Kinsta, a company that has been providing WordPress hosting services for the past years. With superior hosting servers placed in multiple locations optimized for the WordPress functions, Kinsta has been serving thousands of websites all over the internet. With numerous well-known clients under their belt, including the largest names in the industry such as Intuit, Michigan Aerospace, Ricoh, Ubisoft, Workforce, etc., they have been dominating the WordPress managed hosting industry.
As it seemed interesting to take a look at such a service used by several industry giants, we have decided to give a try to the Kinsta hosting service and provide a detailed review about it to you, our users. Today, we will be analyzing different aspects of the Kinsta WordPress hosting, listing their most noticeable features, differentiating the pros and cons of the service, and finally, providing you a final verdict on the product that will help you decide whether it is better than other web hosting services out there.
The interface of the Kinsta hosting is a bit different from that of the cPanel or other hosting manager applications. You won’t see a lot of functions or features that you even do not have an idea about. As a managed hosting provider, Kinsta has a custom dashboard built for the users that only lists the necessary functions in an easily accessible manner. Everything from your sites lists to the migration tools can be easily accessed from the sidebar given at the Kinsta dashboard.
The main dashboard of the Kinsta interface will display your Sites, Resource usage of the sites including their Bandwidth, CDN, Total number of visits, Diskspace, etc. which will give you a basic idea about the usage of the server and your hosting plan. So, you will not have to reach out the corners of the interface to get to know about such basic information about your hosting account.
Sites tab is where you will see all your sites added to the hosting account. Keep in mind that the number of sites that you can add to the interface will depend on the plan that you have selected while signing up for the Kinsta managed WordPress hosting. If you selected a plan which can hold multiple websites, you will be able to add as many sites as you want based on the limitation of your web hosting plan.
Migration tab will allow you to request a free migration from the Kinsta team from your old hosting provider to Kinsta. The service is completely free and can be easily requested within a matter of seconds. The interface is further sweetened with a couple more sections including the DNS section that allows you to manage your DNS records, Analytics for analyzing the visitors and traffic to your server, Billing section that let you manage your bills and payments, Users section to manage users who have access to your Kinsta account, Activity log to track the activity on your Kinsta account, and of course the User Guide section to help you with certain issues with their vast knowledge base.
Overall, the interface of the Kinsta hosting is comprised of only useful and needful functions without bloating it with unnecessary features. Even the beginners will find it extremely easy to use the service because of the way the team designed the user-interface. So, if you are a beginner and do not like those fancy sections or advanced management tools that go over your head, Kinsta would be the perfect option to go for.
To select the Kinsta WordPress hosting over hundreds of similar services out there, it should stand out of the crowd with something unique or with better functions. If not, there is no point in spending money on it. That is exactly what we are going to analyze next. Does the Kinsta hosting have an advantage over its competitors to deliver superior performance to the websites as well as other aspects? Let’s find out.
Built on the Most Advanced Architecture
Kinsta servers are running on the latest and most advanced architecture including the Nginx, LXD containers, PHP 7, and MariaDB. The perfect combination of the best performing and highly compatible architecture will ensure that any website hosted on the server will perform at its best without showing any compatibility issues or lags in the performance. The architecture is backed with the Google Cloud Platform which is one of the best-interconnected networks there is with over 20 data centers all over the globe.
Extremely Secure Servers
Security is one of the most important things that any website should have. Years of hard work can turn into a line in the water within a matter of seconds. Kinsta developers understand that and put extreme efforts in securing the servers with the most effective security measures out there. From the DDoS detection that prevents DDoS attacks, to the Hardware firewalls that prevents hack attempts, Uptime monitoring which ensures that the websites are up all the time, to SSL support to secure the connections to the website, everything is under control.
Talking about the SSL certificate, with every Kinsta hosting plan, you will be getting a free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate with an easy setup. So, if you want to secure your website for free of cost, this would be a great option. Setting up SSL on your domain is super-simple with the tools provided on the dashboard. All you have to do is generating an SSL certificate from the screen and forcing SSL to direct all your website connections over HTTPS. It will apply the SSL version to your domain automatically.
In addition to the above-mentioned security measures, you can enable two-factor authentication that will further strengthen the security of your Kinsta account. Kinsta will automatically ban IPs that have more than 6 failed login attempts in a minute, this will ensure that the account is safe from brute force attacks and continuous hack attempts. Kinsta only supports encrypted SFTP and SSH connections. The regular FTP connection won’t be allowed to make sure of the security.
They also have a hack-free policy, which means if a site is compromised while it is hosted on Kinsta, they will fix it for completely free of cost. Sweetening the security features of WordPress, every WordPress minor security patches that are not related to the core updates will be automatically applied as soon as they are available. This will ensure that the WordPress installation will stay secure with the latest security patches and fixes.
Super Fast Websites
One of the first and best things to look after when selecting a hosting service is the response time and performance. Both of these things are excellent in Kista WordPress hosting. We have been testing the service over the past weeks by hosting different websites with different content and heavy scripts to check the performance of the hosting service. During the period, we never faced a downtime and even the heaviest of the scripts with hundreds of real-time hits performed pretty fast on the server.
We tried installing numerous plugins and heavy themes such as the Boombox with the features maxed out to disturb the Kinsta server. Still the results were the same, the website worked fine. So, that proves the fact that no matter which plugin you are planning to install or on which theme you want your website to run, if they are properly coded, the web server will be able to handle all of it without any issues at all.
Apart from these normal tests, we also tested the Pagespeed, Latency, Time to first byte (TTFB), etc. which were all pretty good compared to other managed WordPress hosting services out there. Even though all of them were good, if you are not planning to use a CDN service, make sure that you select a proper server location near to your target audience to improve the performance further. As far as you go, that much effect will be there on the response time of the website as well as its overall performance.
Optimized for WordPress
Most of the hosting services that come with a tag “WordPress” won’t actually provide all the necessary functions or optimizations for WordPress. When it comes to Kinsta, the case is different. The servers are highly optimized for WordPress on every layer of its stack. Everything in the server stack including the Ubuntu, PHP 7, Nginx, HTTP/2, and MariaDB, will support the WordPress installation to perform at its best.
The compatibility between the operating system and the additional features such as the caching functions are also optimized to avoid any interruptions. There are also abilities to access WP-CLI to have better control over your WordPress website. So, performing actions like updating plugins are super easy if you do not want to access the backend to perform the action.
Kinsta utilizes full page caching at the server-level itself to ensure that the performance is being boosted from the root itself. Kinsta has its own caching plugin optimized for WordPress and their server stack to avoid compatibility issues with third-party caching plugins. Using the Kinsta caching plugin, you can easily control various aspects of the WordPress caching with a few clicks.
If you are planning to run an eCommerce website based on WordPress using the WooCommerce plugin, Kinsta got their back there as well. As such websites generate a lot of dynamic content and frequent database calls, the performance of the website may get affected. With the optimized functions to reduce the server load of an eCommerce website, Kinsta will ensure that your customers will have the smoothest of experiences that they ever had in an eCommerce platform.
No Down Time
Like already mentioned, we have been testing the service on a test domain with a WordPress installation. During this period of several weeks, we never faced a single downtime. We have had experiences with several hosting services that put the website down several hours because of even an upgrade to the server hardware from their side. For a webmaster who is concerned about the visitors, compromising the website for even a few minutes may not be acceptable. If you are one of them, Kinsta might be the perfect choice for you.
Multiple Server Locations
Where your servers are placed plays a key role in the performance of the website for your target audience. If you are targetting the US audience, a server placed in the US would provide better performance than a server in the UK. Kinsta makes it possible selecting from 20 different data centers across the globe, including the UK, Japan, India, Brazil, Belgium, USA, Taiwan, Australia, and Singapore. So, you can select your preferred server location while signing up for an account based on the target audience.
Kinsta provides a premium DNS service for completely free of cost when you purchase a hosting plan from them. The Kinsta DNS allows you to manage and maintain your own zone records as per your requirements. It uses Amazon Route 53 for a faster domain name resolving to result in faster response times contributing towards the overall website performance. This is a unique feature that you cannot see on most of the WordPress hosting services out there. So, if you want to speed up your website from the very root, going for a premium DNS service which is free with Kinsta would be an excellent decision.
You can put a website in development in the Staging phase and after making sure that everything is working fine and is ready to go live, you can push it to the live environment. You can also use the Git to perform the action. There is no need to go through a tedious process to make your website live or put it in the staging condition. It is just as simple as changing a dropdown menu to either staging or live. The status of your website will change almost instantly. So, if you are running a website with a lot of dynamic content and requires frequent changes without interrupting the user experience, utilizing the staging feature would be a great option.
There a lot of analytics tools available on Kinsta. From the very basic bandwidth monitoring to the advanced architecture analytics, everything is available on the platform. You will be able to track the visitors, bandwidth usage, response times, CDN usage, and a lot of other aspects of your Kinsta server from the dashboard. While several other hosting providers hesitate to provide detailed analytics except for the basic ones, Kinsta is different. Which makes it stand out of the crowd.
If you are new to the hosting services and recently been using some other hosting providers, migrating your content from the old hosting service to Kinsta can be a tedious process. But the free migration service provided by Kinsta will transfer your website from your old hosting to the Kinsta server with absolutely no downtime. Your files and databases will be transferred by the Kinsta team upon request and will be put on a staging environment for you to check it. After confirming that everything is working as expected and none of the website functions are affected due to the transfer, you can make the DNS switch to point your domain to the Kinsta server. As simple as that.
Kinsta backs up your content at least once a day. The process is completely automated and you do not have to worry about manually backing up your files. If you want to make changes to the backup frequency, for example, every 6 hours, or even every hour, you can also do that from the configuration. However, it is not recommended to increase the backup frequency for highly dynamic websites as it might interfere with the website functions or performance. So, be sure to keep a balance between the backups based on your website.
When starting with a website with less content, you may not worry about the scalability of your hosting service as most of them provide more than sufficient resources for a beginner website. However, as time passes or the popularity of your website increases, or even when there is a sudden spike in the traffic, the case can be different. You may face situations where you need more disk space to store content or add additional bandwidth to serve the rapid growth in the visitor count. In such situations, you do not have to migrate your website to a server with higher specs. The auto-scaling feature that comes with every Kinsta account will allocate additional resources to the server from the virtual machine and let you overcome the extra resource usage issue.
If you ever get into any issues with your website of the hosting account, you can always reach out their customer support for help. As a test, we have created dummy issues and sought their help. The instant chat button given at the dashboard is one of the best ways to interact with their support. While the competitors made us wait from several minutes to even hours (yes “hours”), this was one of the best customer care experience we have had in a while when it comes to a hosting service.
Apart from the great response time, the experts were also able to solve the issues that we have intentionally created within a matter of minutes. It’s rare that you get help for issues that are completely out of the hosting area and are related to your website functions. But the team was more than happy to assist us and help in fixing the issues. So, if you are concerned about customer support when going for a hosting provider, Kinsta should be on top of your list.
Now, coming to another important aspect of a web hosting service, the Pricing. Like we already mentioned, Kinsta is not the cheapest WordPress hosting provider on the market. But looking at the infrastructure that the web servers are built in including the extremely powerful Google Cloud Platform, the pricing will make sense. These are the plans that you will have while signing up for a Kinsta hosting account.
As you can see, the most basic plan with a single WordPress install comes with a price tag of $30. And the plans are varying up to $1500 that allows up to 150 WordPress installs. While there are $5 hosting services that allow as many WordPress installs as you want without any restrictions, they are not managed. They are not optimized for WordPress. And they are not secured to prevent any possible hack attempts.
So, we cannot compare the pricing of the Kinsta hosting to those cheap WordPress hosting services out there. So, according to us, Kinsta would be a perfect fit for those who have some budget to spend on the hosting service and needs a fast server. For those who do not have 30 bucks to spend on a single WordPress install and planning to run multiple websites on the same server, Kinsta may not be the right choice.
- Highly performing servers
- 100% uptime
- Full Daily Backups
- Built-in DNS
- Flexible architecture
- Uptime monitoring
- Easy chat-based support
- Bit pricey when compared to the competition
After testing the Kinsta managed WordPress hosting service for several weeks and testing almost all of its aspects from the performance to the features, we have reached in a conclusion that it is one of the best-managed WordPress hosting services out there. It comes with some unique, useful features as well that sweetens the likeliness of the service further. The interface designed for easy usage combined with numerous useful functions makes it one of the easiest web hosting services to use. The highly capable and responsive customer support system is also a plus point.
So, combining all these factors and comparing it with the competition, Kinsta definitely deserves a place in the best hosting services list for your WordPress website. The pricing is not the cheapest in the industry. However, every penny you spend on it worth it. If you do not mind the difference in the pricing when compared to other cheap web hosting providers on the market, and concerned about the performance and security of your server, you should give a try to the Kinsta managed WordPress hosting service.
Kinsta is one of the best managed WordPress hosting services out there. If you are a webmaster looking forward to making your website faster, secure, and up all the time, Kinsta would be the perfect hosting service that you could go for.