If you are a new user of Cloudways web host, you have probably come across this question.
Does Cloudways have a cPanel?
Well, Cloudways doesn’t provide a cPanel to manage your website through it. Rather, it offers its own but-in Control Panel for the entire server called Server Management, and another one for each website caller Application Management.
In this article, we will go through the Server Management panel explaining everything about it and how to use any single option on it.
What is Cloudways?
Cloudways web host is a managed cloud web hosting provider that provides managed cloud web hosting solutions.
It is powered by leading Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) companies in the hosting field. These companies are Digital Ocean, Linode, Vultr, AWS, and Google Cloud.
Cloudways always comes on top of our picks of managed cloud web hosting because its reliable, provides great performance, and low prices for generous resources.
Cloudways Server Management vs cPanel
There are many differences between Cloudways Server Management and cPanel. Here are some of them:
- cPanel is the most popular control panel, it’s been around since 1996. Cloudways control panel is only used within the Cloudways customer’s community.
- cPanel is used by a lot of web hosting providers. Cloudways server management is a built-in control panel only for Cloudways clients.
- cPanel is an outdated system with tons of menus and forms. Cloudways server management provides a visual dashboard and clean design.
- In cPanel it takes a little knowledge to transfer servers to other users. In Cloudways you can transfer ownership of servers is 1-click ahead.+
Get Started With Cloudways Server Management
For the sake of this tutorial, we created a new server on Cloudways on DigitalOcean LaaS based in San Francisco with a 2 GB RAM plan.
Read how to create a server and a website on Cloudways.
to open the Server Management of any Cloudways server, click on the servers in the top menu bar. This will show you all servers that you have on Cloudways. Next, click on the server you want to open the Server Management for
At the top of the Server Management page, you will see the server info such as the server RAM, Storage, IP address, and location.
On the right side of the upper banner, you will see the number of applications, projects, and members on the Server.
That being said, let’s break down all the eight Cloudways Server Management tabs starting with Master Credentials tab.
First Tab: Master Credentials
The first tab of Cloudways Server Management is the Master Credentials. Master Credentials are used to gain access to server files via SSH and SFTP.
The Cloudways Platform offers two kinds of credentials. Master Credentials; give access to the whole server, and Application Credentials; give access to a single application.
Master credentials are the most powerful credentials on a Cloudways server. It gives you access to all applications within the entire server.
If you have three websites within a server, you can access all of them at one time using the Master credentials.
Cloudways offers two types of credentials that will give you access to your server. These two types are SFTP and SSH Key credentials.
SFTP and SSH Credentials:
This option allows you to login to your server via an SFTP client such as FileZilla or an SSH terminal such as Putty, using the IP address, username, and password that Cloudways provides.
You can find these credentials just under the Master Credentials. And you can change them at any time. Just click on the edit icon, make your changes and click Save.
This is another option that you can use to access your Cloudwys server’s data. You can make what is called an “SSH Key” on the Cloudways server and use it to gain access to that server using this key instead of the username and the password.
To create an SSH Key click on the SSH Public Keys button, ad your label and SSH key, and click Submit. Read how to set up an SSH Key on Cloudways server.
Generating the SSH key provides you with a pair of keys, a public key, and a private key. The public key is placed on the server and the server is connected via an SSH client which already has a private key configured. When both keys match up, you can log in to your server without the need for a password.
Second Tab: Monitoring
Server monitoring is an essential feature to observe any issue that might happen to the server such as lack of RAM, insufficient resources, etc.
Cloudways offers 24/7 real-time monitoring of any server you create with them. You can find this tab in the Server Management just under the Master Credential tab.
From there you will see your Server resources usage instantly such as CPU usage, RAMs usage, and Storage usage.
Therefore, Whenever your websites on that server need attention like adding additional resources, you can see that in there.
There are three monitoring options that Cloudways provides, Summary monitoring, Details monitoring, and New Relic monitoring.
1. Summary monitoring:
From the Summary monitoring, you can see a summary of your server resources situation. From there you will see the summary of the RAM usage, CPU usage, disk usage, and Bandwidth usage.
You will see a clear consumption of your server resources, so you will know if your server needs attention and where the attention should be.
In addition, just under the BANDWIDTH USAGE, you will see the APPLICATION WISE DETAILS. This shows the consumption of resources for each application you have on the server.
You can see the CPU, RAM, and Disk usage of all the websites you host on that server. This Cloudways feature will help you determine which and how much a particular website is consuming your server resources.
2. Details monitoring:
The Details monitoring provides more data on your server’s health. It can monitors a specific server resource at a specific period of time.
You can monitor each of your server resources individually such as CPU performance, free Memory, Free Disk Space, reads per second, and writes per second in a period of up to 6 months.
For instance, if you want to monitor the CPUs of your server, select the Idle CPU option and choose the period of time from one hour all the way back to six months later.
Once you do that, the graph shows you exactly what your server was performing. For the CPUs example, the higher the graph means the server is less consumed. If it is consistently below 10 to 20%, consider increasing your server size to add more CPU cores.
3. New Relic monitoring:
New Relic is an application performance management (APM) tool used for application monitoring. It offers real-time insights into your application’s performance and reliability so you can monitor all your applications inside the server on the New Relic platform.
Setting up New Relic APM on a server will activate monitoring of all your applications available on that server.
To get a New Relic license key you need to signup for New Relic. Click here to know how to get a license key from New Relic. Once you get your license key, paste it into the New Relic Licence Key field and click Save Changes.
Third Tab: Manage Services
The third tab of the Cloudway control panel would be the Manage Services. From there you can manage and control the main core of your server.
Changing the settings on this tab for those who don’t know what these settings are, may cause issues or break your web server functions. But for developers, it’s a great feature that makes the control of the server so easy.
From there, you can control “start, restart, stop, purge, and disable“ several important services for your application such as Apache, Nginx, MySQL, etc.
For instance, the MySQL database should be running, if you want to restart it for any reason, click the restart option beside it.
Fourth Tab: Settings and Packages
The fourth tab on the Cloudways control panel is Settings and Packages where you can manage and edit your server core settings.
Instead of changing these settings manually using SSH or SFTP access, Cloudways makes it easy for you to tweak settings from its control panel.
There are several options that Cloudways provides to manage your server settings, let’s have a look at each of them.
1. Basic Settings:
Under the Basic tab, you can control the basic settings of the server, such as:
- Execution Limit: This option allows users to set the maximum time a request is allowed to run. after that time, the request will be executed.
- Upload Size: This option allows users to set the maximum upload size (in MBs). By default the maximum upload size is 100MB. That means you won’t be able to upload a file that’s larger than 100 MB unless you increase the upload size.
- Memory Limit: This option allows users to set the maximum memory (in MBs) that a PHP request can allocate.
- Display Error: This option allows users to choose whether to display PHP error messages or not. By default, it is set to No, and you can change it to YES.
- Error Reporting: This option allows users to choose which level of errors PHP report they want.
- PHP Timezone: This option allows users to select a timezone for PHP.
After you finish with the settings you want, click Save Changes to let these settings take action.
2. Advanced Settings:
The Advanced Settings are the settings of your operating system PHP, MySQL, Nginx, System, and Varnish settings.
There are a bunch of settings you can find in the Advanced Settings, they are:
- Max Input Variables: Define how many input variables may be accepted.
- Max Input Time: Set the maximum time (in seconds) a script can parse input data The default max input time is 60 seconds.
- Opcache Memory: Select how much memory will be allocated for OPCache.
- Short Open Tag: It tells PHP whether the short form (<? ?>) of PHP’s open tag should be allowed.
- xDebug: Enable or disable xDebug. It helps to debug your PHP applications better.
- Zend Guard Loader: Enable or disable Zend Guard support on your server. You can use Zend Guard to protect your application from unlicensed use and reverse engineering.
- Timezone: Select a timezone for MySQL.
- Encoding: Select encoding for MySQL. By default, it is US ASCII.
- Max Connections Limit: Define the number of connections MySQL will support.
- Buffer Pool Size: Select the amount of memory to use to cache tables, indexes, etc.
- Lock Wait Timeout: Define the length of time a transaction will wait for a resource before giving up.
- Wait Timeout: Define the amount of time that MySQL will wait before killing an idle connection.
- Access Application via IP: This toggle enables or disables direct access to the default application via the server IP address.
- Default Application: This option allows you to select or unselect the default application.
- Static Cache Expiry: Set expires and cache-control response header fields (in minutes).
- TLS Versions: TLS refers to Transport Layer Security. It is a cryptographic protocol that provides authentication, data integrity, privacy, and end-to-end communications between two devices connected over a network.
System & Varnish Settings:
- System Locales: To add a new System Locale additional to the default select your preferred language from the given dropdown menu.
- Varnish Cache Lifetime: The time period for which Varnish caches content before being refreshed is called cache lifetime or Time-To-Live (TTL).
In the Packages tab, you can find a bunch of settings you can adjust as per your requirement. They are:
- Upgrade or downgrade to a different version of your PHP and check available PHP extensions/modules and the application compatibility with your chosen PHP version.
- Upgrade or downgrade the MySQL database version of your server.
- Elasticsearch is an open-source, highly available search engine custom-built for cloud servers, based on the distributed restful API.
- Redis is used to power up object caching using the Object Cache Pro plugin on your WordPress website.
- Supervisord is a simple, fast worker manager designed to monitor and control the processes, allowing you to defer the processing of a time-consuming task to speed up the web requests to your application.
Optimizing servers in Cloudways means cleaning up all unwanted files to increase free space on your server. Running out of storage space may crash your website.
You can easily monitor your server disk usage from the Monitoring tab on the Server Management Panel.
Scale up your server size will fix the issue of the storage space. But a better choice is to optimize your server disk space by running disk cleanup.
Cloudways offers two choices for optimizing your server Cleanup: Manual Disk Cleanup and Automatic Disk Cleanup.
On-demand Disk Cleanup:
There are five options for On-demand Disk Cleanup that Cloudways provides. By selecting any of the 5 custom choices, you can increase the disk optimization functionality to yield more free disk space. these options are:
- Remove all files and folders located inside the temp directory folder for all Applications.
- Remove all files from the ‘private_html’ folder for all Applications.
- Remove all files from the ‘local_backups’ folder for all Applications.
- Remove archived files from the ‘logs’ folder for all Applications.
- Remove archived files from the ‘/var/log’ folder.
Automatic Disk Cleanup:
when you set the trigger icon On, Cloudways will automatically run an optimization when the server storage reaches 80% disk usage or more.
However, you can increase the automated optimization functionality by activating the custom cleanup options and then clicking Save Changes.
The Maintenance includes updates of installed operating system packages and applying security patches.
By default, the maintenance is performed during the window of 03:00 to 04:00 UTC. but you can change that whenever you want to the time you want and suits your business. Once you made the changes click Save.
Fifth Tab: Security
From Cloudways security, you can limit access to your server’s data. This is a great security feature that allows you to manage security settings.
You can restrict IPs from accessing your server using SSH/SFTP and MySQL connections, add some IPs to your whitelist, or allow all IPs to connect with your server.
There are two security options that this Cloudways feature provides. SSH/SFTP security and MySQL security.
From the SSH/SFTP security feature, you can restrict SSH and SFTP access to your server files or do the opposite. SSH/SFTP Security has two options you can choose one of them, they are:
- Allow all IP addresses except those blocked by the Cloudways security system. This is the default option, this option gives access to all IP addresses. If you select this option, all the IP addresses can connect to your server via SSH and SFTP, except those IP addresses blocked by the Cloudways Security System.
- Block all IP addresses except those on the Whitelist: This option block all IP Addresses except those IP addresses which are whitelisted. If you select this option, all the IP addresses are blocked from creating SSH and SFTP connections except those IP addresses which are whitelisted.
You can select the second option (Block all IP addresses) and add some IP addresses to your whitelist so that they can connect to your server.
To do that go to the whitelist box, enter the IP address that you want to add to your white list, and click add. Finally, click Save Changes.
With this option, no IP address can access your server via SSH or SFTP except those you added to your whitelist.
Cloudways doesn’t allow remote access to MySQL because they think that may put the other servers in danger. However, in order to allow MySQL database connections, you need to add the IP from which you wish to set up the connection.
To add an IP address to the MySQL whitelist go to MySQL in the security tab of the Cloudways Server Management. In the whitelist box type in the IP address you want to add to the whitelist then click add. Finally, click Save Changes.
Sixth Tab: Vertical Scaling
Cloudways Vertical Scaling is the process of increasing the server size so that you get more resources (more RAM more CPUs, more Bandwidth, more Storage Space).
Thank’s to Cloudways, upgrading your server is an easy task to do. To scale up your server size from the Cloudways control panel go to the Server Management section, and select Vertical Scaling.
Once you are on the vertical scaling page, you will see two types of server scaling; Server Size and Block Storage.
When you want to scale up all the server resources choose the Server Size which will increase all the server resources together.
And if you want to only add more storage space to your server but not RAM nor CPU, you can choose the Block Storage option to attach disk space to your existing server.
Here’s how you can manage both scaling up the server and adding block storage:
Scale Up (Upgrade) Cloudways Server:
On the control panel of the Cloudways server on the Vertical Scaling tab, by default, you will be already on the Server Size. To increase the server resources move the slider bar to the right to the server size you want.
When you increase the server size or move to any plan, the money that you will be charged for that particular plan increases. Once you are happy with the plan you chose click Scale Now.
Once you click Scale Now, a warning pop-up window will appear, click Proceed to move on with the scaling process.
Add Block Storage to Cloudways Server:
To add block storage go to Cloudways Server Management, Vertical Scaling, and then Block Storage. Activate the block storage settings by ticking the Attach Block Storage check box. Once you do that, you should be able to edit the settings.
Next, determine how much size (in GB) you need on your new block storage by either dragging the slider bar to the right or entering the block size in GB.
When you increase the Block Storage size, the amount of money you will be charged for that block storage will increase. On top of that, the server cost. Once you are happy with the block storage size, hit Attach Now.
Once you do that, a warning pop-up window will show up, click Proceed to move on with the adding block storage process.
Seventh Tab: Backups
The backup is an essential feature, it’s what guarantees the restoration of your website when something goes wrong.
Cloudways backup is one of the most powerful features that Cloudways provides. You can control at what time of the day you want Cloudways to make a backup.
You can also control how many times on the day Cloudways must take backups and for how long should the backup last -before they delete it.
The Backup feature on Cloudways allows you to take a backup of 14 clones for the entire server and for the websites (applications) individually.
Cloudways allows you to make local backups and download them whenever you want, and the automated backup is already made by the Cloudways side and makes on-demand backups. Let’s break them down:
Automated (Off-site) Backup:
The automated backup option is already configured with the server creation. The default backup settings you will find when you first launch a server on Cloudways is a daily backup and retaining it for a week. However, you can tweak and edit these settings to what you think it’s best for your business.
To edit these settings go to the Backups tab on the Server Management panel. There are a bunch of settings, let’s see what any of them can do:
- Schedule Time: Use this option to take automated backups at your preferred time. This option is available only if the Backup Frequency is set for a day or above.
- Backup Frequency: Set automated backup frequency ranging from one hour to every seven days. A frequency of 1 hour means that a backup of all applications on your server will automatically be taken every hour.
- Backup Retention: Set Backup Retention from 1 week to 4 weeks. This determines how long the backups are stored and are available to use.
Now you can also view your backup data size for a particular server being stored at an off-site location from the Off-Site Backup Size.
It’s better to have backups of your servers and applications in more than one place. While Cloudways backup system maintains copies of your backups, you can also create and download local backups to your computer.
when you enable the Local backup from the Backups of the Cloudways control panel, you can download a copy of your website files from your server. To enable the Local backup click on the trigger to move it from Disable to Enable.
You can download the local backup from your server by accessing the server via the SFTP client. Any application you have on the server will contain a local_backup file, there you can find the local back in a zipped file.
If you no more want a local backup you can delete it easily from the Trash icon beside the Local Backups setting
Besides automated backups, you can also take a manual backup at any time you want. This feature is helpful when you edit things on your applications and want to take a backup instantly.
Click Take Backup Now to make an On-demand Backup. It won’t affect the automated off-site backups, it only adds a new backup file to your server.
Eighth Tab: SMTP
You can configure SMTP service on the Cloudways control panel to setup outgoing email delivery on your Server. You can choose what to use for your SMTP between your own SMTP account or the Elastic Email add-on from Cloudways.
To choose one of them click Select SMTP. this will pull up the two choices to choose from. here’s how:
1. Elastic Email Add-on:
Cloudways has partnered with Elastic Email its fast and reliable email delivery service for sending marketing and transactional emails.
If you already did set up an Elastic email, just select the Elastic Email then click Enable.
Click here to know how to setup the Elastic Email add-on.
2. Custom SMTP:
With Your Own SMTP option, you will be able to integrate your SMTP such as Mailgun with Cloudways. When you choose Your Own SMTP provider from the SMTP page, you will see that more fields appear.
The first one selects your email gateway providers from the drop-down list. If your provider is not listed, then select Other.
Next, enter your Host, input port, enter your username, and enter your password. These settings should be provided by your SMTP email provider.
Cloudways Control Panel or Server Management offers a user-friendly and intuitive interface for managing servers on it. It simplifies the process of deploying, scaling, and monitoring web applications.
The panel also offers a variety of advanced features such as server cloning, backups, and monitoring, making it a powerful tool for managing cloud-based servers.
Read also: Best Cloudways Features And Add-Ons.