Kinsta is a fully management, performance optimized host for WordPress sites.
- Very fast.
- WordPress focused.
- Cloudflare Enterprise included.
- Stellar live chat support
- Weird limits to staging sites.
- Full management means you can’t do everything yourself. Whether that’s a pro or con depends on your viewpoint.
- Expensive compared to some of the alternatives
Kinsta is a managed WordPress host very well optimized for speed. It is a host which routinely comes up in discussions about fast, reliable hosting for WordPress.
Now to be clear for this Kinsta review, I have never personally been a client of Kinsta. I have, however, worked with it on behalf of clients so that is my experience coming into this.
The inclusion of CloudFlare Enterprise is a great feature of Kinsta hosting. Cloudflare Enterprise provides firewall, DDoS protection, and CDN caching (via Edge Caching). I am a big Cloudways guy and Cloudways offer this same service via Cloudflare, but it is a paid add-on. Getting it included as part of your Kinsta hosting is a nice touch.
Like any good host these days, Kinsta has their own custom account control panel. There’s no cPanel here. 🙂 The interface is very professional, easy to use and also fast. Even simple operations like creating a manual site backup are very fast (maybe a couple seconds)… and that’s for a large client site which was taking up close to 15GB of space due to a large media library.
Kinsta does not offer as much flexibility when it comes to settings and tweaking as, say, Cloudways. There are some things you can change, but overall they take on the attitude that you’re not supposed to think about that stuff. Just leave it to them. And, if you do need to tweak anything in the settings, you’d need to do it with their support people.
Speaking of support…. it truly is quite good. I dealt with their support personnel for a client and they were available in live chat right inside the account. They were very personable and quite knowledgable. Truly some of the better hands-on, real-time support I have seen. There were times when a few minutes would go by before they responded in the chat, but overall they are great.
Since Kinsta is hosted on Google Cloud, they follow suit with many other hosts in placing hard site limits and traffic caps on your account. If you go over your allowed traffic limit, they will bill you additional to cover the gap. This is quite different than a virtual private server (such as with Cloudways) where there are no traffic or site limits at all.
Staging sites also work a little bit differently…
Staging sites use a much weaker hosting environment than the live sites. I had a site where we kept capping it out and getting code and 502 errors in the staging site even though the site operated fine on the live version. They simply dedicated less horsepower to staging, so you could easily tap out memory and the like. The only way to get a higher performance “Premium” staging site is to pay for it at an additional $20/month. That’s not something I care for.
As for pricing, they are in line with other cloud-based Wordpress hosts. That means it is more expensive, with a single site costing $35/month at the lowest price plan. If you run multiple WordPress sites, your monthly bill goes up pretty quickly and can make this a fairly expensive host. Of course, they deliver seriously solid hosting so it is worth it if your sites are all getting adequate traffic to justify it. However, if you just want to host a few hobby sites along with one main site, your hosting bill still jumps up yet you don’t really need the horsepower.
Overall, I find Cloudways to be a much better deal. Of course, it is also a pretty different kind of hosting. 🙂
There’s a lot to like about Kinsta. It is indeed a very fast host. It is a little too much management for me and I do feel it is expensive compared to some of the alternatives. I see WHY it costs what it does, but for most WordPress sites, this kind of performance and management is overkill and you could just end up paying too much for your hosting.