Every business owner, freelancer and community organization understands the power of a website. You can communicate important information, encourage discussion and engage in e-commerce. And every website needs a home – called a server. Servers can be maintained by an individual with a laptop and an internet connection, or they can be managed by a professional company – called a hosting provider.
There are hundreds of website hosting providers. They range from high schoolers slinging together a few laptops and offering Minecraft hosting in forums, to large, multi-national corporations with warehouses full of cutting-edge server stacks.
What is managed WordPress hosting?
In this review, we’ll be looking at Kinsta. This managed WordPress host caught my attention because they’re doing something a little different. Managed WordPress hosting usually means that:
- Your site is going to run using WordPress – the world’s most popular free content management system (CMS).
- You’re going to become proficient in installing WordPress themes and plugins.
- Your going to use Pages, Posts and plugins to share information and interact with your audience.
- Everything else, from server maintenance to installation of WordPress updates is managed by your hosting provider.
Managed hosting services are an attractive option for companies that want to avoid hiring a full-time server and website manager. While a managed hosting provider won’t code your website for you, they offer a much more hands-on level of support.
An approachable managed WordPress host with a long list of premium features
Your experience with Kinsta starts with the user-interface of their website. It doesn’t feel like a cold tech site with pages of technobabble. Instead, you’re greeted by a warm, welcoming site that is oddly reassuring.
And if you’re anything like me, the first thing you want to know is how much their hosting plans cost. There’s no reason to dive neck-deep into the details of a service if you can’t afford it. I’ll warn you now, their managed hosting plans are slightly more expensive than what you might be used to paying at GoDaddy or one of their other name brand competitors.
BUT, I think their premium pricing is counterbalanced by their premium features. While testing out their platform, I muttered to myself – “Wow, this is fast!” – more than once. It really is the fastest WordPress hosting platform I’ve ever used. And I’ll explain why that is in a moment.
How much does Kinsta cost?
Kinsta’s managed WordPress hosting packages are designed to allow anyone to get online quickly, while still covering the cost of their advanced features – I promise, I’m going to dive into those features next. If you can’t wait, feel free to scroll down. But if you want to start with pricing, you’re in the right place.
They breakdown their pricing based on the following:
- How many WordPress sites do you need?
- How much disk space do you need?
- How many visitors will your site receive?
The cheapest hosting plan – called Starter – is $30 per month or $300 per year. It provides you with 1 WordPress installation, 3 GB of disk space and 20,000 visits.
The most expensive plan – Enterprise 2 – is designed for large corporations with a need for a variety of WordPress sites. For $900 per month or $9,000 per year, you’ll be able to install 80 separate WordPress sites on their platform, with up to 1.5 million visitors and 120 GB of disk space.
You can review a detailed comparison of Kinsta’s managed WordPress hosting plans here, along with a breakdown of the benefits that their platform offers subscribers. The long list of benefits includes a free SSL certificate and access to their proprietary CDN with every plan.
What makes Kinsta different from other managed WordPress hosts?
Lightning Fast Cloud Hosting
The first thing that jumped out at me was the fact that Kinsta’s entire platform is fast. And that’s because Kinsta uses the top-tier of Google’s Cloud Platform. If you host your site with Kinsta, you’ll be running on the same cutting-edge network that supports the world’s most popular search engine.
And it really does show. I didn’t pick-up on this fact before diving into my own test site. Their entire platform felt responsive. And once WordPress was installed, jumping around different themes was a breeze.
After more than a decade of messing around with content management systems, this hosting platform made WordPress feel as responsive as the windows environment on my high-end Ultrabook. Click and BOOM, you’re there.
Fanatical Support from WordPress Gurus
Kinsta takes the gift that is WordPress very seriously. Their 24/7 support team consists of individuals that give back to the open-source community by coding plug-ins and other enhancements for the WordPress platform.
When you hit “chat”, a friendly rep answers your request almost immediately. And that individual has an ungodly amount of experience diving into the guts of WordPress. So, if there’s anyone out there that can answer your questions about WordPress, it’s these guys.
Hacking Quick Response Team
Hackers and cybercriminals make a career for themselves by finding ways to exploit security vulnerabilities. Whether it’s a previously unknown WordPress vulnerability, or a bad plugin that leaves your site vulnerable, Kinsta’s quick response team is standing by to get your WordPress site clean and running like normal.
Thanks to the free daily site backups, you don’t have to lose all your hard work in the aftermath of a breach. And to keep the web safer, Kinsta provides free website cleanup and restoration for their customers.
This type of support is not a standard industry practice. If something gets through their hardware firewalls, they’re itching to take a swing and keep the platform clean.
Complete Resource Isolation
Kinsta ensures that every WordPress site has access to all the resources that make sites fast and secure. Each individual WordPress site, even if they’re all part of your hosting plan, operate within their own virtual sandbox. This keeps compromised code and exploits on one site from weakening the defenses of your other sites, or those of other Kinsta customers.
How-To: Set up your first Kinsta WordPress site (with pictures)
If you’re ready to dive-in, you’ve come to the right place. Once your hosting account has been purchased from Kinsta, follow these steps to quickly get your first WordPress site online.
- Login to your Kinsta hosting account and click on “Sites”. You’ll be greeted by their automatic WordPress setup wizard. Click “Add Your First Site Now”.
- Next, you’ll find a relatively straight-forward form to fill out. Kinsta gives you 15 different server locations to choose from. You’ll want to select the location that is closest to you and your target audience. And if you have jurisdictional concerns about the country where your site’s data resides, you’ll want to factor those into your choice as well.
- Now it’s time to tell the platform what you want to do with your site. Do you want WordPress installed automatically on your behalf, or would you prefer to manually handle the installation or migration of an existing site? Note: You get one free professional migration with every Kinsta plan. And if you run into trouble doing it on your own, their support team is a quick click away.
- Choose the plug-ins that you want installed automatically with your WordPress site.
- Once you’re done with these steps, click “Add” and you’re off to the races!
You’ll receive an email with your WordPress administrator login.
Easy WordPress site development and management
After the hamsters are done spinning their wheels and your WordPress site is installed, it’s time to make the site your own.
Kinsta gives you the ability to experiment aggressively with your site without risking the public version. In the upper-right hand corner of your Kinsta Site Manager, you’ll find a dropdown that reads “Change Environment”. This allows you to toggle which version of your site is impacted by the changes.
Kinsta CDN (Content Delivery Network) zone
You also have access to Kinsta’s CDN Zone. Not sure what that means? A content delivery network (CDN) allows for cached copies of your site to be stored around the world. By distributing your site to local storage in each major geographical area, your site will load significantly faster for your visitors. And in some instances, this technology can help foil a DDoS attack.
The speed of your site is important, especially for e-commerce sites. If conversions matter to you, then a CDN can dramatically help you effectively engage a target audience.
Just a 1 second delay in the loading of your site can mean a 7% hit to its conversion rate. We live in the age of instant gratification, and CDN networks make it possible for your visitors to be instantly connected with the content they’re looking for on your site.
In conclusion, Kinsta offers a compelling managed WordPress hosting solution. Yes, it’s a little more expensive. But you gain access to a skilled team of WordPress gurus, Google’s cutting-edge cloud platform and a powerful platform that allows you to edit behind the scenes and see audience analytics in real-time.
And if you’re looking for some free WordPress tools to take your site to the next level, the free CMS makes your imagination the only limitation.