Kinsta is one of the popular managed WordPress hosting companies for creating your website. Unlike many other hosting companies, you can create a WordPress site without having a domain name. Kinsta will use a temporary domain name for your site and later you can assign a custom domain if everything works fine as you expect. If you have already purchased a hosting plan or planning to do so, here is how you can create a WordPress site with Kinsta. Also, check out the complete review of Kinsta hosting to understand all other features.
Kinsta WordPress Hosting
Kinsta uses a custom dashboard (called MyKinsta) where you can create and manage WordPress sites. The basic WordPress Starter hosting plan starts from $35 per month with a limitation of 1 install, 25K visits/month and 10GB storage space. All plans come with free two months plan when purchased annually and anytime you can scale up the server resources based on your need and traffic. All sites come with in-built caching, Cloudflare integration, free migration and you have 30 days moneyback guarantee to test the hosting setup.
Go to Kinsta website’s pricing plan page, click on the “Sign Up” button below the plan you want to sign up and create your login details.
Step 1 – Select WordPress Install
Login to your Kinsta hosting account and go to “Dashboard” section. Scroll down and click on “Create a site” button under “WordPress sites” box. Alternatively, go to “WordPress Sites” section from left sidebar and click on “Create new site” button.
On the next screen, you will see few options and select “Install WordPress” and click “Continue” button.
Step 2 – Setup Site Options
Next step is to setup your site options:
- Enter a name for your site in “Site name” box. Remember, this is NOT your WordPress site’s name. It’s the name of your site used only within Kinsta’s dashboard.
- Select a “Data center location” from the dropdown which is nearer to your geographical location. You can select from one of the 35 available centers.
- Free Cloudflare CDN and Edge caching are included default for all Kinsta sites.
Click “Continue” button to move on to next section.
Step 3 – Setup WordPress Options
You will be taken to “WordPress Options” tab where you can fill details required for a typical WordPress site.
- Enter a name for your site in “WordPress site title” box. This is the name appears in search engine and can be used as a text logo for your site. You can anytime change this under “Appearance > Customize > Site Identity” section in your WordPress administrator panel.
- Enter WordPress admin username, password and emails in the corresponding boxes. Though you can change the password from admin later, it is not possible to change WordPress admin username and email. So, make sure to provide correct details in the boxes.
- Select the site’s language from the dropdown.
- Kinsta allows you to install WooCommerce, Yoast and Easy Digital Downloads plugins in your WordPress site during the setup. Select the plugins you needed, otherwise just ignore them and click on “Continue” button.
Kinsta will setup your WordPress site based on the selected options which will take few minutes time.
Step 4 – Accessing Temporary Domain
After the setup is finished successfully, you will see a success message showing as “Your site has been created!”. Kinsta will automatically assign a temporary domain to WordPress installation and click on “Manage domains” button to find the temporary URL for your site.
You will be taken to “Domains” section in your MyKinsta dashboard. Green “Live” button next to “Primary domain” indicates the temporary site is live and accessible online. You can find the URL something like “mywpsite.kinsta.cloud” and click “Open URL” link.
Alternatively, scroll down to bottom where you can find all the domains available in your hosting account. From here also you can click on the temporary domain’s URL and open the site in a new browser tab.
Step 5 – Checking Your WordPress Admin Panel
At this point, you have two options – one is to test your temporary domain and other is to assign a custom domain. For testing your domain, go to “Domains” section and click on “Open WordPress admin” link showing next to your domain under “Primary domain” section.
You will be taken to the standard WordPress login page and enter your admin username/email and password to login to your site. These are the credentials you have configured under “WordPress Options” in step 3.
The admin panel will look like any other WordPress install with dummy page, comment and post. Check out the WordPress site launch guide to cleanup your install and start building your content.
Note that “Kinsta Cache” is one custom menu you will see which will not be available in standard WordPress installation. This menu appears as Kinsta installs a “Kinsta Must-use Plugins” which you can find under “Plugins > Installed Plugins > Must-Use”. From the “Kinsta Cache” menu, you can clear various types of caching associated with your site right from admin panel. If you do not find the menu item appears, you can manually install the plugin to activate the menu item.
Step 5 – Speed Test in PageSpeed insights
If you are obsessed with page loading speed, you can test the temporary site’s URL in Google PageSpeed Insights tool. You can create some dummy post content for this purpose and make sure to enable search engine access (Settings > Reading > Disable “Discourage search engines from indexing this site”). As you can see, the site has 100/100 score in both mobile and desktop.
Remember that this is a site with default Kinsta setup and the score will vary if you install plugins and use different theme. After testing and checking the admin panel, make sure to hide the site from search engines till the time you assign a proper domain name.
Step 5 – Adding Your Domain
Kinsta does not sell domain names which means you should purchase it elsewhere from a registrar like GoDaddy. Since all Kinsta sites are integrated with free Cloudflare CDN, you need to change the DNS setup for connecting your domain to WordPress site created in Kinsta.
- Go to “Domains” section of MyKinsta dashboard and click on “Add domain” button.
- On the pop-up that appears, enter your domain name and expand “Advanced Options” section. Make sure to select “Add domain with wildcard (recommended)” option and click “Add domain” button.
- You will see details of TXT and CNAME records needed for your domain verification at Kinsta.
- Note down the details and add the records in your domain’s DNS. Learn more on how to change DNS in GoDaddy.
- After that click on “OK, I’ve done it” button.
Step 6 – Changing Primary Domain
DNS propagation may take up to 48 hours’ time and check the status in your “Domains list” under “Domains” section. When the status shows a tick mark, click on the three vertical dots against your custom domain and select “Make primary domain” option.
On the pop-up, select your custom domain name and click on “Make primary” to replace the temporary domain with your custom domain’s URL. If you have created posts and uploaded images in temporary domain, make sure to select “Run search and replace after change…….” option.
Note that it is also possible to change the WordPress/site URL from WordPress admin panel under “Settings > General” section. In this way, you can assign a custom domain to your WordPress site without changing the primary domain in Kinsta account.
Exploring MyKinsta Dashboard
Here are some of the important things you can do from the dashboard:
- After logging in to your account, you will land on MyKinsta dashboard section where you can find all resource usage, recent activities and notification details.
- Go to “DNS” section to access the zone editor for managing your domain’s DNS.
- You can find all WordPress sites under “WordPress Sites” section.
- Click on the site to go to the site’s details section. You can find important details like server IP, SSH credentials and database username/password under “Info” section. From here, you can initiate site deletion to remove the WordPress installation and its database from Kinsta hosting account.
- Kinsta automatically creates daily backup and retain last 14 days content. You can anytime go to “Backups” section and select from one of the available backups to restore the content.
- You can find useful tools like clear cache, enable debug, search and replace, geolocation, force HTTPS and Site Preview under “Tools” section. Site Preview allows you to test site with custom domain without changing your DNS which is useful when you migrate site to Kinsta from other hosting companies.
The entire WordPress site creation process in Kinsta may take less than 10 minutes if you have already purchased the domain. You can always play with the temporary domain and get yourself familiarize with MyKinsta dashboard and WordPress admin panel (if you are new) before connecting to custom domain. You do not need to worry about the hosting setup as it is highly optimized for speed and completely managed. However, two things you should consider are the hosting plan’s limitation for page views and the banned plugins that you can’t use with Kinsta.