There is a plethora of reasons you'd seek someone else's opinion when choosing between GoDaddy and Kinsta. You may probably be unhappy with one and are considering the other or you've considered a few of their features and would like an expert opinion to help solidify your decision. Moreover, the fact that search engines like Google are also keen on your host's server performance, no one wants to buy hosting that'd ultimately jeopardize their SEO.
If you're currently in such a quagmire and would like to get some direction, this review is for you.
Before we delve into anything else, let's first have a sneak preview of these two hosts.
GoDaddy has been around for decades and is well-known for domain registration and hosting. It boasts more than 20 million customers and offers packages for literally everyone. In 2020, GoDaddy won the Gold Stevie Award for sales and customer service. In their quest not to leave anyone out, GoDaddy has developed a pricing system that takes care of simple websites all the way to enterprise-level web applications that require maximum power. And if you're considering WordPress hosting, GoDaddy has that for you as well.
Kinsta is a US company that focuses on premium WordPress hosting services. It's anchored on the Google Cloud platform and offers some great features for its customers. Their services cover a wide spectrum, providing solutions for startups upwards to very large companies. It's not just hearsay! Hootsuite, Unicef, Ricoh, Tripadvisor, and Flippa are just a few of the organizations that have their applications hosted on Kinsta.
When Anita, Mark, Peter, and Tom founded Kinsta in 2013, their focus was to dismantle the status quo in the WordPress hosting infrastructure. Right now, Kinsta has built a name for itself as one of the most sought-after WordPress hosts. With a very focused approach, they've developed a lean and incremental pricing structure.
Kinsta is likely to appear in every list of top WordPress hosts.
Now that we already have that short overview of the two hosts, let's see some of the things that make them different and whether these differences would influence your decision to pick one and not the other.
Let's kick it off with performance.
You can overlook some things when choosing hosting, but performance isn't one of them. And we know that no one wants to host a website that takes centuries to load or one that's unreliable and often inaccessible. Therefore, performance is something you need to investigate thoroughly before buying hosting.
We don't say what we don't do.
We went the mile to purchase hosting packages from GoDaddy and Kinsta and ran performance tests on both. From our test results, we developed a graphic to make it easier for you to see the better performer. The graphic below relied wholly on GTMetrix. We used a heavy landing page with images for the tests, which, for every host, involved running 21 tests and calculating their average.
From the graphic, Kinsta beat GoDaddy hands down, posting a load speed of 2.22 seconds compared to GoDaddy's 2.64 seconds. You can see more about the tests in our 10 Best WordPress Hosting article which also contains links to the raw data that shows the performance of each of these two hosts in every of our GTMetrix tests.
We give it up for WPX and Rocket.net which have topped the list, being the only hosts that posted a load speed of less than 2 seconds. WPX's load time of 1.47 seconds and Rocket.net's 1.65 seconds load time are pretty decent for a heavy landing page.
Why Performance is Important
Website performance encompasses several factors, with the primary one being page load speed. While there are various elements contributing to overall performance, many ultimately propel you to everyone's goal of faster load speed. In this discussion, we'll specifically address the importance of quicker page load speed.
When comparing two similar websites, if one loads faster than the other, it's highly probable that users will frequent the faster one. When a website takes too long to load, most visitors tend to either switch to a different website or abandon their browsing session altogether. A sluggish website gives the impression that something suspicious may be happening in the background, prompting users to seek alternatives promptly.
Conversely, a fast website with high-quality content is likely to encourage visitors to return. Increased website traffic and prolonged user engagement on a website translate into more conversions and improved search engine optimization (SEO). Consequently, better SEO leads to increased traffic as more users easily discover your website through search engines.
Search engine visibility can significantly enhance your reputation. Many factors affect website loading speed, such as bandwidth, web page design, and user location. However, one of the most crucial factors is the server itself. When it comes to purchasing a hosting server, it's essential to understand how the potential server performs.
To gain insights into server performance, we conducted server tests on both GoDaddy and Kinsta using Kevin Ohashi's WP Performance Tester plugin, which gauges performance by stressing PHP, MySQL, and $wpdb queries.
The graphic below illustrates our findings.
Kinsta was the better of the two, beating GoDaddy in all three categories. The plugin managed to run 1126 $wpdb tests on Kinsta against GoDaddy's 168, showing how slower the GoDaddy server is compared to Kinsta's. In fact, when it comes to server performance benchmarks total time, GoDaddy was the worst performer of all the 10 hosts, yet Kinsta was the second, only coming after WPX.
We talk about the performances further in our Best WordPress Hosting.
GoDaddy and Kinsta Features
Besides performance, we cannot ignore the rest of the features, many of which will go a long way in ensuring that your website's performance, uptime, security, and ease of use are all up to speed with the prevailing industry standards.
Let's check out what these two hosts have to offer;
Hosting Features (Critical Performance Features)
There are hosting features that you wouldn't want to miss out on if your website is to deliver good performance. Whether you're choosing GoDaddy or Kinsta, there are features you cannot overlook. The features in question are different in almost every host, meaning you'd have to investigate to know how a given host performs in these critical performance features to help shape your decision.
GoDaddy Performance Critical Features
GoDaddy is among the hosts that have widely rolled out the use of NVMe SSDs for their servers. SSDs have a reputation for fast data writing and retrieval speeds. The host uses PHP OPCache^, which helps cut down server response time by 33%. They also have 10MBs of I/O, which makes running queries faster even when working with large databases. Although these differ depending on the package you purchase, GoDaddy has reasonable CPU and RAM allocation for each of their packages. Admittedly, there have been a few murmurs here and there among users who're performance-conscious, saying the more affordable packages give users a raw deal when it comes to resource allocation.
Kinsta Performance Critical Features
Kinsta is considered by many as a premium hosting service provider. And that's because all their packages come with some crazy adorable features and, of course, a slightly plump price tag. Kinsta is powered by the Google Cloud platform, which has a reputation for stellar performance and speeds. They use Google's special C2 machines alongside their Premium Tier network to deliver top-notch performance. The host employs automatic scaling for both CPU and RAM resources for optimal performance based on your web application's resource demand.
Backups and Staging
GoDaddy has free automatic daily backups, which a user can restore within a day. But that doesn't mean their retention period is one day; no, it's way longer, only that you can't restore beyond one day for free. Instead, they give you the option to restore backups from up to 30 days earlier, albeit at a starting fee of $2.99.
Kinsta's packages give you both automatic daily and scheduled backups. Their retention periods are 14, 20, and 30 days, all dependent on your hosting package. For example, if you purchased their Starter Package, you automatically get the option to restore from your backups created within the past 14 days.
Uptime and Reliability
GoDaddy promises a 99.9% uptime guarantee and is considered a very stable host. They've been around for years and have seen it all. GoDaddy is so serious about uptime that they offer eligibility for a discount in case they fail in their uptime pledge. And where there is a hiccup, GoDaddy's award-winning customer support, which is available 24/7/365, will help you resolve the issue within a very short time. To further maintain uptime, GoDaddy's network security protects your website from DDoS, among other security threats.
Kinsta promises 99.99% uptime which they say is backed by their Service Level Agreement (SLA). Even if something were to happen to your website, the Kinsta team would learn about it quickly through their uptime monitoring system and take immediate action to resolve the issue. They also have malware protection and removal to ensure your website's uptime isn't compromised by any foreign and malicious software.
GoDaddy currently has 9 server facilities in the USA, Europe, and Asia, with 7 of them being in the US. In these facilities are about 37,000 servers. Since 2019, reports have it that GoDaddy has been closing some data centers to consolidate their resources to help them deliver to their maximum on the few available locations.
Kinsta boasts 25 data centers that use top-performance Google CPU machines, as well as a performance-centric Premium Tier network. In addition to these data centers, Kinsta's services are also anchored on 260 CDN locations spread across the globe.
Ease of Use
When you purchase hosting, you need to be sure that it has a clean and easy-to-use interface. That makes it easier for you to run your tasks and change settings without much hassle. For that reason, we considered GoDaddy and Kinsta's ease of use, and below are our findings.
GoDaddy has a decent design for both its public area and dashboard. Their colors are calm and are used in a manner that makes it quite easy for users to undertake simple tasks like managing hosting packages. In addition to that cool interface, GoDaddy makes it possible for users to apply some customizations to the dashboard to add a personal touch to accessibility and feel.
There is no gainsaying that Kinsta has a very easy-to-use interface both for the public interface and the dashboard. Although intuitive, their color choices are a bit dull, appearing to have too much grey. Their left-positioned sidebar has black links on a grey background, which denies it a pop. That said, everything is properly placed and the settings are quite easy to navigate.
We had two approaches to customer support. One came from real user reviews and another from our test of the hosts. Our test involved asking every individual host's customer support a few simple questions. We appreciated that most of the hosts responded within a reasonable time.
GoDaddy answered us through their chat support after 5 minutes. Well, 5 minutes isn't a bad time if whatever you want isn't urgent, but would be a big disappointment if you'd like something addressed almost immediately.
Kinsta also responded through chat, although their answers came to us some disappointing 1 hour 30 minutes later. Such a long time is unacceptable, but we give them the benefit of the doubt because they've got a filtering system that determines priority. In our case, we chose the "my plan" and not the "technical" option, which, we believe, would typically be attended to with some level of urgency.
Real User Reviews
Real user reviews are crucial for several reasons. Firstly, they offer authentic insights into products, services, or experiences, helping potential customers make informed decisions. These reviews provide a glimpse into real-life scenarios, highlighting strengths and weaknesses that may not be apparent in marketing materials.
Moreover, user reviews build trust and credibility. At the end of the day, a potential user is more likely to believe the feedback of an existing user than the marketing content of the service provider. They offer a sense of community and reliability, fostering confidence when making a purchase decision.
We wanted to give you just that, and, therefore, we reached out to current users of hosting services to share with us their experiences with their hosts. The responses shed so much light on the hosts in question. We used the feedback to create the graphic below to give a clear picture of things.
The above graphic shows by what margin Kinsta managed to beat GoDaddy when it comes to real user reviews. Kinsta scored 9.3/10 in overall user experience against GoDaddy's lackluster 4.94/10. In fact, GoDaddy only managed to score more than 5/10 in pricing and backups. In all the remaining 5 segments, it scored way lower than average, losing to Kinsta in all.
But even as we consider GoDaddy and Kinsta, Rocket.net is a performer that we can't fail to acknowledge. In all the categories, Rocket.net scored more than 8.5/10, which is no mean feat. Under site migration from the host and malware cleanup, it managed a perfect score of 10/10, something that none of the other hosts managed in any of the 7 categories.
Below is a sample of comments for GoDaddy and Kinsta from real users who responded to our request to review their respective hosts.
Real User Reviews for GoDaddy
I used them in the past so they might have improved since then, but they were awful. Weak support and too much spam for things I didn't need.
Employee/Owner of Agency
2 or 3
Frustrating support! Cheap host that gives you the bare minumum, has few answers to questions and cannot help with something goes wrong. Definitely a communication barrier.
Employee/Owner of Agency
2 or 3
Before I learned a lot about web development, I liked GoDaddy. They were very helpful for the beginner. Now that I know a few things, I really can't stand to deal with them.
2 or 3
Click here for more GoDaddy user reviews.
Real User Reviews for Kinsta
Kinsta is my current top favorite host. Great interface. Fair pricing. Good features. Good speed.
4 to 10
We moved to Kinsta as a client of ours used them and they shared our sustainable values. The Staging service is brilliant however my only area for improvement would be the ability to only push certain DB tables...
Employee/Owner of Agency
4 to 10
Both sites utilize WooCommercee. Both .sites are fast and secure. Excellent support...
Employee/Owner of Agency
2 or 3
More real user reviews for Kinsta can be found here.
Well, we've come to the end of this review, and I believe you already have an idea of the host you believe would offer you the best performance and give you all the necessary features for peace of mind as you work on your website.
As is evident, Kinsta carried the day in all our tests except in speed of customer support and particularly in our test with simple questions. The fact that we've got an explanation for the delay makes the performance more anecdotal than realistic under all circumstances. It, therefore, makes sense why Kinsta may have failed to respond to our question earlier than the posted 1 hour 30 minutes. Nevertheless, real users asserted in their comments that Kinsta is the better performer when it comes to customer support.
It'd, therefore, be unfair and undeniably unrealistic to dismiss Kinsta on that account.
You can get more information about these hosts in our Best WordPress Hosting Review.
Whatever the case, Kinsta remains the better performer compared to GoDaddy. In as much as it isn't the cheapest host you can get, when you consider what you're getting in terms of website performance, ease of use, security, and customer support, among other features, it'd be the better choice.