As a developer, I'm here to suggest what is best without compromising on performance and minimizing the cost. I'm not an affiliate here to generate sales.
easyengine.io is a simple command line control panel with huge set of options is a worth try for those who just know ftp and ssh which is far better compared to cloudways in terms of money and performance. (no bloated code with control panel UI)
1gb vultr costs around 11$ at cloudways. direct vultr hosting and easyengine.io (from rtCamp) would cost 5$
Regarding transactional emailing, I know, I agree to the point that transactional mailing should be separate and should be handled with mailing services (amazon ses,sendgrid etc.,). I would see transactional emailing only as sending bulk emails.
Consider a situation we installed wordpress and setup user, I just forgot the password for some reason, If I request forgot password, do you think cloudways will send a mail?? And do you want me to consult support guy for such a situation All those said things are at a high end practices.
regarding dns I would always see and I need to change only nameservers at the registrars like godaddy / namecheap etc., remaining should be handled by control panel. failing which there is a learning curve involved in setting up anything
If some one want to go with vps on (linode/vultr/digitalocean) and have wordpress blog without considering an ssl . I would suggest serverpilot
If one is a student, trying to start a blog, trying to learn something with programming. I would suggest him to get his hands dirty on vps, of course you always have one click installs.
If one wants cloud hosting and some techie guy to take care, if something happens on the site, i would suggest managed hosting like cloudways.
if one wants to have simple wordpress site with simple email boxes I would suggest any control panel hosting such as siteground or inmotionhosting
There are many solutions, my point is not to recommend cloudways. I would say it is better. But, not that great to the point that i'm talking.