Choosing the best hosting company is one of the most difficult tasks for any WordPress site owner. No matter you are a blogger or business owner, hosting decides the success journey of your website. Though WordPress powers ~40% of the websites on the web, there are few quality managed WordPress hosting companies available out there. Kinsta is one such managed WordPress hosting provider and here is a genuine review of Kinsta’s managed WordPress hosting services.
Who is Kinsta?
Kinsta has been around since 2013 when it came into existence and serves customers from around 128 nations all over the world. That is no small feat to achieve. That could also mean that they are certainly doing something right, which is why clients trust them enough. There are several WordPress hosting services out there but not many can identify as a dedicated WordPress web host. This could mean that Kinsta is able to channel its energy into managed WordPress hosting.
They offer four different services as listed below:
- Application Hosting – billed based on application’s CPU and RAM usage.
- Database Hosting – billed based on selected database tier which has pre-defined CPU and RAM.
- Static Sites – host pre-build static websites
- WordPress Sites – managed WordPress hosting
The last item – WordPress hosting – is the focus of this article.
Managed WordPress Hosting
Earlier days, WPEngine was the leader in managed WordPress hosting services. However, companies like Kinsta and Flywheel started similar services. Since, WPEngine acquired Flywheel, we could see Kinsta is the only alternative option for WPEngine in managed WordPress hosting area.
Unlike Bluehost, SiteGround and many other hosting companies, Kinsta does not offer general services like selling email service and domains registration. They do one work in WordPress area – managed WordPress hosting, and do that in a best way. This means you can only use WordPress on their hosting service. Unfortunately, this was also the reason we could not use them, as we need to host some PHP scripts along with WordPress.
Overall Hosting Features
Before going to pricing plans, here are some of the features you will get with Kinsta.
- Data centers on 35 locations around the globe. This is one of the highest numbers, essentially means you can serve content from your nearest location.
- Powered by Google Cloud Platform – you will get scalable, fastest and reliable infrastructure to host your site. Note that, some other low cost companies like SiteGround also uses Cloud VPS hosting with Google Cloud Platform. However, Kinsta is a high-end service with super fast websites.
- Custom MyKinsta site management dashboard. You can migrate site from other companies like WPEngine and SiteGround to Kinsta for free.
- Staging environment to develop and test before deploying changing in live site. You also have DevKinsta app for building site locally and then move to live server.
- Free SSL and Cloudflare CDN with all plans.
- Automatic daily backups with 14 days retention for Starter plan (you can get 30 days backup with the highest Enterprise level plan).
- Custom server side caching with 260+ CDN locations.
- 99.9% uptime and 30 days money back guarantee.
Kinsta Pricing Plans
In order to examine the features of Kinsta hosting service, we look at the plans they offer and the features specific to each plan. Surprisingly, this company has a whopping 7 plans to offer customers. For the sake of conveniences, we will regroup the plans into four, which are Starter, Pro, Business, and Enterprise.
Now the starter plan allows just one WordPress installation and traffic of 25,000 per month for $35 per month. It is the most basic plan; however, do not underrate the features it has to offer. Apart from some limits here and there, the starter plan gives you a taste of virtually almost everything other plans have to offer. It is a storage space of 10GB based on the super-fast SSD. CDN is up to 10GB along with one free premium migration. However, the basic migration from other hosts is unlimited. Additional features including automatic fine-tuning of your MySQL database, multiuser environment, free SSL Certificates as well as the importation of your SSL Certificate.
The Pro plan is a slight upgrade on the Starter plan, the key difference lies in the number of WordPress Installation allowed. The installation allowed is two with monthly traffic of 50,000. The SSD storage is up a bit to 20GB and the CDN is double (200GB) that of the Starter plan. The number of free premium migration is two for Pro plan and it is also offers unlimited basic migration from other hosts. Unlike Starter plan, there is multisite support for the Pro plan. There is a multiuser environment in the Pro plan and it gives you the ability to manage and creates new users with access to all your websites.
Just call this the higher version of the Pro plan; you get an increase in the number of allowed WordPress installation, SSD storage, monthly traffic, and CDN. The business plan has four sub-plans namely 1-4. The main difference between the four plans lie in the number of WordPress installations, storage, traffic and CDN usage.
|Features / Plan||Business 1||Business 2||Business 3||Business 4|
|SSD storage (GB)||30||40||50||60|
|CDN||400 GB||600 GB||800 GB||1200 GB|
This is the highest tier for the plans available to users. It is also the most expensive and you need to contact their sales for getting the exact price. Earlier, the enterprise plan was also sub-divided into four groups which were subsequently removed later.
In addition, you also have an option to go for single site or agency plan. At any case, you will be charged additionally if you exceed the plan’s limitations as below:
- Traffic – $1 per 1000 visits
- Storage – $2 per GB
- CDN – $0.10 per GB
As you can see, the lowest plan costs $35 per month for a single WordPress installation. This essentially means, Kinsta is not for those who want to replace their shared hosting with cheap managed hosting like SiteGround or HostGator. You need to allocate sufficient budget before signing up for Kinsta and also keep some buffer budget for covering overage. Good thing is that you can get two months free hosting on all the plans when paid annually.
There are two kinds of dashboards available in Kinsta. After logging in, you will land on a dashboard where you can find resource usage, bandwidth, traffic, CDN usage and all other account level information.
You can find all created WordPress sites under “WordPress Sites” section.
Clicking on a site will take you to another dashboard showing details related to the selected site.
From this dashboard, you can change DNS setup, add redirects, block IPs, check additional tools and do much more. Learn more on how to create your first WordPress site with Kinsta to understand the step-by-step process of using MyKinsta dashboard.
The support system is quite good; there is an automatic daily backup as well as manual backup points. There is also a self-healing technology that automatically tries to start up your PHP if it goes down. The support staffs are available all-round the clock to attend to your issues on all plans. You can contact support right from your MyKinsta dashboard. You have expert WordPress documentation at your reach to guide through any technical issues.
Security & Speed
The Google Cloud Platform allows secure transportation of your data. There is also a staging area feature that allows you to test out new features on your site without compromising your live site by making a copy of that site. For additional malware scanning, you may need to use third-party services like Sucuri or Wordfence. Remember though Kinsta setup allows to use Worfence plugin, you can’t use real-time traffic logging feature.
Page Loading Speed
As mentioned, you do not need to worry about the speed as Kinsta offers customized WordPress environment.
- SSD and large number of data centers allows the site to load from closer location to your audience. That reduces the page loading time and gives lower latency.
- Use of Google Cloud Platform also aids the speed of your site by allowing faster transportation of your data.
- In-built Edge caching with their own plugin.
- Integrated Cloudflare CDN service with 260+ locations to deliver static resources like images, CSS and JS.
Below is the Google PageSpeed Insights score showing 100 / 100 for mobile / desktop for a site hosted on Kinsta.
GTmetrix also shows grade A with 100% and 426 milliseconds as LCP.
Though this is a bare minimum site, it is still an impressive score for a newly created site (as it is yet to be visited from multiple locations and cached).
If your goal is to get a budget-friendly hosting, then Kinsta might not be what you are looking for. Also, you need to pay $100 for additional premium migration from other hosts. Their starter and pro plan are also not equipped to handle a dynamic e-commerce website with 2 PHP workers. Besides high pricing, there are also banned plugins which you can’t use with Kinsta. You can check the complete list from their documentation.
Kinsta only offers managed WordPress hosting services which means they are able to channel all their effort and energy into providing a quality service. Of course, there is a 30 days money back guarantee, in case you are not satisfied with their service. You can use the MyKinsta dashboard in 10 different languages and get reliable support covering every time zones. There is also a DevKinsta app for building local WordPress sites and move them to live server seamlessly. Although Kinsta is just 10+ years into the hosting, the features they offer put them in the upper level of the industry.
- High-speed sites with Google Cloud Platform and Cloudflare CDN.
- Large number of data centers to choose from.
- Good customer support.
- Easy to use MyKinsta dashboard.
- You can’t host PHP and other content along with WordPress hosting.
- Starter and Pro plans have low resources.
- Higher cost.