I joined the Cloudways affiliate program back in 2018.
I was promoting SiteGround at the time and was making $10k+/month, so switching to Cloudways (let alone any host) made me nervous.
But SiteGround was going downhill fast and I needed to make a move. Fast-forward a week or two and I spent most of my time changing content to endorse Cloudways instead of SiteGround.
Luckily, I started getting a very similar amount of sales with Cloudways (SiteGround terminated my affiliate account and didn’t like the bad review). I try to be transparent about when a company isn’t doing a good job and have written about SiteGround’s unethical business practices, fake Hostinger reviews, and don’t recommend bad hosts like GoDaddy or EIG brands.
Long story short, I’m writing this review to show you why I think Cloudways has a solid affiliate program (and is a good host) along with some tips I used to promote Clouways to increase sales.
1. Moving From SiteGround To Cloudways
I moved from an upgraded version of SiteGround’s cloud hosting to Cloudways DigitalOcean in 2019. Afterwards, I posted my results (from Google Search Console) in the WordPress Hosting Facebook Group. After at least a year of paying $180/month, I realized I was getting ripped off.
Shortly after, Backlinko came out with a PageSpeed Test showing how SiteGround had one of the worst TTFBs which has been reported multiple times after they migrated to Google Cloud servers. Since moving to Cloudways DigitalOcean, they released Vultr High Frequency servers which is what I’m currently using. My site loads instantly with a nice GTmetrix report and TTFB.
As far as affiliate sales go, I started promoting them more heavily in 2020 when I realized SiteGround was getting even worse. Obviously it took a lot of effort changing all my hosting recommendations (I still need to revise a few posts), but once I did, things were looking good.
2. Competitive Commissions
You can get up to $200/sale with Cloudways depending on your sales volume (I’m currently getting $150/sale).
Just like most hosts, the more sales you get, the more they’re willing to offer. Cloudways has always been super flexible with their commission rates and always gives me incentive to make more sales, whether it be increasing my commission rate or even earning two-tier commissions.
When I was first in touch with the Cloudways affiliate team, I told them I was hesitant to promote them more because I didn’t want to climb tiers all over again (which I already did with SiteGround). I told them I was already making $150/sale with SiteGround since I brought them a ton of sales, and Cloudways was willing to match that off the bat (much appreciated). You can even earn recurring revenue, but it depends on which commission structure you want. The first step is to get in touch with the Cloudways affiliate manager and learn what they can do for you.
3. Inside The Affiliate Dashboard
The Cloudways affiliate dashboard is pretty straightforward.
You get a default affiliate link like this: https://www.cloudways.com/wordpress-hosting.php?id=262128 and you can attach the ?id=262128 to any URL on the Cloudways website, and it will become an affiliate link. However, this doesn’t provide great tracking so you won’t know which affiliate links people click, which content is getting the most clicks and conversions, etc.
To track better stats, use SubID tracking.
This lets you create custom links and get you insights on what’s working and what’s not. I’ll admit I still just paste my affiliate URL to all Cloudways links and need to use SubID tracking.
4. Coupon Codes Are Great For YouTube
Cloudways offers coupon codes (but only for a handful of affiliates who request them) which is huge for YouTube.
When creating a YouTube video, I can share my Cloudways coupon code with viewers and if they use it, I will get a commission without them having to click my affiliate link in the video description. Obviously, this leads to more sales and definitely higher conversion rates. Most hosting companies don’t do this and since I started creating more videos, this was a big bonus.
5. Affiliate Team Wants To Work With You
I’m always in touch with Umair (the Cloudways affiliate manager).
Recently, we agreed to do a Skype meeting once a month to track progress, address concerns, etc. I never saw any affiliate manager from SiteGround or other hosts work with me this close. He never pressured me to do anything. We go back and forth on suggestions for each other and it’s a two-way conversation. With SiteGround, it felt one-way. Even when I suggested updates to the SG Optimizer plugin, they implemented them and never gave me any credit whatsoever.
I definitely feel more appreciated at Cloudways and even did an interview with them which was posted in their Facebook Group.
6. Promoting Cloudways With Facebook Polls
One thing I do to increase sales is show Facebook polls where hosts are rated #1.
Cloudways has been rated the #1 host in numerous Facebook polls which is great social proof. Feel free to use them yourself, although it would be nice if you linked to my website! I see so many people copying screenshots without a link. I won’t enforce it, but it’s much appreciated 🙂
7. Promoting Cloudways With Migration Results
I also like to showcase migration results.
Not only do I show people my own migration results when I moved from SiteGround to Cloudways, plenty of other people have posted their migration results in Facebook Groups. I make a point to blur their name to keep their privacy. Since most people value speed as the #1 factor when choosing hosting, these results should also help you increase sales + conversions.
8. Obstacles To Overcome
No hosting company is perfect and I wanted to share some obstacles:
- Techy: Cloudways isn’t as “easy” as some hosts and requires launching a server, connecting a domain, etc. I like to remind people that they offer 1 free migration.
- Apache: Cloudways still uses Apache when LiteSpeed servers have rapidly very popular (and are faster than Apache). I hope Cloudways will integrate LiteSpeed in the future.
- Breeze Plugin: Breeze needs work. I hope Cloudways will update their Breeze plugin to be more stable with more features like SiteGround did with their SiteGround Optimizer plugin. Breeze needs options for browser resource hints, hosting files locally, reducing CPU with things like heartbeat control, image optimization, lazy loading iframes, etc.
- No file manager: there is no file manager in Cloudways which is definitely a con.
- No email hosting: Cloudways partnered with Rackspace to offer email hosting for $1/email/month. Most hosting companies offer free email hosting, so this is also a con.
- StackPath CDN: CloudwaysCDN uses StackPath which is not known to be a highly performant CDN. I wish they would partner with Cloudflare, BunnyCDN, or Cloudfront.
Wrapping It Up
Cloudways has grown a LOT over the last few years, but they still want to keep growing and listen to both customers and affiliates so they can improve their service. I feel like once a company grows to big (i.e. SiteGround), they start doing things to decrease the level of their service like banning accounts in certain countries, reducing support, etc. One reason I continue to promote Cloudways is because they are still working hard to improve their level of service. I’m still using Cloudways to this day and hope this partnership will last for many years to come.
Keep reading the article at Tom Dupuis. The article was originally written by Tom Dupuis on 2021-10-24 13:02:42.
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