Kinsta vs WP Engine: Managed WordPress hosting comparison

Ostersund, Sweden - June 23, 2016: WordPress website on a computer screen. WordPress is a free and open-source content management system (CMS) based on PHP and MySQL
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WordPress can be used for everything from a single-page blog to a massive website with hundreds of pages—but for the latter, you’ll need a managed hosting plan to provide the security and speed you need to support constant website traffic. WP Engine is the biggest name in WordPress hosting, but Kinsta is quickly establishing itself as a worthy competitor. Today, we’re comparing Kinsta and WP Engine to help you make the right choice for your website.

What is WP Engine?

WP Engine is the No. 1 WordPress platform and offers managed WordPress hosting among other products. It supports more than 1.5 million websites and more than 185,000 customers across 150 countries, making it one of the most popular and trusted options for WordPress hosting.

What is Kinsta?

Kinsta is a managed WordPress hosting service that offers 34 data centers around the world and guaranteed 99.9% uptime. It supports 30,000 gigabytes of traffic every day and is quickly catching up to WP Engine when it comes to managed WordPress hosting.

Kinsta vs. WP Engine: Feature comparison

Kinsta is a rising competitor to WP Engine as a WordPress hosting platform. While WP Engine does offer greater options and flexibility, Kinsta provides greater ease and support for new users.

Feature Kinsta WP Engine
Daily backups Yes Yes
Dev, stage and production environments No Yes
Free Cloudflare integration Yes No
SFTP connections Yes Yes
StudioPress themes included No Yes

Development workflow

WP Engine offers three environments in its development workflow: development, staging and production. When you’re ready to transfer things over to the production environment, WP Engine will only copy the files over as opposed to the content stored in the WordPress database. However, it does give you the option to copy the tables of your choice from the staging site database if that’s something that you want to do.

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Meanwhile, Kinsta only offers two environments in its development workflow: staging and production. When you’re ready to transfer things over to the production environment, Kinsta copies not just the entire site but the database as well, so you have less control over what gets transferred between environments when compared to WP Engine.

Both Kinsta and WP Engine offer migration support, but they handle it differently. Each Kinsta plan allows you to migrate one site over to their hosting with the assistance of their expert engineers. You may need to wait a little bit, depending on the engineering team’s availability, but it also guarantees that you will have an expert overseeing every step of the process in case something goes wrong.

WP Engine relies on a free plug-in, Automated Migration, to move sites over to their hosting. This offers more flexibility in terms of the number of sites you can move and how many sites you can migrate, but it also means that an expert engineer won’t be on call if anything goes wrong in the process. If something does go awry, you’ll have to reach out to WP Engine tech support and wait for a response just like any other issue

Backups and security

Both Kinsta and WP Engine offer four types of backups: automatic, system-generated, manual and downloadable. WP Engine stores the 40 most recent checkpoints for up to 60 days. If you need to access an older checkpoint within that 60 day window, their support team can help you out. As for other security measures, WP Engine has a dedicated security engineering team that creates WordPress-specific security features to scan for malware and detect threats. WP Engine has also partnered with Cloudflare to create the Global Edge Security add-on plan, which provides more protection for an added monthly fee.

Meanwhile, Kinsta offers two additional kinds of backups: optional hourly backups and external backups sent automatically to your Amazon S3 or Google Cloud Storage. However, it only stores backups for between 14 and 30 days depending on what plan you are on. It’s up to you whether or not it’s worth the tradeoff to get the additional types of backups, but to store your files for less time. All Kinsta plans also get access to a free Cloudflare integration which offers enterprise-level firewall and DDoS protection for peace of mind.

Choosing between Kinsta and WP Engine

Both Kinsta and WP Engine are trustworthy, high-performance options for hosting your WordPress site(s); it really comes down to your specific needs and the exact features you want. Kinsta is slightly more geared to beginners with its dedicated migration support, while WP Engine provides more options for staging and development. You can’t go wrong with either Kinsta or WP Engine, but before making your choice, do carefully scrutinize your unique hosting needs to make sure you’ve chosen the platform that covers the most of them.

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