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Kinsta vs DigitalOcean (2021): Which Hosting Is Better For You?

At their core, Kinsta and Digitalocean are two very different hosting providers catering to different audiences. As a managed WordPress hosting company, Kinsta aims to make hosting easy for its customers with pre-packaged plans that take away as much of the hassle as it can from the technical aspects of running websites. On the other hand, DigitalOcean is a cloud hosting platform, with highly flexible and scalable solutions designed for developers with particular requirements. If you’re looking for hosting for a WordPress site, here’s how to choose between the two.

Kinsta vs DigitalOcean Web Hosting Comparison Chart

 DigitalOcean logo
PricingCheck Pricing at Kinsta.comCheck Pricing at
Traffic TiersStarter: 20,000/mo
Pro: 40,000/mo
Business: 100k to 600k/mo
Enterprise: 1m to 3m/mo
Starter: Varies
Basic: Varies
Professional: Varies
Storage TiersStarter: 10 GB
Pro: 20 GB
Business: 30-60 GB
Enterprise: 100-250 GB
Starter: Varies
Basic: Varies
Professional: Varies
Monthly BandwidthStarter: 50 GB
Pro: 100 GB
Business: 200-500 GB
Enterprise: 500-1000 GB
Starter: 1 GB
Basic: 40 GB
Professional: 100 GB
WebsitesStarter: 1
Pro: 2
Business: 5-40
Enterprise: 60-150
Starter: Varies
Basic: Varies
Professional: Varies
Hosting InterfaceMyKinstaCustom
Content Delivery NetworkKeyCDNCloudflare
Free SSL CertificatesYesYes
Staging AreaYesYes
Free Site BackupYesNo
Free Site RestoreYesYes
Backup Retention14-30 days28 days
Free Site MigrationYesNo
Multisite SupportPro and upYes
Customer Support24/7 live chat and ticket24/7 ticket
Money Back Guarantee30 days60 day trial


Kinsta is powered by the Google Cloud Platform while DigitalOcean lets you build your own infrastructure.

DigitalOcean aims to simplify cloud computing with flexible building blocks called Droplets.

As mentioned, Kinsta and DigitalOcean both provide web hosting but in highly different manners. Kinsta is essentially closer to more traditional hosting services, in which you purchase a plan with specific features, limits, and benefits. As a managed WordPress hosting service, Kinsta wants to make hosting a site as simple and easy for you as possible, so most of the necessary maintenance, such as updates and monitoring, are done by their expert team.

On the other hand, DigitalOcean offers only the infrastructure through scalable virtual machines called Droplets. You can select from basic, general purpose, CPU-, memory-and storage-optimized droplets with various memory amounts, virtal CPUs, SSD storage and transfer limits. In essence, you’ll be able to configure your hosting platform to match your strict requirements. Moreover, you’re not restricted to WordPress only, so you can install any platform or app you wish.

However, keep in mind that DigitalOcean only prepares the hardware for you. Designed for developers, DigitalOcean’s services will still require you to set up your server, configure it, install needed apps, update software, etc. Needless to say, if you don’t have actual web developer skills and experience, you will find DigitalOcean to be daunting, if not simply impractical. Even developers will find that managing your server is time-consuming and tedious, though it does make for a great learning experience.

Kinsta built their own custom user portal called MyKinsta to make WordPress site management simple. You’ll be able to manage important settings, features and more on this dashboard, while also getting access to key metrics such as unique visits, data transfer and more. DigitalOcean has a more basic dashboard in comparison, and you’ll need to set up most advanced tools and features or else need to access other control panels such as ServerPilot for some configurations.


Kinsta has more stable speeds compared to DigitalOcean.

Kinsta has impressive site speed and overall performance.

Unlike Kinsta, DigitalOcean doesn’t participate in website performance benchmarking due to the nature of their services. As a VPS and cloud hosting provider, DigitalOcean provides highly variable server setups which make testing spec-dependent. However, it’s important to keep in mind that you can only use the resources you pay for on DigitalOcean. If your droplet isn’t equipped to handle unexpected traffic surges, you’re likely to see drops in performance. You’ll need to figure out beforehand just how powerful your droplet specs should be or else be cost-inefficient.

In comparison, Kinsta has an auto-scaling infrastructure that adjusts resources as necessary. Kinsta has chosen to be exclusively built on the Google Cloud Platform, which has global data centers and topnotch server infrastructure. GCP’s C2 virtual machines, which Kinsta uses for all plans, can allocate hardware resources to isolated containers as needed to ensure optimal performance even when stressed. So while Kinsta guarantees that each site is allocated minimum RAM and CPU, its max is actually flexible.

In addition, Kinsta includes a global CDN with every plan. With 34 PoPs around the world, KeyCDN ensures fast loading speeds in all major regions. It’s pre-configured and ready to go as soon as you take your site live. On DigitalOcean, you’ll need to set up a CDN yourself. Their platform is compatible with Cloudflare, but a Cloudflare worker is a paid service.


Kinsta offers 24/7 live chat support while DigitalOcean only provides a ticketing system.

Customer support is a priority at Kinsta.

If you like being able to communicate your hosting concerns in real-time, Kinsta’s live chat system will sound great, since you get to chat with a WordPress expert in as little as two minutes of waiting. With the chat system, conversations are easily logged so even if you speak with multiple agents, there’s no backtracking necessary. Kinsta offers multilingual support for more than 10 languages, too.

More importantly, Kinsta provides this premium support for every plan, from the lowest tier to the highest. On DigitalOcean, you only get a ticket-based system for support, and the support you receive depends on your tier/spending. You can get premium support as an additional paid option and business support is only given to those who spend upwards of $500 per month on their plan.

Site uptime is fantastic on both Kinsta and DigitalOcean. Automatic daily backups are included for free on Kinsta, but it has a fee of 20% of the droplet cost on DigitalOcean. As a managed hosting service, Kinsta also performs many monitoring and security-related tasks as part of their services. These include GeoIP blocking, DDoS detection, GCP firewall, self-healing PHP and more. DigitalOcean’s monitoring scope is a bit more limited, so you’ll need to personally perform more system admin tasks yourself.

Plans and Pricing

DigitalOcean has a very flexible pricing system compared to Kinsta.

DigitalOcean’s App Platform plans provide a quicker and simpler pricing model compared to its standard droplet pricing.

Unlike most hosting providers, DigitalOcean lets you select your droplet’s specs and receive the corresponding pricing. There are basic, general purpose, and more optimized virtual machines with memory ranging from 4GB to 256GB, SSD storage up to 7TB, and up to 32 vCPUs. This makes DigitalOcean ideal for fine-tuning your server exactly to your app requirements. Again, you’d need a lot more technical know-how to gauge which specs are cost-effective for you.

Additionally, DigitalOcean also provides a simpler and more intuitive pricing scheme for rapid deployment (see above image). The Basic and Professional tiers are still highly flexible depending on the instance you select as well as any add-ons you desire. All of the options, usage limits, databases, etc., can make the pricing calculations a bit more involved than typical when you first sign up.

In comparison, Kinsta’s pricing is more clear-cut. You get charged based on the plan you select, which has specific limits and included features. In addition, many of the site management tasks as well as premium support is already inclusive of the pricing. There are less things for you to actually take care of, as speed and optimization tools are included while security is already handled.


Kinsta is more suited for busy professionals while DigitalOcean is targeted at developers.


Better for businesses

Kinsta logo


Better for developers

DigitalOcean logo

When it comes down to it, choosing between Kinsta and DigitalOcean should be relatively easy and can be answered by asking yourself one question: do you have enough technical expertise and time to manage your own server? It’s highly likely that only those who can say yes are developers, and that’s really the intended target for DigitalOcean’s unique hosting services. You’ll need to do your own configurations, installations, and monitoring on DigitalOcean and you need to have actual system administration knowledge to do so.

For everyone else, Kinsta’s managed WordPress hosting is much simpler and can be less costly for larger sites. Moreover, you’ll spend less time managing hosting concerns and you can count on customer support more easily.


📌 Does Kinsta use cPanel?

No, Kinsta has built their own custom user portal called MyKinsta. This dashboard contains all of the settings, features and more that you can enable, disable and adjust on your hosted WordPress sites.

📌 Is DigitalOcean better than AWS?

In general, DigitalOcean is a cloud hosting provider that’s a lot more suitable for app developers and growing websites. Amazon Web Services on the other hand are recommended for larger applications that scale.

📌 Is Kinsta good for WordPress hosting?

Yes, Kinsta is one of the top choices for a WordPress hosting provider. They provide a managed service which means that server-side optimizations, monitoring and security are all handled by their expert team.

📌 Is DigitalOcean reliable?

Yes, DigitalOcean has enjoyed a good reputation for providing reliable cloud hosting solutions ever since it first launched in 2011.

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Kinsta vs DigitalOcean (2021): Which Hosting Is Better For You?


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