Let's do a little run through of who Flywheel is. Flywheel is a Premium Managed WordPress Hosting provider that began in 2012. They focused on developing a hosting solution geared toward the millions of web designers & developers worldwide. Although I feel they're unique, they kinda fall into the category of other Managed WordPress hosts such as WP Engine, Pressable, and Media Temple. Don't even get me started with Pressable!
Why did we choose Flywheel?
Since the dawn of time, we've done our own hosting, using multiple VPS servers and all was right with the world. We had pretty much zero downtime and they were lightning fast. I know, doesn't sound like I'm ramping much up for Flywheel, but I'll get there. As our company scaled and our focus become more about Digital Strategy and Marketing Solutions tailored around Web Design we decided it wasn't in our best interest to handle server maintenance as well.
We tested, probed, and kicked a few different hosting providers, ultimately settling on Flywheel. For us, they have the best feature set hands down. They have a rock-solid, enterprise-grade infrastructure, awesome support, and are laser focused on WordPress. Since we're also laser focused on WordPress, it seemed like a great fit. And on top of that, they have an Agency program that's tailored to helping small agencies like us.
As a design firm, as silly as it sounds, something that's always going to be important to us is the look and feel of something we're working on. I've been in the industry long enough that when you work with Engineers you could give them pretty much anything with buttons and they're happy, but designers..we have to have 'shiny objects' it's just the way it is.
The interface for the Flywheel dashboard is simple, slick, and just plain easy to use. It has everything we need right in front of us, and since it's laser focused on WordPress we don't have everything we don't need. I definitely love the way it flows, its simplistic navigation, and easy access to the feature set.
Ok, buckle up, because it's about to get awesome (yep, I said it, please put down the pitchforks and calm down). Flywheel just simply stands out when it comes to it's feature set. Now, don't be mistaken, this is definitely a great solution for anyone looking for premium WordPress hosting, but they're shining features are definitely focused toward Designers and Agencies.
All of our sites are in one dashboard and it's awesome. Now, we also use ManageWP, so all of our sites are arguably already in a dashboard, but when you're at the host level this is a great feature. Not only are all of your bulk/agency hosted sites all in one dashboard, but even your client sites are. The way they operate is you can build a site and then switch billing over to the client upon project completion. This keeps the website in your dashboard, no one has to pay for hosting during the building phase, and the client is responsible for the hosting after that. But wait, what if the client already has a site before you got your grubby little paws on it? That's fine too! Flywheel has it setup so you can add contributors to any site, giving them access to what they need at the permissions you desire.
I know that was a lot of info about access and collaboration, but there are other great features too. Flywheel makes it easy to keep track of stats, which isn't a replacement for Google Analytics, but is still a convenient way to check your stats in their dashboard. They also have the best backup solution I've seen thus far. Daily they backup your entire site and keep it available for a quick restore for up to 30 days. Yep, 30 individual backups available for quick restore. They also have the expected features such as site caching, SSD drives, and paid features such as CDN. Oh, and SSL is now free and a simple click to setup. I may have over-sold that a little since you still have to do some work on the site to make it jive with SSL. The host can only do so much!
My favorite feature is the staging area. They allow you to grab a snapshot of your existing site and keep it in staging mode. This means you can spend weeks revamping a site and then launching it with no interruption. No making changes to a site while it's live and no more trying to migrate a new site over the old one. Make your changes in staging mode and apply them when ready.
Right before I made the switch to Flywheel I was testing Pressable. Pressable is a competitor to Flywheel but in my experience doesn't hold a candle to them. Right off the bat Pressable and I had an issue with really poor GTMetrix speed tests. After a few weeks of back and forth, they found that a plugin I was using was causing their CDN to not work for my site and then they removed the plugin and sent me an email with their findings. I was glad they found the problem but wasn't really thrilled they deleted a plugin on my site without permission.
I know, what does above have to do with speed? Well, it gave me an awesome opportunity to compare the same exact fully functioning site on two head-to-head competitors!
The results? My site running on Flywheel, with no CDN, beat Pressable with a CDN on every test! Flywheel simply rocks with speed!
Also, while with Pressable, my uptime was less than 97% on average, and now I'm back to 100% where I used to be.
See what I did there? It's the Investment. Hosting Providers like GoDaddy are costs, hosting like Flywheel is an investment. You get a super fast, feature rich, rock-solid host, and downtime is money. If your sites down you simply have no idea what leads you're losing. Bottomline, make the investment in a solution like Flywheel, or get one of our WordPress Managed Care Plans instead since we include Flywheel Hosting with it.
Alright, so the real pricing starts at only $15/mo for Individual Site hosting or $100/mo for Bulk Site hosting.
If you're interested in learning more about Flywheel click here
Or if you want to have the power of Flywheel Hosting and Cloud Nine WordPress Managed Care Plans click here
Owner of Cloud Nine Communications
Ed Ellingham has been building websites for nearly 20 years and has an extensive background in all things technology. With a love of design and technology and a passion for entrepreneurship he started Cloud Nine Communications in 2014. Hes put his focus on helping small businesses grow through the power of the web and digital strategy.