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Updated: 2022-06-14 / Article by: Jerry Low
Background: Kinsta is a managed WordPress hosting company designed for enterprises and websites with high volume traffic. Kinsta, the managed WordPress hosting company, was founded in December 2013. Lead by its founder and CEO, Mark Gavalda, the company host some of the global-recognized brands including Intuit (Quicken), Ricoh, ASOS, General Electric, and Ubisoft on its servers. While the company may not be the largest managed WordPress hosting operation in market, Kinsta has a solid offering that is worth a closer look.
Kinsta is not cheap but you are paying a premium for top class hosting infrastructure and WordPress expert supports. I personally regard them as one of the top three managed WP hosts in the world.
* Note: Our test account with Kinsta has expired in November 2018. But I believe our review and rating remain valid at this time of writing. FYI, the company did several key improvements recently – SSH access is now available for all Kinsta account, more disk space are added to Starter, Pro, and Business Plans, plus a new data center location (Hong Kong) is added.
1. Solid Server Performance – Reliable and Ultra-fast
When you are paying $25 a month to host just one WordPress site – you expect nothing but the best. Thankfully, Kinsta hosting lives up to their premise of quality service in our test.
In term of server reliability, our test site went down for not more than 6 minutes in March 2018 and scored 99.98% uptime.
Site speed was equally impressive – the server response speed is rated as “A” by both Bitcatcha and Webpage Test.
Kinsta Server Uptime (March 2018)
Note that Kinsta's uptime guarantee is supported by 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 Hosting Speed Test: Bitcatcha A+
Webpage Test (from Singapore): A, TTFB = 111ms
Webpage Test (from United States): A, TTFB = 567ms
To configure this, select a host location when you add a new site at Kinsta dashboard (see GIF image for 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 issue – Kinsta is a great choice.
3. Developer Friendly – Long List of Useful Features at MyKinsta Control Panel
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 Kinsta user platform.
Kinsta's custom-built control panel, known as MyKinsta, is impressive in many ways.
Before I dive in, here are some key features that makes developing and managing a WordPress website so much easier at Kinsta:
First of all, MyKinsta dashboard is beautiful and easy to navigate.
Setting up staging area
It has an easy-to-use staging environments – which you can switch between live and staging environment in a few clicks.
Implementing SSL certificate
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 backups and restore
Kinsta stores at least 14 consecutive backups at a time. You can access and restore these auto backup easily from MyKinsta. (Whereas with other hosts – even that they provide auto backup, you will need to contact their support team to initiate server restoration.)
This allows Kinsta to take a different approach (compared to traditional hosting providers) when users overload their server. 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 Hosting Migration
Moving your site to Kinsta is easy as the company will take care of everything for you.
Their support staffs 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 notable bloggers
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.
– David Wang, Speaker at WordCamp Malaysia, Founder of Click WP
3. Not For Users With Multiple Low Traffic WordPress Sites
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% cheaper than similar managed WordPress hosting providers in market
That said, however – Starting at $25 and going up to $1,250 per month (annual subscription), Kinsta is priced as an high-end / enterprise hosting service.
The plan in review, Kinsta's Starter, allows only one WordPress installation and costs $300/year. Kinsta's Pro, Business 1, and Business 2 plans allow multiple WordPress installations per account (2, 5, and 10 respectively) but cost $600, $1,000, and $2,000 per year. These are no small money – especially when you compare the price with 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 to marketing or content.
Kinsta Hosting Cost and Plans
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 $30 per month; you'll get 2 months free if you subscribe annually.
Optimized for WordPress
Kinsta vs WP Engine
It's inevitable to compare Kinsta with WP Engine as there are so many similarities in their hosting plans.
Both companies focus on WordPress only hosting, priced their service based on visit counts, and pride themselves as WordPress experts.
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 in WordPress website.
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:
A2 Hosting – Cheaper entry plan, Let's Encrypt SSL ready for all sites hosted on A2.
Hostinger – Budget hosting service with servers located in USA, Asia, and Europe.
WP Engine – Kinsta's direct competitor. Slightly pricier but support WordPress Multisite.
Founder of WebHostingSecretRevealed.net (WHSR) - a hosting review trusted and used by 100,000's users. More than 15 years experience in web hosting, affiliate marketing, and SEO. Contributor to ProBlogger.net, Business.com, SocialMediaToday.com, and more.