Kinsta Review – High Performance WordPress Hosting

Kinsta Review

I have been wanting to write this review for a while now about my amazing experience with Kinsta. Their managed WordPress hosting experience has been far above anything that I have experienced over the past few years. Not just from the speed aspect, but also from their top notch customer support. If you are looking for a high-performance WordPress host, these guys are the ones you want to choose. Read my full Kinsta review below.

Who is Kinsta?

Kinsta was founded by Mark Gavalda, a WP dev guy and programmer by trade. They have offices in London, Los Angeles, Budapest, and started offering hosting to the public in early 2014 (founded December 2013). They are no longer a newcomer when it comes to WordPress hosting, and they are already surpassing their competition when it comes to high end performance. Their COO is Sean O’Brien, who actually used to work at Pagely, and moved over to Kinsta to head their operations in the United States. Check out their results in LoadStorm’s WordPress web hosting performance test.

Kevin writes: “Remarkably, some companies didn’t even struggle. Kinsta kept sub one second response times for 30 minutes and nearly a quarter million requests. Most companies had a spike or two causing a higher peak response time, but Kinsta and Pantheon didn’t (and Media Temple had a tiny one at 1.5 seconds). Simply amazing performance.” and for the individual company evaluation “[Kinsta is] A new-comer that jumped straight to the top of the performance tiers. Kinsta’s performance was amazing in the Load Storm 2000 logged in user test. They had the lowest peak response time and zero errors over a 30 minute test. They didn’t struggle with any tests whatsoever and showed zero downtime. Kinsta’s performance was top tier.

Kinsta’s vast feature set is really what sets them apart from the other managed WordPress hosting companies out there. Kinsta is the kind of host you want if you go on Shark Tank. Some of Kinsta’s current clients include Mint.com, Ubisoft, Swagway, Intuit, and AdEspresso!

adespresso intuit mint ubisoft

They were also named the most reliable hosting company in 2016 by codeinwp.com.

Features

Unlimited Visitors

Yes that’s right folks, I said unlimited visitors! Yes they do cap your bandwidth but it is at a generous amount. This is far superior in my opinion over that of WP Engine, who starts charging you overage fees after you surpass your visitor limits. No host should ever charge based on visitor count. Kinsta offers unlimited visits and pageviews across all of their plans.

Architecture

Kinsta is the first managed WordPress hosting company that is completely powered by the new powerful Google Cloud platform, which features automatic scaling, LXD containers, and of course one of the biggest networks on the planet. Kinsta uses Google Cloud Platform’s multi-regional deployment mode. Google offers three locations in multi-regional mode: US Central, Europe and Asia-Pacific. They are strategically placed to offer the lowest latency.

google cloud platform
Kinsta fully believes in the best architecture for hosting. Additional back-end architecture includes:

  • Nginx ( an open source reverse proxy server for HTTP, HTTPS, SMTP, POP3, and IMAP protocols, as well as a load balancer, HTTP cache, and a web server.
  • Ubuntu 16.04 (Long-term supported Linux 4.4 kernel, Python 3, OpenSSH 7.2p2 and Apt 1.2.)
  • PHP7 (the latest and great revision to PHP. PHP7 is just bloody fast. They also let you choose between PHP 5.6 and 7 in their dashboard)
  • Object Caching (Redis & Memcached full page caching)
  • Memcached (Open source, high-performance, distributed memory object caching system)
  • HTTP/2 (the latest and greatest protocol since HTTP/1.1. HTTP/2 features better multiplexing, parallelism, smaller headers, and more. It makes SSL faster.)
  • MariaDB (An enhanced, drop-in replacement for MySQL)
  • Free DNS via Amazon Route 53
  • Free SSL with Let’s Encrypt integration
  • Application performance monitoring by New Relic. 1440 daily uptime checks per website! I don’t know of any other host offering this.

Free SSL

Kinsta offers free SSL certificates on every single plan they offer. They have an integration with Let’s Encrypt which allows for a one-click setup of SSL on your WordPress site. You can be up and running over HTTPS in a matter of seconds.

free ssl let's encryptAnd of course, you can still use your own SSL certificates. Kinsta let’s yo add your certificate keys right from within the dashboard. No reaching out to support is necessary.

CDN

They don’t offer a CDN, as they aren’t in the CDN business. If you want serious speed along with Kinsta’s powerful servers, I highly recommend implementing KeyCDN. This will give you a combo that cannot be beat when it comes to performance and speed. KeyCDN has over 25 POPs, HTTP/2 support, Free SSL, HPACK compression, and much more!

keycdn

Customer Support

Their customer support is way above par! Mark and their team always go way out of their way to answer questions and they really want your site to be as fast as possible. I appreciate teams that really understand the need for fast websites and are knowledgeable when it comes to WordPress and their platform. When I was migrating away from WP Engine I had to explain to their support rep how to remove my custom CNAME in MaxCDN. Why am I having to explain to WP Engine how to do their job? You won’t ever get that with Kinsta.

Automated Backups

They have an automated backup system in place which keeps up to 14 backups at once. By default it backs up once per day. You can manually create a backup if need, and can easily restore your site from a backup at any time from right within the Kinsta dashboard. Whenever you restore a backup a new backup is generated which will reflect the state of your website just before you restored it. This is handy if you’d like to undo the restore.

Additional Features

They also offer all the same features you expect now from a good managed WordPress host such as automated backups, free site migration, one-click staging area, SSH access, composer, SFTP, WP-CLI, multisite support and Git Support.

Pricing

Kinsta is aimed more towards medium-sized to larger businesses and enterprise customers. Remember, this is high-end performance hosting. They aren’t trying to compete with WP Engine or Flywheel. I would consider them a notch above the rest.

kinsta hosting plans

Kinsta Dashboard

Here are some snapshots of the Kinsta dashboard, which is beautiful by the way! They also have two-factor authentication to ensure that nobody gets into your dashboard but you.

kinsta dashboard

wordpress dashboard managed wordpress control panel

Kinsta verses WP Engine

Even though I don’t consider Kinsta and WP Engine in the same league I thought it would useful to show you the speed differences. I used to host all of my websites at WP Engine. I am very OCD when it comes to speed and am always trying to find ways to speed them up.

Here are my tests results after migrating away from WP Engine. I ran speed tests multiple times to prevent data skewing due to prefetching and 1st time DNS queries. With WP Engine I also got very long 1st time requests, sometimes up to the 3-second mark! This issue has never happened on Kinsta. Both are being served from the same data center location.

brianleejackson.com on WP Engine with MaxCDN Enabled

wp engine brianleejackson

brianleejackson.com on Kinsta with MaxCDN Enabled

kinsta brianleejackson

I got a 47% increase in speed simply by moving to Kinsta’s servers. It is unbelievable.

okaymarketing.com on Kinsta

Unfortunately I didn’t grab a screenshot of my okaymarketing.com site on WP Engine before migrating but check out the final result! A whopping 647ms load time. I couldn’t be happier.

okaymarketing kinsta

What Other People Are Saying

Yes it sounds like I’m just raving about Kinsta but don’t just take my word for it! Check out the feedback they are getting on Twitter and read more reviews on HostingReviews.io.

Conclusion

All in all I couldn’t be happier with my migration to Kinsta. I think WP Engine has lost their focus when it comes down to those of us who really care about speed. I hope this Kinsta review gives you something to think about. I recommend giving them a try, you won’t be disappointed. And being backed by the Google Cloud Platform ensures you have some huge architecture behind your sites.

Visit Kinsta

As always feel free to leave your comments below.

Full Disclosure: Since writing this I have now taken a position at Kinsta because I fully stand behind their product and services.

Kinsta Managed WordPress Hosting
  • Speed
  • Customer Support
  • Features Included
  • Architecture
  • Price

Summary

If you are looking for a new managed WordPress hosting company, look no further! Kinsta will blow your mind when it comes to speed and their customer support is far above any company I have ever used.

4.9

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31 Comments

  1. Alessandro Dragonetti March 5, 2016
    • Brian Jackson March 6, 2016
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          • Brian Jackson April 22, 2016
    • tomzur March 7, 2016
  2. Alessandro Dragonetti March 10, 2016
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  6. Thomas Zickell April 20, 2016
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  8. samheavyside June 8, 2016
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