Editors note: This post got me banned from the largest (of 2 ) WordPress groups on LinkedIn
“Trying to control social is like herding cats” MitchR
On Feb 13, 2019, 2:14 PM CST I received the following email
Pere @ Cloudways <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Feb 13, 2019, 2:14 PM (5 days ago)
It has been three weeks now since you’ve upgraded your account and I would appreciate if you can tell me about your initial experience with Cloudways. This is to make sure that everything is going fine and you aren’t lost/stuck somewhere.
I welcome your constructive critique, and I am pretty sure your valuable feedback will help me improve Cloudways for you.
Just reply to this email and I’ll initiate a quick chat.
Who the heck is Pere Hospital and why should I care?
Google returned this result –
Ever the opportunist I wrote back:
Thank you for reaching out.
My day gig is blogging about pet birds – https://www.windycityparrot.
My wife and I also operate https://www.windycityparrot.
A site that defines “niche”.
I haven’t even begun to blog about that yet but I’ve saved all of my support email transcripts in preparation.
I’m currently on a dedicated server whose host’s single uplink was severed last Wednesday and did not come back live until Friday morning
To begin with, here’s what onboarding to Cloudways looked like to me
I am growing weary of siteground and Cloudflare, support has become adversarial.
I originally created a staging site on Cloudways to see if certain anomalies were being caused by Sitegrounds server.
After the 36 hour downtime, I decided I need to make my site more bulletproof.
First I took my cloudways site live with a spare domain parrotsupply.store
Your support was a little disjointed
Day one I sent a screenshot of my aname configuration after waiting 12 hours for propagation and they said all I needed was the hostname and server IP
I am not used to aname for renaming sites – I always changed nameservers.
Day 2 after 36 hours with no propagation support didn’t make it easy and was very confusing but I finally figured out that I had to add @ and www as anames and the site propagated in like two minutes.
In thinking about my problems with Siteground – I decided to use the cloudways site migration plug-in which by the way doesn’t work for a staging site but your support team never really understood that.
Last night I duplicated birdandparrot.info on siteground to parrotsupply.store on Cloudways
(at 67 I’m still a fast motorcycle guy who rides a 140 CI triumph) I started time trials.
With two virtually identical sites, I ran speed tests on GTMETRIX, Pingdom and Google Pagespeed insights.
Turns out that varnish and breeze blows Cloudflare and wprocket away – Siteground is still arguing with me on the subject.
So the new plan is to make parrotsupply.store on cloudways the site to become the future home of https://windycityparrot.com
Every two or three days I will migrate the entire site from Cloudways to Siteground.
This way should a tsunami in the Mediterranean wipe Malta off the map I can re-point sitegrounds nameservers to windycityparrot.com and live happily ever after.
how I ended up on siteground – https://www.superezsystems.
Today 2/18/2019 Said called me from Malta and we chatted for 30 minutes about everything from physical fitness to hosting and support from Pakistan.
I woke up this morning, hit the floor and did my first set (of four) 160 push-ups.
Stood up, stretched and said to myself “I’m going to migrate our dev site from SiteGround to a soon to be named host”.
The reasons I am divorcing Siteground are many and will be found on an upcoming blog post.
I spent the previous evening vetting hosts online and expected the morning to consist of phone calls, chats, and emails trying to pin down the “ideal” website host.
I’ve been using WordPress with our current site for about 2 1/2 years but I didn’t get our WordPress with Woocommerce e-commerce website up and running until last July (2018) which although its part of WordPress it has many unique characteristics.
Miniature new transmitters recently revealed that the 4-ounce Arctic Tern (113-gram) bird follows zigzagging routes between Greenland and Antarctica each year.
In the process, the arctic tern racks up about 44,000 frequent flier miles (71,000 kilometers)—edging out its archrival, the sooty shearwater, by roughly 4,000 miles (6,440 kilometers). read more
I created a set of questions for every potential host which I first researched using Google as well as using my own knowledge base.
- Are you Woocommerce centric?
- Is a Free SSL available?
- Do you offer 24/7 ticket, phone and/or chat support?
- Do you offer self-purge caching meaning I can purge the server cache anytime I need to?
- Is Softaculous available in cPanel for a self-install of WordPress or is WordPress preinstalled?
- What’s your CDN offering?
- Do you have Dedicated Servers?
- What PHP Version will I start with?
- Can you provide 768 MB uploads?
- What is the cost of an e-commerce website migration?
Some of my findings were as follows:
No ticket support available until the $203/mo plan
Uses Cloudflare railgun which blocks Elementor page builder
https://pressjitsu.com/ looked interesting, as well as
Has a great site but when I made the following query via email
“Are you Woocommerce centric?”
“WooCommerce is an option for hosting your domain for business purposes.
This option is mainly used by a larger business whose website is more business related to selling a large number of products.
The handling and business aspect of the domain is not managed or handled by us”.
Bring out the scissors.
They were recommended by Woocommerce and offered some good jabber about it
I started looking at pricing and although I want to end up on a dedicated server once pushing live, I don’t need to spend the big bucks while in development.
Initially, I did not understand the listing of server types at the top of the price list, (please click the “All Plans button” we will come back to that.
I knew from the cPanel in Siteground I needed at least 8GB to start.
I opened a chat window with Cloudways support.
Bilal Noqvl began the conversation.
I began to think that carrier pigeons would be more efficient at providing the information.
Not that I ever digress but I find it interesting that this company is located in Malta.
I had to use google maps finding out it’s a small island about 300 miles south of Italy.
Before I die I’ll find out why 2 million websites are hosted in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea.
Anyway, Bilal Noqvl did not do a very good job of explaining the onboarding process.
If you’ll note in the link that I posted about Cloudways pricing, (please click View All Plans” button” every tier ended with a button that said, “Start Free”).
When I tried to onboard on an 8 GB server for $80 a month I found I would need 50% of that placed in a “funding” account.
According to Bilal, this was to prevent spammers from accessing the higher tiered servers.
I didn’t want to spend any money until I saw the backend of Cloudways.
I closed the chat window, got a fresh cup of coffee, made some lunch and came up with a plan.
640 push-ups later the bulb came on.
I went back and took a hard look at the pricing then realized that you could select the server you wanted.
I knew Amazon AWS, we store our 60,000 image library AWS and complete website backups as well.
Fun Factoid: Netflix is hosted on AWS
Both were the priciest.
I selected Vultr because of its reasonable pricing and I could hop on a server in Chicago which is my location.
I set up a 4 GB Vultr server that met their “Free Trial” requirements.
Once the server configuration and necessary apps added. I created sFTP logins and all the other baloney so I figured I’m ready for migration.
I looked at their free migration which resolved to a page with a video of their migration plug-in which looked kind of cumbersome
I navigated to settings for a restore but wouldn’t you know it, Vaultpress couldn’t connect with Birdandparrot.info (the dev site).
Long story short while I was still doing some testing on the dev site (on Siteground) I had totally disabled Cloudflare which shut down the site (there are individual components like Rail gun and Rocket Loader that can be disabled).
Now I had to open up support chat with Siteground (in Romania) who after about 30 minutes, was able to find the proper “I just screwed up Cloudflare” settings and made the site live, once again.
Guess what, VaultPress still could not connect to the live site.
(I’ve always said Mr.Murphy was an optimist)
I installed the Cloudways migration plug-in and after about 20 minutes I got stuck because Cloudways didn’t want to recognize its own IP
Back to Cloudways support chat
Name: Mitch Rezman
Choose a department: Tech Support
Type of customer? Existing customer
Bilal Naqvi Wed, 01/23/19 05:07:09 pm America/Chicago
him: Hello! Welcome to Cloudways! Please let us know how may I help you today?
him: Hi there
Mitch Rezman 05:08:49 pm
me: I’m stuck on this migration step.
I need the right sFTP Host/Server Address – what am I missing? -> https://www.screencast.com/t/gO9mQaZNif
Bilal Naqvi 05:09:40 pm
him: May which application are you using to connect via SFTP?
For information on how to use SFTP to upload/download files from your server, please check
SFTP is a secure version of FTP.
Mitch Rezman 05:10:16 pm
me: I’m using the Cloudways migration plugin – blogvault
Bilal Naqvi 05:12:35 pm
him: Oh I see.
Mitch Rezman 05:13:09 pm
me: Filezilla is connected, blogvault is not – is there another sFTP Host/Server Address I need to know about?
Bilal Naqvi 05:14:00 pm
him: sTFP credentials are same as the master credentials the port that you will use is 22
Mitch Rezman 05:15:14 pm
me: blogvault is not asking for a port it’s telling me my server address is incorrect
Bilal Naqvi 05:15:52 pm
Allow me to check it again for you.
The server IP you are using as an address is correct.
May I know the website CMS which you are migrating
Mitch Rezman 05:28:21 pm
me: WordPress using the cloudways migration plugin
(at this point I grabbed a fork and held it close to my eye)
Bilal Naqvi 05:28:55 pm
May I know if you are following our guide for it?
Mitch Rezman 05:29:49 pm
step by step and now I’m stuck, why won’t the Cloudway’s plugin see the information as correct?
Bilal Naqvi 05:31:29 pm
him: I am checking it again for you
Mitch Rezman 05:43:39 pm
me: Unable to access the wpconfig file.
Please check if WordPress is installed on the destination address.
Also, check if I have permission to access the folder.
Bilal Naqvi 05:43:53 pm
Mitch, can you please reset your permission from your console
If you’re having issues with permissions on your web application, you can use our “Reset Permission” option. Please refer to the following link for details:
This will apply our default permissions to all your files in an application and change ownership of all these files to that of your master user.
Further, you can also request for manage migration where we can do it for you
First managed migration for each account is free.
If you want us to do additional migrations for you, then there is a per migration fee depending on the application. You can check it out here:
(scroll to the bottom for prices).
Mitch Rezman 05:46:37 pm
me: I just need one migration – how do we go about that?
I see the Application
Bilal Naqvi 05:48:00 pm
Permission reset is in the application setting bar on the left.
I would recommend you manage migration for hassle-free migration.
Mitch Rezman 05:50:46 pm
Bilal Naqvi 05:52:20 pm
This is basically the migration plugin.
I will recommend you to use our manage migration, you can request it from your addon section.
Mitch Rezman 05:53:02 pm
not the page
Bilal Naqvi 05:53:52 pm
Let me share it again
May I know if you got it?
Mitch Rezman 05:57:22 pm
me: OK, I applied – it says it is free but will cost $25 much like your hosting prices what’s up with that?
Bilal Naqvi 05:58:12 pm
him: Basically, we will check it from our end, if you haven’t availed it before it will be free for you.
Mitch Rezman 05:58:36 pm
me: so I’m waiting for an email?
Bilal Naqvi 05:58:54 pm
him: Yes exactly. We will email you
Mitch Rezman 05:59:03 pm
me: ok thank you
Duration: 51m 54s
Chat started on https://platform.cloudways.com/server
Written by Mitch Rezman
zygodactyl footnote: 6 weeks later Cloudways went down for 3 days, we had not migrated windycityparrot.com over yet.
A fishing trawler cut their single uplink.
We have abandoned cloudways.
New first questions to potential hosts, “how many uplinks do you have”?