Background: Kinsta began life as one of a handful of companies offering purely managed WordPress hosting. Founded in December 2013 and led by founder and CEO Mark Gavalda, the company hosts some of the most globally-recognized brands, including Intuit (Quicken), Ricoh, General Electric, and Ubisoft, on its servers.
Starting Price: $35/mo
Visit Online: https://kinsta.com/
Review Summary & Ratings
Kinsta has moved past offering only managed WordPress hosting. The company now bets on the Cloud and capitalizes on Google and AWS infrastructure to provide application and database hosting services.
My Personal Experience with Kinsta
I have been using Kinsta Hosting since 2018. Running several sites, I've had one of them (HostScore) on Kinsta since day one. This service provider is expensive and not suitable for everyone. Their WordPress hosting plans start at $35/mo, don't include email hosting, and allow only a single WordPress website. That said, however, the quality of service has been excellent.
Kinsta Moves Beyond Pure WordPress Hosting
In October 2022, Kinsta diversified its products and started offering application and database hosting solutions. These start from $7/mo and $18/mo, respectively. Currently, the plans cover mainstream scripts like Node.js, Ruby, Python, Java, PHP, Scala, and Go applications – with more on the way.
These plans, however, are daily niche and out of the scope of most website owners. In this review, we will stick to our circle of competence and focus on Kinsta's managed WordPress hosting services.
Kinsta Pros & Cons
Kinsta Hosting Service Overview
|Server Plans||WebPress Hosting|
|WordPress Hosting||$35 - $1650|
|Server Locations||North America, South America, Asia, Europe, Oceania, Middle East|
|Free Trial||30 days|
|Free SSL Support||Yes|
|Popular Alternatives||Cloudways, WP Engine, ScalaHosting|
|Customer Support||Telephone, Email|
|Tech Support Number||+61-1800-952-470|
|Payment||Credit Card, PayPal|
Pros: What I Like About Kinsta Hosting
1. Ultra-Fast Server Performance
When you are paying $35 a month to host just one WordPress site – you expect nothing but the best. Thankfully, Kinsta hosting lives up to its premise of quality service in our test.
Regarding server reliability, our test site rarely went down and scored 99.99% uptime constantly. Site speed was equally impressive – the server response speed is always below 100ms in all test nodes at Bitcatcha.
Kinsta Hosting Uptime (Dec 2022 – Feb 2023)
Kinsta Hosting Uptime (Aug – Oct 2022)
Kinsta Service Level Agreement
Kinsta backs its uptime guarantee with a Service Level Agreement (SLA). Should they fail to meet their service availability goal, you will receive a credit of 5% of your total bill for each complete hour.
Our goal is to ensure that the Service is available to Clients twenty-four hours a day, seven days per week, three hundred and sixty-five days per year (Service Availability).
Our SLA has a 99.9% uptime guarantee. Our goal is to respond to Severity Level 1 notifications presented by Clients. We have a 30-minute first reaction time on emergencies (Error Response). Our Error Response goal is a time to acknowledge only, not a time to resolve. Credits will not be given should we fail to meet our Error Response goal.– Kinsta SLA
Kinsta Server Speed Tests
The server response speed is affected by a number of things – include
Side Note: Kinsta Runs AWS DNS
Website owners can make use of Kinsta's DNS service at no additional cost. Managing your DNS records with this feature allows you to use their premium DNS powered by Amazon Route53. This DNS service's quality is fantastic and ranks among the world's best.
2. Choice of 35 Server Locations
Kinsta uses Google Cloud Platform’s multi-regional deployment mode to ensure low latency and blazing-fast load times. This means as a Kinsta user, you are free to choose from a list of 35 data center locations for each of your WordPress websites.
To configure this, select a host location when you add a new site at the Kinsta dashboard (see GIF image for a demo).
I have not tested any host with more data center location options than Kinsta. If you wish to keep your server close to your primary audience, for better site speed and other latency issues – Kinsta is a great choice.
Choice of Kinsta server locations
- Changhua County, Taiwan (Asia)
- Hong Kong (Asia)
- Tokyo, Japan (Asia)
- Osaka, Japan (Asia)
- Seoul, South Korea (Asia)
- Mumbai, India (Asia)
- Delhi, India (Asia)
- Jurong West, Singapore (Asia)
- Jakarta, Indonesia (Asia)
- Sydney, Australia (Australia)
- Melbourne, Australia (Australia)
- Warsaw, Poland (Europe)
- Hamina, Finland (Europe)
- St. Ghislain, Belgium (Europe)
- London, United Kingdom (Europe)
- Tel Aviv, Israel (Middle East)
- Columbus, Ohio, USA (US)
- Dallas, Texas, USA (US)
- Frankfurt, Germany (Europe)
- Eemshaven, Netherlands (Europe)
- Zurich, Switzerland (Europe)
- Montréal, Canada (North America)
- Toronto, Canada (North America)
- São Paulo, Brazil (South America)
- Santiago, Chile (South America)
- Council Bluffs, Iowa, USA (US)
- Moncks Corner, South Carolina, USA (US)
- Ashburn, Virginia, USA (US)
- The Dalles, Oregon, USA (US)
- Los Angeles, California, USA (US)
- Salt Lake City, Utah, USA (US)
- Las Vegas, Nevada, USA (US)
- Madrid, Spain (Europe)
- Milan, Italy (Europe)
- Paris, France (Europe)
3. Long List of Developer-Friendly Features
I am usually skeptical when hosting companies tell me that they are running on a custom-built control panel. Based on my past experience, these in-house control panels are often ugly, difficult to use, and lack practical functions.
Thank god that is not the case with the Kinsta user platform.
Kinsta's custom-built control panel, known as MyKinsta, is impressive in many ways.
Google Cloud Infrastructure + Latest Tech
- Powered by Google Cloud Platform with auto-scaling support
- LXD container – Keeps every site hosted on Kinsta 100% isolated
- Support Nginx, PHP 8.1, HHVM, and MariaDB
- DDoS detection, hardware firewalls, and uptime monitoring
- HTTP/3 content delivery network (CDN) that covers 29 POPs worldwide
- Premium DNS powered by Amazon Route53
- DevKinsta – Free local development suite for WordPress developers. It allows you to create WP sites locally and push them to your staging environments at Kinsta.
These tools come together with all Kinsta accounts at no additional cost.
- Built-in database search-and-replace
- Ready-to-use New Relic monitoring
- Built-in ionCube Loader, geo-location targeting, and redirection tool
- Server log files are available in MyKinsta user dashboard or can be downloaded via SFTP
- Daily backup with 14 restoration points
- Let's Encrypt Free SSL integration – Install a free SSL to your website in just a few clicks
- Easy-to-use staging environment – Switch between live and staging environments in a few clicks.
I will demonstrate some of these built-in tools and features in the following screenshots (taken from my Kinsta user dashboard).
Kinsta User Dashboard
Setting up a Staging Area
It has an easy-to-use staging environment – which you can switch between live and staging environments in a few clicks.
Setting up Redirects
Implementing SSL certificate to Your Kinsta Site
Adding a free or third-party SSL certificate, monitoring your site uptime, and performing database search-and-replace can be done in just a few clicks.
The GIF image shows how you can add a free Let's Encrypt certificate to your site.
Site Backup & Restore
Kinsta stores at least 14 consecutive backups at a time. You can access and restore these auto backups easily from MyKinsta. (Whereas with other hosts – even if they provide auto backup, you will need to contact their support team to initiate server restoration.)
Auto Scaling & Overage Charges
Kinsta runs on Google Cloud infrastructure, which features automatic scaling and LXD containers. This combination allows Kinsta to take a different approach (compared to traditional hosting providers) when users overload their servers.
Instead of pulling down a user's site, Kinsta will auto-scale up their server capacity and charge an overage fee of $1/1,000 visits.
4. Free Website Migration
Moving your site to Kinsta is easy as the company will take care of everything for you.
Their support staff will assign a temporary domain to your migrated site and check everything (site load time, site functionality, etc) before going live.
5. Positive Kinsta Reviews in Forums and Social Media Groups
It's hard to miss Kinsta Hosting these days because there are so many legit, unsolicited, positive reviews on Kinsta on social media networks, blogs, and forums.
Here are some that I have read and found useful.
Feedback from WordPress Developer
I’ve used other WordPress hosts, but Kinsta has been the best by far.
My site is always online and speedy without even really trying. I have never experienced caching issues like some other managed hosts and I’m never worried about getting suspended for exceeding resources like on shared hosts. Their support team is small but they’ve never let me down. They may cost slightly more than other hosts, but they have been worth every penny.
I can’t recommend Kinsta enough.
Feedback from Facebook
6. Comprehensive Knowledge Base
A well-prepared knowledge base helps users to tackle basic server issues and progress quickly in site development. Kinsta understands this and hosts a comprehensive knowledge base for those who wish to solve problems by themselves.
Cons: What's Not So Good at Kinsta?
1. No Email Hosting at Kinsta
Kinsta is a WordPress-only hosting. This means that the web host does not provide an email hosting service.
Kinsta recommends Google's G Suite as an email solution (which is a good call) but that means extra costs to your daily operation.
2. No Cron Jobs at Kinsta (Minor issue)
Note that Kinsta does not support cron – though this shouldn't be an issue in 2018.
Backup and malware scanning is done automatically by the Kinsta system. And if you need to schedule repetitive server tasks, WP-Cron is your answer.
The staff at Kinsta have created this helpful guide on how to create and modify a WordPress cron job. Be sure to check it out if you need help.
3. Expesnive – Not for Websites with Low Traffic
Three quick facts:
- Kinsta does not jack up their prices during renewal
- There is no lock-in contract at Kinsta, you can cancel your subscription anytime
- Kinsta Hosting is roughly 20% more expensive than similar managed WordPress hosting providers in the market
Starting at $35 and going up to $1,650 per month, Kinsta is priced as a high-end / enterprise hosting service.
The plan in review, Kinsta's Starter, allows only one WordPress installation and costs $350/year. Kinsta's Pro, Business 1, and Business 2 plans allow multiple WordPress installations per account (2, 5, and 10 respectively) but cost $700, $1,150, and $2,250 per year.
These aren't small sums of cash to pay for web hosting. That's especially true if you factor it into the overall cost of building and maintaining a website.
For newbies and bloggers with multiple low-traffic sites – it's better to go with a cheaper web host and invest that money in marketing or content.
Kinsta Plans & Pricing
All Kinsta hosting plans come with free Cloudflare enterprise-level DDoS protection and CDN, built-in application monitoring tool, and WordPress expert support in 7 languages. The entry plan starts at $35 per month; you'll get 2 months free if you subscribe annually.
|Storage||10 GB||20 GB||30 GB|
|Databases||50 GB||100 GB||200 GB|
|Optimized for WordPress||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Kinsta vs WP Engine
Both companies focus on WordPress-only hosting, priced their service based on visit counts, and pride themselves as WordPress experts.
At a glance, here's how the two stack up.
|Storage||10 GB||10 GB||50 GB|
|Money-back Guarantee||30 days||60 days||30 days|
|Free Site Migration||Yes||No||Yes|
|Multisite Support||No||+ $200/year each||Yes|
|Site Monitoring||Yes||+ $4/mo||Yes|
|Visit/Order||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price|
* Price based on a 1-year subscription.
Verdict: Is Kinsta Hosting Worth $35 Per Month?
Official Response from Kinsta
We are ecstatic to see that the team here at WHSR clearly understands the mission we have at Kinsta; which is to provide high-quality managed WordPress hosting with the best support and speed in the industry.
For businesses that rely on their website to make money, hosting should be seen as in investment, not just another expense. There are a lot of hosting providers people can go with, but we strive on a daily basis to make choosing Kinsta a “no-brainer.”– Katalin Juhasz, Kinsta
Kinsta is (easily) one of the top 3 managed WordPress hosting providers in the world.
They are right for bloggers who want to keep their blogs loading ultra-fast, web developers who need a vigorous environment for their custom code, or business owners who want a smooth-running online store.
That said, however, Kinsta is not for everyone due to its expensive price tag (compare market rates here) and focus on WordPress websites.
Kinsta Alternatives and Comparison
As mentioned, Kinsta is great but it's obviously not for everyone. Here are some recommended alternatives if Kinsta is not right for you:
- Cloudways – Managed cloud hosting platform with plans supported by Google Cloud.
- Hostinger – Budget hosting service with servers located in the USA, Asia, and Europe.
- ScalaHosting – Managed hosting with in-house control panel (sPanel) and email hosting (sPanel).
- WP Engine – Kinsta's direct competitor. Slightly cheaper and supports WordPress Multisite.