Cloudways vs Siteground – Which is Better for WordPress Hosting? I’ve used both Cloudways and SiteGround for years. So I’ll show you Why I use Cloudways Hosting.
SiteGround’s servers have gotten horribly slow as shown in speed tests. They have gone downhill with price increases, reduced support, and unfixable CPU issues. I used them for 4+ years but outgrew their GoGeek plan (my traffic grew and I had CPU overages). I upgraded to their cloud hosting for $80/month and was still exceeding CPU even though I wrote a tutorial on it. So I added more CPU/RAM until I was paying $180/month. That’s when I decided to move to Cloudways Vultr Hosting which saved me $100/month and also cut loads times in half. I have referred over 1,000 people to SiteGround – they’re garbage now and only care about money.
Cloudways is who I migrated to after SiteGround and I have a killer GTmetrix report with a <200ms TTFB. They were the fastest host in my speed test (you can use cwdoserver.com to see the speed of a $13/month VultrHF plan) and are highly recommended in the WordPress Hosting Facebook Group. They’re also #1 in most recent Facebook polls with a 4.8/5 star TrustPilot review. Cloudways is monthly pricing which is very rare with hosting. They also do free trials and free migrations, plus they just released Vultr High Frequency which is supposed to be even faster than DigitalOcean. There is no comparison between Vultr HF and SiteGround.
I recommend joining the WordPress Hosting Facebook Group to get real, unbiased hosting opinions. The main 2 reasons people are hesitant about Cloudways is that it’s “too technical” and their support isn’t as good. But it’s actually not technical at all (I will show you) and their support is now actually very good which is why their TrustPilot reviews have been going up.
1. Why SiteGround isn’t good anymore
I went from SiteGround StartUP → GrowBig → GoGeekk → Cloud. I used to love SiteGround but they have gone completely downhill. Going from $14.99/month on GoGeek to $39.99 after renewals, then $80/month cloud hosting because of CPU limits, then $180/month because I was still getting CPU issues… this was insane and I can’t believe I was paying for this.
- CPU limits are too common and literally unfixable
- SiteGround uses this as a way to make you upgrade
- They discontinued the live chat function without warning
- Support has gone downhill and they’re pushing upgrades
- Their TTFB is horrific (see my WordPress hosting speed tests below)
- Their cPanel replacement (SiteGround Site Tools) is hit or miss
- Renewal prices are 3x intro prices and increased twice in 2 years
- They moved all customer accounts to Google Cloud (privacy issues)
- SG community manager is an admin of Facebook Groups (corruption)
My conclusion: SiteGround used to be great, but they’re a completely different hosting company now who are trying to milk customers for their money, even if it results in slower TTFBs, poorer service, and simply not listening to complaints in WordPress Facebook Groups.
2. The Main Reasons Why I use Cloudways
- I didn’t want to deal with ridiculous CPU limits.
- SiteGround’s cloud hosting is expensive and not even fast.
- SiteGround was cheapening the service while raising prices.
- I saw tons of positive reviews of Cloudways in Facebook Groups.
3. Faster Load Times On Cloudways
4. Saving money With Cloudways Vultr Hosting
Cloudways is a pay-as-you-go monthly service with no yearly contract. You can add more CPU, RAM, and storage as needed for additional costs. Their cheapest DigitalOcean Hosting Plan (Standard) starts at $10/month.
SiteGround requires you to sign up for 1-3 years which is the period you get their discount promotional price. After this period, the price triples. You can’t add more server resources or storage unless you upgrade to an entirely new plan. So even though their plans start at $6.99 – $14.99/month, you will eventually be paying $14.99 – $39.99/month once it’s time to renew.
5. Cloudways Vultr HF Blows Away SiteGround
Cloudways just released Vultr High Frequency servers starting at $13/month (I recently switched from DigitalOcean to Vultr HF).
If you know anything about hosting, it’s likely the fastest option available. With 3.8 GHz processors and NVMe storage, Vultr says this is about 40% faster than their standard hosting.
I highly encourage you to clone your website using Vultr HF and see the speed difference. It’s built to handle resource-hungry plugins (WooCommerce, Elementor, etc) with low latency. Vultr High Frequency was also the fastest WordPress host in my performance test (see below).
6. Cloudways vs. SiteGround Speed Tests
SiteGround has some of the slowest TTFBs as reported by Backlinko.
This was a simple Pingdom test I did to measure the load times of 16 WordPress hosts. I installed the same Astra Starter Site on each hosting plan while measuring load times in Pingdom for 1 week at 30-minute check intervals. I canceled some of them because it was getting expensive, but the Cloudways and SiteGround demos are still live (see below). Even when clicking through their pages or running your own tests, you can see a major difference in how quickly they load.
- stgrndserver.com – hosted on SiteGround GrowBig
- cwdoserver.com – hosted on $10/month Cloudways DO
- cwdopserver.com – hosted on $12/month Cloudways DO Premium
- cwvltrhfserver.com – hosted on $13/month Cloudways Vultr High Frequency
Here are the Cloudways Vultr High Frequency Reports from GTmetrix
Here are the SiteGround GrowBig Reports from GTmetrix
The average TTFB from GTmetrix for Cloudways Vultr High Frequency was 187ms and SiteGround GrowBig averaged 884ms, a 697ms difference.
Here are the Cloudways vs SiteGround Speed test Reports from KeyCDN TTFB, Webpage Test TTFB, Pingdom Load Time, WPHPC Plugin, Search Console.
7. SiteGround’s Biggest Downfall is CPU Limits
SiteGround’s CPU limits are pretty ridiculous. Even if you do everything to reduce CPU, you should always keep an eye on it (in your cPanel). Otherwise, they will send you warnings, then shut down your site. You can reach out to support and request temporary resources, but they will push you to upgrade to a more expensive plan. It’s a cycle many people find themselves in.
8. Cloudways Support Is Getting Better
- SiteGround Support – SiteGround’s support used to be great, but not really anymore. They push upsells, disabled their live chat without warning, and moved priority support from GrowBig to GoGeek (a couple of years ago). All these “moves” are a clear attempt to milk money.
- Cloudways Support – I admit, Cloudways support didn’t use to be good. But they have made a huge effort to improve support and it’s actually great now. It’s probably not the same level of support you get with Kinsta/WPX, but I would consider it as good as SiteGround (if not better).
Conclusion: SiteGround’s support used to be better than Cloudways, but that has changed since Cloudways made a big effort to improve support, which is now better than SiteGround.
9. Cloudways vs Siteground Features Comparison
All Cloudways features come included no matter which plan you choose.
The Cloudways features page outlines everything you get for speed, security, add-ons, etc.
With SiteGround, GrowBig and GoGeek have more features than StartUp. For example, if you want to use all 3 levels of caching with SG Optimizer (static, dynamic, Memcached) instead of just static cache, you would need GrowBig+. Staging is also only included with GrowBig+. Similar to Cloudways, as you upgrade plans, it comes with more server resources which make your site load faster.
10. Breeze vs. SG Optimizer Plugin
A big benefit to SiteGround is their SG Optimizer plugin which is far superior to Breeze in terms of being comparable to plugins like WP Rocket. SG Optimizer can easily replace WP Rocket, but Breeze has a long way to go and I would personally use WP Rocket when hosting on Cloudways.
- Database cleanup
- CDN URL
- Varnish options
SiteGround made major improvements to SG Optimizer with 2 big updates and it now includes nearly every single feature in WP Rocket (it’s as almost as if SiteGround copied them to a tee).
Siteground Optimizer Features
- Everything from WP Rocket, plus it uses server-side caching which is faster.
11. Data Centers – Cloudways has 65+ vs Siteground’s 6
Cloudways has 60+ data centers between all their cloud hosting providers.
The Ultimate managed Cloud Hosting Platform
- 5 LaaS Providers
- 65+ Datacenters
- 13+ Applications
SiteGround only has 6 data centers:
12. Cloudways vs. SiteGround In Recent Facebook Polls
SiteGround used to be #1 in most Facebook polls.
But ever since June 18th when they increased prices, I don’t think I’ve seen 1 single poll where SiteGround was rated #1. In fact, most of the polls I see related to SiteGround are “alternatives to SiteGround” in which most people recommended Cloudways, DigitalOcean, and A2 Hosting.
Cloudways was #1 in most recent Facebook polls
13. Cloudways vs Siteground – Cloudways is Better (Winner)
13.1 SiteGround Pros
- More user-friendly
- Cloudflare is 1-click activation
- You don’t need WP Rocket (use SG Optimizer)
13.2 SiteGround Cons
- CPU limits
- Very slow TTFB
- High renewal prices
- Frequent price increases
- Requires 1-3 year contract
- No plan between GoGeek and cloud
- Their cloud hosting is complete garbage
- Site Tools can be hit or miss if you don’t like it
- Support pushes upgrade more than they used to
13.3 Cloudways Cons
- No hosting option under $10/month
- Not always as user-friendly as SiteGround
- No email hosting (but they do have SMTP + Rackspace options)
13.4 Cloudways Pros
- Speeds are faster
- They’re usually cheaper
- Monthly payments, no yearly contract
- You shouldn’t have to worry about CPU limits
- Choice of 5 cloud hosts, not just Google Cloud
- You can add server resources and storage as-needed
- Choice 25+ data centers between all cloud hosting providers
- Support is very helpful as reflected in their TrustPilot reviews
Overall, Cloudways is faster, cheaper, and support is just as good as SiteGround. Cloudways also has a better reputation in the WordPress Hosting Facebook Group.
14.1 Step 1: Sign up for a Cloudways free trial.
14.2 Step 2: Sign up with your Info
14.3 Step 3: Add a server.
14.4 Step 4: Name your app/server name, select a server (I recommend DigitalOcean or Vultr HF), then select your server size data center closest to your visitors. When done, click Launch Now.
14.5 Step 5: In Cloudways, go Servers → Manage Services, then enable the following:
14.6 Step 6: Go to Settings & Packages and upgrade to PHP 8.0, MariaDB 10.4, and install Redis.
14.7 Step 7: Using Cloudways WordPress Migrator Plugin to move your Site(s)
Migrating your WordPress website from your current hosting provider to Cloudways is super easy with the Cloudways WordPress Migrator Plugin that they supply to us.
If you still have doubts on whether Cloudways vs Siteground is better, or you have questions about configuration, leave me a comment and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. I hope this helped!
15.1 Is Cloudways or SiteGround Better?
Cloudways has a better reputation in Facebook Groups while there have been numerous complaints about SiteGround on a daily basis.
15.2 Do Cloudways and SiteGround come with Free SSL?
Yes, you get a free Let’s Encrypt SSL with both Cloudways and SiteGround which can be activated in 1-click.
15.3 Does Cloudways provide email hosting?
No, Cloudways does not provide email hosting but has alternative services for email, like Rackspace.
15.4 Is Cloudways or SiteGround faster?
Cloudways is faster than SiteGround (Cloudways is cloud hosting, and SiteGround is shared hosting). Cloudways is also faster than SiteGround’s cloud hosting.
15.5 How much does SiteGround cost?
SiteGround’s shared hosting starts at $6.99/month – $14.99/month for a 1-3 year promotional period. After that period, the price nearly triples. SiteGround’s cloud hosting starts at $80/month.
15.6 How much does Cloudways cost?
Cloudways starts at $10-$36.15/month depending on whether you use DigitalOcean, Vultr, Vultr High Frequency, Linode, AWS, or Google Cloud.
Enjoy the faster load times.