Best Managed Hosting Server : Part 2

Best Managed Hosting Server : Part 2

Today, we’re taking a look at a managed WordPress hosting service with a sharp reputation — Kinsta.

Launched in 2013, Kinsta was the brainchild of a group of WordPress experts unimpressed with the WordPress hosting solutions on the market. Today, it’s one of the fastest growing WordPress hosts in Europe and America.

Kinsta :

Offering lots of impressive WordPress management tools and a clean UX, Kinsta delivers all the speed and scaling advantages you’d expect from a cloud-based host. Add this to a highly-skilled support team of WordPress developers and you’ve got yourself a premium hosting solution, albeit at a premium price.

Kinsta’s edge lies in the fact its hosting services are powered by Google Cloud’s premium network, a value proposition so intriguing that we really just couldn’t resist putting Kinsta to the test.

Amongst an impressive laundry list of benefits, Kinsta promises lightning-speed hosting, next-gen infrastructure and great customer service. Kinsta has also recently rebranded to a very sleek and user-friendly version of itself and is looking better than ever.

But does it truly deliver? We had a look to find out.

Looking to launch a WordPress website for your small business, e-commerce store, or even a blog? Maybe you already have a website but want to change to a managed WordPress hosting solution. Whatever the case, Kinsta is one of the providers around that may come up for consideration.

But how does Kinsta compare with the competition? Does it offer any significant advantages? How does Kinsta even work, and what does it cost? Read on to get answers to these and other questions, and whether Kinsta might be the right hosting platform for you.

Features :

My site was slower than I wanted it to be, and there were few options to significantly improve it without a total overhaul.

Prior to using Kinsta, my site was slow. I was producing high quality content that was ranking highly in Google, but had pretty high bounce rates, which I attributed to page speed.

I wanted to keep using Divi as my WordPress theme.

Some of this struggle to increase page speed across desktop and mobile, came from my use of the WordPress Theme Divi. To be clear, I love Divi! It is one of my top three favorite tools. But part of the reason why I love Divi so much is that it allows non-coding site owners to control and improve the appearance of their website.

Page Speed:

  • All Kinsta plans come with Kinsta DNS, a premium Anycast DNS service powered by Amazon Route53. Route53 consistently ranks among the fastest DNS services in the world, and it even supports latency and geolocation-based routing to ensure fast response times.
  • When Kinsta CDN is enabled, all static content (such as images, CSS, and JavaScript files) is loaded through Kinsta CDN. This took care of most of my issues with long load time for image-heavy content and all the extra CSS that is added by the Divi theme.
  • Kinsta has 28 data centers which it lets customers choose from. This is a very unique feature that I will likely adjust over time, so that regions of the world with the highest traffic can access my content with the lowest latency speed possible.

Traffic:

One of the major limitations of traditional shared hosting providers is that they cannot handle any surges in traffic.

There is really no worry about traffic surges with Kinsta. Kinsta offers highly scalable infrastructure, at a moderate price point. Yes, you pay more than you would using shared hosting, but you unlock unlimited upside should your site experience surges in traffic, a feature that is normally reserved for extremely high paying clients.

Kinsta charges various overage fees if you have massive spikes, but its site infrastructure will be able to handle the traffic and uptime is guaranteed.

Daily Backup:

Kinsta provides daily automatic WordPress backups, as well as system-generated backups for all sites on your account. These backups, along with your manual backups, are available as restore points on the MyKinsta dashboard. You can even pay extra for hourly backups, which have saved me enormous amounts of time fixing issues with my website or retrieving unsaved blog post information.

If you make a mistake or notice something strange occurring on your website, you can easily roll back your website to a previous version within minutes.

While there are a number of WordPress plugins that can help backup your website, few work as well as Kinsta’s service.

User friendly :

Given Kinsta’s work with large companies and web developers managing hundreds of websites, I was worried that Kinsta would be too complex for “the average” WordPress user like myself. However I could not have been more wrong about this. Kinsta’s dashboards, menus, settings, and knowledge-base is extremely detailed and breaks down technically complex details into digestible tidbits.

It is far more usable and easy to navigate than most of WordPress or the dated and clunky looking cPanel dashboard, which is intimidating to many people creating their first website. Not only is Kinsta far more powerful than most hosting tools, but it is probably the most user friendly dashboard of any hosting service.

Every detail about your website is displayed in a clear and organized dashboard, which makes tracking your website’s analytics very straightforward.

Customer Service:

This is probably one of the features that surprised me the most, as customer service reps for website hosting platforms/WordPress sites are typically terrible. Kinsta doesn’t actually have any “traditional” customer support reps.

Their team is comprised of the best Linux engineers and WordPress developers. This means fewer frustrations, less bouncing around, and ensures you get your problems resolved fast.

Kinsta Differences

As a managed WordPress hosting solution, Kinsta takes care of all the background tasks that are needed to keep your WordPress site up and running, so you don’t have to do it yourself. That’s pretty much what other hosting companies do, so what’s different with Kinsta?

One of the main differences between Kinsta and other hosting companies is that it is powered by the Google Cloud platform. There are a number of advantages to using a service such as Google Cloud for managed WordPress hosting. Benefits include more reliable and dependable hosting, faster and better implementation of resources, and overall better performance.

In a non-cloud environment, for instance, websites are usually hosted on dedicated servers. If for whatever reason a server fails, all the websites hosted on it will go down as well. Clients will have to wait until the problem is fixed before their websites can get back online. With Google Cloud, if there is a problem with a server, websites on it are automatically switched to another one so they can keep running. It helps that Google has 28 data centers around the world.

WP Engine is among managed WordPress hosting companies that also use Google Cloud. However, Kinsta utilizes it quite differently in that hosted sites are individually containerized by default. Because each site is hosted in its own LXD container, there is an added layer of security, and sites on Kinsta do not share resources. Automatic scaling also ensures the platform is able to guarantee website stability more often than not.

Another difference with Kinsta is that every user has access to all the core features, regardless of the hosting plan they are on. That means, whether you are hosting one WordPress website or 100, you will still be guaranteed the same level of security, stability, and support at no extra cost. This also makes upgrading and downgrading to different hosting plans much easier and more convenient. The major differences between the hosting plans is the amount of storage space you are allowed, the number of websites, and amount of visits. With that said, let’s look at the pricing.

How Kinsta Works

Upon signing up with Kinsta, you can choose to either host an entirely new website or to migrate an existing one. For the latter, you simply use the platform’s “Request a migration” option to provide the details of your website, and the software handles the rest.

If hosting a new website, the process to add a new site is rather easy once you have signed up and selected a hosting plan. It involves visiting the “Sites” section of the dashboard, clicking on “Add site,” and filling out the requested specifications for your website. Once you click “Add,” the software will go ahead and generate your site. You can add as many websites as your plan allows.

In addition, you can pick a suitable data center for your site from one of the 28 that are available. You can even assign a different data center for every website you have installed on Kinsta. Choosing a server closest to your main target audience will likely result in faster site speed, reduced latency, and better deployment in resources.

Unlike most hosting providers, Kinsta does not use cPanel for managing hosting accounts. This may sound like a deal breaker for those who are already familiar with cPanel.

However, Kinsta’s customized dashboard — aptly titled MyKinsta — is consistently praised for its user-friendliness. Users are able to conduct all the usual activities in the MyKinsta interface, and then some. These include:

  • The ability to set up and manage your WordPress sites
  • The creation of new FTP accounts
  • Performing security and maintenance operations such as adding HTTPS
  • Accessing past website backups
  • Viewing your website analytics — including visits, bandwidth usage, performance, etc.
  • Conducting and managing site migrations

Kinsta Hosting Plans

A quick glance at the service packages for managed WordPress hosting on Kinsta will reveal that using the platform isn’t exactly the most affordable. In fact, the plans on offer might appear expensive when compared to other hosting providers. A closer look is required to determine the actual value of each plan and whether they are worth it.

Starter Plan: Priced at $30 per month for one WordPress install, 25,000 visits, and 10 GB of disk space.

Pro Plan: Priced at $60 monthly for two WordPress installs, 50,000 visits, and 20 GB of disk space.

Tiered Business plans: Consisting of four packages priced from $100 — $400/month.

  • Business Plan 1 offers five WordPress installs, 30 GB of disk space, and 100,000 monthly visits.
  • Business Plan 2 offers 10 WordPress installs, 40 GB of disk space, and 250,000 visits for $200 per month.
  • Business Plan 3 offers 20 WordPress installs, 50 GB of disk space, and 400,000 visits for $300 per month.
  • Business Plan 4 offers 40 WordPress installs, 60 GB of disk space, and 600,000 visits.

Tiered Enterprise Plans: Consisting of four packages priced from $600 — $1,500/month

  • Enterprise Plan 1 offers 60 WordPress installs, 100 GB of disk space, and 1,000,000 visits.
  • Enterprise Plan 2 offers 80 WordPress installs, 150 GB of disk space, and 1,500,000 visits.
  • Enterprise Plan 3 offers 120 WordPress installs, 200 GB of disk space, and 2,000,000 visits.
  • Enterprise Plan 4 offers 150 WordPress installs, 250 GB of disk space, and 3,000,000 visits.

Pros of Using Kinsta

All Kinsta plans allow clients to have access to all the core features, regardless of number of websites or disk space. Some of these features include:

  • Free SSL and CDN (you can choose whichever content delivery network you like, including Kinsta’s KeyCDN)
  • The ability to choose your own data center
  • Free site migrations (amount varies with each plan)
  • Constant uptime monitoring (checks done every five minutes)
  • Automatic database optimization
  • Always-on DDoS scanning built in
  • Built-in plugin caching
  • Automatic backups done daily, as well as on-demand backups, with one-click restore
  • Speed optimization: Nginx, LXD containers, PHP 8.0, and MariaDB
  • Site staging feature for testing, development, and editing site before publishing changes live
  • 24/7 world-class support, including WordPress and Linux developers

The benefits don’t stop there. In the event of users going over their traffic tier, Kinsta will not simply shut down their website to preserve server space. Instead, it will use auto scaling to accommodate the extra traffic and apply an overage charge of just $1 per extra 1,000 visits. For example, if someone with the starter plan gets traffic of 30,000+ visitors for a month instead of the allotted 25,000, their payment for the month will move from $30 to $34.

Kinsta will also keep your site running if you go over your allotted disk space (while charging $2 per extra GB), and the same applies if you go over your CDN limit (while charging $0.10 per extra GB). With many other hosting companies, the website owner would likely be upgraded to another hosting plan that costs far more if they exceed any of their allotments.

Furthermore, uptime is guaranteed due to a service level agreement Kinsta has with its clients. This means, if Kinsta fails to keep its promise of 99.98% uptime for any client, that user will receive a 5% credit to their accounts for each hour they are billed for. Finally, when you sign up, you get a 30-day money back guarantee. You can get a full refund if you are unhappy with the service.

Cons of Using Kinsta

Of course, Kinsta is not without any drawbacks.

First and foremost, Kinsta is expensive compared to other managed WordPress hosting services. Kinsta users pay $30-$60 per month for the simplest plans.

Second, Kinsta does not provide email hosting, which is a common feature with other managed WordPress hosting providers. As a result, you would need to contact another hosting platform to accommodate your business emails. This can add on to your overall hosting costs.

Third, Kinsta charges extra fees to users from the United States who pay via credit card instead of using a wire transfer (there are no other payment options such as PayPal). Whether you will be charged these fees will depend on your specific credit card, billing address, and other credit card-specific information. But for a service that is very high end (and is already pricey), this is annoying/inconvenient. However, this may not be an issue if you live in a country outside the USA.

Conclusion: Kinsta Verdict

Kinsta is certainly not the cheapest managed WordPress hosting solution. However, when you consider the value of the service Kinsta provides and the features that are not even offered through other hosting companies, Kinsta actually appears quite reasonably priced and much cheaper than most of its competitors.

Kinsta is a rare example of industry leading software that is available to both large multinational corporations and to individual bloggers, at competitive price-points.

Individual users of Kinsta are provided with the same tools and allowed to adjust their plan if their use of hosting resources increases. Combine these factors with amazing customer service, and it is clear why Kinsta is the clear choice for ambitious bloggers, website developers, and small businesses.

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