Top 6 Best Flywheel Alternatives for WordPress Hosting – For All Budgets (2022)

Searching for the best Flywheel alternatives for hosting your WordPress website?

Overall, I think that Flywheel are an excellent WordPress host. They have top-notch performance, excellent support, and a bunch of useful features…however, that doesn’t mean they’re the right option for everyone.

You might be searching for a cheaper option to host your WordPress sites without sacrificing too much on performance. Or, you could just be unhappy with Flywheel’s service for some reason. Everyone has different experiences with a host — just because I’ve only had good experiences with Flywheel doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the same for you.

Either way, one of these Flywheel alternatives should be able to help you out. 

In total, I’ve collected six different hosts. Some of these hosts have similar feature sets and price points to Flywheel, while others are notably cheaper (especially if you need to host multiple sites).

Because you probably care about web performance if you’re been hosting or considering Flywheel, I made sure that all of these hosts offer above-average performance for their price points. They don’t all perform better than Flywheel. But, for the money, they all have very good performance.

Here’s everything that I’ll cover in this post:

A Quick Comparison of These Flywheel Alternatives

If you’re in a rush, here’s a quick comparison table of these six alternatives. However, I’d encourage you to read the full post for all of the details!

HostNotable DetailsStarting Price/Month
Kinsta– Top-tier managed WordPress hosting
– Excellent performance
– Excellent support
$30
WP Engine– Top-tier managed WordPress hosting
– Excellent performance/support
– Acquired Flywheel in 2019
$30
Cloudways– Choose your own cloud hosting
– No arbitrary website/visit limits
– Excellent performance for the money
$10
Liquid Web– Managed WordPress hosting
– No arbitrary visit limits
– Some unique features
$19
WPX Hosting– Popular with digital marketers
– No arbitrary visit limits
– Entry-level plan allows multiple sites
$24.99
GreenGeeks– Cheap shared hosting that allows unlimited sites
– Powered by LiteSpeed
– Good performance for the money
$2.49

Six Best Alternatives to Flywheel Hosting

Now, let’s dig into these hosts in more detail. For each host, I’ll share some quick details on key features and then I’ll break down the advantages and disadvantages that each host has versus Flywheel.

That is, I’ll share what I think the host does better than Flywheel, as well as what I think Flywheel does better than the host.

1. Kinsta

Kinsta WordPress hosting
Kinsta

Kinsta are a popular managed WordPress host that have rapidly grown to become one of the premier options for WordPress hosting.

They offer excellent performance, a well-designed custom dashboard, useful features, and top-notch support. That’s pretty much exactly what you want from a managed WordPress host, right?

Overall, if you’re looking for the same type of high-quality managed WordPress hosting that Flywheel offer, I would say Kinsta are your best option. Here’s what you get with Kinsta’s hosting plans:

  • Built-in performance features including server-level caching (Nginx Fast_CGI cache), CDN (now powered by Cloudflare, previously KeyCDN), a powerful application performance monitoring tool, automatic database optimization, and more.
  • 28+ data center choices; the most of any host on this list.
  • Automatic daily backups or on-demand backups with 14 to 30-day storage depending on your plan.
  • Easy staging sites. Kinsta also now support conditional staging deployments, which used to be one of my biggest criticisms of Kinsta vs Flywheel.
  • Free SSL certificates.
  • Proactive security rules including a free hack fix guarantee if anything gets through. You also get access to Cloudflare Enterprise security and DDoS protection at no extra cost.
  • 24/7 live chat support.
  • DevKinsta local development tool, which makes a great Local by Flywheel alternative.

Kinsta’s hosting plans start at $30 per month for the following:

  • One website.
  • 25,000 visits.
  • 10 GB storage.

This is identical to the pricing of Flywheel’s Starter plan.

Advantages of Kinsta vs Flywheel

  • Kinsta give you way more options for choosing a data center.
  • Kinsta have a lot more pricing options, which makes it easier to pick a plan that fits your specific needs.
  • At least personally, I think that Kinsta have a better hosting dashboard. Additionally, Kinsta offer more tools, such as their application performance monitoring (APM).

Disadvantages of Kinsta vs Flywheel

  • Kinsta don’t offer phone support on any of their plans, whereas Flywheel do offer phone support on higher-tier plans.
  • Kinsta don’t offer an equivalent entry-level plan to Flywheel’s Tiny plan, though Kinsta are generally competitive on price beyond that.
  • Kinsta charge a higher overage fee for extra storage. They charge $2 per GB over your plan’s limit while Flywheel charge just $1.

👉 Learn more:

2. WP Engine

WP Engine WordPress hosting
WP Engine

WP Engine are probably the most popular managed WordPress host in existence. However, I hesitated to put WP Engine on this list for one reason — they actually own Flywheel now!

Yes, WP Engine acquired Flywheel back in 2019, so WP Engine are a bit more tightly tied to Flywheel than these other alternatives.

However, I do still think they deserve to be on this because, while there has been some standardization between Flywheel and WP Engine, the two are still separate hosting products with different dashboards, features, optimizations, and so on.

So even if you want to move away from Flywheel, I think it’s still worth giving WP Engine a look (unless you just absolutely can’t stand to be with the same company for some reason).

Here’s what you get with WP Engine’s plans:

  • Built-in performance features including caching (Varnish/Memcached), CDN, and page performance monitoring.
  • Easy staging sites with multiple development environments and conditional deployments.
  • Free SSL certificates.
  • Proactive firewalls and malware scans.
  • Free access to the Genesis Framework and child themes.
  • 24/7 support via phone or live chat (the cheapest plan only has live chat, but all the other plans offer phone support).
  • Dedicated WooCommerce features on their eCommerce hosting plans including Elasticsearch at no extra cost.

WP Engine’s pricing plans start at $30 per month for the following:

  • One website.
  • 25,000 visits.
  • 10 GB storage.
  • 50 GB bandwidth.

This is identical to the pricing of Flywheel’s Starter plan.

Advantages of WP Engine vs Flywheel

  • WP Engine have a better staging tool than Flywheel. You can create multiple staging site versions and you get more options for partial deployments.
  • WP Engine only charge $4 per site for the automatic plugin update with visual regression testing feature, while Flywheel charge $8 per site for what’s essentially the exact same feature (as far as I can tell).
  • WP Engine have dedicated WooCommerce hosting plans that come with Elasticsearch and other notable improvements. These make WP Engine better if you’re hosting a WooCommerce store.

Disadvantages of WP Engine vs Flywheel

  • WP Engine own Flywheel, so you’re still in the same company family if you choose WP Engine. I don’t personally consider that a negative but you might.
  • WP Engine’s visit overage fee is double Flywheel’s. At WP Engine, you’ll pay $2 per 1,000 visits over your plan’s limits while Flywheel only charge you $1 per 1,000 overage visits.
  • WP Engine don’t offer the special agency-focused features that Flywheel do.

👉 Learn more:

3. Cloudways

Cloudways hosting
Cloudways hosting

Cloudways are unique on this list because of how they approach hosting. Instead of offering their own hosting infrastructure, Cloudways let you choose your own preferred cloud hosting infrastructure from five popular providers:

Once you choose the hosting, Cloudways will provision, secure, and maintain the server for you. From this point on, Cloudways function pretty much just like a regular WordPress host. You still get a custom hosting dashboard, a backup tool, a staging tool, and so on.

However, the benefit of Cloudways’ approach is that you can get surprisingly good performance for a lower price than Flywheel. Cloudways also don’t have any arbitrary limits when it comes to details such as the number of websites or visits. As long as your underlying hosting infrastructure has enough power to handle things, you’re good to go. 

Despite the unique approach, Cloudways by no means require you to be a developer to use them. Non-technical users can totally use Cloudways without issues. With that being said, if you’re a total newbie, I would recommend choosing a different Flywheel alternative because Cloudways are still a bit more complicated than a true managed WordPress host like Flywheel.

Here’s what you get with Cloudways:

  • Choose your preferred cloud hosting provider and resources. You can also choose any data center from your cloud provider.
  • Easy vertical scaling when needed (increase your server’s resources with just a few clicks).
  • Hybrid Apache/Nginx stack with built-in caching powered by Varnish and Memcached. There’s also a dedicated Breeze caching plugin to integrate with Cloudways’ server-level caching.
  • Automatic backup tool.
  • Easy staging sites.
  • Free SSL certificates.
  • 24/7 live chat support. However, Cloudways’ support scope is limited to your actual server and the Cloudways platform. They do not officially provide WordPress application-specific support unless you pay for the expensive support add-on (though their support staff often will try to help, even if they’re not officially claiming to).

Cloudways’ pricing depends on which cloud provider you choose. The cheapest option is the entry-level DigitalOcean server, which costs $10 per month.

You can test it out for free with a three-day trial.

Advantages of Cloudways vs Flywheel

  • You can choose your own cloud hosting provider, whereas Flywheel only use Google Cloud.
  • Cloudways don’t apply any arbitrary website/visit limits. 
  • Cloudways can be a lot cheaper than Flywheel for the same level of performance (or even better).

Disadvantages of Cloudways vs Flywheel

  • Cloudways are a little more complicated because of their cloud hosting approach. For this reason, I don’t recommend them to total beginners.
  • Cloudways aren’t a true “managed WordPress host” like Flywheel are even though Cloudways puts this phrase on their website. For example, Flywheel’s support quality and scope is much better/broader than Cloudways’ support. If you want support to help you with any WordPress-specific issues that you encounter, I’d recommend a different host.

4. Liquid Web (Nexcess)

Liquid Web managed WordPress hosting
Liquid Web managed WordPress hosting

Liquid Web have been making an absolutely massive push into the WordPress space lately and it’s paid off with some really nice managed WordPress hosting plans that can make a great alternative to Flywheel.

In addition to really boosting their managed WordPress hosting options, they’ve also acquired tons of popular WordPress plugins including iThemes, LearnDash, Restrict Content Pro, Kadence, The Events Calendar, and more.

I think these acquisitions are relevant because Liquid Web have started offering some of these tools as free value adds to their WordPress hosting customers, which is something that’s really unique.

Note — Liquid Web offer their managed WordPress hosting plans via a subsidiary called Nexcess, though they list the plans’ details on both the Liquid Web site and the Nexcess site. I’m going to refer to them as “Liquid Web” because that’s what most people know the brand as, but you’ll actually purchase the hosting through Nexcess.

Here’s what you get with Liquid Web’s managed WordPress hosting plans:

  • Built-in performance features — caching, image optimization, and CDN.
  • A new plugin performance monitor tool that will help you find plugins that are slowing down your site.
  • Free SSL certificates.
  • Automatic daily backups and on-demand backups.
  • Automatic plugin updates powered by visual regression testing (Liquid Web will automatically roll back your site if an update causes an issue).
  • Free access to iThemes Security Pro.
  • Free email hosting.

Liquid Web’s managed WordPress hosting plans start at $19 per month for the following:

  • One website.
  • 15 GB storage.
  • 2 TB bandwidth.

Advantages of Liquid Web vs Flywheel

  • Liquid Web can be cheaper than Flywheel, though it depends on your exact situation.
  • There are no visit limits (for billing purposes) like there are with Flywheel or many other managed WordPress hosts. Instead, you’re limited by bandwidth and storage, which I think is a fairer way of handling things.
  • Liquid Web offer free email hosting on all plans, whereas Flywheel don’t offer any email hosting.
  • You get automatic plugin updates powered by visual regression testing at no extra cost, whereas Flywheel charge an extra $8/site/month for this feature via the Managed Plugin Updates add-on.
  • Liquid Web offer special managed WooCommerce hosting plans that are optimized for WooCommerce hosting and come with free access to WooCommerce plugins and tools.

Disadvantages of Liquid Web vs Flywheel

  • Flywheel’s hosting dashboard is nicer and more pleasant to use (at least in my opinion). Liquid Web’s dashboard isn’t “bad” per se, I just think Flywheel are better.
  • Liquid Web’s support quality isn’t quite as good as Flywheel’s, though it’s still above average.

5. WPX Hosting

WPX Hosting
WPX Hosting

WPX Hosting are a managed WordPress hosting provider that are especially popular in the digital marketing space. In general, they can be a great cheaper Flywheel alternative if you have multiple websites but you don’t want to sacrifice on performance.

For example, not only is WPX Hosting’s entry-level tier a little bit cheaper than Flywheel’s Starter plan, but it also lets you host up to five sites (though they count staging sites against your website limits for billing purposes, which is important to remember).

Here’s what you get with WPX Hosting’s plans:

  • LiteSpeed Web Server and LiteSpeed Cache for fast performance.
  • Built-in CDN.
  • Easy staging sites.
  • Free SSL certificates.
  • Automatic backups with 28-day storage.
  • Proactive security rules and free malware removal if anything gets through.
  • Free email hosting.
  • 24/7 live chat support with 30-second average response time.

WPX Hosting’s plans start at $24.99 per month for the following:

  • Five websites.
  • 10 GB storage.
  • 100 GB bandwidth.

Advantages of WPX Hosting vs Flywheel

  • WPX Hosting are more affordable if you need to host multiple sites.
  • WPX Hosting don’t put any arbitrary visit limits on your plans — you’re limited by bandwidth, which is a “fairer” way to bill you.
  • WPX Hosting offer free email hosting on all plans, whereas Flywheel don’t.
  • WPX Hosting have excellent support. Flywheel also have great support, but WPX Hosting customers seem to really love the support that they receive.

Disadvantages of WPX Hosting vs Flywheel

  • Flywheel’s hosting dashboard is much nicer than WPX Hosting’s dashboard. I really wish WPX Hosting would improve their dashboard as I find it to be the worst of any host on this list. However, I don’t think this is a dealbreaker as you shouldn’t need to spend that much time there.
  • WPX Hosting count staging sites as “real” sites for billing purposes. For example, if you have two live sites and two staging sites, that counts as four websites for billing purposes.

6. GreenGeeks

GreenGeeks WordPress hosting
GreenGeeks WordPress hosting

GreenGeeks are a budget-friendly shared WordPress host with a focus on environmental energy sources (hence the name).

I’m putting GreenGeeks here mainly to offer something different than the previous hosts.

First — some bad news:

While GreenGeeks offer very good performance for a cheap shared WordPress host, you will not get the same level of performance that Flywheel offer (especially under higher traffic). So if you need the same or better performance, this is not the best Flywheel alternative for your situation.

So why am I putting GreenGeeks here then? Well, because they’re a really great option if you’re primary goal for switching away from Flywheel is to save money without making too many sacrifices.

For the money that you pay, GreenGeeks’ performance is excellent. They use LiteSpeed Web Server on all plans and bundle in the LiteSpeed Cache plugin so that your sites will really fly. 

In terms of budget shared hosting, they’re one of the best-performing options that I’ve tested. They kind of remind me of what SiteGround used to be, before SiteGround reduced their value a bit by jacking up their prices (in my opinion, at least).

Here are the features that you get with all of GreenGeeks plans:

  • LiteSpeed Web Server and LiteSpeed Cache.
  • cPanel hosting dashboard.
  • Free SSL certificates.
  • Free email hosting.
  • Auto backups + on-demand backups on higher-tier plans.
  • 300% green energy match.
  • 24/7 support via phone, live chat, or ticket.

GreenGeeks’ shared hosting plans start at $2.49/$10.95 per month (promo price/regular price) for a single site or $4.95/$15.95 for unlimited websites.

Advantages of GreenGeeks vs Flywheel

  • GreenGeeks are much cheaper than Flywheel.
  • GreenGeeks allow unlimited websites (excluding the cheapest plan), which is awesome value if you have lots of smaller sites.
  • GreenGeeks use LiteSpeed Web Server, which is nice if you prefer that to Flywheel’s Nginx setup.
  • GreenGeeks offer cPanel, which is a benefit if you value cPanel over a custom hosting dashboard.
  • GreenGeeks offer free email hosting on all plans, which Flywheel don’t offer.

Disadvantages of GreenGeeks vs Flywheel

  • While GreenGeeks perform very well for a budget shared host, you still shouldn’t expect the performance to match what you get from Flywheel, especially in high-traffic situations. 
  • The same holds true for support. GreenGeeks have good support for a budget shared host, but they won’t be able to meet the concierge experience that Flywheel offer.

Which Is the Best Flywheel Alternative for Your Needs?

Overall, I don’t think there’s a single host on this list that’s best for all situations. Instead, it’s more about choosing the host that meets your needs and budget.

To that end, I’m going to make some recommendations for different situations. Here are my thoughts on the best Flywheel alternatives for different use cases:

  • Best performance — I think Kinsta are the best option from a performance perspective, though all of these hosts offer above-average performance for their price points. Or, WP Engine if you’re ok with staying in the same company family.
  • Best value for tight budgets — if you’re on a budget, I’d recommend looking at Liquid Web (especially if you only have a single site) or WPX Hosting. Cloudways are also a good option for intermediate to advanced users (I don’t recommend them to total beginners, though). And if you’re on a really tight budget, go with GreenGeeks.
  • Best eCommerce hosting — if you have a WooCommerce store, I recommend WP Engine’s eCommerce hosting plans. Go with at least the Professional plan to get the bundled Elasticsearch. Liquid Web also offer great managed WooCommerce plans.
  • Best for agencies/client sites — I think Flywheel are the best option on this list for agencies. However, it seems like you don’t agree with me 😉. Kinsta are making a bigger push into agency hosting, so they might be worth a look. WP Engine also have solid agency-focused features and are cheaper than Flywheel when it comes to adding automatic plugin updates via visual testing.

Used/using any of these hosts? Thoughts?

By Colin Newcomer

Colin Newcomer uses WordPress far more than any sane person should. He lives a life of danger, riding a scooter through the chaos of Saigon.

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