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Kinsta Review – How well does it work for WooCommerce Hosting?

Kinsta Web Hosting Review

In this WooCommerce hosting review, we’ll test out Kinsta’s Starter plan on a WooCommerce store to gauge website performance.

Kinsta is a managed WordPress hosting provider that offers web hosting services to enterprise businesses and agencies. It offers SSD storage, free SSL certificates, and free CDN. Users also have the option to pre-install WordPress and WooCommerce.

The plan we’re testing offers:

  • 10 GB SSD storage space
  • 50 GB CDN
  • Suitable for around 25,000 monthly visitors

We’ll start off with a brief overview of Kinsta’s WooCommerce hosting service and how it’s different from other hosting providers. Then, we’ll jump into the performance breakdown and analysis.


How Kinsta is different

Kinsta is a web hosting provider that offers managed WordPress and WooCommerce hosting. It caters mainly to enterprise businesses and agencies. Some notable brands hosted on Kinsta include FreshBooks, Flippa, and Buffer.

If you’re looking to set up an online store, you can choose to pre-install WordPress and WooCommerce on your domain. This makes it easy to get your online store up and running as quickly as possible. All you have to do is install a WooCommerce-optimized theme (like Shoptimizer), add your products, and start selling.

Kinsta is powered by the Google Cloud Platform which means you can choose from 25 data centers located around the world. The web hosting provider’s servers utilize lightning-fast persistent SSD storage with built-in redundancy.

Here are some of the main features that make Kinsta’s WooCommerce hosting solution unique:

Auto-scaling

Kinsta’s auto-scaling infrastructure is designed to handle sudden spikes in traffic and load. This is important for eCommerce stores that plan on organizing sales around the holidays or on specific days like Black Friday or Cyber Monday.

Kinsta’s isolated software container technology automatically allocates resources to each site container on an as-need basis.

Server-level caching

With Kinsta, you can rest assured that your WooCommerce store will run blazingly fast for shoppers. The web hosting provider utilized server-level caching combined with additional WooCommerce rules to deliver excellent performance.

CDN

Kinsta is a KeyCDN partner which means you can expect to speed up the delivery of your site’s assets including images, JavaScript, and CSS. This means that your online store’s pages will load incredibly fast for customers regardless of where they’re located.

Cloudflare

They have also recently integrated recently integrated Cloudflare for all clients, which results in a more secure firewall (DDoS protection included), HTTP/3 support, and wildcard SSL among others.

White-labeled cache plugin

Kinsta handles caching for all of their customers at the server-level with their in-house developed, white-labeled caching plugin. This gives users more granular control over your online store’s caching. For example, you can automatically purge the cache when updates are made to your eCommerce store.

Self-healing technology

The team at Kinsta checks the status of your PHP service every minute. If it goes down, the platform will automatically attempt to start it back up again. This minimizes any potential downtime for your online store.

DevKinsta

With Kinsta’s DevKinsta technology, you can design, develop, and deploy WordPress sites directly from your local machine. It’s free and compatible with Windows, Linux and MacOS.

It makes local site creation and development easy for online store owners. This means that you can build a single or Multisite WordPress website with Nginx or MariaDB in a single click. It’s perfect for online store owners that want to develop custom sites on their local machine before going live. Once you are ready to go live, you can push your online store directly to Kinsta servers.

Next, let’s take a look at how quickly our WooCommerce store’s pages load when hosted on Kinsta’s servers.


Performance

To recap, we’re using Kinsta’s Starter plan that costs $30 per month. It offers 10 GB SSD storage space, free SSL and CDN, and is suitable for around 25,000 monthly visitors.

Here’s a quick overview of our testing environment:

Instead of testing a vanilla WooCommerce installation with zero products, sales pages, or on-page widgets, we decided to go for a more realistic testing environment. The idea behind doing it this way is so we’re able to get a better idea of how a typical WooCommerce store would perform on Kinsta web hosting. So, setting up a realistic testing environment meant adding products to our WooCommerce store with high-quality images.

For our hosting review, we’ve set up a WordPress site with the WooCommerce plugin installed on it. Kinsta gives you the option to do this when you’re creating your website.

We also installed the WooCommerce-optimized Shoptimizer theme on it with demo content. Our online store has a total of 10 WooCommerce products each with high-quality product images, descriptions, and prices. We’ve also followed Shoptimizer’s Install Guide and applied the Speed Tips to our online store.

It’s worth mentioning that we haven’t installed any third-party caching plugins on the website which is running WordPress version 5.6.2. However, Kinsta’s white-labeled cache plugin and server-level caching solution are enabled on the online store as well as the KeyCDN.

We’ll test page speeds on the homepage, shop page, and single product page using Google PageSpeed Insights and WebPageTest.

Homepage

Shoptimizer homepage
Shoptimizer homepage

The first performance test we’re running is on our eCommerce store’s homepage.

When people visit your online store, they’re likely to go through the homepage to get to other pages. The Shoptimizer homepage has banners, a hero image, CTA buttons, the latest products, testimonials, popular products, and more.

Google PageSpeed Insights

Google PageSpeed Insights test of the homepage
Google PageSpeed Insights test of the homepage
Test # 1 2 3 4 5
Performance Score 92 92 91 92 90
FCP 1.8s 1.8s 1.8s 1.8s 1.8s
Speed Index 4.0s 4.0s 4.2s 3.9s 4.6s
LCP 2.3s 3.3s 2.3s 2.3s 2.3s
TTI 4.4s 4.4s 4.4s 4.3s 4.4s
TBT 180ms 180ms 250ms 220ms 240ms
CLS 0.001 0.001 0.001 0.001 0.001

On Google PageSpeed Insights, we got a performance score ranging from 90 to 92. The speed index came out to be between 3.9s and 4.6s and CLS was 0.001 consistently throughout our testing. The largest contentful paint was consistently 2.3s with one instance of 2.2.s.

For those unfamiliar, Google PageSpeed Insights’ performance score is a weighted average of the metric scores.

WebPageTest

WebPageTest of the homepage
WebPageTest of the homepage

On WebPageTest, we set the Test Location to Dulles,VA USA and tested using the Chrome browser.

The document completed loading in 1.847 seconds and the homepage was fully loaded in 3.199 seconds.

Here’s a link to the Waterfall View of the homepage test.

Shop Page

Shoptimizer shop page
Shoptimizer shop page

The second performance test we’re running is on the shop page. In our testing, Shoptimizer’s shop page lists 10 products. It also has widgets in the sidebars including a search box, recent posts, archives, categories, price slider filter, top-rated products, and more.

Google PageSpeed Insights

Google PageSpeed Insights test of the shop page
Google PageSpeed Insights test of the shop page
Test # 1 2 3 4 5
Performance Score 84 75 79 68 76
FCP 2.6s 3.3s 2.9s 3.5s 3.3s
Speed Index 5.4s 5.9s 5.2s 7.3s 5.3s
LCP 3.1s 3.6s 3.4s 4.0s 3.6s
TTI 4.0s 4.3s 4.4s 4.3s 4.4s
TBT 130ms 160ms 230ms 180ms 150ms
CLS 0.001 0.001 0.001 0.001 0.001

On Google PageSpeed Insights, the performance score came ranged from 68 to 84 which is a lot of variance. The speed index ranged between 5.2s to 7.3s and CLS was 0.001 throughout our testing. The largest contentful paint ranged from 3.1s to 4.0s.

For those unfamiliar, Google PageSpeed Insights’ performance score is a weighted average of the metric scores.

WebPageTest

WebPageTest of the shop page
WebPageTest of the shop page

Same as before, we set the Test Location to Dulles,VA USA and tested using the Chrome browser.

The document completed loading in 2.535 seconds and the homepage was fully loaded in 4.210 seconds.

Here’s a link to the Waterfall View of the shop page test.

Single Product Page

Shoptimizer single product page
Shoptimizer single product page

The third performance test we’re running is on the single product page. Shoptimizer’s single product page contains a product image, details, price, purchasing options, additional images in the description, related products, and more.

Google PageSpeed Insights

Google PageSpeed Insights test of the single product page
Google PageSpeed Insights test of the single product page
Test # 1 2 3 4 5
Performance Score 64 62 60 63 64
FCP 2.6s 2.6s 2.6s 2.6s 2.5s
Speed Index 7.0s 7.7s 6.5s 6.5s 5.9s
LCP 5.3s 5.3s 5.5s 5.5s 5.4s
TTI 4.9s 5.0s 5.2s 5.0s 5.0s
TBT 230ms 250ms 370ms 280ms 340ms
CLS 0 0 0 0 0

On Google PageSpeed Insights, the performance score came out to be between 60 and 64 throughout our tests. The speed index of the single product page was between 5.9s to 7.7s and CLS was consistently a perfect 0. The largest contentful paint score ranged from 5.3s to 5.5s.

Google PageSpeed Insights’ performance score is a weighted average of the metric scores.

WebPageTest

WebPageTest of the single product page
WebPageTest of the single product page

Same as before, we set the Test Location to Dulles,VA USA and tested using the Chrome browser.

The document completed loading in 3.885 seconds and the homepage was fully loaded in 4.469 seconds.

Here’s a link to the Waterfall View of the single product page test.


Graphs

We also ran tests on GTMetrix with the test server location set to Vancouver, Canada.

Let’s visualize the different performance measurements for each page:

Homepage

GTMetrix performance metrics graphs of the homepage
GTMetrix performance metrics graphs of the homepage

The cumulative layout shift ranged from 0.02 to 0.03. Metrics, like time to interactive, first contentful paint, and largest contentful paint are low and consistent throughout our testing.

The fully loaded time ranged from 1.8 seconds to 2.7 seconds.

Shop page

GTMetrix performance metrics graphs of the shop page
GTMetrix performance metrics graphs of the shop page

The cumulative layout shift on the shop page ranged from 0.02 to 0.03. Similarly, time to interactive, first contentful paint, and largest contentful paint remain consistently low throughout the testing.

The fully loaded time varies in our testing ranging from 1.7 seconds to 1.9 seconds.

Single product page

GTMetrix performance metrics graphs of the single product page
GTMetrix performance metrics graphs of the single product page

On the single product page, the cumulative layout shift remains consistently at an impressive 0 in our tests. Similarly, time to interactive and first contentful paint are also consistent in the test we ran. The largest contentful paint ranged from 1.3 seconds to 1.5 seconds which isn’t a lot of variance.

The fully loaded time varies in our testing ranging from 2.2 seconds to 3.1 seconds.


Plans and Pricing

Kinsta offers ten pricing plans for managed WordPress and WooCommerce hosting:

Here’s a quick overview of the different plans Kinsta offers:

  • Starter for $30 per month. 1 WordPress install, 25,000 monthly visitors, 10 GB disk space, and free SSL certificate and CDN.
  • Pro for $60 per month. 2 WordPress installs, 50,000 monthly visitors, 20 GB disk space, and free SSL certificate and CDN.
  • 4 Business plans starting from $100 per month. 5 WordPress installs, 100,000 monthly visitors, 30 GB disk space, and free SSL certificate and CDN.
  • 4 Enterprise plans starting from $600 per month. 60 WordPress installs, 1,000,000 monthly visitors, 100 GB disk space, and free SSL certificate and CDN.

All plans come with the white-labeled caching plugin, automated daily backups, self-healing technology, and more.


Conclusion

Kinsta (affiliate link) is a reputable managed WordPress hosting provider that gives you the option to pre-install WooCommerce on your website. In our testing, we experience a fair amount of variance in the test results, especially on the main shop page.

Kinsta have been in touch to say that for dynamic sites they usually recommend a plan with increased PHP workers (from their Business-tier plans) which would be able to handle simultaneous requests and guarantee the smooth running of the site. Something to keep in mind.

Kinsta offers a custom caching solution, free SSL certificates, and KeyCDN on all of their web hosting plans.

Start using the performance-optimized Shoptimizer theme for WooCommerce on your online store today!

Computer scientist, B2B SaaS writer, and co-founder at BloggInc. In her spare time, you can find her playing GTA V, lounging at the farm, or trying to beat her husband at indoor badminton.

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1 Comment

  1. Hi there,

    A ok review but you forgot one very important part.
    Kinsta hosting has lots of plans. The plan you used is not intended for ecommerce solutions.
    The business 1 plan is. Just look at this graph: https://bit.ly/3drzlI8

    I am curious if you are willing to retest on a business plan 1 to see of that would give you better performance.

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