Flywheel is known for its client-focused managed WordPress hosting. It comes with expertly designed tools that can help its clients manage their WordPress websites efficiently.
Flywheel Managed hosting offers an intuitive and easy-to-use dashboard that is also great for collaborating and focusing on your business growth and performance.
The company was founded in 2012 and started as a small managed hosting company but has made quite a name as a WordPress hosting site in just a few years. From the start, they were already thinking of one goal - to help web designers and developers manage their websites.
It was purchased by another web host called WP Engine in 2019. WP Engine and Flywheel are now some of the most popular web hosting services available for WordPress users. Aside from speed, security, and performance, they also after 24/7/365 customer and technical support and real help from a real human.
It is powered by the Google Cloud Platform, which means you are getting quality and tailored WordPress hosting services and the perks that come with using GCP, including but not limited to the powerful insights from Google Analytics.
Getting Started with Flywheel
To provide a more comprehensive Flywheel review, I created a free Flywheel account and purchased a Flywheel-managed WordPress hosting plan. I signed up for the Tiny plan that costs $15/month and comes with 1 WordPress website, 5000 visits, 5GB storage, and 20 GB bandwidth.
I used my Google account to sign up.
I was asked to complete my customer profile which includes name, contact number, and occupation.
Next, I was asked to fill in the subscription details, billing details, and payment method. Here, I also chose my data center location.
Once everything was reviewed and ready, I clicked the Checkout button.
After my payment was validated and confirmed, I was redirected to the WordPress setup page to create my new WordPress site.
I entered my WordPress website name, domain name, and admin username and password for registration.
After, my account was set up immediately. I checked my email address to verify my account and to access my login credentials.
After that, I went back to Flywheel's home page and logged in using my Flywheel account.
Up next, I will show you how to manage your WordPress website using Flywheel.
Using and Managing Your Website with Flywheel
One of the things I liked about the Flywheel managed hosting service is that they offer a free demo site for 14 days. Not every hosting provider offers such, so this is really helpful and thoughtful. Using the demo site, you can access and see how the features would work on your actual website.
You'll be greeted by this page when you log in.
In the top section of the page, you can see the different tabs you can use to manage your Flywheel account.
The default view is your main dashboard. Here you can see your WordPress sites, create a new WordPress website, and manage or update existing account information.
The Manage drop-down menu lets your manage your organization, blueprints, group migrations, and referrals.
The User icon at the upper right of your page will give you a list of drop-down menus, including profile, billing, payment method, security, and product updates.
You can use the Search feature to find the exact site you're looking for.
The Sites page shows all the sites you own and the sites you manage as a collaborator. When you click the site name of a WordPress site, you'll be redirected to the individual dashboard for each one.
Flywheel Hosting Control Panel
The beauty of using Flywheel as a managed WordPress host is that each WordPress site hosted comes with an individual control panel dashboard. This makes site management and hosting multiple WordPress websites smooth and easy compared to using other control panels like cPanel. Just choose a website from the main dashboard, and you will be redirected to the page below.
This shows your site's domain, DNS status, SSL certificate, and registrar. It's also where you can add a new domain or manage existing ones.
On this page, you can also see the Collaborator section. This is where you can add and manage collaborators. When adding collaborators, you can use their email address, and they will receive a notification about it.
Below the Collaborators, you can see the active SSL certificates. This is where you can add new ones and manage the existing ones.
Another section you can see in the Overview tab is the IP address of each site.
Lastly, you can also enable Privacy Mode to prevent others from seeing your current changes to your own sites. When this is activated, the site becomes password protected.
This tab displays installed plugins on each of your sites. Here, you can review, access, and manage plugins, and navigate them on your WordPress website.
You can also see the current version of each plugin with a note if it is up to date or not. Unfortunately, WordPress plugins and performance insights are not available for demo sites.
This tab displays your website's insights, summary, and web performance metrics. Some of the metrics are load time, time to first byte, the number of network requests, caching performance, and more.
Also included are personalized recommendations that could help you identify improvements to the site.
The Stats tab displays graphs about site visits, plan usage, used, and available storage.
Flywheel offers automatic nightly backups that are stored for 30 days. The last 30 backups, and statistics about each backup, are displayed in the Backups tab. You can choose to download or restore the backup files. You can also create a new backup manually.
Staging site lets you create an exact copy of your site, which you can experiment with without worrying about damaging the live site. You can enable staging using the Advanced tab.
Once you are satisfied with the changes, you can push them to the live site by clicking the "Move staging changes to live site" button. You have the option to push just the database, just the files, or both.
This tab shows the advanced tools for managing your site. Here, you can flush the cache, reset WordPress Login attempts, export logs, enable multisite, set up email, enable staging, development mode, and more. Flywheel has its custom database management tool instead of using phpMyAdmin like other web hosts.
Flywheel Hosting Online Website Builder
Flywheel partners with Elementor, a premier drag-and-drop page builder for WordPress. To set up the connection, go to the Elementor page and create an account. Then, choose Flywheel as your hosting provider. You can now use your Flywheel hosting account to create a demo website using Elementor.
After you input your login credentials, site name, WP admin password, and username, your site will be created.
After successfully creating a demo site, you can now access it using WP admin. You can access your WP admin account via the Flywheel hosting dashboard.
You can see the Elementor plugin added to your WP admin account.
Creating a new website using the Flywheel hosting + Elementor will provide you with a fully functioning WordPress website. No installation or initial setup is needed. You can go and start building your site with just a few clicks.
The downside of using Elementor with Flywheel is that the billing between the two is not connected. You can cater your billing separately using two separate accounts. Here are the packages for choosing an Elementor plan. All plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
To create a website using Elementor from your WP admin, just click the "Edit with Elementor" button.
This will bring you to the Elementor page editor, where you can start building your site using pre-installed themes from scratch. On the left, you can see the sidebars with all the drag-and-drop features you can use to create a WordPress website.
Elementor also comes with lots of pre-installed popular WordPress themes.
Flywheel Hosting Local Website Builder
Flywheel also uses Local, a free local WordPress development tool. Once you successfully install it, you can create your website offline before hosting it live on your WordPress hosting Flywheel account. You can spin up a new WordPress installation easily and develop it using your favorite software.
Local development comes with the following:
- Automatic WordPress installations
- Advanced development features - offers root SSH access, WP-CLI, and PHP environments.
- MagicSync - recommends the site files to update and to sync
- Local Connect - Push and pull sites like Flywheel or WP Engine easily
- Live Links - lets you create a temporary URL to send to clients and coworkers without deploying your site.
- One-click admin - single username and passwords
- Cloud Backups - quickly push and pull sites from Local to Google Drive or Dropbox to keep your workspace clean at all times.
- Image Optimizer - compress image files offline and optimize the site for mobile view
- Hot-swap environments - easily swap multiple PHP environments or try out the latest version of MySQL right from Local
Flywheel Hosting Customer Support
One thing I often look for in a web host is how they offer support to their customers. As a beginner in web development and hosting, I am pretty sure that I will need assistance from time to time. Having an assurance that someone is available to help me makes me feel secure and at ease.
Flywheel web hosting offers different mediums for contacting support. You can do it via chat, phone call, email, or demo. They also have a comprehensive knowledge base containing articles, ebooks, videos, help docs, and case studies that could help answer some of your queries.
I tried their chat support and asked about the free demo feature. Unfortunately, the reply wasn't instant. There was no available customer support person who can answer my queries. Instead, I had to schedule a time to chat.
It took hours before my chat was answered. Although a bit later than most web hosts, they were able to give adequate information to answer my questions.
Buyer's Guide and Pricing
The Flywheel hosting service is focused entirely on hosting sites from the WordPress content management system. Choosing the right host for your site could be overwhelming and, at the same time, demanding.
You need to look for a hosting company that can help you realize your goals. As you develop your own websites, Flywheel is here to do the rest.
Plans, Pricing, and Features
Managed WordPress Hosting
Managed WordPress hosting means that you can focus on improving your site's content while your web host takes care of the other administrative task like updating, backups, caching, reboots, and more. Flywheel's managed WordPress hosting packages are designed for single WordPress installation and come with the following key features:
- PHP 7.4 Ready
- FlyCache is a caching engine designed to decrease load time, improve website performance, and provide a high-quality digital experience to users worldwide.
- Free Content Delivery Network or CDN (powered by Fastly) - speeds up page loads for site visitors
- Free SSL Certificate - offered by Let's Encrypt, it improves your site's security
- 10 Studio Press Themes - easy to use premium WordPress themes
- Genesis Framework - easily build your website
- Additional sites ($20/month/site)
- Global availability - launch a site close to your user
- Auto-Healing Technology - sites heal themselves if there are any service failures
- Third-Party SSL Certificates
- Blueprints - lets you use saved and existing site's theme and plugins as a custom configuration for other projects
- Organizations -can collaborate with a team in managing a site
- Billing Transfer - easy billing transfer to a client
- Local Development Environment - used to develop a WordPress site locally on your PC
- Staging Sites - test out new site ideas without damaging live site
- Free Demo Sites - free for 14 days
- Collaborators - add collaborators to have access to a particular site
- Nightly backups - automatic and free
- All-in-One SFTP - single credential SFTP access for all your sites
- SSH Gateway - helps you manage your WordPress sites through the command line
- Site Cloning - quickly makes a copy of your site
- Google Analytics Add-on - monitor user behavior and recommend corresponding response
- Free Website Migration - a team dedicated to your free site transfer
- 24/7 Chat Support - a team of WordPress experts available all day and night
- Managed Plugin Updates - daily or weekly plugin updates
- Performance Insights - a summary of site performance and recommendations
This managed WordPress hosting plan includes the following packages: Tiny, Starter, Freelance, and Agency.
Tiny -starts at $13 per month and comes with the following:
- 1 WordPress website
- 5000 visits
- 5GB disk space
- 20 GB bandwidth
Starter - starts at $25 per month and comes with the following :
- 1 WordPress website
- 25000 monthly visits
- 10 GB disk space
- 50 GB bandwidth
Freelance - starts at $96 per month and comes with the following:
- Up to 10 sites
- 100000 monthly visits
- 20 GB storage
- 2oo GB bandwidth
Agency - starts at $242 per month and comes with the following:
- Up to 30 sites
- 400 000 monthly visits
- 50 GB storage
- 500 GB bandwidth
Flywheel's managed WordPress hosting also offers a custom plan where you can customize your site, monthly visits, storage, and bandwidth.
The following features are also included in the managed WordPress hosting but for selected plans only:
- Multisite - for Freelancer, Agency, and Custom plan only
- Migration Dashboard, Phone Support, and Dedicated Account Manager - for Agency and Custom plan only
- Quarterly Business Reviews - for Custom plan only
Plans can be enhanced by adding your chosen addons and plugins:
Performance Insights - starts at $25/month for the 1st site and $2 for the succeeding sites. It gives you access to the following features:
- Monthly performance summary
- Actionable insights
- Delightful performance dashboard
Managed Plugin Updates - starts at $8 per month.
This plugin includes:
- Technical Account Specialist help
- Advanced settings and management
- Visual regression AI technology
Google Analytics - free addon to help you discover the key behavior of your users and shape your web development strategy
Flywheel offers customized E-commerce plans using WooCommerce. It comes with industry-leading cloud hosting, powerful performance insights, and free migration.
Flywheel's WordPress platform is also designed for agencies, freelancers, high-traffic sites, and enterprise organizations.
Flywheel also offers Growth Suite plans which are ideal for freelancers and agencies. It gives you the growth tools like client and site management, billing software, and revenue insights. Included in this plan are the following:
Freelance - starts at $113 per month and comes with the following:
- Up to 10 sites
- 100,000 monthly visits
- 20GB storage
- 200GB bandwidth
Agency - starts at $275 per month and comes with the following:
- Up to 30 sites
- 400,000 monthly visits
- 50GB storage
- 500GB bandwidth
Custom - comes with the following:
- starts at 100 sites
- 1.6M+ monthly visits
- 120GB+ storage
- 1TB+ bandwidth
All Growth Suite plans come with the platform features, workflow tools, support features, and optional addons of the managed WordPress plan. Additional features included are:
- Client management - easily manage all your clients and their information
- Recurring and one-time invoicing - easy invoicing for your clients with a recurring or one-time payment
- Agency-branded client experience
- Client portal
- Growth dashboard - shows your recurring revenue, total revenues, and payments
- Client reports - here, you can create client reports, customize their content, preview, and send to clients
- Stripe payment integration
- Billing for different currencies - covers other currencies for payment via Stripe
- Automated Communication - Flywheel sends out emails of your brand to the client
- Reusable service templates - easily create and reuse service and invoice templates
- Bulk website management - manage all your sites in one place
Security and Backups
Flywheel offers the following security features:
- Data encryption at rest and in transit
- Encrypted communication across the platform
- SSL included on every site
- SSH gateway to manage your sites
- Standardized software and hardware updates
- User role management
- Two-factor authentication
Backups at Flywheel are done for free automatically at night.
Here are the advantages of using the Flywheel hosting company:
- Specialized WordPress hosting
- Free malware removal
- Local development and workflow tools for an agency, web designer, and developer
- Dedicated resources mean you are not sharing with other users
- 99.9% uptime
- A custom and intuitive dashboard
- Free trial using the demo site feature
- Dashboard ideal for hosting multiple websites
- One-click staging sites
- Powered by Google Cloud Platform
- Free site migration
- Free SSL certificates
- Automatic WordPress updates
- Free SSL support
- Easy to use interface
- Collaboration tools
- Easy sign-up process
- Phone support is only available to customers paying $250 per month or more
- No built-in WordPress page builder
- More expensive compared to other managed WordPress hosting providers
- Offers higher price if you choose to host multiple sites
- No email hosting included, unlike other managed WordPress hosts
- Chat support is not real-time and instant
- Limited hosting options
- No PHPMyadmin
If you are looking for a hosting provider optimized and tailored for WordPress, then Flywheel is perfect for you. Backed with excellent features, plugins, addons, and support, you can be sure that your site is well taken care of.
It also offers opportunities not just for single-site owners but also for freelancers and agencies to manage their web designing and developing jobs efficiently and quickly. Growth tools are available for easy creation, deployment, and transfer of sites to clients.
I especially like their intuitive dashboard that is perfect for beginner and advanced users. The only downside is the high cost and that chat support is not instant.
Am I going to recommend Flywheel WordPress Hosting? Definitely yes! It has everything that a web host has to offer - speed, security, support, and performance.
I hope this Flywheel review helped you in your web hosting journey!