Flywheel Hosting Review


Flywheel Review
by: Steven Johnson
Last Updated: January 21, 2020     Posted: June 09, 2015

Flywheel is definitely one of the better hosting companies out there especially for those with lots of sites.

4.1 of 5
Expert Rating

4.5 of 5
User Rating

First and foremost Flywheel's servers are always up and WordPress is fast and reliable. I first used flywheel through a recommendation from a friend and have consistently had excellent customer experience. The prices are competitive for a premium service and now that they are owned by WP Engine they will only get better. I am very pleased with my Flywheel hosting experience. Learn More.

WordPress has evolved into an open-source platform that can do much more than simply blogging; you can use it to run a professional business website with a high degree of customization to suit your needs.

The challenge in using WordPress is not setting it up; it's trying to find a reliable host that can steadily serve a large number of visitors with the information your website contains.

Flywheel hosting specializes in providing you with quality WordPress hosting. Unlike other web-hosting providers, their plans are constructed in such a way that you need to worry more about your visitors and less about figuring out what kind of hardware or hosting plan suits your website's needs the best.

Let's take a look at Flywheel hosting to understand what makes it unique for businesses interested in just WordPress while examining the service as compared to traditional hosting arrangements.

Pros and Cons

The central focus of Flywheel WordPress hosting is to provide managed hosting that simply works. This aims to reduce the number of support claims that customers must open while increasing the time that websites hosted by Flywheel are accessible to visitors.

The thing to keep in mind about these pros and cons is that they apply to Flywheel's hosting services as a whole. These may not apply to individual packages, which means that you should inspect them closely to ensure they are what you want.

Pros

  • Easy WordPress Solutions – The most technically involved thing you will deal with when it comes to Flywheel is clicking one or two buttons on a WordPress installer. Your website will automatically update and be as maintenance-free as you prefer it after that.
  • Rapid Communication – Flywheel puts in a considerable amount of effort towards notifying customers when there is a planned downtime or when the unplanned happens. They utilize social media like Twitter and Facebook to keep their customers current about their services.
  • Reliability – Uptime is an important factor when it comes to web hosts. Flywheel promises and delivers at least 99.9 percent uptime for all their hosting packages.
  • Size-Appropriate Packages – The pay-per-site plans are divided into packages that reflect your monthly visits. This makes it especially easy for you to determine the appropriate hosting package, which is yet another thing that most hosts leave up to you to discover.
  • Superior Support – In addition to notifying you using social media and email when something happens to your website, Flywheel takes the extra initiative to put a superb customer support system in place. Their agents will answer your questions as completely as possible and resolve your problems in a timely period.
  • Staging Server – With each site, you host you get a free staging server with one-click setup. This is super helpful for development and testing.

Cons

  • Only WordPress – Unlike other web hosts, Flywheel hosting deals specifically with just WordPress hosting. This means that you shouldn't use them for hosting the traditional websites and non-WordPress websites.
  • No Nameservers or DNS Management Options - if your site needs names servers it can not be done at Flywheel. This is not a huge deal but could be a factor for a few. The good news is most registrars (GoDaddy, Networks Solutions) provide free Nameservers and DNS management tools.
  • No Email Servers - This not really a con but as it is generally a bad idea to have a hosting company manage your email. You want an Email company to do this. We did want to mention it here just so you would be aware that Flywheel does not offer any email inbox options.
  • Staging Server Does not have SSL – This is not a huge deal but I thought I would mention it. When you set up a free staging server, SSL is not an option.

Customer Experience / Ease of Use

Flywheel hosting specializes in providing you with quality WordPress hosting. Unlike other web hosting providers, their plans are constructed in such a way that you need to worry more about your visitors and less about figuring out what kind of hardware or hosting plan suits your website's needs the best.

Let's take a look at Flywheel hosting to understand what makes it unique for businesses interested in just WordPress while examining the service as compared to traditional hosting arrangements.

An overwhelmingly positive amount of feedback has been left with regard to Flywheel's hosting. Users remark that the reliability and performance associated with Flywheel's servers is one of the most favorable parts of their hosting. They also mention that the customer service responds quickly to problems and provides fulfilling answers rather than simply closing out support tickets as some hosts do.

The only negative feedback concerning Flywheel is the occasional inaccessible state of their website. This can be partially circumvented by simply opting to use Flywheel's customer service phone support when their website is inaccessible.

Customer Support

Ticket Support: Yes
Phone Support: Yes
Support Forums: Yes
Live Chat: Yes
Knowledge Base: Yes
Video Tutorials: Yes

There are three ways for customers to contact Flywheel. They may:

  • Open a ticket by emailing help @getflywheel.com
  • Call (888) 928-8882
  • Chat with a customer service representative by using the live chat on GetFlywheel.com

The average response time for phone calls and emails is around ten minutes. Live chat tends to be answered immediately. Problems may be escalated to another department in the event that they require the expertise of a technician.

Hosting Plans & Packages

Flywheel hosting offers three major packages: pay-per-site hosting, bulk plans, and custom plans. Each one is designed to work to meet the needs of different sizes and types of businesses while providing the same superior level of managed hosting.

Let's explore each type of package for a better understanding.

Pay-Per-Site Hosting

The most basic of Flywheel's hosting is the pay-per-site packages. These are designed to be used by businesses that need just one WordPress site for all their needs, which is the most common WordPress hosting arrangement.

Each pay-per-site package works with just one WordPress installation. You have access to 5 to 20GB of disk space, 250GB to 1TB of bandwidth, SSL certificates, multi-site options, and CDN services.

Flywheel's pay-per-site hosting works best for businesses and individuals who only need one major WordPress website. While somewhat pricier than other types of hosting, it does give you the ability to have a secure and reliable WordPress site that doesn't require you to learn anything about web hosting.

Bulk Plans

Flywheel hosting gives you access to bulk plans, which allow multiple WordPress installations. You'll gain fewer resources per website, but the resources you get should be more than sufficient for most businesses that require multiple websites.

The bulk plans are designed for resellers or businesses that require multiple WordPress installations. These plans are perfect for you if you design websites for clients, create websites to sell or simply require numerous websites to support your franchise.

The best part is that if one website begins to use more resources, you can arrange a custom plan with Flywheel. This will allow you to save money while still being able to operate that website.

Custom Plans

The greatest advantage of Flywheel's hosting concerns the large degree of flexibility they afford customers seeking custom plans. This allows you to acquire a hosting setup that revolves around the resources you need based on the number of visits your website needs.

When you contact Flywheel for a custom plan, you'll be in contact with someone who knows what they're talking about. You can simply describe your website, show the agent an existing version of it and run through any extra hosting requirements you might need.

When you finally do have a custom plan, you'll gain access to the same top-quality level of managed hosting that every other package brings.

Custom plans are designed for businesses that need unique WordPress hosting. This could mean you need more robust servers or that you need a hosting arrangement capable of handling several high-traffic websites.

Hosting Features

Free SSL Certificate: Yes
Website Backups: Daily
Control Panel: Developed In-house
Edit DNS Zone Files: No
Email Services: No
PHP MyAdmin: Yes
Mysql Databases: 1 per domain

Flywheel WordPress hosting comes with several unique features that the majority of other hosts fail to provide in one comprehensive way.

Some of Flywheel's most attractive features are:
  • 24/7 Support – You'll always be able to contact someone for answers and inquiries into problems.
  • Easy Hosting – You don't need to take classes in web hosting to understand how to make your WordPress site work. Flywheel will take care of most problems you encounter.
  • Free Migrations – Transfer your existing WordPress website to Flywheel with no extra costs.
  • Optimized Installations – Flywheel's WordPress installations are optimized from the start. This allows you to have more simultaneous visitors with fewer resources.
  • Speed – One of the major benefits of dealing with just WordPress hosting is that Flywheel can optimize their servers for it. This results in incredibly fast page load times, which can translate to better performance in search engines.

Free SSL Certificates
With every Flywheel website, you have the option to install a free SSL certificate. The certificates are from Let's Encrypt which is the largest SSL cert provider.

To install you will just go to the flywheel backend, go to the overview tab, look to the right and you will see the settings to enable the SSL. Once you click on this link you will see the screen below where you can select your primary domain and then click complete SSL setup.

Flywheel Hosting Click Enable SSL

 

Then you can complete the SSL setup at this screen.

Flywheel Hosting Enable SSL

 

Force HTTPS
One really nice feature is the ability to force HTTPS on your WordPress site. This means that if you have enabled the SSL you can then "force" all page views through https. This is great because you know that Google and all users can only access your site through https.

To enable this feature you will go to the Flywheel control panel then to the advanced tab then click the on/off slider to on. The wheel will spin for a bit and then your site will only be viewable through SSL

image

 

WordPress Specific Features

WP Optimized Servers: Hell Yes
WordPress Transfer: Free
One-click Installers: Yes - Developed In-House
WordPress Automatic Updates: Yes
Free Staging Server: Yes

Since Flywheel only hosts WordPress you know it will be a first-rate experience. Their engineers only focus on WordPress and learned and know every setting and optimization possible. They have spent the needed time to correctly configure the servers for fast page load times.

To take it one step further their server network is the Google Cloud network. They have tailored the entire experience for WordPress.

Site Migration
If you already have a WordPress install it is super easy to migrate to Flywheel. They have two options and both are Free. First, you can have a Flywheel migration expert do everything for you. Just provide them with a site password and they will get it moved over.

Second, you can migrate the site yourself. Again this is free and uses a tool called WP Migrate Guru. This tool is used by most of the major hosting companies. To use it you install the plugin on your current site, enter in a few key details and then your site is moved from the current server to the Flywheels server.

I have migrated at least 50 sites to Flywheel using migrate guru and all have gone very well. I am not sure I have had any issues, I am sure I have at some point but if I did customer support was able to get the issue resolved.

New WordPress Installs
If you want to set up a WordPress site, Flywheel already has WordPress installed and ready to go every time. So there is nothing to do to get WordPress installed and configured. No need for going through the manual set up process. Just click one button and you have a new WP Install for you to start developing.

To create a new WordPress install, go to your Flywheel dashboard and then click Create a new site.
Flywheel hosting create new WordPress Install

Now Enter a few details about your site. The details include: site name, temporary domain name, admin user details, and if you want to apply any already configured template settings.
Flywheel hosting enter new WordPress Install Details

We wait for the flywheel to spin and you will have a new WordPress Install to configure
Flywheel Hosting flywheel spinning

Using WP at Flywheel
After the site is migrated to Flywheel, the pages will load fast and the servers are reliable with excellent uptime.

If you want automatic updates then Flywheel has you covered. Just check a box and Flywheel will apply all of the WP core updates for you. If having the hosting company make the updates is not for you then you can opt-out of the automatic updates. Simple as that.

Staging Server
Now that you have your site at Flywheel and it is running well with automatic WP updates you have the option for a staging server. Flywheel offers a Free staging server with each WordPress install you have.

This staging server is a copy of your live site where you can make development updates, test plugins and do what you want without affecting the live site. The staging server is set up with one click and you get an automatic URL to view and configure.

Once you have the correct changes the way you like, it is time to move them over to the live site. This can be done automatically or manually.

The staging server you can then apply any updates make any changes or apply or test any configurations out once you have them set up you like you can either move those changes back to your live site with a one-click button or you can move it by hand.

We have found the staging server to be very reliable and an excellent way to speed up development time. Staging Servers have almost become a must-have for any customer and website we are working with.

The one downside we saw is there’s no SSL option on the staging server and you cannot set a custom name for it. Other than those two factors we have really enjoyed working with Flywheel staging server feature.

WordPress Feature Conclusion
We could not be more pleased or happy with Flywheel’s WordPress features. It is easy to get moved over to Flywheel, it is easy to maintain your WP site updates, a staging server is provided for free and the server environment is fast and reliable. What more could you ask for?

Additional Online Services

While Flywheel specializes in providing WordPress hosting that simply works, they also provide additional services designed to make your WordPress website more professional or secure for your visitors to use.

These additional services include:

  • Customized Hosting Solutions
  • Additional Resource Allocation
  • SSL Certificates
  • Multi-Site Support
  • Learning Resources for Website Owners
  • Website Migration

Hosting Specialties

What sets Flywheel apart from other web hosts is their dedication to WordPress. They focus specifically on providing hosting configured to run WordPress as efficiently and reliably as possible.

This has allowed them to expand their services to businesses of all sizes seeking WordPress hosting. They cater to businesses that need only one WordPress website that can handle any amount of visitors per month.

The only thing that might make their hosting unattractive for small businesses is their comparatively costlier nature. Flywheel seldom offers deals for new customers on their smallest hosting packages, which means that medium to large businesses will find flywheel's prices and support the most favorable.

Flywheel Company Details

Company Headquarters: Omaha, Nebraska
First Year In Business: 2012
Founded By: Dusty Davidson, Tony Noecker, Rick Knudtson
Number of Employees: 220
Domains Hosted: 100,000+

Flywheel was a simple start-up company started in 2012 by a small team of entrepreneurs. Co-founders Dusty, Tony, and Rick were tired of the robotic and frustrating ways of web hosting. They wanted to create a web host that actually cared about its design, and its customers.

Their goal was an incredibly simple one that they have maintained until today: provide web designers, developers and website owners with a simple type of hosting that just worked with WordPress.

To do this they solved technical challenges that prevented most companies from running their own websites. This made them popular with small and medium businesses interested in WordPress's open-source framework.

As Flywheel grew, they expanded their server capacity and designed new solutions for larger businesses. This enabled them to create custom solutions capable of running dynamic WordPress websites for businesses of all sizes.

Throughout their development, they have also maintained a high degree of interest in what the customer thinks. This has allowed them to grow to be one of the most successful WordPress hosting companies.

Company Culture
The culture at Flywheel is amazing. The people, the workspace, and the benefits all geared for energized employees. Daily activities depend on the team member and department, but no matter what, Flywheelers are typically drinking La Croix, playing with the newest office dog, and making sure our customers have everything they need to do their best work.

Flywheel even has their own inhouse band called DFIUFEE.

Data Center Details

Flywheel hosting uses top-quality data centers capable of supporting a large amount of simultaneous bandwidth transfer. They are backed by redundant power systems, which makes them that much more reliable.

Flywheel's data centers are currently set up with:

  • 90 percent of websites in their New York City, New York data centers.
  • 10 percent of websites in San Francisco, California.

This makes their hosting optimal for businesses dealing primarily within the United States.

Refund Policy

Refund Policy: 30 Day

Flywheel has a moneyback guarantee and it as based on your contract length.

Monthly Customers
If you are a Monthly Customer you have 3 days (72 hours) to request a refund.

Yeary Customers
If you are an annual (yearly) customer you have 30 days to request a refund.

Flywheel may be willing to credit you if you experience downtime in excess of 0.1% per month.

Termination and resolutions for excessive downtime can be conducted by contacting Flywheel using the above details. Bear in mind that terminating your website may require extra details, such as your name or the last four digits of your credit card, to prove that you are the website owner.

Summary

Steven Johnson
WordPress Hosting Expert

What you need to know about Flywheel:

Flywheel is a first-rate WordPress hosting company with fast & responsive servers. I have hosted with them for years and worked with agencies that have 30+ sites with them. Easy to use control panel with knowledgable tech support. If you are thinking of Flywheel it is worth giving them a try.

Overall Rating
4.1 / 5.0
 

Editor review

1 review

Manged hosting that works
(Updated: March 30, 2017)
Overall rating 
 
4.1
Features 
 
4.0
User Experience 
 
4.0
Price 
 
4.0
Site Speed & Uptime 
 
4.5
Tech Support 
 
4.0
  • 24/7 Support – You’ll always be able to contact someone for answers and inquiries into problems.
  • Easy Hosting – You don’t need to take classes in web hosting to understand how to make your WordPress site work. Flywheel will take care of most problems you encounter.
  • Free Migrations – Transfer your existing WordPress website to Flywheel with no extra costs.
  • Optimized Installations – Flywheel’s WordPress installations are optimized from the start. This allows you to have more simultaneous visitors with fewer resources.
  • Speed – One of the major benefits of dealing with just WordPress hosting is that Flywheel can optimize their servers for it. This results in incredibly fast page load times, which can translate to better performance in search engines.

Reviewer Info

WordPress Experience Level
WordPress Professional
How long have you used this host:
more than 5 years

Pros and Cons

Pros
Easy WordPress Solutions
Rapid Communication
Reliability
Size-Appropriate Packages
Superior Support
Cons
Only WordPress
Sparsed unplanned downtime
SJ
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User reviews

1 review

Overall rating 
 
4.5
Features 
 
4.5  (1)
User Experience 
 
4.5  (1)
Price 
 
4.0  (1)
Site Speed & Uptime 
 
5.0  (1)
Tech Support 
 
4.5  (1)
Ratings
Features
User Experience
Price
Site Speed & Uptime
Tech Support
Reviewer Info
Your Review
Excellent Hosting Compan
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Features 
 
4.5
User Experience 
 
4.5
Price 
 
4.0
Site Speed & Uptime 
 
5.0
Tech Support 
 
4.5
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Reviewer Info

WordPress Experience Level
WordPress Professional
How long have you used this host:
A month or less
Review Summary
I have really enjoyed hosting with Flywheel.

Pros and Cons

Pros
Excellent Uptime
Cons
None to speak of
SJ
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