Cloudways vs. Kinsta: Why Cloudways Is Better (And Cheaper) With NVMe, Redis, Cloudflare Enterprise, And No Strict Limits

Cloudways vs kinsta

Choosing between Cloudways vs. Kinsta? Cloudways is definitely better IMO.

Cloudways is who I’ll argue to be faster considering you get free Redis Object Cache Pro, NVMe storage when using Vultr High Frequency, and a more robust Cloudflare Enterprise with features like Argo Smart Routing, load balancing, and image optimization. They’re usually much cheaper since you get more storage without monthly visit limits. They have 15 more data centers, better TrustPilot reviews, and you also get more control of the server. For example, the dashboard has more settings and you can choose between 5 cloud providers while customizing the server size.

Kinsta used to be good but has taken a turn for the worse. They’ve imposed low limits on monthly visits, PHP workers, use 10GB of slow SATA SSD storage on their lowest plan, and recommend WooCommerce sites start on their $115/mo plan (super expensive). Plus, their Cloudflare Enterprise is actually worse since it lacks many Enterprise features like Argo and image optimization. No wonder Kinsta’s TrustPilot rating has been going down. People are realizing they’re way too expensive and aren’t even that fast. They use Google Cloud C2 servers which is one of the fastest machine families, but it doesn’t mean their hosting is faster. It’s not.

Cloudways Kinsta
Cloud Host Choice of 5 Google Cloud C2
Storage 32GB NVMe on Vultr HF 10GB SATA SSDs
Object Cache Redis Object Cache Pro (free) Redis ($100/mo)
CDN Cloudflare Enterprise Cloudflare Enterprise (but no Argo, image optimization, etc)
Limits No strict limits Low PHP workers + monthly visits
Email Hosting x x
Banned Plugins No Yes
Dashboard Custom Custom
Migrations Free Free
Data Centers 44 29
Support Average Better
Pricing Cheaper + 30% off 3 months Expensive
TrustPilot Rating 4.5/5 4.3/5
Facebook Feedback Excellent Getting worse
Winner Yes No


1. Cloud Host – Choice Of 5 With Cloudways, 1 With Kinsta

Kinsta uses Google Cloud C2 which is a high tier machine family, but that doesn’t mean Kinsta’s infrastructure is fast (Elementor Cloud Sites also use Google Cloud C2 and they’re not fast at all).

Cloudways gives you a choice between 5 cloud hosting providers. DigitalOcean (who recently acquired Cloudways) and Vultr High Frequency are arguably the most popular (I used Vultr HF for 3 years). While they offer Google Cloud as well, Cloudways uses the lowest tier N1 machine family. If you’re stuck on Google Cloud, use Kinsta. But I definitely suggest DigitalOcean or Vultr.

Preferred cloudways server

Google cloud machine families
Google Cloud machine families


2. Storage – Kinsta Cheaps Out, Vultr HF Has More With NVMe

Kinsta’s plans start with only 10GB of slower SATA SSD storage.

Vultr High Frequency starts at 32GB of NVMe SSDs. Not only are these significantly faster, but you get most than 3x the space. It doesn’t make any sense why Kinsta is so expensive but can’t even use NVMe SSDs when they offer such low storage – it’s one of the biggest ripoffs I’ve seen.

Vultr high frequency compute


3. Object Cache – Redis Object Cache Pro Free On Cloudways

Actually, the biggest ripoff is how Kinsta charges $100/mo for Redis.

Cloudflare has Redis Object Cache Pro (which is faster than regular Redis) for free. This is specifically good for WooCommerce and dynamic sites, but I also use it for database caching.

W3 Total Cache* LiteSpeed Cache* WP Redis Redis Object Cache Object Cache Pro
Batch Prefetching x x x x
Data compression x x x x
Cache priming x x x x
Asynchronous flushing x x x
Cache Analytics x x x
Secure connections x x x
Highly customizable x x x x
Logging support x x x x
Cluster support x x x
Replication support x x x
Mitigates race conditions x x x x
Extensively unit tested x x x x
WooCommerce optimized x x x x
Query Monitor integration x x x Basic Advanced
WP CLI integration Basic x Basic Basic Advanced
Site Health checks x x x x
Batcache compatible x x x
Relay integration x x x x

In Cloudways, this is under Servers → Settings & Packages → Packages → Install Redis.

Cloudways redis


4. CDN – Cloudflare Enterprise On Cloudways Is Better

While both Cloudways and Kinsta offer Cloudflare Enterprise, Cloudways comes with Argo Smart Routing, load balancing, and image optimization (while Kinsta’s doesn’t). Kinsta hardly lists any details about their “Cloudflare Enterprise integration” which probably means it lacks a lot more things than what I could find. So even though Cloudways’ is $5/mo per domain, it gives you better results. You don’t need image optimization plugins and Argo Smart Routing improves speed by routing traffic via faster network paths (also great for WooCommerce + dynamic sites).

Cloudflare Enterprise (Kinsta) Cloudflare Enterprise (Cloudways) Cloudflare Enterprise (
CDN PoPs 270 270 270
Prioritized routing
Full page caching x
Argo smart routing x
Load balancing x
Image optimization x
Automatic configuration x x
Price Free $5/mo (1 domain) Free

Follow these instructions to setup Cloudflare Ententerprise on Cloudways which looks like this:

Cloudflare enterprise with cloudways


5. Limits – Kinsta Has Ridiculous Limits Which Get Expensive

Kinsta’s entry level Starter plan can only host 1 website, 25k monthly visits, and has 2 PHP workers, 50GB bandwidth, and 10GB storage. And $115/mo for WooCommerce? Get out of here.

You can easily create a $10/mo DigitalOcean server on Cloudways which can handle 1TB bandwidth and unlimited websites/monthly visits. I always recommend at least a 2GB server. You could even bump it up to 4GB for WooCommerce sites with 4TB bandwidth (which is still way less at $50/mo). No reason any hosting company should impose Kinsta’s low limits unless they use faster technology and actually justify paying a premium ( is one exception).

Kinsta limits


6. Email Hosting – Neither Cloudways Or Kinsta Have It

Cloudways doesn’t support email hosting and neither does Kinsta.

Cloudways recommends their free Gmail SMTP addon or if you need mailboxes for your domain, you can buy a $1/email per month through Rackspace on Cloudways (but it’s not great). Kinsta recommends using Google Workspace (this is what I recommend too even if you’re on Cloudways and also what I’m using). Keeping your web/email hosting separate is actually a good thing since your resources/storage will be dedicated to your sites, not email.


7. Banned Plugins – Kinsta Bans Caching, Backup, Security Plugins

Kinsta bans certain plugins.

This really shouldn’t matter since you don’t need these in most cases. You can still use WP Rocket and most cache plugins to optimize for core web vitals. Cloudways doesn’t ban plugins.


8. Dashboard – Cloudways Allows More Control, But Confusing?

Kinsta uses MyKinsta and Cloudways also uses a custom dashboard.

Both are user-friendly, but Kinsta is a bit easier to work around. You really should request a demo from Cloudways and Kinsta so you can navigate them yourself and try their dashboards.

Cloudways has 3 main tabs: Servers, Applications, and the 3 dots:

Cloudways server settings
Cloudways Server settings
Cloudways application settings
Cloudways Application settings
Cloudways addons 2
Cloudways Add-ons
Kinsta analytics cache
Kinsta dashboard


9. Migrations – Bother Offer A Free Migration

Cloudways offers 1 free migration then $25 per site and also has a Migrator plugin.

Kinsta offers unlimited free migrations from most hosts. Otherwise, it’s considered a premium migration and each plan includes a certain number of these premium migrations (shown on the plans page). If you want to move more websites to Kinsta than your plan includes, it’s $100/site.


10. Data Centers – Cloudways Has 15 More Locations

Cloudways has 44 data centers while Kinsta has 29.

Even if you’re selecting between DigitalOcean and Vultr, you still have the option of 22 data centers between the two. Choosing a data center close to your visitors isn’t as important if you use a CDN with full page caching, Argo, and other CDN features to speed up delivery of content.

Cloudways Data Centers:

San Francisco, USA Netherland, Netherlands Hong Kong, China
New York, USA Tokyo, Japan Miami, USA
Silicon Valley, USA Seoul, Korea Seattle, USA
Paris, France Bangalore, India Northern California, USA
Frankfurt, Germany Mumbai, India Northern Virginia, USA
Singapore, Singapore Sydney, Australia Northern Carolina, USA
Dublin, Ireland Los Angeles, USA Ohio, USA
London, England Dallas, USA Stockholm, Sweden
Sao Paulo, Brazil Chicago, USA Belgium, Belgium
Toronto, Canada Newark, USA Oregon, USA
Montreal, Canada Atlanta, USA Iowa, USA
Fermont, Canada Taiwan, China
Amsterdam, Netherlands Bahrain, Bahrain

Kinsta Data Centers:

Changhua County, Taiwan Melbourne, Australia São Paulo, Brazil
Hong Kong Warsaw, Poland Council Bluffs, Iowa, USA
Tokyo, Japan Hamina, Finland Moncks Corner, South Carolina, USA
Osaka, Japan St. Ghislain, Belgium Ashburn, Virginia, USA
Seoul, South Korea London, United Kingdom The Dalles, Oregon, USA
Mumbai, India Frankfurt, Germany Los Angeles, California, USA
Delhi, India Eemshaven, Netherlands Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
Jurong West, Singapore Zurich, Switzerland Jakarta, Indonesia
Jakarta, Indonesia Montréal, Canada Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Sydney, Australia Toronto, Canada


11. Support – Kinsta’s Is Slightly Better

While Kinsta’s support is “better,” think about this.

I don’t want to have to contact support – I just want things to work. So you’re probably more likely to contact Kinsta because of their low limits, PHP workers, asking them to install Redis, etc. Cloudways support has always been fine for me, but I rarely have to contact them because it’s rare I have issues. Some people say they’re technical and not great, but this is obviously something to have to experience yourself. Overall though, Kinsta’s support is probably better.


12. Pricing – Kinsta Is More Expensive Than Cloudways

Both Kinsta and Cloudways are monthly pricing with no high renewals.

Kinsta starts at $35/month for their Starter plan while Cloudways starts at $10/month for their entry level DigitalOcean plan. With Kinsta, you get 2 months free when you sign up for 1 year. So what are you really paying more with Kinsta for, support? They’re just not worth the money IMO.

Cloudways Plan CPU RAM Storage Bandwidth Price
DO 1 CORE 1GB 25GB 1TB $10/mo
DO 1 CORE 2GB 50GB 2TB $22/mo
DO 2 CORE 4GB 80GB 4TB $42/mo
DO Premium 1 CORE 1GB 25GB 1TB $12/mo
DO Premium 1 CORE 2GB 50GB 2TB $26/mo
DO Premium 2 CORE 4GB 80GB 4TB $50/mo
Vultr 1 CORE 1GB 25GB 1TB $11/mo
Vultr 1 CORE 2GB 55GB 2TB $23/mo
Vultr 2 CORE 4GB 80GB 3TB $44/mo
Vultr HF 1 CORE 1GB 32GB 1TB $13/mo
Vultr HF 1 CORE 2GB 64GB 2TB $26/mo
Vultr HF 2 CORE 4GB 128GB 3TB $50/mo
Linode 1 CORE 1GB 25GB 1TB $12/mo
Linode 1 CORE 2GB 55GB 2TB $24/mo
Linode 2 CORE 4GB 80GB 4TB $50/mo
AWS 1 vCPU 1.75GB 20 GB 2 GB $36.51/mo
AWS 1 vCPU 3.75GB 20 GB 2 GB $88.77/mo
AWS 2 vCPU 8GB 20 GB 2 GB $176.26/mo
Google Cloud 1 vCPU 1.7 GB 20 GB 2 GB $33.18/mo
Google Cloud 1 vCPU 3.75 GB 20 GB 2 GB $73.50/mo
Google Cloud 2 vCPU 7.5 GB 20 GB 2 GB $138.52/mo
Cloudways omm discount
Get 30% off 3 months at Cloudways
Kinsta Plan Websites Visits/Month PHP Workers Price
Starter 1 25,000 2 $35/mo
Pro 2 50,000 2 $70/mo
Business 1 5 100,000 4 $115/mo
Business 2 10 250,000 4 $225/mo
Business 3 20 400,000 6 $340/mo
Business 4 40 600,000 6 $450/mo
Enterprise 1 60 1M 8 $675/mo
Enterprise 2 80 1.5M 10 $1000/mo
Enterprise 3 120 2M 12 $1350/mo
Enterprise 4 150 3M 16 $1650/mo


13. TrustPilot Rating – Kinsta’s Dropped

Cloudways has slightly better reviews than Kinsta, but they’re both around 4.5/5.

TrustPilot is typically a solid source for reviews (except Hostinger who writes fake reviews). Cloudways and Kinsta support likely ask their customers to leave reviews, but that’s common.


14. Facebook Feedback – Verdict On Cloudways vs. Kinsta

Here are a couple threads from Facebook Groups on Cloudways vs. Kinsta:

Kinsta to cloudways migration

Kinsta to cloudways ttfb


15. Winner – Cloudways Is Faster/Better Than Kinsta

Cloudways Vultr High Frequency (or DigitalOcean) for the win.

It’s cheaper, faster, and there’s no reason you should be paying an arm and leg at Kinsta.

Step 1: Sign up for Cloudways and launch a server. Name your app/server, then select your cloud host (i.e. Vultr HF), server size, and data center. When you’re done, click Launch Now.

Cloudways launch vultr high frequency server

Step 2: Connect your domain through DNS records or request a migration.

Add cloudways records to namecheap

Step 3: Go to Settings & Packages and use the latest PHP/MySQL version, and install Redis.

Cloudways settings packages

Enjoy the faster load times.

Siteground to cloudways shoutout

Any questions? Hit me up in the comments.


You Might Also Like:


  1. I take Vultr normal ( no High Frequency ) to Paris.

    for french customers, you recommend Vultr Normal ( Paris ) or Digital Ocean ( Francfort or Amsterdam ) ?

    • That’s a tough call and you wouldn’t know unless you tested it. If you’re using Vultr now, you can switch to DigitalOcean for a month and test the results. I think they would be very close.

  2. Hey Tom!

    I have been testing Cloudways (Vultr High Frequency) and has been AMAZING. Thanks for your advice.

    Question: In your opinion, what is the best tool and metric (TTFB, total time…) to measure the website’s speed of someone else? I don’t have access to their Wordpress admin panel.

    Thanks man!

    • Hey Pablo!

      I personally look at GTmetrix’s fully loaded time the most. Looking into the future though, GTmetrix will be revamping to measure FCP, LCP, other metrics found in Lighthouse. So I would be paying more attention to those. They haven’t updated it yet, but we’re anticipating it happening soon. TTFB is also good for measuring hosting speed and I like KeyCDN’s Performance test since it measures TTFB across various global locations.


Leave a Comment