UPDATED JUNE 27, 2019
Ever since our first son was born, we’ve been more or less relegated to kid-friendly restaurants. You know what I’m talking about – kids menus with crayons, big booths, lots of other screaming kids, casual dining with decent, but not extraordinary food. Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled we have a few in our area, but we’ve been going to those few for years. While they’re decent, I’m never blown away.
But as all kids do, they grow up bit by bit. Our guys are now pretty good in restaurants; in fact so much so that this past Father’s Day, I decided we should go to a nice steakhouse for dinner. I wasn’t sure kids would be all that welcome, but I figured what the heck, they’re pretty well behaved so let’s give it a shot.
Long story short. It was an absolute delight to eat out with my wife and boys in a restaurant where the food and service are superb in a stylish environment. It was a very memorable experience that capped a terrific Father’s Day.
Getting to go to a fine-dining steakhouse as a family after years of kid-friendly establishments is what switching to Kinsta hosting was like for my business.
All previous hosting services I used more or less did the job but lacked in some way. Problems arose more often than they should have.
Switching to Kinsta wasn’t just good, it’s been a totally hassle-free experience where my sites perform better than ever no matter how big they get.
Almost 2 years in and still happy
I’m now approaching 2 years with Kinsta and couldn’t be happier with them. All my sites are hosted with them.
When Kinsta launched they only had fairly expensive plans. However, since then, they’ve launched much less expensive plans. You can get going with them for only $30/mo. This makes it an excellent choice for lower traffic sites.
This Kinsta review might come off like I’m part owner of the company, but I’m not. I’m effusive with praise and only praise; as in, if you want really, really good hosting, switch to Kinsta. End. Of. Story.
Let me put it this way. I’m so happy I found Kinsta. It’s the best hosting service I’ve ever used (and I’ve used several services over the years). My sites (including Fat Stacks) have never loaded so fast and performed so well.
Here’s the list of hosting services I’ve used in chronological order:
My shortest stay was Siteground which was about 2 months.
Actually, Bluehost served me well for many years. I recommend Bluehost if you’re starting out and can only afford inexpensive shared hosting.
But if you have a website with some decent traffic and you use WordPress, at some point you need to consider a more robust hosting service.
There are a good number of hosting services that specifically host WordPress sites. WPEngine was one of the first (I set out a brief comparison of WPEngine to Kinsta below).
It’s been quite a hosting journey to say the least.
I DESPISE switching hosting services because it’s a lot of work and usually costs a lot of money paying for migrating my sites. I have a good number of sites so it’s a multi-day effort. I avoid it as much as possible.
Why did I leave the various hosting services?
Bluehost: I outgrew them and wanted WordPress specific hosting.
Hostgator: I tried them while I was with Bluehost. No major complaints but didn’t outperform Bluehost so just stayed with Bluehost at the time.
Synthesis: Great servers, but they only offer ticket support. I prefer 24/7 live chat support.
WPEngine: Amazing support but my biggest sites never performed well. Also, it’s more expensive than Kinsta and other hosting services. In fact, before I switched from WPEngine, they told me I would need to upgrade to a $1,200 per month account which is more than double what I now spend at Kinsta.
Siteground: I’ll leave it with I stayed for 2 months and left. You do the math.
Kinsta: I’m still with Kinsta and couldn’t be happier. It’s the first hosting service with which my sites, especially bigger sites are blazing fast. I’ll explain how they helped me achieve this below.
What is Kinsta hosting?
They’re a relatively newish hosting service. Specifically, it’s managed WordPress hosting powered by Google Cloud. The speed is amazing.
I’m not going to go into all the specs for two reasons:
- I don’t really know what it means; and
- You can get all the specs at the Kinsta site and if you want to know more, I’m sure they’ll tell you.
I want my Kinsta review to explain how they’ve impressed me so far with examples of what they’ve done to get my sites performing better than they ever have.
Short list of what I love about Kinsta
Fast Sites: This is key. My sites perform amazingly well; better than they ever have (by a mile).
Support is second-to-none: When I first migrated my 22 sites to Kinsta, I was a major pain in their in side. I probably live chatted them (via the awesome Intercom system) multiple times per day. Their response time is almost immediate and they helped me get all the tech stuff straightened away. It’s been about 1.5 to 2 months since I’ve had to pester them every day, which I’m sure they’re happy about, but not once did they gripe or assist with attitude.
Easy user interface: I’m not very technical. I still struggle with SFTP. Databases… forget about it. The most I can handle is drag and drop, which their user interface handles. The best part is their support is so great I’ve never had to deal with the backend of their hosting much.
Click the following screenshots to enlarge.
Works with Cloudflare: Some managed WordPress hosting services only offer their own built-in CDN. I’ve used these and have been disappointed. Kinsta doesn’t only sync perfectly with Cloudflare, but they helped out big time getting all my sites properly configured on Cloudflare.
Free SSL certificate: This isn’t unique; many hosting services now offer it, but it’s nice they do as well. What was great was Kinsta took care of all the technical details to ensure the SSL protocol loaded properly. I had some hiccups with this and they handled everything. Now all 22 sites I own run smoothly on the SSL protocol.
PHP 7: WPEngine offers PHP 7, but they required that my sites qualified and if the sites didn’t quality, I had to take steps to get them on PHP 7. With Kinsta, I was put onto PHP 7 right away.
Great security: With past hosting, I had security issues. Sites would get hacked, malware issues… the whole nine yards. Since I switched to Kinsta I have not had one single security issue. It’s amazing. In fact, I’ve spent less time dealing with technical problems with Kinsta over the past two years than any other hosting platform I used in the past.
Proactive notifications: I recently had a situation where I had a dead domain attached to a domain. The SSL certificate (freely provided by Kinsta) was coming up for renew. The dead domain was going to be a problem with the SSL cert. renewal. Fortunately, Kinsta anticipated this, sent me a notification so that I could preemptively fix the problem. Consequently, the SSL renewed without a hitch.
How Kinsta over-delivers BIG time
SSL/Cloudflare/Ezoic: I had a heck of a time getting my bigger sites functioning right with SSL, Cloudflare and Ezoic. While Kinsta wasn’t aware of Ezoic, they dug in and did whatever it took to make it work. They even worked directly with Ezoic. It was amazing.
Shaved GB so I got on the best plan possible: 2 of my sites are huge and take up a lot of GB in storage. Recently I had a notification saying I had exceeded my plan’s storage. I contacted support and they immediately shaved off something like 11 GB for me which reduced how much more storage I needed by quite a bit. This was a huge help and what they did was stuff I would never have figured out on my own.
Free site migration: You get a certain number of free site migrations, depending on your plan. My 22 sites was more than my plan’s allotment. Because I had recently paid Siteground $600 to migrate my sites, I really didn’t want to pay a fortune to migrate all my sites again. I told Kinsta the situation and they cut me a deal. I still paid for migration, but it was a nice show of good faith to give me a discount.
It’s the best hosting for photo and media-rich WordPress websites
I publish two large niche sites that are photo-centric. Photos use up a lot of hosting bandwidth and can dramatically slow down a site. In fact, until I went to Kinsta, I constantly struggled with getting my media-rich WordPress sites to load fast. And get this, I had the bulk of my images hosted with Amazon.
Since migrating to Kinsta, I place my images on their server (I’m talking 50,000 images) and my sites load very fast.
FYI, I use Kinsta in conjunction with Cloudflare, which I recommend you do as well.
I’m saving $1,000 per month with Kinsta
Before I left WPEngine, WPEngine notified me saying I needed to upgrade to a $1,200 per month plan. That’s nuts. my current plan with Kinsta is $500/month and site performance is far better.
Moreover, I’ve moved many of my images hosted on Amazon to Kinsta’s servers which has chopped my Amazon server costs by $300 per month.
It doesn’t get better – lower cost and better performance.
None. It’s the first time I have no complaints with a hosting service.
I’ve waited a long time to get the site performance I have, especially on my bigger sites. My bigger sites has tens of thousands of images and posts. These sites load incredibly fast. In fact, I’m still amazed when I visit my sites with how fast they load after having slow sites for years (and it wasn’t for lack of spending money on speeding them up).
Every referral I’ve sent is happy
I have a good number of successful website publisher friends. I tell them all about Kinsta. Several have switched. Not one of them regretted moving to Kinsta. They all tell me that they love the performance and support. In fact, I get insistent about switching because I know they’ll be in better hands.
Isn’t it expensive?
The lowest priced plan is $30 per month, so it’s definitely not the cheapest hosting available. If you’re starting out with a new site, you can get away with inexpensive $5 to $7 per month hosting such as Bluehost. But once you start getting some decent traffic, hopefully you’re making some decent money so you can improve your site’s performance moving to a more robust hosting environment.
I was about to be forced to spend $1,200 per month with WPEngine so you can imagine how happy I am to get better performance at less than half the price at Kinsta.
Kinsta is hosting for WordPress sites that are looking for that premium hosting option that can handle serious traffic and offers excellent support.
If you’re not happy with your current host, you gotta give Kinsta a try. Seriously, migrate one site and work with them to get it optimized and you will be beyond delighted.
Nothing short of amazing hosting for WordPress sites.
All my sites are with Kinsta now. I wouldn’t consider using any other hosting service.
I know this a over-the-top-praise, but every day I’m so happy my sites are performing so well and everything runs so smoothly.
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What could be more fun than earning a living spending a few hours each day publishing articles millions of people enjoy each month? Not much. Jon is the founder and owner of a digital media company that publishes a variety of web properties visited by millions of readers monthly. Fatstacks is where he shares a glimpse into his digital publishing business.