Kinsta vs. SiteGround: Why Kinsta Wins In Everything But Price

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.

KinstaSiteGround
Facebook FeedbackGreatRecently Poor
SpeedFastSlow
ServerGoogle Cloud C2Google Cloud
CachingServer CachingSiteGround Optimizer
CDNCloudflareCloudflare
CPU LimitsCPU SecondsPHP Workers
SupportOutstandingDeclining
Traffic Spike HandlingOutstandingPoor
Email HostingNoYes
Banned PluginsYesNo
DashboardMyKinstaSite Tools
EthicsAveragePoor
SecurityGreatGreat
UptimesGreatGooglebot DNS Issue
Data Centers296
PricingExpensive Monthly PricingAbout 3x Renewal Prices
WinnerYesNo

Kinsta vs SiteGround

 

1. Facebook Feedback On Kinsta vs. SiteGround

I always suggest joining Facebook Groups like WordPress Hosting and WP Speed Matters to get less biased hosting recommendations. When compared to SiteGround, Kinsta usually wins.

SiteGround vs Kinsta Feedback

Yes, SiteGround has been getting bashed in Facebook Groups.

Even though they try to control this (their community manager Hristo is an admin for the WP Speed Up Facebook Group), you will find complaints throughout the various WordPress groups.

SiteGround Value

 

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.

Backlinko TTFB Test

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.

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

 

3. Server – Google Cloud C2 vs. Google Cloud

SiteGround uses Google Cloud while Kinsta uses Google Cloud C2.

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.

SiteGround vs Kinsta TrustPilot Review

 

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.

SiteGround Optimizer Caching Settings

 

5. CDN – Both Partnered With Cloudflare

KinstaCDN is powered by Cloudflare, and SiteGround makes it easy to activate Cloudflare in Site Tools.

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!

Kinsta PHP Worker Limits
Kinsta PHP worker iimits
SiteGround CPU Resources
SiteGround CPU limits

 

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.

Kinsta Support
Kinsta’s support is “word class”

SiteGround vs Kinsta Support

 

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

Traffic surge

Kinsta simultaneous visitors

Kinsta concurrent visitors

SiteGround-CPU-Limits

 

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.

 
SiteGround Site Tools Feedback

 

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)?

WordPress Speed Up Admins

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.

 

15. Data Centers – Kinsta Has 23 More Locations

Kinsta has 29 data centers while SiteGround only has 6.

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.

Kinsta Data Centers
Choosing a data center close to visitors impacts TTFB

 

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 PlanWebsitesVisits/MonthPHP WorkersPrice
Starter125,0002$30/mo
Pro250,0002$60/mo
Business 15100,0004$100/mo
Business 210250,0004$200/mo
Business 320400,0006$300/mo
Business 440600,0006$400/mo
Enterprise 1601M8$600/mo
Enterprise 2801.5M10$900/mo
Enterprise 31202M12$1200/mo
Enterprise 41503M16$1500/mo
SiteGround PlanIntro PriceRenewal Price
Startup$6.99/month$14.99/month
GrowBig$9.99/month$24.99/month
GoGeek$14.99/month$39.99/month
Cloud Hosting$100/monthN/A

 

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.

SiteGround vs Kinsta TrustPilot Review

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.

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