Flywheel vs SiteGround: competition for WordPress hosting
In this Flywheel vs SiteGround comparison, I’ll go over the pricing, ease of use, performance, security, and customer support in order to see which provider is best at what.
Both Flywheel and SiteGround are known for offering powerful hosting solutions optimized for beginners and new WordPress users. Both hosting platforms are based on Google Cloud and come with advanced security features for all-around protection.
From the first look, Flywheel is managed and SiteGround is primarily a shared hosting provider with more affordable plans. However, in comparison to other shared hosting providers, SiteGround has more advanced features and significantly better performance. All of that makes this comparison not far-fetched at all.
So this brings up the question, which hosting provider is right for you – SiteGround vs Flywheel? Well, here’s my in-depth comparison of both services to help you decide.
Flywheel vs SiteGround: general info
Both Flywheel and SiteGround are highly WordPress-focused and very fast hosting providers. The main difference between the two is that Flywheel offers a fully-managed WordPress cloud hosting, while SiteGround’s main product is shared hosting.
To get a better understanding of how these hosts stack up against each other, let’s take a look at their main features. At the same time, if you’re interested to see the final verdict, feel free to jump to the end of this article.
|💵 Price:||From $2.99/month||From $13/month|
|📑 Uptime guarantee:||99.9%||99.9%|
|🔥 Coupons:||Siteground coupon 83% OFF!||Flywheel coupon 17% OFF|
|☁️ Storage space (from):||10GB||5GB|
|🌐 Free domain (first year):||No||No|
|🔒 Free SSL certificate:||Yes||Yes|
|➡️ Site migration:||Free automated WordPress migration or paid professional site transfer||Free WordPress migration is done by the team|
|💾 Automated backups:||Free (daily)||Yes (daily)|
|📧 Email accounts:||Free (unlimited accounts)||No|
|👨💻 24/7 live support:||Yes||24/7 live chat, email, and phone|
|💰 Money-back guarantee:||30 days||60 days|
Flywheel vs SiteGround: pricing comparison
Flywheel’s most affordable plan costs $13.00/month whereas, with SiteGround, pricing starts as low as $2.99/month. So clearly, Flywheel is a more premium option. Fortunately, Flywheel offers a 14-day free trial without any credit card information, so you can check out its services before committing.
Now I know what you might be thinking – “why is Flywheel so much more expensive than SiteGround?”
Well, Flywheel offers fully managed WordPress cloud hosting, while SiteGround hosts your site in a shared environment. Still, SiteGround uses the same Google Cloud infrastructure, so the difference in hardware is not that big. That being said, if you want, you can also upscale to cloud hosting with SiteGround.
Moving on, I should also point out that SiteGround’s shared hosting plans are comparatively more expensive than its competition. That’s because these are more powerful plans with advanced features. In fact, SiteGround’s base $2.99/month plan beats Flywheel’s more expensive $13.00/month plan in terms of raw specifications:
- Flywheel's Tiny ($13.00/month): this plan allows hosting 1 website and comes with 5GB storage, 20GB of bandwidth, a max limit of 5000 monthly visits, and a free SSL certificate. There are also free automatic nightly backups, staging sites, CDN integration, and FlyCache caching.
- SiteGround's Startup ($2.99/month): this allows hosting 1 website and includes 10GB disk space, unmetered bandwidth, unlimited emails, a limit of ~10,000 monthly visitors, and a free SSL. More so, SiteGround offers automatic daily backups, CDN, and a SuperCacher plugin.
Note: Neither of the providers offers a free domain with any of their plans. Additionally, Flywheel also does not offer email hosting services.
So, as you can see, for less than ⅓ of the price, SiteGround is offering unmetered bandwidth and double the storage compared to Flywheel. Also, with SiteGround, you are getting unlimited email accounts – a feature that Flywheel does not offer at all.
Now getting back to hosting plans, both providers offer multiple pricing tiers with advanced features to fit different users’ needs. Let’s explore which plans have the best price to value ratio.
Flywheel offers 4 hosting packages with prices starting at $13.00/month and going all the way up to $242.00/month.
According to Flywheel, its Agency plan is the “Best Value”. However, you only get the most out of it if you’re planning on running all 30 websites. This way the monthly hosting price per site will fall down to $8. Otherwise, it is simply too pricey.
Therefore, for individual use, I’d recommend getting the Starter plan. It costs less than double the price of Tiny but delivers more than double the resources and is plenty for hosting a single WordPress website.
Now, to get the best value with Flywheel, get the 1-year subscription for the Starter plan, which will cost you $300/year. Furthermore, renewal costs don’t increase, which is always a plus.
Moving on to SiteGround, you have 3 shared hosting plans from $2.99/month to $7.99/month.
Just like Flywheel, SiteGround gives its recommendation, and it’s the Grow Big plan. And it makes sense. For just $4.99/month more than StartUp, you get to host unlimited websites, get double the storage space (20GB), and 10x the monthly visit limit (100,000). It even throws in on-demand backups, a staging environment, and a faster PHP setup.
To get the best value for SiteGround, I suggest getting a 3-year subscription for GrowBig, which costs you $629.64. This allows you to bring down the $24.99/month renewal cost to $17.64/month. Also, the renewal cost is going to be the same at $629.64 for 3 years.
One more thing to note, SiteGround has a standard 30-day money-back guarantee, while Flywheel offers a 14-day free trial that does not require any credit card information.
In terms of pricing, SiteGround is clearly a more affordable option compared to Flywheel's much more expensive plans. At the same time, SiteGround delivers better raw specs than Flywheel.
Flywheel vs SiteGround: ease of use
Both Flywheel and SiteGround prioritize ease-of-use, making their platform comprehensible for beginners. As such, both of them went for sleek and intuitive native dashboards.
That being said, SiteGround manages to offer a balanced UI that caters to both beginners and advanced users. Whereas, Flywheel’s UI is heavily beginner-centric, which can be a problem in some cases.
With Flywheel, you get a simple UI that’s super intuitive and easy to use. It combines the dashboard and control panel into a single interface, so everything is within a click of a button.
Now, the Flywheel UI might look minimal, but it offers tons of functionalities.
You are never more than a few clicks away from adding a new domain, activating SSL, and setting up a new website. There are also quick shortcuts to manage your plugins, see website stats, manage backups, and access advanced options like caching, staging, and CDN (Content Delivery Network) settings.
However, since Flywheel is a managed hosting service, you get less freedom. As an example, you cannot access your core WP files. This is a big handicap for users who need access to the wp-config.php or similar files. But on the bright side, it does translate to an extra layer of security.
Next up, we have SiteGround. Here you get a centralized dashboard to manage basic tasks related to your account, services, websites, billing information, etc. However, the main star of the show is Site Tools – SiteGround’s custom control panel. It’s available in the management area for each of your hosted websites and looks like this:
You get a left-hand side menu to navigate across different settings for your site, security, speed, WordPress, domain, email, stats, and developer options. You also have the option to pin your most used tools to the Dashboard for quick access.
In addition, SiteGround allows you to access the wp-config.php and similar files, so you can be in control of your more advanced WordPress settings. The host makes WordPress management easy earning itself a place among the best WordPress hosting providers.
Overall, if you ask me, SiteGround offers a better balance between ease-of-use and functionality. The interface doesn’t overcomplicate things for beginners. And advanced users can still find their way to the options and settings they need.
Flywheel vs SiteGround: performance
Going strictly by numbers, Flywheel was slightly more reliable and just a tad bit faster. However, it’s marginally better than SiteGround and won’t make too much difference in real-world situations.
Uptime and response time
For this SiteGround vs Flywheel comparison, I’ve examined both providers for a different time – I tested Flywheel for over 2 weeks and SiteGround for close to 2 months.
In around 2 weeks’ time, Flywheel did not have a single outage and came up with a perfect 100% uptime. Now granted, in the long run (for a year or more), you won’t get this high uptime. But Flywheel does promise 99.95% uptime in its SLA agreement.
Moving on to the response time, it averaged at 371ms, meaning it’s well below the industry’s average of 600ms. If you wish to know more about the provider’s performance, jump to our Flywheel review.
Next up, we have SiteGround. In 2 months, my site saw 3 outages resulting in 7 minutes of downtime. Still a near-perfect 99.99% uptime! This is even more impressive knowing that the official uptime guarantee promises a 99.9% uptime.
In terms of response time, SiteGround was much more consistent, averaging out at 217ms. Just barely ½ of the 600ms industry average. Very fast! To read more about the host’s performance, check out our SiteGround review.
Overall, Flywheel did show a slightly better uptime, but SiteGround had a much quicker average response time. Due to that SiteGround just barely comes up on top.
To test both hosts’ website speed, both websites are hosted in the USA and the test took place in the States too.
More so, depending on the host, you will be able to choose where to host your website. Flywheel has 5 data centers on 3 continents – USA, Canada, UK, Belgium, and Australia, while SiteGround has 7 on 4 continents – USA, UK, Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Australia, and Singapore.
Now before we go any further, you should know a few technical terms to read the result down below better.
- LCP (Largest Contentful Paint) – the time it takes to load the largest graphic element on a site. For best rankings, keep this time under 2.5 seconds.
Now, let’s see how Flywheel’s fully built website has performed:
I recorded the same time for the LCP and Fully Loaded Time, which came down to 881ms. A very speedy time that is well below the undesired marks of 2.5 and 3s.
Moving on, here are SiteGround’s fully built website’s results:
SteGround showed a barely better LCP of 872ms. However, its Fully Loaded Time was longer than Flywheel’s, at 1.1s. Regardless, not even half of the maximum limitations.
In sum, both hosts were very fast and showed nearly identical results.
As a whole, both Flywheel and SiteGround are extremely reliable and fast hosting providers. While Flywheel did have slightly better performance, SiteGround did not lack any power and was much better than most other shared hosting providers.
Flywheel and SiteGround take website security extremely seriously. With both hosting providers, you get a comprehensive security solution to protect you and your site from the most common and rampant online threats.
Here’s a quick look at what both providers include:
- Free SSL: you get a free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate from both hosting providers.
- Automatic daily backups: both providers offer automatic daily backups with restore functionality. SiteGround also distributes the backups on different datacenters for increased redundancy.
- Anti-malware solution: Flywheel automatically takes care of malware removal from your site. With SiteGround, you get a dedicated plugin to take care of it.
- 24/7 surveillance: Flywheel offers 24/7 traffic monitoring and will block any suspicious traffic. SiteGround comes with a custom firewall and an AI anti-bot system to protect you from emerging threats and vulnerabilities.
- Protection from brute-force attacks: Flywheel comes with a built-in system to limit login attempts and stop brute-force attacks. With SiteGround, its security plugin takes care of this job.
- Automatic updates: Flywheel automatically updates all your WordPress plugins so hackers can’t exploit out-of-date software. With SiteGround, you can set up automatic plugin updates using its security plugin.
Additionally, with SiteGround, you can purchase domain privacy for an extra cost.
Overall, in terms of website security, I call a tie between Flywheel and SiteGround. They both take advanced security measures to battle all WordPress website vulnerabilities. However, knowing that SiteGround offers the option to purchase domain privacy too might just get it a step ahead.
Both hosting providers offer 24/7 customer support. With Flywheel, you can reach out to the support team either via live chat or email. Phone support is reserved for the Agency plan only. In comparison, every SiteGround plan comes with phone support, live chat, and a ticketing help desk.
Now, it’s worth noting that Flywheel employs a live chatbot to answer your basic questions. I found it extremely smart as it could easily understand my questions and refer me to useful articles in Flywheel’s extensive knowledge base. However, if you do need human assistance, the chatbot will connect you to a team of friendly support experts.
SiteGround, similarly, also has a live chat chatbot option that either gives you a link to useful knowledge base articles or connects you with a support rep. More so, no matter the plan, you can reach out to SiteGround’s phone support. SiteGround also goes the extra mile and offers helpful widgets on every page to educate you on what different tools do.
Lastly, both hosts come with vast knowledge bases that store tons of articles covering all the tools and settings.
All in all, thanks to phone support with all its plans and the helpful widgets spread across the interface, SiteGround takes the win when it comes to customer support.
Flywheel vs SiteGround: final recommendations
Counting up the wins in this Flywheel vs SiteGround comparison, SiteGround takes the victory over Flywheel. It was a close fight between both hosting providers, but SiteGround’s more affordable pricing yet just as impressive features and performance gives it the edge.
|Price||Flywheel is more expensive, with its cheapest plan costing $13.00/month, while SiteGround’s prices start at just $2.99/month.|
|Ease of use||Both providers come with native user interfaces that are very beginner-friendly. Additionally, SiteGround’s panel has more advanced functionalities.|
|Performance||Both Flywheel and SiteGround showed great performance results. Flywheel had a 100% uptime, 371ms average response time, and 0.9s fully loaded time, while SiteGround demonstrated 99.99%, 217ms, and 1.1s, respectively.|
|Security||Both Flywheel and SiteGround offer a free SSL, automatic daily backups, malware removal, 24/7 site surveillance, protection from brute-force attacks, and much more.|
|Support||Flywheel and SiteGround offer 24/7 live chat and email support. Phone support is only available with Flywheel’s most expensive Agency plan, whereas SiteGround offers phone support with all its plans.|
SiteGround comes with many basic and advanced features, great performance, and an abundance of security features. Additionally, its pricing is that much more attractive than Flywheel’s. This helps SiteGround to come out on top as the better value-for-money option.
Alternatives to Flywheel and SiteGround
Both Flywheel and SiteGround offer powerful hosting plans and are considerably more expensive than the competitors in their respective fields. Now if neither of the providers caught your eye, there are many great hosting providers. Here are a couple of alternatives to Flywheel and SiteGround.
Hostinger is one of the most affordable shared hosting providers, with prices starting as low as $2.69/month. And for this little, you still get a custom beginner-friendly hPanel, resource-rich plans, excellent performance, 24/7 customer support, and all the necessary security features.
ScalaHosting is an affordable managed VPS hosting provider, with prices starting at $29.95/month. For that price, you get dedicated resources, ease of use, good performance, and tons of basic to advanced security features. It comes with a custom control panel – SPanel and has a team of support experts available 24/7.
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More Flywheel comparisons you might want to read
More SiteGround comparisons for you to check out
- SiteGround vs HostGator
- Cloudways vs SiteGround
- SiteGround vs Bluehost
- SiteGround vs WP Engine
- A2 Hosting vs SiteGround
- SiteGround vs InMotion Hosting
- SiteGround vs GoDaddy
- SiteGround vs DreamHost
Flywheel vs SiteGround FAQs
What’s better for eCommerce – SiteGround or Flywheel?
When considering Flywheel vs SiteGround for eCommerce, SiteGround is the better option thanks to its WooCommerce hosting. It’s essentially SiteGround’s shared hosting optimized for WooCommerce. All important settings are pre-configured out of the box, and it costs the same with pricing starting at $2.99/month.
What’s better for web designers – SiteGround or Flywheel?
When comparing SiteGround vs Flywheel for web designers, Flywheel is a better choice. Its custom dashboard and specific features like Blueprint and site cloning simplify managing multiple websites. Also, because it’s “fully-managed”, neither you nor your clients need to worry about hosting technicalities.
What’s better for freelancers – SiteGround or Flywheel?
If you’re considering SiteGround vs Flywheel for freelancers, the choice entirely depends on what you need the services for. If you need a simple, yet powerful website and know your way around site management, SiteGround is a solid option. Yet if a fully-managed solution for that extra help is needed – Flywheel is the one.
Which provider is better value for money?
SiteGround offers better value for money compared to Flywheel. Both hosts have similar performance and features, but SiteGround’s cheapest plan costs less than ⅓ of Flywheel’s base plan.
Is Flywheel faster than SiteGround?
Comparing the load times and the overall performance, Flywheel showed a better uptime and slightly faster site loading time. However, SiteGround’s shared hosting demonstrated near-identical results, earning it a spot among the fastest hosting providers.