2016 Flywheel review: Everything you need to know
Overview: Flywheel specializes in WordPress hosting for small businesses, agencies and web developers.
Tiny: $15.00/mo for shared hosting.
Personal: $30.00/mo for shared hosting.
Professional: $75.00/mo for shared hosting.
Ideal Customer: This is a great host for an agency that is looking for powerful tools to organize their teams and flexible options to please their clients.
Creative Toolbox: Almost every hosting company provides extras that are included with their plans. Flywheel offers much more than this with their creative toolbox with over $4000 in free resources that will help you design the best WordPress site possible. The entire page is full of discounts, free trials and incredible offers to help you along. There are too many to list individually, but some of the highlights include 92% off a theme development course that will take you from no experience to developing customer WP themes. There are also discounts to several theme development companies that have well made pre-designed themes. You will also find a free trial to Treehouse and an extended 60 trial of Avocode, which is a tool that helps developers stay organized on large projects that require multiple team members. The Creative Toolbox page is home to 63 different offers and bonuses for those who sign up for a Flywheel hosting account.
WordPress Only: Flywheel is part of a small, but growing, number of companies that only offer to host sites that use the WordPress CMS platform. As a result, they have made themselves WP experts and boast some of the best support in the industry. They not only help you with typical host problems but can also assist you in choosing plugins and optimizing the dashboard of your site. Their expertise also allows them to understand the best configurations for your site. Each user’s data is configured for the highest speed based on their experience working with WP. They have a custom caching engine called Varnish that works far better than typical caching solutions, and it comes standard with all hosting packages. Flywheel also takes WordPress security very seriously, promising to keep your sight locked down tight and safe from malware. In the event that your site does get hacked, the host promises to fix it for free. Their site has detailed explanations of all of their WP specific features as well as funny videos describing the process behind them.
The Layout: Almost every other host has a blog with information, promotions, and news. Flywheel doesn’t have a blog, but instead offers a design publication called, “the Layout”. This online magazine has more than just hosting specific news. You will find that it is a well-written versatile source of development, design, and even business articles. There are several categories including inspiration, which will help get your creative juices flowing before your next build or the how-to section that is full of tutorials and instructions (some WP specific and some aren’t). If you are looking for more WordPress, there is also a section devoted to the platform with tips and updates. You can even find some help running your company with articles about managing your social presence and freebies that will help you take advantage of all sorts of designer deals. The Layout offers an excellent and entertaining resource that is freely available to both their hosting customers and casual visitors. You’ll find the information is valuable and not pushy or salesy.
Looking at online reviews, we found several happy Flywheel customers. The positive reviews reflect an overall satisfaction with this provider.
One reviewer appreciates the company overall: “I called Flywheel and found the hosting company of my dreams. They had telephone support for every department, the friendliest people on the planet, faster speeds and much better dependability and for less money on top of it.”
Another customer raves about security measures: “Flywheel has some of the best security measures I have ever come across from a hosting provider. They have malware scanning, free malware removal, strong password enforcement, limited login attempts, intelligent IP blocking, and more built in for you.”
Not all reviews were positive, however. We found a few customers with negative experiences dealing with technical issues.
One customer expressed his frustration by saying: “My site is down. Its a redirect on redirect on redirect issue that I know how to fix but literally cannot get access.”
Another reviewer seems to think that his service has gone down hill due to rapid company growth. Here he asks: “growth too much? going on day 3 of site issues, no tech chat, tech voice goes to box. Sad to see you go down that path.”
We found several Twitter reviews for Flywheel as well. Here one is praising customer support:
— Scott Brown (@TheSBrown) November 24, 2015
Another customer expresses frustration:
Need support ASAP. had 2 (or more) sites hacked in the last week on your server… one site still down & support not responding @HeyFlywheel
— Mrs. Bastien (@__dahc) October 29, 2015
- Excellent Support: The staff at Flywheel is comprised of mostly WordPress pros and they promise to take care of your issue as fast as possible.
- Simple Migration: Many reviewers have commented at the ease of the migration process from one host to Flywheel.
- Multiple eBooks: There are over a dozen highly informative eBooks that are free for download on the company’s website for WP developers and users.
- Free Demo Sites: Flywheel doesn’t charge for sites that aren’t being actively hosted. This give you the ability to show a site to a client and see if they like it before hosting it.
- Nightly Backups: A backup of your data is saved nightly allowing you to rest easy.
- Client Billing: This host offers you to pay for each individual site’s hosting or to ship the bill to your client if you are a developer.
- No other CMS: Unfortunately, Flywheel doesn’t offer another platform or have unmanaged hosting options.
- Traffic Restriction: For their most basic plans, you don’t get much traffic before having to upgrade. The lowest plan allots for 5000 unique visitors a month.
- Multi Site Price: In order to host more than one site you have to pay a higher than normal price.
Flywheel offers WordPress specific hosting for a very reasonable price. Their customer support and individual care make them a favorite among businesses. Agencies and development firms will also enjoy their features for team members and clients.
If you are looking to host one high traffic WordPress blog you may find less expensive options, and if you are looking for a little more control with an unmanaged server you will have to go with a different company.
Takeaway: Great for agencies and businesses who want a specialized hosting company that will cater to specific needs and guarantees excellent support, great security, and fast page speeds.