In a move that caught some people by surprise, WP Engine has announced that it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire Managed WordPress host, Flywheel.
While financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, Heather Brunner, WP Engine’s CEO confirmed to TechCrunch that the company needed to raise a small round of funding to finance the deal.
Dusty Davidson, Tony Noecker, and Rick Knudtson founded Flywheel in 2012 in Omaha, Nebraska. In 2012, there were already a handful of players in the Managed WordPress Hosting space but Flywheel was able to carve out a niche by focusing on Designers and Agencies.
In 2016, Flywheel became one of the few hosting companies added to the WordPress.org recommended hosting page. However, their listing was removed a few months later without an explanation.
Also in 2016, Flywheel acquired Pressmatic, a local WordPress development application for OS X from Clay Griffiths and rebranded it to Local by Flywheel. Representatives from both companies have stated that there are no plans to merge WP Engine Devkit with Local by Flywheel.
According to a frequently
Business will continue as usual! There will be no immediate changes to the Flywheel platform, plans, or experience. We’ll be spending the coming weeks and months on strategic innovation and integration planning, and are super excited to figure out how we can leverage all of our collective strengths, products, and brand assets in the best possible way.Acquisition FAQ
Flywheel has generated a loyal following of happy customers over the years and some of them took to Twitter to express their concerns regarding Monday’s announcement.
Seeing these types of responses from customers is a testament to the level of service Flywheel provides. Many of them explained why they chose to host their clients with Flywheel over WP Engine.
Both companies have vowed to keep customers in the loop of any potential changes to plans, services, or products. While each company will operate independently as things are sorted out, it will be interesting to see how the two companies are integrated over time and how customers respond.
If you’re a Flywheel customer, please let us know what you think about
To learn more about the deal, check out the following links.
Flywheelis joining WP Engine!
- WP Engine to Acquire Flywheel
- Big news: Flywheel is joining WP Engine! From Dusty Davidson
- Realizing Our Vision To Build the Most Relied Upon DXP for WordPress from Heather Brunner
Having been a client of both WPEngine and Flywheel, I am a fan of both. The main reason I moved from WPEngine to Flywheel was cost.
Having that choice in the market was a good thing. It was good to be able to contact Flywheel and say, “We’re with WPEngine but looking at alternatives, what can you offer?” Now if I try that there’ll be no motivation for them to find the best deal for me.
Therefore, I am against this takeover as it removes that competition and choice. As Larry Cornett says – in your quoted tweets – sooner or later “…These acquisitions always end poorly for customers …”.
Sooner or later, Flywheel and its plans will disappear into WPEngine and our choice will be gone. And even if that doesn’t happen, the pricing will be adjusted for WPEngine’s financial requirements, rather than that of a competitor’s. Again, choice and competition suffer.
Yes, someone will see an opportunity and come to the market to fill the gap, but they have to develop reliability and credibility, which takes a long time.
So, am definitely disappointed by this news.