Kinsta Managed WordPress Hosting Review. By a customer.
I’ve been with Kinsta 3 months now and I thought I’d share with you my findings and how it fairs. I’m a newbie when it comes to web hosting but that didn’t stop me from staying with the same web hosting company for an absolute age. Better the devil you know and all that.
It would be unprofessional to mention the previous host I was with, I just wasn’t happy with the way things were going. The site was going down quite often (my fault once or twice) the rest of the time, their fault. Trust me it went down a lot.
So I had to have a look around, I needed something that could cope with my future plans and direction I wanted to go in.
Apologies firstly if you expect a technical review of Kinsta’s managed WP hosting
This review isn’t going to tell you about server configurations, load balancing, NGINX reverse proxies (which incidentally sounds like a sci-fi film) or anything to do with tech.
Sorry. I really am.
I’m not qualified to tell you about Kinsta web hosting from a tech perspective. It wouldn’t be right for me to sit here and keep Googling configurations of servers, benefits etc.
It would just be regurgitated content, hell I wouldn’t even know what I’d be typing, what’s the point in misleading people?
Those of you who are interested in a technical review of Kinsta, I’m sorry to say, you can leave now.
Why Kinsta? Why use their managed WordPress hosting?
The short answer, Brian Jackson, and Tom Zsomborgi.
Brian (if you don’t know him) is a professional marketer and blogger. I regularly read his latest blog posts, get inspiration for articles from his work and heed his advice. Brian’s blog Woorkup is an excellent read, and full of useful posts, such as taking a site to 100K in visitors inside 12 months.
Now don’t get me wrong I had heard about Kinsta through Twitter, but it was Brian’s review that helped me make my mind up. You can read that review from Brian here if you’d like to read a more technical viewpoint.
So with cap in hand, I put out a tweet…
— Wpin.me (@wp_in) December 31, 2017
Now comes Tom Zsomborgi, Tom is one of the founders of Kinsta and I must admit an all round good egg. He messaged me and the rest was history in terms of hosting. Tom was incredibly professional and helped me get started using Kinsta. He never asked for any preferential treatment in return, any plugs about Kinsta nothing.
To me that says a lot. The main one being, the product speaks for itself. And it does. Truly.
Tom hasn’t asked me to write this review, there is no gun to my head, I just thought people might like to know what working with Kinsta is like. I do mean working with, you see they actually give a monkeys about you as a customer.
My Kinsta Review
Like I said, this isn’t going to be a technical review. That doesn’t stop me from explaining a few things though, maybe dash this review of Kinsta with a screenshot or two.
The Kinsta Dashboard
It’s where I spend a bit of time on a daily basis, checking on my site seeing how things are going. You will see from the Kinsta panel on the left of the image above, you have quite a few options to keep you informed about your sites well being.
The sites tab is really self-explanatory, it’s here you can find all your sites hosted on Kinsta, you can drill down of course simply by clicking on the name of the site you choose. See below for what happens when you drill down.
My site on Kinsta
What’s good about this from a user point of view? Everything is in its place and never far from navigation.
I used to use a CPANEL on my old web hosting, it was confusing as balls, to be honest, loads of icons, and trying to remember what icons did what etc, etc. I don’t have the time to remember all that noise.
On Kinsta, it’s soooo much easier.
The info tab tells you all the finer details, such as server location, IPv4 address, the path to the public folder and external IP.
You can also view your SFTP/SSH settings here, your username is on clear display along with your SFTP password (a simple click to copy, nice) and of course the SFTP port if you wanted to upload files manually using FileZilla or your FTP client of choice.
The Domains tab, here you will see your domain name, with a handy click to open URL and the same for the WordPress Admin. Underneath this, we have additional domains, this section deals with pointing domains to your website.
Domains on Kinsta are site name in my case wpinme.kinsta.com the additional domains tab lets you point your domain to the Kinsta hosted website. I’m not going to cover this, as I would be out of my league with DNS setups etc. I have done it in the past, but not enough to warrant giving advice!
WordPress website backups on Kinsta
Backing up your website is another ball ache. I’ve got to be honest, I very rarely backed up my site on my other web host. WHICH IS THE WORST THING YOU COULD POSSIBLY DO!!!!
Yup, I was massively irresponsible, on my old web host, I had to manually back up my WordPress install. The problem with manually doing them?
Especially if you’re doing lots of different things on a daily basis.
Thankfully Kinsta doesn’t forget.
In fact, Kinsta does this for you. Daily might I add. Once a day, Kinsta backs up your website and stores them for 14 days. So you’re never far away if you make a mistake or need to get a backup from a previous day!
Want to manually back up your website? Well, you can do that too, handy if you’ve made a few changes and want to revert to the freshest install you can.
System generated backups are event triggered. Such as going from a staging environment to live, searching and replacing in your database and lastly when you restore a backup, the system will generate a back up for you and it’s located here.
Tools for your site on Kinsta
There are a few options here for you to choose from. What I like about the tools section is the explanation about what each one will do. You can clear the site cache, enable HTTPS via Let’s Encrypt and switch PHP versions.
That plus you can Restart PHP and enable or disable New Relic Monitoring, which is a tool designed to give you details on the performance of your website.
Lastly, at the bottom of the image above (slightly cut off my fault) you will see Search And Replace. See below for a better image!
This tool will search your database for your desired search term, the next box will replace that term with the text you define there. Which is handy if you have to change a web link in your database that’s mentioned a ton of times on your website e.g:
You can perform a ‘Dry Run’ first, this will tell you how many times the text instance will be changed in your database. Couple this with a manual site back up (just in case you make a mistake) and you have something that would take 30 minutes or more and a few tutorials to learn how to do.
In Kinsta? A couple of minutes top whack.
Website redirects in Kinsta
The next tab deals with redirects, here you can add a redirect rule, instead of relying on a plugin to deal with website redirects, you can let Kinsta run them for you.
You can bulk import them or export existing redirects to a CSV file. Gone is the reliance on a WordPress plugin to handle redirects!
Plugin info on Kinsta
The plugins tab will show you all the WordPress plugins active or inactive on your website, along with version number and whether or not an update is available
The Kinsta CDN tab
What does this mean?
Well, it essentially means your site will load content through a CDN instead of relying on the server, which in essence means your site will run faster! Which I’m sure you will agree is a major bonus, but best of all?
Lastly in the site tabs, is the error log. It’s here you can view all the error logs your website is throwing up so you can fix any issues causing major problems.
Creating a staging environment in Kinsta
Creating a staging environment in Kinsta is an incredibly simple affair. It’s a click of a button:
Adding in a new site in Kinsta is very easy indeed. A simple click of a button and modal appears. It’s here you can set your server location to choose from 15 locations, including the UK, Tokyo, Oregon and more.
Which is incredibly handy if you’re hosting a website dedicated to a specific locale. By choosing the right server location, it can minimize the time your site loads.
Next up the name of your site, whether it’s a brand new website or a staging one. You have three options to choose from, don’t install WordPress, add a new install or clone an existing environment.
If you clone an existing environment you’ll get another drop down to choose from your existing websites.
Cloning an existing environment creates a staging environment. Here you can play around with your website change the design, make changes wholesale.
All the while your existing website is safe and secure, until you’re ready to make the change, once ready, you just change it to live! It’s that easy.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a noob, however, the ease of Kinsta means even the biggest noob can get cracking with a staging environment!
Migrations in Kinsta
I actually got Kinsta to perform my migration for me. I probably could have done it myself, but I’d rather let the pro’s handle it!
Migration was swift and straightforward, the support team kept in contact with me all the time through to completion.
All I had to do was provide them with access to the site via FTP, my hosting panel, and a few other options and that’s it! All done!
Analytics in Kinsta
The analytics section deals with resources used by your site, you can view analytics by combined sites or on an individual basis.
You can drill down and take a look at resource usage, how many visits your site gets and how much bandwidth your site is using and more.
Want to view your site’s performance via PHP and MySQL Response time? You can check your response times, cache, GEO Analysis and referring IP addresses.
Premium Kinsta DNS service
Kinsta also offers a premium DNS service as you can see from the image above. I’ve got to be honest with you, I’ve not used it. I’m not qualified to go into DNS settings etc, I don’t want to lead you down the garden path but it’s worth mentioning to those who are interested!
Two-factor authentication at Kinsta
Want to bolster security for your Kinsta account? Well Kinsta supports two-factor authentication, if you choose this option whenever you want to log in you will be sent a 7 digit code to your mobile device for an added layer of security
What about email hosting at Kinsta?
Well, sadly Kinsta do not offer email hosting. Not a deal breaker for me as I use Gmail anyway, some might be put off by this and want an all in one solution.
Kinsta specializes in offering Managed WordPress hosting and make no bones about the fact they do not offer email hosting. As long as you know upfront and don’t expect it, you won’t be disappointed.
What about page speed using Kinsta?
As is the trend with reviews of web hosts, I thought I’d share with you some screenshots of my page speed tests. Bear in mind I am using the ReHub WordPress theme, which is an absolute beast, plus I’m a bugger for not optimizing my images (something I am rectifying). The screenshots below are using Kinsta’s white label cache plugin and WP Rocket:
As you can see from the above the site is a little bit quick, to say the least. I’ve noticed it from an administration point of view, site speed is of major importance these days, thanks to Kinsta I don’t have to worry about my site being slow! I just need to start compressing my images in the first instance 🙂
Why I love Kinsta’s Managed WordPress hosting
I think it’s fantastic, the features are great it’s incredibly easy to use (even for a noob like me) everything is clear and it’s easy to navigate.
There are clear details on each function within Kinsta’s control panel. There’s a very useful user guide for users to dip into if they do have any queries or questions.
The documentation is written for humans not whizz kids without being patronizing. The support when I have needed to use it has been phenomenal.
You are never far away from help if you need it, that’s what makes Kinsta a done deal for me. In the bottom right-hand corner of your control panel you’ll see the below upon clicking:
A simple click will through up your support team, who are on hand to help you with any questions you may have! Plus I must admit the Help Center is pretty darn good to boot. My advice, take the Help Center for a drive, you will more than likely get the answer you need there.
It’s good to know support is there if you really need it, no convoluted submission form, no navigating to a whole new section.
A human response, from knowledgeable support techs, no canned response, no emails telling you to go here and do that etc.
Let’s recap on the plus points in using Kinsta
- Free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate (or you can import your existing one)
- Free CDN – size dependent on the package you opt for
- Awesome cache – site speed is of massive importance to Kinsta, their custom cache is great! (Kinsta now allows WP Rocket for even more oomph to your site speed!!!)
- Free Site migration – package dependent of course
- Staging environments for when you need to make changes
- Being able to choose your server location for faster load times
- Automated backups
- 24/7 Support from highly qualified personable technicians
My impression of Kinsta is a company who cares. A company that I have no doubt will end up going places.
The support I was given again was excellent, the support techs are polite, human and really wanted to help, one even gave me some advice on plugins. The control panel is so ruddy easy to use it’s unreal.
If you’re looking for a new web host for your WordPress install I would wholeheartedly recommend Kinsta, you will not be disappointed.
What packages are available at Kinsta?
Good question, there’s something for everyone, take a look at what’s on offer below:
- 1 WordPress install, 20,000 visits, 3GB disk space, Free SSL & CDN + More
- 2 WordPress installs, 40,000 visits, 6GB disk space, Free SSL & CDN + More
- 3 WordPress installs, 100,000 visits, 10GB disk space, Free SSL & CDN + More
- 10 WordPress installs, 250,000 visits, 20GB disk space, Free SSL & CDN + More
- 20 WordPress installs, 400,000 visits, 30GB disk space, Free SSL & CDN + More
- 40 WordPress installs, 600,000 visits, 40GB disk space, Free SSL & CDN + More
- 60 WordPress installs, 1,000,000 visits, 80GB disk space, Free SSL & CDN + More
- 80 WordPress installs, 1,500,000 visits, 120GB disk space, Free SSL & CDN + More
Kinsta Managed WordPress Hosting Review
- Features - 10/1010/10
- Site Speed - 10/1010/10
- Support - 10/1010/10
- Cost - 8/108/10
Kinsta Hosting Review Verdict
Sure Kinsta might not be for everyone from a pricing perspective. There are reviews out there that will do a blow by blow comparison, which obviously this isn't.
This review was written from my experiences with Kinsta. I have to say my experience with them has been outstanding, Kinsta is seriously worth considering if you've outgrown your current web host, or run a WordPress design/development company.
Like I said, I'm a noob when it comes to the technical side of things. in truth thanks to the extensive documentation and ease of use (and support when you need it), Kinsta is incredibly easy to get along with.
Easy to use
Support is 1st class
Features are awesome
Staging environments are a cinch to use
Site speed is fantastic
No email hosting
Might be a little too expensive for the garden variety WordPress blogger