Deciding between Kinsta vs. SiteGround?
Kinsta is the winner hands down. You won’t find a single SiteGround affiliate link in my entire blog because I don’t recommend them anymore (they’ve gone downhill since 2019). You can read TrustPilot reviews on people who moved from SiteGround to Kinsta to see what they say.
SiteGround isn’t good anymore. Their TTFB is slow, they use CPU limits to force upgrades, and they have other “random” issues like Googlebot not being able to crawl their DNS. They’ve also become unethical by threatening people who write negative reviews, banning accounts from countries who don’t bring them enough money, and becoming admins of Facebook Groups so their community manager (Hristo) can control negative feedback. Speed, support, price, and nearly every part of SiteGround has declined ever since 2019. I moved away from them in 2019.
Kinsta is better than SiteGround in nearly every category. Speeds are faster and they use Google Cloud C2 servers with server-level caching. Support is the best in the industry (this is what they’re known for). They can handle high traffic websites and traffic spikes much better than SiteGround. When looking at Facebook conversations on Kinsta vs. SiteGround, Kinsta is almost always recommended over SiteGround. The 3 main cons of Kinsta are price, PHP worker limits, and they don’t have their own cache plugin like SiteGround’s Optimizer so, you probably want to use WP Rocket (for better core web vital scores) which is an extra cost of about $49/yr.
|Server||Google Cloud C2||Google Cloud N2|
|Caching||Server Caching||SiteGround Optimizer|
|CPU Limits||CPU Seconds||PHP Workers|
|Traffic Spike Handling||Outstanding||Poor|
|Uptimes||Great||Googlebot DNS Issue|
|Pricing||Expensive Monthly Pricing||About 3x Renewal Prices|
1. Facebook Feedback On Kinsta vs. SiteGround
Yes, SiteGround has been getting bashed in Facebook Groups.
2. Speed – Kinsta Has A Faster TTFB Than SiteGround
Most speed tests are from affiliates who rank hosts by the highest commissions.
Backlinko’s PageSpeed test showed SiteGround had the worst TTFB of any host they tested. Kinsta (Google Cloud) wasn’t included in the test but it does say something about SiteGround.
Even though Kinsta didn’t perform great in Backlinko’s test, you’ll find plenty of migration results of people who moved from another host to Kinsta and got better performance scores.
3. Server – Google Cloud C2 vs. Google Cloud
Kinsta says the new GCP C2 machines are on average 2.1x faster when cache is bypassed. Regardless of Kinsta’s claims, Google Cloud C2 is faster than SiteGround’s especially for resource-intensive websites. In fact, many SiteGround customers (including myself) reported that SiteGround’s move to Google Cloud servers made their TTFB much slower. I’m not sure why, but there was a big increase in complaints in Facebook Groups once they made the switch.
4. Caching – Both Use Server Caching
Both Kinsta and SiteGround use server-level caching.
Kinsta’s caching levels use bytecode, object, page, and CDN cache. SiteGround uses NGINX, dynamic, and memcached which are activated through Site Tools and SiteGround’s Optimizer plugin. Neither Kinsta or SiteGround win this category since they both use fast server caching.
However, SiteGround’s Optimizer plugin is one of the main benefits of using SiteGround. It has nearly every feature of WP Rocket and uses faster server-level caching. So there’s no need to pay $49/yr for WP Rocket and SiteGround is good about updating it to address core web vitals.
5. CDN – Both Partnered With Cloudflare
Cloudflare can sometimes be hit or miss and they usually don’t have the best performance on cdnperf.com. I recommend trying something like BunnyCDN (what I use) or Cloudfront and testing your results. Sometimes, you’ll get better scores and faster load time with them than Cloudflare. Either way, I recommend using Cloudflare for your DNS (instead of SiteGround, GoDaddy, NameCheap, etc). You can check DNS speed comparisons on dnsperf.com and will see Cloudflare is consistently one of the fastest. SiteGround’s DNS also had issues with Google.
6. CPU Limits – Kinsta PHP Workers And SiteGround Taking Down Websites
Kinsta and SiteGround both have resource limits.
On Kinsta, many people complain they don’t include enough PHP workers and are forced to upgrade to a higher plan. This is similar with SiteGround where you get CPU issues and they will take down your website until you upgrade. Both are very common are one of the main reasons people (including myself when I kept having to upgrade on SiteGround) leave. Just a heads up!
7. Support – Kinsta Wins Hands Down
You will get much better support with Kinsta than SiteGround.
Support is definitely something you have to experience first hand to get a feel for, but SiteGround’s support has gotten a bad reputation lately. In the past, they’ve hidden the support button in the dashboard making it extremely difficult to find, blocked customers from support completely, push upgrades, sell you on an expensive dedicated server when their cheaper plans will do just fine. Kinsta’s support doesn’t do any of this, they’re just there to help with questions.
8. Traffic Spike Handling – What Kinsta Is Known For
Few hosts beat Kinsta when it comes to scaling.
They have multiple case studies (including clients who hosted on shark tank) on their blog. There have been numerous Tweets and Facebook posts thanking Kinsta for handling traffic spikes. SiteGround doesn’t handle these nearly as well – you’re bound to run into CPU limit issues and SiteGround will literally shut down your website unless you add more resources by upgrading. Kinsta has similar PHP worker limits, but they’re usually not bad like SiteGround’s
9. Dashboard – MyKinsta Is Better Than Site Tools
Both Kinsta (MyKinsta) and SiteGround (Site Tools) use their own dashboard.
MyKinsta is arguably better than Site Tools. SiteGround seemed to be in a rush to release Site Tools after cPanel increased prices, since Site Tools was released just weeks after. There were bugs, lacking features, and many complaints in Facebook Groups about SiteGround’s “not so amazing” Site Tools. MyKinsta is so much more user-friendly and you can request a demo here.
10. Email Hosting – Kinsta Doesn’t Include It, SiteGround Does
Kinsta doesn’t include email hosting, SiteGround does.
One of the reasons hosts don’t include email hosting is because your website/email hosting should be separate. Email hosting consumes server resources and inodes, so besides saving money, it doesn’t make sense to bind them together. Kinsta recommends using Google Workspace for email which is an additional cost, but it can also improve your performance.
11. Banned Plugins – Kinsta Bans Caching, Backup, Security Plugins
Kinsta also has a list of banned plugins while SiteGround doesn’t.
Kinsta bans certain caching, backup, security, image optimization, and social media plugins for various reasons. Many of these are already built-in to Kinsta (caching, backups, and security). Only a few image optimization and backup plugins are banned, so this shouldn’t be a big deal.
12. Ethics – SiteGround Has Become Unethical
SiteGround has become super unethical.
Their community manager (Hristo) is an admin of the WordPress Speed Up Facebook Group (why should a hosting company be an admin of an “unbiased” group and control what’s posted)?
They banned accounts in Asia and other areas that don’t bring them enough profit.
They threaten people who write negative reviews. Their affiliate TOS (section. #9) says “Upon termination of the Affiliate account, the Affiliate is obliged within 3 business days to remove all promotional materials, trademarks, links, logos and slogans of SiteGround from his web site.” Imagine writing hosting comparisons, SiteGround doesn’t like it, then demands you take down tons of posts mentioning their name with a cease and desist letter. Heard of freedom of speech?
SiteGround knows their company has tons of complaints and instead of fixing the real issue (or taking some accountability) they try to control negative reviews in a very unethical way.
13. Security – Both Have Solid Security
Neither Kinsta or SiteGround have had data breaches, and each of them do a solid job, so I wouldn’t choose one over the other for security. Just make sure you follow a security checklist.
14. Uptimes – SiteGround’s DNS Blocked By Googlebot
SiteGround and Kinsta generally have great uptimes.
However, SiteGround has a major issue where their DNS was blocked by Googlebot for 4 days. What’s even worse is instead of telling customers to move to an external DNS, they claimed “there is no blocking on our end” but then just 2 days later, came out with a “fix.” Customers were pissed as their websites dropped in Google rankings or even disappeared completely. This resulted in huge ranking drops and profit losses for SiteGround customers. Typical SiteGround.
Status Update: We are glad to inform you that we have implemented a fix for the Google bot crawling issue experienced by some sites. Websites are already being crawled successfully. Please allow a few hours for the DNS changes to take effect. Thank you for your patience!
— SiteGround (@SiteGround) November 12, 2021
You should be advising people to move to an external DNS to resolve the issues if it is causing them massive losses in business. I have just sorted our connectivity issue in around 25 minutes by moving to googles DNS. If you had let us know 4 days ago, we wouldnt be £20k+ down!
— Jon Bunce (@thejonbunce) November 11, 2021
15. Data Centers – Kinsta Has 23 More Locations
Choosing a server location close to your visitors has a huge impact on TTFB, so SiteGround definitely loses this category. You want to choose a data center in the same country (or ideally in the same state or general location) which means a faster TTFB and load time for your visitors.
16. Pricing – Both Are Expensive With Different Pricing Structures
Kinsta and SiteGround are on the expensive side.
Kinsta has monthly pricing starting at $30/mo but you can save 2 months if you sign up for 1 year upfront. SiteGround offers cheap intro prices but their renewal prices are almost 3 times the intro price, so you can expect around a $300 bill for a yearly GrowBig plan once it renews. And at the price, you can purchase Kinsta’s cheapest plan which you’ll probably be better off on.
|Kinsta Plan||Websites||Visits/Month||PHP Workers||Price|
|SiteGround Plan||Intro Price||Renewal Price|
17. Winner: Kinsta Is Better Than SiteGround
Kinsta is better than SiteGround in nearly every category (especially the most important ones like speed, support, and ability to handle traffic spikes).
Just keep in mind you will likely want to use WP Rocket with KinstaCDN (or BunnyCDN) to get the best results. Otherwise, feel free to join some of the Facebook Groups I mentioned in this Kinsta vs. SiteGround comparison and do some research. I think you’ll find the same conclusion.