Flywheel is a managed WordPress host for nearly anyone, meaning they offer something for every type of business whether you’re a first-time blogger or a Fortune 500 company. Restrictions do apply when it comes to managed hosts, but we’ll go over why those restrictions exist as well as whether or not they should matter to you.
We’ll also go over pricing, support and Flywheel’s best and worst features, so without further ado, here’s AlienWP’s review for managed WordPress host Flywheel.
Flywheel was founded in 2012 with the intention of improving “the lives of the millions of web designers & developers worldwide that build sites on the WordPress platform.” Designers and agencies are their target customers, so you can expect a lot of developer-friendly features with this host.
The company currently has a team of just under 100 people, and it seems to be always expanding to handle the over 50,000 customers that choose to host their sites and customers’ sites here. Let’s get into things.
Flywheel offers several pricing tiers in three main plans. Most individuals and companies will use one of the Pay-Per-Site plans while developers will most likely be interested in the Bulk plans. There are also custom plans available for those with sites too traffic-heavy or unconventional for stock plans.
It should be noted that all plans are powered by VPS environments. This is a different type of shared hosting. In a typical shared hosting environment, all sites run on the same hardware. In a VPS environment, all sites exist on the same server, but they each have their own virtual environments. This means they can’t impede on each other’s space or use each other’s resources as they can in a typical shared hosting environment.
These plans are for single installs, meaning they only allow you to host one site. Every plan comes with an included SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt. CDN services are also available, but you’ll need to pay $10/month for the lower-end plans.
Here are the prices for these plans:
- Tiny – $15/Month
- Personal – $30/Month
- Professional – $75/Month
- Custom – Custom Pricing
Here are the features for the first three plans:
- Monthly Visitor Limit Between 5,000 and 100,000 Visits
- Between 5-20GB of Disk Space
- Between 250GB-1TB of Bandwidth
- Multisite Support (Personal Plan & Upward)*
- Staging Environments (Personal Plan & Upward)
*Multisite support costs an additional $10/month on the Personal plan. It’s included with the Professional plan as well as custom plans.
Speaking of custom plans, this type of plan can support millions of monthly visitors with custom amounts of disk space and bandwidth. CDN services are also tailored for your account with this type of plan.
These plans allow you to run multiple WordPress installs. They’re ideal for developers, be it freelancers or agencies. SSL certificates are included in these plans as are staging environments. The rest of the features are dependent on the pricing tier you choose.
Speaking of which, here are the pricing tiers:
- Freelance – $100/Month
- Agency – $250/Month
- Custom – Custom Pricing
Here are the features the Freelance and Agency tiers offer:
- 10-30 Maximum WordPress Installs
- 150,000-600,000 Maximum Monthly Visitors
- 40-120GB of Disk Space
- 4-8TB of Bandwidth
- CDN Services*
- Multisite Support**
*CDN services are available on every bulk plan, but you’ll need to pay $10/month with the Freelance tier and $8/month with the Agency tier.
**Multisite support is available on every bulk plan, but you’ll need to pay $10/month with the Freelance tier and $8/month with the Agency tier.
You can also use the custom pricing tier. Similar to the Pay-Per-Site pricing tiers, this tier allows you to create a custom pricing plan that allows you to use more than 30 WordPress installs, millions of monthly visitors, custom amounts of disk space and bandwidth, CDN services, and multisite support.
These custom plans differ from the custom pricing tiers available in Flywheel’s stock plans. These plans are entirely custom and tailored to your needs. Customers using custom plans must have sites that receive at least 100,000 visitors every month. They can support well over 5 million visitors per month.
Use our Flywheel coupon to get a 20% discount on hosting plus 2 months free.
The Flywheel website has a beautiful design and their dashboard is no exception. Once you are logged in you are greeted with a welcome page which prompts you to create your first WordPress website.
If you hit the “Create a New Site” button you can install WordPress with a few clicks, simply choose your login details and a temporary domain and then you can choose to either pay now, let your client pay or add it to a bulk plan. There is also the option of a completely free site migration if you currently host somewhere else – just click that option and they will move the site for you.
Flywheel offers support in the form of a ticketing system, phone and a live messaging app. Standard support is available Monday through Friday between 9AM and 5PM CDT while “emergency support” is available 24/7. Emergency support is available if you’re a current customer and are experiencing an outage.
Many reference Flywheel’s support hours as a disadvantage despite the quality of the support. The service is marketed toward designers and agencies, so you’d expect Flywheel to use what has become the industry standard of offering 24/7 support for all customers. This is because 9-5 M-F support hours could conflict with the developer’s own 24/7 support structure. They can’t always solve their customers’ problems 24/7 if they can only get hold of the host’s support during set hours on weekdays.
Other than that, Flywheel offers a support team full of WordPress experts as well as a well-built knowledge base filled with articles you can use to help yourself through a lot of issues.
The Pros of Hosting with Flywheel
Flywheel is a great web host, but let’s get into specifics so you can get a better understanding of what makes them a great host.
With a starting price of $15/month, Flywheel offers among the cheapest managed WordPress hosting plans available in the industry, and without foregoing quality as well!
Flywheel offers reseller hosting, staging environments, an application called Local that allows you to develop WordPress sites locally, the ability to clone sites with one click, the ability to create a demo site for free and more.
Flywheel offers round-the-clock security that actively scans for malware and removes any it fines. These services are included with every plan.
Optimized for Speed
Flywheel’s infrastructure runs on an architecture that’s optimized for speed. This includes the built-in CDN and caching services mentioned below, but it also includes the fact that it uses VPS servers and Nginx over Apache.
Flywheels backs up your site on a nightly basis and creates restore points you can use with one click.
Built-In CDN Services
Flywheel maintains a partnership with MaxCDN to give you access to high-quality CDN services at a low price (or free!).
Built-In Caching Services
Flywheel offers caching services at the server level. This means you don’t need to worry about installing, configuring and managing a CDN plugin as this type of plugin only performs caching on a PHP level.
Transfer Payment to Your Client
Flywheel is a service marketed toward designers and agencies who build websites for professional clients. This is why they’ve included a feature that allows you to transfer billing to your client.
The Cons of Hosting with Flywheel
There are a couple disadvantages of hosting with Flywheel, so let’s go over them briefly.
No Priority Support
We’ve already mentioned the limitations you may experience when dealing with Flywheel support, but we haven’t mentioned the lack of priority support, yet. It’d be a nice feature to add to the higher-end plans or even the Bulk plans at the very least.
Can Seem Too Restrictive to Some
Flywheel is a managed WordPress host, which means your host performs a lot of tasks you’d typically need to perform yourself. This includes security monitoring, caching and more. As such, Flywheel warns against using certain plugins, including most security, caching and backup plugins. This can be a problem for those who are used to being in complete control of their sites.
Who is This Host for?
This host is marketed toward designers and agencies who develop WordPress sites for professional clients, but the amount of features it handles for you and its low price structure make it an ideal host for a blogger or business owner in charge of their own website. If either of these describe you, I highly recommend checking this host out and using our coupon code for a 20% discount on hosting plus 2 months free.
If you’re a developer who prefers being in complete control of your sites, you may want to look elsewhere, such as these hosts: