Everyone and their mother knows that nowadays when we live in a digital age that has to be always connected, the success of your business depends on having a website. But unfortunately, a website isn’t something that you can just will into existence. On the contrary, a site needs to be built and over time, it needs to be maintained.
One of the most complicated parts of starting a website – specially if you’re not a developer or IT professional – is choosing where to host your website, you know, who to trust with your business’ storefront. So many providers are out there offering the moon and beyond to make your site the best, from shared-hosting more mainstream providers like GoDaddy and Hostgator to not-so known companies that are more focused on other stuff, like Flywheel or Pagely.
Actually, there are more than 100,000 hosting providers out there. So, you can easily see – and maybe this has happened to you – how quickly the decision of going with one over the other can get overwhelming. You want to get this website right from the get-go and you feel like if you mess up choosing the right hosting provider, your online business will be doomed from the start.
So, today in this article, I’m going to try to make it easier on you by making the field of options you have to choose from a bit smaller. To start, you know in this website I talk and provide a lot of Elementor tutorials. Elementor is a WordPress.org plugin, which means that your website has to be built on WordPress, which in turn means you need to look for the better WordPress hosting solution.
Two of the companies that are most known in the WordPress hosting space are Kinsta and Siteground. A lot of groups that I’ve been a part of in Facebook and other online platforms have pretty much all the time recommended either one of the two. There are others obviously like WPEngine, but Kinsta and Siteground are there at the top of recommendations. And from reviews online, you can see these two companies are very popular when it comes to WordPress hosting.
But I said that in this article I was going to make it easier on you, and by still leaving you with two choices, that’s not really easier. So, what this article will really be about is comparing the two and what are the Siteground limitations that make Kinsta the better choice, but also when you should go with either one.
So, are you ready for this Kinsta vs Siteground showdown? Let’s get to it!
What is Kinsta?
Kinsta is a managed WordPress hosting provider that is powered exclusively by the Google Cloud Platform and that utilizes Google Cloud’s global network to ensure that their customers sites load at top speeds (if you’re not aware of it, having a website that loads fast is extremely important). They even have a badge of recommendation by Google Cloud and based on tests from Review Signal, an independent web hosting tester and reviewer, Kinsta is currently among the top performing WordPress hosts. They are one of only two companies that has earned the recognition of Top Tier in every hosting plan offered.
Also, they take pride in having a team of support engineers who are available 24/7 365 and who are experienced in WordPress. That is, they are people who have created who have created plugins for WordPress, custom themes, and all things WordPress based.
They have a ton of plans, which is good as it means they cater to all types of business – from small websites that don’t require a lot of functionality or sites that don’t expect to have much traffic early on to more complicated websites and businesses that already have a ton of traffic flowing into their site.
Ok, so that’s Kinsta. Now let’s take a look at its competitor on today’s showdown: Siteground
What is Siteground?
Siteground is a web hosting company founded in 2004 in Sofia, Bulgaria that, as of January 2020, it provides hosting for about 2,000,000 domains worldwide. Like I said earlier, they’re also one of the most known providers in the WordPress community with an excellent tiered support team that is available pretty much all the time and managed WordPress and WooCommerce (for ecommerce websites) solutions that are pretty powerful in their own right.
In contrast to Kinsta, Siteground offers three plans on the Web, WordPress and WooCommerce solutions: the StartUp, the GrowBig and the GoGeek, all with different prices and features that are geared towards different types of businesses and needs.
Recommended reading: WordPress Hosting Guide Chapter 1: Explaining Web Hosting
The 3 Most Important Limitations That Make Kinsta a Better Hosting Solution
Having hosted websites on both providers for myself and for other clients, I feel like I can give a detailed opinion on both from the inside and for me, Kinsta is better. This doesn’t necessarily mean that Siteground is a bad hosting company and that you should never go with it because when Siteground is compared to other mainstream hosting companies, like Bluehost, GoDaddy or Hostgator, it wins by a mile in terms of site performance, customer support and pretty much every aspect you want to compare them.
*As an aside, never choose Bluehost. Do yourself a favor and never go with them.
Performance and Scalability
The main thing in this regard is the fact that Kinsta – unlike Siteground – doesn’t offer shared hosting environments. What does shared hosting means, you ask?
Well, that’s easy to explain. According to Namecheap:
Shared hosting is a type of web hosting where a single physical server hosts multiple sites. Many users utilize the resources on a single server, which keeps the costs low. Users each get a section of a server in which they can host their website files. Shared servers can hosts hundreds of users. Each customer using the shared hosting platform’s server has access to features like databases, monthly traffic, disk space, email accounts, FTP accounts and other add-ons offered by the host. System resources are shared on-demand by customers on the server, and each gets a percentage of everything from RAM and CPU, and other elements such as the single MySQL server, Apache server, and mail server.
Shared hosting offers the most cost-effective way to get a site online since the costs of maintaining a server are split among all the users. This style of hosting is best suited for a small website or blog that doesn’t require advanced configurations or high bandwidth. Since shared hosting is not sufficient for sites with high traffic, high volume sites should look to VPS or dedicated hosting solutions instead.
What this basically means is that when you enter a shared hosting plan you’re hosting your websites with a ton of other sites while the server distributes the resources between you all. Even though it’s usually cheap, it’s not ideal, because other websites may be using more resources than yours at a specific time, which will slow down your site and right now, speed is more important than ever for a proper user experience.
What Kinsta does to solve this is not offering any type of shared hosting setup whatsoever on any of their plans. You will get the same core infrastructure whether you are in a Starter plan or an Enterprise plan. That infrastructure is based on, as I said, the Google Cloud Platform, and your site will be isolated with all of the resources required to run it available to itself.
One huge benefit of the Kinsta infrastructure compared to Siteground’s is that it is auto-scalable, meaning that it doesn’t matter the surges in traffic your site gets, because you can easily upgrade your plans without having to perform site migrations between servers, which is quite a nightmare. With Siteground, big traffic surges may increase the usage of server resources available to you, and they may end up taking your site down. And when online business is the name of the game, your site being taken down means a loss of business and money.
Siteground’s customer support service isn’t necessarily bad. Having hosted websites in Siteground, I can vouch for how good it is. One of the main problems it has though is that it is a tiered service. What does this mean?
Well, you’re basically always going to get a level 1 support engineer when you submit a ticket. He’s going to go over the issue with you and see if it can be fixed. However, if they cannot fix right away, it’s going to get taken to another level and if it’s a big problem that’s affecting the performance of your site or worse, it’s an error that makes your site not even load, then you’re not going to be online and like I said in the previous point about performance and scalability if your site is down, you’re losing money.
Kinsta on the other hand, doesn’t have this type of customer service. Their team is made up of WordPress developers and Linux hosting engineers many of whom have managed their own servers, created themes and plugins, and contributed back to core. In fact, they are so experienced that, to get hired by Kinsta they have to pass a very strict and complicated process. Kinsta states that they hire less than 1% of applicants.
The experience submitting tickets is also more user-friendly in Kinsta than Siteground. In Siteground, you have to go through a process of selecting different categories, like domain assistance, WordPress assistance, etc, based on whether what your issue is about so you can get the proper assistance whereas with Kinsta, all you have to do is click a chat icon located at the bottom right in the Kinsta dashboard and send a message. Their response time is pretty fast to be honest. On Wincity Investors Club, one of the websites I developed hosted on Kinsta, I had an issue with the functions.php file that was causing the homepage to render with an error and they managed to identify and solve the problem in less than 2 minutes. Amazing if you ask me!
More Global Presence
Having only 4 data centers over three continents makes for a pretty big limitation for Siteground. A data center is usually maintained by the web host for the purpose of handling the data needed for its operation, which includes the web servers that stores your website and emails. By not covering all the globe, websites hosted on Siteground that have an audience in Australia or South America (where they don’t have data centers) will have a higher Time to First Byte or TTFB, which is a measurement of how long the browser has to wait before receiving its first byte of data from the server.
If we take a look at Kinsta, we can see they have 25 data centers all around the globe and covering all five continents and with the Google Cloud Platform that they’re built on, the data of sites and everything will simply run faster on Kinsta. Actually, it’s something that’s benefitial to the end-user of your site and to you even, because the WordPress dashboard will feel faster since you’ll be in a data center near you.
Recommended reading: The Ultimate Guide to Increase Your WordPress Website Speed
So, does this mean Kinsta is perfect?
No. And this is because of the pricing. These features and all other ones they offer come at an expensive price and even the starter plan, which is at $30/month is twice the Siteground’s GoGeek plan’s price which is at $14.99/month. However, with Kinsta there are no hidden fees, whereas with Siteground all of the plans’ prices increase to $19.99/month atfer your first period. This means that you can choose between 1, 2 or 3 years with the initial price but then you’re going to have to pay $19.99/month.
My recommendation is to go with Kinsta right away. If it’s not possible due to budgetary reasons, then you can go with Siteground and then, if you’re serious about your site and dedicate a lot of time and commitment to improving and growing it, make the change to Kinsta so your online business can benefit from its features.