Azure’s cloud computing options aren’t the best when you’re looking for managed WordPress hosting. They’re more aimed at experienced developers interested in deploying and configuring their own Virtual Machines (VMs) and cloud servers.
DIY options may seem beneficial due to the lower costs. However, many people severely underestimate the money, time, and effort that goes into handling their own hosting. Although setting up and managing your own cloud servers is possible, it’s not necessarily the most cost- or time-efficient option for your business.
At Kinsta, we hear every day from frustrated clients who are tired of the challenges that come with trying to manage their own servers. Many are looking for an Azure alternative, and want to learn about what makes Kinsta unique.
That’s what we’ll answer here. We’ll discuss what distinguishes Kinsta from DIY cloud providers such as Azure, and explore the benefits of using Kinsta as your managed WordPress host.
How Kinsta Compares to Azure Hosting in a Nutshell
Before we take a deep dive into the specifics of Kinsta vs Azure, let’s first look at a brief breakdown of the key differences. If you’re looking to move to cloud technologies for your hosting, two popular infrastructure providers are Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform.
Kinsta is the first host to be powered exclusively by the Google Cloud Platform. Google’s premium-tier network positions us to maximize the speed, security, and performance of each site hosted with us.
We are also proud to be the highest-rated managed WordPress host on G2, the world’s leading software review and comparison site:
When you use a cloud computing provider such as Azure, you’re charged with the responsibility of building, configuring, updating, and maintaining all the technology and systems needed to keep your site and server running.
However, at Kinsta, we have system administrators working behind the scenes to take care of the servers. We recognize that it’s not the easiest task nor is it the most beginner-friendly option, which is why many people opt for managed WordPress hosting.
With Azure, you can purchase VMs, disks, SQL databases, and everything else you need to build your own cloud infrastructure and hosting environment. With Kinsta, you can get a hassle-free all-in-one hosting solution backed by Google’s superior premium network. This will free you up to focus on other areas of business, and prevent mistakes that could cost you big.
Some additional differences between Kinsta vs Azure include:
- Kinsta is a leading managed WordPress hosting provider that offers all-in-one solutions for running and managing your WordPress website. Azure is a cloud infrastructure provider that offers Windows or Linux-based VMs for building and deploying your own applications.
- Kinsta’s feature-packed, ready-made platform is both developer- and beginner-friendly. Azure is designed largely for experienced developers and system administrators who aren’t concerned about their budgets, and who have the time, patience, and technical skills needed to create, configure, and manage their own servers.
- Kinsta uses Google Cloud’s premium global tier network and Google’s latest generation Compute-Optimized VMs (C2), which are the most expensive and fastest machines available.
- Kinsta’s affordable plans include everything needed to maximize site speed, performance, and security. With Azure, it’s a lot more complicated because you’ll have to collect, purchase, and piece the tools together yourself.
- Kinsta has 32 data centers across the globe. Although Azure also has an expansive global presence, the available zone regions vary based on which product(s) you’re using.
- All of our plans include a free Content Delivery Network (CDN) and free premium DNS. Azure offers a CDN for an additional price.
- Kinsta support, composed of WordPress experts and engineers, is available 24/7 for every customer, regardless of your plan. Azure uses a tiered support system, with premium support starting at $29 per month.
- Unlike Azure, Kinsta offers free Cloudflare SSL certificates with wildcard support.
- All Kinsta plans come with our custom-built, WordPress-specific MyKinsta dashboard with one-click WordPress installation, access to WP-CLI, SSH, and Git, support for Nginx reverse proxy, as well as the Redis add-on.
- We offer six types of backups: free automatic/daily, optional hourly, manual, system generated, downloadable, and backups sent automatically to your Amazon S3 or Google Cloud storage.
- At Kinsta, we perform weekly automatic MySQL database optimization on all your sites to ensure better performance.
- Staging environments are available on all Kinsta plans, while at Azure you need to handle the staging creation on your own.
- Kinsta plans include everything you need to harden and secure your site and server, including a premium DNS, daily 720x uptime monitoring, IP Geolocation, hardware firewalls, and Cloudflare Firewall. Azure offers security products, which you’re responsible for purchasing and configuring.
- Kinsta offers simple, straightforward hosting plans and packages, which can be easily integrated with add-on solutions. Azure pricing can be confusing, with a pay-as-you-go model that can make anticipating and keeping track of monthly costs tricky.
- Kinsta has a 30-day money-back guarantee, while Azure does not.
- Kinsta’s platform is optimized for WooCommerce, while Azure doesn’t have any WooCommerce-specific features built into its products.
- Kinsta has a very attractive affiliate program with recurring commissions.
- Kinsta offers a free 100% hack-fix guarantee.
Try it out for yourself with our free MyKinsta dashboard demo! Register your account to see the user-friendly interface and explore our various tools.
Kinsta is Built for Performance and Scalability – Managed vs. DIY Setup
Kinsta’s unique, powerful hosting solution doesn’t fit into any of the categories of traditional hosting, such as shared, VPS, or dedicated plans. Our infrastructure was custom built to deliver unparalleled performance and support.
The raw cost of building your own hosting environment and configuring your applications is cheaper. For example, at Azure you can get 12 free months of service. However, it’s important to note that this doesn’t include the bells and whistles you need to maximize site performance, security, or speed.
With DIY Azure solutions, you’ll also be responsible for:
- Assigning IP addresses
- Setting up your DNS records
- Installing PHP
- Installing Nginx/Apache
- Setting up proper website caching
- Securing your server and WordPress sites
- Dealing with DDoS attacks
- Constantly checking for vulnerabilities
- Creating daily backups
- Setting up a CDN
- Implementing a firewall solution
- Scanning plugins and themes for vulnerabilities
- Coming up with a staging solution
- Website monitoring
- Setting up and renewing your SSL certificate
- Troubleshooting on your own
- Keeping all software on the server up to date
Azure certainly has tools, features, and add-ons you can use for the above tasks. However, they don’t come built into your plan like they do with Kinsta. DIY hosting is very time-consuming, costly, and requires a lot of expertise.
Meanwhile, starting at just $35 per month, Kinsta plans include all of these technical elements and more. We also provide unmatched site performance. This is because we only use the latest and fastest technologies for our tech stack.
For example, in addition to Google Cloud Platform’s word-class architecture, we also use isolated container technology. For every site hosted here, we use LXD-managed hosts and LXC software containers. This means that every site has its own isolated container equipped with all the necessary resources, including MySQL, PHP, Linux, and Nginx.
Kinsta’s scalable cloud infrastructure also enables you to upgrade or downgrade with ease. We have custom-compiled Linux packages and Nginx rulesets to maximize the performance of your WordPress sites, as well as more than 30 different software packages and PHP extensions.
In addition, configuration is never a concern. You can launch a new WordPress site quickly and easily directly from your MyKinsta dashboard, and choose from any of our 32 global data centers.
Another benefit of using Kinsta is our unique caching system that helps to optimize speed and performance. We cache everything at the server level, which is critical for WooCommerce and other dynamic sites. Kinsta uses a variety of advanced caching systems to reduce server load and accelerate response times, including Bytecode, Query cache, Page cache, CDN cache, and Object cache. This eliminates the need for any caching plugins or add-ons.
We also use compute-optimized C2 Google Cloud machines that enable our customers to see significant improvements in average response times:
In fact, depending on the type of site you’re running, switching to Kinsta could result in an immediate speed improvement between 20% and 300%:
I am pleasantly surprised at the ease and speed of setting up WordPress with Kinsta. I love the staging environment and the deployment to production!
Kinsta managed WordPress hosting streamlines all aspects of server and site management. Our experienced technicians handle everything for you. In the long run, this can save you a lot of time and money.
Expert Support for WordPress
There are many different problems that can lead to performance issues with your WordPress site. If your site were to suddenly slow or break, would you know how to troubleshoot, identify, and resolve the issue? Considering that Azure’s support rating on Review Signal is 58%, it’s not likely you could rely on its team to walk you through that process.
However, with Kinsta as your managed WordPress host, this wouldn’t be a concern. Our superior support team can save you time that might otherwise be spent researching the internet for answers or attempting to troubleshoot the issue on your own, only to make matters worse.
At Kinsta, we treat every customer as a mission-critical priority, regardless of their plan. We offer 24/7 premium support for every plan, and our WordPress experts and engineers are always ready to provide quick, concise answers to your questions and concerns.
We also offer multilingual support, with resources that are available in over 10 languages. In addition to being knowledgeable, our support team is also quick and convenient. In fact, we have an initial ticket response time of under two minutes!
We use the Intercom customer messaging platform, so all communications are logged. This means you won’t ever need to repeat yourself to multiple support agents.
If you have problematic high traffic sites like us, you’ll love their migration service — they took care of everything and even identified some problem plugins that had been installed by former members of our team. I would have spent hours on the migration due to the size without their help.
Azure offers tiered support plans. All customers receive basic 24/7 support, which is mostly just how-to videos and documentation. The Developer support plan costs an additional $29 per month, and the Standard support plan costs $100 per month.
MyKinsta: A Custom-Built Dashboard for Powerful Site Management
When you sign up for an Azure account, you’ll have access to a basic portal with your account information, resources, etc. However, you won’t get a dashboard that is specifically optimized for WordPress site management like you do with Kinsta.
At Kinsta, our mission is to make managing your WordPress site as simple as possible. This is why we custom-built our own user portal, MyKinsta:
Let’s take a look at some of the powerful features that make our MyKinsta dashboard so useful:
- One-click staging environments, and an option to restore backups to production or staging.
- Quick phpMyAdmin access.
- Premium Amazon Route 53 DNS, to manage your DNS records directly in the dashboard.
- Detailed analytics and insights such as bandwidth and visitor data, CDN usage and insights, performance analysis data, and cache HIT and MISS ratio.
- Free, one-click CDN setup.
- A WordPress debugging tool.
- A search and replace tool to perform bulk updates with ease.
- One-click PHP version switching, as well as the option to restart PHP when needed.
- Automatic MySQL database optimizations.
- A dashboard tool to purge the site cache.
- Easy way to create on-demand backups
- A one-click ionCube enabler.
- Free Cloudflare SSL certificates with wildcard support, and the option to import your own.
- Simple password protection for your environment, with the option to add your SSH keys to the dashboard to strengthen security.
- A multilingual dashboard that’s available in 10 languages: English, Italian, Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Japanese, Swedish, Danish, and Dutch.
Kinsta has allowed us to offer a bulletproof service to our top tier clients and keep them happy. Especially those who have traffic spikes with sudden server demand.
No need to simply take our word for it, though. You can try it out for yourself with our free MyKinsta demo! All you have to do is register for an account, and then you can check out the user-friendly interface and explore the various tools to learn for yourself what makes MyKinsta unlike the others!
At Kinsta, we value our clients’ feedback. We look for opportunities to improve, and regularly incorporate the requests and feedback we receive to enhance our offerings. We’re always innovating and exploring new ways to make your website and hosting experience better!
Kinsta is Developer-Friendly
Although Azure’s products and DIY solutions for developers may be something you’re capable of handling, it doesn’t necessarily mean that configuring them and piecing them together are the best uses of your time. Your energy and focus may be better spent on other critical aspects of your business.
At Kinsta, many of us are developers, which is why we built our platform with those users in mind. As your managed WordPress host, Kinsta provides you with the tools and features needed to streamline your workflow efficiency.
Some of the developer-friendly features you’ll have access to at Kinsta, which you won’t necessarily get with Azure (unless you purchase and configure them yourself) include:
- One-click staging environments for all plans.
- Git, WP-CLI, and SSH access included, regardless of your plan.
- Six different types of backups available: automatic/daily, optional hourly, manual, system generated, downloadable, and automatic external backups sent to your Amazon S3 or Google Cloud storage.
- A Redis add-on for quicker database performance.
- The option to load your site over reverse proxy.
- Unrestricted access to your site’s critical files.
- The ability to use custom setups such as Bedrock and Trellis.
- An option to run a different version of PHP for each live and staging site, and the ability to switch your PHP version with one click.
- Default enabled post and page revisions.
- The ability to restore backups to staging as well as production. Unlike Azure, Kinsta offers a one-click backup restoration feature directly in the MyKinsta dashboard. We also don’t include backups as part of your total disk space usage.
In addition to one-click staging and the ability to push changes live with a single click, we also offer free Cloudflare SSLs with wildcard support on every plan. Cloning your machine with Azure isn’t free or quick. For SSL certificates, you need to install and set up your own system for issuing and renewal.
Website Performance at Kinsta
Each year, Review Signal conducts a performance test and review for the top hosting companies in the industry. For the past five years, Kinsta has scored top-tier status. Azure has never participated in these benchmark tests (it’s not a WordPress host).
However, on Review Signal, Azure has an overall rating of 70%, a support rating of 58%, and a pricing rating of 64%. Although Azure advertises no upfront costs and free services for 12 months — and this may seem like a good deal — it’s not likely to give you the kind of powerful technology and resources needed to handle situations such as sudden spikes in traffic.
What’s more, this free 12 month ‘deal’ includes services that are always free. It also comes with a $200 Azure credit, but you have to use it within 30 days. After that, you’ll need to upgrade to the pay-as-you-go pricing.
Kinsta’s scalable cloud infrastructure makes it so that server resources can be easily scaled up or down as needed. We use Google’s latest Compute-Optimized (C2) virtual machines, and automatically allocate hardware resources, including CPU and RAM, to each site container as they’re needed.
With Azure, you pay for the resources you use. Achieving superior web performance isn’t exactly cheap, and costs can quickly add up. For example, in addition to purchasing a VM, you also need add-on services for backups, a CDN, uptime monitoring, and more. Then there’s also a support package to purchase if you need assistance along the way.
On the other hand, Kinsta plans start at just $35 per month and include all of the speed and performance optimization tools you need. You’ll also have the security and support features to take your site to the next level.
Safe and Secure
Azure has plenty of security tools you can use for safeguarding your server and site. However, not only do you have to purchase them, but you also need the time and technical know-how to execute them properly.
For example, if your network were under attack, would you be prepared to resolve and recover from it? With Kinsta as your managed WordPress host, this is never an issue. We take both active and passive measures to safeguard every site hosted on our platform, including:
- Monitoring your sites every two minutes for uptime, 720 times a day
- Implementing strict software-based restrictions
- Responding to DDoS attacks as they happen with our free DDoS protection, and stopping malicious code from entering our network.
- Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) support
- A secure firewall powered by Cloudflare
- Automated backups for all plans
- Isolated LXC containers
- Strict software-based restrictions
- Self-healing PHP
- Only support for encrypted SFTP and SSH connections (no FTP)
With Azure, monitoring services are available, but the pricing varies and is based on the amount of monitoring data you use. You also have to pay an additional fee based on the types and amount of alert rules and notifications you use.
On the other hand, Kinsta provides premium uptime monitoring for all of your WordPress sites via our in-house developed monitoring system. The status of the sites hosted on our platform are checked every two minutes, meaning up to 720 times a day.
All sites on Kinsta are also automatically protected by Cloudflare’s firewall, which includes free DDoS protection. With our Cloudflare integration, you’ll get the benefits of enhanced security and performance without having to configure your own Cloudflare account.
In the rare event that something were to happen to your site, we would contact you ASAP. We also offer a free 100% hack-fix guarantee, meaning that we would fix the problem with no extra charge to you.
Free Performance Monitoring Tool
WordPress is a dynamic CMS, which means it’s constantly executing PHP code in the background. Depending on your theme and plugin configuration, it’s possible for your site to get bogged down with bloated and inefficient code.
That’s where APM (Application Performance Monitoring) tools can help. An APM monitors requests to your site, and tracks various metrics like external API requests, database queries, PHP execution time, and more. This information allows you to quickly debug and troubleshoot performance bottlenecks.
All Kinsta plans come with a free custom-built APM tool that can be easily accessed right in the MyKinsta dashboard. Kinsta APM provides you with key WordPress performance insights without the need for expensive third-party subscriptions to other APM services.
With Kinsta APM, you can debug the following and more:
- Slow WordPress plugins and themes.
- Long calls to external APIs and domains.
- Unoptimized MySQL database queries.
Microsoft Azure is a fully unmanaged service, so it doesn’t come with any built-in APM tools. You have the option of installing New Relic and other APM tools on Azure infrastructure, but the setup process is fully manual and often very complex.
Furthermore, after installing server-side APM packages, most services will require an expensive monthly subscription (New Relic is $99/month) to read and analyze the data. With Kinsta APM, you get a custom-built performance monitoring tool specifically built for WordPress – for free.
Kinsta Has a Global Presence
Kinsta has a global presence, with 32 data centers (and counting) spanning five continents. Our massive footprint makes it easy for you to pick a different data center for each of your websites. Plus, there are no extra fees or hidden charges!
Our data center locations include:
- Changhua County, Taiwan
- Hong Kong
- Tokyo, Japan
- Osaka, Japan
- Seoul, South Korea
- Mumbai, India
- Delhi, India
- Jurong West, Singapore
- Jakarta, Indonesia
- Sydney, Australia
- Melbourne, Australia
- Warsaw, Poland
- Hamina, Finland
- St. Ghislain, Belgium
- London, United Kingdom
- Frankfurt, Germany
- Eemshaven, Netherlands
- Zurich, Switzerland
- Montréal, Canada
- Toronto, Canada
- São Paulo, Brazil
- Santiago, Chile
- Council Bluffs, Iowa, USA
- Moncks Corner, South Carolina, USA
- Ashburn, Virginia, USA
- The Dalles, Oregon, USA
- Los Angeles, California, USA
- Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
- Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
- Milan, Italy
- Paris, France
- Madrid, Spain
Azure also has data centers around the globe. However, the available zone regions vary based on which product(s) you’re using.
Free WordPress Migrations
If you’re interested in moving your site to managed WordPress hosting, we’re now offering unlimited free migrations from Azure!
Whether you want to move one site or 100, our hassle-free migrations make doing so quick and easy. Our experts handle the entire migration process for you, so you won’t have to deal with any complex technology or risk losing critical data.
To get started, simply complete our site migration request form, and a member from our team will reach out to schedule the best time for the migration. Then you can track the migration status directly from your MyKinsta dashboard.
Azure offers migration services as well. However, they require a subscription, and the use of third-party tools may incur additional charges.
Optimized for WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads
When you’re running an ecommerce business, it’s essential that you have a host capable of handling the particularly challenging and complicated demands associated with that kind of website. This is why our Kinsta platform is optimized for online stores.
Our solution is configured to work out of the box for WordPress, WooCommerce, and Easy Digital Download sites. We take care of caching for you at the server level to deliver fast page loading times. To further optimize the speed and performance of your online store, we offer automatic purging of cache and archive pages, as well as:
- Excluding ‘My Account’, checkout, cart, and other pages that shouldn’t be cached.
- Automatically bypassing the cache for users when “woocommerce_items_in_cart” or “edit_items_in_cart” are detected, to ensure a smooth and seamless checkout process.
- Putting specific rules in place to allow EDD and WooCommerce functionality during server-level page caching.
Azure doesn’t build ecommerce-specific solutions into its services and products. It’s possible to build your own hosting environment and online store, but this is a costly and time-consuming process when compared to using a managed WordPress host such as Kinsta.
Turbocharging Your Content Delivery with Kinsta CDN
All Kinsta plans include a free premium Content Delivery Network (CDN), which you can easily enable through the MyKinsta dashboard. Unlike Azure, all of our plans include free bandwidth.
KinstaCDN is a premium HTTP/2 and IPv6-enabled CDN. With our content delivery architecture, which is built specifically for high throughput and low latency, your content will be delivered and cached from our CDN’s 34 POPs across the globe. Our locations span all major regions, including Asia, North America, Europe, Australia, South America, and Africa!
Azure offers a CDN, but for an additional cost. You’ll also need to set it up yourself.
Feature Comparison Overview
Now that we’ve made it this far, let’s take a look at some of the biggest differences between Kinsta vs Azure:
|Pricing||Plans start at $35/month||Varies by product, pay as you go|
|Money-Back Guarantee||30 days on all plans||X|
|Premium 24×7 Support||All plans||Paid add-on|
|Core Infrastructure||Same across all plans (GCP)||Microsoft Azure|
|Global Data Centers||32 locations||Not specified|
|Bandwidth Limits||No limits (within AUP)||15 GB|
|Free Migrations||All plans||Paid service|
|One-Click Backup and Restore||All plans||Paid add-on|
|PHP Versions||PHP 7.4, 8.0, 8.1||Not specified|
|Switch PHP Engine||One-click change in dashboard||Manually|
|Free CDN||34 (all regions)||X|
|Free APM Tool||Kinsta APM||Not specified|
|Premium DNS||Amazon Route 53||X|
|Free SSL Certificates||All plans||X|
|Free DDoS Protection||✓||X|
|Uptime Monitoring||All plans||X|
|Resource Limits||Only limited by PHP workers||Varies by plan|
|Multisite Support||Pro plans and higher||Not specified|
|IP Geolocation||✓||Not specified|
|Reverse Proxy Support||✓||Not specified|
|Redis Add-on||✓||Premium add-on|
|New Relic (license required)||✓||X|
|Multilingual Dashboard||English, Spanish, German, Dutch, Portuguese, Italian, French, Swedish, Danish, Japan||Not specified|
Develop Locally with DevKinsta
For developers and agencies, Kinsta offers a simple to use (but powerful) local development tool called DevKinsta. With DevKinsta, you can launch WordPress sites with a full hosting stack and SSL support on your local computer with just a few clicks.
DevKinsta is fully integrated with MyKinsta and Kinsta’s hosting platform, which means you can develop locally and push updates directly to a staging environment on Kinsta! Azure doesn’t have an integration with a local WordPress development tool, which means there is no way to clone and push WordPress sites for Azure customers. If you’re a busy freelance or agency developer, DevKinsta’s advanced features and MyKinsta integration can be a huge time saver.
Best Affiliate Program in the Industry
Kinsta always goes above and beyond to exceed our clients’ expectations, which is one of the reasons many of our happy customers are often eager to help spread the word about our WordPress hosting solutions. This has helped position us to become one of the fastest-growing hosts in the industry.
This is also why we’re proud to offer an affiliate program, one of the highest paying in the industry, that provides the opportunity for true profit sharing as well as an effective way to earn a passive income!
As a Kinsta affiliate partner, you can earn as much as $500 (depending on the plan) for every signup referred to us. In addition, for the lifetime of the customers referred, you’ll receive a 10% monthly recurring commission.
Another benefit of our affiliate program is that we use a custom-built dashboard so you won’t ever have to deal with confusing third-party platforms. Everything is accessible and straightforward.
For Azure affiliate programs, you have to go through third-party platforms such as ShareASale and Commission Junction.
Join Others Making the Switch to Kinsta
At Kinsta, our mission is to offer the fastest, latest technology possible. We’re always evolving and adapting to use the most innovative solutions available. When you check out our many feature updates, you’ll see that no other hosting provider releases the amount of new features, tools, and integrations at the same rate and frequency.
We are proud of our solutions, and want you to be completely satisfied with your hosting. This is why, unlike Azure, we offer a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you’re ready to make the move away from Azure and switch to a new managed hosting provider, try out Kinsta risk-free for 30 days!