WP Engine expands WordPress hosting customer base with acquisition of Flywheel

The acquisition of Flywheel will add 28,000 more customers and additional developer tools like 'Local' to WP Engine's rapidly expanding business.

Approximately two weeks after debuting the release of their new local WordPress development and deployment tool, DevKit, WP Engine announced that they’re acquiring Flywheel for an undisclosed amount. Aside from WordPress hosting, Flywheel is famous among webmasters for their competing development tool, Local by Flywheel, which has an estimated user base of 150,000 developers.

In an email message to affiliate partners, WP Engine touted the strengths of combining the two companies. They pointed out that purchasing Flywheel will help enhance what they call the WordPress Digital Experience Platform.

WP Engine Platform
WP Engine’s Digital Experience Platform for WordPress

It will be interesting to see how WP Engine integrates Flywheel’s technology into its Creative Agility tools. In the DevKit announcement on Coywolf News, I wrote that Flywheel’s flagship tool, Local, runs in isolation and is resource intensive because it requires VirtualBox to run in the background. DevKit differs because it utilizes thin and powerful tools.

As a WordPress webmaster and customer of WP Engine, my hope is that they will take the best parts of Local, like its UI, and incorporate it into DevKit. It’s highly likely that Local will ultimately be deprecated as DevKit matures and takes its place as a better alternative for local WordPress development and deployment.

One thing is for sure, WP Engine is aggressively trying to grow their company. As of January 2019, they have an annual recurring revenue (ARR) of $132 million at a growth rate of more than 30 percent. The purchase of Flywheel is sure to keep that momentum going and will significantly increase their previously stated revenue.