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.
We started tracking Kinsta hosting service since January 2018 and have gathered some useful data for this review.
Read on to find out if Kinsta is right for you.
About Kinsta, the Company
- Headquarter: Los Angeles, California, United States.
- Established: December 2013
- Office locations: Los Angeles (US), London (UK), Budapest (Hungary)
- Services: Managed WordPress Hosting
* 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.
Click links to navigate to each sections quickly.
Pros: Reasons to Host at Kinsta Hosting
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.
1. 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 Hosting Speed Test: Bitcatcha A+
Webpage Test (from Singapore): A, TTFB = 111ms
Webpage Test (from United States): A, TTFB = 567ms
2. Choice of Eighteen Server Locations
Kinsta uses Google Cloud Platform’s multi-regional deployment mode to ensures low latency and blazing fast load times. This means as a Kinsta user, you are free to choose from a list of 18 data center locations for each of your WordPress websites.
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.
Choice of Kinsta server locations
- Council Bluffs, USA (US)
- St. Ghislain, Belgium (Europe)
- Changhua County, Taiwan (Asia)
- Sydney, Australia (Australia)
- The Dalles, Oregon (US)
- Ashburn, Virginia (US)
- Moncks Corner, South Carolina (US)
- São Paulo, Brazil (South America)
- London, UK (Europe)
- Frankfurt, Germany (Europe)
- Jurong West, Singapore (Asia)
- Tokyo, Japan (Asia)
- Mumbai, India (Asia)
- Montréal, Canada (North America)
- Netherlands (Europe)
- Hamina, Finland (Europe)
- Los Angeles, USA (North America)
- Hong Kong (Asia)
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:
- Support Nginx, PHP 7, HHVM, and MariaDB
- Built-in DDoS detection, hardware firewalls, and uptime monitoring
- SSH and Git access only for Business Plans and higher
- Scale as needed – Kinsta is powered by Google Cloud Platform
- Built-in database search and replace tool (no more third party tool)
- Daily account backup (minimum 14 auto backup files at one time) and restore sites in one click
- HTTP/2 content delivery network (CDN) that covers 29 POPs worldwide
Let me show you some of these features in the following screenshots.
First of all, MyKinsta dashboard is beautiful and easy to navigate.
* Click to enlarge image.
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.
* Click to enlarge image.
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.
* Click to enlarge image.
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.)
Auto Scaling & Overage Charges
Kinsta is one of the few managed WordPress host that is powered by 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 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.
How overages are charged at Kinsta.
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 group
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
Source: Break your website speed limit with Kinsta
Feedback from Facebook
* Click to enlarge image.
Feedback from Twitter
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 email hosting service.
To send and receive emails via a business email account (something like email@example.com), you will need to host your email accounts at other places.
Kinsta recommend 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
Note that Kinsta does not support cron – though this shouldn’t be an issue in 2018.
Backup and malware scanning are done automatically by Kinsta system. And if you need to schedule repetitive server tasks, WP-Cron is your answer.
The staffs 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% cheaper than similar managed WordPress hosting providers in market
That said, however – Starting at $25 and going up to $750 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, 3, 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 Plans and Pricing
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.
||United States only
|Free Site Migration
|Visit / Order
* Price based on one-year subscription.
Verdict: Is Kinsta Hosting Right for You?
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 and focus in WordPress website.
Quick recap of our findings:
Alternatives to Kinsta Hosting
As mentioned, Kinsta is great but it’s obviously not for everyone. Here are some recommended alternatives if Kinsta is not right for you:
- SiteGround – Solid hosting solution. Offers both Managed WordPress and traditional hosting services.
- 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.
Visit / Order Kinsta Online
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