If you’re on the hunt for high-performance WordPress hosting for your website. Kinsta should be on your shortlist. Founded in 2013, the company set out to be the best WordPress hosting provider in the business. And it’s not an exaggeration to say that they’re one of the best in this niche.
Built on the Google Cloud platform, they offer fast servers in over 20 locations around the world. Besides top-notch performance, you can expect first-class service from a team well versed in every aspect of WordPress hosting.
The catch is their prices. Kinsta’s plans are not cheap like DreamHost, Hostinger, and other platforms popular with small businesses and bloggers. So the question is, do you get value for the above-average pricing? Let’s find out.
Before we get into the numbers, put it in the back of your mind that Kinsta offers to migrate your site to their servers free, regardless of the plan you choose. They also offer what they call a ‘hack fix guarantee’- if your site’s attacked, they will clean it up and restore it for you.
Besides the above value-adds, you can also expect free SSL and daily backups to bolster your site’s security. With that said, to the plans, of which there are ten different categories of needs. If you’re looking to test the waters with a low-traffic website, you will want to start with the starter plan.
This package costs $30 per month- over three times what the likes of Bluehost charge for basic shared hosting (you can save a few dollars if you make a full-year commitment). For this, you get one WordPress install, 10 GB of SSD storage, and a monthly visit limit of 25,000, which seems rather paltry at that price.
Contrast this with fellow managed WordPress hosting provider SiteGround’s entry-level offering, which starts at $6.99 per month. You still get the same 10 GB of disk space, free SSL, and free CDN. Though you have to live with a visitor limit of 10,000, you get free email, which Kinsta doesn’t offer. SiteGround won’t give you access to a staging area with their Startup plan. On the other side of the managed WordPress hosting scale. You have Pagely, whose cheapest plan costs $199 monthly. Compared to this, Kinsta’s plan suddenly seems not too unreasonably priced.
Kinsta’s plans are geared towards helping their clients scale their operations seamlessly. When your site garners more attention and you need to cater to over 100,000 monthly visits, you can upgrade to any of the four Business plans depending on the number of visits you currently get and by how much you expect these to increase. The highest of the plans will allow you up to 600,000 visits every month.
When your monthly visits spill over into the millions, you will be ripe for an Enterprise plan. This category also has four plans with monthly visit caps ranging between 1 and 4 million. But these plans cost between $600 and $1,500 per month, so you have to be doing enough business to justify such costs. Even compared to other companies in the Managed WordPress hosting niche, Kinsta’s pricing is on the higher side.
All plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. So in the unlikely event, you’re dissatisfied with the quality of Kinsta’s service, you have a window within which you can get your money back. Kinsta’s plans are not cheap, but there is a way you can mitigate your hosting expenses. If you pay for a year’s hosting upfront, you will get two months free.
As you consider Kinsta’s pricing, you also need to consider its overage fees. Kinsta’s plans impose limits on the number of visitors who can visit your site monthly and the computing resources you’re allocated. If you exceed these limits, the hosting provider will not shut out the excess visitors or block you from using the extra disk space; they will simply add the consumption to your monthly bill. Overage pricing depends on the parameter in which you have exceeded the quota allocated by your plan. If it’s a visit, it will charge you $1 for any additional 1,000 visits.
To ensure your visitors get optimal load times wherever they access your website from across the globe, Kinsta offers a free content delivery network (CDN) with every plan. But while most other hosting providers have partnered with a third party to provide this service, Kinsta has its proprietary CDN. That it belongs to them means they are more in control of its performance. It also means you don’t have to pay extra for it.
Looking at the technical specifications of the hosting platform Kinsta offers its clients, you can tell they are serious about performance. It will host your site on a high-performance Nginx server running the latest version of PHP. PHP 8 brings to the fore several new powerful features that allow developers to write code better applications.
If you don’t mind forking out an extra $50 every month, you can further boost performance with an Nginx reverse proxy server. By load balancing requests from different locations, this server ensures visitors get a faster response from your website while reducing the load on the host server. Reverse proxy servers also optimize performance by compressing content.
Should you outgrow your plan’s storage capacity and you’re not quite ready to move to the next tier of subscription, you can pay for extra storage separately. Every additional 20 GB of disk space will cost you an extra $20 every month.
That Kinsta’s built on the Google Cloud Platform gives you access to 24 data centers in different parts of the world. Seven are in the US and there are others in Sydney, Zurich, Tokyo, and São Paulo among other cities. This allows you to optimize performance for your customers in specific regions.
Kinsta offers purely cloud-based hosting solutions as opposed to the shared hosting many of its competitors offer. This means you will scale seamlessly your hosting resources as demand increases. In the event of a sudden spike in traffic to your site. More resources will dynamically be allocated to it, for which you will pay overage along with your monthly billing. Shared hosting will subject your visitors to degraded performance or allow your site to crash. Another advantage of cloud hosting is that issues of other sites in a shared environment won’t affect your performance.
To optimize the performance of your database, Kinsta automatically checks and tweaks the settings of your MySQL database weekly. Besides this, they conduct uptime checks on your website every two minutes.
To help you keep track of performing your site, Kinsta provides a performance-monitoring tool with every plan. This tool gauges how well your PHP and databases are performing so that you can know when adjustments are required. Speaking of PHP, Kinsta allows developers to build powerful applications using optimizations and an array of features in the latest version; PHP 8.
The result is better-than-average load times both locally and globally. Independent tests found average complete load times to be just 1.2 seconds. This is well above the two-second benchmark that is ideal. Uptime tests conducted by the same party came up with an average of 100 percent. For four months, there was no downtime to record.
We have found this performance to remain fairly stable, even under a significant increase in the load. Load times of a WordPress website hosted on Kinsta measured as it increased the load up to 250 virtual users accessing it simultaneously. We found them to remain consistent throughout.
Getting started on Kinsta is a breeze. Signing up takes just a few minutes, and they immediately activate your account when you’re done. This is not the case with some popular web hosting companies. Unlike most of the popular hosting companies that offer you cPanel for the management of your website, Kinsta has its dashboard. They customized this control panel to suit WordPress sites.
As you would therefore expect, installing WordPress from there is quick and easy. Managing your site, or sites, if you have over one, can be done easily from the dashboard. Among the features, you’ll find on this panel is one that allows you to clone a website at the click of a button. This tool can come in handy for developers who would like to give their clients an idea of how their site will look beforehand.
Closely related to this tool is the staging area that is provided to all Kinsta users. Here you can generate a version of your site where you can test updates to plugins and other similar modifications before putting them into production. They activate both these features with a single click of a button. However, some Kinsta users complain that the staging area is very limited and is not useful for existing sites. It is more useful when trying out a new website.
The Kinsta admin panel provides you with site analytics in a colored graphical display that helps you make sense of visitor behavior. You can use the information provided to optimize site performance or content for particular geographic regions, for instance.
Where Kinsta doesn’t fare too well is in the configuration of the DNS settings to link Kinsta to a domain hosted elsewhere, several clients have complained of having to endure a long process to get this done. The guide Kinsta provides for this exercise is said not to be very helpful. Many of Kinsta’s competitors have automated this configuration to save their customers this headache.
If you’re looking to create an online store, you can take advantage of Kinsta’s specialized WooCommerce hosting. Built on the tried and tested Google Cloud platform, your WooCommerce site will prove reliable and load quickly. Fast server-level caching is just a one-way Kinsta will increase the speed of your e-commerce site.
Kinsta makes it easy for you to get started with them by offering to migrate an existing website to their servers. But remember, the number of websites you can enjoy free migration for depends on the plan you sign up for. If you’re on the $30-per month starter plan, you will only enjoy this service for one website. The $400-per month business plan entitles you to four premium site migrations.
Kinsta’s support merits begin with the fact that they will help you migrate your website and apps from another host free. Their expert WordPress and web development experts will ensure that the move from your current provider will cost you as little downtime as possible. All you need to do is to fill out a form giving them details of the settings of your site and they will handle the rest.
After you’re comfortably settled in, you can expect 24/7 support via chat or on the phone. And you won’t have to wait for much more than a minute to get a response on the chat. When the agent comes online, you find they are friendly and extremely knowledgeable. To enjoy this service, be a signed-up Kinsta subscriber. Otherwise, you will be passed on to a chatbot.
The beauty of Kinsta’s chat service is that it saves all your queries on the platform. This means that if you have to raise the same query with a different agent, there is a historical reference you can point to, saving you the trouble of explaining the issue again from scratch.
There are many free resources you can make use of, including a selection of relevant articles in the Kinsta knowledge base and several free eBooks. If you don’t find your topic of interest among those listed there, you can make use of the accompanying search engine.
Kinsta takes the security of clients’ data seriously, as evidenced by the raft of measures put in place to guarantee safe hosting. For one, they have installed firewalls which are frequently updated among other active and passive security measures. They promise potential customers that they will monitor their sites 24/7/365 for DDoS and other malicious activity. They also work to ensure all software on their servers is up to date and protected against the latest threats.
All their plans come with a free SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt to secure communication between client browsers and the server hosting your pages. Let’s Encrypt certificates are known to be user-friendly to create; you won’t have to go through generating keys, as in the past. SSL certificates encrypt requests passed to your web pages, keeping them safe from hackers. Just as crucially, this security feature will encourage Google to index it and improve your ranking on the search engine results pages.
All Kinsta plans come with automatic daily backups to help you recover from a catastrophic failure or an attack. Backups cover both your production and staging environments, so they will restore any sites under development in the event of an attack. The number of days for which they keep your backup will depend on the plan you choose. If you’re on an Enterprise plan, they will keep your data for up to a month. They hold data for other subscribers for 20 days or fewer.
If you’re not satisfied with having one backup, you can pay extra for an external backup to either Google Cloud or Amazon S3. This backup will cost you $2 per month for each website you wish to back up. You can go a step further and pay for hourly backups or backups done every six hours. For the former, you will need to pay an additional $100 per site per month. The latter will cost you an extra $50 monthly.
Another security feature is in the Nginx reverse proxy server, a paid-for add-on. By hiding the origin server hosting your site, it helps to protect the server from malicious attacks. If your site gets attacked, no need to panic. Kinsta promises that their team of cybersecurity experts will help you clean up all malicious files on your site and restore them to normal conditions as a top priority.
Like WP Engine, Kinsta provides all subscribers with a staging area. Where they can test any changes to their websites before going live. All plans come with a service known as ‘self-healing technology’. This service proactively monitors the PHP on which your website runs. If it finds the PHP is down, it will automatically try to re-initialize it.
An independent survey showed that over 98 percent of the hosting company’s customers were happy with the way Kinsta handled WordPress optimization. They also rated the provider highly in terms of reliability and the quality of their support. The same survey showed that the percentage of customers who would recommend Kinsta to others was just as high.
- Staging area to ensure extra features don’t affect your site adversely.
- Flexibility- you can easily scale to more robust plans or pay for additional features separately.
- User-friendly admin dashboard.
- The dashboard offers analytics data that can be useful for marketing.
- Free migration for at least one website.
- Leverages on Google Cloud platform to deliver brilliant performance worldwide.
- 24/7 WordPress-specific support via chat or telephone.
- Free automated daily backups.
- Hack fix guarantee provided to restore your site after the attack.
- Kinsta uses their CDN, which guarantees you better performance without having to pay extra.
- On the pricey side compared with other more popular providers.
- Hosting plans are limited to WordPress.
- Don’t offer email or domain registration.
- Reconfiguring domain and DNS settings can be a time-consuming process.
- The staging area is rather limited.
- Only one free site migration with a starter plan.
- Credit cards can only make payments. No option to pay via PayPal.
With performance, Kinsta doesn’t disappoint. Built on the Google Cloud Platform, Kinsta’s platform brings together a collection of technologies that guarantee almost 100 percent uptime. Features like CDN and the Nginx reverse proxy server ensure optimal speeds from any location worldwide. Even with many visitors accessing your site simultaneously, there will be no noticeable drop in speed.
Besides impressive uptime and load times, sites hosted on Kinsta are safe from malicious attacks.
24/7 monitoring of servers, frequently updated firewalls, and SSL are just some measures Kinsta has put in place to keep hackers and malware at bay. Should any issue arise, you will restore your site easily from one of the automatic daily backups taken.
If you’re running an e-commerce website where lapses in uptime and sluggish speeds can cost you money, hosting with Kinsta is a wise investment. If you intend to be running periodic promotional campaigns that may lead to spikes in traffic. Kinsta is a good idea.
These features don’t come cheap though; Kinsta’s plans are considerably more expensive than what you will pay for shared web hosting from several competitors. But your average shared hosting provider won’t give you a managed service in which they handle all the technical stuff and let you focus on growing your business. They also won’t give you useful features like the staging area where you can test modifications on a clone of your site before going live.
I don’t mind spending a little extra for excellent performance, great, reliable support, and a concierge WordPress hosting service. Kinsta is a worthwhile investment. But if you are on a tight budget or wish to have hosting that’s not restricted to a single CMS, look at other options.