WP Engine vs Kinsta
comparison.

What makes the WP Engine WordPress Digital Experience Platform different from a WordPress managed host like Kinsta?

Why WP Engine is the best platform for building digital experiences with WordPress.

WP Engine is an industry leader in the WordPress community, trusted by more than 120,000 customers in 150 countries. One of the reasons for this is the fact that for WP Engine, platform performance is our highest priority. Over the past few quarters, we have made numerous enhancements to our proprietary WordPress optimization stack to yield real-world performance improvements for customers of up to 40%. Our mindset is that performance is a product that’s never finished. To that end, we partner with best-in-class infrastructure providers, including Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform. In fact, we have tuned our software platform to be able to run even the newest, compute-optimized virtual machine architectures. We’re the first in WordPress to do so, in order to always provide our customers with the most secure, performant, and reliable platform for building digital experiences with WordPress.

With nearly 1,000 employees serving the needs of our customers around the world, we’re able to deliver award-winning, 24/7 customer support from certified WordPress experts, and we’re passionate about earning our customers’ trust every single day. 

Why are we comparing ourselves to Kinsta? We know our customers have a choice when it comes to building and maintaining their business online, and we want to make sure there’s no confusion about the superior level of speed, service, and support we provide. With less than 80 employees, Kinsta’s size limits their ability to invest in their technology, provide global support or forge any relationship beyond basic levels with major technology partners. We’re not the only ones who have noticed: we were recently named a 2019 Gartner Peer Insights Customers' Choice for Web Content Management - again, the only one in WordPress to be given this distinction.

Better infrastructure, bigger scale.

The flexibility to dynamically scale and thrive in unpredictable traffic conditions are important keys to your business’ success. As your business grows in size and popularity, your website traffic is likely to also grow-—sometimes exponentially—when your business goes viral. At WP Engine, our software stack is finely tuned with that in mind. Our proprietary caching technology, EverCache®, helps us make all of our customer’s digital experiences incredibly fast and ridiculously scalable, and our plan flexibility lets customers take advantage of more traffic, more features, and more hardware, so they can scale to millions of hits per day. 

More of the most popular top 200,000 websites are powered by WP Engine than anyone else - period, including all other WordPress vendors.

We also provide top-tier infrastructure from Amazon Web Services to allow for high-availability and clustered server solutions, which offer redundancy for scalability and disaster recovery. WP Engine also offers Google’s new high-performance, next-generation hardware. Where this service is available, we have already converted over our customers and under real-world conditions their web pages are loading faster than ever.

Customers like the one above are seeing up to a 40% drop in server execution time after migrating to Google’s next-gen hardware.
Customers like the one above are seeing up to a 40% drop in server execution time after migrating to Google’s next-gen hardware.

Kinsta simply cannot offer this type of performant platform nor can they offer this new compute optimized virtual machine infrastructure. Instead, they offer one kind of infrastructure to all customers: a single-server architecture that includes just a few caching layers, which can make it harder for pages to load quickly.

Kinsta also claims they don’t offer shared hosting, yet they employ a multi-tenant approach to containerized architecture, with multiple clients together in one big container. That’s essentially “big shared” hosting. WP Engine offers a diversity of more powerful, scalable, and plentiful options on our platform to meet the needs of small and medium-sized businesses all the way up to the enterprise.

Platorm Feature Kinsta®
Amazon Web Services
Google Cloud Platform
Number of Data Centers 20 20
PHP 7.3 Ready
PHP Containerization
PHP Selector
High Availability Redundant Solutions
Pick your plan

In addition to the above, WP Engine provides customers with a dedicated virtual machine, which provides better isolation (from “noisy” neighbors) and offers more consistent performance.   

Kinsta claims their platform autoscales, but they limit your ability to scale with PHP workers. PHP workers dictate how many concurrent requests your website can serve. Kinsta requires you to upgrade to get more of them, rather than providing a true, autoscale solution. At WP Engine, you have access to autoscale solutions with Dynamic Web Scaling on our Enterprise architecture with AWS. 

When it comes to infrastructure options, WP Engine has three types to choose from (Shared, Single Node, and Cluster) compared to Kinsta, which only has one.

"Our growth has been exponential, and in many ways, we’ve grown with WordPress and WP Engine,” Jonas said. “We have a good model in place and knowing that we won’t have to worry about traffic spikes or sites crashing when a certain influencer gains a lot of traction, it just takes an entire piece of worry out of the equation for us.”

—Ziv Jones, Co-Founder at Shinez

"With WP Engine, we have peace of mind knowing we don't have to worry about server and infrastructure performance. WP Engine took care of our customer's largest spike in its history without even flinching. Our customer went through four previous vendors, and every single one of them went down because of their traffic. WP Engine just works."

—Lucas Williams, Director of Development at Taproot

Expert security, built for WordPress.

When it comes to the security of your website, there’s no room for error. While Kinsta offers some security assurances within their managed hosting plans, WP Engine’s Digital Experience Platform benefits from a dedicated security engineering team. We also offer multiple layers of security you can select from, so you can tailor your security posture to fit your specific needs. 

WP Engine has a dedicated security team and dedicated IT team with a seasoned executive at its helm. Often, start-ups like Kinsta will have no one dedicated to security, or a few engineers who are given the job to look after basic security technology, and no one looking after IT.   

Backups are also a huge security component. While both Kinsta and WP Engine offer daily automated backups, Kinsta only stores backups for 14-30 days. WP Engine stores backups for 60 days.

WP Engine has years of WordPress-specific security experience, which we’ve filtered into the security environment of our DXP—that’s something Kinsta simply can’t offer.

In addition to our robust security measures tested and refined for our entire 120,000 global customers, which we’ve put in place at the platform level for all of our customers, we offer Global Edge Security, a high-performance, advanced security solution built in partnership with leading web performance and security company Cloudflare

Global Edge Security is designed specifically for WordPress, and it offers WordPress’ first, complete network edge security solution that includes:

  • Managed WAF (mitigating threats at the edge, inspects traffic for XSS or SQL injections) 
  • DDoS Protection (detecting and dropping volumetric attacks at the edge) 
  • Cloudflare CDN with more than 150 PoPs (improves site speed)

Another great WP Engine tool you can use to keep your WordPress site(s) secure is our Smart Plugin Manager, which solves customers’ biggest headache when it comes to managing a WordPress site—safely updating plugins. Smart Plugin Manager incorporates artificial intelligence that automatically checks WordPress plugins for updates every 24 hours and ensures that when updates occur, your site doesn’t miss a beat. 

Plugin vulnerabilities represent more than 55% of the known entry points for attacks against WordPress sites, but keeping plugins up-to-date can be a time-consuming and tedious process. With this automated solution set up for your site(s), you can rest easy knowing all of your plugins are up-to-date and secure. At Kinsta, you’re on your own. For one of the most important activities in WordPress they leave you to handle plugin management yourself, manually, every single time an update is required.

Delighting developers.

As a company that works hand-in-hand with developers, we know how important it is for them to have the right tools at their disposal. Over time, we’ve added solutions and features to our platform specifically geared towards making developers’ lives easier.

At WP Engine we offer the #1 local WordPress development tool, Local by Flywheel (which we acquired in June 2019). This incredible tool allows developers to stop debugging local environments and spend more time launching WordPress sites. What’s more is it’s is powered by a community of thousands of developers like you. Kinsta does not offer a local development solution.

At WP Engine, we know what developers want. Our developer workflow includes three environments (development, staging, and production), whereas Kinsta only offers two (staging and production). Using our platform, developers can build projects more quickly, launch smoothly, and maintain what they’ve built with greater efficiency. 

We also offer access to the Genesis Framework, the best way for developers to quickly build great-looking, fast, secure, and search-engine-optimized themes for WordPress, and we have tools like Page Performance, which gives developers a clear view into real-time performance data as well as expert recommendations that can help them make their sites faster. 

Developer Features Kinsta®
Deploy Site
Git Integrations
SFTP Connections
Dev, Stage, Production Environments
One-Click Staging
Managed WordPress Core Updates
SSH Gateway
User Permissions
Activity Log
Daily Backups
Manual Backups
Genesis Framework
30+ StudioPress Themes
Page Performance
Application Performance
Pick your plan

StudioPress themes and Genesis Framework.

The Genesis Framework serves as the foundation for more than one million WordPress sites, making it the most popular WordPress theme framework in the world. StudioPress Themes, which are all built using the Genesis Framework, make it easy to create great-looking, dynamic WordPress sites faster.

When you sign up for any WP Engine plan, you get access to 30+ premium StudioPress themes for free, allowing you to create beautiful, mobile responsive web pages and sites in a matter of hours. Comparatively, Kinsta plans don’t include any themes.

All StudioPress themes are:

Gutenberg-Optimized

Create reusable modules for design and content, so font, color, layout, and styling are consistent every time you spin up a page or post.

Integrated with HubSpot

If you are using the HubSpot plugin, HubSpot will auto-generate assets including live chat, pop-ups, and a contact form with the default styling of the theme.

Ready for eCommerce

Themes are pre-styled for WooCommerce so you can easily set up your online store, using your favorite eCommerce solution.

Mobile Responsive

Your website will be perfectly optimized for every browser, device, and screen size with mobile responsive themes.

Easy Customization

Change your site’s colors, fonts, and content, and see those changes real times with the Theme Customizer.

SEO Friendly

Themes built with lightweight code for fast performance, and optimized by an SEO expert, means the SEO basics are taken care of.

Helping agencies thrive.

Agencies thrive when they partner with WP Engine, and for good reason: we offer a dedicated, tiered agency program with benefits and support designed to help our agency partners of all sizes grow their business and create better digital experiences for their clients. That’s why it’s the biggest and best in WordPress, comprising more than 4,500 agencies dedicated to delivering enterprise-grade solutions in WordPress including 10Up, CrowdFavorite, Droga5, Edelman, GSD&M, Huge, Ogilvy, R/GA, The Richards Group and W20.

Each agency partner receives a listing on our recommended agency page, specialized developer documentation, and a free WP Engine developer account where they can create websites for their clients and easily transfer website and billing to their client when complete.

Higher tiers of our agency program include dedicated sales support, joint marketing, and custom training programs to help you talk about the benefits of WP Engine with clients. Kinsta, by contrast, does not have an agency program, nor does their platform include the ability to transfer the billing for a website to clients.

Agency Features Kinsta®
Agency Partner Program
Transferrable Installs
Become a Parter

“The fact that we could keep both a staging and a production environment going simultaneously let us test out different improvements with the client and then promote them easily. The support chat integrated into the WP Engine console made it easy for our devs to get support with both trivial and complex setup, installation and configuration tasks.”

— Sam Zimmerman, VP of Global Project Management,
Blue State Digital

“Our client was thrilled with the results, which obviously makes us happy. Having the ability to go in and add our design touch was important, but matching that with WP Engine’s performance boost really made this a one-two punch for the client.”

— Matt Holme, CEO and Founder at digital agency MyWork

We love our affiliates.

Kinsta and WP Engine both have programs for affiliates. Kinsta’s program allows affiliates to earn a $50-$500/signup and 10% monthly recurring commission. WP Engine affiliates have the opportunity to earn much higher payouts. In fact, WP Engine has the highest paying affiliate program, with payouts ranging from $200-$7,500.

Not only does the commision range impact how much you’re paid, but as an affiliate, the cookie tracking timeframe for your referrals makes a significant difference in how many referrals are accredited to you. At Kinsta, your affiliate cookies are tracked for 60 days, while at WP Engine they’re tracked three times as long—180 days. 

Affiliates of WP Engine also reap more benefits, such as a two-tiered affiliate program, co-branded landing pages, and ShareASale Affiliate dashboard access.

Affiliate Program Benefits Kinsta®
Base / Max affiliate commision payouts $50 / $500 $200 / $7500
Affiliate Program cookie window 60 days 180 days
Affiliate Summit Exception Merchant of the Year winner
Become an affiliate

Award-winning support from WordPress experts.

When you have an issue, getting it resolved quickly and correctly can be the difference between a successful or unsuccessful project. When evaluating a WordPress digital experience provider, it’s important to consider aspects like hours of available support, support limitations, and response and resolution time. WP Engine provides high-quality support and greater access to resources, like seasoned WordPress experts and a directory of consultants and agencies who partner directly with WP Engine to provide development or maintenance services if needed.

Kinsta provides a chat/ticket hybrid support system called Intercom, but they don’t offer 24/7 phone support. If you have a critical issue during any of Kinsta’s off hours, you’ll be unable to get anyone on the phone. WP Engine on the other hand, offers 24/7 chat for all plan levels, 24/7 phone support for Growth plans and higher, and the option to add ticket support to dedicated plans. 

Customer Support Kinsta®
Award-winning customer support
Source: Stevie Awards
24/7 Chat Support
24/7 Phone Support Available
24/7 Ticket Support Available
Pick your plan
testimonial-twitter-support

We're here for you.

WP Engine has also won numerous Stevie Awards for Customer Support over the past four years and we’re the only WordPress platform provider to ever win the Global Customer Service Department of the Year Stevie Award. Our customer support team has a Net Promoter Score of 86, and our average response time is less than 3 minutes. When you need help, we’re here for you—fast.

“The support chat integrated into the WPEngine console made it easy for our devs to get support with both trivial and complex setup, installation and configuration tasks. The automated backups meant that we had a good way to experiment with confidence and restore from earlier points when a wrong turn might require it.”

—Sam Zimmerman, VP, Global Project Management at Blue State Digital

Migrating your hosting service.

One of the most important factors to consider when changing your hosting provider is the transfer or migration services available to you. At WP Engine, our Automated Migration plugin can be used with nearly every site to migrate to WP Engine in a few simple clicks.

Kinsta provides free basic migration services for at least one site on all of their plans. That service only includes moving the data over to their platform. What happens when you need to migrate more than one site?

The biggest difference between using our plugin and letting Kinsta’s team handle a migration is that you have to download a plugin. To use the plugin, you have to enter four basic pieces of site information, then the migration is handled automatically. And of course, if you get stuck in the process, WP Engine tech support is available to help. For Kinsta, you have to send the same information to their team and wait for them to handle the process. For both platforms, you will check your site to make sure everything looks right before switching your DNS.

Additionally, Kinsta’s basic migrations aren’t suitable for more complex sites, like eCommerce sites, so you have to use their premium migration service, which is not included in all plans. Further, Kinsta migrations are only free if you keep your account for 30 days, so you if you decide to cancel your Kinsta plan within the 30-day money back guarantee window, you will still have to pay $100 for every site that was on their platform.

Comparatively, WP Engine never charges for migrating sites–migrations are always free, even if you cancel within the 60-day money back guarantee period.

Kinsta or WP Engine?

While Kinsta’s managed hosting services have a few features in common with WP Engine, there is a significant gap when examining our overall platform: scalability, security, our award-winning team of WordPress support specialists, dedicated engineering, infrastructure optionality, our agency and affiliate teams, and the key industry partnerships we’ve built over years of experience helping our customers build digital experiences on WordPress. 

WP Engine also offers unrivaled integrations with best-in-class infrastructure providers like Google and AWS, while open-source software like Nginx and Varnish and our EverCache® front-end system work to power your site with ease and agility. Partnerships with New Relic and Cloudflare open the door to greater code insights and protection against DDoS attacks and bad actors. 

Where Kinsta’s offering is rigid, offering a platform built on Google Cloud, it forces businesses into a predefined “box.” WP Engine’s plans offer your business all sorts of flexibility with regard to the number of sites and features you need, to grow at your own pace. With an incomplete workflow offering, no local development options, no themes, no plugin updater, and no agency partner program, Kinsta offers little to help developers and agencies. In the end, it’s really no comparison. Only WP Engine offers the power, knowledge, partnerships, and enterprise-grade feature set to fuel and scale your business at every phase of growth both today and tomorrow.

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