Kinsta Managed WordPress Hosting Tried and Tested – Is It Really Any Good?

Are you looking for the fastest WordPress web host? Would you like someone to take care of keeping your WordPress website secure and backed up?

If so, Kinsta could be just the managed WordPress web host you’re looking for. But don’t sign up just yet!

In this review, we not only explain exactly what features you get access to but we reveal the loading times of our test WordPress websites hosted by Kinsta. Not only that, but we also share how those loading times are affected when multiple visitors were accessing the sites at the same time in our user simulation tests. To assess the quality of Kinsta further, we publish the results from our downtime monitoring tests as well.

Unlike some other Kinsta reviews — and other web hosting reviews in general — we’ve actually paid for tests that put our Kinsta-hosted WordPress websites through their paces, using premium services like Pingdom and Load Impact to gather meaningful data to uncover the full story behind the Kinsta marketing claims. If you’re not the type of person who’s easily swayed by fancy marketing and stylish company websites, then the data in this review will help you make an informed decision on whether Kinsta is the best web host for your website or not.

So if you’re looking for the best WordPress hosting, or you’re just interested in what sort of performance a premium web host like Kinsta has to offer, this review is for you.

Let’s get started…

About Kinsta WordPress Web Hosting

Kinsta was founded in 2013 and has been working hard since then to become the hosting provider of choice for WordPress users who are prepared to look beyond marketing campaigns and low prices in order to find a fast and secure home for their website.

That’s not to say that the $30 per month entry-level plan from Kinsta isn’t competitively priced compared to other premium managed WordPress hosts, it’s just that this isn’t low-cost budget hosting.

What you do get for your money is managed WordPress hosting. This means Kinsta not only takes care of some aspects of managing a WordPress website for you, but they also host your site in an environment that’s optimized for WordPress websites.

Thanks to this, tasks like securing, caching, and backing up your WordPress website, are taken off your hands. Not only does this save you time, but it reduces the risk of something going wrong if you’re not familiar with the way WordPress works.

With Kinsta managed WordPress hosting, you can expect faster website loading times as well as less downtime and performance issues compared to generic web hosting.

Furthermore, as Kinsta only offers hosting for WordPress websites, all of their support staff are not only highly experienced at helping WordPress users but they’re also experts solving problems related to this software. Some of the support staff are contributors to the WordPress software.

Although there are many companies now offering managed WordPress hosting, as we’ll explore in this review, Kinsta does have a few differences from the other hosts operating in this space.

What Do You Get with Kinsta?

If the idea of fast loading times, fewer website management tasks to take care of, and less downtime to worry about sounds appealing, then Kinsta could be right web host for you. To see if that’s the case, let’s check out exactly what you get when you sign up with Kinsta.

Use of the Google Cloud Platform

Google Cloud Platform Server Locations

By using the Google Cloud Platform, Kinsta can offer 17 server locations for hosting your website.

The main point of difference that separates Kinsta from most of the other managed WordPress hosting providers in operation today is their use of the Google Cloud Platform. Due to this, WordPress websites are hosted on the infrastructure created and maintained by Google and used by companies like Spotify, Snapchat, HTC, Best Buy, Philips, and Coca-Cola, to name just a few.

Being a Google Cloud Platform partner allows Kinsta to host your website on a state-of-the-art infrastructure with the choice of 17 global server locations, and more on the way (Hong Kong and Switzerland coming soon). The highly scalable hardware of the Google Cloud Platform ensures your website always has access to the resources it needs to deliver a smooth user experience for your visitors. For example, if you’re website goes viral, automatic scaling ensures your site will be able to handle any surges in traffic.

Automatic WordPress Website Backups

As mentioned, automatic daily WordPress website backups are part of the service at Kinsta. Automatic backups are kept for a minimum of 14-days on the entry-level plans and longer on the higher plans. Restoring backups is easy, with the option of deploying them to your live site or the test environment.

Kinsta Website Backup Manager

WordPress website backups are easily managed through the Kinsta account dashboard.

As well as daily backups, you can upgrade to 6-hour and hourly backups for an extra monthly fee. You can also manually create complete website backups at the touch of a button, as and when is needed. You also have the option of downloading these backups for safe keeping.

WordPress Website Staging Service

Kinsta Staging Website Manager

All Kinsta plans include a staging site where you can test out plugins and other changes before copying the test site to your live site in just a few clicks.

All Kinsta hosting plans include access to a staging site where you can test out new plugins, website customizations, and code edits, before pushing them to your live site in just one click.

Kinsta Developer Tools

Kinsta has some easily accessible tools that developers might find useful.

Developers should also appreciate the ability to switch between different PHP versions, easy restarting of the PHP engine, and access to the New Relic PHP monitoring tool. There’s also a search and replace feature that’s accessible from the Kinsta dashboard for making changes to the contents of your WordPress website database.

Technical Details of Kinsta Managed WordPress Hosting

The section of our Kinsta review should answer any questions you might have about the finer points and technical details of this service before we move onto the site speed, uptime, and performance test results:

  • Website caching: four types of caching in place, including server-level caching and an in-house WordPress caching plugin.
  • Content Delivery Network (CDN): 50 GB of KeyCDN usage per month on the entry-level Kinsta plan; more on the higher plans.
  • PHP: switch between PHP 5.6, 7, 7.1, and 7.2 at the touch of a button.
  • HTTP/2.0: in use on the servers and the CDN.
  • SSL: get a free SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt or install your own.
  • SFTP: secure FTP access to your web space for uploading and editing files.
  • Server file manager: no online file manager; just FTP access to the server space.
  • Database access: phpMyAdmin is used to access the WordPress website database through a browser.
  • Email service: no email service on any of the Kinsta plans; G Suite is the recommended option.
  • WordPress website management: ability to update plugins through the My Kinsta account dashboard, but no automatic plugin or WordPress core software updates.
  • Plugin restrictions: there is a list of banned plugins, including some caching, security, and optimization plugins that can affect website performance.
  • Security measures: lots of measures are in place to keep your site secure, including GeoIP blocking, DDoS scanning, proactively stopping malicious code entering the network, plus more.
  • Post-hack clean up services: if your site is hacked while hosted by Kinsta, they will fix it for free.
  • Data center locations: 17 server locations to choose from, including options in Australia and South America as well as multiple locations in the USA, Europe, and Asia.
  • Staging sites: all plans include access to a staging site with one-click deployment to the live site.
  • WordPress website migration: available for free on the Pro plans and above but not on the entry-level Starter plan unless you pay $100 for the migration service add-on.
  • Visitor analytics: view data on your website traffic through the My Kinsta dashboard.
  • Uptime checks: the status of your site is checked every five minutes to allow the support team to respond to any instances of downtime that are detected.
  • Support channels: 24/7 live chat channel and ticketing system but no telephone support.
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You can find more information on the features page of the Kinsta website.

Kinsta Account Management Dashboard

When it comes to managing your account, Kinsta has created their own custom dashboard. The My Kinsta portal is very easy to navigate and allows you to perform tasks like creating new WordPress websites, updating any plugins you’ve installed on your site, and managing backups.

My Kinsta Account Management Dashboard

Kinsta uses a custom dashboard for account and website management.

You can also view resource usage stats to see how much of your plan allocation you’ve consumed, as well as view website visitor analytics through the dashboard.

Installing WordPress

Once you’ve signed up with Kinsta, you can log into the custom control panel and create a WordPress website. The process is very straightforward and in just a few clicks, you’ll have a brand new WordPress installation setup and ready to go.

Create a New WordPress Site

Creating a new WordPress installation only takes a few clicks with Kinsta.

If you’re hosting multiple sites with Kinsta through one account, those sites can be managed through the same dashboard.

Kinsta Website Management Panel

Multiple WordPress websites can be managed through the same dashboard account.

Once you’ve logged into your Kinsta account dashboard, you can also contact the support staff via the live 24/7 chat service. Although Kinsta doesn’t offer telephone support, you can submit a ticket or use the messenger to reach the help desk.

Kinsta Web Hosting Performance

As mentioned earlier in this Kinsta review, one of the main reason to choose premium managed WordPress hosting is the faster website loading times you can expect. However, with so many web hosting companies now offering WordPress-optimized services, simply choosing a plan marketed as managed WordPress hosting doesn’t guarantee impressive site speed.

To help you decide if Kinsta delivers the levels of performance you’re looking for, we carried out some tests to see how fast a WordPress website loads, how much downtime occurred over a set period, and how well multiple simultaneous visitors are handled.

Kinsta Loading Time Test Results

To help you get a better idea of what sort of loading times you can expect from Kinsta, we tested the speed of a site with a lightweight theme installed, as well as a site using a feature-rich multi-purpose theme. The loading times were recorded at 30-minute intervals over a seven-day period, using the Pingdom monitoring service.

Kinsta 7-Day Speed Test Results with a Lightweight Theme

At the time of writing, Twenty Seventeen is included as the default theme with new WordPress installations. It’s a no-frills lightweight option that offers enough to get started with a basic blog. To give you an idea what sort of loading times you might experience using this theme or a similar option, here are the results recorded by Pingdom over seven days.

Kinsta Pingdom Page Speed Results

The average load time for the WordPress website using the Twenty Seventeen theme was 307 milliseconds.

With the page loading in less than one-third of a second, the results show that the test site using the lightweight Twenty Seventeen theme loaded very quickly. Compared to the results from our test of the entry-level Bluehost and HostGator shared hosting plans, Kinsta is much faster (although also more expensive).

However, in case you plan to use a more feature-rich WordPress theme, let’s see how Kinsta performs with a more heavyweight option.

Kinsta 7-Day Speed Test Results with a Multi-Purpose Theme

Avada is one of the most popular WordPress themes available today. Not only can this theme be used to create almost any type of website but it also comes packed with features. However, due to the high levels of functionality offered by this type of theme, websites using Avada and other similar multi-purpose themes tend to have larger file sizes that result in slower loading times, especially with low-cost entry-level shared hosting.

Avada Theme Demo Homepage

The Avada Agency demo homepage layout used for testing the Kinsta load times.

To find out how capable the Kinsta premium managed WordPress hosting service is at handling multi-purpose themes, we installed Avada on our WordPress test site and imported one of its pre-built website demos. As before, the load times were recorded every 30 minutes, for seven days, but this time, as the Avada theme was being used, the file size of the page being tested was much larger.

Pingdom Kinsta Avada Theme Speed Test Results

The Avada Agency demo homepage loaded in 1.25 seconds on average, over a seven-day period.

The Avada Agency demo homepage loaded in 1.25 seconds as the file size was much larger than the Twenty Seventeen homepage, weighing in at a massive 5.14 MB compared to the lightweight theme’s file size of 265 KB.

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As your website homepage might not include all the features of the Avada Agency demo, such as a multimedia slider, a portfolio gallery, animations, and large image files, we also tested the page loading times of a more basic blog post created using this theme.

Avada Theme Test Blog Post Layout

The Avada Agency blog post page that was also tested with Pingdom.

Despite having a smaller file size of 2.11 MB, compared to the 5.14 MB of the Avada Agency demo homepage, the loading time strangely wasn’t any faster, coming in at 1.56 seconds, compared to the 1.25 seconds of the homepage.

Kinsta Site Speed Test Results

Despite having a smaller file size compared to the Avada homepage, the test blog post didn’t load any faster.

Either way, Kinsta was able to deliver respectable loading times using one of the Avada showcase demos that’s packed with resource-hungry features and widgets. For context, you can see how much longer the same theme took to load using the managed WordPress hosting service from Envato in our review.

Kinsta Hosting Site Speed Tests Summary

Kinsta Page Speed Pingdom Test Results

Pingdom page speed monitoring results from the three Kinsta test sites.

Kinsta is definitely a fast web host. As you can see from the test results, your choice of theme will determine how fast your site actually loads, with the lightweight Twenty Seventeen theme loading much faster than the feature-rich Avada theme.

If you plan to use a theme that’s a bit more exciting than Twenty Seventeen, but you also aren’t going to use the action-packed demos of the Avada theme without making any adjustments, you’ll probably experience loading times somewhere in between the two results that were recorded. After all, the Avada demos are designed to showcase the capabilities of this theme, rather than represent something that most people will use as is.

Map of Kinsta Data Center and Pingdom Test Center

The test sites were hosted in the Kinsta Oregon data center and the load times were recorded from the San Jose Pingdom server location.

For the tests, the Kinsta data center in Oregon was chosen, along with the nearest Pingdom server location which was in San Jose. As these two locations are relatively close to each other, visitors accessing your website from further away may experience longer page load times.

Apart from the caching used by Kinsta, nothing else was done to optimize the test sites. Therefore, you might be able to improve the speed of your WordPress website with image and database optimization, compressing theme files, and carrying out other tasks to deliver faster loading times.

Load Impact Performance Testing

As well as monitoring the page load times over a seven-day period, we also tested how well the website performed under a load. For this test, the Load Impact service was used to simulate multiple users accessing the Kinsta-hosted WordPress website at the same time.

Starting with just 1 user accessing the site, additional virtual users (represented by the blue line on the graph below) began accessing the site at regular intervals, over a period of 10 minutes until there were 250 virtual users accessing the site simultaneously. The load times of the website were recorded by the service during this 10-minute testing period to see what impact the increasing number of simultaneous visitors had on the performance of the site.

Kinsta Load Impact Test Results

Load times of the WordPress website hosted by Kinsta when up to 250 virtual users are simultaneously accessing the site.

The graph above shows that the load times of the site (represented by the green line) remained consistent, even when 250 virtual users were accessing the site at the same time. You can view the results of this test for yourself on the Load Impact website.

If you take a look at the Load Impact Performance Testing section of our Bluehost, GoDaddy, and HostGator comparison, you’ll see that the low-cost shared plans from these three hosts all suffered from performance issues before 50 virtual users were accessing the site simultaneously.

Kinsta Uptime Test Results

Another reason to choose premium managed WordPress hosting over cheaper and lower performance options is a reduction in periods when your website is down or unavailable. Some of the best value entry-level shared hosts offer 99.9% percent levels of uptime, and while this looks great on paper, over a year that works out to be over eight hours of downtime.

Uptime Calcualtions

Kinsta guarantees 99.9% uptime which equates to just over 10 minutes of downtime a week, but in our tests, 100% uptime was recorded.

Kinsta also has a 99.9% uptime guarantee with money off your bill if the uptime drops below this level. However, during our tests, Pingdom recorded an impressive uptime of 100% over a seven-day period.

Kinsta Pingdom Uptime Test Results

The test sites stayed online and available for 100% of the time during the seven-day test period.

So although Kinsta doesn’t guarantee 100% uptime, we didn’t experience any downtime during our test period. The same couldn’t be said of Bluehost, GoDaddy, or SiteGround in similar tests we carried out previously, where these cheaper hosting plans experienced several minutes of downtime each.

That covers our testing of the Kinsta managed WordPress hosting service. Now let’s take a look at how much you have to pay to host your website with Kinsta.

Kinsta Hosting Pricing Details

Kinsta Hosting Plan Details

Kinsta currently has eight managed WordPress hosting plans in total.

Kinsta has the Starter and Pro plans as well as four Business plans and two Enterprise plans. Here are there key details:

  • Starter: $30 per month for 1 WordPress install, 20,000 visits, and 3 GB disk space.
  • Pro: $60 per month for 2 WordPress installs, 40,000 visits, and 6 GB disk space.
  • Business plans: starting from $100 per month for 3 WordPress installs, 100,000 visits, and 10 GB disk space.
  • Enterprise plans: starting from $600 per month for 60 WordPress installs, 1,000,000 visits, and 80 GB disk space.

Paying annually gets you 2 months free and all plans include a free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate as well as CDN access. There’s also a 30-day money-back guarantee on all plans so you can try Kinsta without financial risk.

Each plan has access to the same infrastructure, powered by the Google Cloud Platform. This means upgrading just increases the number of WordPress installations allowed and the visits and storage allowances, rather than improving website performance, as is the case with some other web hosts.

What about Overage Fees?

When it comes to overage fees, there are two main types. Visit overage fees are $1/1,000 visits while CDN overages are charged at $0.10/GB. The charges are immediately applied to your account, and your website is kept online. However, in the case of what Kinsta terms extreme overages, they reserve the right to temporarily limit access to your website until the issue has been resolved.

You can view the full details on the Kinsta plans page.

Kinsta Review Final Thoughts

As you can see, Kinsta offers fast managed WordPress hosting with impressive levels of uptime and the ability to handle multiple visitors at the same time.

You also get access to some genuinely worthwhile features such as automatic website backups, security monitoring, and an easy-to-use staging environment. The support staff are helpful and very responsive via the 24/7 live chat service.

Although the Kinsta pricing is in line with other managed WordPress hosting providers, it’s not cheap compared to entry-level shared hosting. However, in all areas, Kinsta is a massive step up from low-cost web hosting.

So if you’re looking for a faster and more reliable host for your WordPress website or you want to launch your new site on managed WordPress hosting, Kinsta comes highly recommended.

If you’re still not sure, thanks to the 30-day money-back guarantee, you could always sign up, and migrate your site to the staging environment. You can then see for yourself how quickly your site loads, with the option of getting a refund if you’re not happy with the results.

Used/using Kinsta WordPress hosting? Thoughts?

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