Looking for a Kinsta review from someone who actually hosts their site at Kinsta? Kinsta is performance-oriented managed WordPress hosting – and it’s also where we host this very site you’re looking at.
In this post, I’m going to dig into everything Kinsta. You’ll get a look at Kinsta’s features, real performance testing data, the Kinsta dashboard, support response times, and plenty more.
Best of all – we wrote this Kinsta review AFTER Kinsta made massive pricing and design changes in November 2017. So this review is all about the most recent version of Kinsta hosting.
If you’re especially interested in a particular aspect of Kinsta hosting, you can click below to jump straight to that section. Otherwise, I encourage you to read the entire review!
Kinsta Hosting Review: A Look At The Feature List
Kinsta is pretty fast and amazing. It loaded our test website in 643 ms which is incredible.
Solid performance from Kinsta along with a 99.9% uptime guarantee and a service level agreemented.
You benefit from 24/7 live chat support via Intercom located inside your Kinsta dashboard.
Kinsta has reduced its pricing starting now at just $30 per month. Previously, their cheapest plan started at $100.
Money Back Guarantee
You are free to cancel your Kinsta account during the first 30 days of usage and benefit from a full refund.
Kinsta includes a bunch of helpful managed WordPress hosting features that I’ll get to in a second. But first, I wanted to start with Kinsta’s most important features.Visit Kinsta Hosting
1. Kinsta's speed and Perfomance
If you want your WordPress site to load fast, picking the right host is one of the best things that you can do.
So…how fast is Kinsta?
I’m going to approach testing Kinsta’s performance a little differently than most reviews. Rather than simply posting numbers for my test site by itself, I’m going to do a comparison so that you can see how much of an actual effect moving to Kinsta has.
- I’ll test my test site’s performance at my current personal host (SiteGround).
- Then, I’ll test that exact same site at Kinsta.
Done this way, you’ll know both:
- How fast Kinsta can be by itself
- Whether or not your site will actually load faster if you change to Kinsta hosting
Ok, so here’s the low-down on my test site. It has:
- Elementor installed
- A homepage that consists of a weighty Elementor template using Elementor Canvas (a blank theme template)
- SG Optimizer caching (for the SiteGround test) – because Kinsta has server-side caching, it wouldn’t be fair to test SiteGround without SiteGround’s caching solution.
Here’s how my test site at SiteGround fared in a Pingdom test:
My test site loaded in 1.32 seconds.
To be honest? That’s already pretty fast in comparison to many hosts – SiteGround is no slouch. So can Kinsta beat those tests? Let’s find out…
At Kinsta, the exact same site loaded in…0.643 seconds. Which means Kinsta was able to load my test site in about half the time it took SiteGround:
So yeah…Kinsta is pretty fast. But can it sustain those speeds under some load? To test that, I’ll put it through a Load Impact test with 50 concurrent users over 5 minutes (the most available in Load Impact’s free plan).
Here’s how Kinsta did:
Over 50 virtual users, the load time on my test site only jumped over 400ms twice. And even with 50 active users at the end of the test, Kinsta was still able to serve up my test site in 372ms.
Basically, that means your site will load just as quickly for the 50th user as it does for the 1st user, which is important if your site gets high traffic.
Let me start by saying that Kinsta’s 99.9% uptime guarantee is backed by a service level agreement 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 put into effect a 30 minutes first time response for emergencies to make sure everyone gets the attention they deserve. However, keep in mind that this 30 minutes response time is to acknowledge the issue, not to solve it.
Kinsta offers its users nothing but the best in terms of server reliability and performance scoring in our test an uptime of 99.98% for a 30 days period.
If you’re like me, your goal is to never have to talk to your host’s support team.
And when it does, it’s nice to be able to quickly get in contact with support (because hosting problems are stressful!)
So how does Kinsta handle support? As I mentioned, you get 24/7 live chat support via Intercom, which is always available inside your Kinsta dashboard:
Intercom is great in comparison to traditional live chat because you never need to worry about accidentally closing the live chat window. That is, the Intercom window is always there, even if you move to a different page inside your dashboard.
As for response times, here’s a message I sent at 4:11 pm. Less than a minute later, I already had a response:
For the longest time, Kinsta’s pricing made it inaccessible to most casual WordPress users.
That’s no longer the case.
As of November 2017, Kinsta now has plans starting at just $30 per month (previously, the cheapest plan was $100 per month).
Here’s a look at Kinsta’s new pricing structure:
- Starter – starts at $30 for a single website with a single WordPress install. With this plan you get 20,000 monthly visits, daily back-ups, 3 GB SDD storage, and more.
- Pro – comes in at $60 per month for 2 websites WordPress installs. This plan is basically the double of the first one containing 6 GB of storage, and 100 GB free CDN instead of 50 GB like the Starter offers.
- Business 1 – These next few plans are a bit on the pricier side starting at $100/mo. Business 1 offers 3 WordPress installs, 100,000 monthly visits, 10 GB storage, 1 free migration, staging area, and free SSL.
- Business 2 – is fairly similar to the previous plan, but allows 250,000 monthly visits, 10 WordPress installs, and 20 GB storage. This one is $200/month
- Business 3 – $300/month for 20 WordPress installs plus 400,000 monthly visits and 30 GB storage. The number of free migrations increased to 3 as well as the back-up retention to 20 days from 14 days.
- Business 4 – $400/each month gaining access to 40 WordPress installs, 6000,000 visits, 40 GB storage, 4 free migrations, 20 days back-up retention, and 6 PHP workers per site.
- Enterprise 1 & Enterprise 2 – at the $600 and $900 per month are the most expensive Kinsta plans, but their sheer number of features is worth it.
Kinsta offers all its users 2 months free for yearly payments. Check below your savings for yearly payments.
In the past, Kinsta plans did not have monthly visitor limits. It’s a bit of a bummer that the new plans do – but the new plans do make Kinsta much more accessible. Additionally, the new prices are still competitive with the rest of the managed WordPress hosting industry.Visit Kinsta Hosting
5. Kinsta Hosting's Features
In the table below we will be showcasing four of Kinsta’s plans: Starter, Pro, Business 1, and Enterprise 1. We choose these four because they are the most relevant and the other are pretty similar in what they offer with small increases in monthly visits, storage, and WordPress installs.
6. Kinsta Options (Free SSL Included, Staging Area, and Free Migration)
No matter the plan you choose, Kinsta offers a free SSL certificate through Let’s Encrypt that can be installed directly from your hosting dashboard with just a few clicks. There is no need to contact their support team to install it for you or use a third party SSL certificate. In a matter of minutes you can have your site over HTTPS. To implement it go to your dashboard over at Kinsta > Sites > Manage > Tools > Enable HTTPS > Let’s Encrypt > Generate free HTTPS certificate.
All Kinsta plans offer you the possibility of choosing your data center locations for each website you add in your Kinsta dashboard. Choosing the closest data center to your visitors ensures that your content reached your audience at top speed. You get 17 data centers to choose from each time you add a new website. In the image below you can see what your choices are.
- Council Bluffs, Iowa, USA
- Changhua County, Taiwan
- Sydney, Australia
- The Dalles, Oregon, USA
- Ashburn, Virginia, USA
- Moncks Corner, South Carolina, USA
- São Paulo, Brazil
- London, UK
- Frankfurt, Germany
- Montréal, Canada
- Hamina, Finland
- Los Angeles, California
- Jurong West, Singapore
- Tokyo, Japan
- Mumbai, India
- St. Ghislain, Belgium
Setting up a staging area is also available no matter the plan you chose to purchase and is very easy to start and switch between. Having a staging website is important during development so you can work and test things out without affecting the live website. When you are done with the staging, you can switch back to the live and then back again with only a click.
What’s even better is that Kinsta provides free site migrations for its Pro, business, and enterprise clients. To benefit from your free migration you have to go to your Kinsta dashboard > Migrations > and fill up the Migration request form there.
After migrating your website and before setting it up, Kinsta’s support team will double check everything to make sure the migration was successfully.
7. Kinsta Makes It Super Easy To Launch A New WordPress Site
Because Kinsta focuses exclusively on WordPress, the Kinsta team was able to build a WordPress-focused onboarding process that makes it mind-bogglingly easy to launch a new WordPress site.
Here’s how simple it is…
You sign into your Kinsta dashboard and see this big button. You click it…
- Choose your data center from the big list. Kinsta has 13 global data centers, including one in India.
- Name your site (this is for your internal Kinsta dashboard)
- Choose Add a brand new WordPress install
- Enter basic details for your WordPress installation
- Choose some special goodies like whether or not to activate WordPress Multisite or install WooCommerce/Yoast SEO
- Click ADD
And that’s it! You now have a working WordPress install:
8. More about Kinsta Dashboard
Are you the world’s only fan of cPanel?
If so, you’re going to be disappointed because Kinsta has built a custom dashboard that:
- Is actually user-friendly
- Looks great
- Lets you manage all aspects of your site
Jokes aside – Kinsta’s dashboard is a major step up from cPanel.
In the main dashboard, you can get a quick look at stats for all of the sites on your account:
If you click the Manage button next to one of your sites, you’ll be able to manage all details for that site. And you can also quickly switch between Live and Staging environments, which is helpful if you need to do any development:
For an example of what those sidebar menu links let you do, here’s what the Backups interface looks like:
Notice how you get one click restores to both the live version of your site and the staging version? That’s helpful!
And here’s a look at some of the Tools that Kinsta gives you:
Synopsis: Kinsta Hosting Advantages
I am sure you saw the results of our performance tests in the above sections, but to further mention Kinsta’s advantages and the helpful technology stack powering your site, below we have a synopsis of the number of features that make your WordPress life easier.
Here’s what Kinsta runs on:
- Google Cloud Platform – Kinsta is powered by Google Cloud Platform, which is the same technology that Google uses to power its own products (when’s the last time Google went down?).
- PHP 7.X – PHP 7.X significantly outperforms the PHP 5.X that some hosts still run, especially when under heavy load.
- HTTP/2 – HTTP/2 is faster than the HTTP/1 that many hosts still run. This site provides a nice visual comparison.
- NGINX – NGINX performs better than the Apache web server used by many hosts, especially under scale. In this test, Organic found NGINX to be found 4.2X faster, on average.
- MariaDB – MariaDB offers performance improvements over MySQL.
- Server-side caching – Kinsta’s server-side caching eliminates the need for a separate caching plugin.
- Easy CDN integration – Kinsta integrates easily with KeyCDN and even gives you a certain amount of free bandwidth (depending on your plan).
- Easy staging – easily move between staging and live versions of your site.
- Automatic backups – Kinsta automatically backs up your site and stores 14-days of backups for you.
- WordPress-specific security – DDoS detection, hardware firewalls, and more.
- 24/7 support – get help via Intercom live chat whenever needed.
Conclusion: Should You Choose Kinsta Hosting?
Well…given that we host this site at Kinsta, you can probably guess where this recommendation is going…
Here’s why we like Kinsta:
- It’s fast. You saw the data.
- The dashboard is awesome. Kinsta’s dashboard blows cPanel out of the water and is the best of any managed WordPress hosting provider that I’ve personally tried.
- Managed WordPress hosting features. That means you get help with backups, staging, etc.
- Fast support response times. Being able to get under one minute response times at the equivalent of 4:11 am is nice to have.
While the visitor limits on the new plans might be a bit disappointing for high-traffic sites, they also come with a significant reduction in price.
All in all, if you’ve moved beyond cheap shared WordPress hosting, you should definitely give Kinsta a look.