In this comprehensive Kinsta WordPress hosting review, I’ll be putting the company through its paces to determine once and for all whether they really are worthy of calling itself the web’s number one premium hosting service.
After all, while many companies may make such claims, only a select few can really live up to their own sales hype.
To determine whether they’re truly as good as it says it is, I’ll be drawing on my own personal experience as a Kinsta user to give you my honest opinion on how well the company does at delivering on all of the things that make up a premium quality host, including affordability, performance and reliability, security, and customer service.
Why should you care about my opinion?
Because, over the course of the past several years, I’ve successfully developed a successful content website portfolio valued at millions of dollars. I know full well that none of my success would be possible without having the right hosting in place, which is why I’ve tried and tested a whole plethora of different hosting companies ranging from the major brands like GoDaddy and BlueHost to those smaller, independent companies such as WPX Hosting and, yes, Kinsta.
In the process, I’ve learned which companies are worth spending your money on and which are the best to be avoided.
In the following review, I’ll tell you exactly which kind of company Kinsta really is.
Who is Kinsta?
Kinsta is an independent hosting company, meaning they’re not handcuffed to a major corporation in the way that many of today’s major hosting brands are. Being independent allows Kinsta to focus on innovation rather than doing things the same as everyone else. It also means that they can concentrate on putting customer satisfaction rather than shareholder profits first.
Formed in 2013, the company specializes in premium managed WordPress services, which means that tasks such as updating the core WordPress files, providing security checks and fixes, and regular site backups are all taken care of on your behalf.
So far, so promising, but Kinsta is far from the only managed service out there, so what is it about them that has made them the trusted hosting company for over 24,000 businesses across the globe?
Kinsta Hosting Review
Let’s get into the review to answer that question, shall we?
How Much Does Kinsta Hosting Cost?
Touting themselves as a premium hosting company, it’s no surprise that Kinsta happens to charge premium-level prices.
One thing I do like, though, is that the brand’s plans are only available on a monthly recurring payment plan.
With many other companies, the only way to get the most affordable rate is to pay for a full year’s hosting upfront, which, let’s face it, can be a pretty expensive investment, especially if you’re starting a blog on a shoestring budget.
With a monthly payment model, it actually costs you much less to get your blog up and running, and if you decide that Kinsta isn’t quite right for you, you can always take advantage of the 30-day money-back guarantee and simply cancel your service.
Kinsta Hosting Plans
The company offers six different pricing plans, all of which are more expensive than the typical fees charged by other independent companies like Cloudways and the aforementioned WPX Hosting.
However, in their defense, each of those plans generally offers more resources than you’d get with those aforementioned companies, especially in terms of storage and bandwidth allocations.
Those plans are as follows:
Starter Plan – $30 p/m
Allows for a single WordPress installation with the following resources:
- 10 GB Storage
- Enough bandwidth for 25,000 monthly visits
Pro Plan – $60 per month
- 2 x WordPress installations
- 20 GB Storage
- Enough bandwidth for 50,000 monthly visits.
Business Plan 1 – $100 per month
- 5 x WordPress installations
- 30 GB Storage
- Enough bandwidth for 100,000 monthly visits.
Business Plan 2 – $200 per month
- 10 x WordPress installations
- 40 GB Storage
- Enough bandwidth for 250,000 monthly visits.
Business Plan 3 – $300 per month
- 20 x WordPress installations
- 50 GB Storage
- Enough bandwidth for 400,000 monthly visits.
Business Plan 4 – $400 per month
- 40 x WordPress installations
- 60 GB Storage
- Enough bandwidth for 600,000 monthly visits.
Though some users may prefer the method of measuring bandwidth by gigabytes rather than a number of monthly visits, I personally prefer this method as it gives you a much better understanding of what your bandwidth allocation means.
In other words, if you’re just starting out, it’s much easier to look at Kinsta’s plans and realize that you probably only need enough bandwidth for 25,000 visitors than it is to look at a plan with say, 10 GB of bandwidth and figure out whether or not that’s going to be enough for you.
Kinsta Key Features
Generous bandwidth and storage allowances are only the tips of the proverbial iceberg when it comes to Kinsta’s hosting plans.
Each plan comes with a wealth of features designed to appeal to WordPress novices, experienced users, and developers alike.
Some of the highlights of Kinsta’s offering include:
Free SSL Certificates
SSL certificates encrypt data that is sent between your user’s web browser and your website so that when users enter in contact details, payment information, or other sensitive data, it is unreadable to anyone other than its intended recipient, i.e., you.
As I’ll discuss later when we come to talk about security, having an SSL certificate in place is vital for running a successful website in 2022 as it is one step closer to making your site as hack-proof as possible.
An SSL also provides reassurance to your visitors that your site is safe (they can tell you’ve got one thanks to the padlock symbol and “HTTPS” at the start of your URL) and can even help boost your SEO as Google rewards sites with an SSL in place.
Some companies will charge for this, so I’m always happy to see independent brands like Kinsta offering at least one SSL for free.
Unlimited Free Migrations
Much like SSL certificates, migrating your site from your old hosting server to a new one is a service that a lot of hosting companies charge extra for.
Kinsta is not one of them.
In keeping with many of the brands that I ranked highly in my guide to the best WordPress hosting companies, Kinsta will move as many of your sites to their servers as you need to without charging you a penny.
Free Staging Environment
Developers and experienced WordPress users will no doubt find a lot to like about the use of a free staging environment.
This allows you to work on changes and developments to your WordPress website without it affecting the live version of your site.
When you’re finished making all the changes you need to make, you can simply move your finished site from the staging environment to the live host for the rest of the world to see.
Kinsta Features for Web Agencies
While Kinsta certainly provides a lot of value for bloggers, small businesses, and solopreneurs, they’re particularly well-equipped to meet the needs of web development agencies who specialize in creating WordPress websites for their clients.
One of the biggest advantages is that when you purchase a hosting plan to house your client’s website, you get a free Pro Plan (worth $60 per month) for your own agency website, meaning you ultimately save money on the cost of running your business.
Along with that, Kinsta’s other specialist agency features include:
- White label Clear Cache plugin so that you can rebrand Kinsta’s admin dashboards with your own logo and company branding
- Unlimited team members
- 30-day backup retention
- DevKinsta development tool
- Comprehensive agency dashboard
- Performance, security, and maintenance managed on your behalf
- One-click cloning
- Application Performance Monitoring (APM)
- SSH, SFTP, WP-CLI, Composer, and Git as standard across all plans.
Other Key Features of Kinsta WordPress Hosting:
- Automatic daily backups
- Ability to create manual backup points
- Malware removal
- Cloudflare integration
- SSH access
- PPH 8.0 support
- HHTP/3 support
- Site cloning
- Two-factor authentication
- Automatic caching
- Uptime monitoring.
Kinsta Performance and Reliability
If you’ve read any of my hosting reviews in the past, you’ll know that I place an enormously high value on performance and reliability. For me, the only factor that comes close to performance in terms of importance is security.
After all, you could have the most affordable, feature-rich hosting plan on the planet, but if it performs incredibly slowly or is frequently offline, that’s going to have such a negative impact on the kind of user experience you provide that it could easily derail the entire success of your site.
The good news is that this is an area where Kinsta certainly excels.
Using a combination of Google Cloud Platform’s premium tier network and lightning-fast C2 virtual machines, Kinsta is able to deliver cloud hosting that delivers at better-than-average speeds.
Elsewhere, I love that Kinsta incorporates server-level caching to help improve the time it takes to load your site onto a user’s browser.
While there are some excellent caching plugins out there for WordPress, having all that done for you at the server level saves time, hassle, and money too.
Of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t tell you that Kinsta’s web hosting plans come with an HTTP/3-enabled Content Delivery Network (CDN) powered by Cloudflare, which utilizes more than 200 global locations to serve your cached pages directly to local users wherever they are in the world.
Speaking of locations, when you do sign up, you can choose to host your site in one of 32 different worldwide locations to help you deliver faster content depending on where the majority of your audience resides.
All combined, this ensures performance speeds that are as good as any premium host and certainly better than the kind of substandard service you’d get from cheap shared web hosting providers.
What about Reliability?
Speed matters, but so does reliability.
Again, this is another key area where Kinsta doesn’t disappoint.
The company’s Service Level Agreement (SLA) promises a 99.9%, which is par for the course with any good hosting company, but in my experience, I found they actually delivered 100% uptime, meaning my Kinsta-hosted sites were always up, online, and performing at their optimum best right around the clock…
How Secure is Kinsta Hosting?
Just because Kinsta put so much work into performance doesn’t mean they compromise on security.
In fact, one of the biggest benefits of using Kinsta over any other popular WordPress hosting service is that you get advanced, premium-level security features as part of the core package without needing to buy additional services.
DDoS and Firewall Protection
Each plan comes with free Cloudflare Enterprise integrated as standard. This provides advanced DDoS (Domain Denial of Service) protection and includes a solid firewall. Given that you’d normally pay a minimum of $20 per month just for Cloudflare’s Pro service, this in itself starts to make Kinsta’s higher-than-average price tags seem like a much better deal.
Of all the security features your site needs, I honestly don’t know if there’s any more important than an SSL certificate.
Having one in place provides three key benefits:
- It provides a level of user reassurance that you’re a legitimate, trustworthy website
- It can help improve how Google sees your website as the search giant prefers secure sites to non-secure sites
- It can help to avoid the untold damage that could be caused to your brand, business, and website should you suffer a data breach.
To save you from ruining your reputation (and potentially paying out some hefty data protection fines depending on your location), Kinsta hosting plans come with a free SSL certificate as standard.
There are some hosting companies out there who merely treat SSLs as an upsell opportunity, so again, this is another case of Kinsta’s premium pricing plans providing much better value-for-money than perhaps first meets the eye.
24/7 Monitoring and Malware Removal
Kinsta performs round-the-clock monitoring for malicious code and other threats to your site as a standard part of their security guarantee.
To be fair, that isn’t anything out of the ordinary as a lot of top-level hosts will at least provide monitoring, if nothing else.
What sets Kinsta apart, however, is that the aforementioned security guarantee also means that, should something go awry and your site does get infected with malware, the company will remove it free of charge.
And, if that malware has already damaged your website in some way?
The company offers a free post-hack clean-up and fix process to get it back to its optimum state.
Speaking of getting things back, if something does go wrong with your site, it’s good to know you can get it back up and running as quickly as possible.
This is why I’m always happier working with a web hosting company that offers automated backups as a standard part of their service.
Kinsta certainly does, with their backups being made once daily and uploaded to Kinsta’s own service.
Unfortunately, if you need more frequent backups, Kinsta will charge you for this at a rate of either $50 per month per site for six-hour backups, or $100 per month, per site for hourly backups.
Likewise, if you want to back up your site to a third-party platform, that’s something you’ll have to pay for.
The company charges a flat fee of $2 per month per site to back up your site to either Amazon S3 or Google Storage, with an additional fee of $1 per gigabyte backed up.
That’s hardly ideal as the cost of both external backups and more frequent backups can add a significant expense to an already costly pricing plan, but if you have the need, then at least the option is there, and, if you don’t, the free automated backups should be more than sufficient.
How Easy is it to Use Kinsta Hosting?
So far, there’s a lot to like about Kinsta, but having a lot of premium-level features should never come at the expense of effortless usability.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at how easy it is to sign-up with Kinsta and use it to install your first WordPress website.
First things first, head to kinsta.com and select view plans.
On the next screen, simply create an account and then enter your billing information to pay for the service.
With that done, you’re all signed up and ready to use Kinsta.
Using the Kinsta Dashboard
Though it looks pretty basic, that’s all part of its appeal as it makes it a breeze to take an at-a-glance look at your plan while having quick-and-easy access to all of your main hosting features.
The main interface gives you an overview of any active installations you have and how much resources they’re using, while the left-hand menu takes you to separate dashboards for site management, migrations, DNS, and web analytics, along with user-management options.
How to Install WordPress with Kinsta
To set up your WordPress site, it’s the “Sites” option you’ll need to click.
Once on your main Sites dashboard, click the blue “Add Site” button.
The resulting pop-up offers you an easy way to install WordPress, along with options for creating an empty environment where you can install another application or cloning an existing environment for testing or development.
For now, I’m just going to focus on the WordPress installation.
Select that option, and on the next screen, you can name your new site and choose a data location.
Ideally, you’ll want to choose a location that’s as close to your target visitors as possible to help with site performance.
With that done, you simply need to create your WordPress login credentials and hit continue in order to install WordPress.
One thing I’ll give Kinsta credit for is that this one-click WordPress installation process is the fastest I’ve seen in any web host.
A few moments -and I literally do mean moments– and your site is installed.
Adding a Domain
From here, you’ll be taken to your domain dashboard, where you can connect your new WordPress installation to a domain.
Here’s one of the biggest disappointments when it comes to using Kinsta.
The frustrating thing here is that Kinsta doesn’t offer domain registration, so you’ll have to get one elsewhere and connect it to your account. Although it’s often more expensive to buy your domain from the same company as your web hosting, it also works out to be much easier and more convenient.
That’s certainly the case here. While more experienced users may have no problem figuring out how to connect their domain to their hosting, WordPress novices could find this to be a bit of a headache.
On a related note here, if you need a hand figuring out the best place to buy your URL from, here’s my guide to the top five best domain registrars to use in 2022.
Kinsta Customer Service
As you’ll have seen from the walk-through above, Kinsta is largely an easy platform to get to grips with, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be occasions when you run into problems.
When those occasions do occur, Kinsta offers a high level of support that is available 24/7/365, meaning no matter whether it’s the middle of the night, Christmas Day, or any given Sunday, you’ll always have the help you need when you need it.
The only downside is that this support is provided via live chat only, with no telephone support available.
Though that may not be a deal-breaker for some, if you’re the sort of person who prefers to talk to someone on the phone, that might be a letdown for you.
On the plus side, the knowledge and expertise provided by Kinsta’s support agents are highly commendable. In the handful of times that I’ve needed to contact them (including once or twice for the purposes of writing this review), both simple and complex problems were solved at the first point of contact and normally within no more than a couple of minutes.
Add to that the fact that the company’s support is available in five different languages, and what you’ve got here is a level of customer service that any hosting company would be proud of.
Kinsta WordPress Hosting Reputation
So, there you have it; that’s my complete, honest, and unbiased opinion of Kinsta is a premium web host, but of course, it always pays to hear more than one opinion.
So what do others have to say?
Over on Trustpilot, Kinsta currently has 494 ratings. To be honest, that’s rather a small amount compared to some hosts that rack up thousands of Trustpilot reviews.
Working in their favor, however, is the fact that the majority of those reviews are positive, giving the company a 4.4 Excellent rating.
Most of Kinsta’s positive reviews focus on their excellent customer service and reliable performance.
Meanwhile, the negative reviews focus either on the cost or on the complexity of Kinsta’s domain name management process.
Kinsta Hosting Pros and Cons
- Excellent tools and features for web development agencies
- Comes with Cloudflare Enterprise as standard
- Close to 100% uptime.
- Expensive cost compared to other managed WordPress plans
- No telephone support
- No domain registration service.
Is Kinsta the #1 Premium Managed WordPress Host? My Final Verdict
By now, you’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly of Kinsta. You’ve seen that while it lacks telephone support, creates a bit of a headache when it comes to registering and configuring a domain, and ultimately costs a pretty penny, it’s also super fast, super secure, and super reliable.
So do the pros outweigh the cons enough to make Kinsta the number one premium managed WordPress host?
I certainly think so.
Obviously, if cost and cost alone is your sole priority when it comes to choosing a hosting company, then Kinsta may not be the one for you, and you may prefer to check out other hosts like WP Engine.
If, on the other hand, you can afford to pay a little bit more for better-than-average performance, a secure infrastructure, and near-perfect uptime, then Kinsta WordPress hosting may be the best investment you make for you, your business, or your blog.