My very first review of the CloudPages.cloud managed control panel service.
- What do I think of them at first glance?
- What makes them same or different from existing managed panels? (RunCloud, Cloudways, GridPane)
- How are their prices?
And of course…the mother of all curiosity, I’ll tell you whether you try them.
What is CloudPages?
Just another cloud-based managed hosting control panel?
More or less…YES. It’s quite similar to RunCloud, Cloudways, GridPane. It does similar things, at a similar price, and competes for the exact same user market.
Their service allows you to use their software to fire up servers, then manage WordPress sites off those services. All the typical website and webhosting management functions are just a click away!
- Create, delete, resize servers.
- Create, delete, manage WordPress sites.
- Manage databases.
- FTP access.
- SSL certificates.
- Blah blah blah…they all more or less do the same things and have the same features.
Thoughts on CloudPages at first glance…
I know the team behind CloudPages.
The team behind CloudPages were closely related to CyberPanel. So I know it’s not their first time building a cloud panel. This is massively huge because there’s so much experience and bugs you don’t have to deal with.
Frontend site looks like Cloudways
Similar logo. Similar website design (look at hero layout with graphical wireframe illustration). Similar wide-font. Lots of similar things.
Backend area looks like RunCloud
Similar UI layout RunCloud but spacing more like Digital Ocean (kinda big and child-like). So if you like RunCloud and Digital Ocean, then you’ll love CloudPanel UI.
Performance is good
On par with other top-speed cloud panels. If you’re coming from crappy shared hosting, you’ll think CloudPages is a warp-speed spaceship! If you’re coming from say, RunCloud, you’ll think CloudPages is right on par.
Very similar feature-set to other managed cloud panels.
Features are more or less the same. Prices are more or less the same as other managed cloud panels out there.
But of course…there ARE things that set CloudPages aside from the rest…so let’s talk about that next. (No more wasting time listing features everybody has!)
CloudPages (differences) vs other managed panels
1. LiteSpeed server
CloudPages offers LiteSpeed server! My favorite freaken web-server. High performance and compatible with LiteSpeed Cache plugin. Which is my favorite cache plugin for WordPress….ANNNNNDDD IT’S FREEEEEE!
Why is this special? Because many managed panels out there (98%) don’t offer LiteSpeed yet. Only like 3 of them do. The rest offer only NGINX or Apache-NGINX hybrid stack. Which I don’t like anywhere near as much as I like LiteSpeed.
2. Panel backend speed
This is something I really wasn’t expecting and so delighted to see. The Cloudpages backend is razor fast. Clicking around on anything loads immediately. This is way more fun than the mega-slow Cloudways backend, where any click feels like it takes 5 seconds to load (sometimes even more). If ya know, ya know…hahahah.
This load time really makes things fun to do. And you have fun managing many sites instead of feeling like every task is a chore.
3. Comprehensive but clean UI design
The UI is really nicely organized. You understand where servers, billing, and teams are. Server section has only server-related stuff. Site section has only site-related stuff. It sounds so simple but many panels out there miss the basic things.
Of course, all this isn’t so hard to accomplish when these guys are clearly using their competitors for inspiration. If you’re gonna copy, copy my favorites. And they copied RunCloud’s interface a lot. Just FYI (RunCloud was my favorite of managed cloud panels in my recent comparisons).
The hardest part about UI design is that it looks and feels simple, yet has everything you need. CloudPages does this well. Pros and newbies can find their areas easily. You don’t have pros being annoyed by newbie stuff taking over the screen. Or newbies being overwhelmed by pro settings they don’t understand.
4. WordPress manager (feature)
This feature is an absolute beast! It is absolute magic. And for those who don’t know…this feature is an inspired lighter copy of the WordPress Toolkit feature…which IMO is the only thing keeping the old-school cPanel/Plesk relevant in this modern era of WordPress hosting panels.
The WordPress Toolkit (from cPanel) feature is one of those features that you have to use yourself to appreciate what it can do. My text descriptions are not gonna paint the picture well enough for you.
- Quite simply, it can manage sites right from the hosting panel. Making all tasks faster, easier, and more fun.
- You can install, delete, activate, disable plugins.
- Install, delete, activate, disable themes.
- Manage WordPress core/theme/plugin updates.
- Security, database, and a billion other functions.
- And you’re able to do all this right from your hosting control panel. So you don’t need to log into each site. You also don’t need to have ManageWP services. You can manage all hosting and websites right from your hosting panel! (It’s magical!)
(Hahaha, omg…now I just realized I need to finish my raving WordPress Toolkit review. It was 85% finished and I wrote thousands of words but never released.)
However…the CloudPages version is not assss full-featured but I suspect they have it in mind.
5. File Manager (feature)
It’s so simple but I make a big deal out of this because I care.
- When you’re a noob, you love File Manager because it’s so much more convenient than logging into FTP.
- When you’re a pro (and managing hundreds of sites across different servers), it’s still so much more convenient than logging into FTP.
Plain and simple, CloudPages got it and most other control panels (98% of them) do not!
CloudPages areas of opportunity
NOTE: These are not all critiques. They are simply my ideas on how to improve an already-nice product. And keep in mind they may have already been fixed or updated by the time you read this!
1. Clearer distinction of PROJECTS vs SERVERS vs SITES.
This was slightly confusing for me to understand when navigating through the panel backend. With most other services, you have a very clear distinction between SERVER vs SITE management. But with CloudPages, I assume they got the “projects” idea from Digital Ocean.
I’m not a fan of it because it’s not clear how I would use this in my organization. Are “projects” supposed to be used to group/separate servers, or for sites? And then there’s the constant click-confusion where I’m not sure if the screen I’m in is related to projects, or servers, or sites.
2. Build out WordPress Manager features to be as good as WordPress Toolkit (by cPanel)
Oh man, if they actually manage to do this, that would be so freaken amazing! Nothing else to be said here.
3. REMOVE choosing “Public Path” during app creation.
This part was no big deal, didn’t hurt me in any way. But it was slightly confusing for me and I imagine even more confusing for non-savvy users. The confusion is that it makes you wonder if there’s a correct answer or not. As people are afraid to put in the wrong thing.
This should be removed or at least automated to use the web application name. Or at the very least, put some placeholder text saying “arbitrary label, put anything you want”.
4. Git Manager page doesn’t show sidebar options
Click on Git Manager makes all other sidebar options disappear. Of course, if I click on Summary page they come right back. Just a minor thing but slightly jarring user experience. I’d prefer the sidebar options stay the whole time like they do for all other side bar options.
5. Finding phpMyAdmin is confusing.
I don’t even remember how I did it or found it. It was by accident after clicking around randomly. When I check the CloudPages documentation, I see a whole list of instructions for installing it manually. Ewwww…not sexy. That’s DEFINITELY gotta be improved upon. (If it’s gotta be installed, give us a 1-click option or something. And at least put a menu option for it so we know where to go to begin setting it up.)
6. Deleting the server from CloudPages doesn’t delete from the provider.
This should definitely be automated to make the experience as seamless as possible. It would also be tragic for users to be unknowingly paying for a server they thought they already deleted.
7. How do I delete a PROJECT?
I have no idea. Somebody tell me, please.
Should you try CloudPages?
(Soft) yes. I think so. Good features and fair pricing.
They’re a very new service that looks promising. The whole experience…features, UI, overall service look good. The pricing is very fair. HECK…SUPER FAIR. They still have lifetime plans right now. Last I checked, the unlimited everything forever plan is only like $600. That’s a huge mega deal when you consider GridPane is was selling for $3000?
Now is CloudPages as mature and proven like GridPane or RunCloud? Of course not. There are a few tiny bugs, and they don’t support all VPS providers (only Digital Ocean right now), but this will quickly change with time. (NOTE: I’ve been corrected and someone said they do support other providers but not automated through API. You have to do a few more manual steps.) And their starting position is way further along then where GridPane and RunCloud started.
There’s also the issue of support. How good is their support? I have no idea and almost never use those things. I’m also starting to think I’m a bad judge for this because many companies bend over backwards when they see “Johnny from WPJohnny” in the support queue. I don’t wait in line like everybody else. I’m the Kim Kardashian of WordPress club lines. LOL.
So if you’re ready to take the leap of faith. And contribute towards my cocaine addiction…there’s my affiliate link below…
Be crazy adventurous now and try a whole new cloud hosting panel when mature ones already exist!
- CloudPages.cloud affiliate link
- Btw, they have a free plan (1 server).
PS: just kidding about the cocaine joke. I don’t pay for my cocaine.
PPS: ok…just kidding about the whole cocaine thing. (WordPress is my drug. That’s plenty addicting already!)