Flywheel Web Hosting Review – Do You Need Premium Hosting?
Page last updated: July 2018
If you’ve been searching around for premium WordPress hosting, it’s possible that you’ve stumbled across Flywheel and wondered about whether or not they’re a good option. The truth is that Flywheel is one of my favorite WordPress hosts, and they represent a really solid value when it comes to managed WordPress hosting.
One of my favorite things about Flywheel is that they offer a “Tiny” plan for $15/month which makes them one of the cheapest managed WordPress hosts out there. They also have awesome support and some other great features. On this page, I’ll break down the pros and cons of Flywheel and paint and honest and accurate picture of their service.
Quick disclaimer—if you choose to buy any hosting using links on this review page, I might receive a referral commission. This does NOT affect my recommendations and reviews in any way. I absolutely hate sites that recommend garbage hosts to receive a commission and I will never do that. Visit this page to read as proof to read about hosts I recommend avoiding.
With that out of the way, let’s take a closer look at Flywheel hosting…
Reviewing Flywheel—What Makes Them Different
As mentioned above, one of my absolute favorite things about Flywheel is that they offer a hosting plan for $15/month. This is really nice because it allows people the chance to get a “taste” of managed WordPress hosting without committing to a high monthly price. If I have a site that is important (too important for shared hosting) but still in the development process or not receiving much traffic yet, I’ll often put it on the Flyweel $15/month plan. This allows it to be on premium hosting without breaking the bank or eating up too much budget while it’s in the development stage.
Flywheel is really geared toward designers more than other managed WordPress hosts, and because of that they offer a lot of really cool free design tools. From discounts at Template Monster and other theme companies, to discounts on freelance templates, they really do offer some nice perks that aren’t commonly offered from web hosts. I’m sure they get a commission on these purchases, but it’s nice to see things like that offered.
Similar to tools like Asana and Trello, Flywheel offers integrated team management software within the hosting interface. If you’re a one-off blogger, you might not find this very useful, but if you’re collaborating with other people on a website project, they are actually incredibly useful.
With many hosting companies, it’s a huge pain to transfer billing to a client. You need to verify a zillion emails, open a support ticket, and do other things that are a big hassle. Because Flywheel is geared toward designers, they’ve made it easy to transfer the billing over to your client when you’re done building the site and ready to hand it off. As someone who’s had big problems with doing this in the past with other hosting companies, it’s really nice to have a streamlined way to do accomplish the transfer.
Managed WordPress Hosting—Do You Need It?
If you’re considering Flywheel, you may have looked at other managed WordPress hosts and compared them to shared hosts, and wondered whether or not it’s worth it for you. While that’s a question you can only answer for yourself, there are some important things to think about when deciding between managed hosting specifically for WordPress or standard Linux hosting.
First of all, there’s an entire page on this site dedicated to managed WordPress hosting with some extremely in-depth information, so if you’re looking for a breakdown on managed vs regular WordPress hosting, you may want to check that out. With that said, to summarize—managed hosting for WordPress is essentially full-service hosting from a company that typically specialized in WordPress such as Flywheel, WP Engine, Synthesis, and other similar companies.
Their platforms are typically optimized for speed and performance, they only host WordPress sites, and they usually provide all sorts of extra features and layers of security that are WordPress-specific. In the last few years, managed WordPress hosting has become more and more popular as people realize the need for hosting that is specific to the problems that WordPress poses (security holes, database queries, etc.). But that raises the question—is it worth it?
As WordPress becomes more and more complex, I truly believe that having a managed WordPress setup is truly worth it unless you’re very tech savvy or need the capacity and flexibility or a VPS or dedicated server for one reason or another. Sure, shared Linux hosting will always be the cheapest route compared to a managed setup, but the benefits, performance, and peace of mind that you get from running your WordPress site in a managed environment are well worth it in my opinion. And again, Flywheel offers the cheaper $15/month plan which really helps to make things less expensive to get your foot in the managed door, so-to-speak.
What Flywheel Does Well
Having a low-priced option
As I’ve said many times during this review, there are no other managed WordPress hosts that I know of (except for LightningBase) that offer a plan for under $29/month (which is WP Engine’s cheapest plan). Even LightningBase doesn’t offer all of the perks that Flywheel does, making Flywheel literally the best value in the managed WordPress hosting world.
Great support (during hours)
During their support hours they have awesome support via ticket/email/chat/telephone just like any host should. I’ve found their staff to be very helpful and knowledgeable whenever I’ve had a problem and their ticket response (during hours) is very quick.
Speed and performance
If you take a look at the fastest web hosting page on this site, you’ll see that Flywheel is among the fastest out there, hands down. This has been my personal experience with them as their servers are well-optimized and their entire platform is created to run WordPress sites that are both fast and stable. From my experience, the speed and performance that you’ll get with Flywheel is much better than what you’ll get on a shared hosting platform.
Everyone goes on a dedicated IP/non-shared server
While talking with their support, a tech told me that everyone on Flywheel goes on their own dedicated IP and doesn’t share resources with anyone else (similar to a VPS). This is a great thing and isn’t something that happens in shared hosting environments and doesn’t always happen in managed hosting setups. Flywheel doesn’t charge any extra for this and it’s included on all of their plans, even their $15/month plan.
Where Flywheel Can Improve
I’m not a fan of “support hours” when it comes to hosting. Flywheel’s hours (at the time of writing) are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. CST. While they do offer 24/7 “emergency support” I’ve found that in some situations I’ve had to wait an entire day for responses that should’ve been addressed sooner.
It’s my personal opinion that all hosting companies (especially managed WordPress hosting companies), due to the on-demand and immediate nature of the internet, should have 24/7/365 full support. This means telephone, chat, you name it—always available, all the time. Some website issues are so critical that they need to be addressed no matter what time of the day it is (just ask anyone who works in IT). So, I am not a fan of support hours when it comes to hosting, especially premium managed hosting.
Flywheel’s backend is a little confusing in my opinion, although not nearly as bad as the backend that DreamHost uses. For a managed host that focuses on designers, I think they could do a little bit better job—and this is something they may improve in the future.
Do I Recommend Flywheel? Absolutely!
No host is perfect—no matter what, they’ll always be concessions you have to make (support hours, etc.), but I think Flywheel is pretty close. They’re a ridiculously fast host that has some real premium features, with one of the best being their tiny plan for $15/month. For some people who want super reliable hosting with extra features for a low price, Flywheel is extremely hard to beat. I’m currently hosting three websites with them and have been very happy so far, so I can absolutely recommend Flywheel.