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Cloudways vs SiteGround: side-by-site comparison


In this Cloudways vs SiteGround comparison, I’ve examined several aspects such as prices, ease of use, performance, security, and customer support to determine which provider is better.

The most obvious thing that Cloudways and SiteGround have in common is the fact that they both offer reliable cloud hosting. However, they are very different.

Cloudways specializes in ease of use for cloud hosting services exclusively. It is a pay-as-you-go middleman that offers managed cloud hosting for otherwise unmanaged cloud hosting providers.

SiteGround, on the other hand, mainly focuses on the managed WordPress hosting option. Cloud hosting also exists. However, it is better left as a scalability option. Shared hosting prices are far more affordable for those just starting out, and performance is impressive.

At first glance, it seems that Cloudways and SiteGround are quite different. However, both providers are very powerful and provide generous resources. That’s exactly what led me to write this SiteGround vs Cloudways comparison.

So without further ado, let’s jump right in.

Cloudways vs SiteGround: general info

Both Cloudways and SiteGround are highly reliable hosting providers. While they’re similar in terms of use (both providers’ services are pretty easy to grasp), they do concentrate on different services.

Cloudways is a reseller cloud hosting exclusive provider, while SiteGround has both shared and cloud hosting services. Although SiteGround offers cloud hosting, the main provider’s services remain shared hosting.

To get a better understanding of how these two providers stack up, I have prepared a table with the main providers’ features. However, feel free to jump to the final conclusion to see the findings of this comparison.

SiteGroundCloudways
Rating
4.4
3.8
💲 Price from$3.99/mo$10/mo
🌐 Free domainNoNo
💳 Payment typesCredit cardCredit/Debit card and PayPal
🏘️ Hosting typesShared WordPress/WooCommerce and cloud hostingManaged cloud hosting
🕹️ Control panelCustom control panel Site ToolsAn in-house developed panel
🚄 Average speed217ms229ms
▶️ Monitored uptime99.99%99.98%
📑 Uptime guarantee99.9%Depends on the supplier
🌎 Server locationsUSA, UK, Netherlands, Germany, Australia, Singapore60+ data centers in the Americas, Europe, Australia, and Asia
🛡️ SecurityFree SSL, server monitoring, weekly/daily backup, DDoS protection, 2-factor-authentication, AI anti-bot protection, and a Security pluginFree SSL, server-level firewalls, daily backup, regular security patching, bot protection, and 2-factor-authentication
👨‍💻 Support24/7 live chat, email, and phone24/7 live chat and ticketing system
➡️ Website migrationFree automated WordPress migration or paid professional site transferFree first any site migration and a WordPress Migrator plugin
ExtrasStaging, caching, emails, white-label, collaboration tools, and CDNStaging, CDN, and caching
💰 Money-back guarantee30 daysFree 14-day trial
💻 Websitewww.siteground.comwww.cloudways.com

Winner:

SiteGround-logo

Cloudways vs SiteGround: pricing comparison

When it comes to prices, SiteGround is the cheaper option with shared hosting prices starting at $3.99/mo. At the same time, Cloudways is a cloud provider exclusively, and its lowest rates are with DigitalOcean ($10/mo).

A Cloudways vs SiteGround match is not exactly fair when talking about different services. We know that Cloudways’ prices start at $10/mo for cloud hosting. However, while SiteGround provides cloud hosting too, the prices start at $100/mo. Quite a jump from $10, isn’t it? Therefore, for this comparison, I will stick with SiteGround’s shared hosting.

Now both hosts have a few things in common. SiteGround and Cloudways include free SSL, automatic backups, and built-in caching.

Now here’s how each provider’s cheapest plan looks in terms of resources:

  • Cloudways (1GB DigitalOcean plan $10/mo) – 1 core, 1GB of RAM, 25GB storage, and 1TB bandwidth for an unlimited number of websites.
  • SiteGround (StartUp $3.99/mo) – 1 website, 10GB storage, unmetered bandwidth, up to 10k visitors per month, free CDN and email accounts.

Just by comparing the cheapest options, it’s pretty clear that Cloudways offers more in terms of the number of websites and storage. However, it’s no surprise as the plan is more than twice SiteGround’s price. At the same time, Cloudways CDN is paid, and it doesn’t include extensive security measures.

Additionally, it’s also good to note that SiteGround has a standard 30-day money-back guarantee, while Cloudways offer a 14-day free trial that does not require any credit card information.

Now while the cheapest plan is often the most tempting, let’s explore what other offerings each provider has.

Cloudways has 5 providers to choose from. Each provider also has a variety of plans, so the price starts at as low as $10/mo and can go up to hundreds of dollars per month.

Cloudways server options with cheapest plans

The image above shows each provider’s cheapest plans, and as you can tell, the starting price can vary drastically. Especially when it comes to Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud.

Although all plans are very good, the best option you can start with is the 1GB RAM plan from either DigitalOcean or Linode. The price is almost the same, and you get access to the same set of resources. Plus, you can scale it up whenever you see fit.

At the same time, there is no secret to getting the cheapest possible price. What you see is what you get because Cloudways is all about full price transparency.

Best Value

To get the best price for value ratio, consider DigitalOcean’s cheapest plan ($10/mo). There are no increased renewal rates and no long-term commitments since you pay-as-you-go. More so, you can scale up at any time.

Moving on to SiteGround, the provider offers 3 shared hosting plans with prices between $3.99/mo and $10.69/mo.

siteground shared hosting pricing

SiteGround points out that its best selling plan is GrowBig, and it’s quite obvious why.

For an additional $2.70/mo on top of the StartUp plan price, you get to host an unlimited number of websites, double the storage, and an x10 bigger monthly visit allowance. Plus, the renewal rates are much lower than with GoGeek.

Best Value

To secure the best hosting package, go for the Grow big plan, with an annual billing period. For $6.69/mo, you get generous storage, unlimited email accounts, staging, faster PHP setup, and on-demand backups. The initial payment will round up to $80.28.

Overall, both options sound excellent objectively. However, in terms of price solely, SiteGround wins this round.

Hosting management: ease of use

Another relevant factor in this Cloudways vs SiteGround comparison is the ease of use. Cloudways is a cloud hosting provider, meaning that management requires a little bit more technical knowledge. SiteGround, on the other hand, is easier to use when opting for shared hosting, making it more accessible to beginners.

Starting off with Cloudways, know that its in-house panel is a gateway to a bare virtual server which you’re free to customize as you see fit. As a beginner, you may need some time getting used to it, but that shouldn’t be a lengthy or challenging process. Remember that this is cloud hosting we’re talking about, so it’s only natural it’s a little bit more complicated.

The management panel includes several key settings. You can easily scale up or down right there from your panel. It all depends on your monthly needs. To know more about how the Cloudways panel works, feel free to read an in-depth Cloudways review.

Cloudways in-house developed control panel

Other settings you can access from your Cloudways management panel are master credentials, monitoring options, service management, general settings, and backups. To learn how to use them, you can consult Cloudways’ knowledge base. It includes all the information you need.

On the other hand, SiteGround is a bit easier to use. Let’s not forget that shared hosting services are simpler to manage in general.

Just like Cloudways, the host also has its in-house developed control panel. However, this one is just as easy to use as a regular cPanel would.

siteground sitetools

One of the best things about SiteGround’s control panel is that it allows you to pin your most frequently used shortcuts at the top of your dashboard. Moreover, you can see how much disk space you have left every time you access it. It comes in handy when managing multiple websites, for instance. If you're curious to know about SiteGround's panel, feel free to jump to the SiteGround review.

Now, if you take a look at the menu on the left, you’ll see other settings you can access from your SiteGround control panel. You can manage site options and security, analyze statistics, and handle email features. Features regarding domains and WordPress are available as well.

The bottom line is that both Cloudways and SiteGround designed easy-to-use control panels. However, SiteGround is more beginner-friendly. The fact that you can customize it according to your specific needs is a nice touch too.

Cloudways vs SiteGround performance

In terms of performance, both Cloudways and SiteGround are very fast and highly reliable providers. However, while both hosts showed pretty impressive results, SiteGround did demonstrate a tad quicker response time and uptime. At the same time, Cloudways has a noticeably better loading speed.

Uptime and response time

For the first test, I’ve examined both providers for a slightly different time. Cloudways had close to 6 months, and SiteGround around 2 months of monitoring.

In almost 6 months, Cloudways has experienced only 2 outages. Sadly, they were pretty significant, resulting in 41 minutes of downtime that led to 99.98% uptime.

Even so, a 99.98% uptime is still considered an excellent result. Especially when none of the server suppliers offer less than a 99.9% uptime guarantee.

Cloudways uptime and response time monitoring

Looking at the average response time, the result is even better – 229ms. This is not even ½ of the market’s average time. And keep in mind, this is a bare virtual server that can be further optimized for even faster performance.

Moving on to SiteGround, it performed incredibly well for shared hosting. Throughout 2 months, it only had 3 outages or 7 minutes of downtime. This brought SiteGround’s uptime to a near-perfect 99.99%. Very impressive, when the official uptime guarantee stands at 99.9%.

Siteground  responce time

As for the response time, it averaged at just 217ms. Very speedy time, considering the 600ms market’s average.

All in all, both Cloudways and SiteGround are very reliable and extremely fast. However, SiteGround has shown just a tad bit faster response time and slightly better uptime. It’s even more impressive considering that it’s shared hosting going against the cloud one.

Website speed

To create equal conditions, I host both sites in the US and conduct my test from the US too. However, it’s good to note that both providers have data centers in more than 1 country.

Depending on which service provider you choose, location choice varies from 8 to 20 different locations with Cloudways. As for SiteGround, you can choose from 6 locations.

Now before we get into the nitty-gritty, let me explain the main measures for this test:

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) – the time it takes for the heaviest graphic element to load. To be able to rank higher on the search engine’s result page, this should not take longer than 2.5s.
  • Fully Loaded Time – a timestamp of how long it took for the website to get fully loaded. For the best user experience and lower bounce-off rates, aim for no more than 3s.

Here is Cloudways fully built website’s performance:

Cloudways fully built website loading speed test

The provider proved to be one of the fastest web hosting solutions, with an LCP being at just 759ms and the Fully Loaded Time at 0.9s. As you can see, both figures are significantly below 2.5 seconds. Truly fast.

Talking about SiteGround, it did not disappoint either:

siteground lcp fully built website

The host did demonstrate a very good LCP of 872ms and took just 1.1s to fully load. Without a doubt, very fast – both measures are significantly below 2.5s and 3s, respectfully.

Overall, SiteGround is one of the fastest shared hosting providers out there. However, when faced with cloud hosting, it’s only natural Cloudways had faster page load times. But just barely.

As a whole, Cloudways and SiteGround are both reliable and well-performing hosting providers. When it comes to uptime and response time, SiteGround proved a little bit better, but Cloudways proved to have a faster loading time. Safe to say, performance vise, it’s a tie.

Website security

In terms of security features, both Cloudways and SiteGround provide quite a variety of tools to keep your website safe. However, I expected more from Cloudways since it’s more expensive and offers premium cloud hosting. SiteGround, albeit less expensive, is more on top of things.

Here’s what both hosts include without any additional costs:

  • SSL certificates;
  • Anti-bot systems;
  • Automated backups;
  • Firewalls;
  • Real-time monitoring systems;
  • Two-factor authentication.

In addition, Cloudways offers auto-healing and IP whitelisting, while SiteGround comes with restore options (restore your emails, files, and databases + the backups are kept on different remote locations), spam protection, an anti-hack system, and WordPress security plugin.

Other than free solutions, each provider has a paid feature:

  • With Cloudways, you can get CDN for $1 per 25GB.
  • SiteGround offers domain privacy, for 12$, for the first year. After that, it renews at $24/year.

Generally speaking, I think SiteGround is among some of the safest web hosting providers. The former has more advanced security tools, which most of them are developed in-house.

Customer support

Cloudways and SiteGround both come through with a 24/7 live chat support option. Other provider-specific channels include ticketing, phone, and emails.

When opting for Cloudways, there is a 24/7 live chat available or by creating a ticket. However, when you purchase an advanced or premium support add-on, you gain access to a 24/7 Slack channel and phone support.

With SiteGround, things are pretty similar. You can talk to someone via live chat, make a call, or you could use the helpdesk ticketing system, all of which are available 24/7.

To really experience customer support firsthand, I contacted both providers’ live chat agents. My experience with either was very quick and professional. However, I must say, SiteGround’s support agent proved to be friendlier and quicker on their feet.

As the last means of support, Cludways and SiteGround also have extensive knowledge bases that contain valuable information on pretty much anything you want to know.

Overall, Cloudways and SiteGround do a good job at handling customer support. They are both fast and reliable. What I didn’t like was that Cloudways provides phone support only for people paying for a premium support add-on.

Cloudways vs SiteGround: final recommendations

Needless to say, it’s tough to declare a winner in this SiteGround vs Cloudways comparison. SiteGround’s shared hosting is powerful yet affordable, but Cloudways offers more advanced cloud hosting. The latter is a bit more complicated to use, though.

All things considered, there’s good and bad on each side. But let’s go for a short recap to refresh your memory:

FeatureSiteGroundCloudwaysVerdict
Price
4
3
SiteGround offers shared hosting, which is cheaper than Cloudways. Its prices start at $3.99/mo, while Cloudways’ rates start at $10/mo.
Ease of use
4
4
While both providers are generally easy to use, SiteGround is more beginner-friendly. SiteGround allows you to customize your control panel and is more intuitive by default.
Performance
5
5
Cloudways showed 99.98% uptime, 229ms response time, and 0,9s loading time. At the same time, SiteGround scored 99.99%, 217ms, and 1.1s, respectively.
Security
5
3
Cloudways and SiteGround both offer SSL, anti-bot systems, automatic backup, firewalls, real-time monitoring systems, and two-factor authentication, with SiteGround having more additional features.
Support
4
4
Live chat is 24/7 with both providers. Additionally, Cloudways offers ticketing system and premium phone support add-on, while SiteGround has phone support.

So, while making a choice may be difficult, I have to go with SiteGround. It gives you a more affordable starting point since most people won’t start with cloud hosting. Plus, it’s easier to use, shared hosting performance is on par with cloud hosting, and it’s very secure.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for affordable managed cloud hosting, Cloudways is the best candidate. This solution will best fit small-to-medium business websites and larger projects.

Alternatives to SiteGround and Cloudways

In case neither SiteGround nor Cloudways is what you’re looking for, know that there are loads of good hosting providers out there that might suit you better. On the top of my head, I can think of Hostinger and Liquid Web.

Hostinger

Hostinger is known as one of the cheapest hosting providers on the market. Even so, it comes with excellent performance and enough resources.

More so, the host offers a wide range of services. Shared hosting starts at $1.39/mo, VPS at $3.95/mo, and cloud hosting starts at $9.99/mo. That makes it more affordable than both SiteGround and Cloudways.

Liquid Web

Liquid Web is more similar to Cloudways because it is one of the best VPS hosting providers out there. More so, it also offers cloud, as well as dedicated hosting. It comes with excellent performance results and very generous resources.

As for prices, VPS hosting starts at $15/mo, cloud hosting at $265/mo, and dedicated servers at $169/mo.


More SiteGround comparisons to check out


Cloudways vs SiteGround FAQs

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