Running a commercial site, or any site for that matter, you have to take into account the time it takes for your content to be presented to the visitor. In the busy world of today, speed is essential. Nobody has time to wait for anything, and if you find your site lacking in this regard, you won’t last long.
When it comes to speed and optimization, content is never an issue – these are aspects solely in the “technical domain.” You have to be able to put out whatever you want and still have no qualms and fears about whether everything will hold. A good hosting service will provide you with just that – a peace of mind that comes from knowing you’re taken care of in every regard, you just think about what you want the world to see.
For all of this, it’s clear a simple free service won’t be able to cut it – you’ll want to get yourself a premium one. Parting with money is never easy, especially if there are free options available on the market, so we’ll try to cover what kind of support and infrastructure you’ll be getting with a premium service that just isn’t there when running a free or bargain-bin solution. For our example, we’ll be using Kinsta, one of the leaders in the market of premium hosting services.
Google Cloud Platform
To provide the best possible service, Kinsta uses the Google Cloud Platform premium tier network with 17 data centers around the world, located in the US, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and South America with the 18th (Hong Kong) coming online by the end November. Further expansions are already in the works for 2019 with Zurich being the first one announced.
Data centers aren’t randomly allocated. Instead, you’ll get to choose which one suits you best. Because most of the highly populated regions are covered (some multiple times over), your site shouldn’t experience any latency whatsoever. This, in turn, means a silky smooth experience for your visitors. All the data centers are connected with a private state of the art cable network that spans the globe.
The amount of data centers is one thing that contributes to overall performance, what those data centers contain is another. Virtual machines with up to 96 CPU-s and hundreds of gigabytes of RAM are utilized for extreme speeds and stability.
The global coverage and robust accompanying virtual machines are just some of the reasons this platform has soared in popularity in the IT sector. When taking into account that 4 in 5 IT managers are using some kind of public cloud data storage solution, you can really see how a big deal it is being their number one service.
Now the important thing to point out here is there are two tiers for hosting services to opt for – the standard and premium tier. Although you’ll be perfectly fine with “just” the standard tier going with a hosting service that uses the premium tier (like Kinsta) provides you with certain benefits. The premium tier is specifically designed to take full advantage of the underlying infrastructure minimizing distance and hops your data needs to travel guaranteeing you the fastest transfers possible.
This kind of infrastructure will not only give you the fastest transfers possible but also help your site handle any spikes in traffic. Kinsta employs an automatic scaling system that’s designed for just such situations. This means that their virtual machines are set up in a way to automatically allow the server’s resources to scale based on the traffic received.
Domain Name System
Domain Name System, or DNS for short, is basically a system that connects your domain name with your IP address. This is one of the most important implementations not just for hosting, but for the internet in general. Without it, we would have to use IP addresses to search for sites instead of names. Now there really are a lot of free DNS providers, but since Kinsta offers premium DNS with its packages, we’ll be focusing on what makes them the best choice.
One of the main things premium DNS provides is security. The number of DDoS attacks (distributed denial of service) is rising exponentially every year, and a serious site has to be able to protect itself. In this instance, premium options are simply better equipped to handle these kinds of threats.
If these attacks cannot be stopped, then it’s paramount that a sound failover strategy is in place. It’s advised to run multiple DNS providers, so if one is attacking, your site won’t suffer any downtime since you’ll just switch to the alternate provider. TTL (time to live) is another option that helps. This lets you run your site from your cache before it’s cleared. It’s a good option, but with much reliance on time. If your site goes down and your cache will hold for a few more days, chances are your visitor won’t even notice. However, if your site goes down right before the clearing, you won’t have any backup to fall back on. A combination of multiple DNS providers with decent TTL-s on them is the best solution to keep your site up at all times.
As we’ve mentioned already, Kinsta uses premium DNS in its plans, more specifically Amazon Route 53 premium DNS. Among other things, they provide DNS failover, latency and geolocation routing that ensures the stability of your site.
You can check the details done through the test below.
Content Delivery Network
Content Delivery Network or CDN are network servers positioned around the world that help with file transfers by improving their speeds. How exactly it works is quite simple. You store your site on a host server somewhere in the world (with Kinsta you’ll get to choose a data center). Visitors that are geographically close to you will have higher speeds because the data has less to travel, but if someone half a world away wants to access the same content, he’ll have a slower time loading it. These are the times CDN comes to the rescue. It helps reduce the latency by loading the same content from servers that are closer to the requester.
The most obvious benefit of using CDN is the reduction of latency for your visitors, but that isn’t the only one. It’s very important in managing spikes in traffic. Improving your speed helps with SEO. It’s been proven that faster sites have a better ranking in Google than slower ones (picture below).
Using CDN relieves some of the pressure on your host server making it easier corral an upsurge in traffic. This can also cut some of the costs of the host server since you’ll be using less bandwidth (if your bandwidth is finite within your hosting plan). Security is also a factor because you’ll be able to put up firewalls at each server making multiple protection points.
Now as you’ve probably already figured, Kinsta provides CDN in its plans. They offer free integration with KeyCDN but also have support for other, third-party providers like Cloudflare, CDN77, Fastly, etc.
Improved standard features
It’s important to note once more that everything we’ve mention Kinsta offers for free within their plans. Without a doubt, you’ll get a true premium service. But if for any reason you’re still in doubt, we have other great news.
Over the past couple of months, Kinsta analyzed the feedbacks and decided to focus on adding more long-term values by offering special upgrades to current plans. First of these is SSH availability in every price tier (previously available only on higher ones). This means you’ll be able to use Bedrock and Trellis, Git, Composer, and WP-CLI. Adding SSH keys is done via MyKinsta.
Disk space is also bumped for the lower tiers:
- Starter plans – from 3 GB to 5 GB
- Pro plans – from 6 GB to 10 GB
- Business 1 plans – from 10 GB to 15 GB
Lastly, they’ve implemented a free migration in all annually paid Starter plans. With migrations quite often turning out to be such hassles, this comes as a welcome addition.
Kinsta can definitely provide you with the tools and resources to run a successful global site without having to worry about the technical details. With their commitment to upgrading both their infrastructure and services to the highest standards, you can be sure you’ll be getting as much as possible for the money you put in. If they aren’t calculating where to spend and where to save to bring you the best, then neither should you.