Million Miles Technologies

Cloudways Autonomous: Scalable WordPress Hosting


All businesses want these days is a solid online presence. That’s why they work hard on advertising, email marketing, content creation, SEO, and social media to attract more visitors to their websites and online stores. But sometimes, their web hosting struggles to keep up when things start picking up. This can lead to lost revenue and unhappy customers.

But today, we will review a web hosting solution that manages both the infrastructure and the traffic a website receives in a completely hands-off manner, letting businesses solely focus on business!

Autonomous, Cloudways’ new managed WordPress hosting solution is one of a kind – making the power of cutting-edge technology like Kubernetes accessible to SMBs like never before. 

Our focus in this article is to provide a detailed discussion on what Cloudways Autonomous brings to the table and how it could potentially be a valuable tool for your business’s online presence and growth.

This is a sponsored article by DigitalOcean. Learn more about DigitalOcean and Cloudways.

Revolutionizing Managed WordPress Hosting with Built-in Auto Scaling

Identifying the significant gap in the managed hosting industry, particularly for robust yet easy solutions to handle high or fluctuating traffic, Cloudways engineered Autonomous.

Built on top of Kubernetes (GKE) with GCP’s C2 machines and integrated enterprise CDN and database caching, Autonomous provides built-in autoscaling, security, and optimized performance. 

Users simply deploy their applications on an infinitely scalable infrastructure in one click and forget about their infrastructure and traffic worries forever.

It provides a truly managed hosting experience that removes the burden of choosing, setting up, and managing cloud servers. Everything is automated, from server management to performance optimization, allowing businesses to concentrate on growth without worrying about their online infrastructure.

A Refresher on Autoscaling

Autoscaling is like having a restaurant that adjusts its staff and resources based on how busy it is. For example, think of a bustling restaurant that usually has a steady flow of customers. Now, suppose the restaurant unexpectedly welcomes a large group of people. 

In an ideal scenario, the restaurant would magically expand, adding more tables and chairs to accommodate everyone comfortably. If this doesn’t happen, customers may face longer wait times and decreased service quality.

This scenario is similar to your website experiencing an unexpected surge in visitors online. Increased traffic can lead to slower load times and a subpar user experience without the right resources.

Cloudways Autonomous uses Kubernetes for WordPress autoscaling, distributing your site across multiple pods. These pods scale horizontally in response to traffic changes, seamlessly adding or reducing resources (CPU & RAM) as needed. And this phenomenon ensures optimal performance, akin to a restaurant effortlessly expanding its capacity to accommodate more customers.

Why Choose Cloudways Autonomous for Managed WordPress & Autoscaling

The buzzword ‘autoscaling’ is often misinterpreted in the web hosting industry. Many hosting services claim to offer autoscaling, but in reality, they merely increase the number of PHP workers. This approach is akin to squeezing more staff into an already crowded kitchen – it offers a temporary fix but doesn’t truly expand the kitchen’s capacity.

The Challenge of DIY Kubernetes

The problem with DIY autoscaling usually comes up for small to medium-sized businesses. Now, it’s because managing a Kubernetes cluster on your own is complex, costly, and requires a lot of technical know-how and ongoing maintenance. 

And all of this can be quite overwhelming for many as they ideally want a solution that is affordable and requires minimal human intervention.

Complexities of Direct IaaS Providers

Hosting directly on Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) providers might seem appealing for autoscaling. However, this often involves navigating complex pricing structures, with costs varying based on resource usage, posing a challenge for budget management.

Cloudways Autonomous + Kubernetes = True Autoscaling

Cloudways Autonomous revolutionizes this concept by harnessing the power of Kubernetes, a cutting-edge open-source system for automating, scaling, and managing applications. 

With Autonomous, your website isn’t limited to just one server; it’s spread across many pods. These pods can change in size based on how many people visit your site. They can grow or shrink easily when needed, ensuring resources are used well. With Cloudways Autonomous, your app always gets the right amount of resources, giving users a smooth experience they can count on.

  • Auto Scaling: When traffic spikes, Kubernetes dynamically allocates more CPU and RAM, ensuring each request is handled efficiently, much like upgrading a computer’s processor and memory in real-time.
  • Storage Scalability: Autonomous also ensures that storage capabilities grow with other resources, which is crucial for data-heavy websites where increased traffic means more data processing and storage.
  • Load Balancing: Kubernetes goes beyond resource addition; it smartly distributes traffic across servers to prevent bottlenecks. This load balancing optimizes resource utilization, ensuring consistent website performance.

Cloudways Autonomous revolutionizes web hosting with its advanced, Kubernetes-driven infrastructure, offering a seamless, one-click solution for businesses. It adeptly scales every server aspect to efficiently meet web traffic demands while maintaining a balanced performance. 

This approach not only simplifies technical complexities but also ensures fast, reliable, and responsive WordPress sites, catering to the dynamic needs of online businesses without the burden of scalability and reliability concerns.

Breaking Down Autonomous’ Features

Now, let’s delve into the technology behind Autonomous. When a website is hosted on Autonomous, all incoming traffic is securely managed through the integration of Cloudflare Enterprise. This includes enterprise-grade Web Application Firewall (WAF) and unlimited Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) mitigation across layers 3, 4, and 7.

Secure traffic is then distributed among pods (servers) using load balancers, which adjust dynamically based on traffic demand. The read replicas of the database, which handle the highest load, scale both vertically and horizontally. Redis, enhanced with integrated Object Cache Pro, boosts data retrieval speeds by caching frequently accessed data in memory, eliminating the need to fetch data from the primary database every time, resulting in faster response times.

Figure showing the technologies behind Cloudways

Autoscaling and High Availability

Let’s talk about how Autonomous makes autoscaling and high availability possible.

In WordPress hosting, high availability means your website can keep running without any interruptions, even if there are hardware or software issues. With Autonomous, this is achieved through Kubernetes’ redundant servers, load balancing, and failover mechanisms.

Unlimited PHP Workers

One standout feature of Cloudways Autonomous is its offering of unlimited PHP workers. Unlimited PHP workers are crucial for dynamic websites and high-traffic WordPress sites as they enable the simultaneous processing of more requests, resulting in reduced wait times and better overall site performance, particularly during traffic spikes.

Unlike conventional hosting providers that impose limitations on PHP workers, potentially causing bottlenecks during traffic surges, Autonomous ensures your site remains swift and responsive at all times.

Integrated CDN, Edge Caching, and Security

At the heart of Cloudways Autonomous lies a powerful trio: an integrated CDN, edge caching, and top-tier security, all powered by Cloudflare Enterprise.  Autonomous uses all these advanced security features, such as unmetered DDoS mitigation across layers 3, 4, and 7, and an Enterprise-grade Web Application Firewall (WAF).

Thanks to this powerful combo, your WordPress site loads faster, no matter where your visitors are, and also enjoys strong protection against DDoS attacks and other online threats. It’s like having an invisible shield guarding your site’s data, reputation, and revenue around the clock.

Redis Object Cache

For those running WooCommerce sites, Cloudways Autonomous brings in the magic of Redis Object Cache Pro, which is provided at no extra cost. 

Normally priced at $90, this plugin is included with Autonomous, enhancing your customers’ browsing experience by ensuring smooth and rapid page loading, even during unexpected surges in traffic. It’s particularly crucial for keeping your checkout process seamless, helping to reduce cart abandonment and keep your sales figures healthy.

Modern User Interface

Cloudways Autonomous doesn’t just work wonders under the hood; it also boasts a sleek, intuitive user interface. Its modern UI simplifies creating, monitoring, and managing your WordPress and WooCommerce applications, improving your web management experience.

24/7 Support

Should you need any support, Cloudways’ expert team is available 24/7, ready to assist you via live chat and tickets. Whether it’s a small query or a complex issue, they are always available to ensure your hosting journey with Cloudways Autonomous is smooth and worry-free.

Cloudways Autonomous Benchmarked Against Other Scalable Hosting Solutions

Cloudways Autonomous stands as a testament to innovation and excellence in managed WordPress hosting. Through meticulous benchmarking and testing, we shed light on the unparalleled performance benefits it brings to the table.

Performance Benchmarking: Koddr.io’s Verdict

Experts at Koddr.io conducted extensive benchmarking, pitting Cloudways Autonomous against industry peers like Kinsta and WP Engine. The results underscore Autonomous’s dominance, particularly in critical metrics such as add-to-cart actions and checkouts per second.

Methodology and Testing Approach

Koddr.io meticulously crafted test scenarios using the K6 load testing framework, ensuring a comprehensive evaluation of performance under varying loads. Despite server configurations being dictated by providers, testing environments were standardized for fairness.

Results and Insights

Cloudways Autonomous emerged as the clear winner, displaying superior performance metrics across all concurrency levels. Conversely, competitors encountered scalability issues and performance bottlenecks, especially under higher loads.

Error Analysis and Conclusion

While errors were encountered during testing, all platforms demonstrated resilience and swift recovery. Cloudways Autonomous, however, showcased unparalleled efficiency, making it the ideal choice for businesses seeking robust and scalable hosting solutions for WordPress e-commerce sites.

In summary, Cloudways Autonomous sets a new standard for excellence in managed WordPress hosting, backed by rigorous benchmarking and testing, cementing its position as the industry leader.

Key Performance Metrics:

Add-to-cart actions per second:

Chart of add to cart actions per second, with the data shown in the bullets below
  • Cloudways Autonomous: 6.54 (at 100 concurrent users), 12.35 (at 1000 concurrent users)
  • Kinsta: 1.07 (at 100 concurrent users), N/A (at 1000 concurrent users) 
  • WP Engine 1.49 (at 100 concurrent users), N/A (at 1000 concurrent users)

Checkouts per second:

Chart of checkout actions per second, with the data shown in the bullets below
  • Cloudways Autonomous: 6.54 (at 100 concurrent users), 8.60 (at 1000 concurrent users)
  • Kinsta: 1.04 (at 100 concurrent users), N/A (at 1000 concurrent users) 
  • WP Engine 0.39 (at 100 concurrent users), N/A (at 1000 concurrent users)

Average Response Times:

Chart of response time, with the data shown in the bullets below
  • Cloudways Autonomous: 2.7s (at 200 concurrent users), 9.96s (at 1000 concurrent users)
  • Kinsta: 23s (at 200 concurrent users), 60s (at 1000 concurrent users) 

Requests Per Second (RPS):

Chart of requests per second, with the data shown in the bullets below
  • Cloudways Autonomous: 47.89 (at 200 concurrent users), 77.98 (at 1000 concurrent users)
  • Kinsta: 7.23 (at 200 concurrent users), 5.8 (at 1000 concurrent users) 

Error Rates:

Chart of error rates, with the data shown in the bullets below
  • Cloudways Autonomous: Minimal error rate (0.10% at 200 concurrent users), 4.5% (at 1000 concurrent users)
  • Kinsta: 0% (at 200 concurrent users), Over 50% (at 1000 concurrent users)
  • WP Engine: Over 70% (at 200 concurrent users), ~100% (at 1000 concurrent users)

Cloudways Autonomous – Security Features

Cloudways Autonomous is dedicated to ensuring your website not only performs excellently but also remains secure. Here’s a closer look at their efforts to keep your online presence safe:

1. Advanced Firewall Protection:

Autonomous uses a powerful web application firewall by Cloudflare Enterprise to block suspicious activity and protect your website from common threats.

2. SSL Encryption:

All websites hosted on Cloudways Autonomous come with free SSL certificates. Now, this helps ensure that the data exchanged between your site and visitors remains private and secure, boosting security and building trust, ultimately leading to improved search engine rankings.

3. Two-Factor Authentication (2FA):

Cloudways offers the option to enable two-factor authentication for added account security. By requiring a second form of verification, such as a unique code sent to your mobile device, 2FA adds an extra layer of defense against unauthorized access to your Cloudways account.

4. Server-level Security Hardening:

Cloudways implements stringent server-level security measures, including regular software updates, OS patches, and security audits, to mitigate potential vulnerabilities and ensure the integrity of your hosting environment.

Cloudways Autonomous – Pricing & Plans

Cloudways Autonomous offers a range of pricing plans tailored to suit the diverse needs of businesses and individuals alike. Whether you’re just starting out or managing a high-traffic enterprise website, there’s a plan designed to accommodate your requirements without breaking the bank. Here’s a breakdown of our pricing tiers:

  1. Plan 1 – $35/month
  • Includes 1 WordPress application  
  • 15GB Disk Space  
  • Up to 30K Unique Visits  
  • 100 GB Bandwidth  
  1. Plan 2 – $90/month
  • Includes 3 WordPress applications  
  • 25GB Disk Space  
  • Up to 70K Unique Visits  
  • 200 GB Bandwidth  
  1. Plan 3 – $145/month
  • Includes 6 WordPress applications  
  • 40GB Disk Space  
  • Up to 125K Unique Visits  
  • 300 GB Bandwidth  
  1. Plan 4 – $240/month
  • Includes 10 WordPress applications  
  • 60GB Disk Space  
  • Up to 200K Unique Visits  
  • 400 GB Bandwidth  
  1. Plan 5 – $555/month
  • Includes 30 WordPress applications  
  • 90GB Disk Space  
  • Up to 500K Unique Visits  
  • 900 GB Bandwidth  
  1. Plan 6 – $955/month
  • Includes 50 WordPress applications  
  • 120GB Disk Space  
  • Up to 1000K Unique Visits  
  • 1200 GB Bandwidth  
  1. Plan 7 – $1640/month
  • Includes 90 WordPress applications  
  • 200GB Disk Space  
  • Up to 1500K Unique Visits  
  • 3000 GB Bandwidth  

Additional Usage Info

  • Bandwidth: $1 for every additional 10 GB  
  • Unique Visits: $1 for every additional 1000 visits  
  • Disk Space: $2 for every additional 1 GB  

Autonomous ensures that you only pay for what you need, with the flexibility to scale as your website grows.The defined overages make the plans more scalable, meaning that your website keeps scaling even if you exhaust your plan’s limit. Close to exhausting your plan’s limit, you receive alerts from Autonomous and you only get charged for the extra resources consumed. 

So, choose the plan that best fits your requirements and take the first step toward unlocking your website’s full potential.

Final Thoughts

Cloudways Autonomous emerges as a game-changer in the realm of the best WordPress hosting providers, offering unparalleled scalability, reliability, and performance. By addressing the shortcomings of traditional hosting infrastructures and leveraging advanced technologies like Kubernetes, Cloudways Autonomous sets a new standard for excellence in web hosting.

Plus, Cloudways Autonomous’s transparent pricing model offers flexibility and affordability, with a range of pricing plans designed to accommodate businesses of all sizes. So get started with Autonomous today and leave all your hosting worries to rest forever.

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