TL; DR: Kinsta — a Managed WordPress Hosting Platform that wraps the speed and security of Google Cloud in a user-friendly package — offers SMBs and enterprises alike a cutting-edge service backed by knowledgeable support. Customer feedback is built into the development process, resulting in client-centric features like a custom control panel, hourly backups, and a wide range of pricing models. With a new multi-access system for the MyKinsta dashboard on the horizon, the company is continuing its legacy of innovation.
It’s no secret that Google marches to the beat of its own drum. It’s the force behind hordes of zany and seemingly endless products and services. There’s the psychedelic sculpture visitors control with Chrome. An itty-bitty Street View car built to map out “Miniatur Wunderland,” the world’s largest model railway. A pop-up golf course powered by artificial intelligence. The list goes on and on.
Its datacenters are no less intriguing, with color-coded cooling pipes in blue, green, yellow, and red; countless energy-efficient servers filed neatly into racks; and employees riding GBikes throughout the facilities. Then there’s the fiber optic cable the company has run along the ocean floor for tens of thousands of miles, cleverly reinforced with a protective coating that acts as a barrier against hungry sharks.
Considering its innovative track record, it’s no wonder that hosting companies are turning to Google Cloud to power their infrastructure needs. Kinsta, however, has long leveraged the platform to provide a secure, high-performing hosting service built specifically for WordPress.
“We originally launched using Linode as our provider but soon discovered that was not going to work,” said Brian Jackson, CMO at Kinsta. “Early in 2014, we decided to make the move to Google Cloud Platform exclusively, even though it was still in its infancy.”
Indeed, Google was a relatively new player in the market compared to AWS and Azure, but Kinsta took a leap of faith. “They predicted Google would have the infrastructure and the money behind them to make something great,” Brian said.
The move paid off. “Fast-forward to today, and it was the best decision they could ever have made because Google Cloud launches new datacenters almost every month,” Brian said.
By using Google Cloud as a foundation, Kinsta has built a Managed WordPress Hosting Platform with all the bells and whistles, including a custom control panel, knowledgeable support, and a constant pipeline of updated features. Now, with a new multi-access system for the MyKinsta, the company is continuing to push industry boundaries.
Blazing-Fast, Ultra-Reliable Servers Powered by Google Cloud
Kinsta offers SMBs and enterprises alike a fully managed WordPress hosting platform that provides the power and speed of Google Cloud in an easy-to-use package. Customers can choose from 17 datacenter locations spanning the US, UK, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Finland, Germany, Japan, India, the Netherlands, and Singapore.
“The Google Cloud Platform is fast as is, but they offer a standard-tier and premier-tier network,” Brian said. “We pay out of pocket to be on the premier network, because it’s so much faster.”
As other hosting providers move to Google Cloud, Brian believes Kinsta has an advantage.
“No matter what provider you use or how amazing your team is — because every host will say they have the best team on the planet — there are always growing pains,” he said. “Since we’ve been with Google Cloud since 2014, we know the platform really well.”
With major clients like Intuit, General Electric, and TripAdvisor, Brian said there isn’t room for error. “We figured out ways to build things around Google so our clients aren’t affected by any of the problems that we might encounter on a weekly basis,” he said.
Another move that set Kinsta apart from the rest was the decision to use Linux containers for all clients.
“Basically what that does is it allows everything to remain completely isolated in the container so that memory and CPU can be automatically assigned,” Brian said. “Every single client’s WordPress site has its own Nginx, and they each have their own MySQL database, so while it’s secure, it’s also great for performance.”
High Performance Rates and Brainy Support Keep Customers Around
A company’s customer churn rate — the percentage of customers who discontinue service within a given period — is a direct indicator of client satisfaction. Acceptable annual churn typically falls within the 5% to 7% range, depending on the service, and Kinsta’s is lower than 5%.
“We’re pretty proud of it — it shows we’re doing something right,” Brian said. “It’s a big shout out to our support team.”
Customer support is another area in which Kinsta has flipped the switch. Rather than the standard three-tier support methodology where customers must navigate a chain of support staff, Kinsta’s model takes them straight to the top.
“We only hire highly skilled Linux engineers and WordPress developers, so anyone you contact on the support team can solve your problem,” Brian said. “There’s no bouncing around, which saves time even though we have to invest more in salaries.”
Brian said the company’s low churn rate is also a reflection of the platform’s speedy performance. Often, he said, sites that the company migrates over from other managed WordPress hosting providers run faster at Kinsta, especially if the client has multiple sites on a single VPS or dedicated server with another provider.
Kinsta also includes KeyCDN — a global content delivery network that improves speed, scalability, and availability — in all hosting plans. “We partnered up with KeyCDN specifically because customers want the fastest ping times and lowest latency possible,” Brian said.
Updated Features, Including Hourly Backups, Based on Client Feedback
Kinsta also keeps customers happy by listening to suggestions and, whenever possible, implementing them. To prove it, the company keeps a tally of updates on its website to alert customers when new features become available. “I would say 85% of everything we do is based on user feedback,” Brian said.
In June, for example, Kinsta introduced one-click downloadable backups. And, in July, the company announced a new datacenter location in Los Angeles, which expanded the company’s reach on the West Coast. Because Kinsta uses Google Cloud Platform’s multi-regional deployment mode, users have the option to choose between different datacenter locations for each of their sites. This ensures sites are placed as close to visitors as possible, speeding load times and reducing latency.
To better serve WooCommerce customers, Kinsta launched an hourly backup add-on — one of the company’s most highly-requested features — in May. “Our WooCommerce customers said automatic daily backups were not enough, because if anything went wrong, they’d lose transactional data,” Brian said. “Now we have hourly backups, and we’re actually thinking of adding another tier of backups.”
The company even restructured its pricing model after receiving customer requests. Once focused on the medium-sized businesses and enterprises, Kinsta now servers many SMBs.
“One of the biggest requests we heard was, “I wish you would launch a cheaper plan because we’re a small business, and we’re right on the edge,’” Brian said. “Before November 2017, our plans were $100 a month and up. After November 2017, we launched our $30 and $60 plans, which are very popular with bloggers and small businesses.”
The Latest: A Multi-User Access System for the MyKinsta Dashboard
Unsatisfied with cPanel or Plesk, Kinsta built its own control panel — MyKinsta — specifically for WordPress users. Brian told us the dashboard contains all the features of existing control panel solutions and more, such as one-click SSL integration, 24/7 support, intuitive staging environments, actionable analytics, performance monitoring, backup restoration, and DNS management.
Constantly in development, the dashboard is frequently updated with new features based on customer requests. In June, the company incorporated the ability to add SSH keys in the MyKinsta Dashboard, providing a more secure way of logging into servers. And, in August 2018, the company unveiled MyKinsta v3 with a redesigned interface that brought users a more intuitive experience along with new integrations and features.
Kinsta just released its new multi-user access system. “We just rolled out a full-blown multiuser system where you can assign different levels of permission to users,” Brian said. “A lot of users don’t want to provide complete access to their users; they only want to give out developer access or billing access. We now have all different levels and tiers of permissions and user roles. This is especially great for agencies!”
Much like Google, Kinsta’s consumer-driven approach to innovation is providing the company with a distinct competitive edge.