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Kinsta VS A2 Hosting: Choosing the Better of Two Web Hosting Titans

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WRITTEN BY
Tony Leong
REVIEWED BY
Tony Leong
UPDATED
May 27, 2022

 

tl;dr

Neck to neck in most areas, it’s hard to tell if A2 Hosting or Kinsta is technically the better web host. I recommend Kinsta for a hands-off approach, while A2 Hosting offers greater flexibility.

 

Choosing between two web hosting brands can be a challenge. That’s even more so when both brands share a solid reputation in the industry. Kinsta and A2 Hosting may offer different products, but either will be a solid choice as a web host for your website.

 

In cases like this, looking carefully between the lines will often reveal which is a better hosting choice for your specific needs. As someone who’s been running websites for a long time, I’d like to share the critical areas to note between these hosting brands – with reference to my first-hand experience and test websites. Let’s take a look!

 

Table of Contents

 

 

Kinsta VS A2 Hosting: How do they compare?

  1. Speed
  2. Features
  3. Security
  4. Plans and pricing
  5. Support

 

Kinsta VS A2 Hosting: CMS Comparison

  1. WordPress
  2. eCommerce

 

Verdict

 

Who are Kinsta and A2 Hosting?

 

kinsta vs a2 hosting google trend

Google Trends indicates that interest in both brands are about on par.

 

COMPANY BACKGROUND
Kinsta A2 Hosting
Founded 2013 2001
Headquarters West Hollywood, California, USA Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
Market availability Cloud-based WordPress Hosting Shared Hosting, VPS, Dedicated Servers

 

Both Kinsta and A2 Hosting originate from the US. Yet growing beyond, they both now serve a global clientele. Kinsta’s products address a niche corner of the web hosting market, albeit a popular one. A2 Hosting is more traditional and offers the full spectrum of web hosting plans.

 

 

Kinsta VS A2 Hosting: How do they compare?

 

1. Speed

 

WEB HOSTING PERFORMANCE
Kinsta A2 Hosting
Test site ksthosted.com a2turbohosted.com
Overall speed rating A+ A+
Average response speed 179.5 ms 149.8 ms
Data centers 29 4
Bitcatcha recorded uptime 99.99% 99.98%

 

Note

The table above is a collection of data gathered via Bitcatcha’s own test sites on Kinsta and A2 Hosting, using our Website Speed Checker. We have been collecting these data records for a few years and they’re a good indicator of the long-term performance of these brands. Both scored a fantastic A+ speed rating, with a slight ms difference.

 

Kinsta is a provider of niche web hosting services. It focuses only on Cloud-based WordPress hosting. While this somewhat narrows their clientele, it also allows them to fine-tune the performance of their servers for optimal WordPress performance.

 

In comparison, A2 Hosting is more traditional and covers the entire spectrum of web hosting products. Typically, comparing shared hosting and what Kinsta offers is unfair since Cloud offers many more inherent benefits. However, A2 Hosting is one of the better-quality hosting providers, and their Turbo plans are relatively unique.

 

For example, A2 Hosting’s Turbo plans use excellent servers equipped with AMD EPYC processors and NVMe storage drives. That means hardware that provides best-in-class performance. They also have an in-house WordPress optimization plugin and other advantages. Impressively, this helps it compare well in performance against Kinsta’s Cloud infrastructure.

 

One highly notable point is Kinsta’s access to 29 data centers. This extensive spread isn’t typically available to non-Cloud providers. In addition, those data centers are run by Google, making them highly reliable.

 

1.1 Reliability and uptime

 

Reliability is an essential consideration when comparing the performance of web hosts. There’s no point in having the fastest servers if they frequently go down. By right, Kinsta running on Google Cloud should mean far superior uptime.

 

For those unfamiliar, Google Cloud is the gold standard as far as Cloud hosting infrastructure is concerned. It’s the same infrastructure that drives globally-used services like Gmail, YouTube, and lots more. It’s capable of coping with massive traffic spikes at any time and is so extensively redundant that downtime is highly unlikely.

 

However, the reality is that A2 Hosting also managed to maintain a highly reliable service. Bitcatcha maintains test servers on both hosts and tracks long-term uptime. Over the past four years (give or take), both these hosts exceeded 99.9% uptime.

 

  • See why Kinsta is one of the best fast web host for your website.

 

Winner: Kinsta

 

Despite the difference in infrastructure, Kinsta and A2 Hosting exhibit excellent speed and reliability. The key to optimal performance remains your choice of a data center, as this will significantly impact latency for your visitors.

 

Because of that, you may prefer Kinsta for its larger spread of server locations. Its 29 data centers provide highly targeted access for those with local or regional audiences. In comparison, the four provided by A2 Hosting are somewhat lacking.

 

Kinsta1

A2 Hosting0

 

 

2. Features

 

WEB HOSTING FEATURES
Kinsta A2 Hosting
Storage type SSD NVMe
Email No Unlimited
Caching Kinsta cache, Redis (add-on) Turbo cache, OPcache, Memcached
CDN Cloudflare Enterprise Cloudflare Free
Free site migration Yes Yes
Money-back guarantee 30 Days (prorated beyond this period) 30 Days (prorated beyond this period)
Control panel MyKinsta Custom Dashboard cPanel (single account)
Application installer MyKinsta Custom Dashboard Softaculous Premium

 

Even between similar web hosting providers, the features on offer will vary. The reason for this is mainly due to cost control. Because of that, you may find some web hosts oddly missing some standard features while offering niche advantages seldom seen elsewhere.

 

Kinsta and A2 Hosting take a somewhat unique approach to handle this issue. However, that doesn’t mean you’ll get everything on both platforms. Some notable features on these platforms include;

 

2.1 Storage

 

Kinsta offers SSD storage across the board for all its hosting plans. SSD or Solid State Drive storage is much faster than many web hosts’ traditional mechanical drives. They also cost more, so Kinsta provides comparatively lower amounts of storage space.

 

A2 Hosting ramps this up even further by going with NVMe storage drives. Like SSD, these drives are silicon-based but offer even greater speeds. The average NVMe drive can be five or more times faster than SSD.

 

2.2 Email

 

One area where Kinsta cuts down on features is email. Most web hosting companies include email hosting as part of the package – sharing the space provided in the web hosting plan. In comparison, A2 Hosting includes unlimited email hosting.

 

In all honesty, I dislike the fact that Kinsta chose to cut costs in the area of email provision. It’s basic to most server environments and easily managed by the software side. Security concerns will increase, but that’s a drop in the bucket compared to the fees Kinsta charges.

 

2.3 Caching

 

Caching is one way of improving website performance. There are many forms of caching, each working to improve different factors of website operations. For example, OPcache speeds up applications running on PHP, making it especially desirable for dynamic websites like those running WordPress.

 

Here, Kinsta takes things in-house and provides users with the Kinsta cache feature. This feature is part of their own Kinsta MU plugin and allows users to manage some caching options. For example, you can use it to purge the Object cache.

 

A2 Hosting takes things two ways and combines standard caching like OPcache and Memcached with their in-house Turbo cache feature. While effective, the split in operational use here can confuse users.

 

2.4 Money-back guarantee

 

On the surface, both Kinsta and A2 Hosting offer a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you cancel past that period, you will get a prorated refund based on the remaining subscription period. However, hidden in the A2 Hosting Terms of Service document is a small segment that limits refunds past the 120-day mark. Once that period passes, refunds are purely at its discretion.

 

2.5 Control panel

 

A2 Hosting chooses to provide its users with the cPanel web hosting control panel. This control panel is typical, but licensing fees are increasing. For that reason, many web hosting companies are trying to move to alternative options.

 

The dashboard of our A2 hosted test site.

 

Kinsta, on the other hand, long offers its users the MyKinsta dashboard. This dashboard is an all-in-one that combines features of web hosting control panels with server management tools like WHCMS. It’s a practical solution that’s easy to use.

 

MyKinsta dashboard of our Kinsta-hosted test site.

 

The self-developed control panel is an exceedingly smart move on Kinsta’s part. It frees them from licensing concerns and provides customers with an easy way to manage what is essentially Cloud hosting.

 

Note

Cloud hosting isn’t usually costly, but unmanaged Cloud hosting can be hard for beginners to manage. Even technical experts will need to spend significant time properly configuring, deploying, and maintaining Cloud-based websites.

 

2.6 Database optimization

 

Interestingly, Kinsta includes automated database optimization, which is something essential to WordPress websites. WordPress performance is highly reliant on database performance since every page load needs to work with the database. The optimization is weekly, ensuring good performance on your WordPress website.

 

While A2 Hosting doesn’t include this feature by default, you can find a plugin that does the same if you’re using WordPress. Again, this discrepancy highlights the advantage Kinsta has as a one-stop-shop for WordPress users.

 

The problem with A2 Hosting’s approach is that it pushes any risk associated with database optimization onto you and the third-party plugin developer. If something goes wrong, you’ll need to coordinate with both A2 Hosting and the plugin developer, who will likely push any blame to the other party.

 

 

Winner: Kinsta

 

While A2 hosting does offer some advantages, these are comparatively minor when taken against the convenience Kinsta offers. The latter offers an extremely streamlined operation that allows users to focus on their website rather than technical details.

 

Once again, we can see the features that Kinsta offers geared towards making life simpler for its customers.

 

Kinsta2

A2 Hosting0

 

 

3. Security

 

Kinsta and A2 Hosting both offer comprehensive security processes to help secure your website. These options are either native or supported by the platforms should you decide on additional integration.

 

Regardless of the information below, it’s important to understand that you will play a big part in the security of a website. For example, a lax password policy is all it takes for your WordPress website to get hacked, which will ruin your day.

 

3.1 Server-level security

 

A2 Hosting undertakes what it calls “Perpetual Security,” a combination of security processes they handle at the server level. It includes daily kernel maintenance and updates, DDoS protection, firewall implementation, server hardening, etc.

 

Kinsta runs on Google Cloud infrastructure and inherits the server-level security of those servers. Because of that, server security on Kinsta is extensive and includes not just the tools and processes but also compliance and audits on a wider scale.

 

3.2 Application security

 

Both A2 Hosting and Kinsta offer free SSL certifications and easy installation. In addition, A2 Hosting also provides a virus scanner and hack scanner. While Kinsta does not, it instead offers a security guarantee.

 

Suppose anything goes wrong with your Kinsta-based website due to a hack or security incident. In that case, they will conduct a deep scan and other rectification procedures to help recover your site.

 

3.3 Content distribution network

 

Content Distribution Networks (CDN) are vital, but most hosting providers can’t offer these services independently. The typical process is to establish a partnership with a known CDN provider. In the case of Kinsta and A2 Hosting, that provider is Cloudflare.

 

Cloudflare offers various plans at different price points ranging from free to “oh my God.” A2 Hosting does the bare minimum and syncs with Cloudflare’s free plan. Kinsta, on the other hand, provides access to Cloudflare Enterprise.

 

Cloudflare Enterprise has more features beyond basic load distribution and security. Users also benefit from expert training sessions and emergency support from them.

 

Note

For those who need greater control over their data, it’s worth noting that A2 Hosting’s Michigan data center is owned and operated by them. There’s little concern about where your data is being stored.

 

Winner: Kinsta

 

While A2 Hosting is by no means weak in security, Kinsta offers a more practical solution from a customer viewpoint. Instead of letting customers know how extensive the security features are, it opts to provide a guarantee that will help customers recover their websites from disaster.

 

Don’t operate on the premise that your website security won’t get compromised. WordPress websites are a highly popular target for hackers. Over
half a million WordPress websites were hacked in 2021 alone – so a host that will help you repair any damage is invaluable.

 

Kinsta3

A2 Hosting0

 

 

4. Plans and pricing

 

kinsta hosting full pricing

Kinsta plans and pricing.

 

The pricing model on Kinsta is straightforward since it offers a single line of web hosting plans – Cloud-based, WordPress-only. Because of this, the variation is primarily in terms of the resources provided. Notably, Kinsta doesn’t mention these directly except for storage space. Instead, it limits plans by the number of monthly visits.

 

Kinsta plans start from $35/mo. You’ll be able to run a single WordPress website that serves 20,000 visitors (counting by unique IP address) at this price. On the upper end, things scale to $1,650/mo. Here you can run 150 websites serving 2.5 million monthly visits.

 

A2 Hosting plans and pricing.

 

A2 Hosting is more traditional, and prices vary by plan and category. You get cheap shared hosting plans starting from a mere $2.99/mo at the lower end. It is a good entry-level proposition for almost all users since shared hosting is effortless to manage.

 

Yet our interest in A2 Hosting lies in their “Turbo” plans, which offer superior performance and can better match Kinsta. The A2 Hosting “Turbo Max” plan does so at $12.99/mo. The problem is that the sign-on price for A2 Hosting is a considerable discount. Renewing the Turbo Max plan will drive the price to nearly $25/mo.

 

If you compare the actual merits of price on A2 Hosting Turbo and entry-level Kinsta plans, the prices aren’t that different. In addition, Kinsta’s relatively high prices are due to it being Cloud-based, making it inherently more expensive.

 

 

Winner: Even match

 

While it may seem that Kinsta is more costly, that is simply the nature of the service. A2 Hosting’s comparative-performance Turbo plans aren’t significantly cheaper. That makes it neck-and-neck as far as pricing is concerned.

 

In terms of options, A2 Hosting provides a broad range of choices that customers can progress between as their websites scale up. While this may help reduce cost, the migration is more involved than simply progressing up the Kinsta plan ladder.

 

Kinsta4

A2 Hosting1

 

 

5. Support

 

WEB HOSTING SUPPORT
Kinsta A2 Hosting
Phone support Yes Yes
Live chat Yes Yes
Ticket system Yes Yes
Knowledge base Yes Yes
Forum No No
Localized support Yes No
24/7 support Some channels Yes

 

Like many online services, Kinsta and A2 Hosting tout a “customer-first” policy and try to amplify the availability of support services. In some ways, this is true since both have multiple support channels and a sterling reputation. The problem is that, like many other services, cracks start to appear once you look beyond the surface.

 

Kinsta loves to promote its inclusiveness via localized support. Technically, this means that their support agents can speak your language. While this sounds great, it is limited to certain languages like English, German, Japanese, and French.

 

In addition, Kinsta splits its support into many streams, such as hosting support, sales support, migration support, accounting support, and many more. Each stream handles specific languages and works on its own time schedule. This variation can be highly confusing and frustrating for someone seeking assistance.

 

To give you an idea of how convoluted the support schedule can be, take a look at the schedule for Kinsta’s Sales Team availability;

 

  • English sales: 24 hours a day (M-F)
  • German sales: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. UTC
  • Dutch sales: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. UTC
  • Spanish sales: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. UTC
  • French sales: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. UTC
  • Italian sales: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. UTC
  • Japanese sales: 1 a.m. to 9 a.m. UTC

 

If that doesn’t give you a headache, then multiply it with all of Kinsta’s other support departments.

 

Kinsta hosting support offers one significant advantage over A2 Hosting despite these issues. Because of its focus on WordPress, it can assist you with experts in this single field. Comparatively, A2 Hosting needs to maintain a broader lot of technical experts.

 

A2 Hosting’s support team is not much to shout about except that they are highly available. Queries get quick responses, but there is quite a big difference in attitude between their sales and technical agents.

 

Winner: Even match

 

Kinsta makes up for confusing support availability schedules with localized support. Both of these web hosts do well in assisting customers. Once you get in touch, you will often find that things progress smoothly.

 

Kinsta5

A2 Hosting2

 

 

Kinsta VS A2 Hosting: CMS Comparison

 

1. Which web host is best for WordPress sites?

 

For those considering running a WordPress website, there is little doubt that Kinsta brings many advantages to the table. While most of the technical details may not be significant, one area that you can’t ignore is their expertise in everything WordPress.

 

There’s a vast online WordPress community where you can seek assistance, but why bother doing so if your web host can directly provide this assistance from qualified experts?

 

In addition, I feel that most WordPress users love the platform for its agility and ease of use. Given how streamlined the Kinsta experience is, it can make life unbelievably easy for those who want just to run their website.

 

A2 Hosting is more flexible in what’s possible, but if you already know you want to use WordPress, why bother?

 

The advantages of choosing Kinsta as a WordPress host are clear:

 

  1. Excellent performance and reliability
  2. Massive range of data center options
  3. WordPress-centric platform
  4. Expert WordPress customer support
  5. Simple to use and maintain

 

 

2. Which web host is best for eCommerce sites?

 

For eCommerce websites, things get slightly more complicated. Technically, Kinsta is a superior choice due to its performance, reliability, and WordPress expertise. This combination gives running a WooCommerce website with them notable benefits.

 

I can see a few drawbacks: Kinsta’s more limited storage space and the WordPress-only factor. eCommerce websites tend to use more storage space than typical, and you may find yourself limited by that on Kinsta.

 

In addition, you won’t be able to operate any other eCommerce platform except WooCommerce. Thankfully, that’s not a significant barrier since WooCommerce is the most popular self-hosted eCommerce platform.

 

Given the inclusiveness of Kinsta’s service, though, you get more time to concentrate on building the business. If you opt for eCommerce on A2 Hosting, you’ll still need the time to manage the hosting side of things.

 

What makes Kinsta a better WooCommerce host;

 

  1. Good range of data centers
  2. Google Cloud infrastructure reliability
  3. Expert WooCommerce support teams
  4. Easily scalable

 

 

Verdict: We think Kinsta has the edge

 

Both Kinsta and A2 Hosting are notable brands within the web hosting industry. That reputation is built along years of excellent service and performance, making either a good choice for hosting your website.

 

Here’s the recap of the comparison for Kinsta and A2 Hosting:

 


COMPARISON BETWEEN KINSTA VS A2 HOSTING
Kinsta A2 Hosting
Founded 2013 2001
Headquarters West Hollywood, California, USA Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
Products Cloud-based WordPress Hosting Shared Hosting, VPS, Dedicated Servers
Test site ksthosted.com a2turbohosted.com
Overall speed rating A+ A+
Average response speed 179.5 ms 149.8 ms
Data centers 29 4
Bitcatcha recorded uptime 99.99% 99.98%
Storage type SSD NVMe
Email No Unlimited
Caching Kinsta cache, Redis (add-on) Turbo cache, OPcache, Memcached
CDN Cloudflare Enterprise Cloudflare Free
Free site migration Yes Yes
Money-back guarantee 30 Days (prorated beyond this period) 30 Days (prorated beyond this period)
Control panel MyKinsta Custom Dashboard cPanel (single account)
Application installer MyKinsta Custom Dashboard Softaculous Premium
24/7 support Some channels Yes
In-depth analysis Read Kinsta review Read A2 Hosting review
Learn more

 

However, if you’re serious about building and growing a WordPress or WooCommerce website, there are clear advantages to choosing Kinsta. Having a web host that profoundly understands your platform and can provide all levels of assistance for it is something not easy to find.

 

If that doesn’t describe your needs, then at some level, A2 Hosting is also a good alternative. That’s especially true if you want to build and run a small, static website. The performance A2 Hosting offers mixes well with the cheap entry-level plans available.

 

  • Get Kinsta hosting at 17% OFF (1-year plan).
  • Get A2 Hosting from just $2.99 /mo (3-year plan).