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Cloudways Autonomous is the new high availability hosting for WordPress that was launched in 2024. With this plan, Cloudways is directly competing with WP Engine and Kinsta, which offer auto scalable hosting solutions at the same price.

Coming to the tech stacks, Cloudways Autonomous is powered by Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) which is deployed on the top of Google Cloud Platform. The plan is power packed with features like Cloudflare Enterprise CDN, Unlimited PHP workers and Object Cache Pro. Unlike Cloudways flexible hosting plans, this autonomous plan comes with an easy setup option.

As part of the Hostingstep testing methodology, we launched a test site on Cloudways Autonomous to measure the performance. I collected the speed, uptime and load testing data of the autonomous site and compared it to the regular Cloudways flexible site and other managed hosts like WP Engine.

Cloudways Autonomous Hosting Summary


Cloudways Autonomous is an excellent choice if you are looking for a high traffic wordpress hosting service. We sent 500 constant client loads, and it handled all the load without any errors and offered a 20 ms average response time (lower is faster).

The server didn’t struggle at any point during our test. The uptime is 100% all through the test time. Next, Autonomous scored an average TTFB of 348 ms, measured from 22 North American locations for every 1-minute interval (a total of 43800 tests a month). The TTFB performance is one of the best among other hosts we’ve tested so far. In total, Cloudways Autonomous offers the best performance in load handling, TTFB, and uptime.

Overall Rating:
4.5 / 5

Cloudways Autonomous Pros

  • Exception load handling performance.
  • Cloudflare Enterprise CDN and Object Cache Pro are included for free.
  • No additional charges for backups (Cloudways flexible plans have additional charges).
  • Easy to setup with minimal clicks.

Cloudways Autonomous Cons

  • Limited data center options.
  • Alternative options are available at similar price.

Starts at $35/month [get $30 off for 3 months here]

Pricing

The Cloudways Autonomous plan starts at $35/month. It comes with 1 WordPress application, 15 GB Disk space, 30k visitors, and 100 GB Bandwidth.

The pricing is on par with WP Engine and Kinsta, which have a similar number of disk space and bandwidth limits. Cloudways slightly offers a higher 30k visitors compared to 25k visits on the other two managed hosts.

Cloudways Autonomous – Performance

The Cloudways Autonomous performance is measured by the following tests: Load handling, Speed (TTFB), Uptime, and Core Web Vitals.

Load Handling:

The load handling performance is measured by sending 500 constant client loads for a minute to the site hosted on the Autonomous plan. The recorded average response time is 20ms with no timeout, 400/500, or network errors. The max response time is 490 ms, and the minimum response time is 9 ms.

This indicates that Cloudways Autonomous is a great high availability hosting for WordPress. It can handle high traffic on your WordPress site with ease.

Speed:

The Speed TTFB is measured with Pingdom from 22 North American locations for every 1-minute interval (a total of 43,800 tests a month). The average TTFB is 348 ms, which is better than Cloudways Flexible’s TTFB in the same month. We will see more on that incoming section.

MonthSpeed
March 2024348 ms
April322 ms

Uptime:

The uptime is measured from the same above locations. The March 2024 uptime is 100%.

MonthUptime
March 2024100%
April 100%

Core Web Vitals:

Core Web VitalsLCPTBTCLS
Site568 ms0 ms0.08

Features

Cloudflare Enterprise CDN:

The Cloudflare Enterprise CDN comes pre-installed with full page caching enabled by default. Cloudways also utilizes Cloudflare Enterprise for DDoS mitigation.

Object Cache Pro:

Object Cache Pro priced at $79/month, helps to optimize database queries. Cloudways includes this for free on all its plans.

Staging Environment:

The staging environment is easy to set up with a 1-click push and pull option. That means, whatever the changes you made in staging can be moved to the production site at 1-click and vice-versa from production to pull.

Backup and Restore:

Cloudways offers 14 days of backup and restore with an option to take manual backups when needed.

Unlike flexible plans, where backups are charged as an add-on, the autonomous plan comes with no such charges for backups.

Cloudways Autonomous vs Flexible

Cloudways Autonomous and Flexible are nearly identical, and they differ in Auto scalable solutions.

In March 2024, Autonomous recorded a 20 ms response time in load handling, 348 ms TTFB, and 100% uptime. Whereas Flexible had a 180 ms response time in load handling, 365 ms TTFB, and 100% uptime.

Cloudways Autonomous
Cloudways Flexible in the same month.
Cloudways Autonomous
Cloudways Flexible in the same month.

Apart from that, the settings on the Autonomous dashboard is very much simplified, barely it takes a click to explore important options like changing PHP, restoring backup, etc. In case of Cloudways flexible, exploring these options takes a lot of clicking.

Compared to the WP Engine

Cloudways Autonomous offers better performance than WP Engine. The Cloudflare setup with full page caching itself makes a big difference at Cloudways. This same setup (Cloudflare with Full page caching) was available as an add-on at WP Engine as “Global Edge Security”, priced at $30/month on top of hosting plan charges. 

WP Engine doesn’t allow Constant client load tests, so I’m comparing the speed and uptime reports alone.

HostingSpeedUptime
WP Engine454 ms100%
Cloudways Autonomous348 ms100%
Speed (lower is faster)

Concluding

Cloudways Autonomous is a potential alternative to WP Engine and Kinsta. The earlier Flexible plan lacked features like auto-scaling, manual CDN integration and many technical stuff needs to be managed properly.

Cloudways fixed all these issues and made this autonomous plan look like a plug and play thing. One can simply add a domain, choose data center and make the site live in seconds.

Cloudways Autonomous is definitely worth a try.

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