Kinsta Review 2020: The Best Premium Hosting?
Unbiased, In-Depth Breakdown of KINSTA
Everything about the web hosting provider we are going to discuss today shouts premium. Premium performance. Premium support. Premium features. And obviously, premium pricing.
If you are in the market hunting for quality web hosting and are willing to shed some money, Kinsta is perhaps the best managed hosting for your WordPress site.
Sure, it’s not the most affordable one like Hostinger, nor is it quite the “bang for the buck” Bluehost is. However, if your site attracts numerous real-time users and at least about 20,000 monthly visitors from across the globe, investing in a Kinsta managed WordPress plan is worth it.
It’s also worth it if you are looking for a performance-first solution — say, for your WooCommerce store.
“Why is it so?” This comprehensive Kinsta review will answer this question.
A+ | 5/5 - Web Hosting
AVERAGE RESPONSE TIME
AVG.RESPONSE TIME IN INDIA
~ 2 ms
24/7 live chat; Ticketing
Google Cloud Platform, Free CDN, 24 global locations, Top-notch performance
Starts at $30/mo
Mark Gavalda founded Kinsta in 2013 with the goal to “create the best WordPress hosting platform in the world.” Side note: After testing it extensively, we can say the goal’s achieved to an extent.
Completely bootstrapped & built ground up, Kinsta is among the fastest-growing WordPress hosts in the market. Daily, a total of more than 30 TB of data transfer happens on Kinsta-hosted sites.
Moreover, upwards of 100 WordPress lovers are a part of the ever-growing, remote-first, global Kinsta team.
Apart from serving their happy customers, Kinsta also tries to give back to the WordPress community by sponsoring events and contributing to WordPress development.
All in all, everything’s going great for Kinsta. And why wouldn’t it?! Their customers love them, thanks to the following…
Though Kinsta’s team members and target customers are mostly from the US, using it from India and/or for Indian demographic isn’t any different.
Of the 24 data centers Kinsta/GCP has, one is located in Mumbai, India. You can choose it if you are serving the Indian audience to achieve the least latency & best performance. Apart from that, there’s no other difference — you get the same features, control panel, support team, etc.
In short, if you liked what you read till not, it doesn’t matter where you are from...just go for it.
10 reasons why Kinsta is the best money can buy
1. The “Google Cloud Platform” factor
Kinsta exclusively uses Google Cloud Platform (GCP) for all its customers. And this fact alone ensures high speed & reliability.
GCP is a suite of cloud computing services that runs on the same infrastructure that Google uses internally for its end-user products, such as Google Search, Gmail, file storage, and YouTube.
Meaning, you will be getting the best of the best servers available in the world. Plus, the architecture & security protocols followed will be the same as that with Google’s products.
Another major benefit of having your site on GCP is access to Google’s global server network. You can choose from GCP’s 24 data centers spread across the globe - US, Europe, Asia, Australia, North America, and South America. For best performance, select the one nearest to your target audience — we chose “Mumbai, India” for this review.
In short, usage of the super-powerful Google Cloud Platform is one of the distinguishing features you’ll get with Kinsta managed WordPress hosting.
2. Best server response time
Speed is the primary reason you’d opt for Kinsta in the first place. And server response time is the first “speed factor” that’s depended on the web host. Therefore, it must be among the best, if not best, to even start considering Kinsta.
Well, Kinsta’s server response time is awesome!
Fact: If your site’s server response time is poor, a potential customer/client can bounce even before your site starts to load. Google recommends to keep it under 200 ms for no noticeable latency.
As we mentioned, we selected the Mumbai data center for our Kinsta test site. And on checking the server response time using Bitcatcha, we found it to be 2 ms in India! That’s off the charts — the best among the web hosts we have tested!
Other locations, too, showed quite impressive server response time.
Overall, Kinsta’s data center network, i.e., GCP’s network, can offer you the best possible response time at any place in the world.
3. Incredible loading speeds
Server response time is a part of the total site loading time & it’s mainly dependent on the server location. Site loading speed, on the other hand, depends on many factors. How well does Kinsta manage all those aspects, and how’s the loading speed? Short answer: Very well & the best loading speed.
Long answer: To test page speed for our web hosting reviews, we always run a GTMetrix test on a very basic, text-only webpage. If the resulting loading time is under 1 second, it’s recommendable.
Apart from Kinsta, our other top recommended web hosts’ loading time averages around 500-600 ms, which is excellent. As for Kinsta’s loading time, it measured 375 ms. Meaning, it’s almost 3x faster than the recommended limit!
Even more impressive fact is that the loading time remained around the same even with many real-time visitors.
How does Kinsta achieve this unbelievable feat? Well…it uses high-performance SSD storage, Nginx, LXD containers, PHP 7.4 (option to switch to 7.2 & 7.3), server-level caching, and MariaDB on GCP.
Simply put, all of these are the best technologies you can use for your WordPress site’s performance.
Moreover, their self-healing technology & automatic database optimization ensures you get the best performance all the time.
In summation, you will possibly get the best website loading speed if you choose Kinsta.
4. Perfect uptime
Kinsta mentions a 99.9% uptime guarantee in its service-level agreement.
As for compensation in the case your site’s down for more than 0.1% of the time: upon request, they’ll give 5% of your monthly plan price for each hour of total downtime in the form of SLA credits.
The good news is most probably you won’t need to ask for compensation. In our testing, the uptime turned to be 100%.
It is a direct result of the cloud-based architecture Kinsta uses. Here’s how cloud hosting works: Instead of storing your site on a single server, your site is shared between a sequence of interconnected machines. This means if one machine malfunctions, your site will be served by other computers/servers that have your websites on it, essentially keeping your site live.
In short, more often than not, you will have the ideal uptime if you host with Kinsta.
5. Super-amazing customer support
Fast. Knowledgeable. Helpful. These are the three words we would use to describe Kinsta’s technical support team.
Firstly, to get in touch, you can either generate a ticket or start a live chat. Sadly, there’s no phone support. Anyway, you won’t miss it, given the quality of its live chat support.
We contacted the live chat a few times, and we got a response in under two minutes each time. While getting in touch, you can choose one of the following languages if you are not comfortable with English: French, German, Portuguese, and Spanish. Remember, though, only English chat is accessible 24/7; other language support engineers are live only during the respective countries’ local time.
As for the quality of support agents, just like all their employees, they are WordPress (most of them veteran developers) & hosting experts. They know what they are talking about, to say the least. With many other hosting providers, your query is forwarded & re-forwarded to the appropriate specialist for resolution; with Kinsta, all support engineers are experts, and hence you’ll receive immediate replies.
Furthermore, the support team is friendly & helpful and shares links to appropriate resources.
Talking about resources, Kinsta also has a great knowledgebase and blog, where you can find answers to common queries.
6. Free SSL & CDN
SSL and CDN are two of the most essential additions to any website.
An SSL certificate encrypts all the communication between server and user. It protects your visitors from MITM attacks, data leakage, phishing attempts, etc. Kinsta has partnered with Let’s Encrypt to provide a one-click-installable free SSL certificate to all its users.
Similarly, it has partnered with KeyCDN to offer free CDN. KeyCDN is an IPv6 powered CDN (Content Delivery Network) that speeds up your data delivery across the globe by caching your assets like JS, CSS, and images on its network of servers. The total servable data amount through the free CDN depends on your Kinsta plan, though. E.g., The Starter plan has a 50 GB limit.
Overall, both these freebies/features come in handy for any business.
7. Free migrations
If you are moving your site from another hosting platform to Kinsta, Kinsta’s expert migration team will handle it for you, for free.
They offer two types of free migrations:
- Free unlimited basic migrations from other hosts: If your previous host is WP Engine, Flywheel, SiteGround, Pagely, Pantheon, Cloudways, GoDaddy, DreamHost, Bluehost, HostGator, A2 Hosting, tsoHost, WPX Hosting, or Savvii, you can opt for this option. As the name suggests, you can transfer as many sites as you want, as long as the transfer is basic. If you have complex requirements like moving multisite networks, sites using WP Engine's LargeFS, sites that use a reverse proxy, etc., you’ll have to choose premium migration.
- Free premium migrations: You will have to use this option if your site is more than a “basic website.” Yes, it’s also free, but the number of sites is limited, unlike the previous option. E.g., You can only migrate one website with the Starter pack & two websites on the Pro pack.
Anyway, Kinsta does offer free site migration. And that’s a point in their favor.
8. Automatic daily backups
All Kinsta plans include free manual & automatic daily backups.
This feature ensures that your website data is safe if something were to happen to the live version of the site. E.g., A new plugin update can mess up your site; to undo its effects, you need to have a copy of the best version of your site.
Kinsta automatically backups your website every day. Plus, if you are going to make changes that even have a slight chance of damaging your website, you can also take manual backup.
Depending on the plan you purchase, your website is stored for 14-30 days. Meaning, you can retain any version of your site from the past 14-30 days.
There’s also an optional hourly backup for a fast-paced site. It’s an add-on, though.
9. Many more features
The points mentioned above are essential to almost all of Kinsta’s potential users (like you). However, there are a few features that might not interest you. And this section is about those.
- Staging area: You can create a copy of your site and make changes to it to see how it transforms your site. If all goes well, you can push the changes to the live site. This feature is essentially for developers and designers, but you can use it while updating plugins and stuff like that if you are neither.
- Multi-user environment: You can add multiple users to your Kinsta account and give different access levels. For instance, if it’s for your business, you can grant access to only the billing area for the accounting department.
- Site cloning: If you are building a site for a client and want to save the template for other use, you can clone it. This feature is not available with the Starter plan, however.
- SSH access: If you want to use WP-CLI, Composer, and Git to create better developer environments or automate workflows via terminal commands, this feature is for you.
Everything mentioned till now comes with Kinsta’s plans. However, if you want to add some features, here are a few add-ons you can directly integrate: Elasticsearch, Redis, Nginx reverse proxy, External Backup, and Disk space add-on.
10. Kinsta control panel
Kinsta’s control panel is...well...perfect!
It’s modern-looking, sleek, and gives access to more functionalities that cPanel & Plesk combined! Just so you know, cPanel and Plesk are the top two used control panels in the business.
From the MyKinsta dashboard, you can perform multiple tasks & manage everything, such as:
- Access site migration wizard to transfer your site.
- Access/manage domains, SSL, cache, phpMyAdmin, backups, etc.
- Deploy site(s) on any of GCP’s 24 data centers.
- Check detailed analytics of visitors, resource usage, performance, and more.
- Work with your team.
- Create & manage staging sites.
In a nutshell, Kinsta’s control panel is an excellent combination of UI/UX and functionality.
Two reasons that might keep you from purchasing Kinsta
1. It’s expensive
No surprises here.
As mentioned from the start, it’s a premium managed WordPress hosting solution. And as you will see further, the cheapest Kinsta plan costs $30/month, which is like double of the most shared web hosts’ expensive packages.
It’s expensive, but it’s superior in almost all aspects, especially the performance ones. And as they say, quality comes with a price.
2. No email hosting
While almost all hosting providers — even the cheapest ones — offer free professional email accounts, Kinsta doesn’t even with that gigantic sticker pricing. It’s just beyond us.
Kinsta Plans & Features
Kinsta offers one and only one type of hosting: Premium managed WordPress hosting. And it’s powered by Google Cloud Platform. Therefore, the main difference in its plans won’t be of the hosting architecture but of the space, bandwidth, features, and stuff like that.
As for commonality, all plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, free SSL certificates, free unlimited basic site migrations, daily backups, SSH access, a Staging area, 24/7 support, and almost everything we discussed above.
Let’s explore the distinctions.
Costing $30/month, the Starter plan is Kinsta’s cheapest plan. You can host only one WordPress site. It comes with 10 GB SSD storage, 1 free premium migration, 50 GB free CDN, and can handle about 25,000 monthly visitors. It’s an excellent plan for personal brands & small businesses.
To host two WordPress sites amounting to a total of approx. 50,000 monthly visitors, this $60/month plan is perfect. It comes with 20 GB SSD space, 2 premium migrations, and 100 GB free CDN.
Kinsta has four levels of business-tier plans suitable for medium-sized and above online businesses. All these plans are great for e-commerce stores and other resource-intensive tasks
Number of sites
Free premium migrations
For online enterprises, Kinsta has four enterprise-tier plans. Kinsta’s client list includes big names like TripAdvisor, Flippa, Drift, FreshBooks, and Buffer. If your company deals at that level (as in the amount of monthly & concurrent traffic), one of these plans might be for you.
Number of sites
Free premium migrations
Kinsta Pricing, Discount & Coupon codes
Kinsta’s pricing model is solid. It doesn’t offer lower introductory pricing to lure new customers and then increase pricing at renewal time like most other web hosting providers. It has a fixed price for fixed resource; anything above that and you’ll be charged extra:
- $1/1000 extra visits
- $2/GB for extra storage used
- $0.10/GB for extra data transfer via CDN
In short, they know their target customer isn’t someone looking for cheap introductory pricing but is someone looking for premium & superior service/product.
Conclusion | Do we recommend Kinsta?
Yes, we recommend it.
As we said at the beginning, if you are looking for quality in every aspect of your WordPress site’s hosting, Kinsta is a great web host!
It offers superior performance even with considerable real-time traffic, measured 100 % uptime, has an expert support team, offers freebies like SSL, CDN, backups, etc., and includes a well-designed control panel to manage everything.
The only question is- can you afford it & is it of value to you? If the answer is yes, go for Kinsta.
Starting from $ 30 per month
Good server performance
$ 30 *
We recommend it!