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KINSTA VS. WP ENGINE

Kinsta and WP Engine both offer managed WordPress hosting solutions, but how do the two companies compare? We compared the plan availability, features, performance, pricing, security, and support of each company to determine which hosting provider comes out on top!

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Plan Availability

Kinsta offers ten set plan options and custom-built plans for larger enterprises, where WP Engine has three set plan options and custom-built plans for larger enterprises.

For plan comparison, we selected just a few of Kinsta’s plan options for analysis. While there are other plan options available, the plans we chose to review are the plans that are most comparable to WP Engine plans.

Our primary consideration when choosing which Kinsta plans to review was the number of WordPress installations each plan offers.

In the case of the top-tier plan, where there was no comparable plan for WordPress installations, we used website visitors to match similar plans.

Basic Plan Comparison

WPEngine’s basic plan is their Startup plan which is comparable to Kinsta’s basic plan is their Starter plan and. Let us look at how the two compare.

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  When it comes to the basic plan, WPEngine and Kinsta are comparable in terms of the foundation of the basic packages they offer, but when comparing the features included with each plan (which we will cover a little later), Kinsta comes out on top.

 Kinsta WPEngine
Pricing$30 or $300/year$30/month or $300/year
WordPress Installs11
Visits Per Month25,00025,000
Local Storage10GB10GB
Bandwidth/Month50GB50GB

Mid-Level Plan Comparision

WPEngine’s midlevel plan is their Growth plan which is comparable to Kinsta’s Business 2 plan in terms of the number of WordPress Installs available. Let us look at how the two compare.

 Kinsta WPEngine
Pricing$200/month or $2000/year$115/month or $1150/year
WordPress Installs1010
Visits Per Month250,000100,000
Local Storage40GB20GB
Bandwidth/Month300GB200GB

WPEngine is the more affordable of the two managed hosting options when it comes to the mid-level plan, but that is the only feature it has going for it.

For a small increase in price, Kinsta offers 100,000 additional visitors per month, twice as much storage, and 33% more bandwidth.

With overage costs of $2 for every additional 1,000 visitors, WPEngine cannot match what Kinsta has to offer.

Top-Level Plan Comparison

WPEngine’s top-level plan is their Scale plan which is most comparable to Kinsta’s Business 3 plan in terms of monthly visit allowance (WPEngine does not offer a 30 WordPress install package.) Let us look at how the two compare.

 Kinsta WPEngine
Pricing$300 or $3,000/year$290/month or $2900/year
WordPress Installs2030
Visits Per Month400,000400,000
Local Storage50GB50GB
Bandwidth/Month500GB500GB

When it comes to the top-level plan, WPEngine comes out on top. For $10 less per month, you get ten additional WordPress installs and the same number of monthly visitors, the same amount of storage, and the same amount of bandwidth.

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Features

 Kinsta WPEngine
Daily BackupsYESYES
Backup Retention14-Days7-Days
Free Malware/Hack RemovalYesYes, but they utilize a third party (Sucuri)
Free SSHNoYes
Free SSLYesYes
CacheWhite Label PluginYes
Free MigrationYesYes

When it comes to the top-level plan, WPEngine comes out on top. For $10 less per month, you get ten additional WordPress installs and the same number of monthly visitors, the same amount of storage, and the same amount of bandwidth.

Comparing the key features of Kinsta and WPEngine, there is a give and take and no clear winner. While WPEngine includes free SSH and SSL and cache, Kinsta offers free Malware and Hack cleanup without relying on a third party and longer backup retention.

If we had to choose between the two managed hosting options based on this information alone, we would be more likely to go with Kinsta for the longer backup retention and the free malware and hack removal.

If you have ever had your WordPress site hacked, we are confident you would make the same decision.

Performance

Performance is one of the most important aspects of any managed host, so how do WP Engine and Kinsta compare?

Website load time on WP Engine is just a fraction faster than Kinsta until you add to your server load by installing more complex themes or plugins.

Adding more “heft” evens the playing field, and both WP Engine and Kinsta have comparable load times.

We have seen how these hosts compare when it comes to site load times, but how do they compare when it comes to website traffic?

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Both WP Engine and Kinsta perform flawlessly until traffic numbers creep beyond 250, at which point, performance starts to drop.

Pricing

Pricing for WP Engine and Kinsta is comparable for low-level and high-level plans, but the water gets a little cloudy when it comes to mid-level plans.

WP Engine’s mid-level plan is more affordable at an initial glance, but we have to account for the overage costs of WP Engine for the same package.

When it all boils down to it, considering pricing Kinsta comes out on top.

Security

If you have ever experienced a WordPress hack or WordPress malware, you know how time-consuming cleaning files up can be, which is why security should be such a significant factor in choosing a managed host.

So, how do WP Engine and Kinsta compare on the security front?

WP Engine offers two-factor authentication, but aside from this feature, their approach to site security is more treatment versus prevention. They scan sites for security problems and fix anything that stands out as a problem.

Kinsta, however, has much more robust security in place. DDoS scanning and GeoIP blocking are the cornerstones of Kinsta’s approach to proactively preventing malware and hacking of your site.

Given a choice between the two, Kinsta is, by far, the top choice.

Customer Support

Customer support is an often overlooked aspect of managed hosting services, but when you need customer support, the last thing you want to run into is non-existent customer support.

So, where do WP Engine and Kinsta stand?

Kinsta offers 24/7 customer support with chat and email, and their customer service agents have a speedy response time. You also get access to transcripts of previous customer service chats through your account.

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Kinsta also has a robust, searchable database of frequently asked questions.

WP Engine also offers 24/7 customer support, but we find that their system is much less efficient.

Their support team is divided into departments specializing in specific issues, so a complex problem may mean having to bounce from one customer service department to another.

WP Engine also offers a support ticket system, but if you have previous experience with support tickets, you know that this system can be frustrating and too time-consuming.

When it comes to customer support, Kinsta comes out on top.

Overage

Ideally, you would pick the right plan from the get-go, but it is also essential to know what kind of overage charges you face if you choose too small of a plan for your needs.

WP Engine overage charges include a charge of $2 for every 1,000 visitors over your plan threshold. Information on bandwidth overage, however, is next to impossible to find.

Kinsta overage charges include a charge of $1 for every 1,000 visitors over your plan threshold, as well as $0.10 per GB if you exceed your CDN bandwidth.

Other Things Worth Noting

  • WP Engine offers more than thirty premium WordPress themes to users. This includes the Genesis framework.
  • WP Engine includes automatic WordPress updates.
  • Kinsta hosting uses the Google cloud platform.
  • Kinsta has a multi-user feature, so multiple users can be granted access to your account.
  • Kinsta includes developer options using Sequel Pro and HeidiSQL.
  • Kinsta includes analytics and tracking for resource usage, performance monitoring, and visitor analysis.
  • Kinsta has a central dashboard where you can manage all details of your account.
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Best Plan for Beginners

If you are new to the idea of managed WordPress hosting and looking for a small managed WordPress hosting solution package, Kinsta’s Starter Plan is probably the best option for you.

While Kinsta and WP Engine offer the same basic plans, Kinsta is a more hands-on managed service.

Best Plan For Long-Term Users

If you are experienced with WordPress and managed hosting solutions and looking for the best plan, WP Engine is a more affordable option, but Kinsta comes out on top where it matters.

They have longer backup retention, but most of all, they do not rely on a third party for malware removal.

Kinsta Pros and Cons

Let us take a moment to recap the pros and cons of WP Engine and Kinsta.

PROSCONS
Longer backup retention.SSH is not free
In-house spyware and malware removalNo email hosting
Use of the Google cloud platformNo phone support
Unified dashboard to access account detailsExpensive
Multi-User FeaturesPlug-in use is limited
Uptime monitoring 
Robust security 

WP Engine Pros and Cons

PROSCONS
Free SSL and SSHThird-party spyware removal
Offsite backupsSupport is fragmented
Automatic WordPress updatingExpensive
Two-factor authenticationPlug-in use is limited
Access to 30+ WordPress themesCan be a little too much for smaller clients
Top-quality support 
Well maintained 
Reliable hosting uptime 

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