A few months back along, Kinsta reached out to me about their managed WordPress hosting services. They kindly set up a free Starter Account which I’ve been exploring. I’ve been able to dive into the features and discover for myself the benefits of using Kinsta as a hosting and website management tool.
Initially, I tested a very basic WordPress installation on Kinsta, and I have to say that I was rather impressed. Shortly after, I migrated my blog to Kinsta and have been using their hosting platform for almost a year.
The technology, the tools, resources, etc. are all plentiful. Performance and security-wise Kinsta performs impeccably, oh, and their support is rock-solid.
However, when it comes to value for money, yes you’re getting some fantastic hosting features and benefits, but I feel the Kinsta price plans are quite high.
I currently pay $72 per month (including UK VAT) to host two blogs with combined traffic of 28K visits per month.
Kinsta is quite expensive compared to some of its competitors. Both Bluehost and SiteGround offer managed WordPress hosting, so why did I even bother migrating to Kinsta?
Well, hopefully, after reading this review, you’ll have somewhat of a better understanding of what Kinsta has to offer, which will hopefully help you make up your mind whether to use or not use Kinsta for your WordPress website project.
OK, so here are some of the things we’re going to dive into with this Kinsta Managed WordPress hosting review –
- What is Kinsta?
- What are the key features of Kinsta?
- Why should you consider using Kinsta?
- The good, the bad, and the ugly
- How much does Kinsta cost?
- How to get set yo with Kinsta?
- Website migration
What is Kinsta?
Kinsta offers managed WordPress hosting powered by the Google Cloud Platform. The company prides itself on delivering a professional service to SMEs, entrepreneurs, or freelancers.
Kinsta is more than just your average hosting provider, each Kinsta plan offers a suite of pro tools specifically catered to help you manage your entire WordPress website infrastructure in one place.
So, if you’re in the market searching for a new hosting provider that offers state-of-the-art technology, and expert support. If you’re looking for a web host company that will let you scale up your websites automatically using pro-level analytical tools and features, all on one single platform, then Kinsta could be for you.
OK, that’s enough marketing tripe for now. But seriously, Kinsta offers exceptional value for money without sacrificing its tech and performance stack.
What are the “key features” of Kinsta?
So when you signup for a Kinsta plan, you directly get access to top-level features like resource isolation, auto-scaling, and optimized, next-gen high-performance server hardware, once more, based on the Google Cloud Platform.
But, that’s just the start. Let’s take a closer look at some of Kinsta’s other noteworthy features –
1. MyKinsta (Website management dashboard)
It all starts inside MyKinsta, your one-stop website-management dashboard.
From here you can access everything Kinsta has to offer. Glance over the dashboard or dive into site migration, site addons, DNS, analytics, user info, and access rights, support and knowledge base, CDN settings, cache, and more. Watch the overview video above.
The user interface is very clean and easy to use. There’s nothing fancy here to confuse you, and everything you need is only a few clicks away.
The dashboard gives you a general overview of all of the key features you have in your Kinsta account, such as sites, resource usage, resource center, and invoices. One small gripe I’ve found with the dashboard overview is that it’s not customizable.
2. Cutting-edge technology like Nginx, PHP 7.3, LXD software containers, and MariaDB.
NGINX is a popular high-performance and incredibly stable open-source web serving software and reverse proxy server. It was originally conceived by a Russian engineer named Igor Sysoev back in 2002.
Today NGINX is used by millions of active websites around the globe including WordPress.com, DropBox, and Netflix to name a few.
PHP is a powerful interactive web page creation scripting language, whilst LXD is the next-gen system container manager.
MariaDB is one of the most popular open-source database servers in the world. It was designed by the original devs of MySQL.
So, what does all of this jargon actually mean?
For you, as a customer, it simply means having your resource-dependant website hosted on servers technologically configured specifically to handle high traffic loads.
In today’s technological climate, the speed and performance of your website are everything when it comes to website loading and conversions. Kinsta’s own infrastructure allows you to scale up slowly and automatically, as well as provide you with the resources when you need them most.
3. 24/7 website monitoring and security
Security is one of the most important aspects of running any website or online business. And now more so than ever. Especially for an eCommerce setup.
Kinsta has in place technology that continuously monitors your websites for any malicious activities. This technology includes DDoS detection, hardware firewalls, and SSL support.
In addition, you can take advantage of Kinsta’s Malware and hack removal. This means if you’re using a third-party security plugin like WordFence, you don’t need to with Kinsta. You can save yourself $99 per year.
4. Documentation, WordPress experts, communication, and chat support
Help and support should not be an afterthought, especially in web hosting services. At the time when I wrote this review in 2019, I was sincerely considering migrating my sites to Kinsta. Well, I finally did it in the June of 2021.
I did much of the migration myself, even though each Kinsta plan comes with one free site migration. However, I wanted to learn to do it myself, and yes, I will admit, I did find it technically challenging, even for a web developer.
Never underestimate web hosting professionals.
Anyhow, Kinsta provides help and support in the following ways –
- WordPress experts are readily available.
- Well-documented knowledgebase.
- Q&A area via MyKinsta.
To contact a support team member, you can email Kinsta via the contact form/page. You can also log into your MyKinsta member dashboard and directly chat to a support team member quickly. See below.
Other notable features of Kinsta
So, we’ve looked at the four main features, MyKinsta tools, and resources, technology, and hardware, security, support, and documentation.
As a customer of Kinsta, you also get access to –
- Free and premium site migrations. This is ideal if you’re thinking of hopping over from your current web host. (1 free migration with the Starter Plan)
- Frequent uptime checks (Every 2 minutes).
- Datacenter selection.
- One-click WordPress installation.
- One-click staging and cloning environment, perfect for web designers and developers working with WordPress, or if you need to do some heavy customization to your websites.
- Developer-friendly tools such as Let’s Encrypt, WP-CLI, and SSH, including support for GIT.
Kinsta System Status Updates
One other great feature that I totally love about Kinsta is the system status updates page.
On this page, you can access a lot of useful information such as historical uptime data for every location where Kinsta has a data center. Plus information on outages, service disruption, incident reporting, fixes, etc. See image.
Why should you consider using Kinsta?
I’ll state the obvious first.
If you’re keen on the idea of consolidating all your tasks and website management activities in one location, then Kinsta would certainly help you do just that.
From website traffic monitoring, and security to plugin management, the absolute essentials for any performance-optimized WordPress site are available in Kinsta.
Time is your most valuable asset, I realized that when I was bouncing from one platform to the next with each of my sites. And I’m pretty sure you don’t have the time to bounce from one site to the next either. You’re busy running your business, right?
The other obvious benefit of using Kinsta is the tools, resources, and services you have access to for your sites. For example, you don’t need to use an external CDN provider as this is available as an option in your Kinsta dashboard for all plans.
Or, you can also enable site cache, removing the need to use a third-party cache plugin for your WordPress site. You will not need to use a third-party security plugin either with 24/7 monitoring included.
And as for analytics and website traffic monitoring? Kinsta has you covered on these as well.
So, as I mentioned at the start of this review, Kinsta prides itself on performance and speed, so I did a little test for a simple WordPress website installation consisting of 3 dummy blog posts each with a large featured image (not optimized), 1 static page, and 1 plugin installed (Yoast SEO).
I also installed a Genesis Pro Theme. So here’s a screenshot of the page load time, and this was done without the CDN or Cache turned on.
Not a bad result I’d say. But of course, this test was carried out with a minimally sized WordPress website with few resources, and not optimized for the web.
Kinsta’s uptime and server response time are very impressive also. Take a look at the 12 months’ data from Hosting Facts below, although a little out of date now.
The good, the bad, and the ugly
Now, here are some of the pros and cons that I’ve found whilst initially exploring and also using Kinsta as a paying customer.
The pros –
- Servers powered by Google Cloud Platform
- Daily backups
- 24/7 website monitoring with hack and malware removal on all plans
- 24/7 support
- CDN is available across all plans
- Built-in cache plugin
- Free basic website migrations
- 1 free premium migration on the Starter Plan
- Free SSL
- Ability to create a staging environment for your live sites
- SSD storage
- 20 global data center locations to choose from
- Pro developer-friendly tools
- Addons are available across all plans
- A high number of 5-star reviews and recommendations
- The 30-day money-back guarantee… who doesn’t love that?
And the cons? I actually don’t like calling these cons, but here goes anyway.
- The price! $30 per month starting price could be considered quite steep for a single site that has no traffic. Especially when you compare it with SiteGround or Bluehost’s managed WordPress hosting offerings. See below.
Addons are useful but seem quite expensive at $100 per month per addon.(Addons appear to have been removed) SSD storage is a bit low on some plans.SSD storage has since been double for each plan.
How much does Kinsta cost?
Well, you now know that a single WordPress website license will set you back $30 per month or $300 per year for the Starter Plan.
If you have more than one site, here are the following additional plan options –
- Starter Plan 1 site – $30 monthly, or $300 annual
- Pro Plan 2 sites – $60 monthly, or $600 annual
- Business Plan 5 sites – $100 monthly, or $1,000 annual (Save $200)
I want to quickly mention that the Starter Plan gives you 10GB of SSD storage. The Pro Plan gives 20GB SSD (This is the plan that I’m currently using). However, the 5-site Business Plan provides 30GB of SSD storage.
There are other larger Business Plans available and as you go up the tier the price increases by $100. Take a look below.
Price comparison with other managed WordPress hosting providers
I’ll take the cheapest plan available which is the Starter Plan at $30 per month and compare it with the following –
SiteGround Jump Start Scalable Cloud Hosting – $100 per month for 4 CPU cores, 8GB of memory, 5TB data transfer, 40GB SSD space, free SSL, CDN, daily backups, caching, staging, and private DNS.
Bluehost WordPress Pro Hosting – $13.95 per month (First year) for unlimited websites and SSD storage, daily backups, marketing credits, staging, premium SSL, CDN, and spam protection.
The bottom line is that Kinsta is a rock-solid professional solution for managed WordPress hosting. I always prefer and recommend using managed WordPress hosting over shared hosting, simply because a lot of things are often automated in managed hosting. These include tasks such as backups and updates. Managed hosting is also a lot more secure than shared hosting too.
Things are definitely looking bright for Kinsta, and I imagine it would appeal to serious WordPress users, SMEs running eCommerce sites, as well as designers and developers building client websites.
It is not the cheapest hosting solution by far, but this is professional WordPress hosting, after all. You can only compare Kinsta with perhaps SiteGround‘s top hosting plans, WPEngine, or Bluehost’s managed WP hosting services.
For the most part, I like what Kinsta are doing and I’m glad to have made the move for two of my main websites to be hosted with them.
How to signup and get started with Kinsta
Step One – Select the plan you require. You can signup using this link to view the price plans. In this instance, we’ll select the Starter Plan.
Step Two – Enter your email address and name. Add a memorable but secure password for your hosting account and click on the Continue button.
Step Three – Enter your billing information and payment information. Review your payment summary carefully, and once you’re happy click on the Finish Up button.
Your payment will be processed and if successful you’ll be taken straight to your MyKinsta dashboard where you can begin setting up your website. See the video above on how to get started.
If you need to migrate your website from your current host, free basic migrations are available with Kinsta.
You also get 1 premium migration credit which you can use to migrate one site from either A2Hosting, Bluehost, Cloudways, DreamHost, Flywheel, GoDaddy, HostGator, Pagely, Pantheon, SiteGround, tsoHost, or WP Engine.
It’s a wrap!
Right, that’s it from me. I hope you got a good insight into Kinsta, and I hope you’ll consider it as your web host provider now or in the future. I’ve tried to be as honest and as transparent as possible in this review, not just as someone trying to promote them, but as someone who actually uses Kinsta.
If you have any questions you can contact Kinsta and I’m sure they’ll be more than happy to assist you.
Best of luck.
Affiliate Disclaimer: As an affiliate of Kinsta, SiteGround, Bluehost, and ShareASale, I earn from qualifying purchases. If you decide to purchase using any of the affiliate links in this blog post, I will be paid a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks in advance!