You should only consider the very best WordPress hosting providers for your site. Because of this, Flywheel vs SiteGround is a popular comparison. This post will pit both of these hosts head to head in five different areas:
While each host offers lots of different plans, we’re going to only focus on the Starter package from Flywheel and the GrowBig plan for SiteGround in this post.
TL; DR: Both Flywheel and SiteGround offer different things to users. Flywheel is simple to use and comes with developer-based options, but more advanced features come at a cost. SiteGround gives you lots of developer-based options, too, but is much cheaper (at least for the first year.)
|Flywheel (Starter)||SiteGround (GrowBig)|
|Price from /mo.||$25||$24.99 (regular) $2.99 + free domain (first-year promo)|
|Free SSL certificate||Yes||Yes|
|24/7 support||Chat only*||Tickets, chat, phone|
|Extra features||Includes the Genesis Framework, connection to Local, pre-installed Git||Email hosting, WordPress multisite support, in-house developed performance and security plugins|
|Speed (East Coast, USA)||0.24s||0.77s|
|Speed (London, Europe)||0.56s||0.33s|
|Speed (Sydney, Australia)||0.42s||2.28s|
*Higher-tier Flywheel plans do have the option of phone support, but it’s not available on Flywheel’s Starter plan.
⚙️ Flywheel vs SiteGround: key features
Despite the fact that both Flywheel and SiteGround are WordPress hosts with certain similarities, they each offer a variety of unique features. We’ll look to cover some of them next, based on Flywheel’s Starter and SiteGround’s GrowBig plans.
Flywheel targets agencies, developers, and freelancers, so its feature set focuses on this. Here’s a quick rundown of what the Starter plan offers:
- A gorgeous custom dashboard that feels intuitive to use.
- Automatic daily backups, plus easy on-demand backups when needed.
- Built-in caching, SSL, and a CDN.
- You’ll have the Genesis Framework in the box, along with a collection of StudioPress themes to start you off.
- Integration with Local by Flyweel for local WordPress development.
- The ability to clone and stage sites.
- Good user management within the dashboard, such as the ability to restrict access based on organization and collaborators.
For designers and non-developers, Flywheel has lots to offer. However, you’ll only be able to host one site. While you’ll also note that you get less resources as SiteGround, it’s arguably more on a per-site basis once you consider hosting multiple sites.
Regardless, it’s now SiteGround’s turn under the microscope.
Lots of SiteGround’s features and functionality cross over between plans. Even so, the GrowBig plan has a lot in the box:
- Built-in caching and security features.
- A custom dashboard to help you manage your sites.
- Support for developer-specific features, such as WP-CLI and Git.
- No restrictions on how many websites you can run.
- Free access to SSL certificates, CDNs, and email.
- Automatic daily backups, plus on-demand backups when needed.
Overall, SiteGround gives you more flexibility to run as many sites as you need. However, Flywheel gives you essential tools and features that you’d have to source with other hosts. For us, the winner here depends on what you need from your host.
🏎 Flywheel vs SiteGround: performance tests
Testing for performance can be as complex as you’d like it to be. However, we’re going to use Pingdom Tools’ excellent performance solution to see how long it takes for our test site to load.
Our performance times come from our roundup of the best wordPress hosts. Here are the results:
|East Coast, USA||0.24s||0.77s|
As you can see, Flywheel’s performance across the globe is fantastic. A big part of this is Flywheel’s custom caching system, which is able to cache full WordPress pages on its integrated CDN. This means that visitors can download complete pages from the nearest CDN location, rather than needing to go to your site’s data center.
In contrast, SiteGround has more global variety because it doesn’t use the same approach as Flywheel. The performance is still good in locales near the data center, but it will be slower in other areas (unless you set up your own CDN).
Winner: 🏅 Flywheel
📞 Flywheel vs SiteGround: customer support
On the surface, customer support provisions between hosts will look similar. Each one will state they offer “round-the-clock” support, but what this looks like could be the decider. For example, a host might only offer phone support at all hours, but email could be reserved only for priority customers.
Next, we’ll dig into this a little further to find out who inches out who in the battle for best customer support.
Flywheel customer support
Flywheel scales its support based on the plan you choose. However, the Tiny, Starter, and Freelancer plans all offer round-the-clock chat support:
While there’s no email support, you do get access to documentation on the Flywheel site. The “Layout blog” covers a lot of different topics well. You also have a selection of e-books on popular subjects for building your site, and a knowledge base to answer most of your pressing questions.
SiteGround customer support
In our opinion, SiteGround has delivered quality support for a long time, although there’s a caveat. They offer a number of options as standard on all plans:
- Live chat.
- Phone support.
This is much more than Flywheel, but the quality of SiteGround’s support has changed in recent years due to an update of its scope of support.
In addition, we feel that the blog and knowledge base offer less value than Flywheel. On the whole, if you like to “self-serve,” you might appreciate Flywheel’s support provision. You might also appreciate the ability to get help when you need it. In contrast, SiteGround rules if you want a fast resolution through talking to an expert – and the stars align when you need them.
Winner: 🏅 Flywheel
💰 Flywheel vs SiteGround: pricing comparison
Looking at the price of each hosting provider can be tough based on the number of different tiers available. Many hosts will also offer promotional rates for the first year of your plan. From there, the host will jack up the rate, which will hit you in the pocket.
Here’s what to expect from both Flywheel and SiteGround.
Flywheel offers four plans – technically five if you choose to customize a plan to your own needs. Here’s a brief overview of each one:
- Tiny. This costs $13 per month to host one site for up to 5,000 visits. There is only 5GB of storage, and 20GB bandwidth.
- Starter. For $25 per month, you get double the amount of storage, 50GB bandwidth, and 25,000 visits per month to your single site.
- Freelance. $96 per month nets you double the storage again. You also have 200GB bandwidth and up to 100,000 site visitors. Feature-wise, this plan is the same as the others, but you are able to set up WordPress multisite installations.
- Agency. At $242 per month, you get everything in the Freelance plan, phone support, and a dedicated account manager. Also, you can host up to 30 sites for a total of 400,000 visits. You have 50GB of storage and 500GB of bandwidth to play with.
The Custom plan is basically the Agency plan with quarterly business reviews, near-unlimited bandwidth, customizable storage, and the ability to host as many sites as you need. This plan doesn’t have a fixed cost, so you’d need to contact Flywheel to hash out the details.
SiteGround is one host that uses heavy discounts for the first year to entice customers. As such, you have to think about the long term for each of its three plans:
- StartUp. For $2.99 + free domain per month (first-year promo) and then $14.99 per month at regular price, you can host one site at around 10,000 monthly visits. SiteGround doesn’t meter traffic on any plan, and get you 10GB of storage.
- GrowBig. At $4.99 per month promotional or $24.99 regular, you have double the storage, ten times the capacity for visitors, and can host an “unlimited” number of websites. You also have faster PHP under the hood, the ability to stage sites, and can access on-demand backups.
- GoGeek. This plan costs $7.99 (promo) and $39.99 regular. You get 40GB of web space, can host around 400,000 visitors per month, and have lots of extras. For instance, you can use Git, get a free private DNS, and more.
For example, if you sign up for the GrowBig plan, you’ll pay just $4.99 per month for your first year (if you pay for the full year up front). But when you renew after that first year, you’ll need to pay the regular price of $24.99 per month, which is a big price jump.
A note about visit limits
Both SiteGround and Flywheel put monthly visit numbers on their pricing pages, but there’s a key difference in what those visit numbers mean.
At Flywheel, the monthly visit numbers are an actual billing metric. If you exceed those visit limits, Flywheel will never shut off your site. However, they will charge you an overage fee – $1 per 1,000 visitors over your plan’s limit.
On the other hand, at SiteGround, those visit numbers are just rough estimates based on the underlying resources of your plan. If you have a site that isn’t very resource-heavy, you can usually handle more traffic without any issues.
However, if you max out the underlying resources of your SiteGround plan, you’ll need to upgrade to a higher-tier plan – there’s no way to just pay an overage fee like you can at Flywheel.
Overall, there are pros and cons to both approaches, but it’s important to understand the differences.
Final thoughts on SiteGround vs Flywheel pricing
Regardless if you look at promotional rates or not, SiteGround does better than Flywheel here. We think Flywheel’s one-site allocation on the bottom two tiers isn’t appealing, and for half of the price of Flywheel’s Freelance tier, you get everything SiteGround offers.
Winner: 🏅 SiteGround
🙋🏽♀️ Flywheel vs SiteGround: ease of use
Much of your time using Flywheel vs SiteGround will be within each custom dashboard. As such, this is where we’re going to focus.
Flywheel’s dashboard is minimalist and easy to navigate:
Once you click into a site, you’ll navigate all of the options using tabs. You can check a lot here, such as the plugins your site has, performance statistics, and more. Most of these options use toggle switches, which means little technical knowledge for you.
SiteGround used to use cPanel, but now offers its own custom dashboard:
This time, there’s a lot more options on display, which can be overwhelming at times. However, there’s a lot more to read on what options will do – which will help your understanding. Even so, this does make SiteGround less friendly for some users. As such, Flywheel wins this one.
Winner: 🏅 Flywheel
Flywheel vs SiteGround: which is best for WordPress in 2023
We’ve covered a lot here, so let’s recap each section and the winners:
- Features: Draw.
- Performance: Flywheel.
- Customer support: Flywheel.
- Pricing: SiteGround.
- Ease of use: Flywheel.
Despite Flywheel winning most of the battles, we can’t decide between Flywheel vs SiteGround. Both offer a stellar set of features and functionality for different types of users. SiteGround puts all of the power and control into your hands, whether you want it or not. In contrast, Flywheel is a more non-technical, yet just as powerful, host – especially given its robust developer features.
Overall, Flywheel is probably the better option if you’re willing to pay a little more for top-notch performance and quality, while SiteGround is more affordable (especially for multiple sites) and still offers above-average performance for the WordPress hosting space.
If you want to learn more about each hosting provider, we have in-depth reviews for both:
Do you have any questions about our Flywheel vs SiteGround comparison? Ask away in the comments section below!
24 thoughts on “Which Is Better for WordPress (2023)”
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