Have you ever wondered if Cloudways has cPanel or any type of control panel?
If you are a new user of Cloudways web host, you have probably come across this question:
Does Cloudways have a cPanel?
Well, long answer short, Cloudways doesn’t offer cPanel. Instead, it provides a built-in control panel you can use to manage and monitor your servers and websites.
By the end of this article, you will know everything about the Cloudways server management control panel and how to use any single option on it.
What is Cloudways Web Host?
Cloudways web host is a managed cloud web hosting provider. Cloudways is a Platform as a Service (PaaS) that provides managed cloud web hosting solutions.
This cloud computing service is powered by leading Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) companies in the hosting field. They are Digital Ocean, Linode, Vultr, AWS, and Google Cloud.
Managed cloud hosting has become a source of attention to small and medium-sized businesses over the past few years.
Cloudways always comes on top of our picks of managed cloud web hosting.
The Cloudways platform provides managed and reliable web hosting servers with great performance in uptime and loading speed. Read more.
Cloudways Control Panel 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- cPanel is an outdated system with tons of menus and forms.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.+
Cloudways Server Management
For the sake of this tutorial, I created a new server on Cloudways on DigitalOcean LaaS based in San Francisco with a 2 GB RAM plan.
Read also: Create server and websites 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. Click on the server you want to open the Server Management for and the Server Management will show up.
At the top of the Server Management page, you will see the server info such as the server size of RAM and Storage, and the server IP address. Also the server location.
On the right side of the top banner, you will see the number of applications you have, the projects, and the members allowed on the Server.
That being said, let’s break down all the eight Cloudways’ control panel options, or in other words, Cloudways Server Management.
Starting with the first tab. Master Credentials.
First Tab: Cloudways Master Credentials
The first tab of the Server Management panel 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 aster credentials.
You can find these credentials in the Master Credentials tab on the Server Management Panel.
Cloudways offers two types of credentials that will give you access to your server. These two types are IP, Username, Password, and credentials, and SSH Key credentials.
IP address, Username, and Password Credentials:
This option allows you to login to your server via SSH or SFTP, using the IP address, username, and password that Cloudways provides.
You can find these credentials on Cloudways just under the Master Credentials.
You can even change the username and password 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 website’s data.
You can make what is called an “SSK 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 SSH Public Keys on the Master Credential Tab of your Server Management section. 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.
SSH Key is a more secure login method than a password. The password can easily be cracked with brute force attacks.
How Do I Access My Server Files on Cloudways?
You can either login to your server data using the SFTP client or SSH terminal.
If you can make command lines you can use the SSH Key method.
Cloudways provides a built-in SSH terminal you can use to access your server via SSH terminal. You will find it just under the SSH Public Keys.
Click Launch SSH Terminal and enter your credentials to access your data.
Another and better way to do that is by using a third-party client such as Putty terminal. It’s better to deal with than the Cloudways SSH terminal. Anyway, they both do the job.
To use this access method, download the client, enter your server or application credentials, and then click login. Read more about how to connect your server via SFTP.
Second Tab: Cloudways 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:
1. Cloudways Summary Monitoring:
On the Monitoring page, you will find three tabs, the first one is 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 or not, and where the attention should be.
In addition, just under the BANDWIDTH USAGE, you will see the APPLICATION WISE DETAILS.
The Application Wise Details show the consumption of resources for each application you have on the server.
You can see the SPU, 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.
Since I have one website (Test App), it will only show me this application.
2. Cloudways Details Monitoring:
The second tab of the Cloudways server monitoring is Details Monitoring.
The Monitoring Details provides more data on your server health, it can monitors a specific server resource at a specific period of time
You can monitor each one of your server resources individually such as CPU performance, free Memory, Free Disk Space, reads per second, and writes per second.
For example, 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.
3. Cloudways 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.
Once you get your license key, paste it into its field on the server monitoring. Next, hit Save Changes.
Read also: Best Cloudways Features And Add-Ons.
Third Tab: Cloudways 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 break your web app’s functioning. But for developers, it’s a great feature that makes the control of the server very easy.
From there, you can control (start-restart-stop-purge-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: Cloudways 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.
Cloudways 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. The default execution limit is 300 seconds. And the recommended value is less than 900 seconds for optimum performance.
- 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. The default memory limit is 256MB. The recommended value for this option is less than the half RAM on the server.
- 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.
Cloudways 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. The default max input variables are 10000. The recommended value is less than 15000.
- Max Input Time: Set the maximum time (in seconds) a script can parse input data The default max input time is 60 seconds. The recommended value is less than 300 seconds for optimum server performance.
- Opcache Memory: Select how much memory will be allocated for OPCache. The default Opcache memory is 64MB. The recommended values are less than a quarter of RAM on the server.
- Short Open Tag: It tells PHP whether the short form (<? ?>) of PHP’s open tag should be allowed. By default, it is off.
- xDebug: Enable or disable xDebug. It helps to debug your PHP applications better. By default, it is disabled.
- 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. By default, it is disabled.
- 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. By default, it is 150.
- 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. If direct access to your default web application is enabled, your website will be accessible if the server’s IP address is entered into the browser instead of the domain name. On the contrary, if direct access to your default web application is disabled, your website will be inaccessible when the server’s IP address is entered instead of the domain name.
- Default Application: This option allows you to select or unselect the default application. The default of this setting is NO. So, an error is shown whenever unknown domain requests are received. But if you set a default application, whenever unknown domain requests are received the default application will be fetched.
- Static Cache Expiry: Set Expires and Cache-control response header fields (in minutes). By default, it is set to 525600 minutes which can be adjusted according to your requirement. Setting the value to ‘0’ will disable the cache.
- 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. By default, TLS 1.2 and 1.3 are enabled. You can choose to enable or disable different TLS versions as per your requirement. Disabling TLS 1.3 is not supported.
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). The default value is set to 4 hours. You can change Varnish Cache Lifetime according to what you want.
After you finish with all these settings, click Save Changes to save your settings.
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 using the Cloudways Platform. You can also 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. You can enable and disable ElasticSearch from here.
Redis is used to power up object caching using the Object Cache Pro plugin on your WordPress application. From this option, you can enable and disable Redis.
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.
The next tab is the Server Optimization
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.
Cloudways 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 from the ‘tmp’ folder for all Applications: If selected this option will remove all temp files and folders located inside the tmp directory of all your applications.
- Remove all files from the ‘private_html’ folder for all Applications: This choice gives you the ability to delete all files and folders inside the private_html directory of all your applications.
- Remove all files from the ‘local_backups’ folder for all Applications: If you keep local backups of your applications on your server, these might be taking up disk space. Selecting this option will delete the local backup of all your applications.
- Remove archived files from the ‘logs’ folder for all Applications: The older logs are not helpful, so there is no point in keeping them on the server. Log files are written daily, and the older logs are compressed and archived. Selecting this option will remove all the compressed old logs and archive the current log file, and start writing a new log file. The process will only keep logs for the last few hours.
- “Remove archived files from ‘/var/log’ folder”: Selecting this option will remove PHP, Database, and Mail compressed log files from the var directory, remove files from the journal directory, archive the current log files, and start writing new logs.
Once you select the ones that you need to clean up, click Run Cleanup to start the cleanup process.
Cloudways Automatic Disk Cleanup:
when you set the trigger icon on Cloudways optimization, 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.
This is the last option of the Cloudways Settings and Packages tab on the control panel.
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: Cloudways Security
From Cloudways security, you can limit access to your server’s data.
This great security feature 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.
Cloudways SSH/SFTP 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.
If you select the second option (Block all IP addresses) you can 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.
Lastly, 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 MySQL Security:
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. But if you are using MySQL over SSH, there is no need to whitelist your IP.
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: Cloudways 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.
But when your server is out of storage space and you don’t want extra RAM and 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:
How to 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, where you can upgrade your server from.
To increase the server resources move the slider bar to the right to the server size you want.
To know exactly what any server plan size provides, hover over any of them, and you will see the RAM, Processor CPU, Storage space, and Bandwidth.
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.
How to Add Block Storage to Cloudways Server?
To add block storage go to Cloudways Server Management > Vertical Scaling > Block Storage in the second tab.
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.
That’s it for the Vertical Scaling part of the Cloudways control panel.
Seventh Tab: Cloudways 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 backup 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:
Cloudways Automated (Off-site) Backup:
The automated backup on the Cloudways platform 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.
Please note that your server uses the Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), so make sure to convert it to your time zone.
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.
A frequency of 7 days means that a backup of all applications on your server will be made every seven days (so one weekly backup).
Backup Retention: Set Backup Retention from 1 week to 4 weeks. This determines how long the backups are stored and are available to use.
Once done setting up all the desired preferences, hit Save Changes.
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.
Cloudways Local Backup:
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
Cloudways On-demand Backup:
Besides automated backups, you can also take a manual backup. 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: Cloudways SMTP
Cloudways doesn’t have SMTP servers for hosting sending and receiving emails.
However, Cloudways offers built-in SMTP addons and is partnered with SMTP providers. So, this is no longer a problem.
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 Elastic Email add-on.
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. Your Own Custom SMTP:
With Your Own SMTP option, you will be able to integrate your SMTP 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 the Other.
Now, enter your Host.
Enter your username.
Enter your password.
These settings should be provided by your SMTP email provider.
3. Send Test Email (Verify SMTP Configuration):
After configuring the SMTP service on the server. You can verify if emails are properly dispatching from the server by sending a test email to yourself.
To do that click Send Test Email.
Next, enter the Sender’s email address (From address).
Enter your email address as the recipient (To address).
Finally, click Send Test Email.
If you received the test emails, it means that your SMTP is working properly.
That’s all about the Cloudways Server Management. In another form, Cloudways control panel.
Read also: Best Cloudways Features And Add-Ons.