Although there're tons of reasons that your WordPress installation is running slow (including poorly written plugins and themes), I believe the single biggest reason why people have problems is that of their hosting company. The additional need for social buttons and integrations compounds the issue – many of them load terribly slow as well.
People notice. Your audience notices. And they don't convert. Having a page that takes longer than 2 seconds to load can exponentially increase the number of visitors that abandon your site… or worse… your shopping cart. For that reason, it's essential that you work on improving your speed.
For WordPress, we've migrated to Flywheel and have had incredible results. Our site is consistently up 99.9% or higher (and when it's not, it's typically us working on it). They have all of the necessary infrastructure and administrative tools to make managing your site – or all of your clients' sites – much easier:
- 1-Click Restore – Instant backup and restore with easy Snapshot Backups.
- Agency Features – The ability to manage clients within the client's account
- Blueprints – Save a site’s theme and plugins as a custom configuration you can use for building out future projects.
- Caching – Caching technology for massive scalability and speed.
- CDN Ready – Blazingly fast load times for static content.
- Cloning – The ability to clone a site easily.
- Daily Backups – Automated, redundant systems to support your critical applications.
- Firewall – Multiple, powerful firewalls between your data and outside threats.
- Malware Scanning – Proactive detection and elimination of dangerous malware.
- Support – fantastic technical support from US-based WordPress experts.
- Free SSL – Enable SSL across all your sites.
- Staging – The ability to clone and work within a staging area, then push live.
What is Managed WordPress Hosting?
Oh, and did I mention that Flywheel has its own migration plugin?
Key Reasons To Migrate To Flywheel include:
- WordPress Support – I can't tell you all the times that we ran into with hosts where they directly blamed WordPress with the caveat that it wasn't supported (even though they often had a 1-click install). Permission issues, backup issues, security issues, performance issues… you name it, we ran into it and every host blamed WordPress.
- Agency Support – it's a huge advantage that the client owns the account but we're added as authorized users, authorized support users, and authorized FTP users. If a client leaves us, they can stay on Flywheel and continue their success. No more holding clients hostage or having an uncomfortable migration period.
- Affiliate Fees – Every time we sign up a client with Flywheel, we utilize Flywheel. We're open and honest with our clients that we make a few bucks off of the engagement… and since we don't charge for migrating them, they don't mind at all.
- Cloning – the ability to seamlessly clone a site is just fantastic. No longer do we have to host a staging environment elsewhere and then move it over to the host, Flywheel has them built right in. We're able to show the client the progress, let them login and take it for a test drive, and push it live with a few clicks of a button.
- Backups – Automated or 1-click backups and restoration has been fantastic. We had a client that was testing a third-party integration and every time the third-party said they were ready to go live, we'd go live and it failed. We were able to instantly restore the previous site in a matter of seconds until they got their infrastructure resolved for the demand.
- Performance – rock solid caching and a great content delivery network have kept all of our clients performing well. Fast sites improve conversion metrics and even search engine ranking… it's a critical component that we don't have to worry about.
- WP Cache – in addition to Flywheel's cache engine, they also fully support WP Cache and the WP Rocket plugin. That plugin is incredible – with lazy load capabilities, minification, aggregation, database maintenance, and pre-cache capabilities. It's a plugin worth investing in!
- WordPress Security – robust hacking techniques can compromise older versions of WordPress or badly written themes and plugins. Flywheel monitors your versioning and ensures your site is not susceptible as we see other peoples' clients continue to get hacked. Knock on wood, we've never had an issue. And we love that Flywheel will proactively upgrade versions if there's a verified security risk.
- Staging – Flywheel has a robust staging capability they can enable on any one of your sites, enabling you to clone your site to a staging area, update the staged site, and pushing it back to live when you're ready. It's an incredible tool that's a must for anyone looking to make significant updates to their site – like upgrading to a new theme.
If that's not enough, Flywheel developed their own deployment application called Local. The application enables developers to:
- Create a site locally with one click!
- Make edits and show your client via a demo URL
- Publish to Flywheel with just one more click (and it just works)
We've had the assistance of the Flywheel engineers on a number of issues already. We've had sites that were hacked and their team brought in security experts to identify the issue (typically a plugin) and correct it. We've had sites that have had performance issues that their team (and interface) have helped us troubleshoot and correct. We've had sites that took 10 seconds to load on other hosts that load in under 2 seconds on Flywheel.
And it's not just our claims. We've shared our success with other agencies, and they've migrated all of their clients over to Flywheel. A unique option with WordPress is allowing your clients to purchase the plan and then add your team as authorized users. This allows you to request support on their behalf and manage user and SFTP access – all while the client owns the account. Provide your clients your affiliate code and Flywheel will even pay you.
The resulting performance improvements helped reduce bounce rates, extend time on page, and – because of the improvement in page speed – helped us to attain incredible search engine visibility. Oh… and yes, the links in this post are our affiliate links.
Other WordPress Managed Hosting Providers
WordPress Managed Hosting is popular given WordPress' vast adoption. There are some other great hosts in the same industry and we've used all of them:
- WPEngine – now owns Flywheel! WPEngine has some shared resources but has some unique features. One that we required for a client was the ability to automatically download access log files for compliance.
- Kinsta – has been making some great waves in the industry for their incredible infrastructure. They run some incredibly fast sites for some very large brands.