Being able to deploy and manage cloud servers across multiple providers in one place is cool, but we’re here to show you there’s so much more you can do with the right hosting provider and dashboard.
In this post we’re going to compare our very own Managed Cloud Hosting against one of the more well-known providers: the Cloudways brand from DigitalOcean.
We’ll compare the 20iCloud Medium plan against a Cloudways’ DigitalOcean Premium plan.
They provide the same resources, and they’re a popular size to choose for a virtual machine in the cloud.
They’re also the least expensive option that both providers offer: Amazon, Google, Linode and Vultr are all more expensive options.
Both plans offer a two-core, second-generation Intel Xeon processor, 4 GB RAM, 80 GB SSD storage, 4 TB bandwidth and a 99.99% uptime guarantee. The hosting is managed and monitored.
That’s where they’re the same, but how are they different?
Price: Cloudways vs. 20i
20i’s price for this plan is $43.99 (£39.99 GBP), while Cloudways’ is $50 a month. However, as of 1st April 2023, Cloudways are increasing their prices, with this tier rising to $54.
They come with month-to-month payments, and while Cloudways do offer a three-day free trial, overall value in the long term is better at 20i. Over $120 a year better.
20i also provide offsite backups for free. Cloudways charge $0.033 for each gigabyte, so you need to factor-in this extra charge on top (e.g. for this size server, it would an extra $2.64 a month at the time of writing).
20i include an unlimited number of email mailboxes, each 10 GB in size. As soon as you’ve added the website domain, email is available to use.
You can either migrate all your email accounts over using our simple, automated tool or create new email accounts.
All your email accounts will be stored securely and separately, away from your 20iCloud server.
Your email won’t take up valuable clock cycles, RAM or storage. Performance isn’t impacted: busy email won’t affect website speed, and a busy website won’t affect email.
Cloudways don’t offer email as standard, like 20i. It’s up to you to create an email server on your DigitalOcean droplet.
There’s also the matter of email server reputation. To quote Stack Exchange, DigitalOcean’s networks “have a bad reputation for email and mail servers on them will be frequently flagged as spam because:
- Digital Ocean makes no effort to restrict the creation of mail servers or screen the people allowed to run mail servers on their network.
- People frequently start spam campaigns from their network which causes their entire subnets to be flagged.”
So even if you go through all the steps to set up your email server on the Cloudways option, you may still have problems sending your email.
Of course, you could create an email server elsewhere, but you’d be responsible for its setup and configuration – and paying for it…
Moving your sites over to your new Managed Cloud Hosting
Cloudways will move one website to their hosting from another provider, on your behalf.
At 20i, things are different, as there’s an automatic Migration Centre. It’s a simple tool: add your current provider’s credentials, choose what sites you to move over, and click ‘go’!
Your website files, databases and email will be transferred over to 20iCloud, quickly and efficiently, with no chance of data loss. As it’s automated, there is no limit on the number of times you can use it. Move all your sites over at once, or do it stages: the Migration Centre will always be there for you.
As will be our Support Team…
Both services include support by live chat and email, 24x7x365. With 20i, you get a dedicated 5-star Support Team at your service, for free.
We don’t outsource our support, and our fast, helpful and concise support responses are the envy of the industry.
Almost every 20i review praises the quality of our team, and they don’t apply any restrictions of the kind of support is provide. If they have the expertise, they’ll help you.
With Cloudways, the only free support has an SLA where they promise to reply within 12 hours.
That’s each reply, not a resolution of your issues!
They can offer better support, but you have to pay for it. They offer an Advanced Tier and a Premium Tier. Prices start at $100/$500 a month respectively.
Registering and managing domains
That’s something you don’t get with Cloudways – or from DigitalOcean in general – so you’d need to manage your domains through a separate company’s app.
DigitalOcean don’t offer any packages that are run on renewable energy.
The only thing they have to say on sustainability is “DigitalOcean’s [sic] plans to bring understanding to our carbon footprint and identify key Environmental, Social, and Governance focus areas.”
Meanwhile, the 20iCloud servers are run on 100% renewable energy, from wind, solar and geothermal sources.
Safety for your customers?
If you or your website clients ask for payments, it’s important that your web hosting is PCI-DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) compliant.
This is a set of standards for data centres and apps that helps reduce payment card fraud. All 20i’s servers and apps make our servers PCI-DSS compliant.
While Cloudways/DigitalOcean do have some certifications, they’re missing PCI-DSS compliance for their droplets.
20i offer malware scans that take place daily, or on demand. Cloudways don’t provide these, so again it’s something you’d have to manage and pay for on top of the hosting charges.
There is also no protection against distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks at Cloudways. So, if you or your client is attacked, it could mean that your website is taken down by the quantity of malicious requests.
It is possible to use a third-party service for this, but to get one comparable to 20i’s 1 Tbps+ protection, you’d have to pay a premium.
Faster websites with global CDN
While we’re on the repetitive subject of having to pay extra for things at Cloudways that you get free at 20i, we come to the 20iCDN.
This content delivery network caches your static content on servers around the world.
Wherever your users are, and whatever device they’re using, they’ll receive a fast-loading website.
Cloudways don’t offer anything like this. However, again you could go to a third party like Cloudflare, but their Pro plan – which doesn’t include all the features of the 20iCDN – will cost an additional $20/month.
The 20iCDN also includes a Website Acceleration Suite. This compresses images and minimises code, reducing the amount of data that a user (or search engine bot) has to download.
For the technically-minded, it includes over thirty configuration options to tune your website for best performance. Or you can use 20i’s simple and safe one-click optimisation option.
Cloudways limit developers
Unlike 20i, most managed cloud providers limit the number of PHP workers available to websites.
Limiting PHP workers is a way to reduce load on their servers and get maximum profit at the expense of the user.
At 20i there are no such limits.
With Cloudways you’re limited to 6,000 PHP workers for each website. This can affect performance on more demanding sites.
Find out more about how php workers impact your hosting.
Also, due to the way that Cloudways works, you’re restricted to one database for each website. With 20i you can have any number of databases.
Cloudways advertise ‘10+ one-click install apps’. At 20i we include 87 apps that help you build your website, which are free and open source, and installable in a click.
Another way that Cloudways limit developers is making the use of Git a hassle. At 20i, we include a custom-made Git User Interface that makes managing repositories much more pleasant and efficient.
20i vs Cloudways – a fair review?
So there’s an obvious winner here: 20i.
Of course, this was written by someone in team 20i, so you’d be forgiven to think that it may be biased.
But all this extra value and features can’t be argued with: 20iCloud is a far better option.
Build, deploy & manage all your sites/apps at scale. Use our high-spec cloud servers to ensure blazing-fast load times, every time. Get market-leading speed, security & customer support.
- Easy setup & management across multiple cloud platforms
- WordPress, WooCommerce, Laravel optimisations & more
- Free Email, DNS, CDN, SSL, SSH, Backups, Security & Git integration all baked-in
- Global reach with 60+ global data centres
Find out how our Managed Cloud Hosting is perfect for agencies, online stores, developers, multi-site hosting and high traffic sites.