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Cloudways vs Flywheel (2021): Choose The Best Hosting Provider For Your WordPress Site

While WordPress is quite easy to use, there are some technical details that need to be taken care of when you have your own WP site. Fortunately, you don’t have to deal with these things on your own as there are now plenty of managed WordPress hosting providers out there for your disposal, including Cloudways and Flywheel. While they’re both top names in the industry, they do things quite differently and so it’s important to choose wisely. To help you figure out which one’s the better provider for your site, here’s an in-depth comparison of the two, taking their performance, security features, additional features, and pricing into consideration.

Cloudways vs Flywheel Comparison Chart

ModelCloudwaysFlywheel
 
PriceCheck Price at CloudwaysCheck Price at Flywheel
Data NetworkAmazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, Linode, Vultr, and DigitalOceanGoogle Cloud Platform
PHP-Ready ServersYesYes
CDNCloudwaysCDNFastly
Caching SystemOptimized stack made up of NGINX, Redis, Memcache, and VarnishBuilt-in engine called FlyCache
Dedicated FirewallsYesYes
Free SSL CertificateYesYes
BackupsYesYes
Site StagingYesYes
Free Site MigrationYesYes
Collaborative toolsYesYes

Performance

Cloudways overtakes Flywheel by having several cloud hosting options and a more advanced caching system.

Flywheel only offers Google Cloud Platform while Cloudways provides more cloud options.

When it comes to performance and quality of service, a provider’s cloud network plays a very big role. The great thing about Cloudways and Flywheel is that instead of managing their own traditional data network like most hosting providers do, they partner up with top-tier cloud platforms to ensure efficiency. That said, Cloudways comes out on top because they work with several different networks including big names such as Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, Linode, Vultr, and DigitalOcean. As for Flywheel, the only option they provide is Google Cloud Platform.

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Another thing that boosts the performance of a hosting provider is the use of a content delivery network (CDN). Fortunately, both Cloudways and Flywheel have their bases covered when it comes to this area. Cloudways has their own proprietary network called CloudwaysCDN while Flywheel makes use of a third-party provider called Fastly. With a CDN in place, your site’s visitors don’t have to wait to connect to a server located across the globe and can instead use a CDN node near them.

To further cut page loading times, a hosting provider should be taking advantage of an advanced caching system. This is where Cloudways overtakes Flywheel yet again as it utilizes an optimized multi-tiered caching system which includes NGINX, Redis, Memcache, and Varnish. Flywheel, on the other hand, only makes use of one caching system called FlyCache which is their own built-in engine.

Security

Both Cloudways and Flywheel have free SSL certificates, dedicated firewalls, and backups.

As managed hosting providers, Cloudways and Flywheel do all the safeguarding for you.

One of the most important tasks of a site owner is to make sure that their site is a safe environment for both themselves and their visitors. This is because malware, intruders, malicious attacks, and data breaches are all very real dangers in the cyber world.

The good news is that both Cloudways and Flywheel make security a top priority. And because they’re both managed WordPress hosting providers, they’ll do most of the safeguarding for you. For example, these two providers regularly carry out WordPress security updates and enable two-factor authentication for maximum security. To boot, they have dedicated firewalls in place to keep out any potential threats as well as backups just in case there’s a calamity and they need to restore your site.

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The fact that they offer a free SSL certificate is a nice cherry on top of the cake as well. This means that the connection between your server and visitors will always be encrypted, a must-have feature for any trustworthy site. With Cloudways, you get a Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate which is considered the best out there, while Flywheel gives you a SimpleSSL certificate which is powered by Let’s Encrypt.

Additional Features

Both Cloudways and Flywheel offer site staging, free site migration, and collaborative tools.

Cloudways and Flywheel offer tools that can help boost your team’s productivity.

Aside from performance and security, it’s good to look at what kind of extra perks a hosting provider is able to offer. Between Cloudways and Flywheel, it looks like it’s a tie in terms of additional features, both going beyond the usual inclusions such as domain name registration and site building tools. Site migration, for example, is a helpful feature that you can enjoy with both providers. This feature lets you test out new plugins, themes, scripts, and apps as well as edit mistakes without bothering your live site.

As for those who already own a website and would like to transfer its data to another hosting provider, it’s easy to do so via Cloudways and Flywheel. With their free site migration feature, not only is the process a hassle-free one but you also don’t have to fork over a huge amount of money like you do with other hosting providers. Another bonus of using both Cloudways and Flywheel is the fact they have a comprehensive suite of collaborative tools. This is great news if you work with a large team as you can create projects, add members, restrict certain areas of your site, and many more.

Pricing

Cloudways has a more flexible payment scheme while Flywheel uses a more traditional pricing model.

It’s easy to find a package that suits your needs and budget at Flywheel.

If you’re looking for more flexibility in terms of pricing, Cloudways gives you just that. With their pay-as-you-go billing scheme, you only pay for the resources you used up the previous month. This makes it a whole lot easier to save. As for their rates, that depends on which cloud hosting provider you’ve chosen. DigitalOcean is the most affordable option at $10 per month while Google Cloud Platform is the priciest at $80 per month.

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Flywheel, on the other hand, takes the more traditional route when it comes to pricing. Despite the fixed plans, however, it’s easy to find a package that suits the needs of your site no matter how big or small it is. The Tiny plan ($13/month), for example, is perfect for those with small and simple installs while the Agency plan ($242/month) is a great match for those with a full-fledged business.

Verdict

Cloudways is the clear winner for better performance and value for money.

Cloudways

Best for those on a budget

Flywheel

Best for small to large sites

There’s no denying that both Cloudways and Flywheel are ahead of the pack in terms of security and additional features but the former is the clear winner of this comparison for a few important reasons. First up is performance. The fact that Cloudways gives you several cloud options is very impressive, allowing you to choose the quality of service that your site needs. Bonus points too that they have their own proprietary CDN as well as a much more efficient caching system, both of which contribute to your site’s overall speed. Secondly, there’s value for money. It’s great that you get to enjoy all of these features at affordable rates within a flexible billing scheme.

FAQs

๐Ÿ“Œ Are Cloudways and Flywheel secure?

Both Cloudways and Flywheel have security measures in place such as free SSL certificates, dedicated firewalls, and backups to safeguard your site against possible threats.

๐Ÿ“Œ Which is able to provide better performance, Cloudways or Flywheel?

Cloudways wins when it comes to performance thanks to their wide selection of cloud partners. In addition, they have a more advanced caching system as well as their own proprietary CDN.

๐Ÿ“Œ Which one offers more additional features, Cloudways or Flywheel?

Both Cloudways and Flywheel offer a slew of bonus features including site staging, free site migration, and collaborative tools.

๐Ÿ“Œ Which one is more affordable, Cloudways or Flywheel?

Because Cloudways utilizes a pay-as-you-go billing scheme, you will only be charged for the resources you use up. This makes room for more savings.

Denise Jose