Tim Sweeney

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Recently I decided to take a look at Flywheel Hosting. This would be for hosting not only for a few of my own websites, but also few clients who might benefit from a change in hosting.


Taking a look at it I see:


1. Its managed hosting
2. Their target market is listed as developers and agencies
3. They claim they only do Wordpress
4. A few feature of interest include a staging area, SSL, CDN, etc...
5. Pricing - This appears structured either on a per site plan with several levels of features or bulk plans for resellers. One thing that caught my eye was an allocated number of monthly visitors.


Googling for reviews, etc... on Flywheel hosting found mostly positive comments. Of course, I have no idea if these reviews are tainted.

I've never gone the managed route for WP hosting. Given the increased complexity for maintaining Wordpress sites, using a managed host may reduce the workload to some degree.


In any case, does or has anyone used Flywheel? Any thoughts would be appreciated.


Thanks
 
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Can't speak too directly as I've been Studiopress mostly since before Flywheel launched, but knowing a few on the team there locally and tracking their overall progress, I'm planning to do some more work with them myself. They have real people giving real support and they care, and seem fairly widely used around here, if that helps any.
 

Tim Sweeney

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Thanks for providing feedback. A few days ago I went ahead and signed up. While its only been a few days, so far no complaints on my end. They even handle the migration which saves quite a bit of time. Also, they've answered all my questions on a timely manner. After a few weeks and once I get several sites migrated over and tested for performance I'll provide an update.
 

JoshuaMackens

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Thanks for providing feedback. A few days ago I went ahead and signed up. While its only been a few days, so far no complaints on my end. They even handle the migration which saves quite a bit of time. Also, they've answered all my questions on a timely manner. After a few weeks and once I get several sites migrated over and tested for performance I'll provide an update.

Did they handle all of your sites being migrated? That's my problem with leaving Bluehost, who I can't stand.
 

Tim Sweeney

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So far they've migrated five sites. Four of them were up and running sites and one is a development site I've been working on. For migration, they handled the entire move. For the five sites migrated, they were at A2 Hosting. So during the migration there were a few minor bumps such as having to sort out which plugins to disable which A2 required yet Flywheel didn't support. If you use a login renaming plugin you'll have to use the custom login url it provides rather than the Flywheel login url.

Total time on my end for each migration might be 20 minutes. This includes the usual making of additional backups, pointing the dns, testing everything once its over, etc... The last time I did a migration myself (moving from Bluehost to A2), I had about an hour into it. So I definitely saved time in this area.

And note, email for each site is handled by Google Apps so I didn't have to mess with that. If you're having your host handle email, you'll have to find a 3rd party email provider as Flywheel doesnt do email.

Some side notes at this point:

For two of the migrated sites, I then went ahead and updated them to https. This took about 40 minutes per site. Flywheel makes it fairly easy to change to https and then there are the external things to do such as in the search console, etc... Once again, this appears to be a time saver.

For the site under development, Flywheel supports a higher threshold for image uploads. With A2 hosting, even though the site was on a higher level plan, I had to FTP images when the image count exceeded 20 or more images. With Flywheel, so far I haven't hit an image upload threshold in WP.

Before I have Flywheel migrate any more sites, I'm going to give it another two months to see how these sites perform.
 

Tim Colling

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Hi -

I haven't used Flywheel so I have no input for you. I hope that it goes well for you there!

For what it's worth:

Re A2 Hosting: I had a terrible experience with their shared hosting and their (lack of) support for it, so after a brief try there, I have never considered them again. As long as I have a satisfactory solution (see next para) then I have no need nor desire to consider them again.

My solution for the past three years, with very satisfying results: WPEngine, which is a managed WordPress hosting provider. When you're buying in bulk (ten installs and up) it's relatively inexpensive ($10/mo/website) and they are extremely reliable, with near-zero downtime. Their tech support is excellent and is available both by chat and (if you're hosting ten or more sites with them) via phone, 24 hours a day. Setting up SSL for your websites there is dead-simple, too. And their automated website migration tools work very well (100% success rate for me, anyway).

Bonus info: In addition to A2, I would also avoid going anywhere near InMotionHosting, which used to be good but which in the past few months has been horrible. I have a couple of personal sites there still (old, old non-WordPress sites) and yesterday they were down for more than 12 hours!

Your mileage may vary.

It's funny: some discussion threads on some forums attain nearly religious fervor and acrimony, and those topics often involve hosting, code editors and frameworks.
 

JoshuaMackens

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Hi -

I haven't used Flywheel so I have no input for you. I hope that it goes well for you there!

For what it's worth:

Re A2 Hosting: I had a terrible experience with their shared hosting and their (lack of) support for it, so after a brief try there, I have never considered them again. As long as I have a satisfactory solution (see next para) then I have no need nor desire to consider them again.

My solution for the past three years, with very satisfying results: WPEngine, which is a managed WordPress hosting provider. When you're buying in bulk (ten installs and up) it's relatively inexpensive ($10/mo/website) and they are extremely reliable, with near-zero downtime. Their tech support is excellent and is available both by chat and (if you're hosting ten or more sites with them) via phone, 24 hours a day. Setting up SSL for your websites there is dead-simple, too. And their automated website migration tools work very well (100% success rate for me, anyway).

Bonus info: In addition to A2, I would also avoid going anywhere near InMotionHosting, which used to be good but which in the past few months has been horrible. I have a couple of personal sites there still (old, old non-WordPress sites) and yesterday they were down for more than 12 hours!

Your mileage may vary.

It's funny: some discussion threads on some forums attain nearly religious fervor and acrimony, and those topics often involve hosting, code editors and frameworks.

Awesome, great insight!

Who else is everyone using? BlueHost here but looking to move.
 

Eddie

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Been a lurker here for a while so figured I'd make an account to give some of my thoughts.

I've been using Flywheel for a little over a year now on their Agency Bulk Plan, and use it for all my client websites. Have to say that as a web designer, I always hated working with hosting platforms and navigating clunky UI to do simple tasks or to manage multiple sites.

At first, I was considering using WP Engine since I was looking for a managed VPS solution for WordPress that made it easy to manage sites while offering good and reliable speeds (needed to get off of HostGator because of site throttling and one of my sites was just hacked and I got no help from their support), but was hearing mixed reviews about WP Engine. Found Flywheel after a bit more searching and decided to try them out.

So far, It's been an absolute blast using Flywheel. Yes, it is a bit more on the expensive side, but I just pass those costs down to my clients, and in the end my clients get a much more consistent, secure, and faster hosting experience.

It's a great solution for agencies and web designers (or people who want an easy hosting experience), and includes pretty much everything I needed such as: free site migrations, staging areas, security monitoring (plus they fix your site for free if it gets hacked), site caching, client access/client payment transfer, SSL, CDN, one-click backup restore, auto WP Core updates, and a few other things that just make the whole process of managing WordPress sites easier.

They also have really good support and will help troubleshoot any WordPress issues. Only downside is that they have limited support hours, but luckily haven't had any serious issues that needed fixing at 4AM or anything.

Hope that helps, let me know if you have any other questions about the service.
 

Linda Buquet

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Thanks for joining and sharing your experience Eddie. Welcome! :)
 
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