Kinsta Hits October with Extensive Updates (and Upgrades!)

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Over the month of October, Kinsta has announced a whole slew up new feature updates to its already impressive plans. It has always been one of the leaders in Cloud-based WordPress hosting and rightly so. That is why its impressive to see that they aren’t resting on their laurels and still going full steam ahead.

TL;DR

  • Upgrade to next generation servers
  • Implementation of Google Cloud Platform Firewall
  • Increase in SSD storage space
  • Auto-optimization of databases
  • Auto-healing PHP
  • Wordfence support
  • Some dashboard updates

For those more invested in Kinsta, let’s take a more detailed look at the benefits users can look forward to with the most recent round of updates and upgrades;

Moving to Next-gen Virtual Machines

Perhaps the most significant move it is making is the migration to new Google Cloud-based virtual machines. These run on the latest Intel Xeon processors that have only just been released a few months ago.

Moving over from Skylake processors to the second generation on Intel Cascade Lake processors means that Kinsta will be facing major speed hikes with the second generation. These scalable Xeon chips will help Kinsta roughly double its performance with NGINX page cache.

According to Kinsta, one of their clients sees 212.5% increase in speed after migration.

Based on speed benchmarks they have carried out, the new machines will be able to process 16,426.32 requests per second compared to the previous 7,886.16 requests per second for WordPress installations. 

The most significant benefits will be seen for those running WooCommerce which is expected to be able to run 17,790.20 requests per second with the new chips. Sites which have already been migrated over to the new servers have so far been noted to experience over 200% performance increases.

Sites migrated so far include; Iowa (US Central), Los Angeles (US West 2), South Carolina (US East 1), London (UK), Eemshaven (NL), Taiwan (TW), Tokyo (JP), Mumbai (IN), and Singapore (SG). 

[fonticon icon=”fa-lightbulb-o”/] What to Expect

The migration will apply to all sites hosted by Kinsta over the next few weeks, even those on the most basic plans. Rather than migrating individual sites, Kinsta will be migrating entire virtual machines which will minimize disruption to websites performance.

Migrations will take place during allocated maintenance periods during which sites will experience 5 to 10 minutes of downtime during off peak hours (of the region your server is in).

Note – We track Kinsta performance and run speed tests every four hours, results are published here.

Google Cloud Platform Firewall

Kinsta hosting architecture
Kinsta hosting architecture (source).

Along with the update to the new Google Virtual Machines, Kinsta is also going to be leveraging on the capabilities of the Google Cloud Platform (GCP) Firewall. However, Kinsta suggests that you not remove your own third-party firewalls as they can work together to be more effective.

Reaching out to them we got the following response;

The fact that all sites are now secured behind GCP firewall does not necessarily mean that one should instantly cancel their Sucuri/ Cloudflare subscription. Before applying GCP firewall, we used a third-party firewall solution. 

With the recent changes, we believe that we provide even more advanced security features and our team can work even closer with GCP’s solutions which all in all provide a better experience. Customers are welcome to continue using Sucuri or Cloudflare, with the integration of GCP firewall, web application firewalls still work as they should. So it’s up to one’s personal needs and preferences.

GCP Firewall rules are defined at the network level meaning your site will be protected even when your virtual machine isn’t active. They are also active between virtual machine instances, meaning you’re secured from any potential threats between virtual machines as well.

[fonticon icon=”fa-lightbulb-o”/] What to Expect

GCP Firewall, like every other firewall, has its own characteristics. To reap the maximum benefits of GCP its advisable to learn more about its specifications and rule creation/modification. These include limitations such as only being able to handle IPv4 traffic.

Click here to learn more about the GCP Firewall.

More SSD Storage Space

Storage space is always welcome and in the past there have been some gripes about Kinsta’s limited space offering with their plans. This month they’ve decided that Christmas is coming early and are boosting the space of all plans they have.

The top benefits will be to lower-tier plans which will be getting doubly their existing storage space. This tapers out slightly once you hit Business Plan 3, but overall users can expect to get anywhere between 5GB to 50GB more of space.

[fonticon icon=”fa-lightbulb-o”/] What to Expect

More space! To check how much space is in your existing account, look to your MyKinsta dashboard. Space increases apply to new as well as legacy plans.

Better MySQL Performance

For those who run sites and tend to forget about some of the background mechanics, Kinsta has also introduced automated MySQL database optimizations. These weekly-run optimizations will fine-tune your database automatically depending on how your WordPress site is running.

If the automated system feels there is an existing problem it cannot fix, the system will notify the Kinsta admin team which will investigate the problems personally. According to Kinsta, the automated system does not run ‘wp db optimize’ or alter database contents.

[fonticon icon=”fa-lightbulb-o”/] What to Expect

More consistent and better performance from your site.

Self-Healing PHP

For some time now Kinsta has already had a tool that allows you to restart PHP if you feel there is a problem. However, this is kind of limited in use since you must be aware there is a problem and then perform the restart.

Now, thanks to what it calls ‘self-healing PHP’ your virtual machine will be smart enough to know if there is a PHP problem and try to attempt an auto restart. All instances of errors and restarts are logged so Kinsta admins can analyse logs to see if the issue was a one-off or part of a more significant problem.

[fonticon icon=”fa-lightbulb-o”/] What to Expect

Less performance issues caused by PHP problems.

Support for Wordfence

For some time now there has always been a bit of a hoo-hah about the plugins that Kinsta doesn’t support (read: it won’t let you use them). One of the most popular of these is the Wordfence plugin, but now they have removed it from their ban list.

Kinsta has also stated that it will be working with more third-party developers to help reduce the number of apps that it deems incompatible with their system. However, it does warn that some features might not work properly with GCP such as IP blocking.

Improvements to the MyKinsta Dashboard

I’ve left this till last since in comparison to the other upgrades, these seem more cosmetic and simply help smoothen the Kinsta experience;

  • User Settings – You can now subscribe or unsubscribe from the Kisnta newsletter from your dashboard
  • Adding domains – Domains with or without www can now be added via the dashboard.
  • Improved charts – Kinsta has streamlined charts and added a tooltip function so you can more easily see exact points on performance charts.

Better Kinsta, Same Price

When service providers carry out such extensive upgrades it’s usually a sign that rates may be about to increase. Concerned about this, we asked Kinsta if that was indeed their plan. The answer was deeply satisfying;

In short; no. When it comes to the services we provide, we handle user satisfaction, scalability, and transparency as a priority. We increased disc space on all hosting plans as we thought it would be reasonable. At the same time, we rolled out disc space add-on, which has been one of the most requested features.

As for moving to Google Cloud Platform’s compute-optimized (C2) virtual machines, it is another considerate decision. We think it is important that our customers get the same level of service both in terms of support and infrastructure.

[plan_and_pricing brand=”Kinsta” type=”vps” title=”Kinsta Latest Plans & Pricing”/]

See official information on Kinsta plans and pricing.

Conclusion: Powerful Just Went on Steroids

Kinsta has always been one of the premier names in WordPress hosting. It is extremely powerful and has one of the strongest server performance ratings in the business. The price is still petty much what you expect to pay for Cloud hosting too.

However, this latest round of updates by Kinsta is more than just about a bump in performance. It shows a company that is dedicated to excellence and one that will go to extreme lengths to keep its top rating in the business.

It is also important to note that the benefits it is extending covers existing users as well, unlike some hosts which tend to offer promos and the ‘better stuff’ only to try and entice new users in while forgetting their existing customer base.


Learn More and Signup

Specializing in a very specific niche of web hosting can be an extremely challenging thing to do but Kinsta has managed to succeed. It offers users the unique opportunity to opt for extremely powerful web hosting that is designed around a single platform – WordPress.

To learn more and signup to Kinsta, click here

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Article by Timothy Shim

Timothy Shim is a writer, editor, and tech geek. Starting his career in the field of Information Technology, he rapidly found his way into print and has since worked with International, regional and domestic media titles including ComputerWorld, PC.com, Business Today, and The Asian Banker. His expertise lies in the field of technology from both consumer as well as enterprise points of view.
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