Cloudways and NameHero are the main 2 hosts I recommend on my site, so I thought it would be fun to compare them.
Cloudways is who I host my blog with. You start by launching a server on a cloud host like DigitalOcean or Vultr High Frequency (what I use), then connect your domain name. Beginners can be intimidated because they use a custom dashboard which gives you more control of your server settings, but you usually don’t need to touch most of these (it’s not hard, just different than traditional hosting/cPanels). Cloudways is monthly pricing, has 39 data centers, and is popular in Facebook Groups with a reputation for being fast. I’ve always had great speeds on Cloudways. A few cons are no file manager, cost of WP Rocket, and CloudwaysCDN isn’t great.
NameHero is more like “traditional” hosting with cPanel and 1-3 year contracts. A key benefit is they use LiteSpeed which is faster than Apache (what Cloudways uses). This means you will use the LiteSpeed Cache plugin with QUIC.cloud CDN which are free and one of the fastest setups for cache plugins/CDNs – especially since it uses HTTP/3 and server-level caching. NameHero’s support is US-based and so are most of their data centers (with one in the Netherlands), so it’s mainly for websites in the US or Netherlands. They offer both shared hosting (I recommend the Turbo Cloud plan) and managed cloud hosting which you should ideally use for WooCommerce.
1. Pros + Cons On Cloudways vs. NameHero
- Speed (my TTFB is consistently under 200ms).
- Releases new servers (DO Premium + Vultr HF).
- Multiple caching levels (Redis, memcached, Varnish).
- Monthly pricing (no yearly contracts or high renewals).
- They have a Cloudways Users Facebook Group to ask questions.
- Choice of 5 cloud providers: DO, Vultr, AWS, Google Cloud, Linode.
- Lots of data centers to choose from between all their cloud providers.
- Their community manager can answer your questions when signing up.
- Apache servers.
- No file manager.
- No domain names (use GoDaddy/NameCheap).
- WP Rocket is better than Breeze plugin (extra cost).
- BunnyCDN is better than CloudwaysCDN (extra cost)
- No email hosting (Cloudways offers Rackspace for $1/email per month).
- Sometimes, new customers must show ID to get their account approved.
- Offsite backup storage is $0.033/GB per server (use UpDraftPlus instead).
- Support used to not be great, but has definitely improved the last couple years.
- Beginner-friendly dashboard + cPanel.
- LiteSpeed Cache + QUIC.cloud CDN are free/fast.
- Basic features like backups/email hosting are free.
- Excellent support with options for phone/chat/ticket.
- Cheap pricing with no extra costs for cache plugin/CDN.
- Green-friendly (they briefly mentioned this in their blog).
- Data centers are mainly US only.
- 1-3 year contract with higher renewals.
- Shared hosting can’t handle WooCommerce.
2. Server – What Servers Do They Use?
Cloudways offers cloud hosting from 5 providers: DigitalOcean (and DO Premium), Vultr (and Vultr HF), Google Cloud, AWS, and Linode. Once signed up, you will choose a server from one of these hosts, select your server size/location, launch your server, then connect it to WordPress. They use Apache servers which is a main con of Cloudways (I hope they’ll add LiteSpeed soon).
NameHero uses LiteSpeed servers which are faster than Apache. LiteSpeed server + LiteSpeed Cache + QUIC.cloud CDN were all built to work together to deliver fast, reliable speeds. On Cloudways, you would rely on third-party services like WP Rocket, and Cloudflare/BunnyCDN.
Which one’s faster?
Speed tests are always biased depending on the hosting plan, server size, data center location, etc. I’ll argue Cloudways is faster with their built-in caching turned on (which it is by default). But NameHero is also very fast once you configure LiteSpeed Cache + QUIC.cloud – which isn’t really part of their hosting, but is a huge bonus for speed. Normally I would have an opinion but in this case, I recommend signing up for both, testing results, and sticking with the one you like more (then cancelling the other one). Since Cloudways offers monthly pricing and NameHero offers a 30-day money back guarantee, the only real risk of trying out both is a little extra time.
I’m not comparing apples to apples here, but wanted to at least give you an idea of each host’s potential speed. My website is hosted on Cloudways Vultr HF and runs over 20+ plugins, while the GTmetrix Test with NameHero uses an Astra Starter Site.
3. Cache Plugin – Cloudways Breeze vs. LiteSpeed Cache
NameHero wins in this category.
On NameHero, you’d be using LiteSpeed Cache which is arguably faster than WP Rocket (due to it’s server-level caching) and is 100% free. Cloudways has their Breeze plugin, but it’s lacking many features and you’re better off using WP Rocket instead – which means an additional cost.
So it really comes down to LiteSpeed Cache vs. WP Rocket, and I would argue LiteSpeed Cache wins. The only reason it’s not as popular as WP Rocket (yet) is because you can only use it on LiteSpeed servers. But it’s even more robust than WP Rocket which means more optimizations, but also more complicated. I have guides for both the LiteSpeed Cache and WP Rocket settings.
4. CDN – StackPath vs. QUIC.cloud
NameHero also wins in this category.
On NameHero, you would use QUIC.cloud CDN which is built specifically to work with LiteSpeed and is free. It’s a newer CDN but has over 70 PoPs and is supposed to be very fast between its DNS, HTTP/3, and other optimizations. To setup QUIC.cloud, use the LiteSpeed Cache plugin to request a domain key, enable QUIC.cloud in the CDN settings, and login to the QUIC.cloud dashboard to set it up and tweak settings. NameHero has a great tutorial on this:
CloudwaysCDN uses StackPath which isn’t a great choice for your CDN. StackPath isn’t very fast and had had issues which have been reported on cdnperf.com. You’re better off using BunnyCDN (same CDN I and Adam from WPCrafter use), but that means another extra cost even though it’s relatively cheap. In a nutshell, I recommend using Cloudflare for your DNS (by changing nameservers) and using BunnyCDN for your CDN (see setup instructions) by creating a pull zone, grabbing your CDN URL, and pasting it in both WP Rocket and BunnyCDN’s plugin. That way, you’re using Cloudflare for your DNS (view DNS speed comparisons) and BunnyCDN.
5. Redis + Memcached – Available On Both Hosts
Redis is available on both hosts.
Cloudways partnered with Object Cache Pro. Activate the Redis addon under “Settings & Packages” in the dashboard and the plugin will install automatically. They have other caching levels (memcached, Apache, MySQL, NGINX, PHP FPM, and Varnish) under “Manage Services.”
NameHero also has options for Redis + Memcached. You would install the LiteSpeed Cache plugin, then in the settings, go to Cache → Object → Enable Memcached or Redis. To pass the connection test, activate the Redis or Memcached extension in your cPanel (see instructions).
6. Data Centers – NameHero Only Has A Few
NameHero only has 4 data center locations (3 in the US, 1 in the Netherlands). Cloudways has 37 data centers throughout the world because their choice of 5 cloud hosts all have different data centers. Choosing a closer data center to your visitors means a faster TTFB, so NameHero should mainly be used for websites in the US or Netherlands while Cloudways can be anywhere.
However, NameHero has been building state of the art data centers with fast technology (it’s been anticipated to use Nexcess’ AMD EPYC Zen 3 servers) which also accounts for something.
Cloudways Data Centers:
NameHero Data Centers:
7. Support – NameHero’s Is Slightly Better
Support is something you have to experience first-hand, so I suggest reaching out to them.
Cloudways support used to not be great, but they’ve expanded their team and it has gotten better. I’ve used their support several times and they’ve always been able to solve my issue. Some people complain their support is too technical, but it depends on your issue. Usually, quality of support is reflected in a host’s TrustPilot rating (Cloudways has a 4.7/5 star rating).
NameHero’s support is US-based and is excellent. Since their dashboard is more beginner-friendly than the Cloudways custom dashboard, it’s usually easier to fix issues. NameHero keeps records of all support feedback and posts it publicly on their website with a 4.7/5 star TrustPilot rating. They have a phone number while Cloudways only does live chat and tickets.
8. Dashboard – Cloudways Custom Dashboard vs. NameHero cPanel
NameHero wins here.
NameHero’s main dashboard and cPanel are beginner-friendly while Cloudways uses a custom dashboard which can be intimidating. The Cloudways dashboard has two main tabs: Servers (where you manage server settings) and Applications (where you manage your WordPress application). It’s really not too difficult, but does take getting used to if you’ve only used cPanel.
9. WooCommerce – Make Sure Your Server Is Powerful Enough
If you have a WooCommerce site, you should either be using NameHero’s managed cloud hosting or a decent server size on Cloudways (at least 2GB). WooCommerce should never be used on shared hosting (it demands too many resources) including NameHero’s shared hosting.
10. Pricing – Cloudways Is Monthly, NameHero Is Yearly
Cloudways wins because it’s monthly pricing with no yearly contracts.
NameHero makes you sign up for 1-3 years for their discounted price, then once your contract renews, it jumps to a higher price. This is standard in the shared hosting industry. Cloudways gives you more flexibility which makes them easier to try without commitment. Although, NameHero is good about their 30-day money back guarantee and will cancel the plan if you’re not happy. A con to Cloudways is they charge $0.033 per GB for off-site backups (an easy way around this is to use the free UpdraftPlus plugin). You should also take into account that you’ll need to pay for WP Rocket and a paid CDN (BunnyCDN) to get the best results on Cloudways.
11. Migrations – Both Will Migrate Your Site For Free
Cloudways offers 1 free migration then $25/site. To request it, login to your Cloudways dashboard and go to Addons > Application Migration. NameHero offers a free migration too.
12. Facebook Feedback – Polls, Threads, And Migration Results
Cloudways is more popular than NameHero.
I blurred names to keep privacy, but I like to show unbiased feedback when comparing hosts since everyone’s an affiliate with a biased opinion. Read the feedback – you can decide yourself.
They were rated #1 in numerous polls taken in Facebook Groups like WordPress Hosting and WP Speed Matters. There are countless polls, threads, and migrations results of people who moved to Cloudways and posted results. NameHero is promoted by a few major affiliates (Darrel/Ferdy) but there’s not much feedback in FB groups. Cloudways offers higher affiliate commissions which may be why they’re seen more. But their feedback is generally quite good.
If you’re coming from SiteGround, Hostinger, or another host who has a slow TTFB, you should see a nice improvement in performance whether you move to either Cloudways or NameHero.
I moved from SiteGround to Cloudways in 2019 and here’s what happened:
13. Discount – Coupon Codes To Save You Money
There are coupons for both Cloudways and NameHero.
When signing up for Cloudways, use the code OMM25 to get 25% off your first 2 months.
When signing up for NameHero, a promo code will be automatically applied to your price.
Conclusion: Cloudways and NameHero are honestly both solid choices, but feel free to leave me a comment if you have questions. Remember to see my guide on WP Rocket (if using Cloudways) and LiteSpeed Cache (if using NameHero) as well as my WordPress speed guide.
Keep reading the article at Tom Dupuis. The article was originally written by Tom Dupuis on 2021-12-01 19:16:15.
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