Cloudways is a modern cloud-based server control panel. It gives you the features of a managed WordPress host on your own low-cost and scalable Digital Ocean servers.
It’s a great choice for production sites, and we’ve hosted many project sites there. It also makes an excellent development environment.
Our development server requirements are:
- Fast. Many of our clients hire us specifically to make their site faster, so the dev server should be built for speed.
- Scalable. We should be able to easily scale the size of the server based on current needs.
- Reasonably priced. We want to keep costs minimal.
- Easy staging. We want to be able to make changes in private and push to live when ready, as well as have the ability to easily clone and test different ideas.
- Easy control panel. Development shouldn’t be slowed down by server management.
We’re currently developing a project on a $10/month Digital Ocean droplet with 2GB of memory and 50GB of storage. Running this through Cloudways, brings the total to $22/month, which is less than most managed WordPress hosts for a single site. And because you only pay for the amount of time used, if you only need a few weeks of dev time (or even a few days!) then you’ll pay even less.
We get all the power of Digital Ocean (or indeed Linode, AWS, Vulture etc. Cloudways works with them all) without getting bogged down in the geek side of things. The point and click control panel of Cloudways is the best we’ve seen and allows us to concentrate on the project in hand, not managing the server.
Spinning up a development version of a live site is a doddle if the live site is already managed through Cloudways. If this is a brand new site then it’s even easier! The detailed walk through is available here.
Once you’ve spun up a development copy of your site you can push and pull data from your live site whenever you like.
Once you’ve got your development site how you like it, simply hit the button to push it back to your live site and you’re live! If your live site isn’t hosted on Cloudways, you can use your favourite plugin to migrate to your final destination.