My Kinsta Hosting Review After 8 Months (22 Sites Hosted)

Kinsta hosting

UPDATE NOVEMBER 21, 2017

First, I’m still with Kinsta hosting and still delighted with their service.  All my biggest sites are with them.

The main point of this update is to tell you that Kinsta recently rolled out lower cost plans starting at $30 per month.  This makes it an excellent choice for lower traffic sites.  When I initially published this, their lowest priced plan was $100 which is not necessary for most new sites, but at $30, it’s worth considering.

– END UPDATE –

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.

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:

  1. Bluehost
  2. Hostgator
  3. Synthesis
  4. WPEngine
  5. Siteground
  6. Kinsta

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:

  1. I don’t really know what it means; and
  2. 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 & HHVM: 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.  For one site they suggested HHVM so I took them up on that suggested.  The result was amazing.  The issue that led to going to HHVM was a slow WordPress backend.  HHVM with Kinsta solved that immediately.

How Kinsta over-delivered 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.

Reduced migration cost: 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.

Complaints

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).

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.

Conclusion

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.

Learn more about Kinsta here.

Overview
  • Site Speed
  • Customer support
  • Ease-of-Use
  • Cost

Summary

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.

Learn more here

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What do you think? Leave a comment!

  • Dale Reardon says:

    Hi,
    Great review of Kinsta.
    I am also with Kinsta and very happy with performe.
    I hadn’t heard of Ezoic before but just read your full review of them nd will give them a try on several sites – is the business plan price per site or account?
    In any event what do I need to tell Kinsta and/or what do need to do to my sites with Kinsta to make them perform better with Ezoic?

    I too am using Cloudflare for caching – just testing out their new Argo traffic service to see if it improves performance also.

    Dale.

    • Jon says:

      Hey Dale,
      thanks for your comment.

      Re Ezoic: I use the plan where you don’t pay them directly but instead they get revenue from one ad unit.

      As for integrating Ezoic with Kinsta, just set up Ezoic as you normally would and hopefully you have no issues. If you do, however, just contact Kinsta support to see what the issue is. If it’s via Ezoic, Ezoic support should be able to help you out. The biggest issue for me was Cloudflare and Ezoic, and amazingly Kinsta helped out in that regard as well.

  • ahmed says:

    You really can’t… Until you try WPXHosting…

    • Jon says:

      Hey Ahmed,

      I’ve heard good things, but haven’t tried. Considered WPX before Kinsta.

      • Deyan says:

        Hi Jon, one of the best reviews from the most honest guy i know in the internet. Thanks for it.
        As it comes to WPX hosting, it’s ridiculously bad, even worse than hostgator. i have used it myself. Big claims, but tiny actions. it’s not even an alternative to Kinsta.
        So let’s turn into my question: Hi, how many unique visitors and pageviews do you think kinsta’s 100$/month package handle? i know that it’s been mentioned unlimited. but let’s be honest, 50gb bandwidth can’t handle that much.
        and the second question is, do you think kinsta outperfom liquidweb? they’re like alien. better than out best friends 🙂 but as i trust you too, i think you may have heard anything about them

        • Jon says:

          Hey Deyan,

          Thanks for your comment. I moved from Bluehost to managed WP hosting at around 500,000 monthly pageviews, but should probably have switched before. I’d say 200,000 monthly pageviews. However, if your shared host is giving you “using too many resources” feedback, it’s time to move (I was getting that for months at the time). However, pageviews per month isn’t the full picture. If you have lots of images or self-hosted videos, you’ll use up more storage which may require a bigger package. The only way to know for sure is to reach out to Kinsta and see what they say. I chose a package based on the number of sites I had which was the $400/mo. package but had to bump up to $500/mo. package due to storage needs.

          I spoke with LiquidWeb too before choosing Kinsta and never went with them. I’ve never used LiquidWeb so I can’t comment on their hosting.

          • Deyan says:

            hmm. that’s the answer i was looking for that you have at least talked to liquidweb. it seems like they haven’t pleased you. Anyway.
            Let’s turn the question into this:
            how many gb of bandwidth does your biggest niche site (which is image heavy) use at kinsta?

          • Jon says:

            Hey Deyan,
            Sorry for the delay. My biggest site uses about 160 GB bandwidth in the last 30 days.

  • David says:

    Hey Jon,

    Over the years I have used my fair share of web hosts (about 4) Looks like you are beating me by a few 🙂
    That being said, I moved over to Siteground a few months ago (so far so good) and that brings me to my questions… Can you elaborate a bit more about why you left after such a short stay of 2 months? I want to make sure I don’t run into the same things you did… whatever that might be lol 🙂

    Thanks in advance,
    David

    • Jon says:

      Hey David,

      If Siteground is working for you, stay with them. They’re inexpensive. They just didn’t work out for me, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t good. Sorry, I won’t elaborate on that because I’m not into smearing companies especially since it was only my experience. They’re an established hosting service and as far as I’m concerned stick with what’s working for you.

  • Rinkesh says:

    Hey Jon,

    No doubt, its an honest review of Kinsta from you. I also checked their plans few months back but things didn’t worked out as their basic plan used to start from $100. Anyway, ,just one question for you:

    You said one of your large site is image centric. So that must be consuming good amount of bandwidth every month. How much bandwidth do you get in your $500 plan with Kinsta.

    The reason why I am asking this because one of my sites gets 2M pageviews per month and consumes close to 100 GB bandwidth out of 300 despite using Cloudflare.

    Rinkesh

    • Jon says:

      Hey Rinkesh,

      I have a $500/mo. plan which gives me 60GB of space (I think). I had to upgrade from $400/mo. to $500/mo. to accommodate the extra storage which is a result of storing a lot of photos on the server. Yes, I use Cloudflare as well. Overall, I have no problem paying this amount given the performance and the fact my previous dedicated WP hosting wanted to charge me $1,200 per month.

  • Susan says:

    Hi Jon,
    What slows my page load is not images. It’s the ads. What do you consider an acceptable load time for pages running ads? I don’t yet have the traffic level to justify Kinsta but have been working on site speed. I’m not sure what my goal should be, so some perspective would help.

    And thank you for all the awesome info you share. I’ve been a huge fan ever since your original FAT Stacks guide!

    • Jon says:

      Hi Susan,

      The first thing I would suggest is use Cloudflare. That’s helped me tremendously. After that, test different ad networks and see which one(s) is causing such a slow down of your site. I’ve found some are definitely worse than others. AdSense and Media.net load very quickly and don’t slow down a site much at all. Others can slow down a site.

      As for acceptable load speed, I’m not an expert on this and I publish image-heave sites so my acceptable load speed may be longer than you if you have just text. If it’s primarily text, it should load in under 2 seconds.

      • Susan says:

        Okay will do. I’ve been using MaxCDN but am just in the process of switching to Cloudflare. Hopefully that will be better. Thank you very much. You are always so helpful!

        • Adamu says:

          Also, site speed can be affected by the theme you are using.Try lighter themes..I suggest you try themes from mythemeshop.com…they have good light fast loading themes….sometimes ky sports website with huge traffic loads in less than a second.

  • Robert says:

    Hi,
    I am also gone Kinsta and fixed glad once performed. its an honest review of Kinsta from you. I also checked their plans few months insist but things didn’t work out as their basic tilt toward used to begin from $100.
    Thank you.

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