Kinsta Review – Why They Host My 7 Figure Blog

Review of: Kinsta
Reviewed by: Matthew Woodward
Rating:
Updated On: January 8, 2020

Summary:

Kinsta have performed well in all of my annual speed tests and are my chosen host for this blog. Why? Because they have awesome features like one click backups that take seconds not minutes, an easy to use staging area and much more!

Did you know that this blog is hosted on Kinsta?

In the past, I’ve ran tests to try and find the fastest WordPress hosting provider.

Unfortunately, Kinsta didn’t come out on top in terms of raw speed.

But despite that:

 I’ve kept this blog hosted with Kinsta.

Why?

Because I’m VERY HAPPY with their service and industry leading features.

So in this Kinsta Review, I’m going to show you why I’ve decided to stick with Kinsta as the current hosting provider of this blog.

Who Are Kinsta?

Kinsta is a hosting provider who offers premium managed WordPress hosting powered by Google Cloud with some fantastic features.

Their hosting services are designed for everyone, from startups to larger companies.

wordpress hosting

Results Of My Case Study

Before we jump into their features, I’ll share with you the results of my case study (which I briefly mentioned above).

Kinsta is my current hosting provider.

So I thought they would come out on top in my fastest WordPress hosting test.

But here’s what happened:

I tested 12 WordPress sites hosted with different providers.

Best WordPress Hosting Logos

First Test:

When it came to loading speed using GT Metrix, Kinsta came out in 3rd place…with an average page load time of 1.60 seconds.

GT Metrix Speed Tests

Second Test:

The second test focuses again on loading speed but this time using Pingdom. Again Kinsta came in 3rd place with an average load time of 835 ms.

Pingdom speed tests

Third Test:

I then stress-tested the WordPress hosts with a load impact on each page of 500 simultaneous visitors. And Kinsta came in 4th…

Load impact wordpress host testing

Fourth Test:

Next, I wanted to see how each hosting server would perform by using the WordPress Performance Tester plugin. Kinsta came out on top!

Wordpress performance tester benchmarks

Fifth Test:

I wanted to see how fast and well each provider could respond to my problems. So I sent out an identical support ticket…and Kinsta solved the problems successfully.

Wordpress hosting support comparison

Overall, while WPX Hosting (see my full WPX Hosting review) ranked 1st…I’d give Kinsta 2nd place. Kinsta provided a solid performance and fantastic support.

Why Kinsta Are My Current Host

As mentioned earlier, I moved my blog’s hosting from WPX Hosting to Kinsta 2 years ago.

I moved to Kinsta because my blog had outgrown its previous environment. And Kinsta had new features that WPX Hosting didn’t offer at the time.

I needed:

  • A server-level backup/restore system
  • A staging area
  • Access to new technologies like HHVM (which is now deceased)

I love the fact that Kinsta is always evolving.

They’re one of the fastest hosting providers to offer new features and they’ve always offered great support. Below, I’ll go into more detail regarding each of these features.

Constantly Evolving

I first moved to Kinsta because of their new features.

WPXHosting (previously TrafficPlanetHosting) was great, but I needed extra features. I noticed that my website speed was getting slower over time.

With Kinsta’s newer technologies, I found a

 30-50% decrease in load time!

decrease in load time

Kinsta is also the first in the industry to release the latest softwares like PHP 7.3.

And they moved all clients to Google’s next-generation compute-optimized virtual machines (C2) at no extra charge!

faster load times

Which resulted in faster load times for their entire clientbase overnight.

If you want a first-hand example, here’s mine.

After I migrated my site, the average response time went from ~750ms down to ~385 ms…which is a 94.8% increase in performance.

increase in performance

Rapid Fast

While Kinsta wasn’t the fastest WordPress Hosting Provider in my test, it was one of the top contenders on the list.

Wordpress host test results

The figures above are averages from speeds all around the world.

Near Instant Backups

With Kinsta, you will always have daily automatic backups. You can also create up to 5 manual backups that are stored for 14 days.

What I love about manual backups is they take around 15 seconds to complete which saves us a lot of time waiting around.

daily automatic backups

They also have six-hour or hourly backups add-on available for anyone who needs additional restore points.

hourly backups add-on available

Honestly Kinsta have the most robust backup system I have ever used and it is one of the key reasons I have stayed with them.

Incredible 24/7 Live Chat Tech Support

Kinsta doesn’t offer phone support.

But that doesn’t mean they don’t deliver tech support well. In fact, they have incredible 24/7 live chat tech support.

247 live chat

In the past, they’ve always created scripts to help me solve a complex problem.

Like when a plugin was adding bulk to the database, they created a script to automatically clean it. This reduced my database size by 73%.

Jeff from kinsta

Or when I needed to do a bulk update to thousands of URLs.

They put together a script to automate the entire task… which would have taken me days of manual labour!

script to automate the entire task

They’re also proactive at monitoring emerging problems.

emerging problem

In my personal experience, Kinsta provides incredible, dedicated support for even the more complex WordPress issues.

You don’t have to jump through multiple levels of support to get to a true expert, because they are all true experts!

How Much Does Kinsta Hosting Cost?

Kinsta was initially one of the more expensive hosts.

But since May 2019, they’ve introduced new ‘entry-tier’ plans starting at $30 per month.

And they have plenty of price plan options to suit the needs of your site:

Entry-tier plans

What Do You Get For Your Money?

Below we’ll go through some of their newer technologies, as well as key features that make Kinsta a top WordPress hosting provider.

The New Google Cloud Compute-Optimized VMs (C2)

Remember how I said Kinsta is always pushing the boundaries?

In October 2019, they announced that they are moving to Google Cloud Platform’s (GCP) next-gen compute-optimized (C2) virtual machines.

I know I mentioned this above…

But what this means is…

  • Faster load times (without any work or testing required on your part)
  • Heavier websites will see greater performance increases

But it’s not just the front-end. You’ll see faster load times on the backend as well (when working in your WordPress admin dashboard.)

In the past month, Kinsta has been testing these new machines internally.

And while the performance varies based on the type of the site, they see performance improvements from 30% all the way to 200%.

performance improvements

They’re also NOT just moving a select few to their higher-tier plans, but making GCP machines available for everyone at Kinsta!

Built For Speed

In my test, it shows that WPX Hosting was the fastest. BUT, Kinsta performed overall pretty well coming in 2nd.

They’ve made a lot of updates to help increase their global average speed.

They’ve recently added new data centres… and have over 20 different data centres everywhere around the world.

 data centers everywhere around the world

They also use state-of-the-art technology, including:

  • Nginx
  • PHP 7.3
  • LXD Containers
  • MariaDB
  • Server Level Caching

So when it comes to loading time and stability, I’m pretty confident in Kinsta. Especially since I still use them to host this blog today!

Free CDN

Unlike many other Hosting Providers, Kinsta provides a free CDN.

They’ve partnered with KeyCDN, an HTTP/2 and IPv6-enabled content delivery network with 34 locations! This way, you can turbocharge your assets and media around the globe.

So even though you’ll be hosting your website with a specific data center, your visitors can see your blog from a fast and local server.

How To Setup The Free Kinsta CDN
Login to the MyKinsta dashboard.

Click on ‘Sites’, and then click on the WordPress site that you want to enable the CDN.

Then, on the left-hand side, click on ‘Kinsta CDN’.

Kinsta CDN

Then, click on ‘Enable Kinsta CDN’.

This action will deploy a CDN cache zone for your website. The process will take approximately 15 minutes, while a random CDN domain will be assigned to your site.

CDN domain

You will see an installation progress screen in which the following happens:

  • Kinsta CDN is created
  • CDN Domain Propagation
  • SSL certificate is issued for CDN Domain

After the Kinsta creates the zone, MyKinsta will automatically enable the CDN on your site.

Free SSL Hosting and Certificate

Kinsta also has a Let’s Encrypt integration, which means free SSL hosting and certificates for all of your WordPress sites.

With the Let’s Encrypt Program, anyone can get a free SSL Certificate.

But here’s the thing… They require implementing (and that’s the hard part!)

Kinsta makes this process super quick and easy by literally clicking 2 buttons.

How To Setup Lets Encrypt On Kinsta
To begin, log in to your MyKinsta dashboard.

Click on the website you want to manage.

website you want to manage

Click on ‘Tools’.

Under ‘Enable HTTPS’, click on ‘Generate A Free HTTPS Certificate’.

Free HTTPS Certificate

You should see this:

Encrypt HTTPS

Click on ‘Next’.

Then you can choose the domains that you want to install an SSL Certificate.

SSL Certificate

24/7 Expert Live Chat Support

When it comes to support…  Kinsta has always had my back.

Like I mentioned above, they helped me solve complex problems and were also proactively monitoring any issues that would come my way.

Overall, through my personal experience

Kinsta’s support team are:

  • Highly knowledgeable WordPress Experts
  • Fast at providing feedback and clear communication
  • Available 24/7
  • Dependable and reliable

And it’s rare to find a host that offers this level of support for such a low price.

Free Migrations

If you’re considering Kinsta, but you don’t want the hassle of moving your site. Don’t worry.

Kinsta is currently offering unlimited free migrations from:

  • WP Engine
  • Flywheel
  • SiteGround
  • Pagely
  • Pantheon
  • Cloudways

  • GoDaddy
  • Dreamhost
  • Bluehost
  • HostGator
  • A2 Hosting
  • tsoHost

But if you’re not using one of these hosts, Kinsta’s plans still include one or more free premium migrations.

So, how does it work?

  1. Sign up for Kinsta: Free migrations are available for all Kinsta plans
  2. Fill out the migration request form: Choose between basic or premium migration

migration request form

Moving your site to Kinsta usually won’t incur any downtime. Kinsta will also help you inspect your migrated site prior to going live.

Daily Backups

On WordPress, things can go awry.

That’s why with Kinsta, you get daily automatic WordPress backups.

You also get system-generated backups for all sites on your account. Both automatic and manual backups are available as restore points on the MyKinsta Dashboard.

A backup contains a snapshot of your site’s:

  • Environment Files
  • Database
  • Redirects
  • Nginx Configuration

You can find WordPress backups on the backup tab of each of your sites.

daily automatic backups

There are three sections:

  1. Daily: Kinsta creates a backup automatically every day which is stored for 14 days
  2. Manual: You can create up to 5 manual backups which are stored for 14 days
  3. System Generated: Kinsta creates an automatic system backup at certain events. Each system-generated backup is stored for 14 days.

And the best bit? Kinsta has the fastest backup system I have ever used, it takes less than 15 seconds to take a complete snapshot of my site.

This is one of my favourite features that I could not live without anymore.

How to Create a WordPress Backup With Kinsta

In ‘Backups’, click on the ‘Manual’ tab.

Click on ‘Backup Now’ to manually create an additional backup.

additional backup

Give your WordPress backup a short name.

Then click on ‘Create backup’.

Create backup

Hourly Backups

If you need additional restore points, you can purchase hourly backups.

You can find this under the ‘Backups’ tab under your site on Kinsta.

backups tabs

You can purchase a 6-hour backup, where backups are created every 6 hours and are available for 24 hours.

Or hourly backups, where backups are created every hour and available for 24 hours.

If you want to select one, click on ‘Choose’.

And hit ‘Enable’.

6-hour backup

You can view and restore your backups at any time from the ‘Backups’ tab.

view and restore

Malware Scanning & Hack Clean Ups

If your WordPress site gets infected by malware…

 Kinsta will remove it for free for all customers!

So how does Kinsta’s malware scanning work?

Kinsta monitors websites every minute for uptime with New Relic. They detect DDoS attacks as they happen and stop any malicious code from entering the network.

They have hardware firewalls and very tight software-based restrictions to protect your WordPress website.

But here’s the thing…

If you’re coming to Kinsta from another web provider and Kinsta detects you have malware,

You’ll be charged a one-time fee of $100 to remove it.

But once you’re with Kinsta, then all WordPress malware removal is free.

So if anything else comes up, they will handle everything! And if your WordPress site is hacked (under their watch), Kinsta will work with you for free to try and undo the damage.

Uptime Checks

Did you know that every site at Kinsta includes 720 daily uptime checks?

If you look at Kinsta’s Service Level Agreement, you can see here that they guarantee an uptime reliability rate of 99.9%.

…and they’ll credit your account if they fail to correct error response codes.

Within 30 minutes!

Service Level Agreement

When Kinsta said that they were always evolving, this includes the addition of their New Relic performance monitoring tool.

It’s a great tool that helps Kinsta instantly pinpoint issues that may cause some performance problems with:

  • Third-party plugins
  • Theme template files
  • Database queries
  • External calls
  • Coding errors

DDOS Protection

Most WordPress Hosting Providers will tell you that they protect against DDoS Attacks.

But in Kinsta’s case, it’s a little different.

In this blog post, Kinsta stated that the only way you stand any chance is to use a huge network that can incur additional costs.

Cloudflare is one example of a company that has an extremely large network and offers advanced DDoS protection on their $200 per month plan.

Another alternative is Sucuri, which offers DDoS protection, starting at $20 per month.

Kinsta then stated that:

A host like Kinsta will not be able to protect you directly from all DDoS attacks but will fend off more than a low-quality host.

Kinsta

So, it looks like Kinsta can protect you (to a certain extent). But they won’t be able to protect you directly from a DDOS attack.

This is definitely where other hosting services like WPX Hosting, that actually provide Enterprise-level DDoS Protection, win out.

Staging Area

If you’re like me, you know how valuable a staging area can be. In fact, it was one of the primary reasons why I migrated from WPX Hosting to Kinsta.

A staging area really helped me test:

  • New WordPress Versions
  • Plugins
  • Codes
  • General Development work

Without living in the constant fear that my live website would go down.

How To Create A Staging Site In Kinsta
First, click on ‘Sites’ in the left navigation.

Click on the website you’d like to add a staging area to.

Click on ‘Staging’ from the drop-down menu at the top right.

Then click on the ‘Create A Staging Environment’ button.

Staging Environment Button

It’ll take around 10-15 minutes until the staging area is created and DNS propagates. Once that’s done, you will have a separate control panel with your connection information.

The URL for your staging environment will appear like this,

https://mysqleditor-staging-sitename.kinsta.cloud.

URL for your staging environment

If you want to push your staging site to live, you can click ‘Push Staging to Live’.

Push staging to Live

And then read the information displayed in the popup.

Type your site’s name in the field.

Then click on the ‘Push to Live’ button.

…and that’s it!

Kinsta admin will let you know once the process is complete. Your website will experience a couple of seconds of downtime at the final stages of the process.

Push staging Live

20 Data Centre Locations

I’m a big fan of Kinsta’s Google Cloud Data Center Locations.

With Kinsta, you can choose from the following 20 data centres (as seen on the image) for your WordPress Website.

Wordpress Website
 
With over 20 different options, it can be hard to choose. There’s no one best data centre over the other.

What you need to look at is your current visitors and make a decision based on that.

If most of your visitors are from a specific region, you need to choose the right data centre location to improve the performance of your WordPress site.

If you want to find the best data center for you, use this tool called GCP Ping.

GCP Ping

Easy To Use Dashboard

Kinsta is one of the better providers when it comes to the site’s user experience.

Wordpress Providers
 
As you can see on the dashboard, you can have a number of options to select from.

You can access your:

  • Sites: List of currently active websites
  • Resource Usage: Monitor the resources that your websites are using
  • Kinsta DNS: Add Domain and DNS records
  • Analytics: View analytical graphs and tables related to your websites
  • Users: Add new users or change permissions
  • Activity Log: List of activities with embedded date and time
  • Knowledge Base: Help Section

It really is easy to use and it’s clear they have put a lot of thought into the design and layout of things.

Click Here For A Full Tour Of The Kinsta Dashboard

Let’s quickly go through what you can access on each of the pages.

Dashboard

Dashboard

The dashboard contains a quick summary of vital information. You have a list of your sites to the left and a circular graph of your resource usage.

You have a graph that represents your data transfer and unique visits overtime.

Sites

Sites

Here, you can access information on your sites.

For example, after I click on ‘mspbnsample’ I will see this.

access information

On this page, you can access your site’s:

  • Basic Information
  • Domains
  • Backups
  • Tools
  • Redirects

  • WP Plugins
  • IP Deny
  • Kinsta CDN
  • Logs

Kinsta DNS

Kinsta DNS

Here, you can add your domain and DNS records.

My plan allows for 3 domains, but you can add more with a larger plan.

Analytics

Analytics

To the right, there are two separate filters that let you organize by sites and time.

The analytics section is then divided into six separate areas.

  • Resources
  • CDN Usage
  • Dispersion
  • Performance

  • Response
  • Cache
  • Geo & IP

Users

Users

You can find a list of users that can access your Kinsta account. Each user can have complete or limited access to specific sites.

Activity Log

Activity Log

If you want to view a record of all the changes you’ve made to your site, you’ll find it here.

The Activity log will tell you:

  • Which user
  • What action
  • What time
  • And what the status is

Knowledge Base

If you need help and you want to try and troubleshoot it yourself…

Look to the knowledge base:

knowledge base

It’s a column that will slide into the right. This way, you can stay on the existing page, while finding out more information to fix your problem.

All Backed Up By Outstanding Trustpilot Rating

When it comes to hosting providers, I always like to check online ratings to see what everyone else’s experiences are like too.

Trustpilot Rating

You can see here that Kinsta has a 4.9-star review (out of 220 reviews!)

This goes to show that my positive experience with Kinsta is not a one-off but one that the majority of other Kinsta users are having too!

Wrapping It Up

Kinsta is one of the best managed WordPress hosts in the market.

I say this because I am using it right now. In fact, the blog you’re reading is hosted with Kinsta so feel free to use tools like GTMetrix and WebPageTest to test performance.

 Overall, I’m very happy with my personal experiences with Kinsta.

6 Responses

  1. Amberly
    1.17.2020

    Nice Post… Thanks for sharing this informative post.

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 17th, 2020 at 11:38 pm

      Glad you found the review helpful Amberly – any other tools/hosts/services you would be keen to see reviewed?

  2. Charles Anderson
    1.17.2020

    Great article, I have been planning on launching a business blog for quite some time now. This info really helps and great information about blogging. Thanks

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 17th, 2020 at 11:36 pm

      Thanks Charles – good luck

  3. Viktor
    1.15.2020

    Keep up the awesome work.

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 16th, 2020 at 10:58 pm

      Cheers Viktor – will do :)

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