Moving 500+ sites to Kinsta


Over the past 6 months I’ve worked with Kinsta to move over 500+ sites from WP Engine. This will be my official review and recap of that massive switchover. I’ll just begin with a spoiler and say I couldn’t be happier with the whole process and consider this upgrade a huge success. 🎉

WP Engine has been great to work with and still is a solid WordPress web host.

I’ve been a long time WP Engine customer and have utilized various dedicated servers. They do many things right. That said when it comes to the hosting infrastructure, Kinsta has been leading the way with their implementation of container based hosting. Their focus on containers is really starting to pay off. There are many benefits in performance, better isolation and scalability. I foresee that in the next few years that other hosting companies will soon follow Kinsta’s lead in order to remain relevant.

Two tweets from Kinsta that had me sold.

My timing couldn’t have been better. I was already preparing to move a batch of sites from WP Engine to Kinsta when I saw 2 tweets from Kinsta that made the decision a no brainer. The first was the announcement of their new multi-user access functionality ✔. I was already beta testing that feature so I knew it was coming soon. This feature was a must have for a number of my customers with WP Engine.

The second was their announcement of free unlimited site migrations from WP Engine ✔. I put their claims to the test when I filled up a spreadsheet of 100 sites and handled it over to the team at Kinsta to start site migrations.

Kinsta was able to start moving sites over with access to my WP Engine account and a simple spreadsheet.

They handled creating the new sites, adding domain mappings and imported redirections from WP Engine. In fact Kinsta was able to move faster than I could keep up. Early in the migrations I ran into a Let’s Encrypt rate limitation of 10 new SSLs per hour. That resulted in me requesting that Kinsta slow down the migrations to batches of 10. With that slowed paced we were able to consistently move between 1 or 2 batches of sites per day. Within the first week 100 sites had been migrated.

The workflow was in real time and thorough. 🕵

Thanks to Google Spreadsheets I could see in real time as each site was completed. I was responsible to handle DNS update and SSL install. Due to a similar work schedule I was able to complete those shortly after each site was moved. Kinsta went above and beyond by scanning each site for malware and creating a preview link using SkipDNS.link. They noted any errors they saw which were mostly related to the PHP update (WP Engine on PHP 7.0 and Kinsta on PHP 7.3). For more specific workflow overview you should read WP Engine to Kinsta Bulk Migration Tips.

Some manual migrations but not many.

There were a handful of sites which fell outside the free migration offer from Kinsta. Those included multisite networks and highly dynamic sites such as membership or ecommerce. I could have had scheduled with Kinsta to do those as part of my paid migration allocation however I decided to handle them myself. With SSH it’s actually fairly easy to move a site from WP Engine’s snapshot.

Simple and easily understood custom plans.

Kinsta bases all of their custom plans on number of sites, disk usage, CDN usage and visitors. This makes their pricing really easy to understand as you don’t have to think about the underlying server. Trust me, buying and adjusting VPSs can be a huge time waste and is not fun. Kinsta fully manages the servers which power their containers.

Kinsta is my recommended WordPress host. 🏆

I’m not an affiliate nor do I get paid to recommend any web host. I’m simply a power user as I rely on other providers like Kinsta and WP Engine. That said if your not interested in having Anchor Hosting manage your WordPress site then you should absolutely host with Kinsta.