InMotion Hosting is one of the most popular US providers. Founded in 2001 and with over 3000 employees, it offers affordable shared hosting plans.
I am quite excited to review InMotion Hosting as they promise ‘a truly outstanding customer service’ and the latest technology like SSD drives and HTTP/2 protocols. But what really caught my eye was their 90-day money-back guarantee.
But of course, before you purchase their services, you should be aware of their shortcomings (spoiler alert: they have some) and how their servers perform when benchmarked to their competitors.
Table of Contents
What Products Does InMotion Offer?
Like most other hosting providers, they don’t only offer shared hosting plans. To help you choose the product that best fits your needs, let me quickly go over what they offer.
- Domain names: Once you open an account with InMotion Hosting, you can register additional domain names. The available extensions are: .com, .net, .biz, .org, .info and .us. Other providers offer more variety. Domains cost $15.99 a year, which is cheaper than most direct competitors.
- Shared hosting: One of their most popular products. The prices range from $8.99 to $15.99 a month for 12-month deals. This type of hosting is suitable for small to medium projects that don’t need unusual server configurations.
- WordPress shared hosting: Pretty much every shared hosting provider offers WordPress hosting plans too. At InMotion these start at $9.99 per month and go all the way up to $19.99 a month. Besides including a CDN and an integrated backup system (for some plans), I am not sure what the differences are with the regular shared hosting plans.
- VPS (Virtual Private Server): These are hosting servers subdivided into smaller (virtual) servers using a special piece of software. This means that you can configure the server as you please and you don’t have to share the available resources with other websites. VPS InMotion Hosting packages go from $49.99 to $159.99 a month.
- Dedicated: Meant for larger projects (e.g. 400,000 + visitors / month) that need the highest performance. You’ll need a budget for this, as they start at $189.99 a month.
- Cloud VPS hosting: Cloud hosting is a bit of a novelty in the hosting world. You can imagine this as a network of several servers that host your site interconnected with each other. It’s especially convenient for projects that have changing resources needs (e.g. they get sudden traffic peaks). Cloud hosting packages start at $34.99 per month at InMotion.
- Website builder: For the less tech-savvy, they have a website builder that doesn’t require programming knowledge to design your website. To be fair, it’s a bit overpriced as it starts at $15 a month, other easy-to-use alternatives are much cheaper.
But it doesn’t stop there. They also have a reseller hosting program so you can sell your own hosting accounts to your clients, there are also enterprise hosting solutions for remarkably large projects, amongst other things.
But in this InMotion Hosting review, I’d like to explore their shared hosting plans, so from now on, I’ll refer to those in my analysis.
|Domain name||1 free domain||1 free domain||1 free domain|
|Performance||1 x Performance||2 x Performance||4 x Performance|
|Max. number of Inodes
(similar to number of files)
|Backup *||$2 a month paid add-on||$2 a month paid add-on||$2 a month paid add-on|
|Dedicated IP||$4 extra a month||$4 extra a month||$4 extra a month|
|First-term prices for 1 year deals||$4.99 a month||$6.99 a month||$13.99|
|Renewal price for 1-year deals||$8.99 a month||$10.99 a month||$15.99 a month|
InMotion Hosting plans can be purchased either yearly or bi-yearly. Obviously, the longer the plan the cheaper it gets. However, be aware that you’ll be required to pay the full amount in advance.
The Launch plan is a good option for those needing a maximum of 2 websites. In light of their lower performance, I would recommend it for smaller projects (e.g. a 10-page business website).
The Power tier has twice as many resources, so it should be a good fit if your project is a bit bigger. You’ll be able to have up to 6 websites and 50 databases, enough for most website owners.
Finally, the Pro package has 4x more resources than the basic plan. You get access to priority support, and the websites and databases aren’t limited.
If you have a professional project, you’ll want to have some sort of backup feature integrated. InMotion only offers this as an add-on starting at $2 a month, so make sure you factor this into the price. For example, the Launch plan will go from $8.99 to $10.99 a month.
The purchase process can be a bit tricky, as some add-ons are added to the cart without you doing so – make sure you remove them. For example, the backup manager or the privacy protection for your domain name (see image above).
InMotion Pros & Cons
Let me talk a bit about InMotion Hosting’s advantages and disadvantages so you know what to expect from this popular hosting provider.
But you are probably wondering, ‘Is InMotion a good hosting provider for my website?’. Let me explain when I’d recommend InMotion and when I wouldn’t.
When to Use InMotion Hosting
I would recommend InMotion Hosting if you are looking for a hosting provider that offers a lot of storage and is simple to use.
For instance, smaller projects that won’t be needing a top performing and a cutting edge service can find a good partner in InMotion. I would say small businesses’ websites like bakeries, law firms and beauty salons could use InMotion.
When Not to Use InMotion Hosting
But of course, InMotion isn’t for everyone. If you have a very hosting-dependant project (e.g. an ecommerce or a blog), InMotion may not be your best alternative as it can be slow.
Developers or larger teams (e.g. agencies) needing advanced features like staging areas, GIT repositories or built-in backup systems may find InMotion’s (too) simple system frustrating.
Let’s now explore InMotion’s specifications in detail:
|Ease of use||Good||Their system is fairly easy to use, especially if you are used to using a cPanel-based web hosting. Being 100% honest, their backend could look a bit more modern.|
|InMotion offers a free domain name with all their shared hosting plans, but only the first year. After that, you’ll need to pay $15.99 yearly. You’ll be able to choose from .com, .net, .org, .us, .info and .biz extensions. You can have up to 2 domains and 25 subdomains with the Launch plan, 6 domains and 100 subdomains with the Power package and unlimited domain and subdomains with the Pro plan.|
|Very good||All shared hosting accounts offer unlimited email accounts and storage for your emails.|
|Databases||Good||You’ll be limited to 2 databases with the Launch plan, 50 with the Power package and Pro users can have unlimited databases. No limit on the database sizes. It’s possible to have MySQL and PostgreSQL databases.|
|Applications||Very good||InMotion comes with 1-click installs for the most popular applications (more than 400) like WordPress, Drupal or Joomla.|
|Webspace limit||Very good||InMotion’s Business (shared) hosting comes with unlimited web space for all their plans. Their servers come with SSD drives, which are faster than older solutions.|
|Monthly data transfer limit||Very good||Bandwidth is not limited either.|
|FTP accounts and secure FTP||Very good||FTP (with unlimited accounts), SFTP and SSH access is provided in all plans.|
|Server locations||Bad||Choose from 2 US locations: West Coast (Los Angeles) and the East Coast (Washington DC). There are no data centers outside the US. So if most of your visitors are located outside the US (e.g. Europe), it’s not an ideal host.|
|Security features||Solid||SSL encryption is provided for free via the cPanel for all plans. They scan your hosting account for malware and vulnerabilities and if they find something off they quarantine the affected files.|
|Server speed||OK||They use SSD drives and HTTP/2 for faster performance. Their Power plan offers 2x more performance (RAM & CPU) and their Pro package 4x more. They also use PHP 7 as their default version, which is much more efficient than the older versions. Even if their speed wasn’t terrible, we expected a bit more from InMotion in our tests (more details below).|
|Uptime||Good||Their higher tier (Pro) will offer a 99.9% uptime, the rest of the plans don’t offer any warranty. Their uptime results in our tests were fantastic, they were one of the top providers (see results below).|
|Backups||Very bad||Unless you pay for their Backup Pro feature ($2 a month for 10 GB), you won’t get any. Of course, you can create your own backups using cPanel or an external solution (e.g. a WordPress plugin), but that can get tedious to set up and maintain.|
|CDN (content delivery network)||Not included||Even if InMotion hosting doesn’t include a CDN, you could connect an external provider like CloudFlare. However, you have to take care of the setup.|
|Server features||Good||It’s possible to use PHP 7, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5 and 5.6. InMotion allows MySQL and PostgreSQL Databases. Additionally, other programming languages like Ruby, Perl or Python can also be used. InMotion shared hosting servers aren’t PCI compliant, you’ll need a VPS or a dedicated server for that. Sadly, other advanced technologies like staging areas or Git repositories aren’t included out-of-the-box.|
|Refunds and guarantees||
|They have a refund policy of 90 days, unmatched by most of their competitors. For the higher Pro plan, they guarantee a 99.9% minimum uptime – although you only need to aim for 99.5% or higher.|
|Assistance and support||Very good||InMotion Hosting has 24-hour support by chat, phone and their ticket system (email). They also have an extensive collection of help articles, but sometimes they lack a bit of detail. My experience with their support has generally been good.|
4.0 out 5
|Aside from the fact that their performance could be higher, backups are paid separately and their backend is a bit old-fashioned looking, InMotion Hosting could be a great option for those looking for a basic and cheap hosting provider.|
InMotion Performance Tests
You should not purchase a hosting provider without knowing what to expect from their performance; low-performing services can harm your project.
So let me share with you the results I got from my InMotion Hosting uptime and speed tests. For more details, check out the latest results.
InMotion Hosting Speed Test
Having a slow server can be a huge pain as it’ll slow down your website. As you can imagine, today’s internet users aren’t very patient and will not wait around until your site is fully loaded (if too slow). Your conversion rate will therefore sink.
On top of that, search engines factor in websites’ speed when creating their rankings. Therefore, a slow site can cost you a bunch of SEO points too.
Although I think that InMotion’s speed is not awful, I do believe they should provide a faster system as it can feel a bit too slow for those in need of the highest performance (e.g. you focus on SEO).
Check out an overview of their results:
|Test||Average Ranking||Average Speed|
|5 GTmetrix test||4 out of 7 providers were faster||2.02 s|
|5 Pingdom test||5 out of 7 providers were faster||1.44 s|
|5 Webpagetest test||6 out of 7 providers were faster||5.76 s|
Is InMotion’s Uptime Good?
Another critical aspect for hosting providers is the uptime levels. The uptime measures the percentage of time that your website went offline (sporadic and short downtimes aren’t a massive deal and won’t punish you).
But if your website is down all the time, your conversion rate will decrease. Search engines like Google or Bing won’t like it either.
You should aim to have at least an uptime of 99.95%. In other words, in a whole year your server (website) should not be down for more than about 4 hours.
To monitor uptime I use StatusCake, a tool that checks each website every 5 minutes.
As you can see, in our uptime test InMotion Hosting had an uptime of 99.97%. I am very pleased with these results as they are way above the industry standard.
InMotion Hosting Review: Do I Recommend It?
Yes, but not for everyone.
InMotion’s performance is acceptable – the uptime is good and the speed could be improved. They offer reliable support and their prices are fair. So for those looking for a simple (and cheap) hosting provider, it could be a good choice.
But of course, InMotion is not for every project.
There aren’t integrated backups in place unless you purchase their $2 a month add-on – not crazy expensive but good to be aware of. For some competitive projects, their speed may not be enough (e.g. no server-side caching). And finally, advanced users may be missing some key features like Git repositories, server-side caching or staging areas for their projects.
InMotion Hosting Alternatives
InMotion Hosting is a great option for those looking for an affordable provider. But as we’ve seen, it’s missing a few features (e.g. staging) and doesn’t provide the highest performance.
So let’s check what other alternatives you can use:
- DreamHost is a provider that offers a fair price and better overall performance than InMotion. Their backend is also a bit more modern-looking.
- SiteGround is one of the top performing providers I’ve ever tried. They also come with useful and quick support, and an unmatched set of features (e.g. speed optimization plugin) for WordPress websites.
> But if you want to give InMotion Hosting a go, remember that you can try it for 90 without any risk
Thanks for reading this InMotion review, I hope it helped you get a better idea of what to expect with InMotion. However, if you have any questions, please leave a comment and I’ll try to help you.
12 Jul 2019: First review