Managed WordPress Redefined: Introducing Cloudways Autonomous in General Availability

“ Our client’s downtime went from 20% during traffic spikes to 0%. Overall, page speeds and overall performance of the website have significantly improved. Our syncing with the retail POS systems went down from an average of 4 mins to 10 seconds. ” A response by Weston Crewe of Local & Co when asked about any performance improvements they observed after moving to Autonomous. On April 13th, 2023, we announced the beta version of Cloudways Autonomous (previously Autoscale ), representing a hands-off managed hosting experience with built-in True Autoscaling specifically designed for WordPress. Autonomous was the next step in our mission to open up the Cloud. And your response to the beta version was phenomenal, with over 900 applications within the first month of launch from various industries, including LMS sites, eCommerce stores, influencer sites, & even media platforms. This innovative solution empowered SMBs & SMEs to leverage Autoscaling seamlessly, providing peace of mind for their businesses. Previously, these capabilities were often inaccessible due to factors like complexity, prohibitive pricing, or the need for substantial human resources required to set up & maintain a true autoscaling infrastructure. While initial impressions from beta testers were great, our primary focus remained on validating and improving the product to meet your standards. Throughout the beta period, we constantly refined our systems & processes and introduced features and pricing changes based on customer requests. Announcing General Availability – Cloudways Autonomous (Previously Autoscale) After all these efforts, we’re glad to announce the General Availability of Cloudways Autonomous, formerly known as Autoscale. The name change is driven by our aspirations, something we’ll delve into shortly. Starting from $35/month , Autonomous plans provide a hands-off hosting experience where you can leave the complexities of hosting behind & focus solely on growing your business. Now, you might be wondering what EXACTLY is Autonomous. Here’s all you need to know: What is Cloudways Autonomous? Cloudways Autonomous is a hands-off, fully managed solution for WordPress that unlocks the power of Kubernetes for SMBs. Traditionally, load balancing and horizontal scaling capabilities have been locked behind bars from usage by SMBs due to setup complexities, obscure pricing structures, and technical expertise requirements. So, autoscaling setups have never made sense for SMB applications, even if many SMBs could really benefit from such a setup. That was true until now. With Cloudways Autonomous, we sought to open up a new level of managed WordPress. Where you don’t even have to think of traffic analytics and the impact of high traffic impacts on your websites. when planning marketing & growth campaigns. You can simply launch your applications in 1-click & forget about them. Autonomous operates on a robust Google Kubernetes Engine cluster , which automatically deploys & scales applications as needed. All incoming traffic is routed through Cloudflare Enterprise, meaning robust security against malicious actors and lightning-fast load times for your users. Planning a sales season for your online store? Go ahead! The more traffic you get, the more revenue you take home. Encountering sudden high traffic? You won’t even notice as your app automatically scales horizontally, meaning you can expect no downtime when using Autonomous. Did an article go viral? Amazing! Now you can focus on why it went viral & create more content to take your traffic to the moon. Sure those are some tall claims. But we’re not just making them. We conducted an extensive six-month beta, continually analyzing and refining our product based on customer feedback. The result is a final product we feel confident in. Learnings from the Beta: Implementing Your Feedback Throughout our beta phase, Autonomous hosted a diverse range of applications, with eCommerce stores comprising 45.5% , followed by LMS sites at 6.4% . The remaining applications spanned various industries ranging from Event booking sites, Blogs, SaaS, Media sites, beauty pageants, and even Healthcare. This allowed us to finetune Autonomous to meet specific use cases, resulting in a product well-equipped to handle the high-traffic scenarios faced by different businesses. We not only introduced a new plan based solely on customer feedback but also added a few core features like on-demand staging with 1-click push & pull capabilities, App-based PHP version selection, PHP settings, WordPress Migrator Plugin Support for Autonomous, real-time billing, overages view on UI, easier connection to app databases, and the addition of two new regions in Singapore & London allowing you to host closer to your end-users. Real World Applications: How Customers Use Autonomous Cloudways Autonomous is suitable for any online business seeking to utilize the power of WordPress or WooCommerce for their online presence. Whether a solo entrepreneur or a large professional team, Autonomous makes great hosting accessible for all with a hands-off, managed experience that requires minimal intervention. With a one-click app launch, you can take your business live without worrying about your site’s performance, uptime, or security. Autonomous takes care of all that, offering an ideal solution for those seeking simplicity without compromises . Its Kubernetes-based infrastructure, combined with horizontal autoscaling and load balancing, means your website is fast, secure, stable, and ready for business – even during high-traffic sales seasons and viral campaigns . Autonomous helps you be prepared to completely focus on growing your business’ profits & revenues without worrying about handling traffic spikes. And that’s been the biggest benefit to most of our beta testers as well. Here’s what Weston Crewe had to say about their experience with using Autonomous for an important client: “Autonomous has been a game-changer for our web development agency. It’s not just a hosting solution; it’s a strategic advantage. With Autonomous, we’ve confidently taken on high-traffic websites, delivering exceptional performance, scalability, and reliability to our clients. It’s transformed the way we do business, enabling us to exceed our goals and earn client trust. Autonomous isn’t just an investment; it’s an asset that propels us forward in the digital landscape.” All with a simple switch in hosting, allowing for more focus on business goals rather than maintaining infrastructure & calculating costs. Technical Deep Dive: How Autoscaling Occurs Autonomous operates on a Kubernetes cluster, automating the deployment and scaling of applications. All incoming traffic is securely managed through an integration with Cloudflare Enterprise. When a visitor accesses the site, their request is directed through pods (servers) which are dynamically scaled horizontally based on demand. The system employs NFS (Network File System) for file storage, enabling shared access across all pods, resulting in consistent data access, and allowing all containers to access the same datasets without discrepancies. Redis, enhanced with integrated Object Cache Pro, optimizes data retrieval speeds, making frequent data access incredibly swift by caching it in memory. This eliminates the need to fetch data from the primary database every time, resulting in faster response times. To address potential bottlenecks during high traffic, Autonomous spins up new read replicas on the database end as needed, resulting in optimal performance and preventing slow load times. In essence, this infrastructure delivers a robust, scalable, and high-performance setup for applications. The synergy of Kubernetes for autoscaling, Cloudflare for secure traffic management, NFS for shared file access, and an optimized Redis setup through the Object Cache Pro plugin results in both efficiency and resilience. Creating a Best-In-Class Solution: Autonomous Benchmarked At Cloudways, we take pride in delivering exceptional value. To validate our commitment, we sought to create a solution that beats all similarly priced competitors offering Managed WordPress hosting. Once we were confident, we reached out to Koddr.io, experts in WordPress consulting & mentorship, for independent benchmarking & testing to prevent any biases we might have. According to the benchmarking report by Koddr, Cloudways Autonomous outperforms mainstream competitors across various metrics, particularly excelling under a higher number of concurrent users, typical during viral campaigns. Read the full report here. Add to Carts per Second This metric is a measure of the number of concurrent “ Add to Cart ” events within a second. According to the testing results, Autonomous outperformed competitors by approximately 7x overall. At 100 concurrent users , Autonomous achieved 6.54 Add to Carts per second , surpassing Competitor K’s 1.04 & Competitor W’s 1.49 . Results favored Autonomous even more at 200 concurrent users , where it achieved 6.9 carts per second , outshining Competitor K’s 1.06. Competitor W was unable to complete this test. At the challenging load of 1000 concurrent users, Autonomous demonstrated exceptional performance with an impressive 12.53 Add to Carts per second , while both competitors failed to register any add-to-cart events at this load. Checkouts per Second This metric evaluates the number of checkout events executed within a second. Autonomous continued its dominance, achieving 6.84 checkouts per second compared to competitor K’s 1.04 per second & Competitor W’s 0.39 per second. At the 200 concurrent user level, Autonomous maintained its superiority with 6.94 checkouts per second. In contrast, competitor K achieved only 0.99, while competitor W failed this test. At 1000 concurrent users, Autonomous showcased outstanding performance with 8.60 checkouts per second, while both competitor W & competitor K struggled, resulting in test failures. Average Response Times Autonomous once again outperformed competitors, with its fastest average response time at 2.7 seconds under a load of 200 simultaneous users and the slowest at 9.6 seconds with 1000 concurrent users. In comparison, Competitor K recorded a minimum average response time of 23 seconds, exceeding 60 seconds at the 1000 concurrent user level. Requests per Second Requests per second measure the total number of HTTP requests handled in one second. Like all other metrics, Autonomous surpassed competitors by a huge margin, reaching a robust 47.89 RPS at 200 concurrent requests compared to competitor K’s 7.23 RPS. This performance gap widened as the user load increased. At 500 concurrent users, Autonomous maintained its lead with 40.98 RPS, while competitor K fell behind with 5.83 RPS. At 1000 concurrent users, Autonomous achieved an impressive 77.98 RPS, while competitor K’s performance dipped below 5.8 RPS. Error Rates Starting at 200 concurrent users, Autonomous showed an exceptionally low error rate of just 0.10%. As the user load escalated to 500, Autonomous’s error rate slightly increased to 2.48%, still maintaining a substantial lead over competitor K’s 29.10% and competitor W’s continued high error rate of around 100%. The gap in performance became even more evident at the highest tested load of 1000 concurrent users. Here, Autonomous maintained its error rate at 4.5%, in stark contrast to competitor K’s error rate exceeding 50% and competitor W’s error rate reaching approximately 100%. Looking Ahead: Into the Future & Beyond At Cloudways, our aim has always been to simplify the cloud & empower SMBs to grow. This is one of the reasons why we’re changing the name of this product from Cloudways Autoscale to Cloudways Autonomous. Our ambition does not end at simply bringing easy autoscaling & hands-off hosting to SMBs. In fact, this is just the start. We want to further reduce the complexities of hosting & managing your online presence by introducing even more features & enhancements that make Cloudways Autonomous, a truly Autonomous product. We are constantly in touch with our customers, trying to figure out the pains that take up most of your time so that we can resolve them & allow you to focus on your business worry-free. Saad Khan Muhammad Saad Khan is a Director of Product Marketing at Cloudways (by DigitalOcean), a Growth Hacker extraordinaire, and a force to be reckoned with on the table tennis court. He’s spent a decade building innovative customer-led growth strategies that helped Cloudways grow from 0 to 89,000 customers & is a regular at WordCamp events worldwide.

This content was originally published here.