Kinsta Review: Why Kinsta Is My Choice for WordPress Hosting (2021)

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What is Kinsta? Kinsta is a fully managed WordPress hosting platform that runs on the Google Cloud Platform. It was founded by WordPress developer Mark Gavalda in December 2013, and focuses exclusively on WordPress hosting. 

It’s used by websites like Intuit, FreshBooks, Tripadvisor, and even the site you’re on right now! (See more of their case studies here.)

Since this is the platform I chose for Learn to Code With Me, you may be wondering, why Kinsta? Or, more generally, why choose dedicated WordPress hosting over self-hosting? 

In short, self-hosting leaves all of the essential tasks up to you (e.g., backups, security checks, plugin updates). As your website grows, this can be difficult to manage on your own. Managed WordPress hosting, through platforms like Kinsta for example, handles these tasks for you.

This helps you avoid hacks and security breaches, gives you faster website speeds, offers dedicated customer support, and automatically backs up your site. Overall, managed hosting helps your website run quickly and efficiently.

In this Kinsta review, I’ll cover what Kinsta offers, the platform’s performance and security, how much it costs, why Kinsta works well for me, and more. 

Disclosure: I’m a proud affiliate for some of the resources mentioned in this article. If you buy a product through my links on this page, I may get a small commission for referring you. Thanks!

kinsta premium wordpress hosting homepage

Table of Contents

Kinsta Review: the TL;DR

I chose Kinsta for its UX, features, pricing, and performance. Here’s the quick pros and cons summary!

Pros of Kinsta:

  • 24 data centers to choose from across the globe
  • Super fast; Kinsta describes it as “speed-obsessed architecture”
  • 99.99% uptime guarantee 
  • User-friendly, useful, and easy site management features, including MyKinsta dashboard, one-click staging, and developer-friendly tools
  • Lightning-fast 24/7 tech support and access to help from WordPress experts
  • At least one free site migration from your current host
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • Extremely safe and secure (daily backups, staging area for testing, free fixes, round-the-clock site monitoring, etc.)
  • Can handle unexpected traffic spikes with ease
  • Optimized for e-commerce websites
  • Kinsta was made for WordPress; its architecture is optimized for WordPress and its support team are WordPress experts

Cons of Kinsta:

  • Premium price tag (more expensive than other hosting platforms)
  • No email hosting; you’ll need to sign up for a separate email hosting service
  • Support is via chat only (no phone call option)
  • WordPress only; you can’t use any other CMS
  • No unlimited storage or monthly visits; there’s a cap on everything depending on your plan
  • Doesn’t offer domain name registration

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What Features Does Kinsta Have?

What does Kinsta offer? Here’s a look at the platform’s key features:

☁️ Hosted on Google Cloud Platform: Powered by the infrastructure created and maintained by Google. With GCP’s live migration and data redundancy features, that means no extended or unexpected downtime. This differs from competitors that use traditional shared or dedicated hosting.

🌎 24 global data center locations: You get to choose your data center location. That means you can choose data centers that are closer to your website visitors for faster page load times. 

📁 Automatic daily website backups: Backups can be restored with a single click. You also have the option to upgrade to six-hour and hourly backups for an extra monthly fee. 

🎦 Access to staging areas so you can test out new site elements (e.g., plugins, customizations, code edits) before pushing them live on your website.

📦 Free website migrations: Human-performed site migrations. This usually costs an extra fee on other hosting platforms. 

🔒 Security guarantee: Kinsta will fix your site if it gets compromised (e.g., hackers, malware) for free. 

🗂️ Automatic DB optimization: Kinsta fine-tunes your MySQL database settings once a week for better performance. 

📈 Automatic scaling to handle unpredictable traffic surges (for example if a post goes viral). You can also scale up or down as needed based on the demands of your website.

📊 Performance monitoring tool: Free Application Performance Monitoring (APM) tool that lets you monitor the performance of your site (e.g., slow database queries)

👩‍💻 24/7 expert support: Open a ticket and you’ll get help from a WordPress developer, no matter the time of day. Kinsta also has a 100% solve rate, meaning every problem will get solved. Initial ticket response time is less than 2 minutes.

💸 30-day money back guarantee: So you can try things out risk-free.

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Kinsta Performance

I started off using Bluehost, but had to upgrade when I started getting more traffic and my needs grew more advanced. In my experience, my site speed with Kinsta is way faster than Bluehost—even though I had a higher Bluehost plan. 

And I’m not the only one—Kinsta uses technology like NGINX, PHP 7.4, LXD software containers, MariaDB, and compute-optimized VMs to make website load speeds incredibly fast. Full-page caching at the server-level allows sites to deliver content almost instantaneously to visitors. 

⏩ In short, depending on the type of site, moving to Kinsta could lead to a speed improvement of between 30% and 200%

Beyond speed, Kinsta offers great overall performance. Since Kinsta is hosted on Google Cloud Platform, everything is interconnected, resulting in fast and secure transport of data. 

720 daily uptime checks with their New Relic performance monitoring tool help Kinsta pinpoint any issues with third-party plugins, theme template files, database queries, external calls, coding errors, etc. that may be causing performance problems.

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Security and Kinsta 

Aside from performance, I also moved over to Kinsta because of security. Back in 2018, I was using Bluehost and my entire server got hacked. The hack was a stressful nightmare—it took so long to figure out and fix. I had a few sites on the server, one of them was out of date, and through that one site everything else was compromised. This happens all the time, which is why it’s important to update WP themes & plugins!

bluehost server hack email notification

⚠️ Bluehost didn’t alert me of the hack—a website visitor did. And then it took days (which felt forever) to get it back up and running. I had to pay extra to get all of this stuff cleaned up. It was a giant headache. 

bluehost server hack email notification
bluehost server hack email notification

This isn’t to say negative things about Bluehost, because stuff happens. However, I definitely consider it a starter hosting platform: a cheap way to launch a new site, but bare-bones. So as I was looking to upgrade, I did research and came upon Kinsta, among other options.  

With Kinsta, they alert you if you have a plugin or theme with a known vulnerability. It’s more secure and better against hackers, offering active and passive security protocols, firewalls, daily backups, uptime checks every 2 minutes, DDoS attack detection, software-based restrictions, etc.

You can also easily install an SSL certificate on your site through Kinsta for free. Learn how to download SSL certificates to Kinsta with the Let’s Encrypt integration. This means you don’t have to renew costly SSL certificates. 

Plus, Kinsta has a security guarantee: If your WordPress site is hacked while hosted at Kinsta, they’ll work with you for free to try and undo the damage.

I do pay a lot more than I did for Bluehost. But the extra security and peace of mind I get running my business on Kinsta is worth it.

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Kinsta Platform and Dashboard

MyKinsta is a unified management dashboard with a better UX than leading alternatives like cPanel or Plesk. Its dashboard is available in 10 different languages: English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Japanese, Dutch, Danish, and Swedish.

From your dashboard, you can view detailed statistics (e.g., bandwidth, visitor stats), manage DNS settings, use advanced site tools, manage billing details, and more.

kinsta dashboard overview metrics

You can also purge your site cache, use their search and replace tool to perform bulk updates, and perform other tasks all from a single dashboard.

Register for a Kinsta account and check out the MyKinsta dashboard for free here

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Kinsta Pricing

💰 Kinsta offers a ton of different pricing options depending on your needs. Their pricing plans are: 

  • Starter: $30/month
  • Pro: $60/month
  • Business 1: $100/month
  • Business 2: $200/month
  • Business 3: $300/month
  • Business 4: $400/month
  • Enterprise 1: $600/month
  • Enterprise 2: $900/month
  • Enterprise 3: $1,200/month
  • Enterprise 4: $1,500/month

(Pro tip: when you pay annually, you get 2 months free.)

The plan you’ll need depends on how many WordPress sites you have, how much traffic your site gets, and how much storage you need. 

For example, the Starter plan is for one WordPress install, up to 25,000 monthly visits, and 10 GB of disk space. The Business 1 plan allows five WordPress installs, 30 GB of disk space, and is for websites with up to 100,000 monthly visits. Here’s a deeper look at all of Kinsta’s pricing tiers. 

kinsta starter pro business pricing plans

For reference, Kinsta recommends that ecommerce/membership websites start with the Business 1 plan.

Keep in mind that there are also “overage fees,” meaning if you go over the limits outlined in your pricing plan (monthly traffic, storage), your website won’t get taken down—you’ll just get charged an overage fee. Kinsta’s overage fees are $1/1,000 visits and $2 per GB. (Luckily, you’ll get a notification at 80% and 100% usage.)

All plans also come with a 30-day money back guarantee.

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Kinsta vs. Competitors 

Bluehost: Founded in 2003. Learn to Code With me started with Bluehost. Budget- and beginner-friendly; plans start at $3.95. 813 ms loading speed (Kinsta’s is faster at 398). No uptime guarantees. Free domain name for first year. Recommended if you’re starting your first website and/or don’t have a ton of traffic yet. 

DreamHost: Founded in the ‘90s. Guarantees 100% uptime. Managed WordPress hosting, called DreamPress, starts at $12/month. Also offers domain registration, VPS hosting, shared website hosting, cloud hosting, email hosting, and more. Slower loading speed than Kinsta at 1,000 ms or above (vs. Kinsta’s 398)

Liquid Web: Founded in 1997. Starting from $15.83/month. 99.97% uptime guarantee. Faster loading speed than Kinsta, at 312 ms. Not a WordPress-specific host. Only has 5 data centers compared to Kinsta’s 24.

WP Engine: Founded in 2010. Starts at $25/month. A tiny bit slower than Kinsta at 441 ms loading time, but still very fast. 100% uptime. Like Kinsta, fixes any security issues for free. Main difference: Unlike Kinsta, it offers shared or dedicated hosting. With Kinsta, resources are 100% private and are not shared.

GoDaddy: Founded in 1997. Starts at $5.99/month. 508 ms loading speed. 99.9% uptime guaranteed. Support isn’t as robust or fast (e.g., no live chat support). Best for newbies.

HostGator: Founded in 2002. Starts at $5.95/month. Free domain included. Free site migrations. Slow customer support. Slowest loading time on this list at 1,191ms. Restoring from backups costs an additional fee.

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Choosing WordPress Hosting: Why Kinsta? 

In my opinion, Kinsta is a better choice once your website starts getting more traffic, as the higher price might be hard to justify for a brand-new site. Once you’re at the level where you want a highly secure, scalable website, Kinsta is probably the best option.

Kinsta is best for e-commerce websites, medium to large websites, web developers, and any websites that have a lot of traffic (or typically experience spikes in traffic). If your website is growing steadily, Kinsta may also be a good option to keep up with your growth. It’s also a great choice for freelance developers who host websites for their clients and want to provide top-tier services.

Additionally, Kinsta works only with WordPress, and their support engineers are all WordPress experts—unlike other web hosting platforms. This allows them to offer a more specialized service.

Other hosting platforms may be better for beginners, sites with low traffic volume, and those just getting started with their website.

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Why Others Switched to Kinsta

You’ve heard why I switched the Learn to Code With Me site to Kinsta. But don’t just take it from me. Kinsta currently has a 4.8 star rating on Trustpilot. Here are some of those reviews and why others have made the switch:

Will May: “I recently moved my WP hosting to Kinsta from another large hosting provider, and it is without doubt one of the best decisions I have ever made. They are absolutely incredible. The customer service is amazing – they respond within seconds (I am not exaggerating) and always solve my query the first time. My website loads so much faster, images on my site appear in much higher definitions, and I no longer encounter problems with plugin updates.”

Michael Mead: “Went to Kinsta after being on another hosting service. Kinsta has been so much more professional, support is fast and gets to the correct solution immediately, the dashboard is set up more intuitively for a less experienced person such as myself and has very helpful features (such as adding a developer user with various access options with a click). And the site load time is magnitudes faster. Very happy with the whole Kinsta experience.”

Tom B: “Migration was seamless and chat support is almost instant and always helpful and well-informed. Very informative knowledge base. The dashboard is way nicer to use than cPanel. Staging works really well. Speed is great and seems very consistent. More expensive than my previous (shared) hosting but if your website is central to your business it’s well worth it.”

Kristin Craig: “I’m so happy I moved to Kinsta. From my experience with their sales team to online chat support, Kinsta is above and beyond any host I have ever encountered (and I’ve been in the business for 20 years!). I’m very happy with the performance of our site and the care they took when we were expecting a traffic spike. I highly recommend Kinsta!”

➡️ Read more Kinsta reviews here. 

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Is Kinsta Worth It?  

Compared to entry-level shared hosting platforms, Kinsta may seem like an expensive option. And it is. But for many, including myself, the speed, reliability, security, and performance is more than worth it. 

It’s definitely a step up from other lower-cost web hosting, but it may be better for people who already have established websites and a good amount of traffic. Or those who really value the developer tools offered. 

If you’re just starting out, a more affordable option may be better; then, once you’ve built up your website traffic, you can switch over to Kinsta (especially since they offer a free migration) — which I took advantage of when I switched over from Bluehost

🌟 Need more help deciding what web hosting platform to go with? Check out this article on choosing the best web hosting platform to fit your needs.

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