You want the perfect website with your favorite designs and custom templates, so you search the web for some of the top web hosting companies, and it appears that WordPress Managed Hosting is a great option for your business.
After lots and lots of research, you’ve come across two popular WordPress Hosts: WP Engine vs Flywheel. Because they both seem like such reliable and high performing web hosting services, you need some distinct comparisons to help you make the choice between the two. In this article, we’ll compare WP Engine vs. Flywheel to help you pick the best option for you.
- WP Engine offers Unlimited Data Transfer while Flywheel does not
- Flywheel has an uptime of 99.99% and WP Engine only has an uptime of 99.90%
- WP Engine has a 60 Day MBG but Flywheel has a 30 Day Money Back Guarantee (MBG)
- Flywheel comes with 24/7 Customer Support
- WP Engine includes a Page Speed Tester tool
What is WP Engine?
Popular with business owners, WP Engine is a very high rated engine managed by WordPress host. If you’re looking into using this hosting provider, you’ll want to have built your blogs and/or websites through WordPress, otherwise, you can not use WP Engine.
Because this engine is managed, you won’t have to worry about handling security on your own as they already have it covered for you. If you happen to get hacked, you won’t have to cover the clean-up costs that might end up costing you a lot of money.
If you plan on having a speedy website, WP Engine will certainly deliver as their response time tops two of the best hosts, (Bluehost and HostGator), their load time being 338 ms on average.
What is Flywheel?
This WordPress hosted account is more popular with designers and agencies. It comes with plenty of neat features that you can’t always buy with hosting plans that cost less such as Automatic backups and updates, free SSL certificate, free malware removal, 10 different data centers, and even more useful features.
Flywheel’s main goal is to set themselves apart from other hosting sites, which they seem to do a good job of by adding other unique features in their hosting plans such as an easy local WordPress development tool that allows you to make a new local WordPress site with your own PHP or MySQL version, and even your own web server.
They also come with a hardworking support team that will never let you down. Anytime you need assistance, they are right there to help you.
Both of these hosting providers present you with so many features that you may not want to look into them all. Both provide nightly backups for your peace of mind but what about other features? In this section, we will go over the more key features that help break any ties that may cause your decision to be difficult.
Flywheel and WP Engine are both known for their high speeds, with load times that do not disappoint in the least. With just a millisecond to separate the two speeds, Flywheel has a fully loaded time of 8.8 seconds while WP Engine has a fully loaded time of 8.7 seconds.
Most of the time, visitors are more likely to stay with the website that loads faster. In this case, WP Engine should score a point in your decision making.
Though Uptime was briefly mentioned earlier, if you’re new to the whole website hosting gig then this section will explain what uptime is and why higher uptime percentages are better. Uptime is the amount of time your website is up and running consistently.
If you have a lower uptime percentage, you’ll want to look into what is causing the outages. Eventually, if the downtime persists, you will lose visitors to your website, and then your website will become pointless. As stated earlier, Flywheel has an uptime percentage of 99.99%.
WP Engine hangs behind by 0.09% with an uptime percentage of 99.90%. So despite its slightly slower load time, uptime is also an important factor that determines whether or not people will stick around to view all the great features you took time out of your day to add to your website, and that’s just a waste of money.
One of the last features we will discuss are plugins for WordPress. Plugins can be the perfect way for you to ease your way into the e-commerce world. The top three plugins that WordPress has to offer include WooCommerce, Buy Button, and BigCommerce.
Out of the three, the WooCommerce hosting plugin seems to be the best option. It is free and very easy to use.
WP Engine has recently come up with a new install navigation that makes for more simplified design. The pages have a lighter design to make the portal friendlier and more bubbly for use. It will also make it easier to adapt to different screen sizes. This update also comes a refined design as well as a simplified install sidebar.
Flywheel’s design, also user-friendly, will present you with what has been described as ‘the best user experience.” It’s also been labeled as one of the best design experiences out of all other hosting companies. Most of everything on the site is easy to access and very simple, making it easier for you to make your website faster.
Performance wise, it’s a tie between Flywheel and WP Engine. Flywheel has a higher uptime by 0.09% over WP Engine, while WP Engine has faster loading times with an average speed of
1.7 seconds. Flywheel, though its speed is fast, has a speed time of 2.4 seconds.
Ease Of Use
Flywheel is designed so that you don’t really need to add plugins, which takes away an extra step which can be considered easy. They have added features that give you the option to make one-click in order to handle simple designs.
WP Engine has an even more simple installation. They have some of the latest hardware in order to reduce load time and make setting up themes a much easier and less time-consuming task. It’s a very good design for anybody who is new to the whole website hosting gig.
Out of the two, WP Engine is easier to use for everybody rather than just more experienced and technological people.
There are hackers out there that want nothing more than to take over your website and destroy everything you’ve worked hard to build. These types of incidents can cost you thousands of dollars, so it’s always smart to make sure your website is safe and protected.
Each of these WordPress Managed hosting accounts come with security automatically, as do all managed hosting accounts.
This means that if you’re ever hacked, which is unlikely due to the high security measures taken, the costs of the damage will be covered in full. Both Flywheel and WP Engine have security as effective as Google’s Two-Factor Authentication.
When it comes to security, there is no clear winner because as both hosting accounts are managed by WordPress, they have the same type of security.
Because both WpEngine and Flywheel are equally respected Managed WordPress hosts, it makes sense to compare the two in terms of website speed.
In this case, WpEngine proves why it remains just a tad more popular than FlyWheel. WpEngine has a load time of 8.7 seconds while FlyWheel stays closely behind with a load time of 8.8 seconds.
Like many hosts on the market for customer use, both WpEngine and FlyWheel have some limitations or restrictions.
For example, WpEngine places some small limitations on the different installations and plugins that you are able to use for your WordPress website.
This can be pretty disappointing, especially for those who are expecting WpEngine to be a pretty versatile platform to use. In FlyWheel’s case, it has some limitations as well.
Flywheel is a cloud-based service and does not have any shared hosting plans, plans that utilize VPS, or plans that offer dedicated services.
Although this is not a problem for websites or businesses that are built solely on cloud-based services, this factor can be limiting to smaller websites or users that want or need to use VPS.
Which is better for SEO?
In terms of SEO, WpEngine has been a host for longer than Flywheel has. Therefore, it is the better option to go with for those who are getting 20,000 visitors or more a month.
However, Flywheel is the cheaper route to go for those who simply want to test the waters. It won’t typically result in a lot of visitors on your website, but it’s a good option to start out with.
Which is better for Ecommerce?
FlyWheel tends to be the better option when it comes to Ecommerce hosting. This is because the majority of FlyWheel’s dashboard is built so that agencies and developers can manage tons of websites from one location.
Therefore, if your company is one that makes many ecommerce websites, FlyWheel is your best bet.
Furthermore, even if you only require one store to be run by FlyWheel, it is still one of the most intuitive dashboards.
The FlyWheel backend is really simple to manage. However, WooCommerce can be quite complex to use. When integrating WooCommerce, FlyWheel works perfectly well, but completing setup requires you to let the company know that you have the plugin. This is because FlyWheel wants to exclude certain WooCommerce pages from the cache to make sure that you get the best performance from them that is possible.
Because of this fact, it would not be surprising if you found the setup process quite tedious. Luckily, because FlyWheel is also a manage WordPress host, it does much of the hard work for you.
This is including any migration necessary, a full local developmental area, website updates, and backup creation.
Although WpEngine is less inclined towards Ecommerce than FlyWheel, it is still a viable option. It does require users to install the WooCommerce plugin themselves. However, once that is complete, the WpEngine partnership with WooCommerce allows your eCommerce site to run smoothly from the backend.
This is due to the wide range of documentation options and features that WpEngine offers.
In terms of pricing, FlyWheel is the cheaper option. It comes with a low monthly price and super fast VPS. Unlike other hosting sites, FlyWheel does not increase its prices over time.
Another great perk that comes with using FlyWheel is that agencies and development firms do have the option to go with a bulk plan, which is a monthly payment plan that supports up to 10 WordPress installations.
On the other hand, while WpEngine is more expensive, it is more transparent with its pricing than some other popular hosting sites.
It comes with a Startup Plan, which are pretty reasonably priced monthly payments. The prices do not increase unless you require more websites or visits per month.
However, that’s when the prices start to get pretty expensive. When you begin having up to 100,000 to 250,000 visitors a month, users will have to switch plans which is more expensive.
Customer Support is where WpEngine wins once again. The customer support that WpEngine offers is not only 24/7, but it is usually very fast and helpful. 24/7 support is offered through email. However, you may not be able to access the live chat at all times. You are also able to call them or chat with them online.
Other ways to get in touch is through social media or going through their award winning knowledge base.
On the other hand, FlyWheel does not offer 24/7 customer service, which can be problematic for those who live in a different time zone. With FlyWheel, when you select the live chat option, you will often have to wait for 5-15 minutes.
They will then provide you with two email links, one for if you have an emergency that will typically respond within 1-2 hours and a regular one where you will get a response in 1-2 business days.
However, FlyWheel can get by with the fact that it is extremely accommodating in the way that even if you ask a ridiculous question, they will find an answer and email you the link.
Both hosting sites have pros and cons to using them. Furthermore, because FlyWheel and WpEngine have different target audiences, that might be a contribution to the way that each operates.
In terms of website speed, WpEngine beats FlyWheel by just a millisecond. Both hosting sites have their limitations, but they are not large enough to deter customers from using them.
Both hosting sites are SEO operated, however, FlyWheel does not aid customers in bringing as much traffic to their websites as WpEngine does.
This may be due to the fact that FlyWheel is the younger host, however it is continually improving so perhaps this will change in the future. While FlyWheel is the cheaper option, it does have its issues that perhaps justifies the lower price.
However, there have been complaints regarding the WpEngine payment plans as well.
Therefore, it may be wise to go with the option that fits your financial budget. Lastly, WpEngine is more accommodating when it comes to customer service as well. Because of all these factors, the final verdict is WpEngine.