Kinsta Review: What Users Say, Pros, Cons, and Alternatives [July 2019]

kinsta review | kinsta homepage

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If you’re looking for a thorough Kinsta review, you’re in the right place. Here, we’ll be discussing pros, cons, and alternatives to help you decide if this is a good web hosting option for you and your business needs.

When you decide to take your online business seriously, it’s important to choose a quality web host. Choosing a web host can be very tough because there is lots of games being played in the hosting industry. Some hosts are strongly promoted simply because they have high affiliate commissions, and others don’t get as much of the spotlight they deserve.

Kinsta is one of my favorite web hosts to recommend for small business owners who are getting some traction online, and I’ll be explaining why in this review.

In this Kinsta review, I will tell you:

  • What it is
  • How it works
  • Pros and Cons
  • What it does well and what it does not
  • What others are saying (good and bad)
  • My Recommendation
  • And, Alternatives (in case you want to do some comparison shopping)

If you’d like to see this full Kinsta review in video, check it out here:

Why do you Need Web Hosting?

Many people who are looking for web hosting want to know “why can’t we go without web hosting all together?”. They might be experiencing bad customer service, lots of downtime, or simply getting overwhelmed while doing the research for a web host, and they want to avoid it all, so let’s first talk about why you need web hosting.

The Purpose of Web Hosting

In your phone, you have storage for your images, recordings, and other things. In your computer, you have a hard drive or SSD that stores data for you.

Similarly, if you want to get customers from the internet, you need to have intellectual property (written text, images, videos, or audio files) on your website that people want to see. When they search for the information on your website (even if it’s specific to your business), you want them to be able to search inside of search engines or social media, and your website content to appear.

If you store your content inside of Google Drive, Dropbox, or inside any other electronic device you have, the content won’t be served to the internet searcher 24/7 on demand. The web hosting service makes sure your intellectual property is safe online and makes sure your content is served to the end user on-demand 24 hours per day 7 days per week.

What is Kinsta? An Overview

Now, you might be wondering, “What makes Kinsta any different than the rest of web hosts out there?”. Let me explain…

the kinsta homepageKinsta is one of the “new kids on the block” in the web hosting industry. Often times being the “new kid” isn’t the best thing, but many people have identified problems and gaps in the market, and Kinsta has served as a great addition.

They Fix Many Issues WebMasters Were Having Like…

  • Bad customer support
  • Downtime
  • Sites crashing when they get a surge of traffic
  • Slow load times
  • Customer support that requires long briefs before they understand your website issue
  • Hacked websites and high prices to resolve it
  • Low introductory rates and the surprise spike in prices for consecutive years (sometimes 70%+ in price increases)
  • and, a plethora of other issues

Kinsta responded to the market demand by customizing a hosting experience specifically for people who have WordPress websites. They’ve hired WordPress experts to customize their support, and they’ve built their entire hosting service on Google’s Cloud, which means customers use the same infrastructure that hosts Google.com (the highest trafficked site online) and Youtube.com (one of the highest trafficked sites online).

Kinsta is Used By Very High Traffic Sites

Many very high traffic sites have switched to Kinsta because they:

  • Scale automatically
  • They can handle sites that have traffic of 1.5 million + pageviews per month
  • and, their support has been raved about as very good

Other High Traffic Websites that Use KinstaDid you see how many huge brands use Kinsta? Very trusted brands like:

  • Intuit – I’ve written reviews of Quickbooks and Turbotax here. These two services serve tens of millions of customers and Intuit has other brands. Kinsta hosts all of Intuit’s websites.
  • Freshbooks – Freshbooks is another website that’s grown massively over the last decade, and I’ve reviewed them here as well. They offer cloud based accounting software to small business owners. Can you imagine if they had unreliable hosting and small business owners weren’t able to do their bookkeeping or access their financial statements on demand? Like Intuit, Freshbooks is a proud customer of Kinsta.
  • Tripadvisor – A highly used Travel booking website
  • And many other high traffic websites that do lots of business online use Kinsta to host their websites

How Does Kinsta Work?

The Google Cloud is the gold standard of internet speed, stability and safety. How many times have you seen Google down? And, if you’ve ever seen it, it wasn’t for long, right? As a result, if you can get your website on the Google infrastructure, it’s a good thing.

Unfortunately, without a team of developers, working on platforms like Google cloud directly can be very complex and confusing. It requires coding knowledge and a development background (amongst other things). If you’re like me, and you don’t have the coding or development background (or desire to use it), then it’s best to work with a web host like Kinsta.

They make sure you use the complex infrastructure of Google, but the complex parts are taken care of. Because of Kinsta, you can simply work on the frontend functions and the components of your business that satisfy your customers most.

The Kinsta Dashboard Customers See When Logged On

How Do I Get Started with Kinsta?

Kinsta has a very streamlined process that makes it quite simple to get started with them (even if you have a big site). You basically follow these 5 steps to have success online with Kinsta:

1. Choose Your Plan

Kinsta offers several plan options, so if you’re starting out with moderate to low traffic, you can start with a lower price plan, and as you need more storage space and bandwidth, you’d gradually move up. They give you thresholds based on your website traffic that you’ll want to take a look at, and if you still have questions, you can ask their support in the live chat. You can get started by choosing your plan here.

2. Create Your Account

Once you’ve chosen a plan, you click “choose”, and it will take you to a screen that looks like this…

What Kinsta Looks Like When You Create You're Creating Your AccountHere, you’ll enter some basic information: name, email address, and billing info, and you’ll have an account created.

3. Add a Site (or Migrate an Existing Site)

Once your account is created, you’ll see a screen that looks like this…

What Kinsta looks like when you're adding a website to your hosting accountKinsta is not a domain registrar, so you’d have to purchase your domain somewhere else (like Wealthy Affiliate or Namecheap) and transfer it over to Kinsta. Once you have a domain, you can enter your website information in a screen that looks like the one above, and the Kinsta staff will migrate your site for free.

4. Install WordPress

What Kinsta Looks like when you install WordPressUnlike other hosting platforms that use C-Panel or other dashboards, with Kinsta, you’ll see the interface above, and install WordPress from there. It’s much simpler and easier.

5. Get Traffic and Make Sales

After your website is set up on the Kinsta platform, you’ll notice the fast speeds, which positively impacts your website visitor’s experience, and in turn, Google rewards you with rankings. As a result of good website hosting, you’ll be in a better position for traffic and sales.

You’ll have to continue adding content that’s in demand, and over time, you can expect climbing rankings and sales. If you decide to go the paid traffic route, you can be sure that your site won’t crash when you send paid traffic to your site. You can also be sure the site speed will be fast, so when your visitors stop by, they won’t bounce away and your money for the traffic will be well spent.

Who is Kinsta For?

I’ll be honest, Kinsta isn’t for everyone. Some people prioritize price over value, and they’ll prefer the cheaper options regardless of what’s said. Then, there are other people who don’t have much traffic or people coming to their websites demanding their products or services. If you haven’t discovered the market for what you offer online, it’s probably best to stay with an alternative hosting company until you have proof of concept.

I’d recommend a hosting platform that offers training (like Wealthy Affiliate) because they’ll teach you how to tap into the pool of demand online. Once you learn how to optimize for search engines, how to run successful ads, and you start to create content, products, and services people are looking for online, you’ll start getting good traffic, then Kinsta would be worth looking into.

Kinsta Tools & Training

Kinsta offers a blog, newsletter, and knowledgebase to help you learn how to use their hosting platform. If you’re like many small business owners who need training on traffic generation, lead conversion, and overall insight on how to be successful online, then you’ll want to get additional training elsewhere. You can get the help you need to succeed online along with my business growth framework here.

Kinsta Support

Kinsta was founded by a WordPress expert and is currently run by engineers and those who have been industry experts of WordPress for years. You’ll have 24/7 Support from WordPress Experts to live chat with as you need it.

What Does Kinsta Do Well

  • Powered by the Google Cloud Platform – The same platform that powers Google and Youtube!
  • They host websites that drive millions of monthly viewers (like Intuit)
  • They have a 30-day money back guarantee and prorate refunds
  • There is no fee for upgrading or downgrading your plan at any time
  • Free site migrations
  • They won’t shut down your website if you get high volumes of traffic to it (like many other hosts will)
  • Uptime checks every 2 minutes
  • Full backups every day
  • A staging area for updates without them being visible to the public
  • Automatic scaling when you have traffic surges
  • Free hack prevention and fixing
  • A CDN is included with your membership at no additional cost
  • You’ll have access to the features and tools that come with C-Panel and Plesk (phpMyAdmin, redirects, logs, SFTP, and backups are all one click away), but they’ll be presented on Kinsta’s friendlier user interface

What Doesn’t Kinsta Do Well

  • They don’t host other content management systems aside from WordPress
  • They don’t provide training for those who are unfamiliar with how to effectively use the internet for customers and sales
  • For many people, their price will be a disadvantage. They are more expensive than shared hosting alternatives (without add-ons or upgrades). Instead, they include many add-ons that wouldn’t be included in basic shared hosting plans (like a security socket layer or “SSL” and distribution of your content on a Content Delivery Network) as a part of their standard packaging. They also offer 2 months free when you go annual, no increased pricing in consecutive years, a higher level of performance and support. When you factor in what’s offered, then you’ll find their pricing to be very modest in comparison to the market.

Kinsta Review Roundup

When searching on Google, it’s very obvious that there’s a monopoly of positive experiences with Kinsta. When you dig deeper, you’ll find lots of positive customer reviews at places like TrustPilot…

kinsta reviews at TrustpilotWhile it’s good to know what good things people are saying about Kinsta, it’s also a good thing to know why some people aren’t having good experiences (even if it’s less than 4%), so let’s take a look…

Common Positive Feedback

  • They don’t shut website down when customers get traffic surges, which means they make more money
  • They have a very nice user interface
  • Their support is very fast
  • They’re reliable
  • Some people switched from another mainstream host (some people spoke about Flywheel, WPEngine, Bluehost, and others), and said Kinsta is far better
  • The support is very knowledgeable, so customers feel they spend far less time expaining their problems or searching for solutions
  • Many customers were being forced to upgrade to comparably priced plans with other hosting companies, and appreciated the added benefits like fast customer support, high uptime, a nice user interface, the included CDN, and a knowledgeable staff

Common Negative Feedback

  • Higher priced than many hosting alternatives
  • E-Commerce Customers who try the plans less than Business 2 are noticing performance issues because there’s so much uncachable data. Kinsta recommends you have at least 4 PHP workers, so if you try a plan with less, it can impact your performance. Take a look at the negative review below to see what I mean…

Most Helpful Positive Kinsta Review

As a large organization with exacting performance and unique SLA requirements, our team evaluated several hosting providers in addition to rolling out our own self-hosted proof-of-concept. Our success criteria was in finding a solution that makes sure our WordPress sites have consistently fast page speed performance (millions of visits per month), is secure and highly-available in the event of system outages. Out of the handful of hosts and solutions we tested, Kinsta provided the best-in-class performance while reducing our team’s dependency on DevOps support — Kinsta’s support team is second to none.
Jake Martin, Sr. Mgr, Web Architect
intuit.com

Most Helpful Negative Kinsta Review

While there are many e-commerce sites with high traffic that are very satisfied with Kinsta, it looks like WooCommerce stores who are trying plans less than the Business 2 are having trouble. Here is one customer review:

“Heard so much great about Kinsta – I am so disappointed”

After reading so many good reviews about Kinsta, I moved two WooCommerce stores to them looking forward to fantastic performance. Boy was I disappointed!

For both stores I chose the 60$ plan (each on a separate 60$ plan) with 2 PHP workers. While the thought of more PHP workers sounds great, it actually stands out to me now, that it’s more of a limitation gating your site’s performance.

Store #1 is a beast with a lot of plugins. Yes, there’s a lot of optimisation that could be done on this site, I’ll admit that, but at the end of the day, we need most of those plugins for integrating our store with other platforms like bookkeeping software, shopping feeds, email marketing, amazon, analytics etc. Integrations that any online store needs for running a succesful business.

Store #1 was really slow. It took several minutes just to reach the control panel. A temporary upgrade to the 200$ plan made it a great deal faster, but definitely not enough to live up to Googles page speed standards.

Store #2 is pretty lean. Developed with a custom theme with as few queries on the frontend as possible (not even a mini cart) and only a few necessary plugins (payment, email marketing and shopping feed). This site was brand new with 0 traffic, but still it was incredibly slow.

I couldn’t really believe this. Kinsta HAD to be great because of the great reviews and their awesome blog posts I’ve read.

So I created a temporary VPS with 8gb memory and 4 vCPUs with Serverpilots hosting stack and also installed memcached. I moved store #1 to this VPS and tested it. The VPS could run the store without any problems. CPU usage was never over 20% and average usage was between 0-5%.

I guess Kinsta is great for WordPress sites that are fully cached and not dynamic like a WooCommerce store. If you do plan to host a WooCommerce store on Kinsta you need AT LEAST the 200$ plan.

But heres the thing – for $200 you can get a KILLER VPS that you can throw anything at.

Sadly I am really disappointed, but I’ll give Kinsta 2 stars because of their great customer service.

Jeppe Scovsgaard Christensen, Trustpilot reviewer

Kinsta Price

The pricing for Kinsta breaks down like this…

kinsta reviewYou can see even more of the pricing options at their website here.

My Final Opinion of Kinsta

I’ll have to update my list of best web hosts for small business owners because Kinsta is a major contender in the market. Many of the cons I’ve seen business owners mention about other web hosting options are satisfied with Kinsta, which makes them a great option if you’re looking for a way to get on the Google Cloud platform.

I wouldn’t recommend them for the price-over-value-conscious buyer, or for buyers who aren’t ready to invest in the most appropriate plan for their business situation.

A Warning for E-Commerce Sites

If you have an e-commerce site run on Woocommerce, then this is what the Kinsta staff has told me in response to my enclosed research:

It does happen that customers don’t go with the most suitable plan. Our support team is there to help with their choice and try to provide help with issues of sorts, however, the choice of the wrong hosting plan does result in performance issues. We do emphasize that for eCommerce sites we recommend plans with at least 4 PHP workers.

Screen Shot 2019-07-04 at 11.01.36.png
Additionally, we offer specific optimizations and add-ons for these sorts of websites, we host numerous eCommerce sites all of which are satisfied with our services. Case in point, a WooCommerce agency, Neuralab, whose case study you can find here: https://kinsta.com/clients/neuralab/

If you have additional questions, I recommend you reaching out and asking questions here.

For Price Conscious Buyers

If you’re a price-conscious buyer, they aren’t the “cheapest” platform, but they can save you lots of time, give you more features, and give you more peace of mind than what’s possible at many of the competing web hosts. How much would you be willing to pay for more features, more speed, more rankings, and ultimately more money? I think Kinsta’s pricing is more than reasonable in exchange for the return on investment that’s possible when you’re getting more customers and sales online.

Who I’d Recommend Kinsta For

I’d recommend Kinsta for customers who are looking for:

  • WordPress website hosting
  • reliability
  • scalability
  • high uptime
  • fast loading times
  • and, fast and knowledgeable support…

If these are the things you’re looking for in a web host, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised when you try Kinsta out. As an added benefit, Kinsta offers a 30-day money back guarantee, prorated refunds, and free site migration, so you can try out the services with fairly low risk. If you’re interested in testing it out, you can try Kinsta by going here.

Top Kinsta Alternatives

For customers who want an alternative to Kinsta Hosting, here are some alternatives in the market that I recommend:

You can see in the “blue” that Kinsta is on an upward incline, but there are other contenders who are also providing very good services that work for specific groups of people. Let me explain…

Wealthy Affiliate (My Current Website Host)

I personally host my websites at Wealthy Affiliate, but I’m considering Kinsta for future migration. Wealthy Affiliate offers training to help website owners learn how to identify what’s in demand online, how to create content that solves problems for internet users, how to drive organic and paid traffic, many methods of monetization, live weekly training, and many other topics. In addition to their training, they also have a social media-style community of 1.4 million+ entrepreneurs and cloud hosting for up to 50 websites.

As a downfall, Wealthy Affiliate’s hosting is still fairly new, so the developers are still working out some kinks and managing the growing pains. Although I haven’t personally had many problems, from time to time members complain about hosting issues, and as an Ambassador there, members have asked me for recommended alternatives–Kinsta is a great option.

Added to that, they don’t offer a solution above 30 GB and 500,000 pageviews/mo. Although, I’ll probably maintain my membership for the networking and training benefits, I’m sure my site will exceed the 30 GB and the bandwidth at some point, so Kinsta is my current host of choice after I’ve exceeded what’s available at Wealthy Affiliate. For my full Wealthy Affiliate review and tour, you can take a look here.

BigScoots

Bigscoots is another great web hosting alternative. Many of the paid masterminds I’m a part of have members who rave about Bigscoots. I’ve done a thorough review sharing pros and cons of Bigscoots you can check out. As a con, I’m not a big fan of C-Panel hosting, but if you like C-Panel, you’ll find yourself at home with Bigscoots. Take a look here for my full Bigscoots review with a video tour of the inside.

Flywheel

As a third alternative, I’d recommend you take a look at Flywheel. They also have a very nice user interface, and they’re not c-panel based. Flywheel also uses the Google Cloud infrastructure, but I’ve seen many customers who prefer Kinsta over Flywheel, so make sure to thoroughly investigate the pros and cons I’ve mentioned in my Flywheel review here.

VERDICT: Recommended

——————————————————-

Kinsta | Web Hosting on the Google Cloud Infrastructure

9

Reliability

9.0/10

Pricing

9.0/10

User Friendly

9.5/10

Support

9.5/10

Features

8.0/10

Pros

  • Very reliable
  • Many high traffic and notable businesses trust Kinsta
  • They use the Google Cloud Infrastructure
  • They will automatically scale your site (rather than crashing it) if your traffic surges
  • They have very fast customer support, SSL, and CDN included

Cons

  • E-Commerce customers require the Business 2 Plan or Higher because of their noncacheable features
  • Some e-commerce site owners report poor performance
  • They only host WordPress websites
  • They are higher priced than some alternatives because of the customization, speed and knowledge level of customer support
  • They don't offer training for website owners who aren't knowledgeable about how to use the internet effectively to attract customers and sales
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2 thoughts on “Kinsta Review: What Users Say, Pros, Cons, and Alternatives [July 2019]”

  1. Thank you so much for reviewing Kinsta. I have a rather new ecommerce website that I want to host separately from my current host (because there will be a lot of data stored). The negative feedback is very helpful to make my decision to not host it here. It’s a bit disappointing because I also heard many good reviews about them. The hosting cost per traffic is also quite high if my website is new. I think I will consider move one of my non ecommerce website to Kinsta for testing. Thank you for the helpful review

    1. Tiffany Domena

      You’re welcome! Kinsta is a great option, and I’ll probably be moving my site there when I outgrow my current hosting plan. After coordinating with the Kinsta staff about the negative reviews from e-commerce customers, the problem isn’t the infrastructure. Instead, the problem is that the customers haven’t chosen the most appropriate plan for their circumstances.
      If your site is still new and you haven’t quite tapped into the demand, then I can see how you’d consider this an expensive option, I think you should give them another look at some point once you have your proof of concept clear. Their included features actually could really improve your user experience, which would probably result in repeat visits, higher rankings, and more sales.
      More sales makes the “cost” for the traffic worthwhile because if you’re converting well, more traffic should mean more sales, and you should be getting returns.

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