Flywheel hosting is hands-down the best WordPress hosting company for designers I’ve ever worked with. (And it’s awesome for clients too!)
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of hosting companies out there to choose from. Most will offer you big affiliate incentives to bring your clients to them. But what the others don’t bring to the table (and what Flywheel hosting is renowned for) is making the lives of designers easier.
Flywheel’s motto is, “WordPress hosting built for designers.” And it’s true. They have created a hosting process that caters to a designer’s needs, every step of the way.
I hope this Flywheel hosting review answers all your questions and convinces you how awesome their services truly are for designers.
Note: The links to Flywheel hosting in this post are affiliate links. Although I would appreciate it if you used my affiliate link to help support the free content here at Designer Guidebook, you can also access Flywheel hosting directly at www.getflywheel.com.
Why Flywheel Hosting is the Best Hosting Company for WordPress Designers
Free Demo Sites
No more creating subdomains for test sites! Flywheel hosting automatically allows you one “demo” site for 14 days. However, if you email support, they are super easy-going about extending the time-frame or adding additional demo sites. Almost all my projects end up being demo sites for 4+ weeks.
All new sites at Flywheel start as demo sites built on a Flywheel domain. Their system is similar to how you can create a site on an IP address elsewhere. You even get to choose the demo domain, as it will remain a secondary domain for the site. For example, if you go to pricelessdesign.flywheelsites.com you will immediately be forward to my primary domain.
Demo sites are full and complete WordPress installations that are ready for you to design and develop! You will add your client’s content (either for a new site, manually, or via migration) to this demo site prior to “launch”.
The development to launch part of my web design process usually looks like this:
- Create Demo Site
- Install the Genesis Framework & my starter theme
- Develop Theme & Site
- Add/Move Page Content as necessary
- Client Approval of Demo Site
- Transfer Billing to Client
- Migrate blog content (see below)
- Coming Soon page
- Transfer Domain
Free Migration to Flywheel Hosting (even from Blogger!)
Raise your hand if you’ve ever had to do a dreaded Blogger to WordPress migration. (Me!) I was absolutely flipping shocked when I emailed Flywheel support to ask if free migrations included Blogger and they responded with, “Blogger migrations are free too.”
This is an amazing value added service that you can offer your clients! Most bloggers know that they will have to pay a migration fee, and if you can bundle it in, everyone wins.
Even if my client is already self-hosted, I still like to go over all the benefits of moving to a managed host with them. Most will move once they understand how managed hosting will make their WordPress site easier and cost them less in the long run.
Easy Transfer of Billing to Your Client
Once the demo site is approved, I transfer billing to the client. Flywheel hosting makes this super easy for designers.
Click the “Complete Billing” button on the site dashboard and then fill out a simple form. You can recommend a pricing plan for the client and even add a message to the email they are sent!
If something goes wrong and your client misses a payment, you can use the “revoke transfer” button to halt the process. (Not that anything is going to go wrong.)
Once the client pays, the site is officially transferred to their ownership but it remains in your dashboard and on your SFTP account! This is entirely awesome.
One SFTP Account Manages All of Your Client’s Sites
When I realized that all of my client’s sites could be managed from a single SFTP login, I was super excited. Even though Coda makes it easy to manage SFTP, having one single sign-on is still handy.
You’ll notice that I have one account with several branches. Demo sites are listed as subfolders within my account. Once the billing is transferred, the client’s folder gets moved into the main directory.
One Single Dashboard to Manage All of Your Client’s Sites
Along the same lines, you can manage all of your client’s sites from a single (beautiful) dashboard on Flywheel’s website.
I just love it when companies make my life easy!
One login to rule them all.
Free One-Click Staging Environments
The ability to turn on a staging copy of a site is one of my favorite features! With the click of a button, Flywheel hosting will create a duplicate copy of your site where you can edit the code, re-arrange widgets, etc. without worrying you might break your live site.
Once you’ve made your updates, you can push them back to your live site and Voila! Seamless updates without the risk.
*Staging sites included with the Personal Plan and above.
Why Flywheel Hosting is Awesome for Your Clients Too
Daily Auto Backups with One-Click Restore
This is probably the most enticing feature for clients. For many of them, their blog and sites are their livelihood. It is extremely comforting to know that their site will be automatically backed up each night.
If something were to go wrong, if they were to accidentally delete something or if they otherwise encounter the white screen of death, the one-click restore feature has their back. With the click of a button, their site can be restored to any of the available back-ups.
Free Malware Monitoring + Fix
Things happen. Sites get hacked. Once again, Flywheel to the rescue. Flywheel hosting continually monitors your sites for hackers and malware.
If they find something, they fix it. Immediately and for free.
Managed WordPress Hosting
Beyond all the features I’ve already mentioned, your client also gets the added benefit of having a managed WordPress host. This means that Flywheel takes care of all the unfriendly behind-the-scenes things for you and your clients. They will configure the servers, optimize the site site speed, and complete WordPress core updates.
Plus, their support team is awesome. Flywheel is based in Nebraska and has standard business hours of 9am – 7pm for support via phone, chat, or email. They do have 24/7 emergency support, but repeat after me, “There is no such thing as a life and death website emergency.”
Frequently Asked Questions About Flywheel Hosting
I’ve been a raving fan of Flywheel hosting since the beginning. Other designers have often come to me with questions about Flywheel hosting. Here are a few:
Do I have to host my site at Flywheel to use their services for clients?
No, you don’t need to host your portfolio site at Flywheel in order to use their services. You can still create a free account and have a dashboard for demo sites and client sites. None of the available services change!
However, because Flywheel hosting is so awesome, I decided to host my porfolio site there.. and I wouldn’t be surprised if you eventually did too!
Does Flywheel host email?
Flywheel does not offer email hosting. On their site they explain that they believe in the “best of breed” providers for everything. Therefore, they recommend using Google Apps for work or a similar company for email hosting.
Although your client may fuss a bit about having to pay $5 a month for email, the benefits they will get by using Google Apps is worth every penny.
Read Carrie Dil’s article on why it’s a terrible idea to mix hosting and email or Kat Love’s article on why it’s a good idea to keep email and hosting separate. By hosting your email through another service, you are guaranteeing that if your site goes down, your email will still be active.
Does Flywheel Hosting have an affiliate program?
In the beginning, Flywheel did not offer an affiliate program. So there is some confusion out in the interwebs about this. As a homegrown company, they first wanted to build a loyal following – not a sales-driven following. And it worked. I have been recommending Flywheel since day one, long before I was ever granted a partnership.
Today the answer is, yes! Flywheel offers both an affiliate program and a partner program. If you become a partner with them, anytime you transfer a demo site to a client for payment Flywheel will automatically send you a referral fee. No affiliate link required!
Does Flywheel Hosting really offer free Blogger to WordPress migrations?
Yes! Flywheel hosting has completed several free Blogger to WordPress migrations for my clients. Although their migration form does not include Blogger as an option, if you email support they will migrate your client’s content from Blogspot to WordPress for free.
How long does the free Blogger to WordPress migration take?
The migration generally takes 1-2 business days. However, in several cases I’ve had Flywheel complete a Blogger to WordPress migration within hours!
How much does Flywheel Hosting cost?
Prices range from $15 to $75 per month. For me (and most of my clients) the $15/mo. Tiny Plan at Flywheel is all that’s needed. Flywheel promises to never let your site turn off because you’ve exceeded the maximum monthly visits. If you are continually exceeding their limits, they will contact you and ask you to upgrade.
I hope this review of Flywheel hosting has convinced you that Flywheel Hosting is the best hosting company out there for WordPress designers. If you have any questions let me know in the comments below!