Humble me and compare Kinsta’s specs vs. Rocket.net’s. Just keep in mind some specs are buried in their blog which you’ll find links to in this review. Kinsta gives you 20 less CPU cores, 120GB less RAM, and 10x+ less monthly visits (yes, you read those right). They also use slower network SSDs instead of NVMe, have no full page caching with Cloudflare Enterprise, low PHP worker limits, and only use a mere 1 CPU core on staging sites compared to 128 cores on Rocket.
Sure, you get all the “big brands” like Google Cloud C2, Cloudflare Enterprise (kind of), and Amazon Route 53 DNS. And yeah, they have good support and a helpful blog. But that’s the problem. Kinsta is great at marketing – not hosting. This is probably why Matthew W. ranked Kinsta as the #1 fastest WordPress host. More marketing! But when comparing their specs vs. price, the value just isn’t there. You’re better off at Rocket.net which is both faster & superior.
- 12 CPU cores + 8GB RAM
- Low visit count + PHP worker limits
- No full page caching on Cloudflare Enterprise
- Network SSDs
- No participation in Kevin Ohashi’s test
- Expensive with unwarranted price increase
- Amazon Route 53 DNS slower than Cloudflare
- Redis is $100/month
- TrustPilot rating going down
- Google Cloud C2
- Kinsta MU plugin
- No email hosting
- Banned plugins
- Great support, but not the “best”
- Unlimited free migrations
- 34 data centers
- MyKinsta demo
- Kinsta alternatives
1. 12 CPU Cores + 8GB RAM
This is what Kinsta gives you on standard plans (listed on this page).
For comparison, Rocket.net gives you 32 cores + 128GB RAM. And on staging websites, Kinsta only uses 1 CPU core + 8GB RAM while Rocket.net gives you the full 32 cores + 128GB RAM. This means Kinsta has 16x less RAM on live sites and 32x less CPU cores on staging sites. Too low!
|CPU Cores||12 Cores||32 Cores|
|Staging CPU Cores||1 Core||32 Cores|
2. Low Visit Count + PHP Worker Limits
Kinsta allows up to 25x less visits than Rocket.net with PHP worker limits (which are otherwise non-existent).
Visits counts are different than Google Analytics which count human visitors not using ad blockers. Kinsta counts human visitors (with or without ad blockers) as well as unknown bots.
To calculate visit counts, take your average Google Analytics monthly visitors and multiply it by 143% since around 42.7% of people use ad blockers. Then add monthly visits from unknown bots (you can reduce this using Cloudflare’s firewall and IP/user-agent banning rules in Kinsta).
PHP workers determine how many uncached requests your site can handle at once.
Smaller static sites can get away with 2 PHP workers (on the lowest 2 plans). Kinsta recommends WooCommerce/dynamic sites start at 4 PHP workers (the next 2 plans). Which means eCommerce sites are already looking at $115 – $225/mo. And that’s the starting point.
Chances are if your store has a decent amount of traffic, you’ll need at least 6 PHP workers for $340 – $450/mo+.
This also assumes your theme, plugins, and PHP code are optimized while taking advantage of Kinsta’s full page caching. Kinsta lists object caching (i.e. Redis) as one of the best methods to lower PHP worker usage. Which means to save money, you’ll need to spend $100/mo on Redis. Kinsta Analytics show the top uncached requests in your dashboard which you should monitor.
3. No Full Page Caching On Cloudflare Enterprise
Since Kinsta doesn’t support full page caching from Cloudflare, more requests will hit your origin and therefore, increase the amount of PHP workers needed. For comparison, Rocket.net does use Cloudflare’s full page caching and only around 10% of requests hit your origin (which is why they don’t limit PHP workers). For this reason, scaling on Kinsta is much more expensive.
Even when Kinsta releases full page caching, it’s still not the same as Rocket.net. While they both use WAF and many other Cloudflare Enterprise features, Rocket.net went as far to build their data centers in the same ones as Cloudflare’s (the CEO was also StackPath’s chief product officer). Kinsta and Cloudways are both playing catch up.
4. Network SSDs
Kinsta blogs about different types of storage, they don’t use the faster NVMe storage.
5. No Participation In Kevin Ohashi’s Test
6. Expensive With Unwarranted Price Increase
Kinsta raised their prices which were already on the expensive side, although you can get 2 months free if you pay 1 year upfront. What makes Kinsta expensive are limits on PHP workers and visit counts which are the main things to determine when figuring out which plan you need.
7. Amazon Route 53 DNS Slower Than Cloudflare
8. Redis Is $100/Month
Chances are if you’re looking at Kinsta, you may also want to use Redis especially if it’s a eCommerce/dynamic site. As explained earlier, Redis can be used to optimize PHP workers.
9. TrustPilot Rating Going Down
Looks like there have been quite the influx of complaints on their TrustPilot recently. Like most hosting companies, many positive reviews are solicited. But eventually, the bad ones come out.
10. Google Cloud C2
Kinsta uses C2 standard VM instances which Google has benchmarks for. Note that Kinsta provides 12 CPU + 8GB RAM on standard plans, then numbers get higher on enterprise plans.
|Machine Type||CPU Platform||vCPUs||Coremark Score||Standard Deviation (%)||Sample Count|
11. Kinsta MU Plugin
Kinsta’s MU plugin is required for full page caching and Kinsta CDN integration.
The plugin enables automatic cache clearing, supports custom caching rules, and you can change the cache expiry in your MyKinsta dashboard (default is 1 hour). It’s installed on every website hosted at Kinsta by default, but will need to be manually installed if you migrated your website yourself or installed WordPress.
Kinsta says no WordPress cache plugins are needed at Kinsta and even bans some of them. However, cache plugins do a lot more than just caching and are a key part of addressing core web vitals. Which means you’ll still want a cache plugin (i.e. FlyingPress or WP Rocket). Kinsta automatically disables caching in WP Rocket, but you’ll have to check this if using FlyingPress.
12. No Email Hosting
It’s a good idea to keep your web/email hosting separate anyways because resources can be solely dedicated to your website (plus, moving email accounts between hosts can be a pain).
13. Banned Plugins
Kinsta has a list of banned plugins.
WP Rocket is one of the only cache plugins allowed, Kinsta already provides backups, you’ll probably want to use Cloudflare Mirage + Polish for image optimization, and security plugins aren’t needed which increase CPU usage from their ongoing scans. These make sense to me.
- Cache plugins
- Backup plugins
- Image optimization plugins
- Video conversion plugins
- Certain performance plugins
- Security plugins
14. Great Support, But Not The “Best”
This is a lot of what you’re paying for since Kinsta’s support is good.
Does their CEO answer the phone though like Ben Gabler does at Rocket.net? Nope. There’s actually no phone support. Just when you think you’re getting the best support, you’re not.
15. Unlimited Free Migrations
Kinsta offers unlimited free migrations from the hosts below, then 1 premium migration.
A2 Hosting, Bluehost, Cloudways, DreamHost, Flywheel, GoDaddy, HostGator, Pagely, Pantheon, Savvii, SiteGround, tsoHost, WP Engine, WPX Hosting. Duplicator, ManageWP and cPanel backups are also supported.
16. 34 Data Centers
Kinsta currently has 34 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.
17. MyKinsta Demo
Request a MyKinsta demo and try it yourself.
Some host’s custom dashboards are a mess, but Kinsta’s is clean, fast, and user-friendly.
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
- APM (for debugging)
- 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
18. Kinsta Alternatives
Rocket.net is who I use and is significantly better than Kinsta.
They use 16x as many CPU cores, 3x RAM, free Redis, NVMe SSDs, LiteSpeed’s PHP, and their Cloudflare Enterprise has more features like full page caching, Argo Smart Routing, image optimization, and load balancing. Plus, they allow 10-25 times the monthly visits with no PHP worker limits since only about 10% of traffic actually hits the origin server (the rest is offloaded to Cloudflare). Support is better, prices are cheaper, and they also have better TrustPilot rating. Kinsta is more popular due to marketing, but Rocket.net’s specs blow Kinsta’s out of the water.
|Kinsta||Cloudways Vultr High Frequency||Rocket.net|
|Hosting type||Cloud||Cloud||Private cloud|
|Cores/RAM||12 cores + 8GB RAM||1 core + 1GB RAM||32 cores + 128GB RAM|
|Object cache||Redis ($100/mo)||Redis (Pro)||Redis|
|Server||Nginx||Apache||Apache + Nginx|
|CDN||Cloudflare Enterprise||Cloudflare Enterprise||Cloudflare Enterprise|
|Full page cache||✓||Coming soon||✓|
|Argo smart routing||x||✓||✓|
|PHP worker limits||Low||Average||None|
|Specs||View specs||View specs||View specs|
They have a perfect TrustPilot rating and you can find several people who posted results:
I was previously using Cloudways Vultr High Frequency who also has Cloudflare Enterprise, NVMe storage, and Redis Object Cache Pro. However, Rocket.net has a lot more CPU/RAM with no limits on PHP workers (CPU limits). Plus, Rocket.net’s support is likely the best you’ll find if you reach out to Ben Gabler and his team. The main benefit of Cloudways is they allow more storage/bandwidth, but I can tell you the jump from Cloudways to Rocket.net was a nice boost.
Final Thoughts: Kinsta was a marketing company that decided to get into hosting. If their marketing was as good as hosting, I would recommend them. Unfortunately, it’s superficial.