Choosing a new WordPress web host can be difficult. But it needn’t be. To help simplify your decision-making process, this Kinsta review will introduce you to a dynamic company that could end up being the best hosting solution for your WordPress website. In fact, it’s the web host we’ve chosen for this very website.
In this Kinsta hosting review, we will explain why you should check out this exciting web host. We’ll also explore what you get for your money and if it’s a good value hosting option. We’ll also share our experiences of hosting the Colorlib website with Kinsta.
As you’ll see in this Kinsta hosting review, whether your existing WordPress website has outgrown its current host, or you want to start a new site on solid foundations, this is one web host you shouldn’t ignore.
About Kinsta Hosting
Kinsta was founded in 2013 and provides premium web hosting for WordPress users, including a wide-range of well-known clients. Priced in the same bracket as managed WordPress hosting companies like WP Engine and Flywheel, the service from Kinsta is better described as cloud hosting rather than traditional managed WordPress hosting. We’ll explain what that means later in this Kinsta review, however, like managed WordPress hosting, you get access to a team of WordPress experts who are manning the Kinsta support desk.
Who is Kinsta Hosting For?
Kinsta hosting is an attractive option for a wide range of WordPress website owners. From bloggers who want to keep their readers happy with fast loading times and non-technical site owners looking for a host that will help their website run smoothly to eCommerce store owners and developers who need a robust environment for their custom code, anyone looking for high-quality hosting should find the Kinsta service an attractive option.
The auto-scaling infrastructure should also capture the attention of high-traffic website owners looking for a service that can handle unexpected visitor spikes without a problem.
Unfortunately, if you won’t be using WordPress for your website, Kinsta isn’t the web host for you.
Reasons to Choose Kinsta Web Hosting
High-performance WordPress hosting might sound great in theory. But what are the actual benefits of choosing a service like Kinsta? To answer that question, this Kinsta hosting review will now highlight some of the best reasons to consider this hosting company for your WordPress website.
Fast Loading Times Powered by Google Cloud Platform
One of the main reasons to choose Kinsta for your WordPress website is the fact that this hosting service is powered exclusively by Google Cloud Platform. This means your website will be hosted in a world-class environment, utilizing Google Cloud’s premium tier network to deliver impressive loading times. Independent tests have confirmed this, with Kinsta coming out top in many comparisons.
While writing this Kinsta review, we set up a fresh installation of WordPress and monitored the loading times. Our tests found that our WordPress site recorded an impressive performance grade of 91/100 and a fast average loading time of 224MS.
Choosing Kinsta means that you have access to state of the art technology from a leading tech company as well as the benefits that come with leveraging a global brand such as Google for your website. After all, if the infrastructure is good enough for Google and their services, it’s probably good enough for your website. Furthermore, Kinsta is one of just a few web hosts recommended to WordPress users by Google.
Kinsta isn’t shared hosting in any sense of the word. Instead, each website is hosted in its own isolated container, with no shared resources. Even if you host multiple websites on the same account, your sites won’t be sharing any resources with each other. Due to this, Kinsta cannot be classified as VPS or dedicated hosting either because of the way that Google Cloud Platform works.
Highly Scalable Hosting Environment
Not only will your site load very quickly with Kinsta, but the hosting environment is highly scalable too. Due to this, no matter which hosting plan you’re on if your website receives a surge in visitors, the hardware resources available to it are automatically increased to handle the new traffic demands. Unlike with some other web hosts, where a spike in traffic can cause your website to slow down or even be taken offline, Kinsta and Google Cloud Platform will be able to meet your needs.
Professional WordPress Expert Support Staff
To keep your WordPress website secure, well maintained, and professionally supported, the help desk staff at Kinsta are all WordPress developers. Rather than training new recruits in the ways of WordPress, Kinsta hires staff with a solid background in WordPress development. This knowledge guarantees that they are able to not only support your website to a high level but also keep the hosting environment optimized and up to date with the latest changes to the WordPress software. Kinsta staff contribute to the WordPress core software so choosing this web hosting company for your website means you’re also supporting the WordPress project too.
As you’d expect from one of the leading WordPress managed hosting services, Kinsta support staff are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to help you with your hosting account.
Global Network for an International Audience
To help Kinsta deliver a competitive global service, there are 20 data center locations to choose from. With sites in the USA, Europe, Asia, and Australia, there’s a good chance that wherever your audience is located, there will be a Kinsta server location nearby.
If you host multiple WordPress websites under the same account, each site can be hosted in a different data center.
Which server location to choose?
The closer your server is to your target audience the better will be the speed of your website which will significantly improve your user experience. For example, if you are based in Australia but your clients are in USA, make sure to host your server in the USA and not Australia. The closer is your server to the user the faster your website will be. It will be slower for you in Australia as you are further away but think about your users and not yourself.
Other Key Kinsta Hosting Features
The above reasons to choose Kinsta, which includes fast loading times, a highly resilient and scalable hosting environment, and access to expert support staff highly knowledgeable of WordPress, should demonstrate why this service is worth considering.
However, for those seeking more information about the Kinsta WordPress hosting packages, here are some further points to consider:
- Free CDN – all Kinsta plans include access to a content delivery network to improve the user experience of your visitors by displaying your content as quickly as possible.
- Free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate – make it clear to your visitors that your site is secure and their data will be safe when browsing your website.
- WordPress Staging Environment – work on a clone of your website in a private staging environment. Then push the tested changes to your live site in a matter of clicks.
- Automatic daily backups and manual backup creation – never worry about backups again with the Kinsta automatic daily backups. There’s also the option of creating your own manual backups whenever you feel the need. You is also an add-on available for daily backups which costs $100 / site / month.
- Free website hack fix – if your website gets hacked while hosted by Kinsta, the support team will fix it for free. This can be quite an intensive job so it gives the Kinsta team an extra incentive to keep your site secure.
- WordPress website caching – with Kinsta your website is fully cached for the fastest loading times possible. This saves you the trouble of finding and installing your own caching plugin. You can clear your website cache at any time, through either the Kinsta account dashboard or your WordPress dashboard.
- Latest PHP version support – your WordPress website can be set to use a few different versions of PHP for maximum plugin and code compatibility. Available PHP options include version 7.0, 7.2 and 7.3. Support for 7.4 is coming soon as well. It only takes a few clicks from inside your Kinsta dashboard to change PHP version or restart the PHP engine.
- Self-fealing PHP – In case your website will experience PHP issues Kinsta will monitor it and restart the PHP process automatically for you.
- WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads optimization – if you want to sell goods from your WordPress site, the two most popular eCommerce plugins are highly supported by Kinsta, with a hosting environment optimized for this purpose.
- Website analytics tools – the Kinsta Analytics reports demystify six key areas of your website to help you monitor your site and troubleshoot any issues that might pop up. Reports cover site visitor numbers, bandwidth usage, error code occurrences, visitor locations, plus more.
- MySQL database optimizations – Kinsta optimizes the database automatically, so you don’t need to use a third-party solution or do it manually. This will result in a constant MySQL performance.
- GCP firewall – Google Cloud Platform (GCP) Firewall makes your website safer than ever.
The above features are available to all Kinsta customers, regardless of which plan they’re on. However, free WordPress website migration is reserved for customers on the pro plan and higher. Although, thanks to the great WordPress website migration plugins, it’s easy to move your site yourself without much effort.
Getting Started with Kinsta WordPress Hosting
So far, the Kinsta hosting service looks very impressive on paper. But does it live up to the marketing claims and features and specifications? Let’s find out in the user experience section of our Kinsta review.
Thankfully, getting started with Kinsta is very straightforward. Once you’ve signed up for an account, you can begin by installing WordPress from the custom-built Kinsta account dashboard. To keep things simple, you need only enter a few key details before the WordPress software is installed.
Even if you don’t yet have a domain name, you can easily install WordPress on a temporary URL. Once your new WordPress website is ready, you can log into your WordPress dashboard and start working on your site. It really is as simple as that to launch a new blog or website with WordPress and Kinsta.
The Kinsta WordPress installation is very clean. Just the Akismet and Hello Dolly plugins installed but not activated. The latest three default free themes from the WordPress.org team are installed as well. As mentioned earlier in this Kinsta hosting review, the Kinsta Cache Control Panel is also part of your WordPress dashboard. This gives you the ability to clear the cache from within your website admin area.
Thanks to the bloat-free WordPress installation, your website should load quickly from the outset. Adding your own choice of plugins and themes to the site is also convenient too, without any pre-installed extras to get in your way.
Inside the Kinsta Dashboard
You can look after your WordPress website from inside your Kinsta account area thanks to the custom dashboard. Checking your usage stats, creating and restoring backups, and your account details are all handled through the control panel. The live chat connection to the support desk is never more than a click away from inside the dashboard.
You can also quickly set up a staging site for carrying out development work. The backup tool makes it easy to restore a backup from your live site and restore it to the staging site for a speedy deployment of your content. You can push the staging site to your live site in just one click when you’re ready.
Having this much control from inside the dashboard is great, especially if you have multiple websites hosted with Kinsta.
Our Kinsta Hosting Experience
Hosting the Colorlib Website with Kinsta
As well as setting up the test WordPress website on the entry-level Kinsta Starter hosting plan, the Colorlib website is also hosted by Kinsta. This arrangement has been in place for several years, with Kinsta hosting Colorlib and other websites in the portfolio.
During this period, there hasn’t been a single period of downtime. This is an impressive stat and confirms the claims from Kinsta of delivering a robust and reliant hosting environment.
The Kinsta support team has been very responsive while hosting the Colorlib website. They usually respond to live chat requests within a minute. The Kinsta support team resolve issues instantly while also being highly available. They’re proactive in offering advice on improving the hosting situation for the Colorlib website.
Unlike some other web hosts, including similarly priced premium services, with Kinsta it’s quicker to let the support team take care of any issues independently, rather than trying to investigate or work on the issue yourself before getting in touch. The support staff really are WordPress experts. Their likely familiarity with any issues you might encounter with your website results in faster solutions to problems.
We started with one of the smallest of their offerings but recently we outgrow their regular plans and got moved to a custom solution that was a seamless transition. Therefore, if you think that Kinsta’s larger plans are not large enough make sure to contact their sales team and they will be happy to come up with a solution to accommodate your needs.
Below you can see more performance dates from our website to see how well it performs.
Google Analytics Site Speed
Since we moved to Kinsta website started to load twice as fast. The average page load time used to be around 9.7s and it was reduced to 5.1s. While it might sound slow you need to take into consideration that our website has 50 high-resolution images on average per page and these are completely global stats. Meaning that these stats take into account very slow network connections in developing part of the world where 10-Gbit fiber optic is light years away from being a reality. Page load time for the developer part of the world is closer to 1.4s and that’s nearly 3 times faster than it was before we moved to Kinsta.
Kinsta Hosting Uptime (colorlib.com)
We are constantly monitoring our website’s uptime and for that we use Pingdom. It tests our website every 30s to check if there aren’t any technical issues and even alerts as if the website loads slower than usual.
In the last year, we have experienced 3 downtimes resulting in 18 minutes total downtime which is less than 0.01% downtime which is something not many hosting providers can be proud of. And when the site did go down that was entirely our own fault and has nothing to do with Kinsta. We made significant changes to the website during that time so we had to put our website in maintenance mode. If you want to see more detailed results of our uptime monitoring please see this PDF report.
Performance Monitoring Results
At Colorlib we are obsessed with website performance. Therefore, another thing we do is a constant performance monitoring. Every 30 seconds Pingdom performs a test to see if the website loads as fast as it should. As you can see from the graph above there haven’t been any spikes and website have loaded constantly under any load during the day. On the peak time of the day there are over 2,000 browsing our website at the same time (over 500,000 page views a day) and that doesn’t affect the performance of our website. That’s a huge testament of what Kinsta is capable of when it comes to website performance.
PHP & MySQL performance
Kinsta makes a big deal about using the latest PHP because of it so much faster than any of the previous versions especially 5.x. Most sites hosted with Kinsta uses PHP 7.3 and Colorlib is no exception. That helps to keep PHP and MySQL response time as low as possible and the results above show.
For a tiny site with a good cache, these numbers wouldn’t be that impressive but below you can see how big has been the PHP throughput over the last few days. it is not the largest site hosted by Kinsta but regardless I’m still very much surprised and thankful for these results.
Kinsta Hosting Plan Options
As you can tell from the features and benefits of choosing Kinsta covered so far, this isn’t a budget, entry-level hosting service. You’re not going to get access to a high powered, scalable cloud hosting environment with real WordPress experts looking after your site for a few dollars a month.
Instead, the Kinsta hosting plans start from $30 per month. Although paying annually gets you two months free. This brings the average monthly equivalent cost down to $25 for the Starter plan.
The entry-level Starter plan from Kinsta includes the following features and allowances for your WordPress website:
- 1 WordPress install.
- 20,000 monthly visits.
- 10 GB of SSD storage.
- 50 GB of CDN storage.
- 20 global data center locations to choose from.
- Automatic daily backups.
- 24/7 support.
- Free SSL certificate.
- Staging area.
The higher plans range in price from $30 to $1,500 per month. Upgrading grants access to other features and improved allowances, including:
- Up to 150 WordPress installs.
- Up to 3,000,000 monthly visits.
- Free site migrations
- Up to 250 GB of SSD storage.
- Up to 1,000 GB of CDN bandwidth.
- Site cloning tool.
- SSH access.
You can also purchase individual upgrades for your plan. This includes extra backups and a Nginx reverse proxy among others. However, as mentioned earlier in this Kinsta review, the top tier plan might not provide the best value for money, at least compared to their lower level plans.
Kinsta Overage Fees
Kinsta overage fees are charged at $1 per 1,000 visits over your allowance and $0.10 per 1 GB of CDN allowance. This does mean you will have to pay extra for exceeding the limits of your plan. However, it also means your website will remain online and available to your visitors.
Yes, you might pay more for Kinsta. But if fast loading times, high levels of uptime, and good customer support is important to you, then hopefully this Kinsta review has shown that this service does deliver value for money.
Kinsta Review Conclusion – Should You Choose Kinsta?
Kinsta checks all of the boxes when it comes to looking for a WordPress web host.
Their dashboard is easy to use, the performance is impressive, and the extras are all very useful. Pricing is competitive compared to other entry-level premium WordPress web hosts. However, if you’re on a tight budget, Kinsta probably isn’t for you.
But if you’re ready to pay a bit extra to give your website a world class home, Kinsta gets our recommendation.