Flywheel Review (WordPress Hosting): Hands-On and Performance Tested

Flywheel Review (WordPress Hosting): Hands-On and Performance Tested

flywheel-review-(wordpress-hosting):-hands-on-and-performance-tested

Thinking about using Flywheel to host your WordPress site? In our Flywheel review, we’ll go hands-on and show you how Flywheel performs, as well as how Flywheel helps you save time when managing your WordPress site.

Elementor WordPress Page BuilderFlywheel review, let me give you the super fast rundown of the feature list so that you know what to expect:

  • Google Cloud infrastructure
  • Automatic daily backups
  • Staging site
  • PHP 7.2
  • 7 different data center choices
  • Security firewalls and malware monitoring
  • Integrated CDN via Fastly
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Free migrations (unlimited)
  • Automatic updates
  • Lots of helpful development tools
  • 24/7 support via live chat or ticket. On higher tier plans, you also get phone support

Flywheel Performance Tests:

All the features I listed above are great, but the most important question about any host is still “can it serve up your website quickly and reliably?”.

So before we get to anything else, let’s run some performance tests and see how Flywheel performs.

Again, Flywheel uses Google Cloud infrastructure, so you’ve already got a solid foundation. Then, Flywheel adds on its own server-level caching system, a built-in CDN powered by Fastly, and other tweaks.

The end result? It’s pretty fast.

To analyze this, I set up a test site using the Astra theme and one of its WooCommerce starter sites. Beyond that, I installed some other relevant plugins to simulate a real site, like Yoast SEO.

Then I ran it through a few tests:

  • WebPageTest to assess page load times.
  • Load Impact to see how it performs under scale.

First, I set up WebPageTest to run 9 separate tests from Chicago, with no connection throttling. Here’s how Flywheel performed:

  • Median load time: 2.063 s
  • Mean load time (9 separate tests): 2.362 s

flywheel webpagetest resultsother managed WordPress hosts, I can say that Flywheel’s performance is quite good and comparable to similarly-priced managed WordPress hosts like Kinsta and WP Engine.

Note, page load times in WebPageTest are always going to be a little slower than what you’d expect from something like Pingdom. This is because WebPageTest uses a different calculation for what is “loaded”.

For example, if I ran my Flywheel WooCommerce test site through Pingdom, you can see how it loads in a much more impressive, 1.14 seconds:

Flywheel review pingdom perfromacestaging site is essentially a duplicate version of your live site that you can use to safely test changes and updates. Once you’re happy with how things work on your staging site, you can “push” it live. It’s super helpful.

Flywheel makes staging sites quite simple.

Once you enable the staging functionality, you’ll get a new Staging area in your dashboard that lets you manage settings for that site, as well as push your changes live:

StagingWordPress local development tool. It’s free and available to everyone (including non-Flywheel customers).

However, if you host at Flywheel, you get some extra goodies. Notably, the ability to push your site from local development to live hosting with the click of a button (you can also pull down a site from live hosting to work on it locally).

This is a nice alternative to staging that you might prefer.

Billing Transfer

With Flywheel, you can develop a client’s site on your own hosting. Then, once the site is ready to go live, you can easily transfer the billing responsibility over to your client (while still keeping your access to the site to help your client manage it).

This also means that you can manage all of your separate client sites from one Flywheel dashboard (while keeping clients’ access separate, of course).

Simpler SFTP

Rather than forcing you to use separate SFTP passwords to manage different client sites, Flywheel lets you access all your sites from one single login (your Flywheel username/password).

The sites are automatically organized by who owns them to help you find them.

White Label

For an extra fee ($99 per month), you can white-label the Flywheel dashboard to use your own branding instead of Flywheel’s branding. You can even sell your own services – like maintenance – via your white-labeled dashboard.

Again, this is a pretty unique feature that I haven’t seen at other managed WordPress hosts.

Flywheel Pricing: How Much Will All This Cost?

Flywheel is competitively priced, with an entry-level plan for up to 25,000 monthly visits starting at just $23 per month (annually) or $25 per month (month-to-month).

Here’s how it stacks up to other common managed WordPress hosts:

Flywheel

Kinsta

WP Engine

Price (Month-to-Month)

$25

$30

$35

Visitors Allowed

25,000

20,000

25,000

Storage

5 GB

5 GB

10 GB

Bandwidth

50 GB

Unlimited

50 GB

So you can see Flywheel actually comes in a little under those other hosts for a similar number of visitors per month.

From there, prices go up accordingly based on the number of sites you can use and the other metrics. Here are the month-to-month prices:

Flywheel pricingFlywheel is definitely one of the best managed WordPress hosts, and if managed WordPress hosting is what you want, you won’t go wrong choosing Flywheel.

Flywheel has:

  • Stellar performance and reliability powered by Google Cloud
  • A great custom hosting dashboard, with nice managed features like automatic backups and staging
  • Lots of helpful tools for agencies and freelancers

And it gives you all that for a price that’s a little bit under the direct competition.

If you’re interested, you can sign up for a free trial account with no credit card required. You’ll only pay when you want to make your site live.

Give it a spin and see if it’s right for you:

Get Flywheel

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