On June 24th WP Engine announced its purchase of Flywheel to the surprise and (mostly) delight of website building teams everywhere.
Context: Websites don’t exist in a vacuum. They require extensive engineering, or at least the good ones do. And all of that engineering has to be built on a foundation—what’s known as hosting. Those of us who are WordPress evangelists and use it to build enterprise-level sites have relied on a premium hosting platform called WP Engine for years. Folks who are using WordPress to build smaller, more budget-focused sites have tended to use a hosting platform called Flywheel. Both companies allow agencies, designers, developers and anyone who’s managing multiple sites to do so via a single platform.
WP Engine is the larger of the two companies by any measure—level of support, revenue amount, size of sites supported, you name it. But Flywheel grew by nearly 1,500% between 2015 and 2018, in large part because of its suite of developer tools known as Local (tools our own engineering team has been a huge fan of).
Now that we’re all on the same page, the key question is why does this matter?
A couple of reasons. First and perhaps most importantly, the purchase (which puts the new combined organization on track for a $1 billion valuation) underlines how massive of a player WordPress has become in the website space. No longer is WordPress the domain (pun intended) of personal blogs. It’s an increasingly powerful content management system for enterprise-level, highly monetized websites. In fact, WP is now used by 34% of all websites.
Second, the acquisition matters because it makes it easier than ever for companies of all stripes to leverage the tool that is WordPress. Putting the resources and expertise of WP Engine behind Flywheel’s nimble toolkit creates new possibilities for engineers and content managers everywhere.
While details are still trickling out about what the future will look like for WP Engine and Flywheel, we’re excited to see how these changes play out. Curious about why we’re so passionate about WordPress? Touch base with us today to start a conversation.
Updated: Sep 04, 2020