Are you launching your first WordPress site and need to find a premium managed WordPress host?
Or, do you have an established site and are thinking about making a change to a company like Kinsta that’s faster, more secure and jam-packed with features? Maybe you’re just curious to see what’s out there when it comes to premium WordPress web hosting.
Whatever the case may be, know that there are so many WordPress hosts out there vying for the business of all website owners, including yours.
I’m going to take closer look at Kinsta – a premium managed WordPress hosting provider that is a very popular choice among WordPress site owners (P.S. the results of my speed test is a key reason why people ❤️ Kinsta).
In this Kinsta review I will look at the most important features of Kinsta, do my own speed test and take you through the pros and cons, to help you decide before you sign up with them for your WordPress site.
Just give me ten minutes of your time, and I will give you all the “must-know” information and facts.
What You Will Learn In This Review
- The Pros
They have a pretty huge list of pros, particularly when it comes to the three S’s of web hosting; speed, security and support.
- The Cons
But they are not perfect, there are a few cons as well, here you can find out what they are.
- Plans & prices
Kinsta is a fully managed WordPress host powered by Google’s Cloud Platform. Here I go through their plans and prices and what comes included with the different plan.
- Is Kinsta any good?
Finally in the last section I’ll wrap things up and let you know if Kinsta is a managed WordPress host I recommend.
Okay so I mentioned earlier that WordPress site owners love Kinsta..
Here’s what some users say about them on WordPress Hosting, a closed Facebook group with over 9,000 members solely dedicated to WordPress hosting.
Founded in 2013, Kinsta was created hoping to become the best WordPress hosting platform in the world.
As a result, they built a team consisting of experienced WordPress developers who have made it their job to focus on speed, security, and stability when it comes to web hosting.
But are they really the best in the world?
Let’s take a look.
1. Powered by Google Cloud Platform (GCP)
Kinsta is powered by Google’s Cloud Platform. Here’s their own words as to why they decided to solely use GCP:
Why did Kinsta decide to exclusively use Google’s Cloud Platform, and not offer, for example, infrastructure from AWS and Azure as well?
A couple years ago we decided to move away from Linode. At this time, Google Cloud Platform was still in its infancy, but we loved the direction they were headed. From pricing, to performance, they checked all the boxes when we were evaluating cloud providers (including AWS and Azure).
Google was doing really cool things, such as live migration of virtual machines. Plus, Google is a brand that customers can trust. We saw it as a great way to reinforce the value of our services. At the time, did we take a leap of faith? In some aspects yes, because we were the first managed WordPress host to exclusively use GCP.
But now, years later, all of our competitors are moving to Google Cloud Platform. So we know we made the right choice. We now have the advantage as our team knows Google’s infrastructure better than anyone.
The main reason we didn’t want to offer multiple providers is that it results in subpar support across the board. We wanted our team to focus on one platform and make it the best possible experience for clients.
Brian Jackson – Chief Marketing Officer at Kinsta
Kinsta uses virtual machines in one of Google Cloud Platform’s multiple datacenters. And yes, that means that your website is hosted on the same hardware that the people at Google themselves use.
Each virtual machine (VM) has 96 CPUs and hundreds of gigabytes of RAM working for you and your website’s data. These resources are accessed on an as-needed basis, which means scaling your business is not only easy to do, it doesn’t even affect the speed and performance of your website.
Everything is interconnected using Google Cloud Platform’s premier tier, so no matter where your site visitors are in the world, your site’s data is delivered lightning fast. This is important to know because other hosting providers that utilize Google Cloud Platform opt for the less expensive “standard tier,” which means slower data delivery.
Using Google Cloud Platform is also beneficial because:
- It offers the world’s largest network (the 9,000km trans-Pacific cable is the highest capacity undersea cable ever to exist)
- You can bet the data centers are more than secure (remember, Google trusts it)
- It provides more affordable pricing with its minute-level increments, meaning you truly only pay for what you use, and nothing more
- Google offers live transfers of machines so that any time a repair, patch, or software updates needs doing, the process is as seamless as possible
Google Cloud Platform gives hosting customers the reassurance that their site’s data is safe, secure, and served as fast as possible.
2. Serious Site Speed
Ensuring top speed levels are another one of their main goals.
To start, they offer 17 different datacenters located throughout the world – USA, Asia-Pacific, Europe, and South America – and you can choose a separate one for each of your WordPress websites if you want.
Next, they offer Amazon Route 53 premium DNS for all customers. In other words, they offer reduced latency and geolocation routing to help online stability, speed, and performance at all times.
Need a little more? Kinsta also wants you to know their WordPress stack of PHP 7, Nginx, HTTP/2, and Maria DB help make your site load the fastest it ever has.
And you don’t even have to do anything.
So.. how fast is Kinsta?
An important part of this Kinsta review is to test their performance by doing a comparison of this website (hosted on SiteGround) and a exact copy of it (but hosted on Kinsta).
- First, I’ll test this website’s performance at my current host (SiteGround).
- Then, I’ll test that exact same website (a cloned copy) at Kinsta.
By doing this test you’ll:
- Know how fast a site hosted on Kinsta really loads
- Get help deciding if you should consider moving over to them
Here’s how my homepage (on this site – hosted on SiteGround) performs on Pingdom:
It loads in 1.24 seconds. That’s actually really fast in comparison to many other hosts – Because SiteGround is no ? by any means.
The questions is, can Kinsta beat this speed? Let’s find out..
The exact same homepage on Kinsta (I cloned my entire site and hosted it on Kinsta) loads in 0.544 seconds.
That’s really impressive! My homepage on Kinsta loads almost 0.7 seconds faster than on SiteGround.
Now that’s impressive! (note to self: consider moving this site to Kinsta)
What about GTmetrix, another reputable website speed and performance tool?
Here’s how the homepage (this site – hosted on SiteGround) performs on GTmetrix:
It loads in 2.2 seconds. Again, this is really fast in comparison to many other hosts. So what about Kinsta?
The exact same homepage on Kinsta (I cloned my entire site and hosted it on Kinsta) loads in 1.5 seconds.
Again that’s a speed improvement of about half a second! Kinsta also delivers better performance in terms of smaller page size and fewer requests.
So what to make of all this?
All in all, I think it’s pretty safe to say that if you decide to host your WordPress site on Kinsta then it’ll load fast. And so it should, because you are paying for premium performance, and service!
3. Impressive Site Security
Adding to the fact that Google Cloud Platform is on lock down at all times, know that they take your site’s security very seriously by implementing several tools and policies to protect site data it hosts:
- Live site monitoring every minute
- DDoS attack detection once it happens
- Proactive prevention of malicious code from entering the network
- Daily backups of your site
- Built-in hardware firewalls
- 2-factor authentication to protect your account login
- IP banning after 6 failed login attempts
- Hack-free guarantee (with a free fix if something does get in)
- Free Let’s Encrypt certificates with one-click installation
- Automatic minor WordPress security patches applied
If anything happens to your website, and you need to restore it using a backup, you can access the restore option in your MyKinsta dashboard.
As you can see, they leave very little out when it comes to securing your website and its files. And while you can still opt to install additional security measures on your WordPress site once it launches, you can always rest easy in the fact that Kinsta is helping you too.
4. User-Friendly Dashboard
People don’t usually like when hosting providers stray from the typical cPanel or Plesk dashboards for managing their hosted websites.
But if you’re one of those people, you may change your mind after seeing the MyKinsta dashboard.
Not only is this dashboard intuitive to use, and has everything you need to manage your sites, your accounting information, and more, the MyKinsta dashboard comes with:
- Access to the 24/7 support team via Intercom (in both English and Spanish, with more languages coming soon!)
- Easily add new WordPress sites
- The ability to launch migrations, check for plugin updates, take a backup, and even clear the cache
- Easy navigation between staging environments and live sites
- Full domain name (DNS) management
- WordPress plugin monitoring, IP denying, CDN data, and user logs
- Tools such as: Kinsta cache plugin, SSL certificates, New Relic monitoring, and PHP Engine switches
And to top it off, the MyKinsta dashboard is fully responsive by design so you can access it on the go from your mobile device without missing a beat.
In the end, we’d be surprised if you shunned this proprietary dashboard like so many others in the past.
Because in all honestly, it’s super easy to use, has everything you need to access in one place, and just looks cool.
5. Superior Support
If you’re like me then the goal is to never – ever – have to talk to contact your web hosts support team.
But.. we all know that ? happens.
Kinsta will tell you that their support team is made up of only the best.
So, what does this mean to you exactly?
It means that there will never be a time when a member of support has to pass you along the line of specialists in search of someone that knows the answer.
Instead, the entire support team is made up of highly-skilled WordPress developers and Linux engineers, who quite frankly, know what they’re doing.
Plus, they boast a less than 5 minute ticket response time and will reach out to you the minute they notice something is wrong.
You can access live chat in the MyKinsta dashboard 24/7 using Intercom, an advanced chat feature that lets you navigate your dashboard without being tied to a specific window.
And if you want, you can always just submit a support ticket to have your issue resolved.
Curious to know why they don’t offer live phone support? Well, they have a good reason:
- Ticket systems let them know immediately who you are and what plan you have
- The messaging systems allows for screenshots, links, videos, and code snippets for pinpointing issues better
- Automatic links to the Knowledge Base can happen during a chat
- All support tickets and chats are saved just in case you or the support team need them in the future
Kinsta wants to focus all their efforts on online support. And, since they claim to be able to get in touch with you nearly instantly, and want to make sure there are no additional distractions, it makes sense to not have live phone support.
Yup, you guessed it.
In addition to being very user-friendly for those that are just starting out with a web host, Kinsta also pulls for the WordPress developers looking for a reliable hosting provider.
In fact, because many of the people at Kinsta are WordPress developers themselves, it only made sense to make sure they offered advanced features in their hosting plans for those as experienced as them.
Here is what you can expect when you choose Kinsta for you hosting needs as a web developer:
- No lock into a single WordPress configuration so there’s more flexibility in installs
- SSH access and GIT on all Business 1 plans and higher
- Pre-installed WP-CLI (Command line interface for WordPress)
- Ability to run different PHP versions between sites and staging environments
- Automatic backup restores in staging sites too
- Support for complex reverse proxy configurations
In addition, developers have access to premium addons such as Elasticsearch, Cloudflare Railgun, and Redis.
You can expect more, as they continually rolls out new amazing features:
With so many new features becoming available to Kinsta users, like hourly backups, one-click downloadable backups, multi-user access and permission system, what’s next on Kinsta’s radar to roll out?
Here is a short list of some things we have coming down the pipe for Q4:
– Tighter integrations with our MyKinsta dashboard and CDN partner.
– Additional options to make switching/enabling HTTPS on sites even easier.
– New Google data center locations (Hong Kong, Zürich).
– Making PHP 7.3 available once it is released.
– Improvements to our billing system to make managing your account easier, as well as better handling of additional currencies for international clients.
– Switching from a development domain to a live domain will be easier than ever.
– Behind the scenes improvements to our support system that will help our Engineers be faster than ever when assisting a client.
– Improvements to our DNS Editor UI.
Brian Jackson – Chief Marketing Officer at Kinsta
7. Kinsta is optimized for WordPress
Kinsta aims to optimize your WordPress site beyond what other WordPress hosts do. They want your website to render properly, load fast, and your users to have the most seamless experience possible.
Take a look at what they do to make this happen:
- Server-level Caching. Enjoy full page caching at the server-level so data is delivered instantly to site visitors. Combine this with the exclusive Kinsta caching solution and clear your cache on your own terms.
- eCommerce Functionality. They understand that eCommerce sites demand a lot of resources and use up a lot of data to run. That’s why they’ve worked hard to balance performance and functionality so customers get what they need, and so do you.
- New Relic Monitoring. Every site that’s hosted on Kinsta includes 288 uptime checks a day thanks to the New Relic performance monitoring tool. This gives the support team time to react and inform you anytime something suspicious is detected. It also helps pinpoint exact moments things went wrong so support can solve the issues right away.
If you have a WordPress website and host your site with them, you can bet things will be optimized to work with your specific content management system.
If you’ve gotten this far, you’re probably thinking Kinsta might just be the very best in the world. Well, it still might be, but you should know that there are some significant drawbacks that may make you change your mind.
1. No Domain Name Registrations
Currently, they do not offer domain name registrations like many other popular web hosting providers do.
This means that not only do you have to register your domain name with a third-party company and point it to them (which can be tricky for novice website owners), you also don’t benefit from the “free domain name registrations” many web hosting providers give their customers for the first year.
2. No Email Hosting
It’s always convenient to have your hosting provider host your email accounts too. This way you can create emails using your domain (which is professional and great for branding), as well as send/receive emails and manage your accounts from your hosting account.
Unfortunately, they do not offer email hosting either. And while some people claim that hosting your email on the same server as your website is a problem (after all, if your server goes down, so does your email, and then you have no way of contacting anyone, including your customers), some people prefer to manage everything from one spot.
G Suite (previously Google Apps) from $5 per month per email address, and Rackspace from $2 per month per email address, are two good email hosting alternatives.
3. WordPress Plugin Restrictions
Because Kinsta goes out of its way to give its customers exceptional hosting services, they restrict the use of some plugins because they’ll conflict with their services.
Some of the popular plugins you can’t use as customer include:
- Wordfence and Login Wall
- WP Fastest Cache and Cache Enabler (WP Rocket version 3.0 and higher is supported)
- All non-incremental backup plugins like WP DB Backup, All-in One WP migration, Backup Buddy, BackWPup, and Updraft
- EWWW Image Optimizer (unless you use the EWWW Image Optimizer Cloud version)
- Performance plugins like Better WordPress Minify, WP-Optimize, and P3 Profiler
- And some other miscellaneous plugins
Though this shouldn’t be a real issue, since Kinsta covers the functionality these plugins provide, some people do prefer to have added control over things like backups, site security, and image optimization.
Kinsta WordPress Plans
Kinsta offers fully managed WordPress hosting for anyone that has a WordPress website.
Plans range from $30/month to $900/month, scaling in size and features as the monthly price increases.
To give an idea of how each plan scales, we’ll take a look at the first three hosting plans available:
- Starter: This plan includes one WordPress install, 20K monthly visits, 3GB of SSD storage, 50GB CDN, daily backups, 24/7 support, a staging area, free SSL certificates, and a caching plugin for $30/month.
- Pro: This plan includes 2 WordPress installs, 40K monthly visits, 6GB SSD storage, 100GB CDN, 1 free site migration, Multisite support, daily backups, 24/7 support, a staging area, free SSL certificates, site cloning, and a caching plugin for $60/month.
- Business 1. This plan includes 3 WordPress installs, 100K monthly visitors, 10GB SSD storage, 200GB CDN, 1 free site migration, Multisite support, daily backups, 24/7 support, a staging area, free SSL certificates, site cloning, SSH access, and a caching plugin for $100/month.
- Business 2. This plan includes 10 WordPress installs, 250K monthly visitors, 20GB SSD storage, 300GB CDN, 1 free site migration, Multisite support, daily backups, 24/7 support, a staging area, free SSL certificates, site cloning, SSH access, and a caching plugin for $100/month.
- Their other plans are: Business 3 ($300/mo), Business 4 ($400/mo), Enterprise 1 ($600/mo) and Enterprise 2 ($900/mo).
All plans, no matter which one you choose, lets you pick one of 17 datacenters on the Google Cloud Platform, and receive expert support, a highly secure network with daily monitoring and security measures, and all speed features designed to deliver site content immediately.
If you decide to pay early you get 2 months for free! Also all plans (except the starter plan) come with one free white glove site migration. But if you are currently with WP Engine and want to move to Kinsta they’ll move your site for free (even on the starter plan).
Keep in mind that they charge overages if your site runs over the monthly allocated visits and CDN gigabytes:
Lastly, it’s good to know that Kinsta also offers WooCommerce hosting. This is great for those with WordPress sites that run online shops using the popular WooCommerce platform.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is Kinsta? Kinsta is a premium managed WordPress hosting company. Their tech stack is powered by Google Cloud – the world’s largest and fastest and most preferred cloud network. Kinsta was founded in 2013 by Mark Gavalda, who is the current CEO of the company. They work with companies such as Intuit, TripAdvisor, ASOS, Drift and FreshBooks.
- What type of hosting plans are available with Kinsta? They only provide managed WordPress hosting, with WooCommerce and Enterprise support.
- What kind of control panel is used? Kinsta’s custom MyKinsta dashboard has all the features of cPanel and Plesk, and more. Find out more about the MyKinsta site management tool.
- Will I receive an SSL certificate? Yes, all customers receive free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates for their sites. All plans come with one-click free SSL integration
- Can I host an email account? No, Kinsta does not host email accounts for its customers.
- Does Kinsta offer domain name registrations? No, you must secure a domain name with a third-party company and connect it to Kinsta when you sign up for one of their hosting plans.
- Does Kinsta offer a website builder? No, they do not have a built-in website builder. That said, since it is hosting for WordPress, any site builder, such as Elementor, Beaver Builder, or Visual Composer will work with your website.
- What kind of customer support can I expect with Kinsta? With Kinsta, you can access live chat support through your MyKinsta dashboard 24/7. You can also submit a ticket request, which is typically answered within 5 minutes of submission by a team of WordPress specialist designed to give you top notch WordPress and Kinsta hosting support.
- Do they offer an uptime guarantee and refund for downtime? Their 99.9% uptime guarantee is backed by a service level agreement (SLA) which will guarantee you a 5% credit from your bill’s total in case they do not ensure a 24 hours, 7 days per week service availability. They also have a 30 minutes first time response for emergencies.
- What’s their money-back guarantee? If you cancel your hosting account during the first 30 days of service, they will issue a full refund.
- What payment options do they offer? They accept all the major credit cards; Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express (No PayPal)
Do I recommend Kinsta?
Kinsta is an exceptional managed WordPress hosting solution that has everything you need to run a fast loading and secure WordPress website.
In their own words:
What sets Kinsta apart from the competition when it comes to the three S’s of hosting, speed, security and support?
Even though other providers are now starting to use Google Cloud Platform, we still consider this an advantage for Kinsta. Why? Because we are able to roll out the new data centers immediately when they are available. We now have 17 data centers and counting.
We also include Google’s premium tier network (not the standard tier) on all plans. If a provider doesn’t mention which network they use, it’s most likely they are trying to save money by going with the slower option. The premium tier network ensures lightning fast latency for all of our clients.
Kinsta uses isolated Linux container technology, which means every WordPress site is completely isolated. This ensures performance and security by design. No resources are shared and every site has its own PHP, Nginx, MySQL, MariaDB, etc. This also allows for auto-scaling for sudden traffic surges as CPU and memory are automatically allocated by our virtual machines as needed.
We partnered up with KeyCDN, one of the fastest HTTP/2 CDN providers in the industry to turbocharge client’s assets (media, JS, CSS) around the globe. While Cloudflare is great, and many of our clients use it, it’s not a real CDN but a proxy service + WAF (it does operate in a similar fashion). Because of this, Cloudflare comes with some overhead (additional TTFB) due to the fact that it’s sitting between the site and the host. For our clients, we wanted the fastest latency and network speeds unbarred from anything in-between.
We support two-factor authentication, GeoIP blocking, automatically ban repeat IPs (over a certain threshold), and enforce strong passwords on all new installs. We even have an IP deny tool in our dashboard which allows our clients to manually block IPs if needed. We have hardware firewalls, active and passive security, and other advanced features to prevent access to data. And for all Kinsta clients, we offer free hack fixes if on the off chance their site is compromised.
We are the fastest managed WordPress host to push out the latest versions of PHP when they become available. Not only is this needed for security reasons, but also performance. We have a CEO (developer by trade) who is obsessed with performance, so ensuring we run the latest software is something our team takes very seriously.
Kinsta does support a little different than the rest, and it’s truly what sets us apart. We offer 24×7 support via Intercom. But we don’t have different level tiered support reps. All of our support team members are highly skilled Linux Engineers and WordPress developers. This ensures that our clients aren’t being bounced around and their problem is resolved quickly.
Our average ticket response time is less than five minutes, usually less than two. We also monitor uptime on all clients sites 24×7 and pride ourselves on being proactive. If a site goes down for any reason, whether it is server-related or even plugin related, we’ll reach out right away. A lot of times before you even know something is wrong.
Brian Jackson – Chief Marketing Officer at Kinsta
And to top it off, with stellar customer support, a user-friendly control panel dashboard, and developer-friendly tools, the established WordPress website owner has much to gain from using Kinsta hosting.
In fact, someone looking for those features may just believe Kinsta is the best Google Cloud WordPress hosting solution in the world.
That said, this type of hosting might be a little advanced for beginner website owners. And at a starting price of $30/month for the most basic hosting services, those on a tight budget may not want all the nag for their buck, no matter how great it seems.
So, if you’re in the market for fully managed WordPress hosting and are thinking about upgrading to another hosting provider, check out Kinsta and see what how you like it. You never know, the features, speed, security, and customer support may be just what you’re looking for.