Kinsta vs SiteGround vs Cloudways vs WPX Hosting

Kinsta vs SiteGround vs Cloudways vs WPX Hosting

These days, there are many different hosting providers in the world. From my own experience, I can recommend you 4 such companies. You can find their reviews in my another article.

Here, I will show you how you can move your website to any of these companies.

You will also see many screenshots from speed tests of my blog when it was hosted with each of these companies.

Let’s get started!

 

How To Transfer Site To Kinsta

 

Here are the steps which you need to go through in order to transfer your site to Kinsta (we will do the migration process using free but amazing WordPress plugin):

1. Log into your WordPress dashboard and go to Plugins -> Add New. Install and activate Migrate Guru plugin.

migration to Kinsta - Migrate Guru 001

2. Log into your Kinsta dashboard and click Sites -> Add site. Next, fill in the form shown below.

migration to Kinsta - Migrate Guru 002

Location is the location of your new server.

Site name is a name which will help you to recognize the site in Kinsta dashboard.

Remember to check the option I’ll use my own domain. Next, you will need to type in your domain name. If you want your site to begin with www, type in ‘www.‘ just before your domain name.

Next, you will have to choose the option Add a brand new WordPress install.

WordPress site title is not especially important. It will be imported with your site anyway.

As a WordPress admin username, password, and email, you should type in your current data. Otherwise, you can change them and type in new ones in particular fields.

You should also choose a language of your new WordPress installation.

Below, you will also find 2 or 3 additional options such as installation of Yoast SEO or WooCommerce. It is your choice whether you’ll check them or not. Personally, I do not need these options so I do not check any of them.

3. When your server starts working, you should go back to your current WordPress dashboard and click Migrate Guru in the menu on the left. Next, type in your email address where you want to receive notifications about migration process, check I agree to BlogVault (…) and click Migrate Site.

migration to Kinsta - Migrate Guru 003

4. On the next screen, choose FTP (hint: You can use this option in order to move your website to almost every hosting provider.).

migration to Kinsta - Migrate Guru 004

5. Fill in the fields shown on the screenshot below.

migration to Kinsta - Migrate Guru 005

Destination Site URL should start with http. We will switch to https later. If you want your site to contain www, add ‘www.‘ just after two slashes.

FTP Type should be set to SFTP.

The rest of required data can be found in Kinsta dashboard.

migration to Kinsta - Migrate Guru 0006

As you can see above, there’s a COPY button on the right side of every field.

Important notice:

In order to copy SFTP password from Kinsta dashboard, you have to reveal the password first!

migration to Kinsta - Migrate Guru 0007

6. When you copy and paste all the necessary information, migration process will start.

migration to Kinsta - Migrate Guru 008

7. After completing the migration process, you should update your DNS settings. I assume that you have signed up on cloudflare.com and activated the service as I recommend everyone. If so, you just need to log into your Cloudflare dashboard, go to DNS tab and update all the rows containing your previous server’s IP address. All these fields should now contain your current IP address (this is the same address which you have used in order to migrate your site to Kinsta).

migration to Kinsta - Migrate Guru 009

8. Now, you should clear the cache in order to make sure that your website is loaded from the new server. Otherwise, you will not be able to install an SSL certificate.

In order to clear the cache on your server, go to your Kinsta dashboard and click Sites -> {choose your site from the list} -> Tools -> Clear cache.

migration to Kinsta - Migrate Guru 010

You should also clear the cache on your CDN (I assume that it is Cloudflare).

So now, go to cloudflare.com and log into your dashboard. Click Caching -> Purge Everything -> Purge Everything.

migration to Kinsta - Migrate Guru 011

9. Now, you should set domains which will be pointing to your site. In order to do that, go to your Kinsta dashboard and click Sites -> {choose your site from the list} -> Domains -> Add domains.

There should be two versions of your domain – www and non-www.

migration to Kinsta - Migrate Guru 012

As you can see above, in my example, www domain was added automatically when I was adding my website to Kinsta dashboard, so now I have to add only non-www domain.

If you even forgot to uncheck the checkbox shown on the screenshot above, nothing wrong would happen.

After this step, you should see something similar as you can see on the screenshot below.

migration to Kinsta - Migrate Guru 013

www domain should be set as a primary domain.

10. Now, you can install an SSL certificate for your site.

In order to do that, go to your Kinsta dashboard and click Sites -> Tools -> Enable HTTPS -> Generate free SSL certificate.

migration to Kinsta - Migrate Guru 014

Make sure that both your domain versions (www and non-www) are selected.

Click Generate certificate.

migration to Kinsta - Migrate Guru 015

After a while, the SSL certificate should be installed.

migration to Kinsta - Migrate Guru 016

11. After installing the SSL certificate, you should clear the cache again (both on your server and CDN) and check your website’s redirects.

So now, visit one or two websites from 301 redirect checker search results and check redirects of 3 combinations of your site’s URL according to the examples below:

  • http://www.alivebetter.pl
  • http://alivebetter.pl
  • https://alivebetter.pl

If everything is OK, these 3 combinations should show just one 301 redirect to https://www.alivebetter.pl.

migration to Kinsta - Migrate Guru 017

migration to Kinsta - Migrate Guru 018

As you can see on the screenshots above, in my case, there was one 301 redirect (it’s a great news), but there was http instead of https in the destination URL.

It means that there’s a need to enforce HTTPS using a tool available in Kinsta dashboard.

migration to Kinsta - Migrate Guru 019

migration to Kinsta - Migrate Guru 020

After forcing HTTPS, you should clear the cache again and check redirects again.

But this time, they should work 100% correctly! πŸ™‚

migration to Kinsta - Migrate Guru 021

migration to Kinsta - Migrate Guru 022

And voila, redirects are set properly πŸ™‚

12. And this is the last step of migrating your site to Kinsta and setting it up to work 100% properly.

Now, when you visit your website, your web browser will probably show you an information about mixed content of your site.

migration to Kinsta - Migrate Guru 023

In order to fix it, you need to go back to your Kinsta dashboard, and click Sites -> Tools -> Search and replace.

migration to Kinsta - Migrate Guru 024

Now, you need to search (one by one) for 3 URLs discussed above:

  • http://www.alivebetter.pl
  • http://alivebetter.pl
  • https://alivebetter.pl

and replace them with https://www.alivebetter.pl (obviously, you should use your own domain name instead of mine πŸ™‚ ).

migration to Kinsta - Migrate Guru 025

If you do these steps and clear the cache again, your website will be fully migrated and configured to work properly on Kinsta.

migration to Kinsta - Migrate Guru 026

 

How To Transfer Site To Cloudways

 

1. Go to cloudways.com, log into your account, and click Launch.

Cloudways migration 01

2. Select the newest available version of WordPress from the list and fill in the fields located to the right from the WP version according to the example below.

Then, choose one of 5 hosting providers, server size, and its location.

Click Launch Now.

Cloudways migration 02

Creating a server will take a few minutes.

Cloudways migration 03

Cloudways migration 04

3. When your new server starts working, log into your WordPress dashboard, and install and activate Cloudways Migrator plugin.

Cloudways migration 05

This is an amazing plugin created by Cloudways which allows you to transfer your site to Cloudways easily.

4. If you go to migration settings, you’ll see a few fields to fill in.

Cloudways migration 06

As it comes to email address, you should type in an address where you’d like to receive notifications concerning migration process. It may be another email address than the one used to log into your WordPress dashboard.

The rest of required information are available here:

Cloudways migration 07

and here:

Cloudways migration 08

Public IP, Username, and Password can be copied with just one click (Cloudways doesn’t require you to reveal the password in order to copy it).

DB Name can be also copied with just one click.

In order to copy URL, you need to click the button marked green on the screenshot above. Then you will see a new tab with the site loaded, and then you just need to copy the URL from the address bar of your web browser.

Below, you can see two screenshots of my blog’s migration process.

Cloudways migration 09

Cloudways migration 10

5. After the migration process finishes,

Cloudways migration 11

you should go to your new server settings and set a few things.

The first thing I can recommend you to change, is increasing the default upload size from 10 MB to even 128 MB.

Cloudways migration 12

This setting may be necessary if you want to upload some bigger files (such as premium WordPress themes) in the future. In other case, you may leave this value as it is.

The next important setting – if you use Cloudflare, you should go to the second tab (Advanced) and set WAF Module to Cloudflare.

Cloudways migration 13

Then, you should go to the Packages tab and switch PHP version to the latest one which is available (at the moment of this writing, it is PHP 7.3).

Cloudways migration 14

There are bloggers who recommend their readers to use a WordPress plugin called PHP Compatibility Checker.

Unfortunately, I have 3 reasons not to use this plugin:

  • it’s average score equals 3.3/5.0;
  • it was created by WP Engine which is actually very far from being the best hosting provider in the world (50% of their reviews on TrustPilot are 1.0/5.0 and 2.0/5.0…);
  • I’ve tested this plugin and it showed many compatibility issues on my blog. What’s interesting, I spend a few hours everyday browsing and improving my blog’s content and I do not encounter any errors at all…
Popular, good-quality plugins which are updated frequently, are usually compatible with the most recent PHP version. The best way to check PHP compatibility is to read their changelogs πŸ™‚ Click To Tweet

6. Now, you should add domain names similarly like I’ve shown you in case of migration to Kinsta.

In Cloudways, this option is located in Applications -> Domain Management.

Cloudways migration 15

7. After adding domain names, it’s time for changing DNS settings.

Like previously, I assume that you use Cloudflare. If so, you should log into your Cloudflare account and go to DNS tab.

Cloudways migration 16

8. Now, it’s time to purge cache on both your server and CDN.

Cloudways has this function located in Servers -> Manage Services.

Cloudways migration 17

If you use Cloudflare as a CDN, you should go to Caching tab and click Purge Everything -> Purge Everything.

9. Now, it’s time to install an SSL certificate. Such an option is available in Applications -> SSL Certificate.

Cloudways migration 18

If your website contains www in its URL, remember to install an SSL certificate for both www and non-www version (such as shown on the screenshot above).

10. After installing SSL certificate and clearing the cache, you should check your website’s redirects as I showed you in the part concerning migration to Kinsta.

This time, you will probably see a redirect leading to http instead of https.

Cloudways migration 19

In order to fix all the issues associated with redirects, you need to do two things.

11. Copy this block of code:

<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^www\. [NC]
RewriteRule ^ https://www.%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [L,R=301]
RewriteCond %{HTTP:X-Forwarded-Proto} !https
RewriteCond %{HTTPS} off
RewriteRule ^ https://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [L,R=301]
</IfModule>

and paste it at the beginning of your .htaccess file.

htaccess edit 01

htaccess edit 02

12. Use Search & Replace plugin in order to update all the links in your database.

Cloudways migration 20

In my case, I needed to search for:

  • https://alivebetter.com
  • http://alivebetter.com
  • http://www.alivebetter.com

and replace them with https://www.alivebetter.com.

Most guides recommend you to use Dry Run (in order to check how many rows will be updated) first, and then change settings to the ones on the screenshot above.

Truth to tell, there’s no need to use Dry Run at all.

If you go through all the steps written above, your website will be loading flawlessly.

Cloudways migration 21

Cloudways migration 22

 

How To Transfer Site To SiteGround

 

In order to migrate your website to SiteGround, you should do the same sequence of steps as in case of migration to Kinsta or Cloudways.

Therefore, this time, I will go more quickly through the process.

1. Create new website using SiteGround client area.

SiteGround Site Tools - migration 07

Important:

Do NOT use Migrate Website option. I tried it a few times, but every my attempt failed.

This is why I recommend you to use Start New Website option and then migrate your site with Migrate Guru.

2. Install WordPress if it’s not installed.

SiteGround Site Tools - migration 24

SiteGround Site Tools - migration 25

SiteGround Site Tools - migration 26

SiteGround Site Tools - migration 27

3. Install Migrate Guru and go to its settings.

As a destination hosting provider, choose FTP.

migration to Kinsta - Migrate Guru 004

Do NOT choose SiteGround here, because it would require you to type in cPanel details.

SiteGround switched from cPanel to their own solution some time ago, so choose an FTP option here.

4. Next, you’ll need to fill in 6 fields shown below.

migration to Kinsta - Migrate Guru 005

Destination Site URL – your website’s URL with http instead of https.

FTP Type – for majority of hosting providers it’s SFTP, but in case of SiteGround you should choose FTP.

Port – 21.

Destination Server IP – you can check it in Websites -> Server Details.

SiteGround Site Tools - migration 16

SiteGround Site Tools - migration 17

Directory Path – you will have to check it in File Manager.

SiteGround Site Tools - migration 69

Directory Path should end with public_html/.

In my case, it is /alivebetter.pl/public_html/ (you can see it below Explorer and Editor buttons).

FTP Username and Password should be created by you.

So now, go to tools.siteground.com -> Site -> FTP Accounts and create a new username and password of your choice.

Migrate Guru requires you to type in your full username (with ‘@domain.extension’). In my case, I had to type in [email protected] and a password of my choice.

5. After completing migration process and configuring DNS, an SSL certificate will be automatically installed.

The only things you may need to do is to enable HTTPS and fix insecure content suing SG Optimizer plugin.

SiteGround - SG Optimizer - fix mixed content issue

Alternatively, you may need to use Search & Replace plugin.

In such case, you should refer to the previous parts of this article.

There, you will find all the necessary information. πŸ™‚

 

How To Transfer Site To WPX Hosting

 

Migrating sites to WPX Hosting is quite similar to migrating to Kinsta and SiteGround (you will also need Migrate Guru plugin).

So in this part of the article, I will show you only the most important steps of the process.

1. Data for Migrate Guru settings.

migration to Kinsta - Migrate Guru 005

WPX Hosting migration 01

WPX Hosting migration 02

WPX Hosting migration 03

As you can see on the screenshot above, I have two domains hosted here.

alivebetter.pl is stored in the path /public_html/.

alivebetter.com is stored in the path /domains/alivebetter.com/public_html/.

2. WordPress installation and a free SSL installation options are available here:

WPX Hosting migration 04

3. As it comes to .htaccess file and redirects settings, you will set everything in a way identical as in case of Cloudways. So, go up a little and you will find 100% working solutions πŸ™‚

4. WPX Cloud is enabled by default. If you’re going to use any other CDN of your choice (such as Cloudflare), you need to disable WPX Cloud as quickly as possible!

 

Kinsta vs SiteGround vs Cloudways vs WPX Hosting – Loading Speed Tests

 

In this part of the article, I will show you speed tests results of particular hosting providers.

As I’ve shown you in this article, website loading speed is not especially important ranking factor.

However, it may be very interesting for majority of my readers.

 

GTmetrix PageSpeed

 

Cloudways (DigitalOcean 4 GB)

 

alivebetter.com - Cloudways DO 4 GB - GTmetrix 01

 

Kinsta

 

alivebetter.com - Kinsta - GTmetrix 01

 

SiteGround GoGeek

 

alivebetter.com - SiteGround GoGeek - GTmetrix 01

 

WPX Hosting

 

alivebetter.com - Kinsta - GTmetrix 01

 

GTmetrix YSlow

 

Cloudways (DigitalOcean 4 GB)

 

alivebetter.com - Cloudways DO 4 GB - GTmetrix 02

 

Kinsta

 

alivebetter.com - Kinsta - GTmetrix 02

 

SiteGround GoGeek

 

alivebetter.com - SiteGround GoGeek - GTmetrix 02

 

WPX Hosting

 

alivebetter.com - WPX Hosting - GTmetrix 02

 

GTmetrix Waterfall

 

Cloudways (DigitalOcean 4 GB)

 

alivebetter.com - Cloudways DO 4 GB - GTmetrix 03

 

Kinsta

 

alivebetter.com - Kinsta - GTmetrix 03

 

SiteGround GoGeek

 

alivebetter.com - SiteGround GoGeek - GTmetrix 03

 

WPX Hosting

 

alivebetter.com - WPX Hosting - GTmetrix 03

 

PageSpeed Insights – desktop

 

Cloudways (DigitalOcean 4 GB)

 

alivebetter.com - Cloudways DO 4 GB - PageSpeed Insights desktop

 

Kinsta

 

alivebetter.com - Kinsta - PageSpeed Insights desktop

 

SiteGround GoGeek

 

alivebetter.com - SiteGround GoGeek - PageSpeed Insights desktop

 

WPX Hosting

 

alivebetter.com - WPX Hosting - PageSpeed Insights desktop

 

PageSpeed Insights – mobile

 

Cloudways (DigitalOcean 4 GB)

 

alivebetter.com - Cloudways DO 4 GB - PageSpeed Insights mobile

 

Kinsta

 

alivebetter.com - Kinsta - PageSpeed Insights mobile

 

SiteGround GoGeek

 

alivebetter.com - SiteGround GoGeek - PageSpeed Insights mobile

 

WPX Hosting

 

alivebetter.com - WPX Hosting - PageSpeed Insights mobile

 

Pingdom – London

 

Cloudways (DigitalOcean 4 GB)

 

alivebetter.com - Cloudways DO 4 GB - Pingdom - London

 

Kinsta

 

alivebetter.com - Kinsta - Pingdom - London

 

SiteGround GoGeek

 

alivebetter.com - SiteGround GoGeek - Pingdom - London

 

WPX Hosting

 

alivebetter.com - WPX Hosting - Pingdom - London

 

Pingdom – San Francisco

 

Cloudways (DigitalOcean 4 GB)

 

alivebetter.com - Cloudways DO 4 GB - Pingdom - San Francisco

 

Kinsta

 

alivebetter.com - Kinsta - Pingdom - San Francisco

 

SiteGround GoGeek

 

alivebetter.com - SiteGround GoGeek - Pingdom - San Francisco

 

WPX Hosting

 

alivebetter.com - WPX Hosting - Pingdom - San Francisco

 

WebPageTest

 

Cloudways (DigitalOcean 4 GB)

 

alivebetter.com - Cloudways DO 4 GB - WebPageTest

 

Kinsta

 

alivebetter.com - Kinsta - WebPageTest

 

SiteGround GoGeek

 

alivebetter.com - SiteGround GoGeek - WebPageTest

 

WPX Hosting

 

alivebetter.com - WPX Hosting - WebPageTest

 

Dotcom-Tools

 

Cloudways (DigitalOcean 4 GB)

 

alivebetter.com - Cloudways DO 4 GB - Dotcom-Tools

 

Kinsta

 

alivebetter.com - Kinsta - Dotcom-Tools

 

SiteGround GoGeek

 

alivebetter.com - SiteGround GoGeek - Dotcom-Tools

 

WPX Hosting

 

alivebetter.com - WPX Hosting - Dotcom-Tools