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If managed WordPress hosting were a car, Kinsta would be the Rolls Royce of WP solutions. Created with a single purpose in mind, the platform caters exclusively after WordPress users, aiming to deliver a seamless and flawless experience.
If you frequent Hosting Tribunal, you probably can tell that I am quite pumped about this Kinsta review. Naturally, I’ve been monitoring the service for months now through regular testing of frontend and backend speed, and uptime. I also studied carefully its terms of service, examined the features and pricing, and crafted the detailed analysis that follows.
I took the time necessary to check the company’s reputation around the web by going through several hundred user reviews about Kinsta.
Spoiler alert: Kinsta is good. Very good, in fact.
My Kinsta website clocks in impressive loading times and maintains nigh impeccable uptime, but it’s easy to manage in a way so intuitive that it’s beyond telling.
Just like WP Engine is not a web hosting provider in the full sense of the word, so Kinsta is a narrowly specialized service that ensures the best possible WordPress experience, both on the front- and backends.
It runs on Google Cloud and offers WordPress solutions from 20 different locations around the world. Trusted by massive global brands like Intuit, Ubisoft, Ricoh, Workforce and others, the platform is a well-established presence in the ever-expanding WordPress universe.
Kinsta is a specialized hosting service that makes WordPress site fly.
I know, I know, many of you will go: “But what about WP Engine?”
When compared vs WP Engine, Kinsta not only holds its ground but outperforms it as far as frontend is concerned.
With average loading time of 0.39 seconds, Kinsta firmly occupies the first place among all hosts I am monitoring. Indeed, it blows away WP Engine comfortably, as the latter clocks in 0.59 seconds on average.
The TTFB of my WordPress site is merely 0.14 seconds and requires 0.63 seconds to complete its rendering.
These numbers are insane!
As far as the backend is concerned, Kinsta has nothing to be ashamed of. While not quite on par with the prodigiously peerless performance of WP Engine, this managed WordPress host displays stability and incredible swiftness as well.
When bombarded with over 300 simultaneous requests, the Kinsta servers – well, technically, Google Cloud servers configured and optimized by Kinsta – resolve them without a hiccup, for about 0.24 seconds on average. That’s faster than DreamHost but slower than HostPapa and SiteGround.
Kinsta’s frontend is the fastest of them all, while the backend acquits itself with distinction too. Sublime performance overall.
Kinsta promises and delivers 99.99%. After I got to know the technology powering this managed WordPress platform it seems only natural that the uptime is so great. Google Cloud is built for redundancy and performance and the Kinsta users benefit mightily from that.
Another thing that contributes to the high uptime is the regular checks. Real-time monitoring checks each site every two minutes, so even if a page goes down the Kinsta technicians will react within 120 seconds. This review has an entire section dedicated to the Kinsta tech support, but allow me to foreshadow it a touch: they are diligent.
Uptime promised and delivered at the feasible point of perfection, month in, month out.
Technical support is a crucial area for any service provider.
And while in my reviews I’ve praised and criticized the support teams of all hosts I’ve analyzed, when it comes to a highly specialized service like Kinsta the bar is always set higher.
Supporting a single product precludes greater expertise, right?
Questioning the support teams is an integral part of my review process and one that I am looking forward to. In this case, I was beaten to it, though.
A Kinsta technician got in touch with me the day after I opened my account to notify me that something was wrong with my DNS settings and that my site doesn’t resolve properly.
He was right, of course. I have my domain registered with Namecheap and configured the records through its DNS zone following the instructions provided on Kinsta.com.
The instructions themselves are very clear and straightforward: they include a step-by-step guide for the most popular domain registrars and ample screenshots.
However, I managed to mess them up, inserting two A records instead of one. This led to my site opening sometimes (when the query had gone to the right A record) and not resolving at others.
Of course, for me it opened when I set the records and my mistake went unnoticed.
Until the proactive agent detected the issue and shot me an email with probable root-cause analysis and steps to resolve it.
Kinsta might be hosting WordPress on Google Cloud, but it certainly has all the knowledge and skills in-house.
Kinsta has many hosting plans. Some are tailored for relatively small sites with heavy traffic, others are ready to handle serious ecommerce operations, and there are massive packages for entire enterprises.
It is obvious from the get-go that Kinsta was built by people with serious technological acumen. This is reflected in the fact that its plans pack many developer tools too.
Mind you, a premium managed WordPress hosting is not the best for people who just start out their online journey as they can strain the budget, so I can’t recommend Kinsta for completely novice webmasters.
Kinsta provides a very robust security suite with proactive vulnerability detection, but the thing that stands out for me is the hack fix policy.
You cannot be considered one of the best WordPress hosting solutions in 2020 unless you have potent security measures put in place.
Things like LXC containers grant strong account isolation, while the DDoS protection is second to none.
However, Kisnta goes a step further and extends a very helpful hand whenever things go south. The company will fix any site if it gets compromised while hosted on its servers.
Complimentary to the previous point, Kinsta creates free daily backups of all sites it hosts. Restoration is free of charge too and it is extremely easy to do as well.
All you need to do is login into your Kinsta account, select the restoration date, and click the right button.
The smaller Kinsta plans retain backups for 14 days. It doesn’t sound like a long period of time, but in the context of this WP host it makes perfect sense.
There are so many monitoring tools in place that going two weeks without noticing an issue on your Kinsta site is extremely unlikely.
If you feel the need for it, you can purchase backups to be made every 6 hours or every 60 minutes.
Kinsta is probably the best WordPress host when it comes to WooCommerce. The platform has several plants optimized for ecommerce.
It goes without saying that every single one of them makes the most popular WordPress plugin purr.
Not only that but the Kinsta technicians are experts in WooCommerce and the service itself is built with great scalability in mind so it can handle easily traffic influxes during busy shopping periods.
Kinsta provides something essential to a cloud hosting product – scalability.
Even though most of its plans impose certain caps, should your site exceed any of them it won’t go down. Instead, Kinsta will automatically apply overage charges that cover bandwidth, disk space, or CDN usage.
Kinsta doesn’t use cPanel, but that is no deterrent when it comes to migrating WordPress sites over to it.
Quite the contrary.
Kinsta offers unlimited migrations for simpler sites and between 1 and 5 premium migrations, i.e. migrations for large, complex sites. These include big ecommerce sites, enterprise infrastructure or membership sites, and other online beasts.
Keep in mind that Kinsta can copy over sites from WP Engine, Flywheel, Cloudways, and other hosts with custom setup and without cPanel.
Kinsta is running on Google Cloud since 2013, and at the end of 2019 made a true game-changing move by migrating to CGP C2 for much better performance.
But it’s not only that.
Google Cloud is massive.
Thanks to its global reach, Kinsta can deploy your WordPress site from 20 different locations around the world.
Hands down, this is the greatest map coverage I’ve seen in a host, making Kinsta one of the best WP hosting options out there.
By default, Kinsta packs plenty programming perks aplenty, but it can also go way deeper than most. Cloudflare Railgun, Elasticsearch, Nginx reverse proxy, Redis and more available for purchase with any Kinsta plan.
Getting started with Kinsta is extremely easy. The entire account setup takes seconds, but that’s not what makes it special. Many top hosts open new plans instantly.
What Kinsta does differently is the possibility to configure certain parameters on your WP installation during the initial setup.
Do you want a multisite?
Maybe Yoast to be there?
All these things and more are present thanks to the quick and intuitive setup wizard.
A core part of my review process is to research what users have to say about the company, but with Kinsta this was a rather short endeavor.
I admit, this time around I had an agenda and not a very commendable one at that. I browsed TrustPilot and Reddit reviews to find stories about poor Kinsta experience because my impressions of the company were too positive. The motivation behind my intention was to add objectivity to the review, to provide an alternative viewpoint.
Alas, the vast internet didn’t comply – all users view the company in a very positive light, praising its speed, support, and features.
I am а member of all subreddits about hosting and Kinsta is usually mentioned in passing when users are reviewing other services.
The only minor complaint is about its price but that’s to be expected when people compare Kinsta vs SiteGround or another regular shared host.
Kinsta is not a hosting provider in the true sense of the word because it caters after a single product: WordPress. As such, it lacks many of the things traditional hosts consider standard.
Email service is one of them.
Kinsta simply doesn’t have one.
It is not that hard to get quality email hosting elsewhere, but it is something that will add up to the monthly bill.
Speaking of expenses…
Hosting expenses always must be viewed in context. In my reviews of the best WordPress hosting solutions, you can clearly see why certain services cost more than others even though they might look quite similar on the surface.
Kinsta is very expensive when you compare it to the shared Bluehost plans and about twice as expensive as the managed WordPress Bluehost has to offer.
Does it perform better though? Absolutely.
Do you get better support? You bet!
Does it cost $30 per month for a single site? Yes, it does.
So, yeah, Kinsta is expensive.
The price is justified because the service is pure quality, but this is not a hosting solution for first-timers.
$30/mo will get you a single site that can handle 20,000 visitors or 50GB of traffic and 10 GB of SSD storage. The Startup plan doesn’t support multisite. Not great, not terrible.
Kinsta Pro plan doubles everything: you can host two sites on 20 GB of space, with 100GB of CDN traffic or 40,000 visitors. It supports multisite and site cloning.
The Business plan allows you to host up to 5 sites with 100,000 monthly visitors or 200GB of CDN traffic. It is powerful enough to be recommended for membership and heavy ecommerce sites.
To see the larger Kinsta plans, best visit the provider's page.
|Bandwidth||Capped on all plans|
|No email hosting|
|Domain names||Kinsta doesn’t provide free domain name registration|
|Control panel||Proprietary Kinsta control panel|
|Software installation||Kinsta supports the easy installation of many WP plugins|
|Migration||Free basic and premium migrations included in all plans|
|Payment options||Credit cards|
|Kinsta user reviews||Uniformly positive|
Kinsta might be the best managed WordPress hosting service I’ve seen to this day. While WP Engine is sublime too, certain aspects of Kinsta make it even more attractive.
Indeed, this is not the most affordable WP platform, but the value it provides makes it a worthy investment.
Numerous data centers, powerful CDN, regular backups, stellar performance, and incredible support make it easy to host a WordPress site destined for glory there.
Of course, all these factors make it hard to find negatives to balance out my Kinsta review ever so slightly, but that’s a problem I’d like to face much more often.