At Cornershop, we’ve spent years working with different hosting providers, and that experience has led us to using Kinsta for most of our clients.
We find their combination of performance, cost, uptime and support meets both our and our clients’ needs well. To provide such value, though, there are some limitations and best practices that can ensure the best experience for you, us, and your site visitors. Here are some things to know:
Kinsta is WordPress-only
Kinsta cannot host Drupal, ExpressionEngine, custom middleware, or other non-WordPress server-side software, even if that software (like Drupal) is also written in PHP. These other applications may have caching and/or rewrite needs or other features that are incompatible with some of the assumptions the Kinsta platform makes.
Performance is Optimized
Because Kinsta specifically works with WordPress — just like Cornershop! — their entire infrastructure is fine-tuned to make WordPress sites run as quickly as possible.
This includes some WordPress-specific server-side caching as well as database configuration and optimization specific to how WordPress likes to do things. In particular, Kinsta is super well optimized for serving WordPress content to anonymous users — that is, visitors to your website who aren’t logged in and all see exactly the same thing.
While Kinsta is also (for its price) really well built to handle serving unique-per-user content (think WooCommerce shopping carts or discussion forums) and can handle even high volumes of that, their system performance really shines on the serving content that’s the same for all users.
Disk Space is Limited
Much like how your mobile phone can only hold so many apps, photos and videos, your disk space on Kinsta has limits. For sites with fewer than 12,000 visits per month, we offer 3gb of storage. For sites between 12k and 40k visits per month, we offer 10gb of storage. For sites with more than 40,000 visits per month, we can work with you to determine how much storage space your plan will include.
When you exceed your disk space limits, the good news is that uploads won’t suddenly be blocked or your site be taken down; we’ll simply let you know that you’re running over your allocation. If you need to continue running over that limit, we’ll charge you extra (usually about $2 per gigabyte) for the storage needed beyond the limit that you’re using.
We find that this simple “pay for what you use” approach works well, but if you’re consistently over the limit, we may reach out and work with you to change your plan specifics so you’re not constantly paying for overages! Because disk space is limited, and Kinsta is really optimized for WordPress pages rather than rich media, we strongly encourage you to use other platforms for multimedia delivery. Providers like YouTube and Vimeo, for example, have massive global content distribution networks in place specifically designed for providing video to users worldwide at high speeds — use them!
Bandwidth is Free — To a Point
Much like how your mobile phone has a “data plan” that limits the number of gigabytes per month of information your device can receive, your website uses up data — typically called bandwidth — when it sends information to your site visitors.
For sites with fewer than 12,000 monthly visits, bandwidth usage is typically so low that we don’t worry about how much bandwidth is being used, so there are generally no limits to worry about.For site with between 12,000 and 40,000 monthly visits, we typically add a Content Delivery Network (“CDN”) layer between site visitors and Kinsta, allowing Kinsta’s servers to focus specifically on sending out content generated specifically by WordPress while letting the CDN handle distribution of “static assets” like images and CSS files, as this helps ensure best performance around the world even during times of heavier traffic.
However, with the CDN comes a bandwidth limit! We typically allocate 15 gigabytes of bandwidth per month for sites with this level of traffic. For sites with over 40,000 visits per month, we’ll work with you to set a custom monthly bandwidth limit.As with disk space, if you go over, your users won’t be affected (unlike your mobile phone carrier, who may slow down your speeds!), but you’ll wind up needing to pay the excess at a cost of 10 cents per gigabyte over 15. If your site consistently goes over the limit we may work with you to set a custom bandwidth limit so you’re not constantly paying for overages.
Visitors and Page Views are unlimited!
You may see other hosts who offer plan pricing based on the number of “visitors” or “page views” your site gets per month, but those aren’t figures Cornershop or Kinsta use to set pricing.
The main metric we use at Cornershop is “visits” (which is related to, but slightly different from, visitors or page views), and we use cutoffs of 12,000 visits per month and 40,000 visits per month simply to help us manage the large pool of disk space and bandwidth that we purchase from Kinsta. Having a big spike in these figures can often affect how much bandwidth your site uses, but we at Cornershop don’t directly care about these figures themselves, so don’t stress if you have an occasional month with a spike as long as your disk usage (and bandwidth, if relevant) are looking good.
Your Site is Kept Separately From Others
Unlike some hosts that serve many (sometimes hundreds) of websites from a single server, with Kinsta, each website is “containerized.” This means that your website’s files and database are stored in a way that isolates your site from other websites on Kinsta. So if one Cornershop client site experiences a big surge in traffic — or comes under attack — it shouldn’t have any effect on your site whatsoever.
Behind the scenes, Kinsta actually uses Google Cloud to provide your website’s hosting infrastructure, so you can feel secure that it’s being managed by the best in the industry. Thanks to Google Cloud, we can set up your hosting in one of 28 data centers around the world.
Uptime Checks, Backups and Staging Sites are Included
Every two minutes a system checks your site to make sure it’s up — that’s over 260,000 times a year — and lets us know if there’s a problem.
If there is something wrong (rare but possible), your site is backed up every night, so it’s easy to restore your site from a backup. For an extra fee, we can even store the backup completely off-site from the original site’s datacenter, in case something disastrous happens to the whole facility!
Kinsta hosting with Cornershop also includes “staging” sites, which allow you — and our team — to easily create a copy of your live site to test out how new code, plugins, or content will look and work before performing those changes or updates on the live site that's accessed by your users.
What to Expect During a Kinsta Migration
If we are migrating your site from your current host to Kinsta, good news is that the process is pretty quick and painless!
Because migration essentially is copying the site from one place and pasting it to another, we do require a content freeze beginning end of day on the day before migration through when you get the all clear from our team (typically by end of day on migration day). Additionally, we may be required to put the site briefly in 'maintenance mode' where the site will not be accessible to front end users and will display a message saying the site is offline for routine maintenance and will be back up shortly. The maintenance window typically only lasts 1-2 hours.
The 2 things we'll need to get started are a date for the migration and current hosting and DNS access.
For selecting a migration date, you'll want to keep in mind the above content freeze and maintenance windows, so you'll want to choose a day and time where you won't need to be working on the site and traffic is typically low. Our preferred day of the week for migrations is Tuesday, but can be scheduled anytime during business hours Monday through Thursday. (We do not offer Fridays or weekends due to limited staff availability for unanticipated issues.)
For hosting and DNS access, Cornershop will need access to change DNS records, which will be collected after the kick-off call with our staff, or we can work with an appointed staff member / partner to coordinate DNS changes.
SOC 2 Certification
Kinsta itself has not completed a SOC II report. However, Google Cloud Platform (GCP) has completed a SOC II report which is accessible to anyone with a Google Cloud account, which is free.
- Sign in or sign up for a free Google Cloud account (cloud.google.com)
- Navigate to the Compliance Reports Manager (https://cloud.google.com/security/compliance/compliance-reports-manager)
- Search for "SOC 2", select the Google Cloud SOC 2 report, and download it