I’m using Rocket.net who is light years ahead of Kinsta.
Kinsta has low PHP worker and monthly visit limits, then charges $100/mo for Redis and $50/mo for Nginx reverse proxy. You get 16x less RAM, slower SATA SSDs, and a “premium DNS” (Amazon Route 53) which is slower than Cloudflare’s DNS used on Rocket.net. Their Cloudflare integration is also basically Cloudflare’s free version with WAF. At the end of the day, Kinsta is a marketing company dressed as a hosting company. But you’ll pay a lot more and get much slower technology + worse support (just because they’re popular doesn’t mean they’re better).
Rocket.net gives you more resources with faster technology in terms of cores/RAM, NVMe SSDs, Redis, and LiteSpeed’s PHP. Their Cloudflare Enterprise is far superior than Kinsta’s Cloudflare integration and actually has Enterprise features like prioritized routing, more PoPs, Argo Smart Routing, and image optimization. They’re also less expensive since monthly visit limits are 10x Kinsta’s and they don’t limit PHP workers (however, they have relatively low bandwidth limits). They have a perfect TrustPilot rating where you’ll find many people who moved from Kinsta to Rocket.net. Since I also use Rocket.net, feel free to test my global TTFB in KeyCDN/SpeedVitals.
|Cores/RAM||12 cores + 8GB RAM||32 cores + 128GB RAM|
|CDN||Cloudflare free + WAF||Cloudflare Enterprise|
|DNS||Amazon Route 53||Cloudflare|
|Limits||Low PHP workers + monthly visits||No PHP worker limits, 10x monthly visits, but low bandwidth|
|Nginx Reverse Proxy||$50/mo||✓|
|Data Centers||29||20 (but shouldn’t matter)|
|Support||Good, but not as good||Best support you’ll find?|
|Migrations||1 “premium” on lowest plan||Unlimited free|
|Price||Way more expensive||More affordable|
1. Cores/RAM – Rocket.net Has 16x More RAM
Kinsta uses 12 cores + 8GB RAM, Rocket.net uses 32 cores + 128GB RAM. That’s 16x more RAM and about 3x cores. Plus, Kinsta limits staging sites to 1 core + 8GB RAM, but Rocket.net doesn’t.
2. Storage – Rocket.net Uses Faster NVMe SSDs
Rocket.net switched to NVMe SSDs in 2011 while Kinsta still uses slow network SSDs. This can be found on Rocket.net’s blog (see link above in the previous section). Rocket.net performed these tests using the WP Hosting Benchmarks plugin which you can also try on your own site.
3. CDN – Rocket.net’s Cloudflare Enterprise Is Better
While Kinsta basically uses Cloudflare’s free version with WAF, Rocket.net actually uses Cloudflare Enterprise. The CEO (Ben Gabler) was previously StackPath’s Chief Product Officer and has extensive experience working with CDNs, while it looks like Kinsta just added WAF and called it a day. The results of Cloudflare Enterprise can be seen in tools like SpeedVitals’ TTFB test (as well as KeyCDN’s performance test) which measures TTFB in multiple global locations.
|Cloudflare Enterprise (Kinsta)||Cloudflare Enterprise (Cloudways)||Cloudflare Enterprise (Rocket.net)|
|Full page caching||Server-side||x||✓|
|Argo smart routing||x||✓||✓|
|Price||Free||$5/mo (1 domain)||Free|
4. DNS – Rocket.net (Cloudflare) vs. Kinsta (Amazon Route 53)
Why you would use anything but Cloudflare’s DNS is beyond me. It’s one of the most performant/reliable DNS providers which you can see on dnsperf.com and is used on Rocket.net. Kinsta can brag about their premium DNS (Amazon Route 53), but it’s slower.
5. Limits – PHP Workers, Monthly Visits, Bandwidth
Kinsta has low limits on PHP workers and their monthly visits are 10x less than Rocket.net’s. These are the main reasons people have to upgrade and Kinsta recommends WooCommerce sites start on the $115/mo plan. Keep in mind when they count visits, it may also include bots.
Rocket.net doesn’t limit PHP workers and has 10x more monthly visits. However, they do limit Bandwidth and the Starter plan only has 50GB. That’s the reason Rocket.net gets expensive, but compared to Kinsta and WP Engine, Rocket.net should still usually end up being much cheaper.
6. PHP Processing – LiteSpeed PHP Is Faster
Rocket.net uses LiteSpeed’s PHP which is faster than alternatives. Enough said.
7. Redis – Kinsta Charges $100/mo
While Rocket.net has free Redis on all plans using Redis Object Cache, Kinsta charges an extra $100/mo which is ridiculous. Rocket.net also uses Redis Object Cache Pro on Enterprise plans.
8. Nginx Reverse Proxy – Kinsta Charges $50/mo
Same thing for Nginx reverse proxy. Free on Rocket.net, $50/mo on Kinsta.
9. Data Centers – Why This (Usually) Doesn’t Matter
Even though Rocket.net has less data centers, they usually win this category.
Since Kinsta doesn’t use CDN features like prioritized routing or Argo Smart Routing, global TTFB will likely depend on where your site is hosted. But since Rocket.net has these features, global TTFB is very similar no matter where the data center is located. Ben explains it at 11:37.
10. Support – Rocket.net Wins Again
I know support is biased, but Rocket.net’s is the best I’ve used without question.
Ben Gabler obviously hires technicians who have years of experience with hosting and he even hops on chat/tickets himself. They’re willing to help optimize for core web vitals and go beyond what’s usually expected out of hosting support. But to be honest, I barely have to contact them at all since everything “just works.” Kinsta’s is alright, but you’ll probably have to contact them more to optimize your site – just because their hosting isn’t as good and you’ll need some help.
11. Dashboard – Mission Control vs. MyKinsta
Here’s a video on MyKinsta:
There’s no video on Rocket.net’s Mission Control, so here’s a glimpse:
12. Migrations – Free On Rocket.net, Not Always On Kinsta
Kinsta only includes free migrations from these hosts, otherwise it’s $100 per migration. Rocket.net offers unlimited free migrations and shows your site to you before it’s launched.
13. Price – Kinsta Is Usually A Lot More Expensive
Kinsta is more expensive than Rocket.net because:
- $100/mo Redis
- $50/mo Nginx reverse proxy
- They’ve raised prices in the past
- “Premium migrations” cost $100
- Low limits on PHP workers + monthly visits
14. TrustPilot Rating – Rocket.net Is Smaller But Has Better Ratings
Kinsta’s TrustPilot rating has been tanking and there’s been several reports they’ve gotten slower, added more limits, and people are getting sick of paying so much for mediocre hosting. Rocket.net has better TrustPilot reviews and they have excellent feedback in Facebook Groups.
Obvious winner: Rocket.net