There is an old saying that is to the effect that, usually, a jack of all trades winds up being a master of none 🙂
Usually, while we always joke about this, we (also) always fail to get to the point of the quote: to be truly great in whatsoever one is doing, dedication to the task at hand is paramount.
In other words, you cannot truly do great work if you do not focus on a single faucet of your business or work or simply sit down your ass in sober concentration.
In the hosting world today, this is near impossible – as almost every hosting company around has become an expert in hosting almost everything from WordPress blogs to e-Commerce sites.
Today’s Flywheel managed WordPress hosting review will prove 2 things basically:
- Hosting with non-dedicated professionals is dangerous and very risky. Anything could happen.
- If you’re interested in dedicated WordPress hosting (as you should, if you’re running on the platform), nothing beats Flywheel 🙂
However, we wouldn’t want you to simply take our word for it.
Instead, we want you to see why if you’re hosting a WordPress site, no other option beats signing up with Flywheel.
Before we proceed however, let’s look at what makes the idea of Flywheel managed WP hosting so seductive in the first place.
Article at a Glance
- Why Managed WP Hosting?
- What Exactly Does Managed WP Hosting Actually Cover?
- Flywheel Managed WP Hosting Review: A Detailed Look
- Wrap Up
Why Managed WP Hosting?
When we first ventured into blogging (for the SAGE brand) circa, 2012, we were completely new to WP and the concept of blogging.
However, because we were great writers, it didn’t take us time to wrap our heads around the concept of blogging.
However, we had a huge challenge: managing and maintaining our websites and numerous blogs that make up part of the overall brand.
This wasn’t easy at all.
To make matters worse, our very first attempt at customization, we broke the entire site we were working on at the moment!
We had to hire a freelance WordPress developer who fixed our mess…and as a result, we were about $500 poorer.
Now, for a startup, this isn’t money that should be ‘thrown away’ because of a very avoidable instance.
As we later got to understand, what we ‘broke’ (and the developer ‘fixed’) was a mere line of (‘simple’) code 🙂
A mere bloody line!
Since that day, we all got enrolled into a WP masterclass so that such an occurrence will not happen again.
Or, if it did, we’ll all have the capacity and knowledge to tackle things up and clean up our own ‘mess’.
However, that did not happen before we experienced downtime of about 48 hours because a new plugin that we installed clashed with an existing one.
You can imagine the pain, frustration and importantly, precious productive hours lost.
Sadly, today (about 5 years after), we still see bloggers who on a daily basis make the same mistake(s) (as we did) when we came into the blogging scene.
Instead of leaving the technical bit of WordPress management and maintenance to a professional and solely focusing on building a great blog, they waste precious time trying to be a jack of all.
Usually, they wind up a master of none and fail, woefully.
Another talent gone with the wind of poor choices…
The task of dedicated WP hosting companies like Flywheel is to make certain that as a WordPress webmaster, you focus on running your site while the professionals take on the tedious and often, difficult task of running your site behind the scenes.
What Exactly Does Managed WP Hosting Actually Cover?
Most often, companies (especially hosting companies) hide under bogus terms to offer sub par services to unsuspecting customers and subscribers who imagine that they’re getting value when in reality, all thy’re getting is thrash and sh*t.
To clear the air and distinguish itself, this is what it means to go the managed WP way when you take a stop at Flywheel:
1. Managed Caching And Performance
Managed WP hosting at Flywheel means managed caching and performance.
This (further) means that, for WordPress sites hosted on the Flywheel servers, caching, performance and speed optimization is handled nicely at the server level and not the the backend of the site via plugins or some hasty, badly done manual configurations.
Further, aside handling of caching and general performance, the experts at Flywheel also go a long way to ensure that you get things right as regards speed optimization from your own end.
This is achieved by working 1 on 1 with customers to further optimize their sites for the best performance when the need arises.
2. Managed Security
Hackers and bad guys are online daily, looking for less secured sites to literally make a meal of.
To avoid having a compromised site or worse, a hacked site, the definition of managed WP hosting from Flywheel also covers configuring their servers to block attacks and protect your sites from the evil online round the clock, even while you sleep.
This means translates to proactively scanning and blocking malware and hacking attempts on your site(s) hosted with them in real time, as they happen.
In the unlikely attempt that your site is compromised or hacked, it is the promise of the company that they’ll fix it for you immediately at no extra cost to you.
Certainly, this should automatically mean better night sleep for you!
3. Managed Software Updates
Life can get super busy for WordPress site owners.
When it does, updating the core of your site, the WP version that powers it and all the other installed plugins could be one hell of a challenge.
Old, outdated plugins and software can however cause a lot of pain and usually, provide the breach which makes a site or blog vulnerable to attackers and hackers in the first place.
Managed WP hosting at Flywheel means that, all your plugins and software will be updated to the most recent versions – as they become available.
However, because many things could also go wrong with a new software or plugin update, the managed WP package from Flywheel also includes the fact that they actively monitor new updates to ensure that they’re working greatly and in a smart manner.
In the rare event that they are not – or that something goes wrong, the next working version of the software or plugin is immediately switched to, even before you notice that anything’s amiss.
4. Frequent Site Backups
As part of the Manged WP hosting package from Flywheel, your site also gets full database and site backups, every 24 hours.
These backups are accessible to you and as a matter of fact, can be downloaded.
This means that, in the unlikely event that you decide to change your hosting service provider, you’ll be taking along your entire site and not just asking that the new host helps you out with the migration process (which is often premium with some hosting companies).
5. Expert WordPress Support
Finally, Managed WP hosting from Flywheel also means that, you get expert WordPress support.
Since the hosting company only bothers with WP, you’re going to get the very best from the wealth of experience available from the support crew.
Who would wind up doing something for their entire lives and still not be able to get it right?
In their own words:
Trust us, we’ve seen it all. From “hey, I need help, I have a serious problem!“, to “can you recommend a plugin for XYZ,” we’re here to help.
Now, let’s get to the meat of the review proper.
Flywheel Managed WP Hosting Review: A Detailed Look
The greatness or otherwise of any hosting service or company usually lies in the pros – as shown in the offers the company makes by way of its service packages and how those offers actually hold up to real tests in the real world.
The cons of a hosting company, on the other hand, can be found in what the company is not offering (but is supposed to offer) and what it is offering but offering poorly.
Let’s take a look at the reality of Flywheel by means of quick, bulleted points.
Pros Of Flywheel Managed WP Hosting
- Fully managed WordPress hosting. Essentially, you’ll need not do anything else by way of site management and maintenance.
- Awesome support that is ‘real support’. This is made available via the phone, chat and email options.
- Free SSL certificates for every account hosted on the Flywheel servers. This ensures that you gain your visitor’s trust, ensure better conversions and importantly, rank higher in the SERPs for your chosen keywords.
- Free site migrations (no matter how many sites you have) if you’re coming from another hosting company. It is important to note that hosting companies like BlueHost actually charge substantially for this service. Getting it here free is thus a bargain.
- 99.9% uptime. This is real – and you’re surely going to have a figure that is close to 100% as 99.9% is but only a fair, safe estimate.
- Multiple payment options: Paypal, check or credit/debit cards. Additionally, you can elect to pay monthly or annually. Further, you can easily upgrade your hosting plan anytime you desire – or the need actually arises.
- All clients are on VPS (not shared servers). This ensures awesome goodies such as increased server speeds (translating to increased website speeds), increased security and more peace of mind when you want to catch sleep at night.
- Nightly backup (stored offsite) and one click restores. What can be sweeter than this?
- Easy billing transfer for agencies and developers who desire that their clients pay up the service fee directly. This reality is still a rarity in the WP hosting world today.
- Practical guarantee that in case of a compromise or hack, the mess the hacker made will be cleaned up for you at no extra cost.
- Staging reality. This allows you to make changes to your live site without the stress, then push changes to production with a single click.
- Site cloning ability. This allows you to take a copy of a production site and recreate it as a new site to make small changes quickly. For developers or agencies that have many (similar) sites to build, this function is truly gold. For bloggers who also have a tonne of sites to build directly, this feature comes in quite handy.
- Reseller hosting plan that ensures that you make some money on the side as an agency – if you’ll love or appreciate it.
- Availability of enterprise hosting for really giant clients.
- Recommended by WordPress.org, the makers of the WP platform. What other endorsement can be greater than this?
Cons Of Flywheel Managed Hosting
- Flywheel is a little expensive. With the tiniest plan going for $14/month, this service isn’t exactly what we’ll call cheap. However, what truly great thing comes cheap?
- If you’ll love to have your emails and domains hosted together with your site(s) (by the same company), you’ll be hugely disappointed. The Flywheel company only tackles hosting and focuses only on managed hosting for WP sites alone.
With over 10 important pros and just 2 cons, we’ll recommend Flywheel in a heartbeat, without thinking twice.
However, before you commit to the company, be certain to take a look at the cons mentioned above and see that you’re not bothered by them in any way.
If they are not of any consequence to you, we cannot recommend any WP hosting that will perform better – or for that matter, beat Flywheel!
Want to experience WP managed hosting awesomeness?