Kinsta Hosting Review

Company Overview, Pricing, and Features

Artem Minaev
Updated: December 19th, 2020
6 min read
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Kinsta logo Kinsta

Introduction

Kinsta is a managed WordPress provider that was founded in 2013. Being a relative newbie in the industry, they did build up a name for themselves. Before they were premium service, but recently they have restructured their plans and dropped their prices significantly. However, they still claim that they have focused on speed, security, and stability with the focus on cutting edge. So let’s see if their service is as sharp as they claim.

Hosting plans

Kinsta is managed WordPress host that will give you free SSL and CDN with every plan

  • Starter will give you 1 WP install, 20 000 monthly visits and 10 GB disk space
  • Pro will give you 2 WP installs, 40 000 monthly visits, 20 GB disk space and 1 site migration
  • Business 1 1 will give you 3 WP installs, 100 000 monthly visits ,30 GB disk space and 1 site migration
  • Business 2 will give you 10 WP installs, 250 000 monthly visits, 40 GB disk space and 2 site migrations
  • Business 3 will give you 20 WP installs, 400 000 monthly visits, 50 GB disk space and 3 site migrations
  • Business 4 will give you 40 WP installs, 600 000 monthly visits, 60 GB disk space and 4 site migrations
  • Enterprise 1 will give you 60 WP installs, 1 000 000 monthly visits, 100 GB disk space and 5 site migrations
  • Enterprise 2 will give you 80 WP installs, 1 500 000 monthly visits, 150 GB disk space and 5 site migrations
  • Enterprise 3 will give you 120 WP installs, 2 000 000 monthly visits, 200 GB disk space and 5 site migrations
  • Enterprise 4 will give you 150 WP installs, 3 000 000 monthly visits, 250 GB disk space and 5 site migrations

Features

Kinsta is a hosting provider that has its infrastructure powered by Google Cloud Platform. While cloud servers have their advantages and disadvantages, with this particular infrastructure Kinsta gives their customers speed and power that is pretty darn good. Their audiences are businesses and professional developers, so they don’t offer low prices that in the end can result in lower quality of their service. They guarantee an uptime reliability rate of 99.9% and promise to credit you if they fail to correct the failure within 30 minutes.

Kinsta Login page
Kinsta customer portal

They have 21 global data centers that are located in Europe, North and South America, Asia and Australia and they also include CDN in all of their plans. That not only will allow your local customers to reach you quickly, but also your global audience. Besides picking your data center. you can also implement your own CDN if you want, because they play nicely with every CDN provider out there. We thoroughly tested out their performance and we must say that they did not disappoint in their claims, but more about it later.

It is a developer-oriented provider that will allow you to create a dashboard for each project/customer and allow them too to access only their dashboard. The way you can skip constant performance review callbacks and provide them with the direct link so they can do it themselves. However, there are two things missing from Kinsta’s service: email hosting and domain registration. While this is not that big of a deal they are two very commonly used and bought features, so we would be happy if they one day decided to include them in their service catalog.

Control panel

Kinsta’s dashboard is a proprietary product, so you will have to get out of the idea that cPanel is everywhere. It is easy to use and straightforward with beautiful design. Everything that you will need will be on your left sidebar. You will probably spend the most of your time under ‘Sites’ but everything else, from your managing of the websites and your account info, will be there. That can have a tendency to look somewhat clumsy, but somehow they pulled it off. And in your lower right corner is chat window that will allow you to talk to support whenever you want.

Kinsta control panel

It is different from what cPanel got us used to. To put it simply, Kinsta’s panel will put your daily tasks up and front, instead of managing your server. You will be greeted with the clear view of all of your websites, as well as basic usage and stats about traffic. The main work you will have is in the actual WP dashboard and that is a completely different story. But because they are managed hosting provider, be aware that you have a small list of plugins that are not allowed, like for backup and cache, but they handle that part of hosting flawlessly. All in all, if you aren’t used to doing it yourself, you won’t even notice it. Otherwise, you will have to adapt to their politics of doing business.

Email

Unfortunately, as we mentioned before email hosting is not an option with Kinsta. It is unfortunate for you or your customers as end users because you will need to look elsewhere for email service provider. But on the other hand, it gives their team focus on managing hosting exclusively. We would be happy if we had it all under one brand, but you can’t have it all.

Creating and setting up your website or blog

Creating your website with WP install is very easy. In the dashboard you just simply click on ‘Sites’ – ‘Add a new site’ and with a name of your site and pick of your datacenter, you will be ready to go in no time. If you are not sure which data center to pick, you can ask their support. You can also ask them for some help if you need commerce solution because they also deal with WooCommerce. They also have an option for staging site, so you will be able to see everything polished before going live.

Migrating website is also easy, but it will require you to provide more info than when you create a new site. There will be more steps and click and fill out the forms, but in the end, when you do that, you can just relax and let them do the hard lifting. Each plan comes with at least one free migration and they guarantee you 0 downtime so if you are thinking to move to Kinsta, you will be covered. All in all, the biggest problem with creating your site here will be filling it out with your content.

Reliability and uptime

We experienced 0 percent downtime during our test of approximately two weeks. That’s right, Kinsta’s uptime was 100 percent, believe it or not. That’s a claim that can seem a bit too optimistic and we don’t blame you if you do not believe us, but UptimeRobot does not lie. Bear in mind that some hosts can’t deliver 100 percent uptime, even in the short time window we tested it out. Trust us we tested a lot of them. Even if the downtime happened, we’re sure that even on a monthly basis, downtime would not be higher than 99.99 percent, which is their guarantee.

Kinsta uptime

Load test

We are not impressed easily, but when it comes to Kinsta’s loading times and stress tests, we were ultimately quite impressed. The worst average response came from Sydney and it was around 1.5 seconds and for you to understand this, we must say that our server was in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The U.S. response times were much faster than that and they were usually around 0.4 seconds. However, what we were really impressed with were the graphs, that (almost) looked like a horizontal line. So no matter the stress, a.k.a. number of users we poured onto our Kinsta website, loading times remained the same.

Ashburn response time (best)
Sydney response time (worst)

International response times were on par with everything we already said. 99 percent of the time, values were measured under 1.4 seconds with the one worst first response from Beijing that was 26.4 seconds. But with second visit and browser cache in place, it dropped to average 1.4 seconds. Singapore, Sao Paulo, Tokyo and other bigger international cities that were scattered across the continents all were within 1 to 1.4 seconds response. All in all, if your website can load under one second on average with a bunch of users in the US and internationally on average for under two seconds, we think the job is incredibly well done.

Palo Alto response time
Portland response time

Help and support

If you noticed on your dashboard, there is a little icon hovering in your right lower corner. There you will pop up a chat window with all of your past chats with the support team. This is quite handy because it will allow you to multitask. It isn’t tied to a specific page so you can navigate through the dashboard without affecting it. This might be small feature, but it can save you a lot of clicking. It is a live chat, but it is also a ticketing system, and while they do not have phone support, they do have knowledge base. Their response every time was within minutes, very often within minute or seconds. All in all, we were impressed with the support and their expertise.

Customer support chat

Pricing

  • Starter $30 per month
  • Pro $60 per month
  • Business 1 $100 per month
  • Business 2 $200 per month
  • Business 3 $300 per month
  • Business 4 $300 per month
  • Enterprise 1 $600 per month
  • Enterprise 2 $900 per month

All of the plans will give you 2 months for free if you choose to be billed annually

Pros

  • automatic backups
  • great security
  • really easy to use
  • performance optimized to the max

Cons

  • no email hosting
  • no domain purchase
  • in the upper price range
  • some WP plugins are not allowed

Conclusion

If you’re looking to go from cheap to performance-oriented hosting, Kinsta is your provider. However, even with its recent price slashing, it is still in the upper price range for hosting providers. Having said that, and missing email hosting and domain registrations, we really did not have any complaints when it came to performance. They promised to put the focus on speed, security, and stability and they delivered it all. They manage so much that they really get everything out of ‘managed hosting’. You as the end user will have really little to no work on the actual hosting business. While we won’t recommend it to everyone, like total beginners that are setting up their first blog or website, we will recommend it to anyone who needs powerful performance for its site on the rise and audience that is steadily growing. All in all, it gets a thumbs up from us.

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