This Kinsta review is going to be a bit different to the other ones you might come across online.
Instead of simply talking about the various features and how they compare to other managed WordPress hosts (which I will do too of course!), I’m going to bring you a more personalised take on our experience with using Kinsta for the last few years.
That’s right, we actually use Kinsta as our WordPress host. The words you’re reading right now are hosted on Kinsta’s WordPress infrastructure.
In fact, we moved all of our sites over to Kinsta back in 2017 and haven’t looked back.
In this review article, I’m going to focus on all of the important things you need to know about Kinsta as a host.
If you’ve landed on this article, the chances are that you’re looking to find out whether Kinsta is a good option for hosting your WordPress site or not.
My job here is to explain why I rate Kinsta so highly and why I think they are simply the best WordPress host out there.
So, with the introductions out of the way, let’s begin taking a closer look at Kinsta and the basic things to know about the company and their services.
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Kinsta WordPress Hosting – The Basics
Kinsta is what’s known as a ‘managed’ WordPress hosting company.
This means that expert support from their team of WordPress experts is provided as standard with all of their plans, and things such as server software updates are automatically taken care of.
Kinsta was founded back in 2013 by Mark Gavalda, along with a simple desire to change the ‘status quo’ when it comes to WordPress hosting.
Simply put, they wanted to challenge the existing players in the WordPress hosting market by offering what they believed to be a superior service.
Unlike some of the similar WordPress hosts out there, Kinsta bootstrapped their business from the beginning, meaning that they didn’t seek any external investment and simply grew in line with their revenues.
In that respect, the fact that Kinsta is still around and growing almost 10 years later speaks volumes for the high quality of service they offer.
According to the official Kinsta website, the company was founded to “truly” put their values and those of their customers first.
We’ll go into some more of the features that Kinsta offer later in this review.
But here are some of the key offerings to bear in mind at a glance:
• Plans from just $30 per month
• Free premium migration from your old host
• Built on Google Cloud Platform
• 24/7 expert support
• Staging area (for web development)
• Free SSL certificates
• Built-in caching plugin
To be honest, the list goes on. But I’ll save a more in-depth look at the features for later in our review.
Of course, things have changed over at Kinsta in the years that have followed their launch. Their hosting and pricing plans have evolved, and many new features have been rolled out.
But what remains is simply the best (in my opinion, anyway) managed WordPress hosting option out there.
So, now that I’ve covered some of the key things to know about Kinsta as an introduction, it’s time to talk a bit more about my own experience with Kinsta.
Our Experience With Kinsta
If you run your own WordPress website, then you’ll already know that getting the hosting package right is one of the most important things of all.
Our first ever WordPress site started out on a VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting set-up. The main reason why we chose a VPS was because it was cheap, and fairly easy to set up.
Although this was definitely a good move for our wallets, we seemed to consistently struggle with server-related issues, especially when it came to unexpected traffic spikes and load.
Our VPS provider was not specific to WordPress, meaning that their support team were not able to help us with any queries relating to WordPress, or fine-tuning the set-up for optimal performance.
As our traffic grew, so did the hosting-related headaches. Spikes in traffic caused the site to slow down and eventually grind to a halt. Having to log-in to the hosting panel and re-start the server on a regular basis was a regular occurrence.
Enough was a enough. It was time to look for a new WordPress hosting solution.
After doing a little bit of research, I came across Kinsta. I was intrigued by their slogan, which at the time was ‘WordPress At The Speed Of Google’.
It was really cool to see that Kinsta had built their entire hosting system on the Google Cloud Platform. What’s more, even their basic packages came with way more features than we had enjoyed with our previous host.
Features such as one-click backups and staging sites were things we could have only dreamed of with our previous hosting set-up.
Of course, Kinsta’s awesome features come at a cost. Indeed, the hosting plan we chose for our site back in 2017 cost almost double what we were paying for our VPS set-up at the time.
However, it was clear to me that if we want to run a successful online business, then ensuring that our sites are fast, reliable and regularly backed up is absolutely critical.
After all: if our server is down, we don’t have a website. And if we don’t have a website, we don’t have a business.
So we took the plunge and signed up for one of Kinsta’s Enterprise hosting packages.
Looking back now, I can say with total honesty that moving to Kinsta has been one of the very best business decisions we have ever made.
I’m going to be honest with you. On the the migration day itself back in April 2017, I was nervous.
I didn’t know how easy it would be for their team to transfer our site (which at the time contained more than 70,000 posts), and at that time I had no experience of what it would be like to have our sites hosted on Kinsta.
I shouldn’t have worried. The entire migration process was handled by Kinsta’s expert engineers, and we were up and running within less than two hours.
We noticed speed increases immediately (our previous server was running PHP version 5.4 and Kinsta, at that time, was running version 7.0). The WordPress backend was loading much faster than it used to and frontend pageload times were also instantly increased.
As well as the improvements in speed, we also noticed a welcome uptick in performance and reliability.
Our sports news website The Sport Review regularly receives significant spikes in traffic after big football (soccer) games, but we’ve had no problem at all in serving thousands of page requests at a time since moving to Kinsta.
Our move to Kinsta also brought fresh peace of mind. Our site was automatically backed up every single day (we used to use the VaultPress backup plugin) and we could restore to any of those previous backups with just one click.
One thing I found truly amazing about Kinsta’s infrastructure is the ability to back up your site, whenever you want, with a single click. What’s more, unlike with other previous backup systems and plugins we’ve used in the past, the backup is nearly instant! One click, and you’re good to go.
The other key feature we fell in love with right away was the ability to instantly deploy and use a staging environment for website development.
Previously, any coding changes would have been written and deployed on our local machine (or even, don’t judge me, on the live site!). The staging environment enabled us to work on our changes to themes and plugins away from the live site and test them properly before deploying them.
Finally, it gave me such peace of mind to know that if we ran into any problems related to our hosting, we could call on Kinsta’s team of experts for their help immediately.
To date, there hasn’t been a single issue that the awesome Kinsta support team have not been able to help us solve.
As the hosting package we signed up for with Kinsta allowed us to have up to 80 separate sites hosted, creating and deploying new websites was a simple and straightforward process.
In late 2018, we decided to launch two new websites – this one, and helloBARK! – and it couldn’t have been easier.
We simply chose our desired datacenter location and created the new sites, (complete with their own fresh WordPress installs) with the click of a button.
Having Kinsta as our host made launching these two other sites a straightforward process. We had gone from constantly worrying about our hosting set-up, to being able to deploy new websites to grow our business at the click of a button.
So, if you haven’t already gathered, our experience with Kinsta has been nothing short of brilliant.
The Key Kinsta Features
Now, it’s time to talk about some of the main features of Kinsta and why we love them so much.
• Increase In Site Speed And Performance – We saw an instant increase in page load times and overall site speed after migrating to Kinsta from our old host (which was running PHP 5.4 at the time). Since then, page loading times and site speed have continued to increase, as Kinsta have rolled up regular updates to their infrastructure, including making PHP 7.4 available to all customers.
• Daily Automatic Backups – Every site hosted at Kinsta is backed up once per day automatically. This means that you can roll back to any of these backups with the click of a mouse. If you need more regular automated backups, you can add six-hour or hourly backups for an additional fee. Backups are stored for at least 14 days, and longer (up to 30 days) if you are one one of Kinsta’s premium plans.
• Control everything from the brilliant Kinsta Dashboard – The easy-to-use Kinsta Dashboard is really great. You can control all of your sites from one place, and monitor your resource usage. The Kinsta Dashboard is really well designed and makes it easy to perform tasks such as creating manual backups, editing redirects, and creating / deleting staging sites. It also provides some other cool features such as Analytics.
• Nearly Instant Manual Backups – You can back up any of your Kinsta-hosted WordPress sites manually with one click. What’s so cool about this is that instead of having to wait around for everything to be backed up, the backup is almost instant!
• External Backups – One cool new feature that’s been rolled out at Kinsta recently is the option to set up automated external backups. You can automatically back up your Kinsta site to Amazon S3 or Google Cloud Storage with their external backups add-on. This allows you to have peace of mind in knowing that your sites are backed up in a separate location.
• Brilliant Expert Support – I cannot speak highly enough about Kinsta’s awesome expert support team. Their excellent track record when it comes to support is one of the key foundations of their business. Their support team have helped us countless times. One clear example was when we were migrating our sites from http to https back in late 2017. The awesome team at Kinsta were with us every step of the way as we switched everything over to https.
• Staging Sites For Development – You can create a new staging site for web development in a matter of minutes. Each staging site is a working clone of your live site, and once you’ve made all the changes you had in mind, you can push the staging site to live with the click of a button (but not without Kinsta taking an automatic backup of your live site in case anything were to go wrong).
• Free SSL Certificates – Kinsta has a Let’s Encrypt integration, which means free SSL certificate hosting and certificates for your sites. It’s really simple to set up via the Kinsta Dashboard, and it simply takes two clicks to generate new SSL Certificates for your site.
• Built-In Caching Plugin – Before moving to Kinsta, we were using the W3 Total Cache plugin for performance and pagespeed. Instead of having their users worry about the settings and specifics of individual caching plugins, Kinsta handles caching with their very own automatic plugin. There are no complicated settings to tweak. It just works!
• Choose From Multiple Data Centers – When you’re setting up your site on Kinsta, you can choose from a wide number (24 at the time of writing) of Google Cloud Platform data center locations. This means you should be able to find a data center location that’s close to where most of your target audience are located.
• New Features And Updates Constantly Being Rolled Out – One thing I love about Kinsta’s systems is that they’re always being updated. For example, Kinsta recently moved all of their clients’ websites onto Google Cloud Platform’s next-generation compute-optimized virtual machines (C2). This meant speed and performance increases of as much as 200% for many sites, according to the Kinsta website.
Kinsta WordPress Hosting Plans
All plans include free migrations and Kinsta’s hack fix guarantee, where they promise to remove any malware and fix any site hacks as part of all of their plans.
The different plans are priced and structured based on the number of monthly visits your site receives.
For example, the Starter plan covers you up to 25,000 monthly visits, while their Enterprise 1 plan has enough bandwidth for one million visits per month.
The plans also vary in terms of how many different WordPress websites you can host on them.
To find out more about the hosting plans and pricing over at Kinsta, click the link below.
One of the biggest headaches and potential stumbling blocks when thinking about switching hosts is the hassle of having to deal with the migration.
Kinsta offer free migrations as part of all of their hosting plans.
How does it work?
Every Kinsta plan comes with at least one ‘premium’ migration credit. This is for a migration from any host.
The Kinsta team of experts will move your site to their platform, while you sit back and relax.
Each Kinsta plan also comes with unlimited ‘basic’ migrations from a select number of hosts.
At the moment, the hosts supported for Kinsta’s basic migrations are:
• WP Engine
• A2 Hosting
• WPX Hosting
Moving your site to Kinsta is very simple and only takes two steps:
1) Sign up for Kinsta. Pick your plan and enter your details
2) Fill out the migration request form in the Kinsta control panel. Indicate if you’d like to have a premium or basic migration
Pros And Cons
Let’s now weigh up some of the pros and cons when it comes to Kinsta.
• Incredibly reliable, with hardly any downtime – Our sites have barely had any problems at all since switching to Kinsta.
• Noticeable speed increases after moving our site to Kinsta – Performance was improved on the frontend and backend of our sites.
• Truly excellent WordPress support to help fix any issues – Their team of experts is second-to-none.
• Free migrations from your old host – Relax as the Kinsta team take care of migrating your site from your old host.
• Daily automated backups (you can pay for more frequent ones) – You can access the various restore points in the Kinsta Dashboard.
• Nearly instant manual backups – Back up your site with one click.
• Hack and malware removal guarantee – The Kinsta team promise to fix any issues related to hacks and malware.
• Staging site with ‘Push to Live’ button – Test changes to your site’s code in the staging environment then deploy with one click.
• Caching plugin built-in to every site on Kinsta – No need to worry about tweaking any complicated settings, it’s all taken care of.
• Free SSL certificates – Kinsta offer Let’s Enrcypt integration to make https easy.
• Premium price – Kinsta’s high-end service costs a bit more than some other options out there.
• Monthly visitor pricing structure may not suit everyone – Some people may prefer a host that offers fixed price bandwidth instead being based on number of visitors.
Kinsta Reviews – What Are Customers Saying?
You’ve probably already gathered that I rate Kinsta very highly.
But what are some other Kinsta customers saying about their service?
At the time of writing, Kinsta had an average rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot, from a total of 305 reviews.
Tom left a five-star rating of Kinsta and said that he had already been impressed by how easy the migration process was, and how helpful Kinsta’s support team had been.
“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.”
Angela also left a five-star rating and opened up about her experience with Kinsta after having been with them for a number of months.
“I have been with Kinsta for a few months now and I have been very impressed with my experience. I really enjoy the user interface, it is simple, clean and easy to use. I have also found their technical support to be very helpful and friendly. I switched to a managed hosting company because I wanted to spend more time being creative and worry less about security and optimization and Kinsta has allowed me to do that.”
One of the more negative reviews came from somebody called JustJaw, who left a two-star rating and said that they had a bad experience with regards to payment.
“I had a great month with Kinsta, until my card got cancelled, they spent about a week trying to charge me, failed, emailed me on an email I don’t have access to (keeping in mind they have my phone number) and closed my account with valuable data. Aside from that, it was fantastic.”
Anything Else To Consider?
If you run a WordPress website, then you’ll probably already know that getting the hosting right is one of the most important steps for success.
It’s always a good idea to do some of your own research into the various WordPress hosting plans available before making a decision.
It’s also worth noting that as part of their company policy, there are no Kinsta discount or coupon codes. However, they do offer a 30-day money-back guarantee and no long-term contracts. This means that you can try Kinsta out risk-free for 30 days.
If you’re still not sure about whether Kinsta is the right choice for you, then why not book a free demo with them to get a feel for the service they offer?
Kinsta Review Conclusion – Wrapping Things Up
So, that brings us to the end of our in-depth Kinsta review.
We’ve walked you through the key things to know about Kinsta’s managed WordPress hosting solutions, and have offered you a personal insight into our positive experience since switching to them back in 2017.
If you’re looking for a blazing-fast WordPress hosting solution that comes with free migrations from your old host and brilliant technical support, then Kinsta really is a great option.
Kinsta is not a “cheap” WordPress hosting provider. Rather, they offer a premium service which, although it does cost a bit more than some other options, is second-to-none (in my opinion) in terms of reliability, speed and customer support.
Overall, I’m very happy with my own experiences of using Kinsta for the last few years.
I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to anyone looking for high-end WordPress hosting.