Some WordPress developers and agencies were caught off guard when WP Engine announced it had acquired Flywheel in June last year. Flywheel had quickly become a trusted web hosting company for many that specifically catered to the needs of developers and agencies. For some, they questioned whether such a buyout would change the company culture and whether the good things about Flywheel’s services would be swallowed by WP Engine’s offerings.
The move had also come only a month after Flywheel closed its $15 per month Tiny plan. There was some initial confusion that the two events were linked.
“With any acquisition of this scale, there is going to be an initial wave of confusion, skepticism, and a bit of shock,” said Dusty Davidson, CEO and co-founder. “People had come to know, love, and trust Flywheel, and when it was announced that two well-known WordPress companies (and former competitors) were joining forces, they weren’t sure where we would stand as a company.”
Davidson said the company fielded more questions that were concerned about the future than outright pushback against the move. Most such questions centered on whether Flywheel would continue offering their existing services and tools.
“It’s now been six months since one of the largest acquisitions in WordPress history, and we’re happy to report that things remain ‘business as usual,’” said Davidson. “We’ve remained true to our word, and Flywheel is continuing to live out our mission to help creatives do their best work. The community may have been skeptical about how this acquisition was going to pan out, but the fact is that nothing has really changed and our products have only improved!”
How Flywheel would be folded into WP Engine was not clear early on. The two companies approached the change by learning from each other and gathering feedback. “We announced that we were acquired back in June, and it took about six months to figure out the logistics of the acquisition and the relationships between both companies,” said Davidson.
After working out the details, it was decided that Flywheel would operate as a separate division within WP Engine with its own services.
Bringing the Tiny Plan Back
Some users expressed disppointment with the removal of the Tiny plan last year. It was an affordable tier for small sites at $15 per month.
The plan change was the first time Flywheel had changed pricing in the company’s history. “The changes to plans back in May 2019 were made to allow us to continue investing more into the future of our platform, existing and future features, and to offer up more solutions to better fit our customers,” said Davidson.
Based on customer feedback, Flywheel began to see that Tiny was a valuable plan for agencies who needed to offer a managed WordPress hosting solution for smaller clients. “When we joined forces with WP Engine, we were able to realign our goals as a business and refocus our efforts on the audience we’ve always
This article was written by Justin Tadlock and originally published on WordPress Tavern.