This Namecheap vs. Cloudways comes from someone with firsthand experience with both web hosts.
I started using Namecheap in 2015, then on a shared hosting server. In 2020, during covid 19, I migrated to EasyWP, the cloud-managed WordPress hosting from Namecheap.
After three years with EasyWP, I migrated to the Cloudways DigitalOcean server in April 2023.
Why did I move to Cloudways? And leave EasyWP?
You’ll find all the answers in this Namecheap versus Cloudways comparison review.
What You will learn in this guide
Here are a couple of takeaways from reading this post.
- The main reason I moved to Cloudways and why you should care.
- How easy is it to deploy WordPress on both hosts?
- Who should use Namecheap or Cloudways?
- Performance test and hosting features.
- Which web host helps with Google Core Web Vitals?
- Price model and hosting plan.
- How responsive and supportive is customer care?
An important note: For fairness, I will use EasyWP as the standard Namecheap hosting package to compare with the Cloudways DigitalOcean server.
EasyWP is also a cloud-managed WordPress hosting with built-in cache mechanisms like the Cloudways Breeze plugin.
So, except where there is explicit mention of Namecheap shared hosting, all references to Namecheap hosting in this post assume EasyWP hosting services.
Cloudways and NameCheap – Overview
Co-founded in 2012 by Pere Hospital and Aaqib Gadit, Cloudways is a renowned cloud hosting provider that has redefined how businesses and individuals build an online presence through high-quality hosting services.
Through five carefully selected cloud service providers (more on that later), Cloudways provides a user-friendly platform geared towards simplicity, delivering optimal server performance, scalable hosting plans, and competitive hosting prices.
Cloudway’s target customers are agencies, small businesses, companies, web developers, and individuals seeking hosting solutions that adapt to their unique needs and offer flexible scalability, allowing you to focus on business growth without worrying about server-side management.
While it focuses on WordPress and WooCommerce hosting, Cloudways lets you deploy other web applications like Magento, PHP, and Laravel. All hosting types run on a managed hosting environment, so you can focus more on growing your business.
Namecheap is known for being an accredited ICANN domain name registrar first and web hosting second. The company is the second-largest domain name registrar worldwide, with over 16 million domains and counting.
Only GoDaddy, with over 76 million registered domains, has more active registered customers’ domain names than Namecheap.
It was founded in 2000 by Richard Kirkendall with one mission: to make high-quality web hosting services affordable for individual and small business owners. True to its mission, most Namecheap hosting packages are inexpensive yet offer high-quality hosting features and services.
Through the years, Namecheap has developed several cost-effective, innovative hosting and marketing solutions that help businesses and individuals start, grow, and manage their businesses without breaking the bank.
Like Cloudways, Namecheap allows businesses, individuals, and web devs to install web applications in the Cpanel. As part of the company’s hosting affordability mission, Namecheap launched EasyWP in May 2017 to provide managed WordPress hosting solutions that are affordable to all.
Now that you grasp a brief overview of both companies let’s dive in.
- One Click Backup and Recovery
- Flexible Pricing and Scalability
- Cloudflare Enterprise Addon
- Advance Security and Bot Protections
- Free Migration
NameCheap – EasyWP
- Affordable hosting price
- Free 1-Year domain name
- Built-in cache system
- Free Migration
- Good Customer Support
Ease of Use
User experience plays a significant role in quickly deploying web applications, locating essential hosting features and tools, navigating the interface, and completing important tasks.
Both Cloudways and Namecheap have a simple and intuitive user interface, ensuring you don’t get lost your first time.
In July 2023, Cloudways launched the redesigned user dashboard, which is more intuitive, smooth, and gives a better user experience. The new dashboard lets users find and manage hosting features more effectively, showcase necessary account settings, and simplify navigation.
Here is the new Cloudways user dashboard
Hovering your computer mouse to anywhere on the side menu reveals a slideout panel. This slideout panel contains additional hosting features, account and project settings, and management.
Here, you can access features like Cloudways addons, team management, project management, affiliate programs, add funds to your account, access to servers and applications, etc.
If you have been following through the image, you will notice the Cloudways new user dashboard tries to be as clean and decluttered as possible.
There are no unnecessary elements or features on the main screen area. Access to most features is only revealed through the slideout panel when needed.
Still, you can access your server and application settings from the main screen area without sliding out the panel.
Namecheap’s EasyWP uses a somewhat more simplified approach to its user dashboard.
Simplicity is at its best. The user dashboard or control panel is customized to make server and website management as painless as possible.
After completing the signup process, you will be greeted with a dashboard like this.
To manage hosting features like SFTP and database access, CPU and RAM usage report, initiate backups, and access to add-ons, click the “manage” button. Use the other button/link, “WP Admin,” to log in to your WordPress admin backend.
Clicking the manage button/link opens the control panel for more options.
Via its navigation menu, you can access other important hosting features. On the overview page, you can access account settings like billing, upgrade your hosting account, and view the next repayment date.
The overview page also displays your application’s WordPress version, CPU and RAM usage, and access to change the domain name connected to your hosting account.
An important thing to note is that EasyWP assigns a temporary domain name when opening the account. You should later change this to your custom domain name before making your blog go live.
This process is more straightforward if your domain name is registered with Namecheap. However, if registered with a third party, you must follow your domain name registrar’s instructions for connecting to a hosting account.
You can also follow this instruction to connect your domain name to the EasyWP hosting account. The links work, too, if you use Cloudflare CDN or your domain name is registered with Cloudflare.
Pointing your hosting account to a custom domain name on both platforms requires some explanation, especially if this is your first time.
Since Cloudways does not offer domain name registration services, EasyWP is more of a standalone product from Namecheap; it becomes necessary to configure your domain name to point to your server IP addresses.
When you create a hosting account in Cloudways and EasyWP, your site automatically deploys under a subdomain. Something like this:
https://wordpress-987683-3472022.cloudwaysapps.com (in Cloudways)
https://yourdomainname-139cd0.ingress-bonde.ewp.live (in EasyWP)
You must change this to your custom registered domain name address.
In Cloudways, click the application you want to change its web address and select “Domain Management” from the list. Click “Add Domain,” enter your domain name, and make it the primary.
Note that you must have configured the DNS records in your domain name registrar to the Cloudways server IP for it to work. How you do this will depend on where your domain is registered, though most processes follow the same.
Click the change button next to the default EasyWP subdomain name on the control panel overview page.
On the next page, select the option that best suits your situation.
If it’s with a third-party provider, select the option and follow the subsequent instructions configuring the DNS and creating new ALIAS records.
The processes are very similar, and everything is simple and easy to understand. However, Cloudways and Namecheap offer real-time responsive support resp if you get stuck and need assistance.
I will discuss in detail the quality of their customer service later in this post.
Comparing how easy it is to complete the process on both platforms, I think it is a tie and nothing out of the ordinary.
Performance and Server Speed
This is where things get a bit complex and need thorough analysis.
Remember I told you earlier in this post that I moved to Cloudways for a reason but didn’t let you into why I did?
This section explains why I migrated to Cloudways and discusses the issues I experienced while hosting with EasyWP.
To be precise, I completed migration to EasyWP on April 20, 2020, and speed and performance improved as expected. I was getting value for money until traffic gradually increased, and I started experiencing connection timeout issues and frequently 429 error warnings.
Though the performance was great when testing with page speed testing tools like Gtmetrix, Pingdom, and the rest, the connection timeout was becoming more frequent and worrisome as traffic gradually increased.
The regular connection timed out or downtime does not relate to extreme server resource usage or anything like that. With the volume of traffic I get at the time, I hardly run 50% of the server resources allocated.
This was one of the GTMetrix tests done at the time for the blog homepage. (Note the date in the test result)
Since EasyWP has its built-in three-layer cache mechanism, I don’t have to worry about optimization much. The built-in cache mechanism works great.
But as my blog traffic increased, I realized I needed to move to a higher plan. So, I upgraded to the EasyWP Turbo plan with 1.5X more CPU and RAM. 50 GB storage and 200k monthly visits.
After moving to the Turbo plan, the downtime was significantly better, and performance was improved. But one particular issue remains unresolved – Google Core Web Vital, especially Time to First Byte and the Largest ContentFul Paint.
While hundreds of other factors or variables may affect Core Web Vital, a poor hosting server will not help, regardless of how optimized other factors are.
Another issue I had with EasyWP is the built-in cache. Since it is built into the core software, there is no way I can customize its settings.
Moreover, WP Rocket is on the list of restricted plugins in EasyWP. At the time, WP Rocket was one of the plugins I wanted to test to improve speed and performance. So, this is a no-bargain.
After trying many options to improve speed, performance, and CWV, I migrated to Cloudways in April 2023.
There were many months apart from when I took the screenshot above and moved to Cloudways. So, it is impossible to show you the before or after migrating to the Cloudways server performance test result. Besides, it will do no justice to the purpose of this article.
Nevertheless, you can test any page from this website with your favorite testing tool to confirm how fast it loads in real life for users and in scores.
After migrating to the Cloudways DigitalOcean server, I noticed improved server response time and CWV.
This was not surprising, comparing the Turbo plan and Cloudways DigitalOcean CPU and RAM size. You will always get what you pay for.
|Resource Type||EasyWP Turbo||Cloudways DigitalOcean|
|CPU||0.75 Core||1 Core|
The small difference in CPU and RAM sizes makes all the differences in the speed and performance of the website pages.
Another significant advantage I had hosting with Cloudways is the option to remove its Breeze cache plugin. Unlike EasyWP, Cloudways makes it easy to use cache plugins. You’re not forced to use the recommended plugin, Breeze.
So, if Breeze is insufficient for your needs, you can safely uninstall it and use something more powerful like WP Rocket, Perfmatters, or any combination of cache and file/code optimization plugins you deem fit for your website.
Regarding website performance, speed, and server response time, Cloudways is better than EasyWP, based on my experience.
Cloudway’s partnership with Cloudflare Enterprise adds another layer of speed and performance to its core server infrastructure. With its global CDN, it pushes the hosting performance beyond good and makes faster website pages available to users regardless of location.
EasyWP also has free CDN for its Turbo and SuperSonic hosting plans, but it does not provide the same features, speed, and performance as Cloudflare Enterprises’ solution.
EasyWP offers basic or essential hosting features compared to today’s cloud hosting features. There is nothing out of the ordinary or fantastic jaw-dropping hosting features.
Here is what you get for hosting with EasyWP:
- Free SSL certificate
- Free Supersonic CDN.
- Built-in 3-layer cache mechanism. (Varnish, Opcache, and Redis Object Cache)
- 100GB for its SuperSonic hosting plan, 50GB for Turbo, and 10GB for the Starter plan.
- Automatic updates – Plugins, themes, and WordPress Core software.
- On-demand and regular backup.
- Unlimited bandwidth.
- Free Migration
- 30-day free trial
- Secured access to the database and STPF server.
- Real-time resource usage analytics report.
- Access to add-ons (logo maker, Business email, CDN, and Premium DNS)
- 24/7 support – Online chats, email, and ticket support.
While these hosting features look impressive, they fall short of what you have in Cloudways.
Cloudways offers hosting features that make running an online presence fun and painless, allowing you to put more energy, resources, and time into growing your business.
Hosting with Cloudways gives you access to the following features:
- Auto healing
- Dedicated firewall
- Regular automated and on-demand backup.
- Team management
- Staging sites
- Free ObjectCache Pro.
- Install unlimited applications.
- SSH and SFTP access.
- Security patching.
- Free 1-year Astra Pro addon
- SSD-based server.
- Cloudflare Enterprise add-ons – (CDN + Image optimization + cache, file minification, mobile optimization, early pre-hint, scrape shield, and page edge caching). Also, include Cloudflare under the attack mode feature.
- Breeze plugin preinstalled (Cloudways dedicated cache plugin.)
- Bot protection
- Cron job management.
- Powerful analytics – server and resource usage monitoring and error logs.
- Deploy codes via GIT
Now, let’s check some of what separates these two hosting features.
First, staging is something missing in EasyWP at the time of writing this line. You can not clone your website in a staging environment.
In comparison, staging is part of the essential hosting features in Cloudways, and it’s available to all users, regardless of hosting package or plan.
EasyWP does not offer automatic website backup. You can create an entire site backup anytime, but it is not handled automatically. You have to initiate the backup process manually.
In contrast, Cloudways keeps regular daily automatic backups of your entire site in case of a sudden or unexpected website crash.
The above screenshot shows the daily automatic backup of my site in the Cloudways account. The best part is restoring any backup restore points is just one click away.
With this feature, you don’t have to worry if you accidentally make unexpected changes to your website; you can restore it to an earlier state in one click.
If you need to set cron jobs to automate tasks, you can not do that in EasyWP. Only in Namecheap shared hosting can you set up cron jobs.
Also, due to the way EasyWP is created, you can not choose which PHP version for your site or configure limits to suit your unique needs.
While both platforms offer analytics features, the information you access with Cloudways is incomparable to EasyWP.
EasyWP shows analytics data on CPU and RAM usage only.
Cloudways offers comprehensive insights into server performance, error logs, disk usage, MYSQL database, running cron, etc. It presents a deep insight into traffic statistics, as you can view real-time traffic by IP address, bot traffic, requested URLs, and URL status codes.
These data can help you offer a better user experience and improve SEO.
Another significant advantage of Cloudways hosting is the bot protection features, which automatically stops hackers and bad bot from reaching your site.
With this feature, you can rest assured your site is protected from hackers, cybercriminals, and bad bots. Cloudways preinstall the bot protection plugin, so you don’t need to do it yourself.
Furthermore, Cloudways offers application settings that give more control over site security and website performance.
For example, you can enable/disable access to your application in one click. Block access to your PHP files to prevent hackers from uploading files through backdoors.
In addition, you can disable WordPress XMLRPC to prevent possible brute-force or DDoS attacks. Enables HTTPS 301 redirection for all mapped domains to your application. This can improve SEO and enhance crawling and indexing.
As you might have guessed by now, attempting to cover all the Cloudways hoisting features in this Namecheap vs Cloudways with be exhausting.
One thing to note is this Cloudways offers superior hosting features to Namecheap EasyWP. There is no contest here; it is a win for Cloudways.
Pricing and Plans
EasyWP price and plan are more straightforward than Cloudways. This makes it essential to compare Namecheap’s EasyWP and Cloudways pricing models.
You can choose from three standard prices in EasyWP – Starter, Turbo, and Supersonic. Each plan gives you access to a set limit of resources and features.
For its starter plan costs $6.88/month, you get 10GB SSD-based storage, 50k maximum monthly traffic, and a free SSL certificate.
The Turbo plan allows up to 200k monthly visits, 50GB SSD storage, a free SSL certificate, and CDN. It also gives you more CPU and RAM power and costs $12.88 monthly.
Its Supersonic plan has 100GB storage space, a 99.99% uptime guarantee, 200k monthly visits, and a free CDN and SSL certificate. It has the highest RAM and CPU power.
Talking about RAM and CPU, here is what you get in EasyWP.
|RAM||0.5 Core||0.75 Core||1.125 Core|
|CPU||512 MB||768 MB||1152 MB|
Get a 30-day free of EasyWP if you need to test it before committing to a paid plan.
On its part, Cloudways offers cloud hosting service from three different cloud service providers (it used to be five, but Cloudways has dropped Vultr and Linode):
- Google Cloud
- AWS – Amazon Web Service
These providers offer different access levels and quality of cloud hosting service through Cloudways partnership. DigitalOcean, being the cheapest, offers an entry-level hosting plan for beginners and small business owners.
Regarding flexibility in hosting pricing, Cloudways gives you more control over how and what you’re paying for.
Unlike fixed hosting prices, regardless of resources used during the month, Cloudways offers a pay-as-you-go pricing model. In addition, you can choose to pay for resources used per hour or monthly.
This allows you to only get invoices for the resources used during the month or hourly. You never get billed for what you did not use.
The DigitalOcean starting price is $11 monthly, with 25GB SSD-based storage and 1TB bandwidth.
This price is the starting point; it is $14 monthly when you switch to Premium instead of the standard DigitalOcean server.
Google Cloud’s starting price is $37.45 monthly, with 20GB storage and 2GB bandwidth. And AWS gives you 2GB bandwidth 20GB storage and costs $38.56 monthly for the starting plan.
Cloudways offers over 15 hosting packages for Google Cloud and AWS and five hosting packages for its DigitalOcean server; you can check them on the pricing page.
If you need to test Cloudways before going in with your money, you can take the 3-day free trial offer, which gives you access to the DigitalOcean server. Google Cloud and AWS servers are not available for the free trial offers.
Customer Support Service
I would argue both Cloudways and Namecheap offer excellent support services.
I have engaged with the customer departments several times, and both web hosts have done excellently.
First, no unusual delay in response time, and the onsite support reps are friendly and supportive and always get my queries resolved.
Namecheap offers onsite 24/7/365 live chat and ticket support. You will always get a reply via your registered email. No phone support at the time of writing.
While both platforms have done well regarding support service quality, Cloudways takes things to the next level by offering different support levels for user needs.
There are Standard, Advanced, and Premium support add-ons.
The standard support is sufficient for most Cloudways users. It offers 24/7/365 responsive support reps.
You will get Cloudways infrastructure and platform support, access to open tickets, and onsite live chats.
The advanced support offers more for users who need more than the regular standard support services.
In addition to everything in the Standard supports, you can access application and customization supports. And receive timely alerts for Proactive monitoring to investigate issues quickly.
The Premium support addon is for mission-critical sites that need closer collaboration and partnership with Cloidways. It gives you access to everything in the Advanced, plus 24/7/365 access to a private Slack channel and phone support.
As you should expect, there is no free lunch. It costs money to provide the extra support. Here are the extras you pay for the Advanced and Premium support.
|Standard Supports||Advanced Supports||Premium Supports|
|Free||$100 monthly||$500 monthly|
Who Should Use Namecheap or Cloudways
If you’re starting with little to no experience in digital marketing and want to handle hosting yourself, Namecheap is your ideal web host.
Also, if you have a limited budget for a hosting plan and need something more affordable without sacrificing hosting performance, you should try Namecheap. It could be the shared hosting or its managed WordPress product – EasyWP.
Namecheap is more beginner-friendly, cheap, and suitable for low-traffic sites.
Conversely, Cloudways is more suitable for growing websites with decent traffic and marketers with hosting management experience.
Sure, most settings are hands-on, and you don’t need to get involved in server management if you don’t want to. But still, the level of hosting features you get in Cloudways is more geared towards intermediate and advanced users.
Cloudways is the ideal option for agencies, web development companies, businesses, and individuals with growing needs for hosting platforms that allow them to focus on the business side rather than server management.
It is the platform that lets you customize your hosting experience to suit your unique needs and access other industry services and tools.
Consider Cloudways if you need a hosting platform that guarantees no downtime during sudden traffic spikes or viral launches. Hosting resources are automatically allocated during high-traffic times and downgrade when the honeymoon ends.
I started using Namecheap as a beginner, then Cloudways, as you could guess, with more experience and knowledge, so I had sufficient knowledge of both platforms.
After carefully comparing Namecheap vs Cloudways, features, infrastructures, pricing, and supports and sharing my experience, it’s clear that Cloudways is the winner.
Though Namecheap has some strong competing hosting features, it lacks advanced features, mechanisms, and flexibility in Cloudways.
Cloudways hosting is faster, provides more security features, and delivers high-performance hosting time than Namecheap.