Running a WordPress site can be a hassle. In addition to designing your site and creating content, you also need to take care of nuts-and-bolts web hosting stuff like performance, security, and updates.
Or you could let someone else worry about that. Of all the managed WordPress hosting services out there, Flywheel stands out as one of your best options.
Flywheel makes its case with its own site. The homepage loads fast, despite featuring an animation and a live chat with a sales rep. The design is the perfect combination of simple and striking. It makes a good first impression – Flywheel obviously knows what it's doing.
Flywheel started as a basic web hosting solution for creative agencies and designers, and they've been offering managed WordPress hosting services since 2012. They're now one of the WordPress community's favorite hosting services.
Pricing And Packages
So, Flywheel looks good. But what about the bottom line?
Flywheel certainly doesn't hide its price points. You just need to scroll down on the homepage to see a breakdown of their plans.
This table displays a lot of useful information, but it fails to provide any details about their hardware. I looked through the site and searched on Google for keywords as simple as “memory” and “CPU”, and I couldn't find anything. Even the FAQ section didn't disclose these details.
As a site owner, my #1 priority is uptime. I'd like to know more about the hardware being used to host my site.
Although I'm still concerned about the lack of hardware transparency, I was pleased to see that Flywheel has nightly backups stored offsite. If something does go wrong, at least you won't lose much when you restore your site.
The pricing is reasonable and competitive. The Tiny package, priced at $15/month, covers one site and gets you 5,000 monthly visits, 5GB disk space, 250GB bandwidth, no overage charges, and a free SSL certificate.
The 5,000 visits/month limit makes this package a non-starter for many established sites. If you're just starting out, though, it's a good deal. I don't like that there's a fee for a CDN service, but considering how low the initial price is, it only makes sense that there's a surcharge for high-end features. That's fair enough. And if your site is getting less than 5,000 visits a month, you don't really need a CDN service anyway.
The $75/month Professional package is one of the best deals on web hosting you'll find anywhere. It offers free site migration, 100,000 monthly visits, 20GB disk space, 1TB bandwidth, no overage charges (still!), a free SSL certificate, a free CDN service, free multisite, and free staging sites. Buying an annual plan gets you one free month of service, lowering the monthly cost to $69. The same kind of plan would cost you $100/month with WP Engine.
If your site gets more than 100,000 visits/month, I would recommend that you go for the Custom package.
Of course, your needs will change over time. Your site might become so popular that you run out of your allotted monthly visits. If that happens, Flywheel will immediately prompt you for an upgrade. Make the payment, then you're good to go. It's seamless.
Conversely, your site might become less popular, to the point where you could save money by downgrading to a less expensive package. Thankfully, Flywheel allows you to change plans at any time.
How To Start
After you select your plan, as they say, “you're only 60 seconds away from setting up your WordPress site”.
The first step is to fill in basic details about yourself, such as your name and email address. Then, decide on your username and password. By signing up, you officially acknowledge that you agree to Flywheel’s terms of service.
The tone of the terms and conditions section struck me as odd. It's not phrased as a question; there's no box to check off. Frankly, it's a little rude. But let's be honest: it's not like you were actually going to take the time to read through a wall of legalese, so this is only a minor criticism.
It's all straightforward from there. In fact, this is one of the most hassle-free sign-up procedures that I've ever been through. Set up your payments, and then you're pretty much done.
Flywheel accepts all major credit cards, including VISA, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express. You can use PayPal if there's a problem with your card. Also, they accept checks for annual payments.
If you're not a first-time user, you can add your newly-created site to an existing bulk account.
Once you set up your account, you'll be directed to Flywheel's dashboard.
The dashboard is easy to navigate and pleasant to look at, with its sky blue color and rounded-off cartoon icons. It has everything you need to create a high-quality site, including inbuilt password protection, backups, stats, and a collaborator’s section.
New WordPress Installation
In another 60 seconds, you can complete a new WordPress installation. It only takes one click to start a new site or clone an existing site.
Flywheel isn't just another pretty face. Behind the attractive exterior, it offers powerful capabilities. We've already gone over a few of these, but here's a quick overview of Flywheel's most valuable features:
- Add Collaborators
- Free Migrations
- Site Cloning
- Demo Sites
- Cache Flushing
- Enable/Disable Cache
- Create and Restore backups
- Password Protection
- Export and View Logs
- Enable WP_DEBUG from dashboard
One key omission from this feature list is SSH access. This would make site development less confusing, and it's offered by other hosting services, such
The Final Word
This is one of the best WordPress hosting services on the web, especially if the Flywheel Professional package is a good fit for your needs. Create your account now!
Update: Flywheel Keeps Getting Better!
Flywheel has recently made some huge strides to improve customer experience. As of 2019, Flywheel has moved to the Google Cloud platform, and it now has 24/7/365 live chat support. Those are just two more reasons why you should check out this excellent hosting provider.