Hello. First off, thanks to Craig for his videos, they have been a Godsend
Backstory: We have a M1 CE website hosted by Siteground, last week I installed and have configured a Magento 2.3.2 open source site that is currently being hosted alongside our existing one. Our current site gets approx. 5000-6000 visits per month on average. We are currently paying nearly 400 GBP per year for them to host our site on their highest shared server package.
I have run in to an issue with them today. I have been investigating the whole MySQL Search deprecation thing today, and unfortunately Siteground do not support Elasticsearch on their shared servers, only their dedicated servers, and their prices for that start at £195 p/m, far beyond what we are able to pay as a small business. I am after recommendation of a replacement that offer a similar feature set and level of support, which has been A1, hopefully around the same cost as what we are currently paying.
Thanks in advance
Hello @rocketman and welcome.
Kudos for doing your due diligence and learning about the MySQL search deprecation. I recently pencilled together some instructions on how to install Elasticsearch for a video. However, the Oracle Java License had a huge update and now “technically” you can’t use their JDK without paying for it - Which is a requirement of Elasticsearch, so the video never happened. Anyway, I digress…
5000-6000 monthly visits probably doesn’t warrant going with a Managed Dedicated Server, so I won’t talk about that any further. So, the thing is with Managed Shared Servers is that they’re incredibly cheap and easy for Web Hosts to run and maintain because they have a “cookie cutter” model. They all have these “glass ceilings” in place where their customers can’t modify a whole bunch because it makes it super-easy for their engineers to maintain.
If you’re running a Wordpress site or something similar it really doesn’t matter. But when you work with more complex CMS applications like Magento, you quickly find yourself running into hurdles. Therefore, Managed Shared Servers are generally very cheap.
Then you have your Managed/Unmanaged Cloud Servers (kind of the middle ground between Managed Shared and Managed Dedicated Servers). These are typically what I try to push most people towards as the setups allow for much more flexibility but don’t come with as much “A1 support” (at budget price levels) because each server is bespoke and comes with their own unique challenges.
Having said that (and I can already hear myself sounding like a cheap shill), I recently did a review on Cloudways. Essentially, you’ll probably find a similar experience as you’ve had with Siteground but with a little more flexibility of what you need at only a slightly higher price. My review video will give you a better idea of what I experienced: Cloudways Review: 30 days undercover as a customer (Magento 2 Managed Hosting).
I don’t think you’ll find anything else comparable in both price and service to Siteground that gives you the flexibility and support you’re after without spending much more than you do now.
Hopefully, this response helps shed some sort of light. I’ll be glad to go into more detail if you have any specific questions.
Anyway, its late - Have a good weekend.
Thanks for your reply. Prior to your message, I had been looking at alternative site hosting options meeting my requirements and I had looked at Cloudways, so your recommendation swayed me to go with them. I have requested a migration of our new site from Siteground to them, and I will reply back with an update when it’s happened.
No problem. Be sure to give us an update in the future on how it all went.
So 2 weeks in, and website is migrated and mostly fully functional running on Cloudways. Cloudways support was a bit of a mixed bag; they would tell me how to do things, but not do them themselves. As a new customer less than a day in, I did need their assistance quite a bit and felt they could have been a bit more helpful to a new customer getting used to their systems and admin panels etc.
There ticket support staff are more helpful sometimes than their live chat agents; to be expected I suppose, I’m presuming the live chat staff have to serve x amount of clients per hour.
Server is fast. Very fast. As is Elasticsearch!
Thank you for coming back with your feedback. I hadn’t really thought about it before, but you’re right that the Ticket Service seemed better - Probably because they aren’t feeling so rushed…
Greetings and thanks for the review.
I am also thinking of migrating to some managed server as I am not a tech geek.
Its been a while and we would love to hear an update from you about cloudways .
how much you are paying for it ( and the configuration) and if you think its worth the money.
If they allow customisation of source code for developers to work on the site?
Which platform( AWS/DO/Linodeetc) are you hosting it on and can u chose to move independent ( migrate to self hosted / cloud ) .
Is the eleasticsearch server hosted on a different instance?
Would you still shift to cloudways if you had a choice?
Thanks again for contributing to the community
Hello @doctor . Because the site hasn’t gone live and is still in development, I can’t comment on certain things, but…
- how much you are paying for it ( and the configuration) and if you think its worth the money.
We’re now on the $80 package, we were on the $42 package, but as the site has developed with additional features, extensions and functionality, the 4GB RAM wasn’t enough for basic Magento functions, installing updates etc. The site does feel faster though. Because Cloudways were recommended by @digitalstartup Craig, I didn’t really spend much time comparing the pricing elsewhere, but personally I can’t imagine that the prices are going to differ substantially.
- If they allow customisation of source code for developers to work on the site?
Not too sure what you mean here, they don’t have any involvement within Magento, so you can do whatever you like with it. They set it up to start off with, and then it’s yours.
- Which platform( AWS/DO/Linodeetc) are you hosting it on and can u chose to move independent ( migrate to self hosted / cloud )
DigitalOcean. Pass on the second part, haven’t investigated this as I’ve no need to.
- Is the eleasticsearch server hosted on a different instance?
No. This was one of the main reasons for moving to Cloudways; they support ElasticSearch out of the box, it’s literally just turning it on within your cloudways dashboard and configuring Magento to use it. (We purchased Mirasvit’s module).
- Would you still shift to cloudways if you had a choice?
Yes. Ultimately we had to move from Siteground as they don’t allow root server access for installing the ElasticSearch engine, unless you’re on one their cloud-based packages. Also, even though we were on their GoGeek package, it’s still sharing resources, which at peak trading times was causing us issues with our old site using more than they deem acceptable.