Cloudways vs. WPX 2022: Both Solid But Key Differences In Their Setup + Locations

Cloudways vs wpx

Deciding between Cloudways vs WPX?

Here’s a Facebook poll on WPX vs. Cloudways. Both Cloudways Vultr High Frequency + DigitalOcean and WPX (who uses LiteSpeed) are very fast. Both also have great support and TrustPilot reviews. There’s no “winner” but it depends on your needs and technical knowledge.

Cloudways isn’t as beginner-friendly as WPX. It requires extra steps to launch a server, choose your cloud host (I use Vultr High Frequency), then connect your domain name. But the speeds are very fast. Key things like speed, support, and price are all solid. Pricing is monthly with no long-term contracts and starts at $10/month for their cheapest 1GB DigitalOcean plan. Of course, Cloudways does have some cons like average support, no file manager, and it’s a little more techie than WPX. Their Breeze plugin and CloudwaysCDN (StackPath) isn’t great either, so you would you likely need to use something like WP Rocket + Cloudflare CDN or BunnyCDN.

WPX is great if you can afford it. They use LiteSpeed servers which means you can use the free LiteSpeed Cache plugin + QUIC.cloud CDN. It’s a fast setup and there’s no need to pay for third-party cache plugins or CDNs. They also use server-leveling caching + HTTP/3. WPX’s support is arguably better than Cloudways with 30s response times. The main cons are they only have 3 data center locations, they’re pricey, and the dashboard can be buggy. They’re solid otherwise.

Cloudways WPX
Facebook Feedback Excellent Great
Pros & Cons Average Average
Server 5 Cloud Hosts LiteSpeed
Cache Plugin Breeze LiteSpeed Cache
CDN StackPath QUIC.cloud
Server Locations 44 3
Dashboard Custom Custom
Beginner Friendly No (But Not Too Hard) Yes
Uptimes Good Major Outage
Support Good Great
Security Average Great
Price Monthly Monthly/Yearly
TrustPilot Rating 4.7/5 4.8/5
Free Migration Yes Yes + Speed Optimization
Promo Code 30% Off 3 Months No

 

1. Facebook Feedback – What People Say About Cloudways vs. WPX

Since hosting reviews are so biased, I wanted to include a Facebook poll on WPX as well as a pretty in-depth conversation comparing them. Some people complain about WPX’s dashboard, Cloudways support, etc. Most people agree the speeds are great with both, but Cloudways may have an advantage. Join the WordPress Hosting Facebook Group and search for threads there.

Wpx vs cloudways

Wpx vs cloudways

 

2. Pros & Cons – The Good And The Bad

Cloudways Pros

Cloudways Cons

  • Apache servers.
  • No file manager.
  • Breeze plugin usually doesn’t perform better than WP Rocket.
  • CloudwaysCDN uses StackPath (other CDNs are usually faster).
  • No email hosting (Cloudways offers Rackspace for $1/email per month).
  • Sometimes, new customers must show ID to get their account approved.

WPX Pros

  • LiteSpeed servers are fast.
  • Easy (no extra step to launch server).
  • Support is instant (usually less than 1 minute).
  • LiteSpeed Cache plugin is arguably faster than WP Rocket.
  • Great security with guarantee of free malware removal if needed.

WPX Cons

  • Pricey.
  • Only 3 data centers.
  • Uptimes aren’t the best.
  • Dashboard can be clunky and lacks features.

 

3. Server – Cloudways Vultr HF & DO Premium vs. WPX LiteSpeed

Both Cloudways and WPX use fast servers.

Cloudways has Vultr High Frequency and DigitalOcean Premium which are one of the most popular cloud hosting options in the WordPress industry. WPX uses LiteSpeed servers which are faster than Apache (what Cloudways uses). But since hosting tests are always biased depending on the server size, data center location, built-in caching (among many other things like affiliate commissions), it’s hard to do a side-by-side comparison on Cloudways vs. WPX.

So, I recommend taking advantage of Cloudways and WPX’s monthly pricing and test your site on both. Make sure you test the various built-in cache settings, cache plugins, and CDN when doing your test. Every website is different and results are always different. For me, I had the best results on Cloudways Vultr High Frequency with great GTmetrix results and a fast TTFB.

Hostgator to wpx

Wpx litespeed servers

 

4. Cache Plugin – Cloudways Breeze vs. LiteSpeed Cache On WPX

Cloudways Breeze plugin can be used on Cloudways, but it doesn’t have great reviews and fails to address many core web vitals items. You’re better off using WP Rocket on Cloudways which does mean an extra cost, but should give you better PageSpeed results than the Breeze plugin.

Since WPX uses LiteSpeed, you should be using the LiteSpeed Cache plugin which uses server-level caching and is faster than WP Rocket’s file-based caching. It also has excellent reviews. Between the server-level caching and HTTP/3, you’re better off using it than WP Rocket or W3 Total Cache. Since LiteSpeed Cache is free/fast with excellent reviews, WPX wins this category. See my LiteSpeed Cache guide to learn how to setup the settings for better PageSpeed scores.

Cloudways breeze plugin

Litespeed cache plugin

 

5. CDN – WPX XDN vs. CloudwaysCDN (StackPath)

Both WPX and Cloudways offer a CDN, but should you use it?

CloudwaysCDN uses StackPath which has had many issues in the past. XDN is WPX’s custom built CDN but isn’t listed on reputable CDN comparison sites like cdnperf.com. So there’s little data on it’s performance and uptimes. XDN is free so you can easily try it and and test results. Otherwise, BunnyCDN is the CDN I recommend (Adam from WPCrafter and my blog use it) which is usually more consistently performant than StackPath. Cloudflare is fine if you’re on a budget, but it usually doesn’t give you as good of results, although I recommend it for your DNS. QUIC.cloud is specifically designed to work with LiteSpeed and I suggest trying it if using WPX.

Fastest cdn - cdn perf
You’re better off going with a highly performant CDN on cdnperf.com

 

6. Server Locations – Cloudways Has Way More Data Centers

Cloudways has 44 data centers while WPX only has 3.

How close your data center is to your visitors has a big impact on TTFB, so this is a big con for WPX. Even if your visitors are in the US, England, or Australia, these are big places and you’re better off choosing a data center that’s at least in the same city or general area as your visitors.

WPX Data Centers

Chicago, IL (USA) London (England) Sydney (Australia)

Cloudways Data Centers

San Francisco, USA Netherland, Netherlands Hong Kong, China
New York, USA Tokyo, Japan Miami, USA
Silicon Valley, USA Seoul, Korea Seattle, USA
Paris, France Bangalore, India Northern California, USA
Frankfurt, Germany Mumbai, India Northern Virginia, USA
Singapore, Singapore Sydney, Australia Northern Carolina, USA
Dublin, Ireland Los Angeles, USA Ohio, USA
London, England Dallas, USA Stockholm, Sweden
Sao Paulo, Brazil Chicago, USA Belgium, Belgium
Toronto, Canada Newark, USA Oregon, USA
Montreal, Canada Atlanta, USA Iowa, USA
Fermont, Canada Taiwan, China
Amsterdam, Netherlands Bahrain, Bahrain

 

7. Dashboard – Both Use Custom Dashboards

Both Cloudways and WPX use a custom dashboard.

The Cloudways dashboard is divided into 2 main tabs: Servers (where you launch a server and manage things like PHP versions, caching, etc). Then you have Applications (where you manage your domain, SSL, etc). It’s pretty easy but takes time to get familiar if you’ve been using cPanel.

The WPX dashboard is very user-friendly but is overly simplified if you’re looking for more control of any server settings. It’s great for beginners, but not great if you want more control.

Cloudways server settings
Cloudways Dashboard
Wpx hosting dashboard
WPX Dashboard

 

8. Beginner Friendly – Cloudways Requires A Few Extra Steps

Some people say Cloudways is more “techie” than WPX but that’s really only because it requires an extra step to launch a server. It’s really not that hard – I’ll show how to do it.

Step 1: In the Cloudways dashboard, you’re prompted to launch a server. Select an application (WordPress or WooCommerce) and name your app/server. Select a cloud host (I recommend Vultr HF). Select your server size (1GB is fine for small sites, but use 2GB+ for WooCommerce or larger sites). Select the data center closest to your visitors. When you’re ready, Launch Now.

Cloudways launch vultr hf server

Step 2: Now we’ll connect your domain name. Cloudways doesn’t offer domains, so you’ll probably use GoDaddy or Namecheap. First, add it in Applications → Domain Management.

Cloudways add domain

Step 3: Update DNS records. In NameCheap, go to Dashboard → Domain List → Manage → Advanced DNS → Add New Record.  The A Record value is the Public IP found in “Access Details” in Cloudways. The CNAME is your domain name. Use the same formatting as below. Here are GoDaddy’s instructions (or find instructions for whatever domain registrar you use).

Update dns records

Cloudways has a video on this:

Step 4: Install free Let’s Encrypt SSL (Applications → SSL Certificate) and enable auto renewal.

Cloudways ssl

Step 5: Go to Servers → Manage Services and enable Redis/Varnish. Then go to Settings & Packages and upgrade your PHP version, MariaDB version, and install Redis. These are a few small tweaks in the CW dashboard which can significantly improve your website’s performance.

Cloudways settings packages

Step 6: Login to your website (find your WP login details under Applications → Access Details).

Cloudways access details

That’s it! You can always reach out to live chat support for help.

 

9. Uptimes – WPX Had 10 Hour Downtime On Chicago Data Center

WPX has had long outages in the past and even wrote an explanation on their blog.

When looking at Cloudways uptimes, you’re not comparing apples to apples since Cloudways provides cloud hosting from DigitalOcean, Vultr, Linode, AWS, and Google Cloud. So if a Vultr data center goes down and you’re using that Vultr data center on Cloudways, it’s down too. DigitalOcean is typically more reliable than Vultr if you look at their history or the server status.

Wpx outage

 

10. Support – Cloudways Has Gotten Better, But WPX Wins

Support is something you have to use to have an opinion.

I’ve used both and can tell you Cloudways used to have bad support but it’s gotten much better over the years. WPX support prides themselves in their support and you will usually reach them in less than a minute. Both have around a 4.7 TrustPilot rating which is a good indication of how good a host’s support is. Both Cloudways + WPX offer tickets + live chat, but no phone support.

Siteground to cloudways support

 

11. Security – Who Has Better Security?

Neither Cloudways or WPX have past data breaches.

Both hosts protect your website in their own ways, but there have been reports of Cloudways using hashed passwords – so they could take a few additional steps to improve security. WPX guarantees security by doing things like cleaning malware for free if your website gets malware.

Wordpress security checklist
Regardless of which host you choos, use this WordPress security checklist

 

12. Price – Cloudways Is Cheaper Than WPX

WPX starts at $24.99/mo while the cheapest plan on Cloudways is $10/mo for a 1GB DigitalOcean server (but a 2GB server is usually recommended especially for WooCommerce sites which is usually $22 – $26/month). WPX gives you 2 months free if you sign up for a year. The reason Cloudways costs more than going straight to DigitalOcean or Vultr is because they help manage your server, give you a dashboard, etc. Otherwise, you’d be using command lines.

Cloudways Pricing

Bluehost Plan Intro Price Renewal Price
Basic $3.95/month $7.99/month
Plus $5.95/month $10.99/month
Choice Plus $6.95/month $14.99/month
WP Pro Build $19.95/month $29.99/month
WP Pro Grow $29.95/month $39.99/month
WP Pro Scale $49.95/month $59.99/month
eCommerce Starter $6.95/month $13.99/month
eCommerce Plus $8.95/month $17.99/month
eCommerce Pro $12.95/month $31.99/month
VPS Standard $19.99/month $29.99/month
VPS Enhanced $29.99/month $59.99/month
VPS Ultimate $59.99/month $119.99/month
Dedicated Standard $79.99/month $119.99/month
Dedicated Enhanced $99.99/month $159.99/month
Dedicated Premium $119.99/month $209.99/month

WPX Pricing

WPX Plan Websites Storage Bandwidth Monthly Yearly
Business Up to 5 10GB 100GB $24.99/mo $20.83/mo
Professional Up to 15 20GB 200GB $49.99/mo $41.58/mo
Elite Up to 35 40GB “Unlimited” $99.00/mo $83.25/mo

 

13. TrustPilot Rating – Both Have 4.7/5+ Ratings

Cloudways and WPX have great rating on TrustPilot. Feel free to dig through their reviews and see what people like or dislike about them, but 4.7 stars is excellent for web hosting companies.

Cloudways trustpilot review
Cloudways: 4.7/5
Wpx trustpilot review
WPX: 4.8/5

 

14. Free Migration – WPX Includes Free Site Speed Optimization

Cloudways and WPX both offer a free migration.

WPX also includes free site speed optimization where they optimize your site for core web vitals. It’s unclear exactly what they do or how many hours they put in, but it’s a nice bonus. I wouldn’t expect a miracle to pass core web vitals though (since that can take a lot of work and completely depends on your site), but they might be able to improve your scores. Worth a try.

Wpx free site speed optimization

 

15. Promo Code – Cloudways Has A Coupon, WPX Does Not

Cloudways offers a promo code where get 30$ off your first 3 months of hosting. Sign up on their promo code page and they will email you a custom promo code which you can use at checkout. WPX has a promo code field at checkout but usually, there aren’t promos going on.

Cloudways promo code

 

Conclusion – Should You Use Cloudways Or WPX?

There’s no clear winner but to sum it up, WPX has better support but speeds may not be as fast as Cloudways Vultr HF. WPX is more user-friendly than Cloudways (kind of) but their dashboard isn’t great and can be clunky with lacking features. Usually I have a strong opinion (I never recommend SiteGround, Bluehost, or EIG brands on this blog), but both Cloudways and WPX are solid choices. Take advantage of the 3-day trials from Cloudways and WPX’s monthly plan and test them yourself. After all, that’s really the only way to know which one YOU will like.

I’ve been on Cloudways since 2019 (now using Vultr HF) and have no plans on moving.

Omm hosted on vultr

Cheers,
Tom

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