We are upgrading servers for our managed WordPress websites. We are moving all our real estate hosting clients to FlyWheel from WPEngine. We have been very happy with WPEngine for years, and while we appreciate the opportunity we have had to work with them and enjoy their great support, we feel it is time to move.
FlyWheel provides a bump in speed, and their server interface is simpler to work with. We also are getting PHP 7, which is the newest version of PHP. This will provide great security and speed for our clients.
Why Flywheel? I thought WPEngine was the best?
We were introduced to Flywheel when we found out that IDX Broker was hosting their sites on Flywheel. They had moved away from WPEngine too. There were things in the IDX Broker search tools and widgets that sometimes would get wonky on WPEngine.
At WPEngine, we got great tech support and their 24 hour chat support is going to be sorely missed. The response time and access to tech support at Flywheel is not as great as what we saw at WPEngine.
What about customer service?
Here is a comment from Shelby, one of our IDX Addons clients:
Turns out our host provider contracts out to Flywheel, where our content is truly housed. It’s good that is the case, as Flywheel actually helped me right away this morning.
This comment in an email from Shelby really impacted us. We had been getting phone calls, emails and pitches from the sales staff at Flywheel to move our clients to them for some time, but this type of referral from a live client meant a lot to us.
What about servers and speed?
We signed up for an account and actually cloned our RealtyCandy.com site to Flywheel and then we did some tests. These tests are not run on different websites. It is the same site that was cloned and as soon as we turned the “live” site on with a domain at Flywheel we ran some speed tests at GTMetrix.
Take a look at these page load speeds:
You can see that before we even turned the CDN on, we were seeing some good speed improvements at Flywheel. The most important one to us was the over 50% speed difference in load time.
This means that our clients and visitors can see what they want much faster. That helps us with SEO and also to provide a better overall experience to our clients.
Here are the other graphs:
This was the most important graph for us. Our speed time would be 50% higher on WPEngine. That is a big deal. Now if we can only get 100,000 visitors a month, we would save our guests 300,000 seconds a month!
Page size is not that big of a difference, but Flywheel still has the edge.
Everyone knows that PageSpeed has a great scoring system and we went from a little over 70% to over 80% with Flywheel.
Again, the request counts are significantly less on Flywheel vs. WPEngine. We think that doing 1000 things 1% better can add up to a huge difference over time. This is one of those areas where we think that it will be a big deal over time.
The Yslow scores were also better on Flywheel. The 10% bump in Yslow scores is a great start to improving our score.
So what does this mean to you?
We are always looking for ways to help our clients have a great experience with their real estate websites. We are migrating all of our sites from WPEngine to Flywheel. We will be contacting our clients and asking them to make some DNS settings changes. If you need help with this, please let us know and we will be happy to help you.
Does this mean that WPEngine is bad?
Not at all. Again, we really love a lot of things about WPEngine. We just got to a point in our relationship with them after many years that it was time for us to move on. We still have many clients who use our IDX Addons tools or IDX Broker services who run their own sites on WPEngine.
We hope that you love your hosting experience for your real estate website. If you don’t, love where you are hosting, take a look at our Foundation sites with managed hosting, and see if we can help out!