What if I told you that the most important decision you’ll make when building a website isn’t your copywriting, colors, or layout? What if I said the most critical decision you can make, is choosing the right website host?
Surprised? I bet you weren’t expecting that coming from a web designer. Don’t get me wrong; I love creating compelling websites and believe the right web-experience for your users is essential. But all of that may be for naught if your hosting provider is lacking. Bad hosting can lead to a slew of issues: slow performance, lots of downtime, and even a hacked site.
My experience with website hosts has frequently been frustrating, and for a very long time, I was resigned to the fact that dealing with hosting providers was always going to be a challenge… until the magical day when Flywheel entered my life.
Flywheel is “Managed WordPress Hosting,” which means that it is designed specifically for WordPress websites. Their platform has several plans, making them an excellent choice for single-site owners, large agencies managing hundreds of sites, and everyone in between. I’ve been working with Flywheel for over two years now, and my love for them continues to grow.
Dear Flywheel, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways:
1. Free (and Painless) Site Migrations
Moving from one website host to another can be a real nightmare. In fact, I stayed with a less-than-stellar hosting provider for years because moving felt like an insurmountable hurdle. That is until I met Flywheel. Flywheel takes care of the difficult task of migrating your website for you… and they do it for the low cost of “zero dollars, and zero cents.”
Since I started working with Flywheel, I actually LOOK FORWARD to moving sites over to their hosting platform. They genuinely make it painless, and once relocated to Flywheel, I’ve seen vast performance improvements in every site migrated.
2. Flywheel’s Amazing Workflow Features
Flywheel is a WordPress developer’s dream (and it’s pretty great for non-developers, too). Their dashboard is jam-packed with features that make my processes faster. I save hours with every project, and being able to work more efficiently helps me maintain affordable pricing for my clients.
A few of my favorite workflow features are:
There are a few tried & true WordPress tools I use on every site I build. With Flywheel’s Blueprint, I can create a template with all of those tools pre-staged. Then when it’s time to spin up a new site, I can click a button and it’s ready to go with all of my favorite things there ready and waiting for me. It’s a real time-saver!
When making more significant site changes or undertaking a website refresh, I love Flywheel’s staging sites. A staging site is essentially a clone of your website, where you can make changes without impacting the live site. Once your changes are ready, you can push the staging site to live, and it’s ready in minutes.
Local by Flywheel
Local by Flywheel is a free tool (you don’t even have to be a customer to download it!) that lets you develop while offline. This option can be a handy solution for many reasons, and I recently used it to do some testing before upgrading a site to a newer version of PHP.
3. Peace of Mind
In addition to making our workflow more efficient, Flywheel also gives unparalleled peace of mind. Flywheel is the only web host I trust with my websites, and it is where Dahl House Designs exclusively hosts our client sites.
I’ve cared for dozens of sites hosted by Flywheel, and can honestly say I’ve never had to deal with a security issue. Not a single one. They have a great system in place, which includes login limitations, “intelligent IP blocking,” and optional two-factor authentication.
Site Cleanups Included
With that said, I love the fact that should one of my sites be compromised, Flywheel handles the cleanup for free. Again, I’ve never had to use this feature- but, just knowing it’s there helps me sleep soundly at night!
A website without a backup system is like walking a tightrope without a net; it is vital that you make regular backups of your site. Flywheel makes it easy; they run an automatic backup of your website every night. They also make restoring from a backup a breeze, with one-click restoration.
4. SSL Certificate Included
Making sure your users have a secure connection to your website is no longer an option; you’ll lose all credibility, and your SEO will plummet. Flywheel makes getting that “green padlock” simple, with free SSL certificates included on all their hosted sites. They make it easy to set up, and you can’t beat the price!
I saved the best for last. In addition to all the great features & services Flywheel provides, the real icing on the cake is their outstanding customer support.
When I was first interested in Flywheel, I was connected with a sales rep named Donovan- a real, live human being, who took the time to get to know me (we both have Australian Shepherds), and my business. He answered my questions and walked me through the Flywheel platform.
Once I signed up, I met my account rep, another real-live person named Katie. We bonded over our shared first name, and she is always responsive, kind & helpful.
In the 2+ years, I’ve been with Flywheel, I’ve chatted with many members of their 24/7 support staff. Every single one of them has been friendly & knowledgeable. I’ve never walked away from a support team member with that “well that was zero help, what am I supposed to do now?” feeling. I have received excellent customer support from them literally 100% of the time I’ve needed it.
Flywheel is a great business, with great people; I can’t recommend them enough. You can learn more about the other stellar services they offer at their website. Thank you, Flywheel, for making me love what I do even more!
BONUS: Flywheel also has a great library of website & marketing tools. You should 100% check out their FREE e-book collection.
Note- I would like to mention that this post is not sponsored in any way by Flywheel. The opinions are my own and were not solicited. This is my honest review of Flywheel Hosting, for which I am not receiving any compensation.