ShoutMeLoud

Is It Worth The Money & Hype in 2020?

Update: Kinsta has released a new entry-level plan of $30/month and also moved their pricing based on the number of visits. This is an excellent opportunity for entry level blogs to enjoy the power of managed WordPress hosting at this cost.

I’ve always loved blogging, but at times I feel frustrated and over worked, due to unexpected issues.

Blogging is mostly a one-person show, and managing a blog is quite the task. It’s a misconception that blogging is only about writing because those who blog know that blogging requires doing various other activities like:

  • Optimizing WordPress (or other blogging platforms).
  • SEO.
  • We are securing the website from hackers.
  • Promoting the blog.
  • Updating the design.
  • Social media marketing.
  • …and many more things…

That’s why I always say:

Blogging starts as a side project, but once it makes money, treat it like a proper business.

Being a professional blogger for the past ten years, I have had my fair share of ups and downs

Today, I’m sharing with you one decision that I took almost four years ago that has changed the course of my blogging career, dramatically.

You can imagine the impact of this one decision because four years back I was earning $15k/month, and now I’m making more than triple of that.

So what happened four years back that changed the course of epostakur and my blogging journey? 

My Experience After Shifting To Kinsta WordPress Hosting:

This article has great insight apart from my experience and review of Kinsta hosting. If you have a growing blog and you often find yourself stuck in technical hosting jargon, this article will be a life-changer for you.

Four years ago (2016), epostakur’s traffic was growing.

I was hosted on shared hosting, and it could not handle the traffic that I needed. I moved to a VPS hosting, but managing and optimizing it for WordPress became a challenge. Every day, there was a new issue, and it entangled me in the world of technical woes. 

I completely believe we should focus on the stuff we are best at like: Writing, marketing, SEO, and so on. Such tech stuff should be outsourced, and with that conviction, I looked at my options and found Kinsta hosting which came as a recommendation from someone very knowledgeable.

Back in 2015, Kinsta was reasonably new.

I sent out a tweet about this friend’s recommendation, and that caught the attention of Kinsta founder and CEO Mark Gavalda. We hoped on a Skype chat, and he was confident about his offering.

Since I was already tired with excessive bills, and Kinsta was offering me everything for only $157/month, I had nothing to lose.

I thought:

In the worst-case scenario, I will have to shift to another web host.

At that moment, it seemed like risk worth taking.

Finally, on 15th March 2015, I shifted epostakur to Kinsta WordPress managed hosting using their free hosting migration service.

They took care of everything from moving the site to testing the load time. Once I verified everything, I changed my domain nameservers to point to Kinsta.

Here is my first ever bill from Kinsta that formed the foundation for growing epostakur:

I believe buying a new web hosting plan and moving your site to a new host is the simple part. The most important thing happens after that.

I will share my personal experience and review of Kinsta hosting during the conclusion of this guide, but first, let me quickly share the specs, features, and other important things about Kinsta managed WordPress hosting.

Kinsta Managed WordPress Hosting Features:

Even though Kinsta is a highly reputed managed WordPress host, they are not for every kind of WordPress site. For anyone who is looking to compromise on hosting quality in order to save some bucks, Kinsta is definitely not for them.

For an entry level blog, a shared hosting plan is better as it usually costs <$10/month. Kinsta pricing starts at $30/month which is not cheap.

However, for any WordPress or WooCommerce site, which is built to perform well and needs 100% uptime, this pricing is not a problem.

What’s under the hood of Kinsta is what really matters.

Let me quickly give you a glimpse of everything they offer.

Hosting on Google Cloud

With Kinsta hosting, your site is hosted on the Google Cloud platform, which is one of the most top-notch infrastructures you can get for your website.

You also have the option to choose your data center.

Google offers three locations in multi-regional mode: US Central, Europe, and Asia-Pacific and in total you have option to pick from 20 data-centre:

  • Council Bluffs, Iowa, USA  (us-central1)
  • St. Ghislain, Belgium (Europe-west1)
  • Changhua County, Taiwan (Asia-east1)
  • Sydney, Australia (Australia-southeast1)
  • The Dalles, Oregon, USA (us-west1)
  • Osaka, Japan (asia-northeast2)
  • Ashburn, Virginia, USA (us-east4)
  • Moncks Corner, South Carolina, USA (us-east1)
  • São Paulo, Brazil (South America-east1)
  • London, UK (Europe-west2)
  • Frankfurt, Germany (Europe-west3)
  • Jurong West, Singapore (Asia-southeast1)
  • Tokyo, Japan (Asia-northeast1)
  • Mumbai, India (Asia-south1)
  • Montréal, Canada (northamerica-northeast1)
  • Netherlands (Europe-west4)
  • Hamina, Finland (Europe-north1)
  • Los Angeles, California (us-west2)
  • Hong Kong (Asia-east2)
  • Zürich, Switzerland (Europe-west6)

They are strategically placed to offer the lowest latency anywhere in the world. Based on the country you wish to target, pick the location of your server.

Kinsta has become the first managed WordPress host exclusively powered by the Google Cloud platform and LXD container technology.

LXD offers the best of both worlds:

  1. Isolation with automatic scalability.
  2. A high level of transportability between host machines and full container snapshots to enable instant and complete backups of the whole environment.

Here is what official Kinsta page says about LXD architect:

Kinsta utilizes LXD managed hosts and orchestrated LXC software containers for each site. What this means is that every WordPress site is housed in its own isolated container, which has all of the software resources required to run it (Linux, Nginx, PHP, MySQL). The resources are 100% private and are not shared between anyone else or even your own sites.

However, I find this part not 100% true. Here is how you should understand this architect:

Each site is 100% isolated on its own container and in 1 LXD there are some sites hosted in it (each are isolated on their own container). If one container is having issue with load, it could cause problem in other container of that LXD. And Only 1 site is hosted on 1 container.

Each site container runs on a generously sized virtual machine in one of multiple Google Cloud Platform (GCP) data centers and is secured behind the GCP firewall. Hardware resources (RAM/CPU) are allocated to each site container automatically by our virtual machines on an as-needed basis. The result is a hosting configuration that is secure and private by design while simultaneously allowing server resources to scale up or down as needed based on the demands of the site.

I think its important at this stage for you to know, other websites on Kinsta server could impact your website. Atleast it caused me 15 minutes downtime.

I know it’s unfortunate, and something that happened perhaps the first time in 5 years, but it is important for everyone planning to use Kinsta, be aware of.

Free Site Migration

If you are moving your existing WordPress site from any host to Kinsta, you don’t have to worry about migrating your site.

Just sign up for an account, use the migration form from your Kinsta dashboard, and their migration team will schedule a time and migrate your site for you.

There will be zero downtime with this migration, and they will even test your site before making it live. This way you are sure that everything works as intended after moving your WordPress site to Kinsta.

This is a timesaver, as handling migration yourself could take a lot of time + hassles. Just to let you know, I enjoy such tech challenges, but having someone more knowledgeable taking care of it, saves a lot of time, and offers mental peace.

Support from WordPress experts:

When you are paying so much, you can’t accept any sub-standard support. In the past five years, I have never had to worry about any WordPress issue.

If I ever have an issue, I need to send them a quick ping, and within a few minutes, they usually resolve the problem.

There were only 1-2 instances when a few of my tickets took an hour  to resolve, but that has only been a small minority of my experience with them.

What I like about their customer service team is their dedication to finding a resolution. Instead of guessing and assuming, the kinds of suggestions and solutions I receive are top-notch and are obviously from very knowledgeable people.

Custom client Dashboard

The dashboard offered by Kinsta is very powerful. Even if you are new to managed WordPress hosting, you will have no problem understanding it.

Daily Automated Backup and On-Demand Backup

If you are paying for any 3rd party backup service like VaultPress or Updraftplus, you can save your money.

Kinsta takes daily automated backup of your WordPress blog; you can also make an on-demand backup.

They store 14 instances of backup copies. With one click, you can always restore your backup to a live production site or a staging site.

Staging Site

You can create a copy of your live site as a staging site (test environment) and can make all the changes there. After moving to Kinsta, this has become part of our development process.

First, a developer makes changes on a staging site, and once we approve it, we make it live to the production site.

The staging site is a must-have feature for any high-end managed hosting site. When you are shopping for managed WordPress hosting, ensure that that host offers a staging feature.

Free SSL & Advanced Tools Under Your Control

Kinsta offers free SSL using LetsEncrypt, and it’s easy to set up. You can enable SSL for your site within minutes. You can also use a custom SSL certificate if you need.

They have a particular page called Tools from where you can do various things like restart the PHP, change the PHP engine, enable/disable SSL, and clear the cache.

They also have a custom WordPress plugin that automatically purges the cache when you publish a new post.  Overall, I’m pretty satisfied with the infrastructure and features offered by Kinsta hosting.

How About Kinsta Pricing?

When you are shopping for a quality managed WordPress hosting, pricing is usually one of the significant catches. Kinsta offers entry-level hosting for $30 which allows 20K views in a month.

They offer various plans, and you should pick one based on:

  • How many WordPress blogs/sites you want to host…
  • How many views your blog is getting every month…
  • How many PHP workers you need…

They offer Starter, Business Plans, Enterprise Plans, and Custom Solutions. Here are their entry-level packages.

If you are not sure which package is right for you, follow these tips:

  • If it’s a new site, opt for the Pro package. You can always upgrade or downgrade the package later.
  • If you are moving your site from another hosting package, do check how many views you are getting in a month. If your page views are high, and you are not using DNS-level filtering like CloudFlare or Incapsula, start using it. This will filter bot traffic which is quintessential when you are using a hosting like Kinsta or WPEngine which offers a plan based on page views.
  • If it’s a high-traffic site, you should contact the Kinsta team and let them suggest a plan for you. They usually offer a discount on the yearly package. However, I suggest a monthly package to start with, and once you are sure of which plan is best for you, then opt for an annual package.

Currently, I’m on their Enterprise 1 package, as I’m hosting more than 15 websites and epostakur uses more than 50+ plugins at a given moment.

We have the epostakur Store powered by Easy Digital Downloads and also a custom deals section developed on WordPress. Moreover, we get more than 1.5 million page views a month, and I don’t want to limit epostakur’s growth because of inefficient technology.

I usually pre-pay since I’m confident about their offering, and I also get to enjoy the discount when paying annually.

Conclusion: Is Kinsta hosting worth the money & the hype?

After hosting epostakur for over five years on Kinsta hosting, I can say it’s a complete value for the money.

So far, they have under promised, and over delivered. What I admire the most about Kinsta hosting is their customer support, and continued top-quality performance of server.

In last 5 years, I never had to worry about site downtime or other hosting related technical issues.

When you realize that time is money, these things add up to success.

More than that, after moving to Kinsta I could scale up epostakur without worrying about whether or not my hosting would be able to handle my traffic or website load.

I added the epostakur Store and epostakur Deals sub-section without worrying about server load. I also started using all the plugins I ever wanted, just so that I could test new features.

My suggestion for you is that if you ever find yourself in the same junction as I was a few years back when you have to pick a managed WordPress hosting which can guarantee the right hosting environment for your website/blog to grow, pick Kinsta hosting.

You will thank me for this advice.

Check out Kinsta hosting

I could go on with my experience and review of Kinsta hosting, but it would be more fun if you test it out yourself. If your WordPress site requires a top-notch infrastructure and your budget allows it, don’t think twice…

Just get Kinsta hosting.

If you are also an existing customer of Kinsta hosting, do let me know your review in the comments section below. Have a question about Kinsta that I could answer?

Ask in the comments!

Here are a few frequently asked question related to Kinsta:

Where is Kinsta located?

Kinsta has offices in Budapest, London, and West Hollywood. If you are wondering about data center location, they use Google cloud infrastructure and have data centers in almost all the geo’s in the world.

Can you use any cache plugin with Kinsta?

Kinsta offers in-house caching, and in most of the cases, you don’t need any external caching plugin. WP-Rocket is the only cache plugin which is compatible with Kinsta.

Should you use Kinsta CDN or CloudFlare CDN?

It is recommended to use CloudFlare CDN over Kinsta CDN.

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Note: This article contains affiliate links, but every word is unbiased, and based on real-experience.