SiteGround and Flywheel are both premium hosts with lots of resources, tools, and reliable speed, but it’s hard to compare them directly. SiteGround serves the general population and can host a variety of websites while Flywheel is specifically for WordPress and WooCommerce users. Do you prefer a host that allows you to install almost any script you want (though statistics show that you’ll probably install WordPress anyway), or would you prefer a host geared entirely to the WordPress experience?
Also of note is that SiteGround made some updates recently to their control panel. For the longest time they used cPanel, but they now have their own control panel. While it’s certainly one of the better proprietary control panels we’ve seen, read on to see if it works for you.
One of the first things you should consider when picking a host, especially if this is your first website or you’re not making much money yet, is the price. Overall SiteGround’s price is better, but only during the trial period. After that, they are nearly identical.
Unlike many hosts, Flywheel doesn’t offer a discounted trial price. Nearly all hosts do this, but Flywheel goes against the grain. Their smallest plan starts at $13 per month and the next one up is $25 per month. You’ll more than likely use these plans until your website becomes more popular.
SiteGround offers nearly identical plans, but they start at $6.99 and $9.99 per month initially. You get nearly the same resources (which will be covered in the next section), and you can save a lot of money by signing up for a long initial plan.
However, the prices go up to $14.99 and $24.99 per month after the initial discount.
These are only the initial plans. Flywheel’s price tends to go up even higher with the other plans while SiteGround remains the more affordable option.
While SiteGround offers better pricing in general, you’ll see the biggest difference during the initial trial period.
Price winner: SiteGround
We’re going to cover resources in terms of bandwidth (number of visitors) and disk space. As you might expect, each plan comes with a different amount of resources. As you get more traffic or have more files, you need to expand your plan to accommodate your needs.
Unlike many other hosts that offer “unlimited” bandwidth, both SiteGround and Flywheel have metered bandwidth. That might sound bad, but we couldn’t be happier. Unlimited bandwidth just means that you can have visitors until you use too much bandwidth. How much is too much? It depends on a bunch of factors you can’t prove, verify, or access, but the host will be more than happy to demand that you upgrade to a more expensive plan.
With that out of the way, the winner once again is SiteGround. Despite being lower in price initially or the same price after the discount, they still give you more bandwidth and disk space.
For example, the smallest plan for Flywheel is good for 5,000 visitors and you get 5GB of disk space. That’s OK for the price, but SiteGround’s similar plan is good for 10,000 visitors and you get 10GB of space.
The next plan for SiteGround and Flywheel is good for 25,000 visitors a month, but Flywheel gives you 10GB of space while SiteGround gives you 20GB.
There’s an even bigger difference with their next plan. Flywheel charges $96 a month for 100,000 visitors and 20GB of space while SiteGround charges $39.99 a month (or $14.99 with the discount) for 100,000 visitors and 40GB of space.
No matter how you look at it, you’re getting better disk space and bandwidth with SiteGround.
Resources winner: SiteGround
This isn’t our first time talking about SiteGround vs Flywheel. For the longest time, one of the biggest differences was that Flywheel used a proprietary control panel while SiteGround used standard cPanel, which people loved. However, SiteGround is also using its own proprietary control panel.
Both of them are very different and really serve their core population well. Flywheel uses a control panel geared towards advanced WordPress management. Their core audience is WordPress designers and developers, so you are given staging tools to create and easily transfer ownership of these sites as needed.
SiteGround is more for the general population, so their control panel (Site Tools) was made to be easier and even more accessible than standard cPanel. It’s built for new users and those who haven’t used cPanel before will love it. Even those who used cPanel will probably like it, but it might seem too basic and some tools will be hard to find until you’re used to the layout. I do have to say that migrating websites is even easier now.
However, this new control panel requires that you have unique FTP login credentials for each domain. Yes, that’s safer and makes sense, but it’s a massive pain. It’s also hard to switch between each domain in the control panel.
It’s hard to say which control panel is better because they are very different. If you want something basic and easy, then SiteGround’s Site Tools is ideal. If you want something robust and advanced, then Flywheel is much better.
Control panel winner: Tie
Many of the other categories are close, but SiteGround wins this by a landslide. Scripts refer to different CMSs or website layouts that you can install. WordPress is by far the most popular script and over 90% of websites use it. However, some people might want something different, like Joomla or Drupal.
While SiteGround has changed its control panel, installing scripts is as easy as ever. You can access scripts through the App Manager, which connects to Softaculous Remote. This has over 300 scripts that you can look through and install in a few clicks. Simply choose a script, follow the prompts, and it will be installed in seconds.
Flywheel specializes in WordPress and only allows that. They also allow WooCommerce on your WordPress site, but even if we count that as another script, that’s 2 vs the 300 from SiteGround.
It’s no contest if we only look at the numbers. However, as we said above, almost everyone reading this is going to end up installing WordPress anyway. With that said, do you prefer an expert in WordPress hosting like Flywheel or a more basic installation like SiteGround?
Scripts winner: SiteGround
Both of these hosts are faster than average, but the win goes to Flywheel. It’s by a small margin, but they have an edge here and it’s great if you don’t mind spending a little extra for a faster website. Besides, speed factors into SEO, so some might say that it pays for itself in that regard.
Both of these hosts have multiple server locations throughout the world. This allows you to choose the closest one to your location. Not only that, but both use SSD hard drives for faster speeds. SSD, or Solid State Drives, are among the fastest right now.
They also both use programs to boost speed, but here’s where Flywheel’s WordPress specialization pays off. They have proprietary programs that help with caching and speeding up websites better than SiteGround.
Not only that, but Flywheel offers CDN for an extra $10 a month. This gives you even better speeds which far surpass similar hosts. If top speeds are important to you, then consider adding this to your hosting package.
Both are faster than average hosts and you can expect your website to load fast. If you want good speeds, then both are fine. If you want the fastest website and you don’t mind spending a little more, then Flywheel is the better of the two.
Price winner: Flywheel
You’re probably used to this by now, but this is yet another case of one being slightly better than the other depending on your perspective and needs. Overall SiteGround is a little better, but Flywheel’s WordPress focus gives them more expertise with advanced issues.
Both hosts offer 24/7 support. However, Flywheel only offers 24/7 support for email tickets and live chat. They offer phone support, but only Monday-Saturday from 9 am to 6 pm EST. That’s good, but SiteGround beats them by offering 24/7 support for email, live chat, and phones.
SiteGround is also faster with its no-hold policy. They promise to pick up the phone or answer a live chat in seconds. That’s right, seconds. They are constantly ensuring they have enough staff, even during peak times, to get the phones and chat answered quickly.
There is a wait for email tickets, but it’s so quick you’ll barely notice it. On average it takes 10 minutes for them to answer an email ticket. Most hosts take far longer, so I don’t mind waiting this long.
Flywheel is fast, but SiteGround has them beat. It’s also nice to have 24/7 phone support if you prefer talking to someone rather than typing a message.
There’s also the matter of expertise. Flywheel is a little better in this regard due to its narrow focus. Since they only really have WordPress, you can expect them to have very advanced knowledge about this. They can help you deal with any problem regarding WordPress and they are primed and ready to assist with this.
SiteGround allows for hundreds of scripts, but they are also very knowledgeable. They should be able to immediately help with most issues, but some might require the call or chat to be escalated. This is admittedly rare, but this is a tough competition and we want to show you all the pros and cons.
In general, we would say that SiteGround is better for their availability, but Flywheel might be a little faster when it comes to advanced WordPress issues.
Support winner: SiteGround
We’ve largely covered these hosts based on their advantages so far. One is usually better than the other, but both are great at speed, resources, support, and so on. Now we’re going to talk about their disadvantages. No host is perfect and these are the aspects that many people groan about.
On the Flywheel side, they are an expensive host, but at least they justify this with WordPress mastery. However, for those who want basic WordPress hosting, you can find it for a lot cheap elsewhere. They also don’t offer email hosting. I struggle to find other hosts like this. Almost every host automatically gives you email hosting for your domain, but not Flywheel. They say this helps them better focus on WordPress, but I have a hard time believing that.
Flywheel also has a very loose definition of a “visitor.” Normally you would consider this someone who visits your website. They consider this as a visitor along with anyone who links to you or shares your information on social media. This means that one real visitor might show up as three or more, which could be problematic as your website becomes more popular.
SiteGround isn’t perfect either. Much like Flywheel, their price is quite high. However, unlike Flywheel that can justify this with WordPress specialization, SiteGround is like a generic host with more powerful servers. If you’re just looking for standard shared hosting and you don’t need the fastest or strongest website just yet, then you can find a more affordable host with similar services (though speeds are sure to be slower).
Some users might disagree, but I believe that SiteGround is the overall winner here. They offer more services, have a better price, you get more resources with similarly priced plans, and they are easier to use. However, Flywheel is no slouch. They are ideal for WordPress designers and developers. They are also faster and can help with the most advanced WordPress issues.
It’s a tough battle to be sure, but most users likely enjoy SiteGround more. They are easier to use and are more versatile. Check out both and compare them, but I am confident that SiteGround will be better for more people unless you need an advanced WordPress host.