Kinsta Hosting
Review 2020

Kinsta provides higher-class WordPress hosting marketed to higher-income people and businesses in need of fully managed WordPress sites.

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kinsta hosting full review

Why Choose Kinsta?

Kinsta provides unparalleled levels of engineer-grade support and custom interfaces that make hosting one or one thousand WordPress sites a breeze!

Advantages

01.

WordPress Engineers Support Every Step

Rather than “help desk technicians,” you are assisted by WordPress engineers who have extensive training and experience. Talk about “world-class support”!

02.

Proactive Security

If your site gets hacked, it gets fixed for free! Instead of just telling you how to fix your site, their engineers will un-hack it for you!

03.

20 Data Centers!

You can pick from among twenty data centers, guaranteeing your customers are close to your main servers!

04.

An Actual Uptime Guarantee!

It may only be 99.9%, but Kinsta does back their guarantee with a partial refund promise!

05.

Feature-friendly

Kinsta offers a huge number of Features that they can get due to the higher monthly price than average. However, WordPress fanatics will likely find the extensive features well-worth it.

06.

All Storage is SSD

Rather than use cheaper, older methods of storage, Kinsta’s storage is all in “Solid State Drives” (SSD). This allows really high speed access to read and write data to help your sites render more quickly!

07.

WordPress-only Host!

Kinsta only specializes in hosting WordPress sites, which means that their staff will know exactly how to assist you!

08.

No Site Shutoffs

Unlike some hosts who will shut off your site if you hit the plan’s maximum, Kinsta has a pricing structure that allows for especially busy months by allowing you to buy temporary extra CDN data transfer and monthly visits.

09.

30-Day Money-Back Guarantee

If you aren’t satisfied for any reason, you can get your money back in full!

10.

Custom WordPress Admin Panel

Designed for everyone from starters to huge enterprises, Kinsta made a proprietary “control panel” designed specifically for those with WordPress sites!

Disadvantages

01.

No Phone Support

Although they do justify it, not having phone support could be an issue for some businesses.

02.

Nothing is Unlimited

Nothing, including your SSD storage, monthly visits, and CDN data usage is unlimited with Kinsta. “Monthly site visits” is an odd metric to use, as well. Most hosts just measure bandwidth, or traffic that goes in and out of your site.

03.

No WordPress, No Service

If you don’t use WordPress, you are technically allowed to use their service, but you are disqualified from many of the Features they offer. Only use Kinsta if you intend to use WordPress!

Important Legal Information: Services or products you buy through our links may earn us a commission. Every product is individually selected by (obsessive) researchers.

kinsta dashboard

What is kinsta?

Botton Line: Kinsta provides Managed WordPress hosting services at fairly high prices. Of course, in return for your money, you’re rewarded with a good bit of unique features and guarantees.

The host claims to host WordPress sites for Fortune 500 companies as well as regular consumers with blogs. They are unwilling to disclose the exact number of WordPress sites they host (but claim to “host thousands of businesses”), although they list several case studies on this page for you to page through at your leisure.

kinsta clients

Plans and Services

Kinsta doesn’t have “sets” of Plans like other hosts do. For example, other hosts will have four plans for Shared Hosting, four plans for VPS hosting, etc. Kinsta just has one line of plans, although if you need more resources than any of their plans offer, they invite you to get in touch with them to discuss your particular needs.

Your Lineup

Kinsta offers ten different plans, ranging from an introductory price of $30/month to an introductory price of $1,500/month. These plans are named for their intended audiences. For example, they have four “Business” plans, four “Enterprise” plans, and then two lower-tier plans for those with less to host.

But I Don’t Use WordPress!

All of their plans hinge on you using WordPress. They are so dedicated to WordPress that they have even published their own articles comparing themselves to other hosts, such as FlyWheel, that also only focus on WordPress. Definitely look elsewhere in this case!

Ease of Use

Kinsta is very easy to use. Whether you’re signing up, getting support, or setting up your first site, it’s a very intuitive process.

Getting Set Up

All you have to do is go to the home page, then click “View Plans.” Take a look at all of their plans laid out on that page, and pick one. If you need more horsepower than they offer (and have more than $1,500/mo to blow), just use their “Contact” link at the end of their list of plans. Make sure you use your real email address, as you will get sent a unique link to click on to verify your account. Check out their nifty form:

You’ll be presented with a form to fill out your contact information and asked whether you wish to get two months of free hosting by signing up for annual billing rather than monthly.

Finishing Up

After you fill that out, you’ll be presented with a payment form that is still on the same page. Kinsta accomplishes this by using Single Page Application, or “SPA” technology. This is a much more modern approach to taking in information than many of the other hosts we’ve reviewed, possibly because Kinsta’s budget is higher. Either way, it made the signup process take all of about 30 seconds!

Earth to Houston

You are then sent an email with your login information for the Kinsta custom dashboard. From there, just perform whatever process you’d like next. Whether it’s your free migration, starting your first staging environment, or any other process that has to do with your site, it’s on their custom panel!

Install WordPress or WordPress Installed?

As Kinsta is a WordPress-only Managed Host, you will already have the number of WordPress installations running that came with the plan you chose the first time you access the Kinsta dashboard. No need for you to install it yourself!

Connect a Domain

If I were a very lazy writer, I would just say “see above.” Instead, I’ll just say it again. Everything is contained within the Kinsta custom dashboard, and it is not simply a “re-skin” (or taking old software and slapping a new coat of paint on it) they did on cPanel. It is truly custom software with easy-to-use domain transfers that their experts will even help you out doing! You just click the link on your panel to get started! Talk about easy!

kinsta features

Kinsta's Features

9.5

Botton Line: ​Kinsta offers tons of features that will especially benefit those with WordPress sites, although they do come at a high cost.

One of Kinsta’s main selling points is that they offer lots of features. All features we list are included with all plans they offer unless otherwise noted! Don’t hold your breath; this is a long list!

Free Features of Kinsta

SSD Storage

Solid State Drive (SSD) storage offers very fast data access and processing when compared to older and cheaper storage. You can count on your apps running as fast as possible with this feature!

CDN

Kinsta offers a Content Delivery Network (CDN) through KeyCDN. That means that your site and its contents will be mirrored on servers around the globe. When users access your site(s), they will receive copies of data from the server closest to them, ensuring fast speeds for all of your users!

kinsta CDN

Real Money Back Guarantee

So many hosts we’ve reviewed have very poor money-back guarantees, or even none at all. Kinsta took the opposite route, offering money back for 30 days on every plan! Advertised as “no questions asked,” even optional paid add-on money you may have spent gets refunded simply if you request a refund within 30 days! This is by far the best guarantee we’ve seen, which is a great sign!

Site Migrations

Although not unlimited, a number of migrations are provided for you free of charge. All you have to do is fill out a small form, and an engineer from Kinsta will perform the migration for you free of charge! Again, some hosts offer a self-service migration tool, but Kinsta goes the extra “full service” mile for you on this one, making switching hosts super easy!

kinsta site migration

Data Center Choice

Some hosts have multiple data centers, but don’t let users choose, and others just have one data center. Kinsta has servers in twenty locations and gives users their choice of server, so your users will be close to the server. This, in combination with a decent CDN, will cover all the bases to ensure your customers always can access your site!

Backups

Again, this is one where Kinsta goes above and beyond. Notice a common theme? Automatic Daily Backups of every site are performed. You can even do a Manual Backup if you’re about to perform an operation on your site. Note that the retention period will vary by plan, but the minimum is 14 days. This feature can come in handy in a variety of situations, from getting an infected site to accidentally pushing wrong code onto it!

Custom Malware Removal

Full-service malware removal is free if an infection occurs while your site is hosted on Kinsta. That means an engineer will come in and fix it as soon as possible for you, absolutely free! Note that you will need to pay $100 to un-infect any sites that were already infected before migration.

Staging Area

Every plan comes with a “staging area,” which is essentially a version of your live site that allows you to test out features before making them live. Once you get it just right, you click one button, and your changes in the Staging Area are pushed to your site! This helps eliminate the possibility of accidentally introducing a bug.

Free SSL

Kinsta gives you two awesome SSL features free. You can request a free SSL certificate that comes with free renewals, or you can ask an engineer to install a current SSL certificate for free. You also get to import SSL certificates absolutely free! Build trust in your site and brand instantly!

SSH

Secure Shell, or SSH, allows you to have terminal access to your WordPress site. This also allows easy file transfers and management of your site, although remember that all plans are Managed WordPress Hosting, so you won’t need to worry too much about management! It’s great to have the option to “SSH into your site” in case you need to make a few quick changes!

Custom Admin Panel

Kinsta has created its own “in-house” administrative panel for your WordPress site(s). It’s optimized to interact with Kinsta’s features, making support just a click away! It’s an easy-to-use, graphical panel that can help you get started and ensure all of your sites remain on the right track!

Paid Features of Kinsta

The features in the section above were the free features that come with every plan Kinsta offers. Here are the “add-ons,” or optional “Premium Features” that come with each plan, along with the price of each.

CloudFlare “Railgun” (currently $100 per month per site

This is only for those with Business and Enterprise-level plans. This is a special optimization to make sure that your CDN connection is the fastest possible and receives priority. It will likely be unnecessary for most users, but if your users are complaining about speeds being slow, you may consider investing in this. Note that the $100 per month is for each site you have.

ElasticSearch (currently $100 per month per site)

This allows for a “RESTful search” and provides an analytics engine for you. This is only recommended if you have very resource-intensive applications, and users complain about slow searches or queries within your site or web application. However, it can vastly speed up sites with tons of data!

Redis (currently $100 per month per site)

Although this is an “open source” or “free to use” technology, Kinsta does charge for its usage. It is essentially a database that resides within the memory of the server. This makes accessing data even faster! Again, Redis is a possible solution if users complain about slow searches or queries!

Nginx Reverse Proxy (currently $50 per month per site)

This advanced feature allows separate loading from subdirectories of your WordPress site as the main site is loaded. This is only intended for very advanced users and is a unique offering!

Even More Backups! (price varies; see description for details)

If daily and manual backups just won’t cut it, you can pay for extra backups. There are two “plans” to choose from. To back up everything every six hours, it’ll be $50 per month per site. To back up everything every single hour of every day, it’ll be $100 per month per site. There are very few use cases where things would need to be backed up every hour, but if there are certain compliance standards your site must meet, this optional feature might help you out!

More SSD Storage (currently $20 per 20 GB per month)

The amount of SSD storage varies by plan. If you are finding yourself in need of more storage, you may independently purchase more monthly SSD storage in increments of 20 GB. Note that, unlike Kinsta’s other optional features, this one is not billed “per site.”

Overage Protection (currently $1 per extra 1,000 site visits and $0.10 per extra GB of data sent over CDN)

Just like your cell phone plan probably has, Kinsta offers you an option to keep your site going even if you hit your limit. Since each plan has a visit limit as well as a CDN data limit, there’s a chance you might exceed that. Unless you opt-out, you will be billed $1 per extra 1,000 visits and ten cents per extra GB of data sent or received.

kinsta performance

Kinsta's Performance

10

Botton Line: Kinsta provides a wealth of backed guarantees, as well as a performance guarantee that should help your site stay up and running for months and years to come

Kinsta's Uptime

As a webmaster, you undoubtedly understand the importance of having good uptime on your WordPress site. Just being down for seconds could be the difference between a sale. Page taking more than three seconds to load? Forty percent of users will leave. That’s not us being mean; I promise! Here’s a whole discussion about it!

The standard offering is 99.9% uptime, and that is what Kinsta follows, according to their helpdesk. They rely on Google Cloud for much of their backend, which offers them a 99.9% uptime guarantee, so that makes perfect sense. Their Service Level Agreement (SLA) promises an uptime guarantee of 99.9%, as well.

And If I Don’t Get 99.9%?

This is a question some hosts (not mentioning names here) have issues answering. Some hosts just say, “yeah, we’ll do our best and just see, no guarantee.” However, Kinsta promises that you will get 99.9%, or else you will be credited 5% per hour up to 100% of your monthly hosting cost for all downtime.

However, they have to be able to verify your site was down. That means that if you put your site behind a basic authentication wall, choose to use certain CloudFlare services, or block the “Kinsta Bot” from checking your site, they will not know your site is down, so the guarantee does not apply then. 

So how good is this guarantee? 99.9% would be called “standard.” A selected few brave hosts offer 99.99%, although 0.1% of a month is just shy of 45 minutes every 30 days, so it’s not too bad. I would also call their “remedy” (legal term for “what we do if we don’t meet this”) fair but not excellent.

And how do I benefit? You get expert engineers on the case right away if your site is down for any reason. They have an economic incentive to get your site up to speed right away just like you do!

Kinsta’s Speed

So, how fast are Kinsta’s servers? They offer 10 Gbps servers at every data center they have (we will list those shortly), so actual throughput speed is not a problem. You’re likely more concerned with your page loading speed. 

Kinsta invests a lot of time and engineering money into researching how to pass Google’s speed test with a WordPress site on their platform. After a lot of research and customization, they have managed to achieve a 100/100 score on Google’s Lighthouse (now called “PageSpeed”), an open-source site speed testing tool that is often used as a hosting benchmark.

This was in response to a (now defunct) challenge to get any WordPress site to have a perfect score. The best part is that they took what they learned and applied it to their clients’ sites, so your site will likely be faster just by being on Kinsta! Click here to see the many, many optimizations they performed to grab that score!

Data Centers

Some hosts have one, some hosts have two, some hosts have several, and Kinsta has twenty choices of data centers. As they use Google Cloud, they have the privilege of having access to servers in every region of the world that Google’s Cloud does! Here’s the (long) list of your data center choices! Note that these are all the public data centers available via Google’s Docs and Kinsta’s docs!

  • Council Bluffs, Iowa, USA  
  • St. Ghislain, Belgium
  • Changhua County, Taiwan 
  • Sydney, Australia
  • The Dalles, Oregon, USA 
  • Ashburn, Virginia, USA
  • Moncks Corner, South Carolina, USA
  • São Paulo, Brazil
  • London, UK
  • Frankfurt, Germany
  • Jurong West, Singapore
  • Tokyo, Japan
  • Mumbai, India
  • Montréal, Canada
  • Netherlands
  • Hamina, Finland
  • Los Angeles, California
  • Hong Kong
  • Zürich, Switzerland
  • Osaka, Japan
kinsta uptime

Having all these choices for data centers lets you be near your customers no matter where your business is centered! We often recommend customers look at “a more regional host” depending on where they live, but if you look at all these places on the map, you’ve got pretty much every place with an Internet connection there!

kinsta security

Kinsta’s Security

9.5

Botton Line: Kinsta provides an unprecedented level of security to its users. Rather than just having vague promises of “being secure,” Kinsta has a host of engineers who promise to fix your site’s security problems and monitor it to ensure that hackers don’t retain access to it if they do manage to get into it!

OMG, My Site Got Hacked!!!

Ok, you probably don’t actually type like that. Hey, we cater to a wide audience! If you do encounter an “OMG, My Site Got Hacked!!!” moment, Kinsta is there for you. In theory, their “constant-monitoring” technique should catch attacks while they’re in progress, but nothing works as well in practice as it does in theory.

That is why they explicitly offer free engineer-grade support to remove infections from your site hosted on Kinsta. No, they don’t make you put in a generic ticket, wait up to 48 hours, then get a reply of “your site, your responsibility.” Kinsta goes that extra mile once again by providing Cyber Security engineers’ help if you get hacked. 

Note that you can migrate a site you know has already been hacked. However, if it gets hacked before it gets to Kinsta, you’ll need to cough up $100 to have it disinfected!

What happens if my data is gone?

We all mess up sometimes. On some hosts, if you accidentally delete your main WordPress MySQL database, it’s “Game Over” (read that in the Mortal Kombat announcer voice). However, with Kinsta, you will always have at least a daily backup of everything. You’ll never be more than 24 hours behind the last version saved, and you can restore anything with the click of a button. 

Don’t forget, you can also use their manual backup feature if you’re about to do something you get that Spidey Sense that you’re about to regret (developers will understand). They also offer enhanced backups, like automatic ones every six hours for, $50 per month per site or every single hour for $100 per month per site. However, their “free edition” of backups should be a lifesaver for most of us!

How Else am I Protected?

Kinsta will give you free SSL certificates or even let you import SSL certificates in a fast, self-service web application. That means your site will always be encrypted, which further ensures that nobody can spy on your users’ traffic between your site and it.

And if My Site Goes Down?

This event is unlikely because they use Google Cloud, which is famous for its redundancy. Your data will already be on other Google Cloud data centers, so your main data center would temporarily change, and you would be ready to go again!

Don’t forget about the KeyCDN service they offer every customer! This ensures that your data is backed up on hundreds of smaller servers worldwide, so even if all of Google Cloud goes down (let’s hope not, a lot of the author’s favorite sites are hosted on it), your site will still be up via CDN!

What’s the Guarantee?

Unlike most hosts, Kinsta offers its very own “Security Guarantee.” Their guarantee states that they will inspect your site for malware, infected or malicious plug-ins, and ensure it’s not infected. If it is, they promise to work with you on it for free (as long as the infection occurred after your site was moved over!). 

Kinsta even goes into detail for you about how WordPress sites get commonly hacked in their Security Guarantee. Unlike hosts that just provide “DIY Literature” to clients, Kinsta does their own security work, which is a huge plus for those of us who are not yet security gurus!

kinsta plans and services

Kinsta's Pricing and Plans

9.5

Botton Line: Like we discussed earlier, Kinsta does not really have different “layers” of plans. They only offer Managed WordPress Hosting! However, they offer plenty of variety in plan (and price). Let’s re-iterate: every single plan comes with a “no questions asked” 30-day money-back guarantee. Let’s take a look at what their ten options have to offer.

Note that there is an unpublished deal going on, at least at the time of writing. You’ll see at checkout that you can switch to yearly billing and then get two months of hosting free. Shell out more money initially to save later? Totally your choice! Now, back to that list…

Sorry, let me butt in one more time. Kinsta’s renewal pricing is not different! The price you see below is the price you’ll always pay unless the price for everyone gets increased! Remember, get two months free if you choose to pay for the whole year at once!

For Small Businesses, Forums, Blogs

“Starter” Plan (currently $30/mo)

If you are just trying Kinsta for the first time, want to see if their Features are actually worth it, and just have one site and need minimal resources, welcome to the “Starter” Plan! Comes with one WordPress install, 20,000 monthly visits, 10 GB SSD storage, 20,000 site visits, and 50 GB CDN traffic

  • CDN traffic means the amount of data transferred to and from your site via your Content Delivery Network, a series of servers around the world that hold some of your site’s data.
kinsta starter plan

“Pro” Plan (currently $60/mo)

If you have a relatively small number of low-traffic sites but need a bit more resources than the very smallest plan offers, we recommend this one! Comes with two WordPress installs, 40,000 monthly visits, 20 GB SSD storage, and 100 GB CDN traffic.

For Medium-Sized Businesses, Large Forums, High-Traffic Blogs, eCommerce Sites

“Business 1” Plan (currently $100/mo)

Have a business that relies on WordPress and needs that business-level support and resources? Or use eCommerce and need to ensure all of your customers can get to your site? Check out the first “Business” plan! Expect to get five WordPress installs, 100,000 monthly site visits, 30 GB SSD storage, and 200 GB CDN traffic.

“Business 2” Plan (currently $200/mo)

Have a medium-sized business and determined that “Business 1” might hinder it? For $100 more, let’s check out “Business 2”! Grab ten WordPress installs, 250,000 monthly visits, 40 GB SSD storage, and 300 GB CDN traffic.

“Business 3” Plan (currently $300/mo)

This one is getting up there and is for businesses phasing out of the “small business” realm but maybe not just yet on the cusp of needing enterprise-grade resources. You’ll pick up twenty WordPress installs, 400,000 monthly visits, 50 GB SSD storage, and 500 GB CDN traffic.

“Business 4” Plan (currently $400/mo)

Great for businesses who are growing rapidly and on the cusp of needing enterprise-grade support and resources but don’t want to pay for them quite yet! Expect greatness with forty WordPress installs, 600,000 monthly visits, 60 GB SSD storage, and 500 GB CDN traffic.

For Huge Businesses, Very High-Traffic Blogs, or Tons of WordPress or eCommerce Sites

“Enterprise 1” Plan (currently $600/mo)

This plan is excellent for those who have emerged from the “small to medium business” realm and have an all-on Enterprise and require WordPress hosting that reflects that! Also great to consider if you have a lot of eCommerce sites and have a good bit of visitors to all of them! This plan’s million included site visits will ensure that your customers can always access all your sites safely! Get your Enterprise on with sixty WordPress installs, 1,000,000 monthly visits, 100 GB SSD storage, and 1,000 GB CDN traffic.

“Enterprise 2” Plan (currently $900/mo)

For $300 more per month, this is for those who have determined that they need just a little more juice than the intro Enterprise plan, but don’t want to break that $1,000/mo barrier just yet! Continue your Enterprise’s dynasty with eighty WordPress installs, 1,500,000 monthly visits, 150 GB SSD storage, and 1,000 GB CDN traffic.

“Enterprise 3” Plan (currently $1,200/mo)

Decided your enterprise needs tons of resources, but you don’t need the level of resources in the highest published plan? Let’s check out the “Enterprise 3” Plan! With this plan, expect to nab 120 WordPress installs, 2,000,000 monthly visits, 200 GB SSD storage, and 1,000 GB CDN traffic.

“Enterprise 4” Plan (currently $1,500/mo)

If you really need to pull out the big guns in terms of hosting and resources and have lots of WordPress sites to be hosted, this is the best of the best! With this top-tier plan, you should expect to get 150 WordPress installs, 3,000,000 monthly visits, 250 GB SSD storage, and 1,000 GB CDN traffic.

Custom Plans

If none of these plans do it for you, you may need to form a Custom Plan! No worries, you’ll just need to contact their sales team, and Kinsta will be right on it (within “one business day”).

A Note on Pricing

You probably noticed that the prices are much higher than normal. Kinsta is a “full service” web host, in that they do their best to provide service to you rather than just tell you to do everything yourself. That, in combination with maintaining a slick site, having unique security guarantees, and lots of unparalleled features, adds up to a lot of expenses! 

In the author’s (clearly expert) opinion, you would be better off elsewhere if you do not have a WordPress site, or you are exploring Shared Hosting for the first time. You are paying for features and availability with Kinsta! However, if you need top-notch WordPress hosting, it’s definitely worth a look!

Could I Just Get a Domain?

No, unfortunately. Ok, I’ll expound on that one. Kinsta does not offer sole domain registration services. That means that you cannot just hit them up for a domain without a hosting package since their main focus is on providing customer service rather than every service under the sun. You’ll need to look elsewhere!

kinsta contact

Kinsta Customer Support

8.5

Botton Line: Kinsta goes all out when it comes to customer support; engineer-provided support via chat and tickets is available quickly to all customers and potential customers.

Here are the various types of customer support Kinsta offers:

01.

24/7 Chat Support

Kinsta provides you with WordPress expert-level support around the clock. Not only can they assist you with technical hosting issues; they can also assist you with WordPress-specific issues, a big plus.e issues. Certain plans, as discussed above, also offer specialized tech support, but not all.

Their chat support allows attachments, pictures, and code to be sent over it, making help with any WordPress issue a breeze!

02.

24/7 Ticket System

For immediate assistance, we suggest you use their chat system (i.e. if your site is infected and you need help right now). However, they also run a ticket system that is also answered by actual engineers. Rather than provide “tiers” of support like many hosts do, they just upgrade every request straight to engineers, lowering resolution time for everyone!

Kinsta asks that you give them one business day to turn around complex requests.

03.

No Phone Support

Kinsta is “Guilty with Explanation” on this count. They actually have an article detailing why they don’t provide phone support! Essentially, phone support takes up their engineers’ time because they have to verify your identity, gather all your information, etc. With chat and ticket support, they can pull that up right away. Remember, you are not dealing with a classic “help desk.” These people are pros!

04.

Engineer-Written Knowledge Base

Once again, everyone’s least favorite method of support is here to save the day! Unlike many hosts who hire freelance writers with no familiarity with the subject to write their “support articles,” Kinsta’s engineers write their own support articles!

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kinsta hosting full review

Final Verdict

9.5

Kinsta is certainly a unique host. As one of the only true “full-service hosts” out there, they do charge more than some of their competitors, but they make up the difference by providing all customers with state-of-the-art security and technology!

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