I joined the Cloudways affiliate program back in 2018.
I was promoting SiteGround at the time and was making $10k+/month, so switching to Cloudways (let alone any host) made me nervous.
But SiteGround was going downhill fast and I needed to make a move. Fast-forward a week or two and I spent most of my time changing content to suggest Cloudways instead of SiteGround.
Luckily, I started getting a very similar amount of sales with Cloudways as SiteGround (who didn’t like the bad review and terminated my affiliate account). I try to be transparent about when a company isn’t doing a good job and have written about SiteGround’s unethical business practices, fake Hostinger reviews, and don’t recommend bad hosts like GoDaddy or EIG brands.
Long story short, I’m writing this review to show you why I think Cloudways has a solid affiliate program (and also a good host) along with tips I use to promote Cloudways and increase sales.
1. Why I Moved To The Cloudways Affiliate Program
I moved from an upgraded version of SiteGround’s cloud hosting to Cloudways DigitalOcean in 2019. Afterwards, I posted my results (from Google Search Console) in the WordPress Hosting Facebook Group. After at least a year of paying $180/month, I realized I was getting ripped off.
Shortly after, Backlinko came out with a PageSpeed Test showing how SiteGround had one of the worst TTFBs which has been reported multiple times after they migrated to Google Cloud servers. Since moving to Cloudways DigitalOcean, they released Vultr High Frequency servers which is what I used for a long time (roughly 3 years). My site loaded instantly with a fast TTFB.
As far as affiliate sales go, I started promoting them more heavily in 2020 when I realized SiteGround was getting even worse. Obviously it took a lot of effort changing all my hosting recommendations (I still need to revise a few posts), but once I did, things were looking good.
2. Hybrid vs. Slab Commissions
You can get up to $150+/sale with Cloudways depending on your sales volume (I’m currently getting $150/sale).
Just like most hosts, the more sales you get, the more they’re willing to offer. Cloudways has always been super flexible with their commission rates and gives me incentive to earn more, whether it be increasing my commission rates or even earning two-tier affiliate commissions.
When I was first in touch with the Cloudways affiliate team, I told them I was hesitant to promote them more because I didn’t want to climb tiers all over again (which I already did with SiteGround). I told them I was already making $150/sale with SiteGround since I brought them a ton of sales, and Cloudways was willing to match that off the bat which is much appreciated.
The offer 2 affiliate plans:
- Slab: large flat commission per sale
- Hybrid: small flat commission per sale, then recurring commissions
3. Inside The Affiliate Dashboard
The Cloudways affiliate dashboard is straightforward.
You’ll get a default affiliate link like this: https://www.cloudways.com/en/online-media-masters.php?id=262128 and you can attach the ?id=262128 to any URL on the Cloudways website, then it’ll become an affiliate link. However, this doesn’t provide great tracking so you won’t know which links people click, which content is getting the most clicks/conversions, etc.
To track stats better, use SubID tracking.
This lets you create custom links and gives you insights on what’s working and what’s not. I’ll admit I still just paste my affiliate URL to all Cloudways links and need to use SubID tracking.
4. Take Advantage Of Coupon Codes
I link to the Cloudways promo code page quite a bit.
It gives you 30% off your first 3 months which is the best deal I’ve found. They also created a custom coupon code for me which is attached to my affiliate account. So I have the choice between linking to the default Cloudways coupons page, sharing my own coupon, or both.
The only time I would really consider using my own coupon is for YouTube videos, since I can verbally tell people my coupon and they don’t even have to click a link, but I still get the sale.
5. Affiliate Team Wants To Work With You
I’m always in touch with Umair (the Cloudways affiliate manager).
Recently, we agreed to do a Skype meeting once a month to track progress, address concerns, etc. I never saw any affiliate manager from SiteGround or other hosts work with me this close. He never pressures me to do anything. We go back and forth on suggestions for each other and it’s a two-way conversation. With SiteGround, it felt one-way. Even when I suggested updates to their SG Optimizer plugin, they implemented them and never gave me any credit whatsoever.
I definitely feel more appreciated at Cloudways and even did an interview with them which was posted in their Facebook Group.
6. Promoting Cloudways With Social Proof
One thing I do to increase sales is show Facebook polls where hosts are rated #1.
Cloudways has been rated the #1 host in numerous Facebook polls which is great social proof. Feel free to use them yourself, although it would be nice if you linked to my website! I see so many people copying screenshots without a link. I won’t enforce it, but it’s much appreciated :)
I also like to showcase migration results.
Not only do I show people my own migration results when I moved from SiteGround to Cloudways, plenty of other people have posted their migration results in Facebook Groups. I make a point to blur their name to keep their privacy. Since most people value speed as the #1 factor when choosing hosting, these results should also help you increase sales + conversions.
7. Key Features
These are the main things I try to highlight:
Cloudflare Enterprise – there are things I like and don’t like about Cloudflare Enterprise.
I don’t like that you lose everything in your Cloudflare dashboard when you set it up on Cloudways, especially no APO (at least for now). You lose your page rules, firewall rules, and every single feature except for the ones in Cloudways. This is the only con, but it’s a big one.
But even without all the features in Cloudflare’s dashboard, I noticed my site was significantly faster after setting it up. Aside from features listed in Cloudways, there are many others as well.
- HTTP/3 access.
- Enterprise CDN with prioritized routing.
- Managed WAF with PCI compliance + advanced bot mitigation.
- Image Optimization – Mirage and Polish for image optimization.
- DDos Protection prioritized for layers 3, 4, 7 with prioritized IP ranges + 100% SLA.
- Argo + Tiered Cache to route your traffic through the fastest Cloudflare network paths.
- Global load balancing so traffic is re-routed from unhealthy origins to healthier origins.
Vultr High Frequency – I always tell people to use this (you can learn more about it on Vultr’s website). It has high CPU clock speeds with NVMe and is what I use (and what most people use in Facebook Groups). Vultr HF is probably one of the most popular cloud hosting options now.
Redis Object Cache Pro – Redis is arguably faster than memcached. Cloudways uses Redis Object Cache Pro which is even better. They list the differences on their website, but you’ll simply activate it in your Cloudways dashboard and they will install it as a must-use plugin.
8. Obstacles To Overcome
No hosting company is perfect and I wanted to share some obstacles:
- Apache: Cloudways uses Apache when LiteSpeed servers are faster.
- Breeze Plugin: Breeze needs work and at this point, FlyingPress is better.
- No file manager: you can use Tiny File Manager if you need a workaround.
- No email hosting: you’ll probably need Google Workspace for email hosting.
- Techy: Cloudways isn’t as “easy” as some hosts and requires launching a server, connecting a domain, etc. I like to remind people that they offer 1 free migration.
- Expensive – it gets expensive between Google Workspace, FlyingPress, Cloudflare Enterprise, and scaling since Cloudways charges about 2x what’s listed on Vultr’s website.
Wrapping It Up
Cloudways has grown quite a bit over the last few years, but they still want to keep growing and listen to both customers and affiliates so they can improve their service. I feel like once a company grows to big (i.e. SiteGround), they start doing things to decrease the level of their service like banning accounts in certain countries, reducing support, etc. One reason I continue to promote Cloudways is because they are still working hard to improve their level of service.