Today, I want to take a look at two well-known hosting providers. But this review of mine won’t be focusing on their whole functionality but rather only on their Drupal specific hosting capabilities.
I’m going to be talking about a popular hosting provider Cloudways and the well-known Pantheon. Both cater to the Drupal industry specifically with features tailored towards their use. So let’s get down to it.
Ease of use has become a pretty asked for feature in the hosting industry in recent years. Unlike the days of old when the job of setting up websites and hosting was the job of very technical people, now almost everyone is required to have a website of their own if they run a business of some kind or want to increase their reach.
In this department, Cloudways easily takes the lead since everything is provided at a one-click access. Setting up your Drupal site is only a matter of choosing different options all provided beautifully through material design. There isn’t any kind of technical jargon you are required to go through and everything is presented in a concise manner.
Pantheon falls behind Cloudways in this manner due to its main focus being on developers. Basically, when you sign up for Pantheon, you are required to already be familiar with different staging environments and workflow, along with their purpose. The dashboard is pretty straightforward and bland. Although I must emphasize here that if you are a developer, you won’t find any difficulty with Pantheon.
Support is a very important factor in deciding which host to choose for yourself. Since every managed hosting provider is different from the other, you are bound to come across roadblocks, which could potentially mean your site being on hold for a while. In cases like these, it is absolutely vital that you get your site back up running, and getting support as quickly as possible is a factor which shouldn’t be taken lightly in this regard.
Cloudways is well known throughout the web for its outstanding support. Their support team is available 24/7 and is quick to resolve issues. If you do not believe me, a quick search for them on Google or browsing through reviews on their Facebook page will back up my claims.
While Pantheon mostly provides good support, there are times when their support can be troublesome with the customer support representative sometimes not taking the proper time to understand the ticket, or talking in technical terms and expecting each customer to be strong technically.
In the domain of managed hosting, the list of features available by default plays a big part in swaying customers over. Both Cloudways and Pantheon offer a plethora of features respectively. Let’s take a look at them:
Easy Git Integration
Unlimited Staging URLs
SSD Based Hosting
Unlimited Website Installation
24/7/365 Online Support
Dedicated Cloud servers of 5 popular providers
Built-in Staging Environments (Dev, Test, and Live)
Deploy Custom Distributions
24/7 Support from Real Drupal Developers
New Relic APM
Once-click core updates
As is evident from each platform’s features list, Pantheon is more geared towards developers while Cloudways provides access for all type of users, staying true to the managed cloud hosting agenda.
Now, this is where Pantheon proves to be the elephant in the room. There’s a stark difference between the pricing of Cloudways and Pantheon. Let’s take a look:
Cloudways Digital Ocean Plans:
512MB RAM - $7/month
1GB RAM - $17/month
2GB RAM - $34/month
4GB RAM - $70/month
Free Trial - Yes
Personal - $25/month
Professional - $100/month
Business - $400/month
Elite - Contact them
Free Trial - Yes
Cloudways has flexibility when it comes to pricing, you can start low and scale up as your website becomes demanding, without putting a big dent in your wallet. Cloudways, in my opinion, is suitable for Startups, bloggers, and even high demand web agencies.
Pantheon, on the other hand, is more friendly to big businesses and enterprise customers.
As I have said before Pantheon enforces dev workflow, if you are not a fan of that, you will need to learn that. That is a good thing but it pushes their learning curve higher.
While on the other hand, Cloudways has their own platform. The UI is pretty simple and doesn’t require a lot of time to get used to, which means that launching a Drupal project and jumping straight to migrating a site or developing is quicker.
After using both the platform for a while, I personally think that when choosing a managed Drupal hosting provider, Cloudways will turn out to be the better choice for most people. It’s ease of use, combined with lower costs and one-click features installation is something that no hosting provider is able to yet provide. While Pantheon is an established name, it is a better choice for developers, not for people not very technically strong. Let me know what you guys think.
Sign up on Cloudways here: https://www.cloudways.com/en/drupal-cloud-hosting.php
For Pantheon, go to the following link: https://pantheon.io/features/drupal-hosting