Detailed breakdown of server costs

I’ve just moved to Cloudways a couple of days ago and would appreciate your thoughts on cost planning.

At present I am using the cheapest plan on DO. I have two Wordpress applications running, one as a temporary store of an old site I’ll be moving to a local copy soon and one that serves H5P resources for use on Google sites - which are not publicly accessible as yet.

I’ve just received an invoice for server charges I was not expecting (there is next to no traffic as yet) and would like to know how to plan for future charges when I move to the next phase where my sites are ‘live’.

Aside from offsite backup the invoice I have on the system gives next to no detail (see below) about what the charges are for, which makes planning for future costs rather worrying. It is the server charges that concern me - at present the costs are so low they are irrelevant, but I am planning an membership elearning site with ecommerce features that might be quite resource hungry.

DO Server: Your Server Offsite Backup Charges USD 0.50
DO Server: Your Server Server Charges USD 0.40

Hello and welcome to Cloudways.

To be honest, it is quite clear how the pricing is working. If you don’t have any paid addon, then your only cost is the Server and the OffSite backup.

If you have a server that costs 10$/month, then the server cost is exactly that. 10$. However, if you open a server in the middle of the month, you will pay just for the days that you used it.

The offsite backup costs 0.335$/GB. But keep in mind that they round it up to 0.5$. (i.e. $3.85 will be rounded to $4, $1.22 to $1.5)

There is a $10/month base price, and the additional items you have to worry about are:

  1. The backup fees: If none of the files change, then the maximum it will cost for your server is $1/month. At the end of each day, all of the changes are backed up at the low cost of $.033 per GB. If you already have your own system for keeping everything backed up, then you can reduce the frequency of these backups by following this KB article.

  2. Bandwith: Your server comes with a 1TB bandwith limit per month, after that you will have to upgrade to the next DO plan. That’s enough bandwith to run a typical site that gets thousands of visitors per day. So you really have nothing to worry about here.

  3. Add-ons: Add-ons such as a custom email account or using Cloudways’ CDN will cost extra money. If you don’t need these features, you don’t have to worry about it.

Basically, you can basically expect your invoices to stay at a similar price. The only thing that will change is the backup fee.

You’re seeing that weird amount for the server charge because those are pro-rated to the number of days the server was live in the month, Colin. Since you only started it just before the end of the billing period, you were only charged for a very short amount of time.

Now that the server is in use, it will always bill at the standard $10/month (or whatever tier you’ve selected).

That tier also determines how many resources you have - CPU, RAM, file storage space, transfer bandwidth etc. Because you are on a VPS, those resources are fixed. So you can’t “go over” them and incur unexpected extra charges - they are finite and when you go over your allotment, they stop working.

Fortunately, CW dashboard has a good Monitoring tool that will let you see how your server is using its resources and you can even ask the Cloudways Bot to alert you if any of the critical resources seem to be consistently too low for best performance. At that point, you’ll know that the demands on the server have increased to the point where it’s time to upgrade to a higher tier server with more resources - a process of just a couple of clicks in the dashboard.

So the pro… No unexpected overage charges.

The con… You must keep an eye on your server resources as your websites get more demanding and be prepared to upgrade proactively before performance degrades. (The Monitor tool even has recommended thresholds for when you need to consider upgrading.)

That all make sense?

Thanks, that’s great news and as I thought it was when I signed up.
I didn’t realise the billing was for particular dates rather than time periods. So I thought I’d be invoiced for a full month from the day I started and that the charges on the first invoice were for some sort of metered use of server resources.

Thanks for your help Paul. It was being billed for part of a month that confused me. Your description is how I had assumed things were setup. Good to see it confirmed.

Thanks for your help Russell. It’s all clear now, I was just confused by being billed for part of a month instead of a whole month.

My last host had a knowledge base but also having an active community forum is great

Cloudways has also a Knowledge base that you can find here