TL; DR: Combining the most performant infrastructure, an expert engineering team, and incredibly WordPress-savvy support staff, Kinsta is a force to be reckoned with in the managed WP hosting space. Director of Development Andras Gerencser and VP of Marketing Andrea Zoellner unpack the latest hosting industry trends and how their teams continue to meet customer needs and exceed expectations.
Some of my favorite company startup stories involve a product launch fueled by necessity. You know the type: A developer needed a tool, but it didn’t exist, so he built his own, and now it’s a $X billion enterprise. A guy forgets his wallet on a trip to New York, and now we have Venmo. Sometimes, you don’t have to have a million-dollar idea, just an urgent need, to birth an awesome company.
Kinsta is a great example. In 2013, four entrepreneurs were providing clients with website design, development, and marketing services. “Every time they finished a project, their clients would ask them who they recommended for web hosting,” said Andrea Zoellner, VP of Marketing for Kinsta. “However, after having poor experiences working with most of the hosting providers on the market, they found themselves struggling to find a host they could recommend.” That need for a quality web host referral was how Kinsta was born.
Today, we know Kinsta as a Google Cloud innovator with a wealth of WordPress expertise. Offering lightning-fast load times, premium support, and an easy-to-use control panel, the managed hosting provider is a popular choice and one that’s easy for us to recommend, especially to agencies and WooCommerce owners or enterprises. We sat down with a few of the all-stars from the Kinsta team to rehash the latest hosting industry developments and how Kinsta aims to stay ahead of the curve.
Investing in Quality of Service as the #1 Priority
When it comes to cloud-powered web hosting solutions, Kinsta was an early adopter. In fact, Kinsta was one of the first companies to use the Google Cloud Platform for WordPress — a pretty cool story on its own. Since then, Kinsta has remained at the forefront of innovation by becoming the first WordPress hosting company to offer the Google Cloud Engine and to be a Google Cloud Platform partner. The decision to partner with Google as an infrastructure provider may not have been the cheapest option, but it certainly yielded the best results for both Kinsta and its customers.
A Google case study summed up the impact nicely:
- Hosting costs lowered by 15% to 20%
- Revenue increased 600% over three years
- Kinsta’s customer churn rate remains less than 4% (significantly lower than industry averages)
Needless to say, Kinsta invests in quality of service — from the choice of infrastructure provider to the caliber of experts hired for the company’s customer support team. Recognizing the opportunity for differentiation in the web hosting market, Kinsta spares no expense when it comes to the support personnel it hires, and customers enjoy the return on investment.
“Features can be built, but truly knowledgeable human support is rare,” Andrea said. “(Customer support is) often the first department in which companies cut corners, but Kinsta has made the choice to invest in building up a high-quality support team… We know this makes a huge difference for our customers and is a major differentiator in the hosting industry.”
As hosting aficionados know, a single minute of downtime can cost a company thousands of dollars. Kinsta aims to deliver peace of mind with a 99.99% uptime guarantee backed by an attentive and knowledgeable support team. When you connect with a Kinsta team member via chat, you can trust the individual is, at the very least, a WordPress expert, if not a seasoned Linux administrator. The support and engineering teams work in tandem to create a hassle-free, reliable hosting experience.
“We’re constantly innovating to upgrade our systems and features to offer (customers) the best,” Andrea said. “We offer customers the confidence that they aren’t missing out on search rankings and revenue because of a mismatch between their needs and their choice of hosting provider.”
Identifying Industry Shifts and Innovating Wherever Possible
In recent years, Andras said he’s seen the hosting industry shift from providing dedicated machines to various levels of virtualization. “This has allowed providers to significantly lower their costs and prices while offering more flexible solutions,” he said. “Virtual machines and containers have brought the web hosting and development environments much closer to one another, allowing developers to spend less time dealing with the differences and focus on what they do best instead: creating software.”
As the hosting industry ebbs and flows, Kinsta’s engineering leaders keep their collective thumb on the pulse of the latest technology trends, adapting right alongside, if not ahead of, competitors
“From my perspective, the most exciting thing is edge computing because of the endless opportunities it can provide us as a hosting company,” Andras said. “So many types of computational tasks can be done on the edge of our network, close to the end users, which leads to resolved bottlenecks, less load on the datacenters, and better overall performance on our platform.”
With a premium, managed hosting provider, customers are free to focus on their business, not the nitty-gritty details of page caching, asset optimization, or load times. As the customer, you thrive when doing what you do best (your business); infrastructure management and in-house tool development are where Andras and his team shine. He looks forward to implementing more of these advancements in 2022 and beyond.
Customer Feedback + Creative Freedom for Developers = Epic Road Map
The mark of a truly Agile engineering team is its ability to understand, adapt, and quickly evolve to meet the needs of an ever-changing market. Regardless of the industry, balancing customer feedback with the demands of technical debt and emerging technologies is tricky yet critical to success.
Kinsta tackles this delicate balancing act with aplomb — refining the road map with input from both developers and product end users.
“Customer feedback is an essential factor in prioritizing our backlog items, and it’s one of the keys for laying out a road map that makes our products successful,” Andras said. “Our developer teams have short release cycles to ensure that they can incorporate feedback from real customers as early as possible.”
As the Kinsta development teams hustle to roll out requested features and necessary bug fixes, the software engineers are given tons of creative liberties, according to Andras, provided they adhere to a few ground rules. For example, the choice of programming language and project management toolsets are controlled by Kinsta leadership. But the details of team workflows — such as the new frameworks they try, the libraries they use, or how they use the project management tool(s) — are at the sole discretion of individual teams.
Kinsta safeguards its trendsetter status by creating an environment where software developers are free to innovate and learn from the latest trends in the industry they love and know best. These efforts solidify Kinsta’s place of leadership — as both a service provider and an employer — in the marketplace.