Kinsta Review: Fast TTFB From Google Cloud C2, Handles Traffic Spikes, World Class Support + High TrustPilot Rating (But 4 Cons)

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

They use Google Cloud C2 which are faster than standard Google Cloud servers (what SiteGround uses). This is why their TTFB is much faster which can be shown in people’s migration results. Kinsta isn’t affordable for small sites, but high traffic sites like Matthew Woodward, ShoutMeLoud, CodeinWP and even brands featured on Shark Tank use Kinsta.

Aside from TTFB, Kinsta is known for their world class support and ability to handle traffic spikes if you expect lots of simultaneous visitors. They use a custom dashboard which has server-level caching and includes analytics about your website speed, stats, and overall health.

Kinsta Review

 

1. Google Cloud C2, Premium DNS, Server Caching, CDN

Kinsta uses Google Cloud C2 (compute-optimized) on all plans. Google says it’s “ultra high performance for compute-intensive workloads” but you can read more about it on their site.

Google Cloud C2

Google even has an entire page about Kinsta:

Kinsta Google

They also include Amazon Route 53, a premium DNS you’ll find in your Kinsta dashboard. Domain registrars like GoDaddy and NameCheap are usually very slow (see dnsperf.com). Kinsta has specific instructions for setting up a premium DNS on Kinsta by adding Amazon’s nameservers to your Kinsta account. Kinsta’s DNS means lower latency and a faster website.

Amazon Route 53

They use multiple caching levels which are activated when you use Kinsta’s MU plugin. They say you don’t need a cache plugin on Kinsta and even ban most cache plugins. But between site caching in their MyKinsta dashboard and their MU plugin, Kinsta supports the following levels:

  • Bytecode cache
  • Object cache
  • Page cache
  • CDN cache

Kinsta Caching

Kinsta CDN is powered by Cloudflare (it used to be KeyCDN). Cloudflare is free and decently fast with 200+ data centers, but make sure you check cdnperf.com to measure CDN speeds (I use BunnyCDN). You can activate Kinsta’s CDN in their dashboard while using their MU plugin.

MyKinsta Dashboard

 

2. People Who Moved To Kinsta (Migration Results)

Many people posted migration results which you can see using Advanced Twitter Search or by doing research in Facebook Groups. Here are people who moved to Kinsta and posted results.

Kinsta Before After

Kinsta Migration

Kinsta Response Time Upgrade

Move to Kinsta

moved to Kinsta

Page Load Times Kinsta

Kinsta Speed

Kinsta Google Cloud Migration

kinsta uptime robot

Kinsta Migration Results

20 faster loads

400ms load times

 

3. Kinsta Handles Traffic Spikes Like A Pro

There’s a reason Kinsta is used for brands hosted on Shark Tank and Ted Talks.

It’s because of their scalable cloud infrastructure on Google Cloud 2 and their experience working with high-traffic and demanding sites. One example is Dart Drones where they reduced load time by 50% and served over 1 million pageviews in 6 hours with 0 downtime. They have several other case studies on the blog and a post on how their cloud hosting scales.

Traffic surge

Kinsta simultaneous visitors

Kinsta concurrent visitors

 

4. MyKinsta Dashboard Demo

Request a MyKinsta demo and try it yourself.

It’s one of the most user-friendly hosting dashboards I’ve come across. It’s not overly complicated like some people say about Cloudways, and it’s not clunky like people say about WPX or Hostinger’s hPanel).  MyKinsta is packed with features which makes it easy to install WordPress, CDNs, choose a data center location, and has tons of analytics about your website.

 

Things You Can Do In MyKinsta

  • Add domains
  • Add redirects
  • Add New Relic
  • Take backups
  • Block IP addresses
  • Switch PHP version
  • Setup a staging site
  • Activate KinstaCDN
  • 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

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

 

5. World Class Support

Even Kinsta’s competitors say their support is world class.

You can find evidence of this in Facebook Groups and in their TrustPilot ratings. Even though their rating dropped to 4.5/5 stars, there’s no doubt Kinsta’s support is (and always had been) top notch. However, Kinsta doesn’t offer phone support so you’ll have to use tickets or live chat.

Kinsta Support

 

6. Kinsta Has 29 Data Centers Worldwide

Kinsta currently has 29 data center locations. Obviously you want to choose the data center closest to your visitors (for a faster TTFB) which you can do inside your MyKinsta dashboard. Other hosts like SiteGround only have 6 locations and only makes sense to use in some areas.

Kinsta Data Centers

 

7. Unlimited Free Migrations

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, and WPX. Otherwise, you get 1 free migration.

Kinsta Free Migrations

 

8. 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 and doing things to take accountability. Even when Cloudflare had a failed router that took down tons of websites, Kinsta reported this on the page because they know it will affect their clients.

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

Kinsta Feature Updates

 

9. 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.

 

10. Cons: No Email Hosting, Phone Support, Banned Plugins, PHP Workers

No email hosting – Kinsta doesn’t provide email hosting (neither does Cloudways). However, it’s usually recommended to keep your email and hosting separate (just use Google Workspace).

PHP worker limits – 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 if you anticipate traffic spikes.

No phone support – you’re limited to chat/tickets (see their explanation why they do this).

Banned plugins – Kinsta has a list of banned plugins which mostly include caching, backup, image optimization, security, and several performance plugins. WP Rocket is one of the only performance plugins you can use on Kinsta. Keep in mind, you should be using their MU plugin.

Kinsta vs RunCloud
As you scale on Kinsta, it can get expensive and many people recommend RunCloud

 

11. Kinsta Pricing

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

Kinsta Pricing

 

12. Kinsta vs. WP Engine

Many people who move to Kinsta previously use WP Engine.

WP Engine also uses Google Cloud C2 but they boast how they’re the “unequivocal performance leader in WordPress.” Don’t fall for the hype – Kinsta has a much better value than WP Engine and they’re arguably faster with much better support, security, and features.

WP Engine To Kinsta Review

WP Engine To Kinsta

 

13. Kinsta vs. SiteGround

Many people also move from Kinsta to SiteGround.

SiteGround has gone downhill since 2019 after reducing support, increasing prices, TTFB getting slower, enforcing strict CPU limits, limiting number of sites on each plan, their DNS getting blocked by Googlebot, among other issues.  Kinsta is definitely better than SiteGround.

SiteGround No Value (Bad Review)

SiteGround vs Kinsta TrustPilot Review

SiteGround vs Kinsta TrustPilot Review

SiteGround vs Kinsta Support

 

14. Kinsta vs. Cloudways

Kinsta and Cloudways are both solid choices.

They’re both similar in terms of speed if configured properly. Kinsta is arguably more user-friendly with better support, but Cloudways starts at only $10/month for their cheapest 1GB DigitalOcean plan (although I recommend Vultr HF which is what I’m using and is popular in Facebook Groups). They do 3-day trials and a free migration which makes them easy to try out.

I would use Kinsta if:

  • You have a larger website.
  • You want exceptional support
  • You anticipate high traffic surges
  • You want a user-friendly dashboard

I would use Cloudways if:

  • You have a small-mid sized site
  • You’re on a tighter budget starting at $10/mo
  • You don’t want to be limited to Google Cloud servers
  • You’re relatively tech-savvy when it comes to hosting

Kinsta vs Cloudways Speed

 

15. DevKinsta

DevKinsta is a free tool by Kinsta which lets you easily create local WordPress sites. You can use it with Mac, Windows, and Linux. It also works with all hosts (not just for Kinsta customers).

 

I hope this review helped! Feel free to drop me a comment with any questions.

Cheers,
Tom

About Tom Dupuis

Tom Dupuis 2017Tom Dupuis writes WordPress speed and SEO tutorials out of his apartment in Denver, Colorado. In his spare time, he plays Rocket League and watches murder documentaries. Read his bio to learn 50 random and disturbing things about him.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.