Kinsta: Building a better hosting service with Google Cloud Platform

About Kinsta

Founded in 2013, Kinsta is a managed WordPress hosting provider designed for enterprises and others that receive significant traffic. Its team is scattered across the globe in places such as London, Los Angeles, and Budapest.

Industries: Technology
Location: United States

Google Cloud Platform helps Kinsta provide a more secure blog hosting service with industry-leading performance that has fueled spectacular growth and customer loyalty.

Google Cloud Platform Results

  • Reduces hosting costs by 15% to 20%
  • Grows revenue 600% over 3 years
  • Enjoys a customer churn rate of less than 5%

Reduced site load times by up to 50%

By taking a customer-centric approach and providing access to the latest technology, Kinsta has become one of the fastest growing WordPress hosts in Europe and America. Since migrating to Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Kinsta has grown its revenue by a factor of six over just three years. The company initially chose Google Cloud Platform due to an increasing need for performance and reliability.

With Kinsta’s rapid growth, using second-tier cloud hosting companies proved to be a pain point in the long run. While these types of providers offer VMs at a lower cost, in the end, inconsistent uptimes, unplanned maintenance windows, and the lack of live migration quickly became very costly for Kinsta. On the Google Cloud Platform infrastructure, with live migration and data redundancy features, Kinsta and its clients don't have to worry about extended, unexpected downtime.

“We needed a more stable infrastructure and looked at a few options. Google came out on top,” says Brian Jackson, Chief Marketing Officer at Kinsta. “Google Cloud Platform is an improvement in every way, from pricing and performance to the direction Google was heading with the platform. Plus, Google is a brand that our customers trust. We saw it as a great way to reinforce the value of our services. And Kinsta’s under 5% customer churn rate shows that we’re doing something right.”

“Google Compute Engine can scale dramatically. Some of our clients have needed tremendous resources in a short space of time, and Google Cloud Platform makes this possible.”

Mark Gavalda, Founder & CEO, Kinsta

Customizable infrastructure, global presence

Kinsta began migrating its infrastructure to GCP about two years ago. Using Google Compute Engine features allows Kinsta to scale up or down at speed to help ensure smooth performance for its customers, even when faced with unexpected surges of traffic. The flexibility of Compute Engine meant that Kinsta could create its own containers on each instance, giving the company the ability to modify the hosting environment and optimize customer experiences. Unlike a shared hosting or Virtual Private Servers (VPS) server hosting solution, GCP allows Kinsta to utilize massive Compute Engine machines that have up to 96 CPUs and hundreds of gigabytes of RAM.

Meanwhile, per-second billing and flexible pricing helped keep GCP within Kinsta’s price range.

“Google Compute Engine can scale dramatically,” says Mark Gavalda, Founder and CEO at Kinsta. “Some of our clients have needed tremendous resources in a short space of time, and Google Cloud Platform makes this possible.”

Kinsta’s client DARTDrones is a great example of a company benefiting from the scalability and power of Google Cloud. The company approached Kinsta prior to airing on the U.S. TV series Shark Tank and chatted with Kinsta support engineers to discuss the best options to help it prepare and scale its WooCommerce site for what some call the “Shark Tank Effect.” Within the heavy, six-hour period after airing, DARTDrones received a total of 1,263,233 requests. Thanks to GCP and Kinsta’s optimizations DARTDrones suffered no downtime.

With customers worldwide, Kinsta can take advantage of the highly distributed Google presence, maintaining instances across all the Google Cloud regions. In addition, Google continues to add data centers worldwide, which in turn become available to Kinsta’s customers who can choose the location of their data center.

The primary way this feature benefits Kinsta customers is by reducing latency when a customer chooses a data center close to the majority of its site visitors. Selecting a data center is especially important for customers in the European Union, where General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) stipulate strict rules around the data location.

“The fact that we can quickly set up separate containers for every website using Google Compute Engine is amazing and a much better way of working for us. It also addresses privacy issues because everything is separated and more secure.”

Brian Jackson, Chief Marketing Officer, Kinsta

Scalable, affordable, and fast

The superior performance and flexible pricing of Google Cloud Platform helped Kinsta cut costs compared with its previous infrastructure provider. Meanwhile, thanks to the stability and reliability of GCP, Kinsta customers have benefited from a smoother service that can handle high levels of traffic. “When one of our customers, a popular news site, encountered viral traffic due to a sporting event, requests spiked to over half a million in under 24 hours,” says Brian. “With autoscaling features and some smart caching in Compute Engine, we kept the website running throughout the spike and even reduced page load times.”

Since Kinsta moved to GCP, Google has diversified its network offerings to include a private, global, fiber optic network which can reach speeds of 10,000TB per second in some regions: this means Google traffic is more secure and typically exceeds the speed of the public internet, an important consideration for Kinsta as customer expectations for speed continue to rise.

The tiered network options Google provides also allow Kinsta to differentiate itself from other providers. As a Premium Tier customer, Kinsta pays for the highest performance, and passes the lower latency and higher speed on to its customers. Its performance has made Kinsta a Top Tier enterprise hosting solution in Review Signal’s performance rankings for the past four years.

Working with security experts

Kinsta customers are smart technology consumers who ask challenging questions about the technology behind the hosting service. With data breaches dominating news cycles, questions about encryption at rest and other security measures have grown. To help build customer confidence in the service, Kinsta is confident relying not only on robust security documentation from Google, but also on its experience and reputation. “It gives us and our customers peace of mind knowing that we’re drawing on 15 years of Google expertise when we build our offerings,” says Brian.

At Kinsta, the Compute Engine architecture contributes to the security of the hosting platform. “The fact that we can quickly set up separate containers for every website using Google Compute Engine is amazing and a much better way of working for us,” says Brian. “It also addresses privacy issues because everything is separated and more secure.”

As Google expands its offerings, Kinsta continues to explore adding new technologies. Kinsta also recently integrated Google Stackdriver into its troubleshooting toolkit and now uses it daily to solve CPU load and disk issues throughout its data centers. In addition, Kinsta is exploring other options such as integrating G Suite into its dashboard, or implementing Google Cloud CDN.

With Google Cloud Platform, Kinsta can continue to deliver the same outstanding customer service even as it grows. “Google is a major cloud innovator and is on the cutting edge of technology,” says Mark. “We have witnessed the rapid growth and commitment to expansion firsthand. Many other cloud providers have been around for decades, but in just a few years Google has launched over 15 data centers, now offers a split premium and standard tier network, has consistently added new machines with more storage and CPU power, and finds ways to discount prices to its partners and consumers. We know that as Google Cloud Platform evolves, so do we and we can, in turn, roll out new advanced services to our customers.”

About Kinsta

Founded in 2013, Kinsta is a managed WordPress hosting provider designed for enterprises and others that receive significant traffic. Its team is scattered across the globe in places such as London, Los Angeles, and Budapest.

Industries: Technology
Location: United States
Google Cloud Platform logo

12 Months FREE TRIAL

Try Kubernetes Engine, BigQuery, and other Cloud Platform products with $300 in free credit and 12 months.

TRY IT FREE
Google Cloud Platform logo

12 Months FREE TRIAL

Try Kubernetes Engine, BigQuery, and other Cloud Platform products with $300 in free credit and 12 months.

TRY IT FREE