Flywheel’s 2019 Year in Review

Flywheel’s 2019 Year in Review

Kacie Hughes's Layout avatar

A year at Flywheel is a lot like a year for a dog: one feels more like seven! We pride ourselves in doing great work at a velocity so quick that it can be easy to forget to stop and celebrate the work we’ve accomplished. So before 2020 begins, we’re taking a moment to reflect on the biggest wins and moments Flywheel experienced in 2019!

We invested in our team

One of our company-level OKRs from 2019 was entirely dedicated to the people who make Flywheel such an amazing place to work (and an incredible product to use)!

In 2019, Flywheelers were more eager than ever to level up their skills:

  • 44 Flywheelers participated in PEP, our Professional Enrichment Program. This allowed Flywheelers to go to conferences like Field Trip and participate in online courses like Google Cloud Platform’s security training!
  • We established a free Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that’s available to all Flywheelers.
  • 20 Flywheelers engaged in Coaches, a mentor program for managers and rising stars at Flywheel to be counseled by a more senior member of the management team on a specific area of focus.
  • We hired or promoted 13 managers internally! ?
A few Flywheelers celebrating their first week at Flywheel

The free snacks and office dogs are awesome, but knowing that your company cares about your professional (and personal) growth is the best perk at Flywheel.

We made your sites faster than ever

Our engineers spent a large part of 2019 creating the managed WordPress hosting platform of your dreams! With reimagined FlyCache, free CDN, and auto-healing technology, it’s safe to say the Flywheel Cloud Platform is better than ever. 

Haven’t made the switch yet? Move to the Flywheel Cloud Platform today.

We launched Local Pro and Local for Teams

The fine folks behind all things Local this year

That’s right, this year we launched our first paid versions of Local! On top of all your favorite features from Local Community, Local Pro has everything you need to streamline an advanced development workflow. This premium version elevates the Connect to Flywheel feature and introduces powerful new functionality to help you build your best sites ever. 

A few highlights of Local Pro:

  • Deploy up to 5x faster with MagicSync
  • Push straight to staging or production
  • Submit in-app support tickets

While Local Pro is designed for freelancers and one-person agencies, Local for Teams was designed specifically for you and…can you guess? Your team! In addition to everything Local Pro offers, Local for Teams has a bunch of collaborative, technical features like Workspaces and user roles and management!

Flywheel went corporate for Perspective Day

We all can use a little perspective from time to time, especially when you work for a company like Flywheel, which is why we created Perspective Day!

On April 1, Flywheel shut down as the dog-loving, scooter-riding, beer-drinking office everyone knows and loves and reopened as every Flywheeler’s worst nightmare: A dry, cookie-cutter office filled with Folgers coffee, Looney Tunes ties, and the sound of a second hand counting down until the clock strikes 5:00 PM. As you can imagine, chaos ensued and we were more grateful than ever to work in such a delightful place! We’re excited (and slightly nervous) for what Perspective Day 2020 will have in store for us.

We redesigned Layout

This blog was first launched in 2014 as a publication for designers. Since then, it’s evolved into a community of thoughtfully-written and curated content for busy creatives of all types. From articles and videos to specialized courses, you’ll find a range of resources for a variety of skills: site design, web development, marketing, business growth, client management, and so much more!

The team behind the Layout redesign ✨

We spent a lot of time thinking really intentionally about this redesign, and made some important decisions along the way. We even documented the strategy behind it all, including details about our favorite features, and a look at the process from sketches to production.

We enhanced your plan with above-and-beyond services and solutions

Some of our favorite product launches this year were directly inspired by your requests! We listened to your feedback and created some incredible Add-ons that are dedicated to making it easier than ever to speed up your workflow. Managed Plugin Updates allow you to offload this tedious task to our team while Performance Insights allow us to keep a keen eye on all things site speed, and we’ll alert you if something seems not quite right.

In addition to these Add-ons, we added more capabilities than ever before to White Label, our very own billing solution. It’s now easier than ever to bill your clients for your services (including hosting!) as a neatly packaged subscription, thanks to several new client management tools.

We joined the WP Engine family

Rick, Heather, Dusty, and Tony celebrating after the big news!

It was a normal day in June until Flywheelers were asked to gather in our Flywheel West office and were greeted with a TED Talk-styled stage. We knew something was up! It was soon announced that Flywheel would be joining the WP Engine family. After a confetti-filled celebration, we quickly doubled down on our commitment to build great products, improve the creative workflow, and empower agencies to do their best work. And, we can’t wait to show you what’s in store as this partnership continues to grow in 2020!

We helped our customers do their best work

Providing an amazing, human support experience for our customers has been our #1 priority since Flywheel’s humble beginnings in 2012, and this year was no different!

Here are just a few key stats from the past year:

  • Tickets solved: 96,304
  • Chats answered: 116,350
  • Median chat wait time: 3m 22s (down significantly from last year!)
  • Number of times Baby Yoda was mentioned in a ticket: Twice! (honestly, we thought this would be higher)

We’re always here to help you do your best work 24/7/365.

We were Inc.redible (again!)

A few Omaha-based Flywheelers celebrating the Inc. 5000 announcement

We landed no. 855 on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing companies in 2019, and were included in the top five fastest-growing companies in Nebraska! Inc. 5000 measures success by how much a private company has grown in three years, and we were humbled to be included again this year.

We introduced new ways to customize your hosting plan

Our cloud hosting plans were created to help you manage lots of sites at a flat rate. But, we know it can be a big commitment to jump to the next tier, especially if you don’t have all the right clients booked yet. That’s why we created the option for you to add additional sites to your Starter, Freelance, or Agency plan for only $20/month/site!

We made Local faster than ever

We’ve seen from the forum, tweets, Flywheel customer tickets, and other conversations that when Local works, it’s amazing and workflow redefining! (But when it doesn’t work, it can be super frustrating.)

To chart a more reliable and powerful path forward, we rebuilt Local’s core architecture and moved away from virtualization in favor of native, system-level software to run WordPress locally. We’ve affectionately called the first version of this release Local “Lightning”, and while it’s still in beta, we’re thrilled that so many of our users have found it to be even better than the original!

A side-by-side of Local “Lightning” and Local “Classic”

In our spare time, we shipped 1,241 code commits in Local and helped users troubleshoot with over 5,000 posts on our community forum. With more than 500,000 sites created in the application, Local had quite the year in 2019!

We partnered with inCOMMON Community Development

Earlier this year, we announced inCOMMON Community Development as our 2019 community partner. inCOMMON Community Development’s mission is to unite and strengthen vulnerable neighborhoods in Omaha through a variety of community-based initiatives. Throughout 2019, we dedicated loads of time, talent, and treasures to inCOMMON! Flywheelers cleaned up inCOMMON’s community spaces during our Week of Service, gathered gift cards during the holiday season for participants involved in inCOMMON programs, and raised close to $2,000 for the organization during Omaha Gives!

Flywheel and WP Engine also donated $15,000 to inCOMMON in October, thanks to the Engine for Good program. All in all, we had a blast giving back to this incredible organization, and we can’t wait for what 2020 will bring!

We created our first workshop

After surveying 1,000 web designers, we discovered that 44% of them didn’t feel like they were charging enough for their services and that less than 40% of web design businesses earn money from retainer-based work. So, we decided to create our first-ever workshop entirely dedicated to maintenance plans! This 30-minute workshop, divided into five videos, will teach you everything you need to start offering recurring services to your clients, including why maintenance plans are so beneficial and what services you should offer in your own packages.

If you’re interested in making more money as a web designer in 2020, you won’t want to miss this course!

Local went to WCEU and WCUS

Sarah, Tyler, Clay, Jack, and Brett enjoying the sights of Berlin during #WCEU

WordCamps are always so much fun for our teams, and we’re thrilled to have been able to represent Local at both WordCamp Europe in Berlin and WordCamp US in St. Louis this year. We’re always ecstatic to hang with other WordPress pals, meet fellow Local lovers, and learn a thing or two along the way. Stay tuned to find out which WordCamps (and other events!) we’ll be attending in 2020.

We wrote, a lot

In addition to completely redesigning Layout, we wrote and updated 85 articles in 2019.

Here are our top five articles from the year:

And here are a few honorable mentions our editor doesn’t want you to miss:

From the content crew here at Flywheel, we look forward to providing more invaluable insights in 2020 on Layout!

The future of Flywheel is looking bright in 2020!

On behalf of every single person at Flywheel, thank you for choosing to partner with us in 2019! We’re so excited to continue helping you grow your business in 2020.

Here’s a sneak peek:

  • A bigger and better Agency Partners Program
  • Increased investments in Local (and more developer-friendly features!)
  • A jam-packed resource library for growing your business
  • ….and so much more!

Not on Flywheel yet? There’s never been a better time to join our platform.

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