After using Cloudways for 3 years, I took the plunge and moved to Rocket.net.
The main difference between Rocket.net vs. Cloudways is that Rocket.net is faster with more cores/RAM (32 cores + 128GB RAM instead of 1 core + 1GB RAM on Cloudways’ cheapest plan). Rocket.net also uses LiteSpeed’s PHP (instead of Apache on Cloudways). And at the time of moving, Rocket.net used full page caching on Cloudflare Enterprise while Cloudways did not. Rocket.net’s support is also much better and the CEO (Ben Gabler) answers tickets sometimes. Even if you search Rocket.net’s TrustPilot profile which has 4.9/5 stars, you’ll see people who migrated from several hosts (including Cloudways) and posted faster load times. This was the case for my site which has a faster global TTFB measured in tools like KeyCDN or SpeedVitals.
Cloudways is attractive because they have more bandwidth/storage and don’t limit monthly visits or WordPress installs, often making them cheaper. For example, the lowest 1GB Vultr HF plan has 1TB of bandwidth (20x Rocket.net’s lowest plan) with 32GB storage (about 3x). They also use Redis Object Cache Pro on all plans which can be activated in 1-click while Rocket.net uses Redis on most plans, then Redis Object Cache Pro on Enterprise plans only. And while the Cloudways dashboard gives you more control of your server/application settings, it can also be confusing if you’re new. There’s also been reports of Cloudways’ backups not working properly.
So if you have the budget (or just have 1 site you really care about), Rocket.net is the better choice between speed, support, and Cloudflare Enterprise. If it’s too much, use Cloudways – simple as that. Still love Cloudways but after seeing Rocket.net’s performance, I’m staying here.
|Cores/RAM||Starts at 1 core + 1GB RAM||32 cores + 128GB RAM (all plans)|
|Cloudflare Enterprise||$5/mo per domain with no full page caching (yet)||Free, setup automatically, has full page caching|
|Storage||32GB (NVMe only on Vultr HF and DO Premium)||10GB NVMe|
|Monthly Visits||Unlimited (as long as the server can handle it)||Limited|
|Support||OK, but not as good||Best support you’ll find?|
|Object Cache||Redis Object Cache Pro||Redis|
|Dashboard||Custom (can be confusing)||Custom (easy)|
|Free Migration||1 free then $25/site||Unlimited free|
|Price||Usually cheaper||Usually more expensive|
1. Cores/RAM – Rocket.net Has A Lot More Resources
This is listed on Rocket.net’s blog post, then Cloudways lists it on their pricing page.
Rocket.net uses 32 cores + 128GB RAM on all plans (even the cheapest one) while Cloudways only uses 1 core + 1GB RAM on their cheapest 1GB plans. So when you ask why Rocket.net is faster and able to not limit PHP workers, it’s partially because they give you a ton of resources.
2. Cloudflare Enterprise – Why Rocket.net’s Integration Is Better
First off, Ben Gabler was StackPath’s Chief Product Officer and has extensive experience with CDNs. His background alone makes me trust their Cloudflare Enterprise more, especially since Rocket.net added Cloudflare Enterprise well before Cloudways. Even when Cloudways released it, it didn’t include full page caching and had annoying challenge pages which popped up nearly every time you visited your website. As Ben says, Rocket.net’s Cloudflare Enterprise ‘just works.’
Cloudways is $5/mo per domain, requires setting it up, and doesn’t have full page caching at the time of writing this. Rocket.net’s is free, setup automatically, and includes full page caching.
|Cloudflare Enterprise (Kinsta)||Cloudflare Enterprise (Cloudways)||Cloudflare Enterprise (Rocket.net)|
|Full page caching||✓||x||✓|
|Argo smart routing||x||✓||✓|
|Price||Free||$5/mo (1 domain)||Free|
3. PHP Processing – Rocket.net (LiteSpeed) vs. Cloudways (Apache)
Another reason Rocket.net is faster is because they use LiteSpeed’s PHP which is more efficient than Apache on Cloudways.
It doesn’t mean Rocket.net uses LiteSpeed servers, they just use LiteSpeed for executing PHP scripts. Still, this provides an advantage since Apache is much slower even for PHP processing.
4. Bandwidth – Cloudways Has More Bandwidth
Now Let’s get into the main con of Rocket.net: low limits on bandwidth, storage, and WordPress sites (you can find these on each host’s pricing page). While Rocket.net only includes 50GB of bandwidth on their Starter plan, Cloudways offers around 1TB (at least for Vultr HF) which is 20 times the amount. However, keep in mind Rocket.net typically offloads 85-90% of bandwidth to Cloudflare (of course, a cache/hit ratio depends on whether your site is more static or dynamic).
5. Storage – Cloudways Has More Storage
Cloudways includes about 2.5-3x more storage depending on whether you use DigitalOcean, Vultr, etc. However, Rocket.net uses NVMe SSDs on all plans while Cloudways only uses NVMe SSDs on Vultr High Frequency and DigitalOcean Premium. Since NVMe SSDs are much faster than SATA SSDs, make sure you use a plan that has them. Rocket.net was a top performer in Kevin Ohashi’s WordPress Hosting Benchmarks and this was before they started using NVMe.
6. Monthly Visits – Cloudways Is “Unlimited,” Rocket.net’s Is High
Even though Rocket.net limits monthly visits, this shouldn’t matter much.
The lowest plan has 250,000 monthly visits which should be more than plenty (and is still 10x Kinsta’s). And even though Cloudways doesn’t limit monthly visits, there’s no way a 1GB server can handle that much traffic, so you would have to scale anyway. Just keep in mind Rocket.net counts visits the same way Kinsta does which also counts human visitors not using ad blockers.
7. Support – Rocket.net’s Is The Best You’ll Find
All I can say is reach out to Ben Gabler or contact support through their website.
Many of their technicians have 10+ years hosting experience and Ben even hops on the chat sometimes. They go waaay above and beyond any host I’ve used. Whether you need help optimizing for core web vitals or just need help fixing an error, they’ll do everything they can.
Cloudways support has mixed reviews. I’ve always thought support was “good” but I’ve seen plenty of complaints about it on Facebook Groups, TrustPilot, etc. I’ve also seen complaints they will edit files without your permission and screw things up even more. I’ve never had a problem like this and I’ve reached out to them about 20 times, but just trying to be transparent.
8. Object Cache – Redis Object Cache Pro On All Cloudways Plans
Cloudways offers Redis Object Cache Pro on all plans while Rocket.net only uses the free version of Redis on standard/agency plans, then Redis Object Cache Pro on Enterprise plans.
Here’s the difference between Redis (free) vs. Redis Object Cache Pro on their website. This helps reduce load times as well as CPU usage, and is specifically good for dynamic websites.
|W3 Total Cache*||LiteSpeed Cache*||WP Redis||Redis Object Cache||Object Cache Pro|
|Mitigates race conditions||x||x||x||x||✓|
|Extensively unit tested||x||x||x||x||✓|
|Query Monitor integration||x||x||x||Basic||Advanced|
|WP CLI integration||Basic||x||Basic||Basic||Advanced|
|Site Health checks||x||x||x||x||✓|
9. Data Centers – Cloudways Has More, But It Doesn’t Matter
Choosing a close data center is important, but not with Cloudflare Enterprise with full page caching, Argo Smart Routing, and other CDN features (Ben explains at 11:37). While Cloudways has more locations, you can see my TTFB is pretty much the same when measured in KeyCDN.
10. Dashboard – Rocket.net’s Is Easier
Rocket.net’s dashboard is easier than Cloudways.
Cloudways has a ton of settings which can be confusing if you’re not experienced with managing a server. Some will argue this gives you better control of things, but for most people, it just makes it complicated. I get the feeling this is why some people call Cloudways “techie.”
There are 3 main tabs: servers, applications, and 9 dots (add-ons).
11. Free Migration – Cloudways Only Does 1 Free Then $25/Site
While Rocket.net offers unlimited free migrations, Cloudways only does 1 free then it’s $25/site.
While both hosts migrated my site smoothly, Rocket.net had a demo site ready in about 2 hours. They’re slightly faster and they seem to be more careful since you get to review it before launch.
12. Price – Rocket.net Is Usually More Expensive
3 things I’d consider:
- How important is speed for your site?
- How much bandwidth is your current site using (which plan would you need)?
- How much $ is your site making where you can justify spending more to make it faster?
To me, Rocket.net was a no-brainer since I write about speed. Plus, you get $1 your first month so you don’t have to pay 2 hosts at once. You also get 2 months free if you sign up for a full year.
Cloudways also has a coupon for 30% off 3 months.
13. TrustPilot Rating – Rocket.net’s Is Higher
Rocket.net isn’t as popular as Cloudways because they don’t do nearly as much marketing.
One thing that stood out to me was the genuine reviews people leave for Rocket.net. With most hosts including Cloudways, many reviews read like they’ve been solicited by their support. But Rocket.net’s reviews seem to go in-detail – especially about performance and migration results.
Make sure you read the reviews from people who moved from Cloudways to Rocket.net.
Try them out and lmk: Rocket.net
since I work on staging sites before pushing them to live. Will there be any live site speed issue when working on staging site?
I don’t see why there would be, I’ve worked on staging sites and didn’t have this problem.
I don’t know why it always happened to me while editing the site using UX Builder (Flatsome theme). The CPU usage dropped to below 50% and even 0% at worst. So I decided to have another server for staging. By the way, I’m currently on Cloudways.
What are the cores/RAM looking like and is it on DO, Vultr, or something else? Maybe a small server isn’t enough. Hard to know without looking in the backend of things, but did you use this tutorial?
From our personal experience, Rocket.net does NOT disappoint.
What hosting site would you recommend for an LMS?
Have a good day
Did Rocket.net not meet your requirements? CF Enterprise with Argo Smart Routing and Redis should be great for dynamic sites like LMS. If not Rocket.net, maybe look into GridPane.
Just gotta say Tom, your prior blog posts made me try out Rocket.net. After the first week I moved 20 websites over there, the service is killer and seriously fast.
Never thought I’d be moving hosts in 2022, but here I am with my TTFB literally under 100MS. When my previous host had over 375MS load time.
Rocket.net is no joke when it comes to hosting. Thanks for always keeping it real for us, your one of the only blogs I come back to at least twice a week.
Hey! That’s great news. I appreciate you Richard and thanks for saying that. They’re definitely the fastest (and best) host I’ve used so far.