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Kinsta vs Bluehost (2021): Which Web Hosting Should You Choose?

Bluehost is easily one of the most popular web hosting services today, having been in business since 2003. In contrast, Kinsta is still fairly new in the industry, as it launched in 2013. Their years of business aren’t the only significant difference between them though, as you’ll see below in this comparison. We’ll review each web host’s plans, features and performance to help you decide between Kinsta and Bluehost depending on the website(s) you’re building.

Kinsta vs Bluehost Web Hosting Comparison Chart

NameKinstaBluehost
 Bluehost logo
PricingCheck Pricing at Kinsta.comCheck Pricing at Bluehost.com
Traffic TiersStarter: 20,000/mo
Pro: 40,000/mo
Business: 100k to 600k/mo
Enterprise: 1m to 3m/mo
Shared: n/a
VPS: n/a
Dedicated: n/a
Storage TiersStarter: 10 GB
Pro: 20 GB
Business: 30-60 GB
Enterprise: 100-250 GB
Startup: 50 GB to Unlimited
VPS: 30-120 GB
Dedicated: 500 GB – 1 TB (Mirrored)
Monthly BandwidthStarter: 50 GB
Pro: 100 GB
Business: 200-500 GB
Enterprise: 500-1000 GB
Startup: 50 GB to Unlimited
VPS: 1-3 TB
Dedicated: 5-15 TB
WebsitesStarter: 1
Pro: 2
Business: 5-40
Enterprise: 60-150
Startup: 1 to Unlimited
VPS: 1 to 2 IP addresses
Dedicated: 3 to 5 IP addresses
Hosting InterfaceMyKinstacPanel
Content Delivery NetworkKeyCDNCloudflare
Free SSL CertificatesYesYes
Staging AreaYesYes
Free Site BackupYesVaries
Free Site RestoreYesVaries
Backup Retention14-30 days30 days
Free DomainNoYes
Site TransferYesLimited
Multisite SupportPro and upYes
Customer Support24/7 chat and ticket24/7 chat, phone, ticket
Money Back Guarantee30 days30 days

Features

Kinsta offers managed WordPress hosting while Bluehost provides flexible hosting options.

Kinsta focuses solely on WordPress hosting whereas Bluehost has different hosting types available.

Though both are web hosting providers, Kinsta and Bluehost provide significantly different enough services that you should find it easy to identify which one suits your needs better. Kinsta is a managed WordPress hosting provider, so everything from their infrastructure to their support team is focused on WordPress sites. This has several advantages, including proven expertise in this field, topnotch support, and impressive site speed.

On the other hand, Bluehost is first and foremost a shared hosting provider. It allows all customers to freely choose what type of website to host on their servers. They have since developed WordPress hosting, including managed plans, though it won’t compare with Kinsta’s specialization. Bluehost offers ‘unlimited websites and storage’ for its shared hosting plans, but you should know that you’re sharing resources with every other website hosted on your server.

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Because Kinsta guarantees 100% resource isolation for every customer, you can expect your sites to be reasonably stable even during high traffic periods. Kinsta also uses the same core infrastructure, Google Cloud Platform, across all plans, while Bluehost utilizes different ones depending on your plan.

Both providers include free CDNs but their overall performance varies. Kinsta is partnered with KeyCDN which has 34 POPs around the globe for every major region. In comparison, Bluehost offers Cloudflare, though you have to enable it manually and it’s only the free version, which does experience outages more often than other CDNs.

To make hosting sites easier, Kinsta offers free premium migrations conducted by their own team so you won’t have to worry about potential data loss. In contrast, Bluehost only has limited free site transfers, such as those for WordPress.org sites. For all other websites, you’ll need to purchase a premium site transfer service, which costs around $150 for 5 sites, or manually perform it yourself.

Speed

Kinsta is faster than Bluehost.

Load impact testing shows Kinsta (top) performing significantly better than Bluehost (bottom).

The biggest payoff to hosting your website on Kinsta is simply faster speed. Because of their optimized GCP infrastructure and resource isolation, you can pretty much expect your site to load faster on Kinsta than on Bluehost, wherever your visitors might be from. While the difference might only be a few fractions of a second most of the time, the real advantage comes when your site experiences heavier traffic and activity.

In the charts above, you’ll note that Kinsta’s response time during a load impact test of 1 to 100 users is only 15 ms, while Bluehost’s was five times higher at 79 ms. Kinsta was also able to handle more requests per second than Bluehost, ensuring site visitors will still have a good experience during busy times. Other performance benchmark tests, such as from WebPageTest.org, confirm how Kinsta-hosted sites load faster for visitors nearly anywhere in the world.

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In addition to its global reach via KeyCDN, Kinsta itself has 24 data centers in five continents. You can choose which data center to host your site in so it’s even closer to your target audience. Meanwhile, Bluehost does not confirm how many data centers it has though it’s believed to be six, primarily in the US, India, China and Europe. They’ll also be the ones to decide which data center is most appropriate for your website.

Reliability

Kinsta offers an uptime guarantee unlike Bluehost.

The Kinsta team stays on top of site uptime for fast response.

While site uptime is over 99% for both Kinsta and Bluehost, only the former has an SLA of 99.95% uptime guarantee for their customers. Kinsta performs uptime checks every two minutes so they can stay on top of any critical issues and fix them before your visitors are seriously inconvenienced. On UptimeRobot and StatusCake, Kinsta posted perfect 100% uptime while Bluehost showed a minimum 99.94%.

Load impact testing 1,000 users in 15 minutes also showed that Bluehost capped out the error count at 5,000 errors, whereas Kinsta had 0. Kinsta was able to handle far more peak average requests, 694/sec vs 138/sec, and transferred 18 GB of site data during the limited time period compared too Bluehost’s 1.97 GB. A more intensive load storm test of 500 to 2,000 users in 30 minutes echo the wide gap between each host provider’s overall performance.

Kinsta provides free daily backups for all plans and you can restore a backup at any time. You’ll also be able to increase backup frequency if your site’s security is absolutely crucial, and there’s a hack fix guarantee for worst case scenarios. Meanwhile, Bluehost only includes automated backups for higher plans and they recommend using a third-party app for it, for an additional fee.

As for customer support, Kinsta only offers a 24/7 live chat and ticketing system while Bluehost provides additional phone support. Kinsta justifies its choice of offering only a live chat system since it makes responses and fixes faster, whereas phone conversations will require identity verification, does not provide instant tracking, and screenshots and links can’t be shared. Kinsta’s very high customer satisfaction scores reflect how happy its customers are at receiving support from the team.

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Plans and Pricing

Bluehost offers much cheaper plans than Kinsta.

Bluehost’s promo pricing is highly attractive for new website owners.

Perhaps the biggest pro on Bluehost’s side is its more affordable pricing. Shared hosting plans from Bluehost, which have four tiers, are all cheaper than Kinsta’s lowest-priced plan, which starts at $30 per month. Bluehost further offers multiple tiers for VPS hosting and dedicated hosting for site owners who need more resources and bandwidth. Across the board, you’ll find Bluehost’s pricing to be much lower. Kinsta’s Enterprise plans can cost from $600 to $1,500, though they’re purely for large websites or agencies.

However, keep in mind that Bluehost’s plans showcases promo prices, and these will auto-renew at the regular pricing after the initial term you purchase. After this point, Bluehost and Kinsta’s pricing are actually more competitive with each other. Bluehost offers unmetered bandwidth limits, though resources may be tight with shared hosting plans. More expensive plans allow higher bandwidth limits though and there are no monthly visit limits. In contrast, Kinsta monitors monthly unique visits to determine whether you’re within its acceptable user policy, moving you up to the next tier if needed.

Both Kinsta and Bluehost have 30-day money back guarantees in case you feel unsatisfied with their services. Note that Bluehost only offers a full refund within 3 days of purchase, otherwise certain fees such as domain registration are non-refundable.

Verdict

Kinsta is better for growing websites while Bluehost is more suited for new ones.

Kinsta

Better for businesses

Kinsta logo

Bluehost

Better for small sites

Bluehost logo

Across the board, Kinsta shows that its services are on a different level compared to Bluehost, but it’s reflected in its pricing. As such, it’s recommended for businesses and websites that cater to a growing number of visitors, as Kinsta’s infrastructure is better equipped at ensuring excellent site experiences. With topnotch customer support, secure uptime, and fast loading times, Kinsta will deliver premium WordPress hosting that takes care of many of the common headaches you’ll face in developing an online presence.

Bluehost is better suited for new website owners who aren’t too concerned about their site’s performance yet. Personal blogs, portfolio sites, and other low-traffic websites can be hosted on Bluehost’s shared hosting plans without spending too much. Those with larger WordPress websites are advised to consider Kinsta and other managed WordPress hosting providers.

FAQs

๐Ÿ“Œ What is Kinsta?

Kinsta is a website hosting provider that specializes in managed WordPress hosting services. Kinsta differs from most hosting companies in purely focusing on WordPress sites, optimizing their servers, support and more specifically for the platform.

๐Ÿ“Œ Is Kinsta shared hosting?

No, Kinsta does not offer shared hosting plans. All of Kinsta’s plans offer 100% resource isolation using container-based infrastructure so that no customer will share resources with others.

๐Ÿ“Œ Why is Bluehost so cheap?

Bluehost primarily offers shared hosting services, which means several websites being stored in a server and sharing its resources. This minimizes the cost of running each server so that Bluehost can offer cheaper web hosting for smaller sites.

๐Ÿ“Œ Is Bluehost good for beginners?

Bluehost is an appealing choice for new website owners since it offers the most basic necessities to putting up a new website online while costing very little.

Derick Bondoc