In September 2016, I was introduced to a web hosting company that was relatively new to WordPress: Flywheel. They were a top sponsor at Circles Conference, an event I was attending. I also enjoyed sharing the stage with Andrea Trew, former Art Director of Flywheel.
At the time, I was a partner at Copyblogger Media, in charge of product and design at StudioPress, and hosted all of my sites on our internal platform.
Flywheel Managed WordPress Hosting
Let’s face it: Technology can sometimes be confusing and hard to understand. Start using words like VPS, mirrored storage, and database architecture, and you have fundamentally lost most people merely looking to start a blog.
Enter managed WordPress hosting, a concierge service offered by companies like Flywheel, who realize there is a deep learning curve when it comes to installing WordPress properly.
Managed WordPress hosting provides a hassle-free onboarding experience that allows freelancers and small businesses to get up and running with little effort.
Flywheel excels with their managed WordPress hosting offering by making the process as painless as possible. Their intuitive process takes a customer from signing up to deploying a website in minutes.
When you sign up for Flywheel managed WordPress hosting, you also get industry-leading support and expert advice, available 24/7—more on that below.
Flywheel Hosting Plans & Pricing
Whether you’re a new blogger with little traffic, a small business with that’s trying to take their operation to a higher level, or a freelance designer/developer that builds many websites, Flywheel has a hosting plan for you.
Currently, there are four plans:
- Tiny (Ideal for small, simple installs) — $13 per month
- Starter (Their most popular single‑site plan!) — $25 per month
- Freelance (An excellent setup for your growing client list) — $96 per month
- Agency (A powerful deal for your next-level business) — $242 per month
The Tiny and Starter plans include one WordPress site, while the Freelance and Agency plans include up to ten and 30 sites.
What’s great is that you are allowed to upgrade/downgrade plans, should you have a need. For instance, if you are on the Starter plan and want to add another website, you can contact their team and get moved onto the Freelance plan.
Flywheel also offers a custom-built WordPress hosting plan, which could include 100+ sites, or an instance that would be considered mission-critical.
For context on my review, I am currently on the Freelance plan and have eight sites presently installed. At some point, I might have to upgrade my account to the Agency plan.
Flywheel Hosting Features
When it comes to hosting, I am not a technology geek. I don’t get caught up in the specifications and features, mainly because—for the most part—managed WordPress hosting companies like Flywheel have similar offerings.
There are some features that I do enjoy as a Flywheel customer:
Free SSL Certificates — Offered by Let’s Encrypt, each site gets a free SSL certificate, and its installation takes minutes. Considering how critical a secure website is these days, this is a mus-have.
Multisite — Though I currently don’t use it, all hosting plans include the ability to activate a multisite installation of WordPress.
Staging Environment — As a freelance designer/developer, this is huge and something that I use all the time. Flywheel Hosting allows you to create a staging site that to showcase preview a site for a client before it goes live on a real domain.
Genesis Framework — All customers get access to the Genesis Framework, a $60 value and serves as the foundation of any smart WordPress design.
30+ StudioPress Themes — This is huge value, as Flywheel customers can download and use any of the premium WordPress themes that StudioPress built.
Flywheel Hosting UI/UX
As I mentioned earlier, my first encounter with Flywheel was at Circles Conference. Circles is a creative design conference in Texas, and as you can assume, most of the attendees are designers and creators.
The target audience for Flywheel is designers, developers, and agencies building websites. While bloggers can also use the hosting, the design community is who they primarily market to.
Just one look at their sales website, and you can tell just how much value they place on design, UI, and UX. The customer dashboard is no different, and I enjoy each time I need to log in to it.
I have been designing and developing WordPress websites for more than 15 years, and have used my fair share of hosting companies. While there are plenty of choices these days, there is only one that I prefer to use.
If you are just getting started with WordPress or already have a site, I highly recommend Flywheel Hosting. If you are interested in moving there, they offer free migration services.
. . .
Disclaimer: I am the founder of StudioPress. WP Engine acquired StudioPress in June 2018 and acquired Flywheel in June 2019.
This Flywheel hosting review is an honest one. Nobody coerced me to write it. I was not required to do it as a result of the acquisition. I have with a WordPress service that goes above and beyond.
Some links above are affiliates links. Let’s face it, we’re all hustling.