Moving from Amazon AWS Lightsail to Kinsta

In several blog posts I shared how this website is run, I wrote about how our WordPress website is configured (plugins we use, the page builders, theme, and more details).

And also about the hoster we use to run this site. Which until recently was Amazon AWS Lightsail.

Now we migrated this website to Kinsta, and I want to share the reasons that led to the decisions and the first impressions I got with them.

About Amazon Lightsail

It was, and still is, a very tailored down offer for people that are keen to use Amazon AWS but are overwhelmed by the sheer options it offers. When I discovered the Lightsail offering I was hooked, because it offered me a way to learn about AWS and at the same time have a fixed monthly fee for running WordPress.

Setting up the first playground WordPress website on Amazon was easy. You use the Bitnami image provided for the service, make a few simple (well documented) edits on the configuration, and your site is up.

But there’s a lot more to it when it comes to connecting it to your domain, getting the SSL cert installed (and renewed..), backups, security, and so on.

You own the virtual machine in the Amazon cloud, with all benefits and troubles it comes with.

For us, that meant constantly hiring our freelancer to take care of the tech-layer of our simple WordPress website.

Amazon Lightsail Pricing

Kinsta came into play

I am a close follower of Kinsta for some time, both their blog and newsletter always featured interesting stuff about WordPress. So I signed up for their demo environment, played around with it.

After that first impression, I recommended it to some of my clients. Two ultimately made the switch and have been super happy since then. Both sites have 100x the traffic we have here.

The main benefit of using a managed WordPress hosting provider is that you do have not to take care of the tech-layer of running a WordPress website. Backups, security, SSL certs, performance/caching plugins – all of that is taken care of by Kinsta.

A few things I immediately liked about Kinsta:

  • The free migration by a Kinsta engineer: You pass on login details to your site, and hours later your site migration is done.
  • 1:1 support chat that helped me bring the site live
    While the documentation was very clear and simple, I wanted to quickly confirm the DNS changes and some other details – done in minutes.
  • Create a staging environment with a click
    Technically you can do this with a few clicks on a cheap hosting too, but with Kinsta this is so simple that you will never again play around on the live site with new plugins etc.
Screenshot: Create a staging environment of your live site with one click

It’s the first time I am a customer of a managed WordPress hosting company – and it makes already a huge difference for me. The list above is just a small set of things you get when hosting with Kinsta.

Wait a moment – you now pay 600 bucks a year for hosting this site? Yes, that is right.

Theoretically, I could host this site on a $5/month shared hosting plan. But I also have a yearly license for a caching plugin, a security plugin, a backup plugin, Cloudflare on top. That doesn’t add up to $600/year. But adding the costs of paying our freelancer to manage the tech layer of our WordPress site and you will quickly land above 600$/year.

Conclusion

If your WordPress website plays a substantial part in running your business, using a managed WordPress hoster is a no-brainer. There are many players in the field, and also cheaper ones.

With Kinsta, I don’t have to worry about the tech layer, instead, I can focus on further developing the design and content of our website.

While there are still many ways to f*ck up your site (Kinsta is not your site developer), you have way fewer worries about performance, backups, security. I think it’s worth the money.

Disclaimer: I already signed up for the Kinsta affiliate program a while ago (long before making the move to Kinsta myself). This praising article isn’t influenced by that – I simply would not write it.

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