Flywheel Review: A Better Hosting Solution? - John's IMSecrets

I designed this Flywheel review to help you make an informed decision. I did a lot of research and used my years of experience as a customer to write it down.

If you want to know the kind of service you can expect, then you are in the right place.

Are you ready?

Let’s start.

Flywheel Review (Hosting for WordPress)

I started my online journey back in December of 2014, and I didn’t know a single thing about hosting and things like that. That made it challenging to choose between the many companies out there.

I started doing some research and eventually, I came across this little company called HostGator. You may have heard about them. 😉

Anyway, I read their pricing page and discovered this plan that was $3.99/month (if my memory serves me right) for shared hosting.

I’m sitting there in front of my laptop and I think, “$3.99/month? That’s pretty cheap.”

Then I read a little bit more and discover they also offer managed hosting.

I’m like, “what’s the difference?”

I run a Google search and learn that managed hosting is (in simple English).

Giving most of the responsibility of taking care of your website to a hosting company.

Now I know that’s not exactly what they do but that’s how I understood it at the time.

That was super appealing because as I said, I knew next to nothing about hosting and things. I was excited and I wanted it.

But there was one problem.

The price.

I was a college student and my income was whatever my parents gave me to go to school so I didn’t have a lot of money.

Long story short, I went with the shared hosting and my website was frequently down.

Looking back, my site was down at least once a week. Sometimes more often than that.

But it was fine because nobody knew my website existed. I wasn’t getting any traffic. 🙁

Eventually, though, things changed and I properly learned how to do marketing and getting people to visit my site so I needed better hosting.

That’s when I came across Flywheel.

What is flywheel?

Flywheel is as they put it ”a delightful platform that empowers designers, developers, and digital agencies to focus on what they do best — building beautiful, functional sites for their clients.”

What does Flywheel have to offer?

Flywheel helps you “stop wasting time on server management, security plugins, caching, and all those other boring, repetitive tasks that take your focus away from growing your business and jeopardize your relationship with clients.”

Here’s how they do it:

Outstanding support

Think of the last time you had a bad experience with a company, how did it make you feel?

Frustrated, right?

If so, you are not alone, it happens to most of us.

According to Esteban Kolsky (CEO of thinkJar), if a customer is not satisfied, 13% of them will tell that experience with 15 or even more people and share that they are unhappy. On the other hand, 72% of customers will share a positive experience with 6 or more people.

67% of customers mention bad experiences as a reason for leaving, but only 1 out of 26 unhappy customers complain.

The rest, “They just leave”, Kolsky says.

Most customers never complain before leaving.
Most customers never complain before leaving.

This was the case for me when I left Hostgator. I didn’t reach out to tell them about their crappy uptimes. :s

But what about Flywheel?

The support team at Flywheel is super knowledgeable and equally polite. Every time I reach out they quickly answer my questions and when the answer is technical in nature, they always offer to do it for me. 😀

For instance, I recently visited my dashboard and noticed I had a message that said my PHP was outdated. It mentioned it wasn’t a major issue but I should address it. Right after that, it said I had to reach out to support to get it fixed.

Here’s a screenshot of my conversation with them:

This screenshot shows a conversation I had with Flywheel's support team
This screenshot shows the latest conversation with Flywheel’s support team.

I removed signatures and the Avast message below my reply to reduce the size of the picture. Other than that, I didn’t make any changes.

Why is this important?

Because according to a study by SupperOffice, “Only 20% of companies are able to answer questions in full on the first reply” but Flywheel does it every time I reach out.

Btw, their support team is available 24 hours/day if you need any help.

Here’s what other people are saying about their support team:

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Haven't had a single issue

Lucy Cockerill - Marketer and Web designer

I switched from Tsohost to Flywheel - not had a single issue. They have some good features, my favorite is ‘Local by Flywheel’ for local site development. I also use SiteGround too. Neither are UK based but do offer good support via live chat & CDNs for speed.

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Now I don't have to stress about SSL and the like

Kandace Brigleb

Hey Flywheel, thanks for your quick help today. Looks like this lady is heading out for a happy hour drink rather than stressing about SSL and the like. Woohoo!

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This is why I have all my clients on Flywheel

3 calls into Bluehost in 24 hours to help a client get a simple SSL installed and have been told wrong info twice, then misquoted the price and now our domain is directing to someone else... Just another reason why I have all my clients on Flywheel and not Bluehost

Automatic WordPress upgrades

Before I changed to Flywheel I had to manually update my WordPress site every time they came up with an update. It didn’t take long but it was annoying because I had to frequently check to see if there was a new version available.

Anyway, if you don’t update your site and plugins, you risk leaving vulnerabilities exposed to hacker attacks.

Here’s where Flywheel comes into play. They automatically upgrade your website to the latest version (in my experience it usually takes between 2-3 days). And they’ll soon offer to automatically update your plugins too which is awesome. 😀

Flywheel review - WordPress upgrade email
WordPress upgrade email

Why is it important?

It’s no secret that WordPress is the most popular content management system in the entire web powering 34% of all websites. As such it’s the most targeted by people with bad intentions.

CMS market share distribution
CMS market share distribution

According to a CMS security analysis by Sucury, 90% of all the websites that get infected are WordPress powered. However, as Sucury says, “This does not imply these platforms are more or less secure than others. This data represents the most common platforms seen in our environment and reflects the overall popularity of CMS.”

Infected websites platform distribution in 2018
Infected websites platform distribution in 2018

Free Simple SSL

Secure Sockets Layer, or SSL, is a security protocol that uses modern encryption to send and receive sensitive information all over the internet.

How does SSL work?

SSL works by creating a secure channel between a user’s browser, and the website’s server to which the user wants to connect to. Any information that passes through this channel is encrypted at one end and decrypted upon receipt on the other end. As a result, even if someone gets ahold of this information, it is of no use to them due to the encryption of the information.

Websites can enable SSL by acquiring an SSL certificate. Web browsers can detect this certificate, which lets them know that this particular connection needs to be encrypted.

You can easily recognize whether you are visiting an SSL-enabled site by spotting a tiny lock that sits next to the website URL. You can also recognize them via their use of the HTTPS protocol, instead of HTTP.

SSL certificate example
In the red box, you can see an example of a website’s SSL protocol.

Why is SSL important for my website?

You might have seen services like TunnelBear, NordVPN and ExpressVPN (just to name a few) sponsoring a ton of YouTube videos.

Because of that, people have become more aware of the importance of internet security over the past few years, which means SSL could prove to be highly advantageous for any website.

Here’re some immediate benefits you can have:

  • Your website looks more professional
  • SSL encrypts information
  • You’ll avoid the “Not Secure” warning in chrome
  • You’ll get a minor boost to Google rankings

If anything, do it for the boost in Google rankings. Since Google made SSL an official ranking signal, websites without the certificate have been slowly disappearing from search results.

According to a study by Authority Hacker, “90% of the page one results already have HTTPS which shows most sites have now transitioned to SSL and Google is rewarding them for it. “

Most sites have now transitioned to SSL and Google is rewarding them.
Most sites have now transitioned to SSL and Google is rewarding them with better rankings.

How can I install an SSL certificate on my domain?

Installing an SSL certificate on your website is very simple. All you have to do is click the add-ons option in the menu and then select SSL. After that, all you have to do is fill in the information they ask and you are done. 🙂

Enabling your free SSL certificate on Flywheel
This is the information you need to submit to enable your free SSL certificate.

Here’s what other people are saying about their SSL certificate:

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Very user-friendly and great support!

I’ve been using Flywheel for about 2 years now and have had a great experience. Very user-friendly and great support. Even has SSL included in the base price!

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Now I don't have to stress about SSL and the like

Kandace Brigleb

Hey Flywheel, thanks for your quick help today. Looks like this lady is heading out for a happy hour drink rather than stressing about SSL and the like. Woohoo!

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This is why I have all my clients on Flywheel

3 calls into Bluehost in 24 hours to help a client get a simple SSL installed and have been told wrong info twice, then misquoted the price and now our domain is directing to someone else... Just another reason why I have all my clients on Flywheel and not Bluehost

Daily backups

Here’s something for you to think about: Imagine you wake up early in the morning and like usual, you prepare some coffee (or tea) and turn on your laptop.

You open Chrome and enter your website’s URL but instead of seeing your usual home page you notice you are now selling some sort of mail-order prescription medicine.

You, my good friend, have been hacked. And a website backup might be the only thing fast enough to get you your website back.

According to a Clark School study at the University of Maryland, there’s a hacker attack on computers with Internet access every 39 seconds (on average). And according to Google, hackers steal almost 250,000 web logins each week.

I don’t find this data surprising because hackers try to break into my website every day. Here’s a screenshot of the most recent failed attacks:

WordPress failed login attempts
Here’s how many people try to login to my website every day

And my website isn’t even super popular. I can only imagine what big authority sites have to deal with. Anyway, if you ever need to restore your website to an earlier version, you can do it on your dashboard.

Step-by-step to restore your Flywheel site to a previous version
Step-by-step to restore your Flywheel site to a previous version

Here’s what other people are saying about their backups:

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Thank you...

Jake Bohall - VP at Hive Marketing

Just discovered Flywheel lets you download from automated backups! Thank you...

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Works easily on 1-click and fast

Michal Prekop - UX & UI designer

Flywheel you got a great backup service! Works easily on 1-click and fast. You saved my ass! 🙂 Thanks!

Lightning-fast servers

Page load speed is the first thing you notice when you visit a website, but you will only notice it if the website is too slow. Page speed is a huge part of the user experience, so it’s no wonder it’s a ranking factor for both mobile and desktop searches.

Knowing that it begs the question:

How fast are Flywheel’s servers?

Back on August 2, 2018, FLywheel announced its adoption of Google’s cloud platform as a way of providing faster and more reliable service.

Since then websites hosted in Flywheel have seen improvements in their overall speed (of course, mine included).

Here’s a screenshot of my blog’s performance via PageSpeed Insights (Google’s speed test tool):

PageSpeed Insights Results
These are the most recent PageSpeed results I got on both mobile and desktop.

Here’s what other people are saying about their website speed:

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Yes, we did it! 🙂

Marius Vetrici - Web developer

Yes, we did it 🙂

We squeezed a 100/100 score for our wpriders.com website on Google PageSpeed Insights test after some hardcore speed optimization.

But we were not alone in this. 🙂 Thanks Flywheel for providing such a speedy hosting.

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Thank you for making it possible

Days are gone when websites were supposed to load within 3 seconds, now it should load within microseconds. Thank you Google cloud, Flywheel and Short Pixel for making it possible.

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Blisteringly fast load speeds on my website and landing pages

Colin Scotland - Entrepreneur and Marketer

Blisteringly fast load speeds on my website and landing pages since switching from shared hosting to my friends over at Flywheel. Same page, same theme, same plugins, was in the low 60's before the switch and now it's 100. Enough said 🙂

How can I migrate my website?

Migrating your website isn’t difficult but if you aren’t a technical person you are better off leaving this to Flywheel themselves. To have your website migrated, you have 4 options to choose from:

  • Standard
  • Zip upload
  • WP Engine
  • WordPress.com

Select the one that’s appropriate for you and fill in the form.

How to migrate a website to Flywheel
Migrating a website to Flywheel is simple. All you have to do is fill in the form.

To request your migration, you’ll need to create a free account (click here to visit their home page). Then you just need to scroll down a little bit and click on “begin a migration”.

Flywheel review - How to begin a migration request on Flywheel
Follow the instruction in the picture to begin a migration request

If you want to migrate your website yourself, you’ll have to create a server backup and then upload it to your new server at Flywheel. To migrate your site, follow the instructions in this video:

How to upload files to a server using FileZilla

Here’s what other people are saying about their SSL certificate:

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Loving Flywheel so far!

Lauren Mancke - Designer and Developer

Loving Flywheel so far! Currently migrating most of my sites over.

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Love it!

❤️ The free migration service. ❤️

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The little things make Flywheel my favorite

Jon Kohlmeier - Web Developer Operations

The little things make Flywheel my favorite. Thanks for taking care of site migrations!

How much does flywheel cost?

In the picture below you can see the plans Flywheel has to offer.

Flywheel's pricing table
Here’re Flywheel’s current starter, freelance and agency plans.

As you may have noticed, they aren’t cheap. When they changed to Google’s cloud platform, their prices in the entry-level plan increased from $15 to $25 USD and many people didn’t like the change for future plans (existing plans at that moment stayed the same).

Having said that, there’s a saying that goes like this:

“You get what you pay for.”

And Flywheel definitely fits the bill.

Since managed hosting is sort of a premium service, its prices aren’t for everyone, but I can tell you that based on my years of experience as a Flywheel customer, it’s an insanely cheap price for the wonderful experience they offer.

Also, if you take a look at other popular companies that offer managed hosting, then you’ll notice their prices are similar but still more expensive.

Bluehost

bluehost logo

Price: $27.95 USD per month.
Monthly payment: 3-month minimum commitment.
Daily backups: Yes
Traffic: They claim unlimited but I call BS.
Staging available: Yes
Free Migrations: No
Free SSL: Yes
Free CDN: No
Support: 4/5

WP Engine

wp engine logo

Price: $35.00 USD per month.
Monthly payment: Yes
Daily backups: Yes
Traffic: 25,000 visits/month
Staging available: Yes
Free Migrations: Free
Free SSL: Yes
Free CDN: Yes
Support: 5/5

Flywheel

Flywheel logo

Price: $25.00 USD per month.
Monthly payment: Yes
Daily backups: Yes
Traffic: 25,000 visits/month
Staging available: Yes
Free Migrations: Free
Free SSL: Yes
Free CDN: Yes
Support: 5/5

All the prices shown in the chart above represent their respective cheapest monthly plan available. To know this information, I directly reached out to each company and asked questions about their managed plans. That’s also how I rated their support.

As you can see, Flywheel stacks up quite favorably in all cases. 🙂

Who is Flywheel for?

By no means is this the entire list, but it does include some common examples of the type of people/business/websites that find a ton of value partnering with a managed provider.

  • Creative agencies or freelancers building sites for clients
  • Site owners who don’t want to deal with the technical details of web hosting
  • Bloggers and influencers whose reputation is dependent on their site
  • eCommerce sites selling digital or physical products who need reliable uptime
  • In-house marketing teams who want more control of their site (instead of going through IT departments)
  • Enterprise brands who need reliability, scalability, and expert support
  • Anyone reselling WordPress hosting

Again, this doesn’t mean these are the only people who will benefit from managed WordPress hosting; it’s simply a collection of common segments that managed hosts have built specific features for.

Key takeaways

  • Flywheel’s servers are lightning-fast because they use Google cloud servers.
  • Their support team is super polite, knowledgeable and efficient.
  • Support is available 24 hours a day in case you need help.
  • Flywheel will automatically update your WordPress website to the latest version available.
  • There’s simple free SSL you can request in under two minutes.
  • You can request a free migration of your website by filling out a form. It takes about two minutes to fill out.
  • The cost is cheaper than the closest competition and is ranked among the best.
  • Your website will have daily backups so that you can use them to restore your website to an earlier version of itself (in case you ever need them).

It’s your turn

Bain & Company surveyed 362 firms and found that 80% believed they delivered a “superior experience” to their customers. But when they then asked customers about their own perceptions, they heard a very different story. Customers said that only 8% of companies were really delivering.”

This is sadly the case with so many companies out there and I’m not saying Flywheel is perfect. But the experience I’ve had with them has been truly wonderful, therefore, I invite you to give them a chance.

Reach out to their support team, read what other people are saying about them and make an informed decision. And if this review helped you in any way and you decide to use Flywheel as your hosting provider, kindly consider using my affiliate link.

If you purchase through my link, I’ll get a commission that helps me pay for my hosting and things like that. It comes at no additional cost to you and it helps me keep the website alive to help more people. Thank you very much in advance. 🙂

Before I let you go, I always ask my readers to have a conversation with me so I have two questions for you:

  1. What hosting provider are you using right now?
  2. What’s been your experience with them thus far?

Leave the answer to both questions in the comment section below.

About the Author

My mission is to help bloggers find their ideal reader, listener, viewer and/or customer so that they don’t have to struggle to make ends meet. I believe in being honest all the time, admitting I don't know what I don't know, practicing tolerance every day of my life, not talking about others unless I have something nice to say, and leading by example. I'm a follower of Jesus, entrepreneur, marketer, and gamer. :)

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