Want to skip straight to the verdict? After hosting my websites with Cloudways for approx 7 years, I’ve now moved everything over to a Contabo VPS for up to 4 times the server resources at less than half the cost.
Unless you’re a server wizard who enjoys spending hours weekly updating the server with the latest patches and setting up your sites, domains, and WordPress via a terminal window, then with a Contabo VPS you’ll also need to choose a web admin to help do all this for you making things much simpler.
The two main web admin contenders are cPanel which many will be familiar with as it’s been the main choice for the majority of hosting companies for years. Plesk is a great alternative to cPanel, better in my opinion as it’s much easier to navigate, plus it’s almost half the monthly cost of cPanel.
A Contabo Cloud VPS M with Plesk comes in at less than $19 USD per month.
So far, Contabo is looking good at less than half the cost. More RAM, CPU cores, and faster NVMe drives are major factors when choosing hosting, but how do these figures translate into real-world speed and responsiveness to your website?
With Cloudways I couldn’t get mobile speed tests to under 5 seconds (time to interactive), which was a one-off as it mostly took between 6 to 9 seconds. That’s trying most things to speed things up. Including Cloudflare, Optimole image compression, Cloudways CDN, and no matter what. 6 seconds+ was the average time to load a page via mobile.
I couldn’t even be bothered waiting for an article I’d just written to load on my mobile, let alone anyone else visiting the site.
From this Pingdom (Desktop) test…
Cloudways Speed test
Contabo Speed Test
Google’s PageSpeed Insights Desktop
Google’s PageSpeed Insights Mobile
Using Cloudflare, Google’s PageSpeed Insights mobile results are now less than 1.5 s Time to Interactive.
Another big improvement to these speed figures is by changing from Thrive Themes’ “Kwik” theme and page builder to the free Neve theme. The Neve theme gives plenty of options with their free version, and so far haven’t been tempted to buy the full version as everything done with the site is with the free version.*
[UPDATE*] I’ve changed themes – again.
Not only is the speed difference on the front end good for visitors (and SEO), but the difference behind the scenes creating posts and general design tweaks also make a huge difference to my workflow.
I haven’t needed support yet as everything just works – fast! However, should I need support they have glowing reviews for their up-time and support. Its support agents are knowledgeable and helpful, but they lack live chat, and its availability is limited to just business hours, so if things do go wrong, you’ve potentially got your sites offline for a few hours before support can help sort it.
Whereas Cloudways has live support and a worst-case scenario of your sites being down for minutes rather than hours?
Cloudways live support may make all the difference to your choice, however, getting anywhere close to the speed of Contabo you’re going to have to be spending at least $96 p/m with an upgraded Cloudways plan, and even then, I doubt you’ll match the speed of a Contabo Cloud VPS M with Plesk that comes in at less than $19 USD per month.
Contabo review: the final verdict
Overall, Contabo offers an affordable and straightforward FAST solution — particularly for those seeking high-level storage or cloud-based web hosting. Overall, I’ve had a good experience with the service. There are no issues or difficulties. Thanks to Contabo for this!