Every website owner, at some point or the other, makes his own real-life assessment of different hosting service providers. Some of the most that most people try are WP, Kinsta, Bluehost, Hostinger, etc. Hosting doesn’t really matter much when the traffic has just started flowing in, and isn’t too much to consider the ‘load’. However, as traffic keeps increasing and reaches to a point where it needs optimization, hosting becomes the prime factor to fix for website performance.
Site speed and a flicker-less experience become key indicators or deciding factors in whether the traffic while engaging further with your website or simply bounce away. More than a few seconds and your website page fails to load? People will switch. Too much traffic and the page crashed? Your business suffers the loss.
At Sprout24, I started taking hosting seriously as soon as my website traffic crossed the 10k mark. Since then I’ve tested and tried different solutions. In this post, I am going to compare in detail two hosting solutions – Kinsta and Siteground, for those who are thinking of trying out one of these.
Let’s begin with Siteground
Siteground provides a range of solutions including Linux, Cloud, as well as dedicated server solutions. Of course, the prices vary as per the solution that you are opting for. While trying out and reviewing Siteground, I listed down a few factors that I would want to score it on. Based on those factors, I’ve created a Pros and Cons list for my readers who want to know exactly what they will experience using this hosting service provider.
Advantages or Pros of Siteground Hosting
Speed – One of the main factors that determine a website performance is speed. If your website fails to load within milliseconds, customer experience is at stake. Siteground is one of those few hosting service providers who take speed very, very seriously. Even if the website traffic is extremely high, the load speed will remain unimpacted. This is because of latest speed technologies such as NGINX, HTTP/2, PHP7 and free CDN that they’ve inculcated in their hosting solution, which their customers can use to their advantage.
Another factor that adds to the ‘speed’ of this hosting service provider is that it has five major centers across the world – Chicago, London, Amsterdam, Milan, and Singapore. Why this matters for your website’s speed and performance is that the closer the data center to your geolocation, the lesser the physical distance that your website files have to cover.
Another factor that adds to website performance if using Siteground is that this hosting service provider smartly allocated its resources. Because it is a shared hosting service provider, how intelligently the resources are shared, matters a lot. With Siteground, you don’t have to worry about this bit at all.
Features and Integrations – For those who want to know the technical detail behind how everything functions, Siteground is a goldmine. It has a great set of technical features which are all very sound. The hosting service provider is extremely particular about each feature on its list and provides just the very best.
A basic yet important feature of Siteground is that it offers unlimited databases and email accounts, they are strict about daily backups. Also, they make use of the cPanel for managing the server. Additionally, they take care that anyone who is just starting out using Siteground gets absolutely comfortable with the hosting solution. That is why for the no0bs Siteground helps with free transfer, no payment for domain name for a year, and an absolutely free site builder.
As far as more unique features are concerned, Siteground offers a range. One of the features that I totally love Siteground for is WordPress staging. This feature is available in their ‘GoGeek’ plan. The GoGeek plan is particularly useful if you have a highly visited website. For example, an eCommerce website. In this case, this one plan offers the best speed and performance for a very affordable price.
When it comes to content-based websites, Siteground integrates with the best – WordPress and Joomla. Where the hosting service provider stands out is that it enhances the performance of these CMS solutions by providing unique built-in features.
Another point to note, whether you are a small team, a growing company, or an enterprise, Siteground is one solution that fits all. They offer their hosting services for all your needs. You can choose to scale with them, as and when you grow from a Startup to an Enterprise. That takes away all the worry of having to switch and learn a new hosting service provider’s features and functionalities altogether.
A Global Orientation – Because Siteground is a shared hosting service provider, it becomes all the more important for them to be a ‘globally’ oriented company. They have to get to issues like what if hosting is being shared between two or more parties that are geographically very far? They need to take care about sharing of shared hosting resources, and ensure that website performance and quality is top notch for all.
Moreover, to add to their global orientation, they accept payment in multiple currencies (AUD, USD, GBP, EUR) and offer multiple local toll-free lines for help, as well as free country specific domains.
Disadvantages or Cons of Siteground
One of the main disadvantages that stands out is that their plan limitations. I think it is quite foolish to limit disk space for all the shared plans that they offer. However, what is surprising is that even after making this atypical arrangement of limiting disk space, their services are very reliable. I mean while the capacity to handle traffic is fine and Siteground does this really well, what about websites that have low traffic but need high disk space because of heavy images, videos etc.? Also, if the competitors are offering unlimited disk space, Siteground will likely have to take a beating there unless they can justify why they limit their disk space.
Ease of Use
Siteground’s positioning is such that it fails to impress the general audience. They are more steered towards professional developers and those who develop complex websites for businesses. This might make them the leaders in the market for pros. However, there is a huge other chunk audience that needs hosting services. Many features that Siteground offers don’t fit for that generic chunk.
For example, a person who has no knowledge related to developing will never using Git integrations. However, for a developer, a feature like that is a five on five. Moreover, the hosting service provider misses out on offering add-ons such as Facebook ad credits, free iStock photo credits, free premium themes, etc. Users like such stuff. And, if you are missing out on these cherry points, you are losing the game.
All, in all, if you are looking for ease and convenience of use, Siteground might not be the best hosting service provider that you’d want to host your business’s website on. If, however, you have a dedicated team of developers to work and manage your website entirely, Siteground is one of the best options.
In case you would want to take a look at the pricing, here is a screenshot:
There is absolutely no doubt that Siteground is one of the top hosting service providers when it comes to speed, website performance, and some of the most professional features and integrations. However, there is also no dearth of alternatives to this hosting solution. One alternative that is emerging and gaining popularity quickly is Kinsta. This website hosting service provider, which is still relatively new in the market, is gaining attention from small, medium, as well as enterprise level business. Let’s find out what makes Kinsta a good alternative hosting solution. However, it is important to state right here in the beginning that unlike Siteground, Kinsta is not a shared hosting service provider. What this means is that each website hosted on their platform, and make use of the LXD managed hosts and orchestrated LXC software containers. Not having to share resources is one of the main reasons that the websites that use Kinsta hosting have a high load speed and performance.
Though this does not mean Siteground is less efficient than Kinsta in delivering speed and performance, it is important for you to decide whether you want an independent or shared hosting service provider for your business website. Therefore, it is a critical point that you always must keep in mind and think about in detail before signing the deal.
With this point cleared, let us read in detail about the advantageous features that Kinsta offers as a hosting service provider.
- The hosting provider runs on Google Cloud. This is definitely an advantage for those who are considering Kinsta because running on G Cloud adds to website performance. Even when there is a tremendous traffic influx, your website is unlikely to blip.
- When it comes to ease of use, Kinsta is one of the easiest to manage hosting solutions to host your business website on. Developers can use custom setups such as Trellis and use the hosting solution without having to fret about how to use the platform. Kinsta has a one-click staging environment, whichever plan you might choose. This means you can very, very easily push the changes you have made from staging to production. Also, switching between different PHP engines becomes a matter of one click. Kinsta’s hosting solution also allows you to restore backups in no time.
- One of the clear-cut advantages that Kinsta has over most other hosting solutions including Siteground is that your business website never goes offline. If Kinsta notices that such a situation is likely to arrive, they inform you beforehand. On the other hand, Siteground limits your site in a number of ways including CPU usage, memory, number of database queries, number of connections, etc. If anything exceeds its limits, the accounts are temporarily suspended, which ultimately results in a loss of traffic and conversions.
- For anyone who is looking to migrate from their old hosting solution to a new one, Kinsta is a good choice. You get to migrate for free! Other than for the Starter plan, all of their other plans include one or more free migrations. You can even purchase additional migrations on discount. However, Kinsta suggests that unless you are a developer, you should allow their experts to help you out with migration.
- As far as support is concerned, the team that Kinsta has put forth is the best to tackle difficult queries with utmost ease and accuracy. And, that’s because their support team comprises WordPress developers as well as Linux hosting engineers who know their servers like the back of their hand. Whether a basic level query or a specific, advanced problem, Kinsta’s support team is well equipped to resolve issues in the quickest turnaround time possible. As a customer, you can therefore be sure that you will always receive a response in the shortest possible time and your problem will be resolved in no time. I’ve had a very pleasant experience with Kinsta service providers, and am totally impressed by the quality of their service.
- Just like Siteground, Kinsta is also globally oriented. They have therefore partnered with KeyCDN and are trying to prove their excellence across the globe. KeyCDN is one of the best content delivery architecture that has been built with absolute focus on high-performance as well as has been designed to deliver low latency. With KeyCDN your content can be delivered and cached from their 33 POPs all around the world! Adding to your website’s high performance is the fact that Kinsta’s CDN promises complete protection against bad bots.
Here once again, we have a direct comparison against Siteground. The later though include the free version of Cloudfare, it is of no good as it frequently suffers from outages. I’ve read reviews online about timeouts and captchas also causing a lot of problems.
- Their affiliate program is a huge plus for bloggers. So, if you are an agency, individual blogger, freelancer, or a small team working on a blog, Kinsta can be your next favorite hosting service provider. It offers transparent true profit sharing affiliation with one of the highest market payers. As a part of the affiliate program, you earn $50 to $500 on each signup, based on the plan that you have referred. Additionally, a 10% monthly recurring commission is all yours for the complete lifetime of that referral.
- Kinsta is not just a great hosting service provider for bloggers but is equally good for eCommerce players too. It has been optimized for eCommerce sites, and can easily handle cache-bypassing as well as dynamic page loads. If you are using WooCommerce and/or Easy Digital Downloads, Kinsta is the go-to hosting solution for you. Why? Because, it ensures extremely speedy server-level page caching, and excludes by default those pages that should never be cached – cart, my-account, etc. This is a really intelligent and smart feature.
- Managing all your business websites from one single dashboard becomes extremely simple with Kinsta. In a bird’s eye view, you can track visitor stats, bandwidth, response time, CDN usage and more, for all your websites, which saves you a lot of time and effort.
- No matter how small or big your team is, Kinsta’s multi-user feature allows all your users access to all your sites. Simply add them as developers or administrators, and they can access the dashboard.
- To further add to the charm of Kinsta are add-ons such as Cloudfare Railgun, Redis, Elasticsearch, etc. All these add-ons help Kinsta become a truly efficient hosting service provider.
- What I simply love about Kinsta is the uptime warranty that they promise. In their Service Level Agreement, they offer an uptime guarantee of 99.9%. If they are unable to deliver this standard or level of service of an uptime performance of 99.9%, they will compensate with a 5% discount on your next invoice.
While these are some of the main advantages that I could think of while writing this post, there are a few disadvantages also that you might want to read about before taking a final call.
Cons or Limitations of Kinsta
Currently, Kinsta does not offer any domain registrations. For people who have just started using hosting services, this might seem like an odd or limitation that stands-out. However, if you read a bit more about why Kinsta does this, you’ll understand why it is not so much of a limitation. For me, I would say, I am okay with them not offering a domain registration because if the same company that hosts your domain is hosting your website, you might experience downtime during site transfer.
You cannot create email addresses using your domain. However, once more this is what most shared hosting service providers offer, not independent ones. Kinsta instead recommends that its customers use a G Suite panel.
As compared to a shared service hosting service provider, Kinsta is quite pricey. Yes, this is natural and obvious, however, if you have been for a long time been using a shared hosting service provider you will very likely not perceive Kinsta’s pricing very positively. There are eight plans that Kinsta offers, and their pricing is quite honest. However, for those who are considering shared hosting just because of the cheaper plans might not be the right audience at all for Kinsta.
For those who would want to consider Kinsta, here is a snapshot of their pricing plans. There are more plans to checkout, which you can explore here.
GDPR updates: Both Kinsta and SiteGround are now GDPR compliant.
WordPress community has introduced a GDPR compliant plugIn and Kinsta being a part of it is automatically enabled with it. This plugin is a core part of all the WordPress related platforms which allows users to add checkboxes, prompts to make data collection compliant and abide with the data protection laws.
To Wrap Up
Both Siteground and Kinsta are two upcoming players in the market that have already made their mark. One is a top name in the shared hosting service space while other is a leader in the individual hosting service provider list. Both have a strong global presence. Therefore, there is no direct comparison between the two. Depends on whether you want to opt for shared hosting or an individual hosting based plan.