Kinsta Review: First Impressions & What made me Switch to it?

About a month ago, I switched from SiteGround Cloud Hosting to Kinsta.

In this article, I will cover my first impressions of Kinsta and the goods and the bads of it.

Before I start getting into the specifics of Kinsta, let me say this – I love SiteGround and I believe it has the best-shared hosting plans. It’s made for people who are looking to start their blog/sites or looking to host their low/mid traffic sites.

When it comes to shared hosting, SiteGround has amazing performance and world-class support.

You can read my full SiteGround review here.

I still use SiteGround for many of my blogs and it works great.

When your sites outgrow their shared hosting (for sites getting 2,00,000+ pageviews a month), the next offering from SiteGround is the Cloud hosting. And that’s what I was using for one of my high traffic blogs.

Why I Switched From SiteGround to Kinsta?

One of my blogs was getting 300K+ pageviews in November 2017 and I was using a Godaddy VPS at that time.

I had already tried SiteGround shared hosting and I was happy with the performance and the support, so I decided to switch to SiteGround and use their Cloud Hosting in December 2017.

The migration was smooth and in December 2017, I was using SiteGround Cloud Hosting.

And then my site started growing.

In the next 12 months, the traffic went up from 300K+ to 700K+ page views.

Traffic Increased by 130% in 1 year

SiteGround was still working great but I was witnessing frequent outages where my site would be down for a few minutes and then come back again.

This would have been fine had this happened once in a while, but then it started happening multiple times in a day (sometimes multiple times in an hour).

I reached out to their support and asked for help. They suggested that I use their auto-scaling feature which will automatically add more CPU cores and RAM in case the usage is high.

So I added more CPU cores and RAM.

At this point in time, I was paying $80 monthly fee and an additional $40 – $60 for autoscaling.

Despite a decent level of autoscaling, I didn’t see the outages go away completely. It helped a bit, but I would still find my site going down for a couple of minutes.

Traffic Spike and website down in October 2018 - SiteGround

Since my cloud hosting plan was expiring in January 2019, I had to decide whether to stick with SiteGround or to look for another host.

I wanted to stick with SiteGround but there was uncertainty whether adding new CPU cores and RAM would completely solve the problem or not.

Also, I don’t like the fact that my site goes down and is unreachable when the traffic is high. I would prefer to have my site autoscaled automatically and be sent a bill for the extra cost.

Although the autoscaling at Siteground was happening automatically, the site would still go down for a few minutes while it auto-scales.

And how much should I it allow to autoscale? Should I allow auto-scaling of 2 more CPU cores or 20 more CPU cores?

SiteGround asked me to add a couple and then keep a watch, and in case it still goes down, then add even more. I wanted this to be a bit more hands-free.

Also, what if my site needs high resources only for a few seconds in a month? With Siteground, I would still be charged for the entire month of autoscaling.

Had I stuck with SiteGround, given the traffic and resource usage, I would have to take their $240 per month plan (with autoscaling).

Since I had to change my current plan anyway (be it with SiteGround or with any other hosting company), I started to do some research on other possible options.

While doing my research, I read many great things about Kinsta and decided to give it a try.

What’s the worst that can happen? I may not find it worth it and will have to switch back to SiteGround.

So, I decided to take the chance.

With 700K+ pageviews, I had to go for Kinsta’s $600 per month plan ($500 if I pay for the full year). Since I was in the trial mode, I decided to test it out for a month first.

I have been using Kinsta for about a month now, and I absolutely love how easy and reliable it is. And its support is a notch better than SiteGround – and SiteGround support is amazing.

In this article, I will cover the things I love about Kinsta and a few things that can be better.

Kinsta – High-Performance Managed Hosting

Kinsta started in 2013 (same year as I started blogging) and has now become a premium WordPress hosting providers.

They only provide WordPress hosting and have state-of-the-art infrastructure.

Since it uses Google Cloud infrastructure, you get the same service that is being used by Google, YouTube, Twitter, Spotify, and eBay to name a few.

The company is headquartered in Los Angeles (US) and also has offices in Budapest (Hungary) and London (UK).

Kinsta is one of the best rated hosting companies, and according to Review Signal‘s hosting benchmarks, it’s one of the top-tier hosting providers in all the category. In layman terms, Kinsta aced it in every benchmark test and was way ahead of other hosting companies.

Its performance is so consistently awesome, it’s almost boring to write about it (not my words!)

Note: Kinsta is meant for businesses that need reliability and high-performance. If you’re a blogger, you may find Kinsta to be expensive. In such a case, you can also look at another managed hosting service – WPX. It’s comparatively cheaper and the performance is good enough for a static blog. Full disclaimer – I use Kinsta for one of my high traffic blogs and I wanted the best (even if it came at a cost).

Kinsta Managed Hosting Plans

If you’re wondering what is ‘managed hosting’ – it’s the type of hosting where everything at the hosting level is managed for you.

Running a blog or a site has many moving parts already. You need to take care of:

  1. SEO for rankings
  2. Social media management
  3. Content marketing
  4. Optimization
  5. Monetization

With Kinsta, you can take server’hosting management out of that list.

This means you don’t need to worry about a lot of stuff related to hosting or servers or caching, as Kinsta is going to make sure it’s taken care of.

Kinsta is definitely on the higher side when it comes to the cost.

Their entry-level plan is $30 per month ($25 if paid annually). This plan will allow 20,000 unique monthly traffic (IPs) and one WordPress installation. This is not a lot and if you have a growing blog/site, you may quickly outgrow this plan.

The good thing, however, is that you get the same service and infrastructure you get at $30 per month and $900 per month. Also, Kinsta is built to handle a lot of traffic, so if you get all the 20,000 visits in one single day (or even in a few hours), Kinsta is going to handle it without any downtime or impact on speed.

Kinsta is probably not a good choice if you’re just starting out or have a low traffic site. In such cases, I recommend you check out SiteGround (here is my detailed review about it).

I would recommend you go with Kinsta if:

  1. You’re already making money from your blog/site
  2. You have a critical business need to have 100% uptime (E-commerce or high traffic sites)
  3. High performance is really important for you
  4. You’re ok to pay more for the peace of mind (as you don’t need to learn a lot of things that comes with shared hosting)

Things change as you go to higher plans as you get to install have more WordPress sites on each plan.

What Makes Kinsta Worth It?

Kinsta is no doubt expensive, but they have all the reasons to charge you higher.

In this section, I will cover the things that make Kinsta worth it (and I will also cover a few things that I hope can be made better).

Also, I talk purely from the point of view of a consumer. While I can manage a few things when it comes to blogging or WordPress, I am by no means technically sound. So I will share my experience and understanding in the most layman way I can.

It’s Completely Managed (No chance of me screwing up)

When you use any WordPress host, you get access to their cPanel and you can manage your own site.

Over the years, using cPanel has become easy and there is a lot of support available from the hosting company as well as multiple forums.

But when it comes to Kinsta, it’s completely managed. You will still need to get done a few things, but when it comes to hosting, it’s absolutely hands-free.

Does that make a difference?

If you’re new to the website hosting or don’t want to get into the nitty-gritty of the technical aspects, this does make a difference.

While I have been hosting sites and learning about it for more than 5 years, I am not equipped enough to make sure my servers and hosting are most optimized.

There are just too many things that go into managing a WordPress site efficiently, and my time is better suited in growing my business instead of learning about servers and hosting.

Knowing that there is an experienced team of WordPress engineers that are handling it for me gives me the peace of mind.

With Kinsta, you don’t get access to a cPanel. You only get to see their customized dashboard that is neat and easy to use.

Kinsta Dashboard

The options you see on the left are all there is. It takes less than 10 minutes to understand what all you can do from within the dashboard.

And if you want to get a specific change done to your site (something that you can’t do because of lack of cPanel access), you can reach out to their chat support (which is available 24×7).

It Uses Google Cloud Infrastructure

I know.. I have mentioned that already.

But this is such an important distinction that I need to mention it again with some details.

Google Cloud Platform allows Kinsta to offer blazing fast speed and manage any surge in traffic that can happen when your site goes viral or your marketing campaigns are delivering. Imagine the kind of traffic a Shark tank episode can bring for a website (and Kinsta can easily manage this – actually they have).

This is possible because of something called Google ComputeEngine. It allows Kinsta to quickly autoscale and give more resources in case there is a traffic surge.

This is one of the major factors I chose Kinsta.

I witnessed a little bit of virality myself. One of the articles about my blog picked up steam and started getting shared on social media. And it then ended up trending on Linkedin and Google News.

Trending Article about my blog

This led to a huge traffic spike on my site and guess what, the autoscale and SiteGround cloud hosting and it’s auto-scale functionality failed me.

It led to multiple minutes of downtime every hour.

It isn’t a huge deal as the virality was shortlived, but I must have lost out of a lot of email subscribers during that time (which in turn amounts to losing money).

I want to be ready in case this happens again, and Kinsta gives me the confidence that they are ready for it.

And this confidence is not unfounded. Kevin from ReviewSignal.com tested Kinsta with 10,000 concurrent users and Kinsta managed it with ease.

There are many good reasons to be using Google Cloud infrastructure. You can read more about it here.

Choose from 18 Data Centers

With Kinsta, you get access to all the 18 data centers of Google.

Kinsta has 18 Datacenters around the world
Image Source: Kinsta Website

This ensures that you’re able to serve your content to your readers from the data center closest to them. This also helps in improving the performance of your site.

For my blog, since I get traffic mainly from the US, I selected their data center in Iowa, as it’s at a central location.

In case you’re using a plan that allows multiple WordPress installs, you can choose a different data center for each install. This is great as not every blog/site you own may target the people from the same region.

For example, this blog (Craft Of Blogging) serves the readers in India. So, when I move this site to Kinsta, I can use their Mumbai data center.

24×7 Chat Support

In my experience with hosting so far (where I have tried Godaddy, NameCheap, Hostgator, SiteGround, WPX, and Kinsta), I can safely say that Kinsta’s support is the best (WPX being a very very close second and SiteGrond being a close third).

In my short time with them, I have reached out to them multiple times, and I get a response in less than a minute. I even messaged them once on a Saturday mid-night (US time) and got a response in minutes.

And since Kinsta only focuses on WordPress hosting, their support team is made of WordPress experts who can help you in the best possible way.

Also, Kinsta does not have a tiered support system. This means that even if you’re on a low tier plan, you get the same support staff backing you as the ones who are working with Fortune 500 clients of Kinsta.

Again, I am not saying this because everyone says this. I had a few issues with some plugins and services I was using, and Kinsta sorted everything out for me.

Below is a screenshot of my conversation where I needed help in configuring VaultPress daily backups, which I have been using for more than 3 years now. The configuration needed me to understand a lot of technical mumbo jumbo (no offense), and Kinsta helped me get this done.

Kinsta Support on sorting out VaultPress issue

They also gave me the exact script that I needed to pass to the VaultPress support team to make sure everything was working again (a huge shoutout to VaultPress support team as well as they are awesome too).

In the most ideal world, I would want Kinsta and VaultPress teams to talk to each other and sort it out for me. But since that is too much to ask for, I got the next best thing with Kinsta support.

Note: Kinsta does not offer phone support.

Built for Speed

If you want to get better rankings, you need to make sure your site loads fast (if not Kinsta fast, at least fast).

I would have shrugged off this suggestion a few years ago (when I was getting a lot of traffic despite a painfully slow site), but I can’t do that now.

Google itself came out with a Speed Update that says that speed is now a ranking factor.

And don’t get fooled by the terms such as – “It only impacts the mobile search rankings of the slowest of sites”. This is just a start and speed is going to play a huge role in rankings (another clue – AMP project).

While there are hundreds of blogs/sites who have done countless speed tests and anointed Kinsta the King, it’s all meaningless if I can’t see my site loading fast enough.

So I did my own tests (using Pingdom, GTMetrix, and Web Page Speed).

Here are the results.

Web Page Speed test got a perfect score.

Kinsta Review - TrumpExcel Web Page Speed Test

When tested with Pingdom, the site loaded in less than 500 ms.

Pingdom SpeedTest on a Kinsta site- Loads in less than half a second

And with GT Metrix, it loaded in 1.2 seconds.

GTMetrix SpeedTest on Kinsta - Loads in one seconds

Not bad.. huh! …… Who am I kidding.. this is awesome!

Note that I use a page builder and a lot of external JavaScript on this site and I am sure if I work on it further, I can get better results. But I believe what I have is already amazing.

99.9% Uptime Promised (100% Delivered)

SLA (Service Level Agreement) with Google allows Kinsta to offer 99.9% uptime – but that’s not new… right?

Almost every hosting company promises the same level of uptime.

If you get into the numbers, 99.9% uptime would mean that even if your website is down for 8 hours and 45 minutes in a year, you’re still in the 99.9% range.

Imagine big e-commerce sites going down for so much time. That would mean hundreds of thousands of lost revenue.

But here is the thing – Kinsta promises 99.9% uptime but offers almost a perfect 100% uptime for all. Since they are still dependent on Google servers which only allow them to offer 99.9% uptime, they can’t promise you 100%.

…. But that’s what you get.

According to ReviewSignal, Kinsta scored a 100% uptime in all the tests they conducted.

But I decided to check for myself and used a free-trial by Status Cake to see what happens. Below is a screenshot that shows that my site on Kinsta has a 100% uptime (in the past 7 days).

100% Uptime on Kinsta

Kinsta uses a service called ‘New Relic’ to check uptime of each and every site hosted on their platform. They perform 720 checks per day (an average of 1 check every 2 minutes). In case they find anything wrong with any of the sites hosted on their network, their team immediately works on resolving the issues.

Free Content Delivery Network (CDN)

Kinsta has partnered with KeyCDN to make sure your site opens fast from anywhere in the world.

If you don’t know what a CDN is, it’s a Content Delivery Network that makes sure that your content is served to your readers based on their location. So if you’re opening the site from the US, your content will be served from a server in the US and if you’re opening the site from India, then it will be served from a server close to India.

With every plan of Kinsta, you get some free bandwidth of KeyCDN (which is more than enough). For example, with starter plan ($30 a month, you get 50 GB of free CDN bandwidth)

KeyCDN has 34 locations from where they can serve your readers and it pretty much covers the entire globe.

Enabling CDN is super easy – only needs a couple of clicks. Kinsta has a detailed step-by-step process here.

Is KeyCDN better than CloudFlare Free CDN?

That’s the first question that came to my mind when I noticed that Kinsta offers free KeyCDN with every plan.

It must be – after all, you get what you pay for.

And the answer is yes. KeyCDN is a better CDN service than the free Cloudflare CDN.

I will not go into the mechanics of why it’s better, but if you want to learn more about it, here is an article by Brian Jackson, who is also the CMO at Kinsta.

If you’re already using a CDN and want to continue to use it, you can do that. Just reach out to their support and they will help you with it.

For my blog that is hosted with Kinsta, I am using Sucuri CDN as I was already using it when I migrated to it. Based on my conversation with the Kinsta support engineers, Sucuri CDN is good enough and I can continue to use it.

Note: Using a CDN is going to speed up your site, and can also help reduce your Kinsta bill (only marginal impact though). If you use an external CDN such as Sucuri or Cloudflare, it will help prevent the spam bots hitting the Kinsta server, which can help you keep the number of pageviews lower.

It Uses Nginx Servers

Nginx (pronounced as Engine X) is a server that was created to get higher performance.

It has been known to outperform other web technologies such as Apache in many benchmark tests. Due to Nginx, Kinsta can handle a lot of concurrent users.

Kinsta has performed seamlessly when one of its clients got 60,000+ concurrent users. One of the reasons this is made possible is due to the Nginx servers.

According to Kinsta:

NGINX is built to offer low memory usage and high concurrency. Rather than creating new processes for each web request, NGINX uses an asynchronous, event-driven approach where requests are handled in a single thread.

Coming to the real world scenario, Nginx adoption has been going up consistently. In January 2019, 41% of the websites were using Nginx. Surely, Apache is still at the top of the table, but the adoption has been going down [source: W3Techs].

Apache Vs Nginx Adoption

Another validation of Nginx superiority can be gauged from the fact that 58.8% of the top 1000 websites use Nginx (compared with 16.5% for Apache) and 66.3% of the top 10,000 websites use Nginx (as compared with 19.2% for Apache). [source: W3Techs]

Percentage of sites using Nginx and Apache

If the numbers are anything to go by, when it comes to high performance and high stakes, Nginx is the technology to use.

1-Click Staging

If you need some changes done to your WordPress website (such as changing the theme or testing some plugins), you can easily create a staging site with Kinsta.

A staging site is a replica of your current live site and allows you to make changes without changing the live site. And once you’re done with the changes and want to push the staging version to the live version, you can easily do that.

Note: 1-click staging is slowly becoming the norm with hosting companies. A lot of other hosting companies are also now offering 1-click staging (such as SiteGround or WPX hosting).

Free SSL Certificate

With every plan in Kinsta, you get a free SSL certificate.

It takes less than 30 seconds to install it.. literally!

Again, offering a free SSL certificate is something that most of the good hosting companies are doing. But with Kinsta, it’s super simple as you don’t have to go to cPanel and enable it. You can do that right from the dashboard (it takes just three clicks after logging to their dashboard).

Free Migrations (Number Depends on the plan)

If you’re migrating from WP Engine, Flywheel, Pantheon, Cloudways, and DreamHost, you get unlimited numbers of migrations (available at the time of writing this review).

In case you’re migrating from a different host, you can use their white glove migration. The number of free white glove migrations you get is dependent on the plan you choose (ranges between 1 to 5).

It’s a good feature for people who get unlimited migrations from specific hosts, but I find the number of white glove migrations to be low. With a plan where I pay $600 or $900 per month, I should be allowed to get more than 5 migrations for free. You can do the migrations yourself if you want, but then it defeats the concept of managed hosting I believe.

Free Daily and On-Demand Backups

With every plan of Kinsta, you get daily automatic backups as well as the option to create on-demand backups.

The number of days the daily backups are stored will be dependent on your plan (ranges from 14 days to 30 days).

You can also create two kinds of on-demand backups:

  • Manual Backup: You can create a limited number of manual backups that you can use to instantly restore to a live or staging site.
  • Downloadable Backup: You can also create one downloadable backup every 7 days. It will give you a zipped file that will contain all your data and database. This is another backup option for paranoids like me as I can keep these in my Dropbox (or my laptop) in case everything else fails

There is another feature in Kinsta that again makes sure you don’t screw up by mistake.

Kinsta automatically creates a backup of your site (called system generated backup) in any of the following events:

  1. When you push a staging site to the live site
  2. When you restore a backup to the live site
  3. When you use the Search and Replace tool to change the database

So, if you mess up, you have the latest copy to fall back on.

You can also get hourly backups at an additional cost of $100 per site per month or 6-hour backups at an additional cost of $50 per site per month.

Search and Replace is a tool in Kinsta that allows you to easily find and replace text strings in the database. For example, if you’re changing the domain name of your site, you can easily make all the changes in the database by using the Search and Replace tool in Kinsta.

Free Post Hack Cleanup

Kinsta offers an extremely secure environment to host your sites and also offers free post-hack cleanups in case a site is hacked while being hosted on Kinsta.

In case your site gets hacked, Kinsta post-hack cleanup will include the following:

  1. An inspection of the site and deep scan of the site’s files to identify malware.
  2. Repair of the WordPress core by installing a clean copy of the core files.
  3. Identification and removal of infected plugins and themes.

In case it finds plugins/themes that are causing the issue, it will remove it.

Note that it will not debug the plugins or themes nor would it provide any support on it.

And what if you’re struggling with a hacked site and want to migrate it to Kinsta? In that case, you have two options:

  1. You can pay  a$100 malware removal fee and let Kinsta handle it all for you (the migration and malware removal).
  2. Use a service such as Sucuri (highly recommended) to first remove the malware through it and then migrate to Kinsta.

In case Kinsta finds that your site is infected while they are migrating it, they will stop and ask you to choose from any one of the two options mentioned above.

Automatic Autoscaling

Kinsta’s infrastructure allows it to autoscale your resources in case you see a sudden surge in traffic.

If you’re a Shark Tank fan, I am sure you must have heard the stories of websites getting a lot of traffic as soon as the episode featuring them airs and how most of the times the website crashes.

This doesn’t happen in the Kinsta world of hosting.

Kinsta doesn’t limit your account based on the CPU and the Bandwidth usage, and automatically assigns more of it when it sees a surge in traffic. This makes it robust enough to handle a huge number of concurrent traffic.

You never know when your site goes viral and you land up with a huge amount of traffic surge. In such a case, you need your hosting company to be able enough to handle it for you.

This is what Kinsta says about autoscaling:

Our auto-scaling infrastructure is ready to handle your sudden surges in traffic and load. With our isolated software container technology, hardware resources are allocated to each site container automatically by our virtual machines on an as-needed basis. The result is a hosting configuration that is secure and private by design while simultaneously allowing server resources to scale up or down as needed based on the demands of the site.

Multiple User Accounts

If you’re running an agency or a business and want to give restricted access to your clients or developers, you can do that with Kinsta.

Here are the six levels of users that you can create in Kinsta:

  1. Company Administrator: Complete control of all company and site data.
  2. Company Developer: Manage all sites and manage users on or below their level. No access to billing details or company settings.
  3. Company Billing: Only sees billing details and company settings such as invoices, company address, etc.
  4. Site Administrator: Complete access to a site and have full control of all environments attached to that site. Cannot remove a site from a company.
  5. Site Developer: Access to the staging environment for a single site. Can perform any actions on it, apart from removing the staging environment.
  6. Company Owner: Only one allowed and is automatically a company administrator. Can request account closure or transfer ownership to another company administrator.

If you’re running client sites on Kinsta, Site Administrator and Site Developers are the roles you can create and give access to your client.

Developer Friendly Platform

Most managed hosting companies are not very developer friendly.

Kinsta, on the other hand, was created keeping developers in mind.

Here are some developer-friendly features offered by Kinsta

  1. Gives access to SSH, Git, and WP-CLI on all plans from Starter to Enterprise.
  2. Allows using custom setups such as Bedrock and Trellis
  3. Easy to switch PHP versions and restart PHP engine
  4. Add-ons such as such as Redis, Cloudflare Railgun, and Elasticsearch

PS: I am not a developer and most of this stuff is way above my pay grade. I did some research and then wrote this section. You can read more about it at Kinsta’s website.

Best Written Content on WordPress and Hosting

Kinsta’s blog has tons of useful articles.

Apart from detailed step-by-step tutorials on how to do stuff in Kinsta, it also has some tutorials that help you understand the basics and nuances of WordPress and hosting.

For example, here is an amazing guide on how to speed up your WordPress site.

In most cases, if you want to know how to do something with Kinsta, simply do a Google search and you’re likely to find an article about it. And in case you don’t, just reach out to their support team and they will guide you to the right resource.

As of writing this article, Kinsta does not have any video tutorials.

What’s Missing or Can be Improved?

While I am a huge fan of Kinsta already, there are a few functionalities/features that are either lacking or can be improved.

No Phone Support for Existing Customers

While Kinsta prides itself on providing the same infrastructure and support to all it’s users (be it on the StartUp plan or the Enterprise plan), not all customers are not going to be the same.

A small blog getting less than 20K page views may not need immediate assistance on phone, but a popular blog or an e-commerce company would.

I wonder if they get this feedback a lot as phone support is important for businesses, especially when their entire business depends on their website.

No Pre-sales Chat/Phone Support

I am good with research and over the years have trained myself not to get overwhelmed by a lot of technical jargon.

But not everyone is the same.

It would be a lot more comforting if Kinsta offered some pre-sales support where they can help me understand whether Kinsta is right for me or not.

While they do offer quick support via email, it’s not real time (as it’s in a chat or on phone).

And when you pride yourself on providing the best-in-class support, it will be good to show a glimpse of it by offering some pre-sales support (even if it’s on Weekdays and for limited hours).

Some of Kinsta’s competitors (ones I was considering before moving to Kinsta) offer such support.

For example:

  1. WPX hosting has a 24×7 live chat
  2. Flywheel offers a demo, phone support, as well as live chat (requires free signup)
  3. Wp Engine offers phone support

This can be a huge difference, especially if someone is looking for higher level plans (upwards of $300 per month).

It’s Expensive

It’s what it is and I don’t expect this to change.

Kinsta is a premium hosting and they do offer a lot of premium features and functionalities to justify that price.

But at the end of the day, it’s still quite expensive.

And apart from KeyCDN bandwidth that they offer with each plan, you don’t get anything that actually saves you money. KeyCDN is not very expensive when you use it separately.

Kinsta moved away from the Bandwidth based pricing to the Pageview based pricing in November 2017, and that has made it even more expensive (especially for high traffic blogs like mine which is static content and doesn’t take a lot of bandwidth).

While there are techniques you can use to lower your bandwidth usage (such as using a CDN or optimizing your site content), it may not help you lower your bill significantly. You’re likely to see some decline in the number of page views in Kinsta, as CDNs often serve images/assets from there cache instead of sending a request to the Kinsta server.

Kinsta has made it super simple to use a paid CDN service KeyCDN. So if you use a CDN (which you should), it may save you some money.

Update: Based on the feedback I got from Brian Jackson, CMO at Kinsta, using Sucuri/Cloudflare can help you reduce the number of page views hitting the Kinsta servers. Since Sucuri/Cloudflare also has a firewall, it prevents a lot of spam hits reaching Kinsta servers, which can help lower your Kinsta bill.

Kinsta pricing makes it more suitable for agencies and businesses, and I won’t recommend it to bloggers – unless you’re already making good money from your blog.

Alternatives for bloggers – SiteGround if you’re starting out or have a low traffic site and WPX hosting if you have a mid/high traffic site.

Not Enough White Glove Migrations

Of all the negatives I am listing about Kinsta, this one is what I find to be the biggest one.

While you get unlimited migrations from some managed WordPress hosting competitors of Kinsta (such as WP Engine, Flywheel, Pantheon, Cloudways, and DreamHost), you get a limited number of white glove migrations from others.

So if you’re coming from a VPS from Godaddy or Cloud hosting from SiteGround (both of which can host high traffic sites), you don’t get enough migrations.

For example, I migrated from SiteGround cloud hosting and I am currently paying $600 per month for up to 1 million page views.

But I only get 5 free white glove migrations.

So, if I want to migrate 6 sites, I need to either pay $100 for the migration of the extra site by Kinsta support, or I need do it myself (but doesn’t that defeat the purpose of managed hosting in a way).

And this extra fee is not mentioned on the site and I came to know about it when I reached out to their chat support.

Migration cost by Kinsta for extra sites

And if this makes you think whether to go for Kinsta or not – you don’t even get chat or phone support to get this clarified. You need to send them an email.

What makes this a negative for Kinsta is that other managed WordPress hosting companies are either offering a higher number or unlimited free migrations.

For example, WPX hosting Elite plan allows free migration of up to 35 sites and Flywheel agency plan allows free migrations of 30 sites. Kinsta is two-three times more expensive and is only offering a max of five site migration.

I don’t expect Kinsta to offer unlimited migrations (they shouldn’t), but for a $600/$900 monthly bills, it should be more than five.

Note: Kinsta support mentioned that they can adjust the price based on the site complexity, which is good to know. But I would still want to get more free migrations upfront.

Conclusion

Kinsta is a premium managed WordPress hosting that offers best-in-class service and performance. And this performance and reliability come at a cost.

Kinsta is a great choice if you fall in any of the below categories:

  1. You’re already making money from your blog/site
  2. You have a critical business need to have 100% uptime (E-commerce or high traffic sites)
  3. High performance is really important for you
  4. You’re ok to pay more for the peace of mind (as you don’t need to learn a lot of things that comes with shared hosting)

Kinsta offers a custom built dashboard where you get access to all the important things in one place. Also, most of the things are managed by Kinsta team already and you don’t need to worry about it.

Kinsta offers the best-in-class chat support. Their support is made of WordPress engineers that are experts at handling hosting or WordPress issues. Their chat support is available 24×7.

Kinsta also offers continuous performance monitoring and in a rare event that anything happens to your site, they would know instantly and sort it out for you.

Your sites are hosted in an extremely safe hosting environment, and what further enhances the service is that Kinsta offers free hack-removal in case anything goes wrong.

If you’re a business looking for managed WordPress hosting, Kinsta is the best out there.

Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links and I make a small commission in case you choose to use my link and sign-up for Kinsta. I am using it myself and I recommend it only because I believe it’s a great host and after putting in 100+ hours of research. I have also listed what I don’t like about Kinsta to make sure I give you the best possible analysis that can help you make the right decision.
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