6 Best Cloud Hosting for WordPress Solutions: Cloudways + More

6 Best Cloud Hosting for WordPress Solutions: Cloudways + More

Looking for the best cloud hosting for WordPress?

Over the past few years, cloud hosting has rapidly grown in popularity for a reason – it offers excellent performance and scalability, while still often being cheaper than more traditional hosting products.

While cloud hosting is undeniably a little more complex than beginner-friendly shared hosts like Bluehost or A2hosting, it’s still definitely something that non-technical users can handle, and the performance benefits and cost savings are usually worth the extra learning curve.

In this post, I’ve collected some of the best cloud hosting providers for WordPress. These providers let you harness the power of cloud hosting services such as Google Cloud, DigitalOcean, Vultr, etc. Not only do they make it possible for non-technical WordPress users to use cloud hosting, they’ll also still give you useful WordPress tools, such as staging sites and backups. 

Cloud Hosting vs WordPress Hosting on Cloud Infrastructure

When talking about cloud WordPress hosting, it can be a little confusing as to what “cloud WordPress hosting” actually is.

For example, does a managed WordPress host like Kinsta that uses Google Cloud infrastructure count as “cloud hosting”?

You could make an argument that it does, but I’m not going to treat these hosts as cloud hosting because you’re not directly interacting with the cloud hosting.

For example, in early 2020, SiteGround moved all of its hosting plans to Google Cloud infrastructure…but SiteGround’s cheap shared plans are still shared hosting – they just use cloud infrastructure to power those shared resources.

Basically, while these providers do use cloud hosting in their products, you don’t really see the difference as an end-user.

Instead, I’m going to define cloud WordPress hosting as hosting where you actually interact directly with the cloud layer.

For example, it might be hosting like Cloudways where you get a cloud VPS with dedicated resources or it could be something like Closte where you’re only billed on the exact resources that your site needs. Or, it might even be a WordPress hosting control panel that makes it easy to use your own “bare metal” cloud VPS from providers like DigitalOcean, Vultr, or Linode.

The advantages of going “directly” to the cloud like this are that:

  • Your site will usually load faster.
  • You can usually save a good bit of money vs managed WordPress hosting.
  • There are no arbitrary limits. For example, there are no “visit” limits like you get with managed WordPress hosting.
  • You can more easily “scale” your site as it grows. Instead of needing to change plans, you can just add more resources as needed.
  • If you’re an advanced user, you’ll have more flexibility.

However, the disadvantages are that this approach is a little more technical and less beginner-friendly. You definitely don’t need to be a developer. However, if you’re a total beginner, I would recommend staying with providers like Bluehost or A2hosting.

Six Best Cloud WordPress Hosting Providers

1. Cloudways

Cloudways is probably the most popular option for cloud WordPress hosting. Rather than providing its own hosting infrastructure, Cloudways is a managed tool that lets you choose your own cloud hosting from the following cloud services:

  • DigitalOcean
  • Vultr
  • Linode
  • Google Cloud
  • AWS

Once you choose your resources, Cloudways handles setting everything up for WordPress and also gives you useful tools such as staging sites, automatic backups, security, etc.

One key thing to understand is that you don’t get root access to the servers, though you do still get a good amount of flexibility. This is different from some other similar tools on this list.

Pricing depends on the resources and cloud provider you choose. In general, Cloudways charges about double what the cloud hosting itself would cost (this is what you pay for the service and support). For example, a $5 DigitalOcean droplet would cost $10 through Cloudways.

This makes Cloudways very cheap for a single small server. But if you have “large” servers or multiple servers, there are more affordable options on this list.

2. Closte

Closte is probably the most interesting cloud hosting option because of how it handles billing. Instead of paying a flat fee per month for a certain amount of resources (e.g. 1 CPU, 1 GB RAM), you’ll pay based on the exact resources your site uses – down to the CPU HPI and memory MPI:

The advantage of this approach is that it’s 100% fair – low-resource sites will be very cheap, while high-resource sites will pay more, but only equal to their usage. It also means that your traffic can easily spike without the danger of hitting your limits (because there are no limits – you’ll just pay extra based on what your site used for the spike).

However, the disadvantage is that, especially if you’re a beginner, it can be hard to estimate how much your hosting will cost per site. However, the average monthly charge for a website with up to 25,000 unique visitors is $12, which should give you a rough idea of what you should expect to pay. Very small sites could be $5 or under per site.

As for the hosting itself, Closte exclusively uses Google Cloud Platform for its infrastructure and LiteSpeed server for its web server. You’ll also get useful tools such as WordPress staging sites, backups, and more.

3. RunCloud

RunCloud is a web hosting control panel for any PHP application, including WordPress. It’s a lot like Cloudways in its approach – that is, you can manage everything from the server control panel, while choosing your own “naked” cloud hosting provider.

Two key differences between RunCloud vs Cloudways are that:

  • You can choose any cloud hosting provider (as long as it uses Linux). That means you can use all the providers that Cloudways offers, plus other options such as UpCloud.
  • You still get root access to your server, which advanced users might prefer.

While RunCloud works for any PHP application, it still includes WordPress-specific features such as easy staging sites, firewalls, one-click installs, one-click SSL certificates, backups, and more.

With RunCloud, you’ll pay one fee to use the RunCloud hosting control panel. Then, you’ll also need to pay the cloud infrastructure provider directly (e.g. DigitalOcean or Vultr). Cloudways is cheaper than RunCloud for a single small server, but RunCloud is usually cheaper for multiple servers or high-resource servers.

RunCloud itself costs $8 per month to manage a single server or $15 per month to manage unlimited servers.

4. GridPane

GridPane is another popular option that uses the same approach as RunCloud – it’s a server control panel that you can connect to any cloud hosting provider to easily host WordPress sites – no tech knowledge needed.

However, unlike RunCloud, GridPane is 100%-focused on WordPress, which lets it optimize its entire stack for WordPress sites. Specifically, GridPane uses an Nginx-stack that makes your site load really quickly.

It also still gives you useful features such as WordPress staging sites, backups, firewalls, and more. 

The one downside is that GridPane’s pricing makes it pretty expensive if you only need to host a single server – the cheapest plan is $30 per month for GridPane itself, which allows for unlimited cloud servers. As with RunCloud, you’ll also need to pay the cloud hosting provider directly.

Overall, GridPane is a good option for agencies or people building client sites that will need multiple cloud servers, while RunCloud probably makes a better option for individual users just looking to host a few sites because it’s more affordable.

5. SiteGround

While most people know SiteGround for its cheap shared plans, SiteGround also offers more expensive cloud VPS hosting that gives you easier scaling and dedicated resources.

As with the shared plans, SiteGround’s cloud hosting is powered by Google Cloud. However, the key difference is that you’re getting dedicated resources, as well as all the features from SiteGround’s shared plans like staging sites, server-level caching, and more.

SiteGround’s cloud hosting plans start at $80 per month for 3 CPU cores, 6 GB memory, and 40 GB storage. 

This is a little bit expensive compared to other cloud alternatives. For example, paying that price on Cloudways/DigitalOcean would get you 4 CPU cores, 8 GM memory, and 160 GB storage. Still, for those who like SiteGround and want to stick with SiteGround, this might be worth it.

6. Templ

Finally, there’s Templ, which is an interesting option that’s sort of in between managed WordPress hosting and cloud WordPress hosting.

All of Templ’s plans are powered by Google Cloud Platform. You get dedicated RAM, but for CPU resources, you get a mix between some dedicated resources and some shared resources. You’ll get at least 12.5% of CPU, but you can “burst” up to 100% of 1 CPU during brief periods of heavy load.

The idea is that your site always has dedicated resources, but it can also eat into shared resources during short periods where you need to scale up your site.

As a managed WordPress host, you’ll also get features such as staging sites, backups, etc.

Templ’s plans start at $15 per month for 1 CPU core (12.5% dedicated to you, and burstable up to 100%), 0.5 GB RAM, and 5 GB storage.

Which Is the Best Cloud Hosting for WordPress Users?

If you’re not sure where to start, Cloudways is probably the best cloud hosting for WordPress as it’s affordable, user-friendly, and lets you choose your own cloud hosting provider.

However, Cloudways can become expensive if you need to host multiple servers or you need a single high-powered server. In that case, you might be able to save money with something like RunCloud or GridPane. Both offer a similar approach to Cloudways, but in a little more technical package because your cloud hosting and server control panel remain separate.

At any of these first three options, you should consider using the Vultr High-Frequency servers, as they offer excellent performance for the money.

Finally, Closte is another really interesting option because of its unique billing model. If you like the idea of only paying for the exact resources that each site consumes, it can be a great option. However, beginners might find it a little confusing because it’s hard to estimate how much your site will cost.

Do you have any questions about choosing the best cloud hosting for WordPress? Ask in the comments!

5 No-Brainer Solutions to Increase Organic Traffic to Your Website

5 No-Brainer Solutions to Increase Organic Traffic to Your Website

Starting a blog or a website isn’t the hardest part, getting noticed and attracting the right audience is. Many blogs and websites have gone into oblivion not because they lack content, but because no one actually notices the hard work put in place to create the website and so their posts are just one of many—hidden deep down in the archives of the internet.

To get noticed on the internet, you need exposure and one of the best ways of getting the right exposure is gaining organic traffic. Organic traffic is traffic from search engines and this can be one of the most rewarding ways of generating traffic. Before we talk about how to increase organic traffic to your website, you should keep in mind that your organic traffic would only spike if your search engine optimization (SEO) game is 100%.

The tips that we’re going to share would guide you in the right path to optimizing your website for search engines and how to do SEO the right way—which would make search engines fall in love with your website.

1. Choose a Reliable Web Host and Site Design Platform

Before you even start to think about how to get your site to rank in the search results, and the thoughts of massive traffic and cash flowing in… you need to first make an important decision on who is going to host your website. This decision will be important for many reasons, such as — every site needs to have a reliable host to keep their site active on the internet, making sure you go with web host that has not only a 99.9% uptime rating but also loads your content fast, and also to choose a host that can grow and scale with your business in the process.

When it comes to cost, it’s also important to know your budget. Most shared hosting plans will cost less than $10 a month, but if you are going to have an e-commerce site or one that you know is going to get a lot of traffic or make some serious money, it might be best for you to go with a virtual, private, or dedicated server. To learn more about all of your options in the world of web hosting, be sure to check out HostAdvice’s cheap web hosting service reviews and guides.

2. Perform Extensive Keywords Research

When it comes to creating content for your site, one of the first and most important steps prior to creating and publishing content is keyword research. Adequate keyword research will point you in the right direction of search queries people are using to find topics that matter to them on Google. Using the Google keyword tool to find valuable, popular keywords prior to writing your content is one way to attract search engines. Spicing these keywords (a mix of long and short-tailed keywords) will help you get better rankings on the web.

Another popular research method is the Ubersuggest tool from Neil Patel. This tool will provide you with all of the same data from Google Keyword Planner, but also make it more visually appealing and easier to sort through as well. The more you know about your content, and how to make it the best possible, the more likely you are to find with SEO and promoting it to the right audiences.

3. Publish Quality Content Regularly, but Focus on Quality

Yes, content is king. An even truer statement is ‘quality content sells itself’. Once you pen down top-notch content, you’re more likely to get noticed with links pointing to your posts from other websites, as well as receive social media shares. These social signals would tell search engines that your website users are finding insight and value with that content, leading to a higher ranking on search engine result page (SERP). Staying ahead of your competition by churning out quality content on a regular basis is definitely a helpful way of increasing your organic traffic.

As important as content is, it’s important to know how to create the best content possible. For example, these days, it’s much better to create an article or blog post with 2,000+ words, versus going live with different articles that are just 500 words each. There are many reasons for this, such as quality and text within one article, the ability to promote and focus your efforts on just one article versus four, and the various reports (shown above) that continually back up the claims that more words continue to rank better in Google.

In addition to creating the best content possible, it’s also important to make sure you are linking internally within your site as well. This will help with both SEO and users navigating through your site. A good internal linking system helps you get backlinks to your sales pages or articles easily. Internal links are helpful for SEO as it keeps visitors engaged on your site for longer (reducing bounce rate). All you need to do is to link to relevant but articles or pages on your website using strategic anchor texts.

4. Optimize Your Content and Metadata

If you’re planning to rank on Google for a specific keyword, you want to optimize your metadata with that keyword as that’s one of the first places Google checks. Google gives ranking preference to websites which have information regarding the user’s queries. To improve your search ranking and organic traffic, the following are highly required to be optimized:

  • Meta titles, keywords and descriptions
  • Image title, alts and description
  • Adding your target keywords in the first paragraph of your content

A perfect example of this can be seen through the content creation and promotion efforts from Canterra Suites Hotel, a downtown Edmonton hotel. In most cases, people traveling to Edmonton might not know of the name of the hotels in the area. So for a business or brand that is location-based, it’s important to know what keywords they want to rank for, and how to secure their positions in Google for them. In the case of Canterra Suites, anything related to ‘hotels’ and ‘Edmonton’ would be the keyword.

When looking up any type of hotel or booking sites online, start with Google and go through their registration process. See what is different about each of them and the methods they use  to increase conversions. I good example of this would be if you looked at the search results for hotels in London, and you see a page like (??? ????? ?? ????) — which features a wide range of rooms for booking and automatic pricing for each.

In short, know how your audience is going to search for content online, and it will be much easier for your site or brand to attain those rankings and be seen by the right audiences.

5. Contribute to Different Reputable Sites in Your Niche

Getting noticed, especially for a new website is very difficult. Becoming a contributor to popular and highly revered websites and blogs in your niche will give you that visibility you crave. Aside from getting your website in front of an established audience and potentially sending you referral traffic, you get a link back which is gold and impacts your SEO positively. Please note that guest blogging on websites with low-quality could negatively impact your website instead of helping you grow and increase your organic traffic.

While the concept of guest blogging is easy enough, it’s definitely going to take some manual work and time to find results. This means going to Google, searching for sites that allow guest blogging, building relationships with those sites, and then creating high-quality content for each of those sites. You can also find a list of 75+ sites accepting guest bloggers here.

Site Optimization and SEO is Always Changing — So Should You!

With so many different options out there for gaining backlinks, improving the on-site experience, and ranking higher in the search results, make sure you don’t just stick to one working method. At the same time, try not to cut corners and use shady methods to rank higher as well. The best way to see longterm growth and solid rankings in Google, is to create pillar content that can continually be referenced to time and time again. This content creation and marketing method worked ten years ago, and it will likely still be just as effective ten years from now.