After hosting sites with Kinsta for over 4 years, we feel it’s the right time to share our experiences. Our journey with Kinsta has involved hosting multiple WordPress websites on their managed WordPress hosting platform, and each experience has been nothing short of exceptional.
In this review, we will delve into the top 10 features that make Kinsta an excellent choice for web hosting, our personal experiences with them, and other vital details you might want to know.
Exceptional Features of Kinsta
1. Integration with Google Cloud and Cutting-edge Technologies
If you are familiar with the tech giant “Google”, you would agree that they are pioneers in web performance and scalability. One remarkable aspect of Kinsta’s hosting services is their utilization of the Google Cloud Platform. This provides users access to the same infrastructure that powers Google Search, YouTube, and many of their other products.
Furthermore, Kinsta opts for the Premium tier of the Google Cloud Platform over the Standard tier. According to Google, the Premium tier provides unparalleled quality of service. Additionally, Kinsta’s hosting stack is a mix of the latest technologies. Here’s what you get:
- PHP 7.2: This offers enhanced performance and security compared to older PHP versions. However, you can also select older PHP versions if required.
- NGINX: This is superior to the Apache server that many hosts use, especially in terms of performance scalability.
- HTTP/2: This provides an upgrade from the older HTTP/1 and partly enhances SSL speed.
- MariaDB: This offers superior performance compared to MySQL databases.
- Premium DNS: This often provides faster results than the free DNS available from many domain registrars.
- LXD Containers: These ensure that every WordPress website is fully isolated, which enhances security and ensures no sharing of server resources.
Kinsta also offers numerous developer-friendly features like SSH, Git, and support for reverse proxies. Plus, there’s a built-in caching system that we will discuss later.
2. Custom Hosting Dashboard
If you have previously hosted a WordPress website on shared hosting, you might be familiar with cPanel, which many hosts provide for server management. While cPanel is functional, it’s not always the most user-friendly. Kinsta offers a custom dashboard that is more intuitive and easy to navigate.
3. Emphasis on Security with a Hack Fix Guarantee
With WordPress powering over 31% of all websites on the internet, it becomes a prime target for hackers. This makes website security paramount. While some security measures lie in the hands of the site owner, Kinsta also offers robust security features. They have WordPress-specific security rules and hardware firewalls. If, by any chance, a security breach occurs, Kinsta provides a hack fix guarantee, ensuring that they will clean your site and restore it to its normal state at no extra cost.
Kinsta also provides tools to enhance the security of your WordPress and Kinsta account logins. They have features like banning IPs after more than six failed login attempts and enforcing strong passwords. For added account security, Kinsta provides two-factor authentication. They also offer multi-user permissions, which is a rarity among hosting providers.
4. Complimentary SSL Certificates with Auto-renewal
Kinsta offers free SSL certificates via Let’s Encrypt. SSL and HTTPS enhance your site’s security by encrypting data transfers between your site and the visitors. Installing an SSL certificate on Kinsta is a straightforward process, and once installed, Kinsta ensures it gets renewed automatically.
5. Easy-to-use Staging Environments
A staging site is a private, safe replica of your live site, allowing you to test new updates, develop new features, or switch themes without affecting the live site. Kinsta provides simple tools to transition between your live and staging sites. Once you’re done with the staging site, you can move it to the live server with a few clicks. Kinsta also automatically creates a backup of your live site when you move the staging site to live, ensuring you can revert changes if necessary.
6. Automatic WordPress Backups with One-click Restores
Backups are crucial for every WordPress site owner. Kinsta offers automated daily backups and retains them for 14 days. You can also manually backup your site whenever you want, and Kinsta stores up to five manual backups for 14 days each. Restoring these backups to either your live or staging site is a hassle-free process.
7. Server-level Caching
Caching plugins are commonly recommended to enhance the speed of WordPress sites. However, with Kinsta, there’s no need for additional caching plugins. Kinsta implements four types of caching at the server level. You can also manage your cache from your WordPress dashboard, offering options to clear the cache or specify URLs that should be purged upon site updates. Notably, Kinsta supports the WP Rocket caching plugin, which offers features beyond just caching.
8. Inclusion of a Premium Content Delivery Network
A Content Delivery Network (CDN) accelerates your site’s load times for global visitors. While many hosts might require you to opt for a separate CDN service, Kinsta offers integration with Cloudflare. This not only saves costs but also offers added benefits like a powerful firewall to filter out harmful traffic.
9. Over 25 Global Data Centers
The location of your data center plays a pivotal role in site performance. The closer the data center is to your target audience, the better the site performance. With Kinsta, you can choose from over 25 data centers worldwide. Countries that currently host Kinsta’s data centers include:
- Hong Kong
- South Korea
Countries like the USA and India have multiple data center options.
10. 24/7 Support via Intercom Live Chat
Should you need assistance, Kinsta provides round-the-clock support via the Intercom live chat widget. This chat system is integrated directly into the dashboard, ensuring you don’t lose your chat if you navigate elsewhere. You also receive email updates if you leave the dashboard, so you don’t have to constantly monitor the chat. While Kinsta doesn’t offer phone support, their live chat support has been commendably responsive and helpful in our experience.
How Fast is Kinsta Hosting?
A review of any hosting provider is incomplete without evaluating its performance. So, how does Kinsta fare in terms of speed and reliability?
To provide a real-world assessment, we tested one of our active sites using Google’s PageSpeed tool. The technology stack for this site included:
- Kinsta’s built-in CDN
- WP Rocket plugin
- Kadence Theme
This site was not a mere test site; it’s an active site with 14 plugins. Without any intricate optimizations, and only with Kinsta’s CDN and WP Rocket plugin enabled, the site displayed impressive page speeds on both desktop and mobile.
Kinsta Pros and Cons
To offer a balanced viewpoint, here are the strengths and weaknesses of Kinsta:
- High Performance: Kinsta’s platform is built on the Google Cloud, ensuring fast site speeds and excellent uptime.
- Exceptional Support: Their support team is quick to respond and extremely helpful.
- Malware Removal: If your site gets infected with malware, they’ll fix it for you.
- Free CDN and Firewall: This ensures a faster and more secure WordPress website globally.
- Automatic Database Optimization: Kinsta optimizes your database automatically.
- Backups: They offer both automatic and on-demand backups.
- User-friendly Dashboard: Their dashboard is intuitive, eliminating the need for cPanel.
- WordPress-centric Platform: Focusing on WordPress ensures an optimized platform with knowledgeable support.
- Low PHP Worker Limits: Their PHP worker limits might be lower compared to some hosts.
- Pricing Model: Their usage-based pricing model can be expensive for some users.
- WordPress Only: They only host WordPress sites.
- No Email Hosting: You would need a separate email hosting system.
Kinsta’s pricing has evolved over the years. While it initially seemed suitable only for large businesses with packages starting at $100 per month, things changed in May 2018. Now, Kinsta offers entry-level plans at $35 per month, competitive with other managed WordPress hosts.
The most affordable plan provides:
- Hosting for 1 site
- 25,000 unique visits per month
- 10 GB SSD disk space
All their plans come with free SSL certificates and a specific quota for CDN usage. Higher plans offer more PHP workers, enhancing performance. Opting for annual billing gives you two months free, and they also offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.
It’s essential to understand how Kinsta defines “visits.” A monthly visit count is the sum of unique IP addresses seen every 24-hour period. Bots from known user-agents are not included in this count. If your site exceeds the visit limit, you won’t face immediate shutdowns, but there’s a fee of $1 per 1,000 extra visits.
Final Thoughts on Kinsta
Finding a reliable hosting provider, be it a traditional one or a managed WordPress hosting company, is challenging. After years of hosting multiple WordPress websites with Kinsta, we can confidently say that they stand out in terms of performance and support.
The site uptime has been impeccable with no significant downtime. From a user standpoint, the experience Kinsta delivers to our readers has been consistent. Their responsive and knowledgeable support is also a significant plus.
While we wish their pricing was based on the bandwidth model rather than the “visits” model, it’s a standard approach in the managed WordPress hosting space.
In conclusion, if you’re seeking a fast, secure hosting platform with a responsive support team, Kinsta is undoubtedly worth considering. Our experience has been positive, and we believe yours will be too.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means we may make a small commission if you make a purchase.