If you’ve slogged through endless reviews and still aren’t sure whether to pick Bluehost or Kinsta, you can relax because in this Bluehost vs Kinsta comparison, we’ll be looking at both hosts to help you decide which is best for your needs.
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This review explains everything in laymen terms so you can understand exactly what’s going on, even if you don’t have a technical background. It’s also an entirely impartial and objective review because my only goal is to make sure you find a host that works for you.
Furthermore, all my reviews are based on tests my team and I have conducted ourselves. There are no secondhand accounts from third parties in this review.
Also, make sure to check out hosting comparisons and reviews, such as HostGator vs Bluehost, SiteGround and Bluehost comparison, SiteGround Vs HostGator. This way you can be sure that you are truly picking the best host for your needs.
Kinsta is relatively new on the market, as they were founded in 2013, compared to Bluehost, which has been offering its services since 2003.
Bluehost Vs Kinsta: Performance, Reliability and Speed Test
Bluehost isn’t the best in terms of the speed with which they adopt new technology. For example, they’ve only just started offering PHP 7.0, while Kinsta is already providing PHP version 7.3.
This is a serious issue, and not just in terms of performance. Using old versions of PHP can expose clients to significant security risks. In terms of performance, PHP 7.3 processes three times the number of requests PHP 5.6 is capable of per second. So, even in terms of performance, the difference is staggering.
Support for PHP 5.6 and PHP 7 ended in December. Despite this, many of the old accounts Bluehost runs are still using PHP 5.6.
When we contacted them to find out how we could switch to PHP 7.0, we were told that we either had to cancel our current account and create a new one, or we had to pay them $150 for them to update the server our account was on. They did say that the servers that were currently running PHP 5.6 would eventually be updated, but they weren’t able to give us a specific date by when this would occur.
However, they do have servers with SSD drives and CPU throttling, which does help with performance to a certain degree. Likewise, they also offer a free CDN from Cloudflare and free SSL certificates.
Kinsta takes a completely different approach to Bluehost. They run NGinx servers that are already loaded with PHP 7.3. In fact, they were one of the first hosting companies to implement PHP 7.3, and they did it within the first week of release, which means that they are beyond fast in adopting new technology.
They also offer SFTP and SSH access, along with server-based page caching. They also utilize the premium tier network of Google Cloud Platform, which is approximately 41% faster. In fact, Kinsta has experienced a reduced site load time of up to 50% since they switched over to Google Cloud Platform because they are able to take advantage of the 18 data centers available across the globe to host customer files.
Kinsta also uses container-based LXC managed hosts and software, which allows for increased flexibility in terms of resource usage during high traffic, thereby ensuring that site performance does not suffer.
Bluehost vs Kinsta: Load Impact Test and Server Response Time
To ensure the accuracy of the numbers and fairness of the test, we used two identical websites, one hosted with Bluehost and one with Kinsta, to determine the server response time.
We conducted a load impact test, which means that we threw up to 100 concurrent visitors at the site.
In the charts below, the green line represents the number of active visitors at one time, the purple line represents the number of requests per second, while the blue line represents the response time of the server.
As you can see, at 100 concurrent users and 835 requests per second, Bluehost had a response time of 79 ms.
Kinsta, on the other hand, was over five times faster at maximum load, and even faster than that at lower loads. At 99 concurrent users with 1,130 requests per second, for example, the response time was 15 ms.
Bluehost vs Kinsta: Premium DNS
Using a premium DNS service is critical because it helps protect your website against DDoS attacks, while also acting as a failover DNS strategy so that users can still access your website, even in the event of a massive DDoS attack. It also helps improve performance, as it works just like a content delivery network with multiple points of presence all over the world.
So, we tested the DNS speed of both Kinsta and Bluehost. As you can see in the charts below, Kinsta registered an average of 32.6 ms, compared to Bluehost, which had an average of 114.12 ms. In other words, Kinsta is 3.5 times faster than Bluehost.
Bluehost vs Kinsta: Uptime
We tested both Bluehost and Kinsta to see if they lived up to their claims of 99.99% uptime. Uptime can be defined as the amount of time your website is accessible to anyone visiting your website. Web hosting is the entity mainly responsible for the majority of downtime with your website.
As you can see, Bluehost and Kinsta both had an uptime of 100%. However, Bluehost had an average response time of 2.96 seconds, whereas Kinsta generated an average response time of 489 ms.
Bluehost Vs Kinsta: Security
Kinsta uses hardware firewalls, along with very tight software-based restrictions and daemons that scan for malware. These systems are constantly running in the background ensuring your WordPress site is constantly protected.
In terms of servers, hosting companies that use cPanel will allow you to put as many sites as you want in a single/public_HTML/directory. Conversely, Kinsta places every site in an isolated container. This means that if something happens to one site, it won’t affect any other sites you are running because they are completely separate in their own containers.
It should be noted that Kinsta does not offer cPanel and has their own interface, but we will discuss this below. However, they do also provide an unlimited number of hack fixes free of charge.
They also use premium DNS to beef up security and mitigate the risks and consequences of DDoS attacks.
By comparison, Bluehost relies on a third party for all their security needs, namely Cloudflare, which doesn’t fill us with confidence despite the fact that the latter is an excellent provider of website security.
Bluehost Vs Kinsta: Support
Bluehost offers highly detailed video tutorials, along with a support forum. They also offer a live chat where you can instantly get in touch with an agent, which is definitely a positive.
However, there seems to be a recurring theme where clients have technical problems, the support team supposedly fixes them, yet the problem reappears right away.
As far as we could tell, the Bluehost team was nowhere near as knowledgeable as they should be, despite being exceptionally fast.
Kinsta offers a live chat and a ticketing feature, but no phone support, which is definitely problematic. Conversely, they do respond quickly both in the live chat and in the ticketing system. In fact, it only took a few minutes to get through to someone.
The agent we spoke with was highly knowledgeable and provided us with the solutions we were looking for quickly.
Bluehost Vs Kinsta: Price, Plans and Features
If you look at it solely based on price, Kinsta is more expensive than Bluehost. Bluehost plans start at $2.95 per month for one website and 50 GB of space on their server. It should be noted that this plan renews at $10.99 per month.
Conversely, Kinsta’s cheapest plan starts at $30 per month for a single website with 5 GB of disk space. They do offer two months for free when you purchase their annual plan, which brings the cost of the base plan down to $25 per month.
However, there is also a significant difference in features and the quality of service. Thus, Kinsta comes with premiums CDN, premium DNS, daily backups and free restores, along with far better performance than Bluehost. Furthermore, the latter charges extra for all the features Kinsta offers for free, leading to a total with a Bluehost that is far higher if you want to take advantage of all these features.
Bluehost vs Kinsta: Control Panel
Bluehost uses the cPanel control panel, which is highly popular and the one most hosts use. It’s easy to use, allows you to edit files quickly, and pretty much do everything quickly, including activating and deactivating also to features.
Bluehost cPanel: Try Demo
This is one problem that I had with Kinsta, as they don’t use cPanel. I’ve been using cPanel with almost all of the hosts that I’ve tested, and Kinsta’s interface was new to me.
With their control panel, you have to edit and transfer files using FTP, unlike cPanel which allows you to edit and transfer files using FTP but also within cPanel.
Bluehost vs Kinsta: Backups
Kinsta allows you to back up your website every day and keep the backup copy for two weeks. They also allow you to restore the backup anytime you want, which is an amazing feature that Bluehost doesn’t offer. In fact, Bluehost asks that customers use a third-party application to do daily backups, which costs an extra $7 – $8 per month.
Bluehost Vs Kinsta: Popularity
According to Bluehost, as of November 2018, they provided hosting for 1,248,507 websites. Kinsta claims to host thousands of businesses all over the world, including many high-traffic blogs and high-volume agencies, universities, and Fortune 500 companies, though they don’t really reveal the actual number of websites they host.
However, you must consider that Kinsta is a relatively new company compared to Bluehost, and they’ve been growing at a very rapid rate. Over the past 12 months alone, Kinsta’s client base has grown by more than 262%, whereas in 2017, they grew by 157.7%. They’ve also added another five locations to accommodate these growing numbers without affecting performance.
Both Bluehost and Kinsta offer a 30-day moneyback guarantee, so you can definitely test out their services with no risk to yourself.
Bluehost vs Kinsta: Final verdict
One of the great things about Kinsta is that they are very transparent. They have a blog where they have no problem admitting their faults and the drawbacks of their services, just as much as they talk about the positives.
They’re also different and more daring and innovative in comparison to other hosts, which often take the safest route possible. In fact, everything they do is different, from how they host website files to their data centers and the control panel.
And it has clearly paid off since they are far better than Bluehost in terms of everything from performance to customer support.
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