We do things a little differently here at Thirsty Agency and like to go the extra mile for our clients. So it comes to no surprise that we are very particular when it comes to who hosts our client’s websites. We’ve been hosting websites for years while working at other agencies, personally, and recently, choosing the best host for our clients. Before we go any further, we just want to make it clear that NOT all hosts are created equal.
How we host at Thirsty Agency
Clients often ask us where we host our websites and we love being able to transparently tell them where and why. Our hosting workflow used to consist solely of spinning up droplets (individual web environments) on Digital Ocean and configuring all the server side stuff on our own. To be clear, there are times where we still implement this workflow depending on the website/technology and needs of the client. The game changer for us recently was moving away from this strategy for all of our WordPress websites and transitioning them to a managed host.
If you’re not familiar with managed WordPress hosting it’s basically a premium service where all aspects of running WordPress are managed by the host. For example these premium features include faster speeds, enhanced security, comprehensive support, automatic updates and so much more. Since a very large percentage of our clients are on the WordPress platform, it only made sense for us to make the jump, taking away the mundane processes associated with setting up server environments from scratch.
Everyone at Thirsty Agency shares a fanatical passion about building relationships. The philosophy of creating long term mutually beneficial relationships with our clients is one of our core beliefs and extending that ideology with any third parties makes for a truly amazing experience. When we set out to find the perfect WordPress managed host, we had tons of options but we knew it would have to be the right “fit”. In true Thirsty fashion, we tried various managed WordPress hosts in an extremely comprehensive manner. A short list of the services we test drove include: WPEngine, Pressable, Pagely and Flywheel.
Flywheel takes the cake.
Please note that all of the above managed WordPress hosts provide an amazing service, but this is more about why/how Flywheel works for us. Despite having tested all of these services in depth, we’d like to focus on the reasons why we chose Flywheel for WordPress.
1. Presentation is everything (sorta).
If there’s something we believe in more than anything, it’s that things should look just as beautiful as how they function. This is probably Flywheel’s strongest advantage over any other competitor. Their backend dashboard is intuitively laid out, gorgeously designed, and overall has a high level of “attention to detail.” If the stunning interface wasn’t enough to make your jaw drop, the ease of use, stability, and seamlessness of how their dashboard operates will surely leave you speechless.
2. Features. Features. Features.
If there’s one area where Flywheel has the most competition, it’s features. Don’t get me wrong, they’re killing it, but with so many companies trying to one up each other constantly, many of their features are extremely similar to their competitors. They do have a couple unique gems we have not seen anywhere else, like collaboration and billing transfer. We could list every single feature they offer, but we thought it better if you read it straight from them. At the end of the day, with many features overlapping various hosts it really comes back to Flywheel’s dashboard. Whether we’re spinning up a new site in seconds, moving changes from staging to the live server in one-click, or checking the analytics built right in, it’s a wonderful and incredible experience.
2. Support. Live Chat, Email, and Phone.
Ok, so they have support… Big deal right?
Having been in the industry for many years now, the definition of “support” has changed. Flywheel is truly a breath of fresh air. Before signing up for their hosting service, we inquired about a feature via live chat to make sure they provided it. Their customer service representative, Dan, responded within seconds and answered every question we had about Flywheel being able to handle what we needed.
After moving a chunk of sites over we soon realized that we would need to upgrade our current plan. We called and Kyle immediately understood our situation, upgraded our plan, and prorated us for the rest of the month. He also candidly explained the upgrade could take up to 30 minutes to complete. Not only was Kyle a pleasure to talk to, but our upgrade was finished in 15 minutes and we received an email as soon as it was finished.
Lastly, we emailed them very late one night requesting that a beta feature be enabled on our plan. Not only did the CEO and co-founder, Dusty, reply within an insane timeframe, he confirmed that the new feature was enabled and readily available from within our dashboard. This incredible support was literally “the icing on the cake” and completed the overall positive experience for our team.
Host websites, stay fly.
With so many hosting companies emerging, it can be tough to know which one is right for you. It took us a little research, frustration, and sweat to realize which company would host a majority of our clientele, but we knew that Flywheel was the perfect match for us. While shopping, keep your focus on the three components of presentation, features and support to make sure you’re getting the most value out of your hosting provider.
Our relationship with Flywheel truly feels like an extension of our internal team. We value the partnerships we continue to build with our clients and third parties alike so that is why we proudly host all of our WordPress sites with Flywheel.
See what Flywheel can do for you today – Stay Fly, Stay Thirsty.