyone launching a website or application will also need to decide if they utilize managed or unmanaged web hosting. Both of these hosting types offer access to virtual machines or virtual private servers, but they are very different in how the user manages their servers.

If you need full control over your servers, and you have the time and resources to manage them, then an unmanaged hosting provider, such as DigitalOcean, is a great choice, and will offer you the ability to customize your server setup. But if you’re looking to cut down even further on server admin, then you might want to consider managed hosting from a provider such as Cloudways by DigitalOcean.

With managed hosting, you won’t get direct access to your server, but will get the benefit of being able to be more hands-off in your server management and maintenance. This is especially useful for those running e-commerce stores, digital agencies, and smaller businesses who may not have any technical expertise on staff.

DigitalOcean offers both unmanaged hosting through our Droplet virtual machines, and managed hosting through Cloudways by DigitalOcean, offering customers the choice of hosting that best fits their needs. In this post we’ll take a look at how digital agencies, e-commerce stores and smaller businesses are using Cloudways to instantly launch servers that deliver outstanding performance and security right out of the box.

Before we get started, it’s important to point out that migrating your hosting to Cloudways, which is part of DigitalOcean, is a guided, straightforward process that minimizes disruption to your websites. Migrations can be done either through the Cloudways WordPress Migrator Plugin or with the expert help of onboarding engineers.

With Cloudways managed hosting, you also get transparent pricing, since you only pay for what you use. Pricing is based on server usage, with no limits on the number of websites or visitors per server. You also get detailed information about the server stack, so you can make informed decisions based on your website needs.

Try Cloudways with $100 in hosting credit. Sign up here.

Benefits of Cloudways managed web hosting

Ready to learn more? Here are some of the top benefits of Cloudways managed hosting, with real-life examples from Cloudways customers.

1. Quickly launch servers with WordPress

With Cloudways managed hosting, you can launch a server in just a few minutes. The server you launch is based on a stack that is already fully optimized for speed and performance. You can also launch WordPress and PHP-based content management systems very quickly.

Here’s how Robbie Kohli, CEO of digital agency Deep Focus, describes it:

“With DigitalOcean or another self-managed cloud provider, you have to set things up on the command line, which can be tedious. When we saw how quickly and easily you can set up a server and install applications on Cloudways, we definitely wanted to try it. On Cloudways, you can install an application in a few minutes.”

2. Customer support that is always available

Many hosting providers offer customer support through a ticketing system, and you may not get a response for several hours. With Cloudways managed hosting, support is available 24/7 through Slack for all customers. Customers can even get higher levels of support, such as through the Cloudways Agency Partnership Program, which include dedicated account managers and a private Slack channel.

For Kevin Clinton, President of digital agency Shapes and Pages, this is one of the biggest benefits of Cloudways:

“When I’ve used Rackspace for hosting, I need to log in into their site and put in a ticket, and sometimes I have to wait days. Anytime I’ve needed help from Cloudways, I open the chat window and someone is there in a minute or two. And every time I’ve had a question, they’ve had the answer. That’s worth its weight in gold.”

3. User-friendly interface and workflows

While unmanaged hosting gives you greater flexibility and control, it can also require that you have access to technical experts to manage your servers. Cloudways managed hosting provides a user-friendly interface and simple workflows that remove this obstacle.

For Kelly Hodsdon, CEO of digital agency 123 Enterprises Inc., this is one of the top reasons for using Cloudways:

“With Cloudways, everything that I want to do is easy and right there in the interface. Each simple step is a time saver. That’s what really impresses me, after all the hosting providers we’ve had, Cloudways has done it the way it should have been done all along. Nobody else is doing it this way.”

4. Outstanding performance for WordPress and PHP-based sites

The Cloudways platform is specifically designed to deliver lightning-fast performance for WordPress and PHP-based websites. Note that Cloudways does not currently support applications based on .NET, Java, Python, or Ruby. If you are using WordPress or PHP apps, however, Cloudways can help you achieve fantastic performance with minimal effort.

Colin Richardson, Co-Founder of the digital agency Bigfork, explains why he uses Cloudways for his Silverstripe, PHP-based websites:

“Cloudways reduces the setup time for new hosting compared to configuring a stack ourselves, which frees up our developer’s time. It’s a reliable and secure hosting solution, so I rest assured that my customers enjoy a seamless hosting experience.”

5. Easy server scaling and cloning

With Cloudways, you can scale servers up with just a few clicks, helping to ensure that your websites are always performing great. You can also clone servers and create staging environments just as easily, saving you time and keeping your development work safe in the cloud.

Nick Bird, Managing Partner of digital agency Squarebird, explains how easy these features are to use:

“We have a few clients with event websites, where visits can go from two an hour to 2,000 a minute. With Cloudways, we can go in and scale the server up with a few clicks and have it ready in about five minutes, which is great. Cloudways also makes it easy to calculate and invoice clients for the additional bandwidth usage.”

6. Advanced caching and security

Cloudways uses advanced cache technologies, such as Memcached, Varnish, and Redis, to ensure faster response rates. The servers are also protected by platform-level firewalls and have regular firmware upgrades, preventing intruders from taking advantage of vulnerabilities. You can also get enterprise-grade caching with the Cloudflare Enterprise add-on for just $4.99 a month.

To help businesses save time and increase security when updating WordPress, Cloudways also offers the SafeUpdates add-on. This add-on allows you to fully automate WordPress updates with just a few clicks, and it includes auto-detection and multiple testing before live changes.

Patrick Abedin, Managing Director of Hellenic Technologies, explains how the Cloudways security features have helped his agency:

“Cloudways’ robust security measures have been crucial in protecting our clients’ websites and data. Their regular security patching, dedicated firewalls, and real-time monitoring have significantly reduced security incidents, providing peace of mind to our clients and reinforcing our reputation as a trusted technology partner.”

7. Easy collaboration with a team feature

If your business or digital agency needs to provide different levels of access to your servers and sites, Cloudways makes this easy with a team feature. This helps your teams work more efficiently and enables you to easily transfer control to clients.

Robbie Kohli, CEO of digital agency Deep Focus, explains why he loves the collaboration features:

“Cloudways is literally built for agencies like us. What I really like is that Cloudways makes it easy for me and my team to see how resources are distributed across servers for different projects. We have multiple teams and remote experts managing projects, and with Cloudways it’s really easy for them to see that this particular client has these projects deployed in these applications and servers.”

Frequently asked questions about Cloudways and DigitalOcean

To get more in-depth details about Cloudways and DigitalOcean, check out this page on Managed DigitalOcean Hosting. Below, though, we’ve included some of the most common questions people have.

Is Cloudways a separate entity from DigitalOcean?

Yes, Cloudways is an independently managed cloud hosting platform. Cloudways is a subsidiary of DigitalOcean, but the services of the companies are separate. You can launch a managed DigitalOcean server on Cloudways, or create a self-managed Droplet on DigitalOcean directly.

If I have a website running on a DigitalOcean server, will Cloudways migrate it for me?

Yes, we offer one free migration within every account. For additional migrations, we offer a migration plugin that simplifies the entire migration process. Through our managed migration service, our experts make sure that your application is moved to its new server without any problems.

Can I choose my preferred infrastructure with Cloudways?

Yes, Cloudways lets you choose infrastructure from multiple cloud providers, including DigitalOcean, AWS, and Google Cloud. You can select the infrastructure that best suits your project requirements.

Can Cloudways manage my existing Droplets from DigitalOcean?

No, Cloudways provides its own managed hosting environment and does not manage existing DigitalOcean Droplets.

Can I install cPanel on my Cloudways managed DigitalOcean server?

No, with Cloudways you don’t need cPanel, since the Cloudways platform has a user-friendly interface that simplifies server management tasks. To manage files, you can easily access your web application through SFTP or SSH (through third-party clients such as Filezilla, PuTTY, etc.).

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