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:
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 & 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.
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.
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.
- Site Speed
- Customer support
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.