The first time we have ever stumbled upon a CMS platform was when we created the first website. Choosing among various content management systems felt quite like a gamble, since right upon today there are quite a lot to choose from. Drupal, Weebly, TYPO3, Joomla, Wix and Magento are only a few to be mentioned. However, one of the most popular choices is WordPress, with a market share up to 61.8%. And this seems to be the one linked to our today’s review.
Setting up a website using WordPress appears to be the same activity taken up by 35% of the Internet users. Till date, it has powered up to 455 million websites, leading us to 20% of the current independent and self-hosted websites using WordPress.
This takes us to the idea of perceiving WordPress as a strong, powerful and totally safe CMS to consider. Apart from that, following the how to create a website structure requires also a web hosting provider to help you get going. Right after starting your own search, you will get accustomed to the wide variety of options of the market. Through the names, it’s impossible not to stumble upon Flywheel – one of the best regarded WordPress hosting choices on the market at the moment.
According to numerous reviews, the reasons for that are impressive. It comes with additional features (in comparison to other web hosting alternatives), access to the Google Cloud Platform and many more. However, we are not necessarily bought by words, so we took Flywheel for a ride to see how great it handles more aspects, such as various types of themes, websites that are being accessed by multiple visitors and even spot some real-life situations in which Flywheel should meet its promised expectations.
Moreover, you will get a detailed point on how its pricing works, as well as whether or not the plans are worth it. What we can tell right from the start is that choosing the right WordPress hosting provider is a matter of preference, financial resources and – most of all – a technical choice. Because of this, it’s important to highlight which are the aspects that should be considered whenever looking forward to spotting the right alternative for us.
These being said, in case you are looking forward to knowing more concerning the subject, make sure to stick with us and keep an eye onto the following lines to get a complete image over what Flywheel WordPress hosting has to offer – both the good and the bad parts, from a neutral perspective.
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Flywheel WordPress Hosting at a Glance
Starting with a mere and simple purpose back in 2012 to become a long-lasting choice among web designers and developers who were looking for easier ways to build websites, Flywheel turned out to become a highly reliable solution among WordPress web hosting providers. To make its usability be more extensive than that, the company offers impressive features, all presented within a user interface that is both easy to use and totally good-looking.
Following a process of detailing each feature piece by piece is, indeed, the best strategy for assessing Flywheel. Since this would take us quite a lot right now, here is what you must now about Flywheel in a quick overview:
• Offers proper expertise in creating various demo sites which are protected using passwords. By this way, your clients will be the only ones to be granted access. Everything comes within the package, being completely free of charge;
• Provides an impressive local development tool specially designed for setting up any WordPress websites locally;
• Both WordPress website staging and website mitigation is free of charge, conducted on a whim;
• Possibility of adjusting the proper WordPress website configurations which you can save and afterwards reuse;
• Computerized backups, as well as updates, for your WordPress website;
• User-oriented account, based on proper design and intuitive specifications. The same applies to the website management control panel;
• White label paid add-on, which can be used to change into good the Flywheel experience.
Until now, it appears that the Flywheel WordPress hosting option has plenty of features to dive into and consider. While doing this, you will come across the fact that it provides private demo websites, aimed at helping you create stronger bonds with your clients through your work. By using them, you can actually show a sneak peek of both the development and the design of their brand new websites to your clients. Moreover, you will get access to automate and streamline web hosting billing process for your clients, through which you can hand over the websites easier to them. We know, that’s definitely something mostly web designers and developers are keen on.
On top of that, Flywheel WordPress web hosting appears to have a properly organized structure for website owners, making the mere website building process easier than ever. Still, this is what we have managed to spot from our own experience; however, looking into more of its features might help us get even a clearer insight into it.
In addition to the background check on Flywheel, the company is established in Omaha, US. Its products and services are set up within few pricing plans, for both small and also large volume sites. This is why saying about Flywheel that it’s a rather scalable-oriented provider is not to go wrong. By this way, both start-up blogs and long-lasting websites can actually take advantage of its impressive usability and flexibility. While using it, your website will improve its main functional characteristics.
Moreover, you can also use Flywheel to invest into your website’s design, with some impressive requisite tools aimed at building WordPress websites that are covered in a flawless functionality.
Key features of Flywheel WordPress Hosting
Besides the impressive results obtained while conducting site speed and load handling tests, Flywheel comes with other features ought to be mentioned:
• Cloud Platform
According to Flywheel’s official announcements, it has partnered up with the Google Cloud Platform. This mix and match was aimed at turning Flywheel into a cloud hosting company, from head to toe. Due to this aspect, every single customer of Flywheel is provided with scalable websites, faster loading times, a hosting environment that is totally stable and much more.
In contrast to a regular hosting, where a website is basically stored using the help of a physical server with limited resources (memory, storage and power), the cloud hosting provides multiple computers to be linked to one another in order to obtain a single cloud environment. The following lines will give you the necessary information to help you understand more about Google Cloud Platform within Flywheel
• Additional resources
Technically speaking, a cloud is composed of more physical computers that work on creating virtual servers. When hosted, each website receives one of these virtual servers to work as expected. Despite a physical server that usually runs out of resources at a certain moment, the resources used by a cloud (to which also the memory and the processing power classify) are obtained from all of the computers that are used within the cloud network. By this way, the resources never run out – instead, they are always resized upon the necessities.
Flywheel uses Google Cloud Platform, making it from the start a competitive solution among the web hosting providers found on the market. Moreover, the available resources are pretty much endless.
• Proper load times
A traditional hosting solution might not be enough for a website that is growing fast. A hosting option that is not compatible is ought to bring about quite a lot of performance issues (including slow loading times and even periods of time in which your website is down or unavailable). Each one of the mentioned problems (and mostly all of them happening at the same time) affects your website on both short and long term.
From the first moment in which these issues are detected, considering a properly-specified server would bring about quite a lot of advantages. However, migration to a different server usually implies downtime and additional problems with the website, mostly because the movement of your files.
In case your website continues to grow, repeating this process would be a monthly (or yearly) basis. However, there are some things which you can do in order to avoid the need of following this process ever again, by choosing a web hosting provider that has services that imply cloud hosting. With it, you can access the necessary resources automatically, avoiding as much as possible the load times, appearance of downtimes and many other related issues. The number of visitors will definitely increase, as they perceive your website as one that meets their expectations. This is a total bliss for keeping up with the traffic spikes.
• Reduced downtime
As mentioned earlier, Flywheel improves redundancy due to the use of cloud hosting. Even though one of the servers goes offline out of the blue, your website will still be hosted using the help of other various servers that are linked and create the network of servers. Basically, the most important link in here is the cloud network, which by default is redundant. Put in comparison, the traditional hosting alternatives are more prone to technical issues and increased downtime, since each website is assigned a server that, in case it goes down, your website will do that too.
However, keeping your files within the Google Cloud Platform doesn’t seem to be the sole update that the Flywheel hosting infrastructure obtains. Besides this one, the company managed to also upgrade the caching technology, increasing its market share. Due to both the Google Cloud Platform and the updated caching feature, any website owner using Flywheel as the web hosting provider is able to manage both the website and the hosting account from a single place – the Flywheel dashboard that is totally intuitive.
• Generating private demo sites for clients
Being a total trademark of Flywheel, the possibility of creating free demo WordPress websites is an extremely handy feature when working with clients. Not only will you save quite a lot of time with this one, but you will also be able to handle powerful tools to help you get going. To employ the free demo websites, there is no need for prior payments of new domain setting up. All you need to do is to set up a free account on Flywheel and go further to create a demo website that is hosted using one of the Flywheel subdomains.
The websites will be available for up to 14 days, throughout which your clients will be able to say whether or not they enjoy it, if they require additional changes and many more. You don’t even have to worry about visitors who would want to access these websites in a rather unauthorized manner – all of the websites are password protected, which means that their content is basically unavailable should they not have the right password.
Right after both of you managed to settle upon a certain choice, you can choose among the available hosting plans on Flywheel. Further, it will be possible to both launch the site and further get rid of the password protection.
Within the payment process, you can either pay or choose for your client to be the one to make the payment. To provide him with the necessary details easier and faster, you can obtain a link right from the Flywheel dashboard. It can be, then, added into a mail and sent to your client, offering him the possibility of choosing among the available plans and nonetheless, singing up with Flywheel.
Moreover, Flywheel has a pretty referral program through which your clients can generate some commission for you. Basically, each time a new client signs up with Flywheel, you are ought to receive money.
However, there’s also the possibility of buying the hosting plan separately and provide your client with it as a service that is included into the package.
Since the demo sites are perfectly designed also in terms of technical details, migrating to a new server is a step that does not even exist within Flywheel. Once the two of you have come to a decision, you only need to adjust the domain DNS settings and make sure that the password protection is off, so you can make the website available.
With this simple yet powerful feature designed by the team behind Flywheel, handling the job of both web designers and developers becomes easier than ever before. You can share with your clients your work easier and faster, while giving the proper ownership and hosting arrangements to them in a single blink.
With Flywheel, you also get access to a while label service that is aimed at helping you design the Flywheel dashboard right as you please. In addition, the hosting invoices can be branded upon your own requirements, with not much of a hassle.
• Local WordPress Installation
Put it shortly, Flywheel Local is perceived as a tool that is completely free of charge and is aimed at helping you built local WordPress websites. The first step to follow in here requires you to both download and install the Flywheel software on either MAC of Windows computers. Further, a local WordPress environment will be automatically generated. It requires no technical background or special time for debugging.
After setting up the right design and content for your client’s website, you can share the result with them by clicking the button in FLYWHEEL LOCAL that is about to generate you the link. By this way, your website becomes available to be accessed by tertiary parts, however not without the proper password. This is a real advantage, since you will need not to upload a local WordPress website anymore. Everything will be handled by the software in a short period of time.
In addition, the Flywheel Local is better and more advantageous to use instead of local development solutions for other reasons too. One of them consists in the possibility of inserting the hosted websites right into the local environment through a single click. By this way, you can work offline.
According to our research, the only drawback Flywheel Local comes with is the size of the software. When it is downloaded, it requires up to 500 MB, which is actually quite a large size for people who work with little space. Putting aside this aspect, for web designers and developers who do not have to deal with this issue, Flywheel Local is definitely a feature ought to improve the overall Flywheel usage – and efficiency.
• Website Staging
Apart from working with Flywheel Local, there’s also the possibility of following a development work on staging websites. These ones are meant to be used as an intermediate version between you and your clients, up until providing them with the final result. Right after you managed to decide upon a final design, you can make the hosting environment live.
This option is better than the Flywheel Local in case there are more people who are working on the same website. By this way, more of them can actually be granted access in an easier method.
With the website staging feature provided by Flywheel, you can either adjust only the database changes, only the files changes or both at the same time. It is a nice method of getting a great amount of control on how this feature can be further employed. One easy way to prevent overwriting the new content implies pushing the file changes and adjusting nothing at the database level.
You can protect your staging site using a strong password in order to avoid unauthorized visitors from accessing it. Also, this feature is used for preventing search engines from indexing your website, before it has all the necessary requirements and details ready to hit publish. In case you were wondering what types of plans provide this feature, keep in mind that this is widely open for anyone being a Flywheel customer.
Yet again, website staging is undoubtedly a magnificent feature aimed at improving websites’ appearance, right before they are published. It is essential for a professional and respectable business.
• Website Blueprints
An additional feature provided by Flywheel, which is also pretty focused on developers, is the website blueprints. In short, it is a useful resource aimed at supporting developers and web designers to create WordPress websites on a whim, by saving both themes and plugin configurations which can be further reused, on other new websites. All it takes to make it happen are a few clicks.
Usually, when having more clients at once (and pretty much from the same industries), you will see that it is a certain typology that most of the websites should follow. Basically, it translates into a type of theme, a set of essential collection and configuration of plugins, and even core pages. Once you manage to spot them, make sure to create a Blueprint. Afterwards, you are able to save a lot of time by importing it right away. Basically, this will be your foundation from now on.
Besides the already mentioned aspects which it seems to cover, Blueprinds powered by Flywheel makes it sure that your site settings, installed theme, plugin configurations, permalink editing, backup schedule and setting up a contact page will all be handled in a blink.
Flywheel makes it possible to create as many as 10 WordPress website Blueprints for each account. This is quite a lot of them, which definitely translates into making your work easier than ever before. Both freelancers and agency workers will definitely love it, since it helps them save a lot of time from doing the same repetitive tasks. This is undoubtedly a nice feature to consider, regardless of your final choice.
• Provided Security
Nothing keeps hackers and possible penetrators away from your website than a great security configuration. When it comes to the Flywheel WordPress web hosting, it makes sure that all of the above mentioned criteria is perfectly met. Featuring an intelligent IP blocking, every intruder is caught right before the attack and blocked from the very beginning.
Since neither all of the cyber-attacks nor every attempt can always be spotted and prevented, even in case of a successful hacking attempt, your website will be back on track in no time. Thanks to the high support provided by the experts within the team behind Flywheel, every security issue or breach is shortly managed. Such an impressive service is provided by Sucuri, as being the official partner of Flywheel in terms of cyber support. For those of you not knowing, Sucuri is also a leading provider for security solutions that are compatible with WordPress websites.
To make sure that all steps are properly followed, verify that the WordPress version you are currently using is the latest one. It always has patches for every new vulnerabilities that are being identified, reason why it assures you of a high security level. However, once you are using Flywheel, updating the current WordPress version is an automatic process that the team behind the company gladly takes care of.
• Speed and Performance
Since we have already covered the uptime and part of the web page load times, the server speed is extremely important. This one is meant to assure you of the impressive characteristics that a premium WordPress hosting provider is able to provide you with.
As mentioned above, Flywheel comes with an updated caching technology. For those of you who have a prior experience with technical specifications, the team behind has employed the Varnish caching engine. It is specially designed to help you improve your WordPress website, through a serious optimization process – from head to toe. As expected, it will make the loading speed bloom.
Apart from that, there is also the CDN (Content Delivery Network) which can easily be integrated within your account. Whether you knew it or not, this factor is extremely useful in improving the server response and page load times.
Let’s take numbers – Flywheel has up to 10 data centers all around the world, in different continents, some of them being located in Europe, North America and Asia. This factor is significant enough to make your website generate a high-level performance, coupled up with a ravishing speed for any website.
• Account Collaborators
If you are up for creating a website using the help of both web designers, developers and additional people having their own role within the build-up, you can add collaborators easy within Flywheel in quite a bit. Apart from the WordPress website users, various collaborators can join to work within the Flywheel dashboard and manage the hosting of the website.
Regardless of how difficult this aspect appears to look like from a technical perspective, setting up new collaborators for Flywheel websites is not rocket science. You just need to click upon the button that relates to the website upon which will be granted access for collaborators. Right after adding a valid email address, a link will be sent from Flywheel directly to the user, featuring a collaboration invitation form. Undoubtedly, this feature is extremely useful for the members who are running the following tasks: restoring backups, clients that have received access to various demo websites on Flywheel and more. With it, you can run the sharing access with the properly secured technical aspects.
On top of that, Flywheel comes with the Organizations feature aimed at managing more websites (which are handled by a team) from the same dashboard. Not only is it easier to configure all the required settings, but it is also helpful for creating a proper working timetable. For instance, people who are working within a team (or even an agency) are able to employ this feature for setting up brand new websites, as well as visiting and receiving access for the already built ones and even handle other urgent tasks. Apart from sending bills and analyzing the activities taken up by various other members within the team, it is possible to even send the existing plans right into a new structure. Keeping everything at the same place is a great inquiry for making sure that everything’s on the loop.
• Website Migrations
Moving your website from a previous web hosting provider to Flywheel is a piece of cake – and totally free of charge. The migration policy stipulates that Flywheel is the one to cover all the possible costs, reason why its customers will be able to move one site to the other in quite a short period of time – and with not a single hassle. The same applies to the process of migrating more websites at the same time. Here’s all you need to know:
First of all, make sure that you have a valid Flywheel account. In case you don’t, create one right away and fill in the required details within the migration request form. This should be a short process, however take all the time you need to do so. After hitting SUBMIT, your existing WordPress website will be copied and the file obtained will further be sent to a Flywheel demo server. Generally, the entire process should not take longer than 24 hours. However, if you want to finish the process in less than 8 working hours, Flywheel can do that for you, for a fee of $49.
After your website has been switched to Flywheel and you have managed to verify the way in which the Flywheel-hosted website looks like, it’s time to decide upon a plan. This step is imminent before the site goes live. Since this is the normal workflow, you will come across no website downtime.
Choosing a web hosting provider that offers free website migration is a real advantage to any web owners, since the company handles everything for you. Migrating a website that is quite too complex is a difficult aspect to work with all by yourself, reason why covering this feature is a total win.
Provided Dashboard & User Experience
Even though newbies can get accustomed with Flywheel too, it has been specially designed for web designers and developers. This is the main reason why the team behind focused on providing a dashboard that is fully functional and features a stylish and modern design. Trust us, working with it is a real bliss.
Due to the intuitive characteristic it is primarily based on, Flywheel can take you to building up new WordPress websites, as well as managing accounts in no time. Again, to do so, it’s imperative that you hold a Flywheel account (that is free of charge) and look for the button that says CREATE A NEW SITE. Further, you will be prompted to add both a website name and a temporary domain name, that overall are personal details one should own. In addition, remember that you will also need to assign an owner to the website.
Whenever you wish to, it’s possible to employ one of your Blueprints to build the desired website within a shorter period of time, using the proper configuration settings. Still, remember that this step is optional, since it is pretty easy to create a new WordPress website from scratch. The design is both straightforward and friendly, providing you with a totally stylish design.
Right, so if you started a new WordPress website from zero, bear in mind that the very last step covers payment. In here, you can decide among the hosting plans and pay for it. In addition, as long as possible, you can work within the demo website mode and do all the necessary tuning, without adding the payment details. However, this will prevent you from making your website live.
There is also the option to introduce the website within the Flywheel hosting plans you already own. To do so, it’s imperative to decide upon the location of the data center. By this way, you can even choose the place where your website will be hosted.
• How to manage WordPress Websites
From the moment your website is created, you can easily log in to your WordPress dashboard. Here you can begin the configuration procedure, to make the software appear just like you have always dreamt. From the start, Flywheel is empty – it lacks installed plugins, extra features or special changes within your WordPress website. That’s definitely a great point, since you are granted access to designing your website in the best possible way, from a totally blank page. Not to mention, web designers and developers will find this feature one of the best, since they can create the right kind of WordPress websites for their clients faster. In addition, there is also WordPress training material made available with Flywheel – you can try WP101 to see what we’re talking about.
With Flywheel, it is easy to see all WordPress websites, since they are gathered within the Flywheel account dashboard. To launch a website, all you have to do is to change the privacy mode. In addition, it is possible to take advantage of additional features, known as the backup tool and the caching settings. Moreover, if you are a collaborator and are granted access to someone other’s Flywheel account, you can actually manage them via the management interface that is totally user-friendly.
• How to manage the website Backups
Making sure your website is up to date with everything, especially with the backups, is a matter that you can easily cover within Flywheel. Right onto the user interface, there is a special button to help you get your website backup, as well as restoring it whenever you wish to.
Usually, the backup files have a period of 30 days through which they are being kept. However, you can always download them in order to make sure everything is safe and sound.
• How to access the WordPress Database
Accessing phpMyAdmin software to obtain your website’s database is not the strategy followed by Flywheel. In contrast to many web hosting providers, it has its own database management interface.
Even though working with phpMyAdmin is a common piece of knowledge for various website owners, learning to work with the database access provided by Flywheel is rather intuitive. Moreover, it comes with all the necessary tools to help you get going.
Putting it plain and simple, Flywheel provides up to three hosting plans, however suitable for every type of website owners.
As you might notice, the prices are per month, however the total amount one would have to pay at the checkout is the price times 12 months. For the customers who wish to go for the monthly subscription, the price is expected to be a little higher:
• The Tiny Plan: starts at $13 per month ($150 per year as the amount requested at the checkout). It provides one free month, as well as one WordPress install, up to 25,000 visits per month, disk space of 5 GB and a bandwidth of 20 GB;
• The Starter Plan: starts at $25 per month ($300 per year as the amount requested at the checkout). It provides one free month, as well as one WordPress install, up to 25,000 visits per month, disk space of 10 GB and a bandwidth of 50 GB;
• The Freelance Plan: costs $96 per month ($1,150 per year as the amount requested at the checkout). It provides one free month, together with 10 WordPress installs, 100,000 monthly visits, 20 GB storage and 200 GB bandwidth;
• The Agency Plan: is the most expensive, at $242 per month ($2900 per year as the amount requested at the checkout). You get one free month, 30 WordPress installs, nearly 500,000 monthly visits, 50 GB disk storage and 500 GB bandwidth.
Remember that these prices are only for the annual subscriptions, which means that contracting Flywheel for a single month would require a higher price requested for each and every single plan.
In case it happens to exceed the limits covered within the plan, some fees will be imposed, such as:
• $1 for every 1,000 visitors per month. For the Australian data centers, all of the websites that are hosted there are charged $1,5;
• $1 for every 1 GB that is over the limit.
According to our findings, Flywheel is a little less expensive web hosting option, with loading times that are a bit under (still comparable with) the ones provided by other solutions on the market (such as WP Engine and Kinsta [hyperlink]). Apart from this, it has partnered up with Google Cloud Platform, making it a cloud hosting provider aimed at improving the WordPress websites’ overall performance. It is scalable, redundant and comes with a bunch of features that are worth a try. Besides the automatic backup, you can also take advantage of the website migration service that is free of charge and is meant to help you switch your current web hosting provider to a better one.
In addition, Flywheel is properly designed for teams of people who are working on either a single website or at more, at the same time. This feature helps them come together into a single dashboard, while keeping a clean and neat timetable of what every single person has been doing during the last period of time.
However, that’s not everything Flywheel is up to. Due to the Blueprint feature, creating fast and easy websites for your clients is a piece of cake. With it, you can save up to 10 preconfigured setups aimed at helping you import them in various other websites. By this way, you don’t have why to follow again the exact process of setting the right adjustments and configuration procedures – instead, you can save them and start reusing them through a single import.
Apparently, Flywheel makes a great choice when it comes to web hosting providers on the market today, with numerous features, advantages and an impressive technology that helps your website provide the best for its visitors. However, the Sucuri partnership tends to attract all the eyes, since it manages to keep away some of the worst intruders – the cyber attackers. These being said, what are you still waiting for? Have you already managed to try out the Flywheel WordPress hosting solution on your own websites? We are looking forward to hearing your personal review and overall experience!