Kinsta Review

Probably one of the better web hosting options if you're going with WordPress, Kinsta offers plenty of bells and whistles for those putting together their site with the world's most used CMS. If, however, you're not going with WP, you may want give Kinsta a pass. Read all the details in our full review.

By Jacob RoachDeputy Editor
— Last Updated: 10 Sep'18
2018-07-20T06:12:31+00:00
Table of Contents Rating
Features
79%
Good
Pricing
71%
Decent
Server Types & Speed
82%
Good
Ease of Use
92%
Excellent
Security
91%
Excellent
Support
74%
Good
User Reviews & Comments

Good
Visit Kinsta


Kinsta is a cloud-based managed WordPress solution designed for enterprise clients and WordPress resellers. The client roster houses Ubisoft, General Electric and Intuit, showcasing how powerful this host is.

In this Kinsta review, we’ll test that power, running it through the wringer over the course of six sections. We’ll talk features, pricing, server types and speed, ease of use, security and support before giving our verdict.

Kinsta is a great choice for WordPress users, but you’ll need something else if the popular CMS isn’t for you. Check out our guide to the best web hosting, as well as our web hosting reviews, for a few options.

Alternatives for Kinsta

  • Great WordPress plans
  • Lots of features
  • Daily backups
  • Top-notch support
  • Expensive cloud & dedicated plans
  • Dated control panel
  • Slow response time on shared plans
  • Very easy to use
  • Best WordPress hosting provider
  • Multiple hosting options
  • Useful help center
  • Bad customer support reputation
  • CPU throttling

Strengths & Weaknesses

Pros:

  • Fast
  • Easy to use
  • Free site recovery
  • Daily backups
  • Malware protection
  • Quick support

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Strictly for WordPress

Features

79% - Good

Kinsta is built for one purpose: ultra-fast and secure WordPress hosting. The feature set aligns with that, each one tailored for speed or security. You won’t get goodies such as ad credits, like you do with cheap web hosts, which shows that Kinsta is a serious WordPress host that caters to larger outlets.

The service is built across Google Cloud. That’s the connectivity that brings Kinsta’s servers together. The servers are kept up to date with the latest framework versions, so you can rest assured your site is supported, no matter what development stack you use.

One of the benefits of cloud hosting is how flexible it is. In the event of a traffic spike, the cloud can allocate more resources to you without downtime or speed hurdles.

You can choose one of the 16 data centers from Google Cloud to host your site. Depending on your location and primary audience, a strategic placement could mean a big bump in speed.

There are a few security features, as well. Kinsta provides a hack guarantee, meaning that, in the event of a breach, Kinsta will scan and clean your site free of charge. We’ll talk more about the cleaning process in the security section below.

Additionally, you have automatic daily backups, a free SSL certificate for each of your sites and regular uptime checks. Kinsta doesn’t have an uptime guarantee, but there are plenty of reasons not to trust a claim like that, anyway. Instead, sites hosted with Kinsta are checked every five minutes for uptime.

Plans comes with WordPress staging, which refers to a test site where you can mess around and try new things before going live. The staging environment is maintained after the first publish, so you can try changes before moving them to the live site.

Pricing

71% - Decent

Plan:StarterProBusiness
Price:$30$60Starting at $100
Details:Single WordPress install
Suitable for 20K visits
3GB of disk space
Two WordPress installs
Suitable for 40K visits
6GB of disk space
Three to 80 WordPress installs
Suitable for 100K to 1.5M visits
10GB to 120GB of disk space


Kinsta is expensive. That is something we’ve seen with other cloud-based managed WordPress solutions, such as Pagely (read our Pagely review), as well. Unlike Pagely, Kinsta provides a couple of budget options for beginners and individual users.

The Starter price most easily matches up with Bluehost (read our Bluehost review), though the services aren’t equal. You’re going to get more storage space and visits per month with Bluehost, albeit on a slower and less secure network.

We like that Kinsta offers inexpensive plans where Pagely doesn’t, but we can’t figure out why. It offers a starting point for fast and secure cloud hosting, but doesn’t make sense with the market Kinsta caters to.

You’re better off using a WordPress plan at Bluehost or SiteGround (read our SiteGround review) if you’re on a budget, as it’ll provide more storage and visits, even if it costs a bit of speed.

Kinsta Business Plans

Business and Enterprise plans are where Kinsta hits its stride. The number of WordPress installs, storage space and maximum monthly visitors varies depending on how large your bill is, but these plans cater to enterprises and WordPress resellers, the area in which Kinsta is focused.

The monthly visit limit is a limit and not a recommendation, as seen with SiteGround and HostGator (read our HostGator review). Kinsta charges $1 for 1,000 additional visits, as well as 10 dollar cents per GB for CDN overages.

Kinsta’s prices aren’t as high as Pagely’s. They top out in the middle of that company’s curve. Kinsta’s an enterprise-focused solution, so the high costs make sense. We just don’t like how it nickels and dimes you for everything else.

Server Types & Speed

82% - Good

Kinsta is designed around the Google Cloud Platform, meaning you’ll only have access to cloud hosting. You can read our Google Cloud review to see what we think of the platform from a cloud storage standpoint.

As far as web hosting goes, the hallmarks of cloud hosting are speed and scalability. Google’s private fiber network has over 100 points of presence and 16 global data centers. Cloud hosting also brings with it redundancy, in case of a server outage or breach.

We measured Kinsta’s usage of Google Cloud with Bitcatcha. This tool loads the site, but only measures the response of the server and not the content. It’s a more accurate way to test server speeds than a page speed test, as two sites hosted on the same platform could have different speeds, depending on the content.

For the tests, we used Intuit.com, one of the high-profile clients Kinsta has on its roster. If you’re not familiar with Intuit, it’s the maker of some of the best accounting software around, read about its flagship in our QuickBooks Online review.

Kinsta came back with an average 28-millisecond response time in the U.S., the fastest domestic speeds we’ve seen from a web host. The closest competitor is iPage at 43 ms (read our iPage review). This is an interesting comparison, as iPage ranks as our first pick for the best cheap web hosting.

International speeds, with an average of eight data points provided by Bitcatcha, dipped. Kinsta had an average response time of 212.4 ms, which sits in the mid-to-high bracket in our reviews. DreamHost, for example, has an international speed of 161.8 ms, though slower domestic performance (read our DreamHost review).

We used Load Impact to test a real-world situation for Kinsta. The tool sends 50 virtual users to the domain over five minutes and measures the response as the user load increases. Kinsta was resilient throughout these tests, with the majority of speed pings sitting within a few milliseconds of each other.

For a cloud-based solution, Kinsta is fast and consistent. International speeds weren’t the fastest we’ve seen, but not horrible. We’ve yet to encounter a web host with the domestic load times of Kinsta, which showcases the power of Google Cloud.

Ease of Use

92% - Excellent

Kinsta doesn’t use cPanel, disqualifying it from our best web hosting with cPanel. If we could include other control panels, Kinsta would be top among our considerations. The proprietary interface is built for WordPress use, providing you with a clean overview of your site without extraneous options.

It’s called the MyKinsta dashboard and it gives you a full overview of your site and account. The screen is taken up by your resource usage, invoices, bandwidth stats and unique visitors.

The left-side toolbar is where you can dive in and take control of your hosting. These options are just continuations of the dashboard. You can setup new websites, view billing and analytics, set migration times and manage the Kinsta DNS.

The “sites” tab brings up all the technical aspects of using WordPress. You can see your backups, clear your site cache, restart PHP and set redirects. It’s like having a mini-WordPress dashboard in your control panel.

Also in the control panel, you’ll find a small chat icon in the bottom right corner. This is the only area where live chat will appear, which is restricted to current customers. We’ll talk more about live chat in the support section below.

From your toolbar, you can access the Kinsta knowledgebase or, as it’s referred to there, the “user guide.” We appreciate the quick access, but the knowledgebase could use some work.

Read on to the support section to hear our thoughts on that.

The interface is clean and concise, something we can appreciate given Kinsta’s market. You don’t have the abundance of options that you would with cPanel, but for the niche hosting crowd that Kinsta appeals to, we couldn’t imagine a better implementation.

Security

91% - Excellent

Kinsta offers some of the best security features we’ve seen from a web host. As long as your site is hosted with Kinsta, the security team will work with you if your site becomes compromised. You get free daily backups and an SSL certificate, to boot.

You have a security guarantee if your site gets hacked. Kinsta will do a sweep of your files, repair the WordPress core and remove any infected plugins or themes. You’re responsible for reinstalling those plugins and themes, though.

Kinsta will perform a full scan of your site before that, as well. If you’re migrating from another host, Kinsta will do a deep dive into your files to detect any malware. If there’s any, a $100 removal fee applies, which is cheaper than most third-party repair services.

Kinsta looks to fix any compromised site within one business day. Some more intensive jobs require multiple scans, which Kinsta will carry out free of charge. Should your site be damaged beyond repair, Kinsta can restore it from a backup.

Each of your sites is backed up to the cloud daily. If you install something new, you can request your backup be performed after that, so you can revert, in case of any issues. Additional backups can be purchased with a frequency of every six hours to every hour, though the cost is high.

It’s unlikely your site will be compromised on the server-end. In most cases, it’ll come from an outdated or poorly-coded theme or plugin. Kinsta takes the steps to avoid hacking as much as possible. As long as you stay up to date with your plugins and themes, you should be fine.

The combination of a free SSL certificate, hardware firewalls and DDoS protection make up the server-side security suite. Kinsta even monitors each of its sites for uptime every five minutes. Around the clock, you have someone watching what’s going on with your site.

Kinsta offers two-factor authentication (2FA) for your site, but only through a text message. It’s better than not having 2FA, but we wanted to see support for Authy or YubiKey, as well. You can read our guide to the best 2FA apps to learn why SMS authentication isn’t the most secure method of 2FA.

Support

74% - Good

Kinsta offers live chat and email support, as well as a knowledgebase for the DIY-minded. The knowledgebase and email are fair game for anyone, while live chat is reserved for paying customers.

We reached out over email to gauge response time. We were blown away by how quick it was. In under an hour, an agent got back with us, answering our question and providing a few links to the topic in the knowledgebase. Our response came before the confirmation that Kinsta had received our form submission.

Kinsta tries for a 24-hour window, but you may have to wait longer depending on how many questions are pouring in.

There’s no way to view your tickets. We would’ve liked to see Kinsta add a tab in the dashboard, so you can view the status of your tickets instead of strictly using email.

If you need a faster form of contact, Kinsta provides live chat in your dashboard. It’s not as concise as email support and there’s no way to email yourself a transcript. That’s another feature we’d like to see added.

The knowledgebase is full of topics and the articles are fit with clear wording and screenshots, to boot. We don’t like how the knowledgebase is organized, though. Topics are arranged into categories, but we would’ve preferred icons over headings.

Kinsta has a knack for speed with support and a solid team to back it up. There are some missteps when it comes to recalling support and finding answers in the knowledgebase, but these are minor concerns, overall.

The Verdict

Kinsta is one of the best ways to host WordPress. It’s a responsive and easy to use service that provides excellent security and support. The price tag is high when compared to WP competitors such as Bluehost and SiteGround, but not hard to justify given the performance.

We recommend it for networks that need multiple WordPress sites or designers looking to provide efficient WordPress hosting for their clients. Single sites with high traffic will see a performance gain at Kinsta, but those starting out should go with a more budget-friendly host.

If you’re new to WordPress, make sure to read our guide on the best web hosting for WordPress. You can also check out our tutorial series on the platform, where we cover everything from installing WordPress to writing your own plugins.

Do you plan on using Kinsta, or is a cheaper host like SiteGround more in line with your needs? Let us know in the comments below and, as always, thanks for reading.

Kinsta Review

A great option for WordPress fans.

Probably one of the better web hosting options if you're going with WordPress, Kinsta offers plenty of bells and whistles for those putting together their site with the world's most used CMS. If, however, you're not going with WP, you may want give Kinsta a pass.
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