Kinsta Review: fast, scalable, and used by many high traffic sites

If you have $30+/month to spend on hosting, Kinsta should be on your radar.

Speeds and TTFB are very comparable to other cloud providers (e.g. Cloudways) but Kinsta is much more user-friendly and has excellent support. Kinsta can also handle traffic surges better if you expect lots of simultaneous visitors. These are the major differences with Kinsta hosting.

There’s a reason why high traffic blogs like Matthew Woodward are hosted in Kinsta, yet he recommends WPX to his readers. Maybe WPX is a good option at low costs, but for the serious users like ShoutMeLoud and CodeinWP, they use Kinsta. I am personally hosted on Cloudways, but I agree it’s “a little too technical” for the average user. You pay more with Kinsta, but you get everything you could want in a hosting provider. If you want an honest Kinsta review, this is it.

Kinsta Review

 

1. TTFB is one of the fastest in tests

knstaserver.com is a test server I set up on their $30/month Starter plan.

You can visit it in real-time, click through the pages to see how fast they load, and run your own tests. It had one of the fastest TTFBs in my test comparing 15+ different hosts. During the test, I set up the same Astra Starter Site on each host with the same six plugins and SSL. Nothing was changed in the hosting account and no CDN was used. The main variable was the location of the data centers (KeyCDN tests TTFB in various locations). Kinsta’s TTFB averaged roughly 300ms.

Kinsta uses Google Cloud server, that’s why it says Google LLC.

Kinsta Confirmation

Kinsta’s Iowa center was used on this site.

Kinsta TTFB KeyCDN

Kinsta TTFB GTmetrix

Kinsta Server Response Time

Kinsta WebPageTest Report

Kinsta Time Spent Downloading Page

 

2. Premium DNS on all Kinsta accounts

All Kinsta accounts include Amazon Route 53, a premium DNS (domain name system) integrated into your Kinsta account for improved performance and security. Typical domain providers like GoDaddy and NameCheap are slow which is one reason GoDaddy was rated in the top 2 malware hosting networks worldwide. Amazon Route 53 is an added layer of security.

Amazon Route 53

 

3. Integrated software for even faster speeds

Beyond Google Cloud and premium DNS, Kinsta also uses KeyCDN and latest PHP versions.

KeyCDN – usually a paid service but Kinsta gives you 200GB free, then $.10 per GB. Since KeyCDN is one of the better CDNs, this should make a noticeable difference in load times and TTFB in different locations, offloading up to 70% of bandwidth. You can enable this with 1-click.

MyKinsta Dashboard

PHP 7.4 – Kinsta is always one of the first to release new PHP versions when they come out.

Kinsta PHP 7.4

 

4. People who migrated and posted speed results

Here are people who migrated from a different host to Kinsta.

Kinsta Migration

Kinsta Response Time Upgrade

Move to Kinsta

moved to Kinsta

Page Load Times Kinsta

Kinsta Google Cloud Migration

kinsta uptime robot

Kinsta Migration Results

20 faster loads

400ms load times

Kinsta Migration

 

5. User-friendly dashboard with minimal learning curve

The main reason people are hesitant about Cloudways is because it’s “too technical.”

You don’t have to worry about that with Kinsta. The MyKinsta dashboard couldn’t be more user-friendly and I personally think it’s even easier than cPanel. Register for a free demo here.

Things You Can Do In Your MyKinsta Dashboard

  • Add domains
  • Add redirects
  • Add New Relic
  • Take backups
  • Activate KeyCDN
  • Block IP addresses
  • Switch PHP version
  • Setup a staging site
  • Add SSL + force HTTPS
  • Enable server-side caching
  • View a plethora of analytics
  • Add users to your Kinsta account
  • View outdated WordPress plugins
  • Accessing database with phpMyAdmin
  • Search/replace values in your database

Kinsta Analytics Cache

Kinsta Tools

Daily Backups

 

6. Kinsta handles traffic spikes like a pro

One of the biggest advantages of Kinsta is the ability to handle traffic spikes.

There have been plenty of examples of this, from Matthew Woodward’s Kinsta review to people posting their results on Twitter. Even in the WordPress Hosting Facebook Group where someone has a Ted Talk client anticipating high simultaneous visitors, Kinsta is recommended.

Auto-scaling – allocate RAM/CPU on an as-need basis if you anticipate traffic surges. Keep in mind your database and PHP workers will not scale and only include the amount in your plan.

Traffic surge

Kinsta simultaneous visitors

Kinsta concurrent visitors

 

7. Top-notch security with Linux containers

Kinsta uses Linux containers and consistently releases security patches to keep your website safe. They are proactive on monitoring, keeping their features and Status page updated as described in section #10. Kinsta even has a security guarantee saying they will work on your website if it gets hacked, but if it does, it likely won’t be on a server-level since Kinsta is secure.

 

8. Support is timely and goes beyond “hosting issues”

Just because a hosting company offers 24/7/365 support doesn’t mean it’s good (take SiteGround and Hostinger for example).

You have to look at a company’s TrustPilot reviews and experience it first-hand to get an idea of their level of support. Nearly all of Kinsta’s TrustPilot reviews mention how good support is. While they don’t offer phone support, the people behind the live chats are knowledgeable and actually want to fix the problem (not just tell you how to fix it). That’s the difference with Kinsta.

Kinsta TrustPilot Reviews

Kinsta TrustPilot Review

 

9. Unlimited free migrations when moving from most hosts

Kinsta offers unlimited free migrations if you’re using the following hosting providers: A2Hosting, Bluehost, Cloudways, DreamHost, Flywheel, GoDaddy, HostGator, Pagely, Pantheon, SiteGround, tsoHost, WP Engine, WPX Hosting. Otherwise, you get 1 free migration.

Kinsta Free Migrations

 

10. Kinsta is always innovating

I love that Kinsta has a feature updates page.

Any time Kinsta adds a new feature, the page gets updated. It can be a new data center, PHP version, or a new feature inside the MyKinsta dashboard. They even have a Status page in case an incident is reported to Kinsta. I personally love when hosting companies are transparent doing things to take accountability. Even when Cloudflare had a failed router that took down tons of websites, Kinsta reports this on their page because they know it will affect their clients.

This is one of my biggest gripes about SiteGround, GoDaddy, and EIG brands. They get too big, stop innovating to improve customer experience, or just don’t listen to what customers want.

Kinsta Feature Updates

 

11. Kinsta data center locations

Kinsta has over 24 data centers, so choose the closest one to your visitors.

Kinsta Data Centers

 

12. Used by high-traffic bloggers

Matthew Woodward, WP Buffs, CodeinWP, and ShoutMeLoud are just brands using Kinsta.

But you don’t have to be a high-traffic blogger to use Kinsta, you just need to want solid, fast hosting and be willing to pay $30+/month for it.

Why don’t I use Kinsta?

Because I’m already very happy with Cloudways who is neck-and-neck in terms of speed (what this blog is about). Plus, my traffic is relatively steady with no sudden spikes. Kinsta’s support is better than Cloudways, but I really don’t need that level of support and work with developers.

 

13. Staging works fast and flawlessly

Kinsta’s 1-click staging makes it worry-free when adding/updating plugins or testing new designs. Just create a staging site in MyKinsta, make your changes, and push it to the live site.

Kinsta Staging

 

14. Kinsta vs. Cloudways

Kinsta and Cloudways are neck and neck in terms of speed.

Cloudways actually outperformed Kinsta in a few tests and you can view the cwdoserver.com and knstaserver.com to test the speed of a $10/month Cloudways DigitalOcean plan versus Kinsta’s $30/month Starter plan. When it comes to speed + TTFB, they are both great choices.

Hosting Comparisons Pingdom

Cloudways DigitalOcean TTFB GTmetrix

I would use Kinsta if:

  • You anticipate high traffic surges
  • You want a user-friendly dashboard
  • You want exceptional live chat support

I would use Cloudways if:

  • You don’t want to be limited to Google Cloud
  • You’re relatively tech-savvy when it comes to hosting
  • You don’t need to rely heavily on support to do things for you

 

15. Cons of using Kinsta

PHP worker limits on lower plans – similar to CPU limitations on shared hosting, there have been a few complaints about Kinsta’s PHP worker limits. It’s not nearly as bad as SiteGround and other shared hosting, but it’s something to keep in mind especially during traffic surges.

No email hosting – Kinsta doesn’t provide email services (neither does Cloudways).

No phone support – you are limited to live chat and support tickets.

Expensive – their lowest plan is $30+/month, expensive for the average user.

Forfeiting to Big G and Amazon – Kinsta uses Google Cloud and Amazon Route 53, which means you will be using 2 companies that have privacy concerns. Here is Kinsta’s privacy policy.

PHP Worker Limits

Kinsta PHP Worker Limit

 

16. Kinsta pricing

Kinsta’s pricing starts at $30/month but you get 2 months free if you pay for a year upfront.

Kinsta Pricing

In case you’re not sure, Kinsta is highly recommended in Facebook Groups:

Kinsta Hosting Feedback

Get hosting from Kinsta

Cheers,
Tom

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