Kinsta Review

Company: Kinsta

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.

Starting Price: $35/mo

Currency: USD

Visit Online: https://kinsta.com/

Review Summary & Ratings

5

Kinsta is not cheap but you are paying a premium for top-class hosting infrastructure and WordPress expert support. I personally regard them as one of the top three managed WP hosts in the world.

My Personal Experience with Kinsta

I have been using Kinsta Hosting since 2018 – My other site, HostScore, was hosted on Kinsta since day one. Kinsta is expensive and not for everyone – their cheapest plan starts at $35 a month, does not cover email hosting, and you only get to host one WordPress website. That said, however, my overall experience with the company is positive. In this review, I will show you the inside scoop of hosting with Kinsta.

More Than Just WordPress Hosting Today

It's challenging to keep an up-to-date Kinsta review because the company is constantly pushing new features on a monthly basis. In October 2022, the company diversified its products and started offering application and database hosting solutions. Kinsta users can now deploy Node.js Ruby, Python, Java, PHP, Scala, as well as Go applications. 

In this review, we will stick to our circle of competence and focus on its WordPress hosting services. 

Kinsta Hosting Service Overview

FeaturesKinsta
Server PlansWebPress Hosting
Shared Hosting -
VPS Hosting -
Dedicated Hosting -
Cloud Hosting-
Reseller Hosting-
WordPress Hosting$35 - $1650
Server LocationsNorth America, South America, Asia, Europe, Oceania, Middle East
Website Builder WordPress
Energy Sources Traditional
Free Trial30 days
Control PanelWordPress
Free SSL SupportYes
Paid SSL-
Popular AlternativesCloudways, WP Engine, ScalaHosting
Customer SupportTelephone, Email
Tech Support Number+61-1800-952-470
Payment Credit Card, PayPal

Pros: Reasons to Host at 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.

In terms of server reliability, our test site rarely went down and scored 99.99% uptime constantly. Site speed was equally impressive – the server response speed is rated as “A” by both Bitcatcha and Webpage Test.

Kinsta Server Uptime

Kinsta Server Uptime
Kinsta server uptime record on August, September, and October 2022 = 99.99%, 100%, and 99.99%.

Kinsta Service Level Agreement

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.

Service Standard

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 Hosting Speed Test

Kinsta Server speed test
Kinsta server response speed is below 100ms world wide. Note that our test site is hosted at Kinsta's Singapore data center – so naturally, we have a smaller TTFB when testing from the Asia region (see actual test result here).

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.

Kinsta server locations
User dashboard > Sites > Add A New Site > Server Location.

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.

Before I dive in, here are some key features that make developing and managing a WordPress website so much easier at Kinsta:

  • Support Nginx, PHP 7, HHVM, and MariaDB
  • Built-in DDoS detection, hardware firewalls, and uptime monitoring
  • SSH and Git access only for all plans
  • Scale as needed – Kinsta is powered by the Google Cloud Platform
  • Built-in database search-and-replace tool (no more third-party tool)
  • Built-in redirection tool
  • Daily account backup (minimum 14 auto backup files at one time) and restore sites in one click
  • HTTP/3 content delivery network (CDN) that covers 29 POPs worldwide

Let me show you some of these features in the following screenshots.

Kinsta Dashboard Overview

Kinsta site info
First of all, the MyKinsta dashboard is beautiful and easy to navigate. Screenshot above shows your server info – these info is useful when you first setup your site and local development environment.

Server Analytics

Kinsta server Analytics
Kinsta user dashboard allows users to monitor their server resources and traffic easily. To access these info, go to your Kinsta user dashboard > WordPress site > Analytics.

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.

Kinsta Staging Environment
Each WordPress install at Kinsta can have its own free WordPress staging environment, completely separate from the live production site. To create a free staging and live environment, click on the “Live” button at top of your screen and choose “Standard Environment”.

Settingup Redirects

Kinsta Redirects
Website redirects are done at Kinsta dashboard instead of Apache .htaccess or Windows web.config file.

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.

Implementing SSL certificate 
To enable HTTPS for your site at Kinsta, log on to your user dashboard > Sites > Manage (from the list of sites you have added) > Tools > Force HTTPS > Generate free HTTPS certificate.

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.)

Kinsta Site backup and restore
Kinsta automatically backs up your site every day and keeps each backup for 14 days. To access your back up files, login to your user dashboard > WordPress Site > Backups.

Auto Scaling & Overage Charges

Kinsta is one of the few managed WordPress hosts that is powered by the Google Cloud Platform – which features automatic scaling and LXD containers.

This 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.

What happen if you overuse your server resources at Kinsta
Here's what happens if you overuse your server resources at Kinsta (source).

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.

Free Hosting Migration
To initiate a site migration, login to your Kinsta User Dashboard > WordPress sites > Add Site > Request Migration > Fill up the Migration Request Form on your dashboard. After submitting a migration request, Kinsta technicians will take care of moving your site to Kinsta.

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

David Wang, founder of Click WP

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

Feedback from Facebook

Kinsta user review
Feedback from Ludo Andringa.
Kinsta User Review - Cameron Barrett.
Feedback from Cameron Barrett.
Kinsta user review - Patrick Gallagher
Feedback from Patrick Gallagher.

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.

Kinsta Knowledgebase
Kinsta knowledge base at Kinsta Resource Center.

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.

To send and receive emails via a business email account (something like [email protected]), you will need to host your email accounts at other places.

Kinsta recommends Google's G Suite as an email solution (which is a good call) but that means extra costs to your daily operation.

Kinsta does not provide email service
Note: Kinsta does not provide email service (source).

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. 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% 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 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 Plans & Pricing

Kinsta Plans & Pricing
Kinsta plans and pricing (recently updated in November 2022).

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.

PlansStarterProBusiness 1
Websites25,00050,000100,000
Storage10 GB20 GB30 GB
Databases50 GB100 GB200 GB
BackupDailyDailyDaily
Free DomainNoNoNo
Free MigrationYesYesYes
Optimized for WordPressYesYesYes
Email AccountsNoNoNo
GIT SupportYesYesYes
Signup Rate$35/mo$70/mo$115/mo
Regular Rate$35/mo$70/mo$115/mo

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.

At a glance, here's how the two stack up.

PlansKinstaWP Engine
PlanStarterStartup
Signup Price*$35/mo$24/mo
Visits25,000/mo25,000/mo
Storage10 GB10 GB
Free CDNYesYes
Money-back Guarantee30 days60 days
Free Site MigrationYesNo
Multisite SupportNo+ $200/year each
Email HostingNoNo
Visit/OrderVisitVisit

* 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:

  • A2 Hosting – Cheaper entry plan, Let's Encrypt SSL ready for all sites hosted on A2.
  • 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.
Photo of author

Article by Jerry Low