WooCommerce Hosting: WP Engine or Kinsta?

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#1
I am beginning a new ecomm project and need some advice on hosting. I am looking at a pretty standard WooCommerce install with a very reasonable amount of products (only a handful of skus to start). The project is serious for the long term, not looking to skimp on the budget, but looking to find a solid, secure, fast host that can scale as the business grows.

I've done a bunch of research into hosts and it seems like WP Engine and Kinsta are solid choices. The trouble is I am having a tough time deciding between the two. Both have a very similar set of features and from just a window shopping point of view, both seem solid. The highest level hosting I've had my hands on is a VPS, so this is new territory for me.

Wondering if anyone has experience with one or both - maybe specifically for ecommerce? I'd really appreciate some advice one way or the other - or if I am heading in a bad direction all together (don't think I am).
 
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#2
I haven't tried the two you mention but have you looked at Siteground? They are really good for wp sites.
 
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#3
Siteground was on my radar but I didn’t dig deep. I’ll take a look.
 

Ryuzaki

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#4
@animalstyle, I once worked on a site that was on WP Engine. I found the ability to rip up a staging environment of the site as it currently was extremely valuable, and being able to deploy it as the live version once you got it how you wanted.

I didn't find that it was especially tuned for Wordpress any better than other hosting service. I'd also not consider this a step above a VPS, which you seemed to imply. This is actually really expensive shared hosting with extra limitations like "visits per month."

The higher price might be justified since I'm sure they do tune for Wordpress and I know they roll out some security stuff for each site. And the staging environments are pretty sweet. But I think in terms of raw server, this is below a VPS. You're sharing resources still, meaning others can dip into yours and you can dip into theirs (namely RAM). There's nothing 'private' or guaranteed about the amount of resources you'll have access to at any given time. It's basically managed shared hosting marketed at Wordpress users.
 
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#5
Thanks @Ryuzaki I hadn't thought of it like this - food for thought and tells me I need to keep digging. It's a tough thing to choose a solid web host when every single company has an extremely lucrative aff program - can't tell who to trust.
 

John P.

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#6
Check out WPX hosting. Been with them for years now and im really happy with the service.

Awesome support, fast hosting, staging area and they just added WPX cloud to make sites even faster.
 

Steve

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#7
Migrating wordpress is simple. So just chuck it on a half decent $10 shared host and move it when you reach the limits.
 
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#8
Migrating wordpress is simple. So just chuck it on a half decent $10 shared host and move it when you reach the limits.
I get where you're coming from, but this isn't a project I need or want to skimp on just to save a few hundred bucks. I don't want to have to mess around with migrating sites or building on a low security platform and having to scramble.

I'd rather pay for a solid host out of the gate and focus on building the business, knowing proper technology systems are in place from the get.
 

Steve

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#9
Sure, it's not about saving a few quid. It's more about building some momentum. I'm well aware how seductive the perfect setup trap is!

Run your DNS via cloudflare so updates are instant. Then when it comes time to migrate, it's literally a 10 minute job - zip the public_html folder, download. Export database (phpmyadmin > export). Upload zip to new hosting and extract. Import database (phpmyadmin > import). Change A record in cloudflare.

Oh and security is 99% about the software you install (wordpress and plugins), not the server. Any decent shared host now days use Cloudlinux or similar to avoid cross account breaches.
 
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#10
I decided that Kinsta is the way to go. Unlike what @Ryuzaki was saying about WP Engine, kinsta is not shared hosting and after much digging the company just seems like the one.

I'll let you all know how it goes.
 
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#11
Can I chip in and say that the visits per month pricing model that these guys run is one of the biggest scams in hosting. IMO you should get yourself a dedicated server $60/month with a ton of RAM and run easyengine.io.
 

Jitsiereveld

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#13
I've been wanting to try out Kinsta quite a bit lately. Looks like they might be blowing SiteGround and WP Engine away.

How do you like it so far? Or too soon to tell?
 
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#14
So far, so good.

I called WP Engine and talked to some girl that was less than helpful so I started digging into Kinsta.

It was a little off putting at first, but Kinsta doesn't offer a phone number. They fully disclose why and I ended up going through their site page by page and their documentation is solid. After spending about 30 minutes reading through sales pages and some documentation I had a fuzzy feeling that this was the right move and pulled the trigger with confidence - pretty amazing to get there from just reading their content - no videos, no phone conversations. They covered every question I had clearly and then some, well done.

Setup:
  • Chose my data server from a worldwide list.
  • Auto setup and installed. They only install one plugin which is their hard coded Cache Control in the WP dashboard. It doesn't even show in the plugin list so its hardcoded somehow.
  • They have full WooCommerce support and their caching is pre-configured so that is good right out of the gate.
  • Installed a free letsencrypt SSL through the admin, they auto renew it and allow you to add a custom one later.
  • They offer a free CDN that I'll pop on later, no need during dev.
  • Setup the included Amazon Route 53 DNS, easy to use dashboard to add entries. Set that up and was off and running.
Unlike so many hosts I was pleased to see that they didn't add 'features' by shoving a bunch of pre-installed plugins down your throat - only the caching one and it's not a traditional plugin so I don't have to manage it.

This is the speed with the stock 2017 WP theme, no plugins:


One experience with the tech support so far. I needed to redirect all HTTP to HTTPS and their documentation didn't show how to do it in their admin, only showed the nginx config. I popped open the support chat and literally 60 seconds later it was done. I didn't have to explain anything, just said i need to redirect HTTP to HTTPS, didn't have to verify with my pin bla bla, nope, just confirmed the site name and it was done in 3 seconds (literally).

I understand where people are coming from with the $/visit model, and in a different situation I'd agree. For this project though, the earning potential greatly outweighs the cost and all these managed features and solid performance guarantees make it well worth it.

If they properly manage security, scaling, etc while I focus on dev and building the brand, then getting to 1.5mil visits for $900/mo would be a dream, literally a drop in the bucket cost wise.