Choosing a good host for your WordPress website is one of the most important decisions you’ll make when launching your new website or seeking improvements to an existing one. There are literally thousands of articles online about this topic and hundreds of viable hosting options, so how do you choose?
Having worked with many hosting providers over the years, we have been hosting or migrating our customers to Kinsta WordPress hosting and that would be our number 1 recommendation to you reading this article.
Why Kinsta Hosting?
There are many benefits to leveraging Kinsta, but in our experience, there are some critical elements that all businesses should be looking out for when choosing a host, and Kinsta covers them off nicely. The core benefits are:
- Built on the Google Cloud Platform with data centres in 20 countries, including Singapore.
- Automatic & on-demand WordPress backups
- On-demand staging site set-up and deployment
- Free SSL
- Free CDN
- User-friendly management dashboard
Let’s look into each aspect in a little more detail now and explain why these aspects are important.
Google Cloud Platform & local country data centres
Unquestionably the most important aspect of a hosting provider is the scalability and reliability of their systems. In that sense, Kinsta is in an exceptionally strong position as they build everything on the Google Cloud Platform. This is the same infrastructure that is used by some of the worlds largest companies, including the likes of Spotify, Coca-Cola, Philips, Snapchat and more. Its an incredibly robust and highly performant platform that can grow with your business and website over time.
At the time of writing Kinsta also provides 20 data centre locations including one in Singapore. This is important if you are a Singapore based company where customers primarily access your website locally or within the region.
Many Singaporean companies are leveraging hosting where the data centre is located in the United States. This creates latency in loading a website because the data request and then return needs to go from Singapore -> US -> Singapore. It is always better to try and host your website in a data centre that is closer to your customers’ location in the world.
Automatic & on-demand WordPress back-ups
One of the critical features missing from most hosting providers is automatic back-ups. This is something which is critically important to business continuity, particularly when you are regularly developing your website or updating to the latest WordPress version, or updating your plugins.
Many businesses will update WordPress plugins for example without creating a back-up of their website and when these updates then cause conflicts, they are unable to resolve the conflicts, and unable to roll-back. At best they then leave a broken web experience available to customers until such time that they can find someone to fix the problem.
With Kinsta hosting you get access to both daily automatic back-ups and manual, on-demand back-ups. Below is a visual representation of this functionality within the Kinsta dashboard. For an additional cost, there is the option to store back-ups for longer than 14 days and also to run back-ups at a more frequent interval (6 hours or even every hour), but in 99% of cases, we think this is unnecessary.
So next time your web person decides to update some plugins and everything goes wrong, they can simply revert to an earlier back-up with a single click of the mouse.
On-demand staging site and one-click deployment
Another feature you won’t see in many hosting packages is the concept of a staging site. This is really important for businesses that are performing regular enhancements to their website but don’t want to risk implementing these changes in a live environment. When you sign-up with Kinsta you are automatically given access to a staging environment.
The core benefits of the staging environment are:
- The ability to build a duplicate of your current live website into a staging environment with a single click. This creates a replica of the website and all other components such as the database, users etc.
- The ability to then deploy your staging website onto the live environment with a single click as you can see in the screenshot below.
As an example of this function, we completely re-developed the Digitize website on the staging environment, implemented all of our content into the new templates and performed testing. Once we were comfortable that everything was working as we wanted, we clicked ‘Push Staging to Live’ and 5 minutes later our new website was in a production state and showing to customers.
In this day and age, its become a necessity to ensure your website has a valid SSL certificate and displays the https against your URL. Kinsta makes this incredibly easy to achieve by offering a free SSL certificate and force HTTPs redirection in the dashboard. For the vast majority of websites, this will be a painless process of activating an SSL certificate and Forcing HTTPs as shown below. Within about 10 minutes the SSL will be set-up and your website can switch across seamlessly to HTTPS.
For example, imagine you set-up your data centre in Singapore, but users are also accessing your site in the US. The site will theoretically load slightly slower in the US because of the latency of making and receiving back server calls from Singapore. A CDN, however, will help to create some copies of certain assets closer to the person located in the US, hence increasing the load time. You can read more about why a CDN is important here.
Kinsta provides the ability to set-up a simple CDN for any website. You simply click a button, wait around 10 minutes and there you go – CDN running.
Throughout this article, we’ve been sharing some screens of the Kinsta dashboard and its really one of the areas that Kinsta excels. Like anything, there is a small learning curve, but once you’ve figured out the initial set-up you’ll be up and running in no time. The other massive benefit is that Kinsta offers LiveChat support directly within the dashboard and unlike many hosting providers the people staffing the chat are extremely responsive and able to solve the vast majority of questions on the spot.
There are many alternative hosts in the market, and many of them are good. We prefer however to be prescriptive with our recommendations, and our clear recommendation is that Kinsta is the leader when it comes to managed WordPress hosting.
The price point may be more expensive than some, it starts at $30 USD per month, but the additional features and benefit to your business will far outweigh the more premium pricing model. For those looking to host multiple sites or running sites with significant visit volumes, the pricing plans remain reasonable.
If you have any questions on Kinsta hosting from an end user perspective please don’t hesitate to get in touch and we’ll happily share our views.