Here at Kinsta, we offer a variety of WordPress hosting plans to meet the different needs of our customers. Each plan, from Starter to Enterprise and beyond, has its own unique combination of metrics like monthly visits, SSD storage, and CDN bandwidth.
For many of our customers like web design and development agencies, the most important plan metric is the number of WordPress installs. In this article, we’ll explain how we count WordPress installs for our hosting plans, so you can get a better idea of which plan to choose for your project.
What Is a WordPress Install?
Every Kinsta plan supports a certain number of WordPress installs. As an example, our Pro plan supports two WordPress installs, while our Enterprise 2 plan features 80 WordPress installs.
On our hosting platform, a WordPress install or “site” consists of two environments – live and staging – both of which support a single installation of WordPress Core software in their respective MySQL databases. Furthermore, we do not allow for the creation of additional databases in PHPMyAdmin, command line, or any other method. In other words, the only way to create an additional database at Kinsta is to add a new site or WordPress install.
WordPress Installs vs Domains
WordPress is capable of operating in two different modes – single-site and multisite. In the default single-site mode, you can map domain.com and www.domain.com to resolve to a single WordPress site. If you want your site to be accessible over other domains like old-domain.com and www.old-domain.com, you can use redirect rules on your webserver to accomplish that.
WordPress Single-Site Mode
We support the above configuration for single-site WordPress sites at Kinsta. For example, if you want your Kinsta site to be accessible over domain.com, www.domain.com, old-domain.com, and www.old-domain.com, you can add all four domains to your Kinsta site, and set up an automatic 301 redirect to your primary domain with our handy Force HTTPS tool.
As you can see, we do not count each domain as an individual WordPress install because each domain eventually resolves to the same WordPress install.
WordPress Multisite Mode
WordPress also includes a multisite mode, which allows you to create additional subsites that reside in the same MySQL database as your primary site. At Kinsta, we permit WordPress multisite configurations on Pro plans and above. With WordPress multisite, you can host domain, subdomain, and subdirectory subsites in a single WordPress install.
For example, all five of the domains below can be hosted in a single WordPress install on Kinsta when you use multisite mode.
- domain.com (domain)
- www.domain.com (subdomain)
- domain.com/es/ (subdirectory)
- Fr.domain.com (subdomain)
- Another-domain.com (domain)
So, now you’re probably wondering why we offer Enterprise plans that support hundreds of WordPress installs when it’s possible to use WordPress in multisite mode. The key factor to keep in mind is that – in multisite mode – the primary site and all subsites share the same resources like high-performance C2 CPUs, RAM, and PHP workers.
Furthermore, our free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates only support up to 100 hostnames. This means you’ll need a custom SSL or use a service like Cloudflare for SSL termination if you want to host more than 100 multisite subsites on Kinsta.
Elaborating on the point above, our Enterprise 3 plan supports 120 WordPress installs, and each one of those installs have access to 12 PHP workers. On the other hand, if you tried to host 120 subsites on a Business 2 plan, all of those sites would need to share 4 PHP workers. WordPress multisites also have limitations in terms of plugin and theme flexibility, so it’s not always the best solution when you need multiple unique WordPress sites.
To summarize our method of counting WordPress installs, keep the following points in mind.
- A WordPress install refers to a single WordPress database, and each Kinsta site can only have a single database.
- There is little correlation between WordPress installs and domains. We allow for multiple domains to be redirected to a primary domain in WordPress’ single-site mode. On Pro plans and above, we allow for unique subsites with their own domains and subdomains because all subsites in WordPress’ multisite mode ultimately share a single database.