Get a fast, conversion-focused WooCommerce theme in 2021. Switch to Shoptimizer.

Home Blog – eCommerce News, tips and tutorials Cloudways – the best WooCommerce host? We review the $10 plan

Cloudways – the best WooCommerce host? We review the $10 plan

Cloudways Review

In this WooCommerce hosting review, we’ll test out Cloudways’ $10 per month plan on a WooCommerce store to gauge performance.

Cloudways is a managed hosting provider that’s suitable for WooCommerce-powered websites. It offers Varnish-compatible hosting for WooCommerce stores as well as free SSL certificates.

The plan we’re testing offers:

  • 1 GB RAM
  • 1 core processor
  • 25 GB storage space
  • 1 TB bandwidth

We’ll start with a brief overview of Cloudways’ managed hosting service, how it’s different from other hosting providers, and then jump into the performance breakdown.


Update – see how we got a 95+ score!

Our comprehensive video tutorials shows you how to score 95+ in Google Pagespeed Insights with Cloudways for a WooCommerce store.


How Cloudways Is Different

Cloudways is a managed cloud hosting provider that makes it incredibly easy to get your WooCommerce store up and running. All you have to do is select an application, choose a server, set a location, and launch your store.

For those unfamiliar, cloud hosting is shared virtual hosting. Unlike VPS, the cloud is based on several servers. Virtual resources are shared between several server computers that work together to create a large virtual network. One of the main benefits of cloud hosting for WooCommerce stores is that it’s scalable.

Here are some of the main features that make Cloudways unique:

Free SSL installation

Online stores need an SSL certificate to secure their transactions and form submissions. Cloudways offers built-in Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates for WooCommerce stores.

One-click staging environment

Cloudways offers a one-click staging environment which is perfect for WooCommerce stores. Store owners can create as many staging sites as they’d like. This makes it easy to test updates, plugins, and themes before deploying changes on your live online store. SSL certificates are pre-installed on staging environments.

Multiple cloud providers

Cloudways offers WooCommerce hosting with some of the best IAAS cloud providers out there including Digital Ocean, Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, Vultr, and Linode.

Unlimited application hosting

Cloudways lets you install as many applications as you want on your servers. This is useful for setting up a staging site.

ThunderStack

Thunderstack is Cloudways’ advanced caching technology that comprises Varnish, Redis, Memcached, Nginx, and web.

Breeze caching plugin

Breeze is Cloudways’ WordPress caching plugin. Combined with Varnish Cache (that comes with Cloudways servers), you can rest assured that your online store’s pages will load blazingly fast. Additionally, Breeze optimizes and cleans up your databases to reduce the size and response time of the databases.

You can use it to exclude caching on individual file types and URLs. The Breeze cache plugin uses minification and Gzip compression to reduce overall file sizes, the number of queries, and download times.

Scalable

Cloudways offers seamless vertical scaling which is perfect for growing online stores. It allows users to scale their server RAM and storage with one-click functionality.

This is particularly important for online stores that expect to get traffic spikes around during holidays or events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. By scaling your resources, you can cater to more than average visits without worrying about your online store experiencing downtime.

CDN

CloudwaysCDN ensures your site loads quickly regardless of where people are accessing it from. This is particularly useful for WooCommerce stores that sell globally.

Cloudways makes it easy for WooCommerce store owners to quickly deploy, monitor, and manage their websites. Next, let’s take a look at how quickly our WooCommerce store’s pages load when hosted with Cloudways.


Performance

To recap, we’re using the $10 per month plan that offers 1 GB RAM, 1 core processor, 25 GB storage space, and 1 TB bandwidth.

Here’s a quick overview of our testing environment:

We didn’t want to test a vanilla WooCommerce installation with zero products as it wouldn’t give us any meaningful results. Instead, we went with a more realistic testing environment. This involved setting up a WooCommerce store and loading products into it.

For our testing, we’ve set up a WordPress site with WooCommerce on Cloudways (on Vultr servers) and installed the Shoptimizer theme on it with demo content. The online store has a total of 10 products complete with high-quality product images, descriptions, and price. We haven’t installed any third-party caching plugins on the website and the website is running WordPress version 5.6.2.

It’s worth mentioning that Varnish is pre-enabled on Cloudways servers and the hosting provider also offer their bespoke Breeze cache plugin.

We’ll test page speeds on the homepage, shop page, and single product page using Google PageSpeed Insights and WebPageTest.

Homepage

Shoptimizer homepage
Shoptimizer homepage

The first performance test we’re running is on the homepage. When people visit your online store, they’re likely to go through the homepage. The Shoptimizer homepage has banners, a hero image, CTA buttons, the latest products, testimonials, popular products, and more.

Google PageSpeed Insights

Google PageSpeed Insights test of the homepage
Google PageSpeed Insights test of the homepage
Test # 1 2 3 4 5
Performance Score 89 86 87 77 81
FCP 1.8s 1.9s 1.9s 1.9s 1.9s
Speed Index 2.8s 2.9s 3.1s 2.9s 3.1s
LCP 3.6s 3.4s 3.3s 3.8s 3.8s
TTI 3.2s 3.5s 3.4s 3.7s 3.5s
TBT 120ms 330ms 300ms 470ms 370ms
CLS 0.001 0.001 0.001 0.001 0.001

On Google PageSpeed Insights, we got a performance score of 89. The speed index ranged from 2.8s to 3.1s and CLS was 0.001 throughout our testing. The largest contentful paint ranged from 3.3s to 3.8s.

For those unfamiliar, Google PageSpeed Insights’ performance score is a weighted average of the metric scores.

WebPageTest

WebPageTest
WebPageTest of the homepage

On WebPageTest, we set the Test Location to Dulles,VA USA and tested using the Chrome browser.

The document completed loading in 1.493 seconds and the homepage was fully loaded in 2.576 seconds.

Here’s a link to the Waterfall View of the homepage test.

Shop Page

Shoptimizer shop page
Shoptimizer shop page

The second performance test we’re running is on the shop page. In our testing, Shoptimizer’s shop page lists 10 products. It also has widgets in the sidebars including a search box, recent posts, archives, categories, price slider filter, top-rated products, and more.

Google PageSpeed Insights

Google PageSpeed Insights test of the shop page
Google PageSpeed Insights test of the shop page
Test # 1 2 3 4 5
Performance Score 96 98 97 98 97
FCP 1.6s 1.5s 1.5s 1.5s 1.5s
Speed Index 3.3s 2.3s 2.5s 2.0s 2.3s
LCP 2.3s 2.2s 2.4s 2.4s 2.4s
TTI 3.5s 3.1s 2.3s 2.3s 2.8s
TBT 140ms 100ms 30ms 40ms 60ms
CLS 0.009 0.009 0.007 0.009 0.007

On Google PageSpeed Insights, the performance score came out to be 98. The speed index ranged between 2.0s to 3.3s and CLS ranged from 0.007 to 0.009. The largest contentful paint was around 2.2s to 2.4s, not a lot of variance.

For those unfamiliar, Google PageSpeed Insights’ performance score is a weighted average of the metric scores.

WebPageTest

WebPageTest test
WebPageTest of the shop page

Same as before, we set the Test Location to Dulles,VA USA and tested using the Chrome browser.

The document completed loading in 1.115 seconds and the homepage was fully loaded in 3.285 seconds.

Here’s a link to the Waterfall View of the shop page test.

Single Product Page

Shoptimizer single product page
Shoptimizer single product page

The third performance test we’re running is on the single product page. Shoptimizer’s single product page contains a product image, details, price, purchasing options, additional images in the description, related products, and more.

Google PageSpeed Insights

Google PageSpeed Insights test of the single product page
Google PageSpeed Insights test of the single product page
Test # 1 2 3 4 5
Performance Score 74 77 74 76 75
FCP 1.8s 1.7s 2.0s 1.8s 2.0s
Speed Index 4.3s 4.1s 4.6s 4.1s 4.5s
LCP 5.1s 4.8s 4.8s 4.8s 4.8s
TTI 4.6s 4.5s 4.7s 4.6s 4.7s
TBT 180ms 70ms 240ms 190ms 190ms
CLS 0 0 0.001 0 0

On Google PageSpeed Insights, the performance score came out to be 77. The speed index of the single product page ranged from 4.1s to 4.6s and CLS was consistently a perfect 0 with one instance of 0.001. The largest contentful paint score came out to be 4.8s with one instance of 5.1s.

Google PageSpeed Insights’ performance score is a weighted average of the metric scores.

WebPageTest

WebPageTest test
WebPageTest of the single product page

Same as before, we set the Test Location to Dulles,VA USA and tested using the Chrome browser.

The document completed loading in 1.599 seconds and the homepage was fully loaded in 2.590 seconds.

Here’s a link to the Waterfall View of the single product page test.


Graphs

We also ran tests on GTMetrix with the test server location set to Vancouver, Canada.

Let’s visualize the different performance measurements for each page:

Homepage

GTMetrix test
GTMetrix performance metrics graphs of the homepage

The cumulative layout shift is incredibly low on the homepage, practically zero. Metrics, like time to interactive, first contentful paint, and largest contentful paint are low and consistent throughout our testing.

The fully loaded time spiked in the middle but, for the most part, remained relatively low at around 1.5 seconds.

Shop page

GTMetrix test
GTMetrix performance metrics graphs of the shop page

The cumulative layout shift on the shop page is good and consistently at 0.01. Similarly, time to interactive, first contentful paint, and largest contentful paint remain consistent throughout the testing.

The fully loaded time varies in our testing ranging from 1.1 seconds to 1.6 seconds. This is well below 2.0 seconds for e-commerce sites.

Single product page

GTMetrix test
GTMetrix performance metrics graphs of the single product page

On the single product page, the cumulative layout shift remains consistently at 0.01 seconds in our tests. Similarly, time to interactive, first contentful paint, and largest contentful paint are also consistent in the tests we ran.

The fully loaded time varies in our testing ranging from 1.4 seconds to 2.0 seconds.


Plans and Pricing

Cloudways offers pay-as-you-go pricing. This means that users only pay for the resources they consume.

Here’s a quick overview of the different plans Cloudways offers:

  • $10/month. 1 GB RAM, 1 core processor, 25 GB storage space, and 1 TB bandwidth
  • $22/month. 2 GB RAM, 1 core processor, 50 GB storage space, and 2 TB bandwidth
  • $42/month. 4 GB RAM, 2 core processor, 80 GB storage space, and 4 TB bandwidth
  • $80/month. 8 GB RAM, 4 core processor, 160 GB storage space, and 5 TB bandwidth

All plans come with a free SSL certification, CDN, automated backups, real-time monitoring, and more.

There’s also a 3-day free trial available that lets you test out the hosting service. You can sign up for it without a credit card.


Conclusion

Cloudways (affiliate link) managed cloud hosting offers high-performance web hosting at affordable rates. It’s perfect for online stores that are looking for a scalable hosting provider. You can choose which server to host your WooCommerce-powered store on and get set up in just a few minutes.

All you have to do is set up a WordPress website with WooCommerce, choose your server infrastructure, set the server size, and pick a location that’s close to your target audience. With Cloudways, you can rest assured that your site will load fast thanks to the pre-enabled Varnish and the Breeze cache plugin.

Start using the performance-optimized Shoptimizer theme on your online store today!

Computer scientist, B2B SaaS writer, and co-founder at BloggInc. In her spare time, you can find her playing GTA V, lounging at the farm, or trying to beat her husband at indoor badminton.

Shoptimizer WooCommerce Theme

Shoptimizer is a FAST WooCommerce theme that comes with a ton of features all designed to help you convert more users to customers.

More details  →

Shoptimizer WooCommerce Theme screenshot

Latest eCommerce Guides View all Guides

2 Comments

  1. Thank you Maria, that is interesting. It does beg the obvious question, how does this Cloudways plan compare to other hosts for performance (particularly Siteground, the shared hosting provider recommended elsewhere on this site)?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Updates

$50
Off

Do you want a whopping $50 off Shoptimizer for WooCommerce?

Click the button below to get Shoptimizer for only $49. (Regular price: $99).
This is a special launch offer for today only.
Get it before it is gone!
{"cart_token":"","hash":"","cart_data":""}