Inmotion Review

InMotion Hosting is one of the most popular US providers. Founded in 2001 and with over 300 employees and more than 170,000 customers, 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 that they promise a 99.99% uptime on the homepage.

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.

If you rather check how InMotion hosting backend looks, check out this video-review I created for you:

Try InMotion Hosting risk free

 

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.

inmotion hosting domain extensions

  • 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 $11.99 to $24.99 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 $36.99 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 $54.99 to $144.99 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 $169.99 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 $54.99 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 $9.99 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.

InMotion Pricing: What Do Their Shared Plans Include?

Launch Power Pro
Allowed websites 2 50 100
Domain name 1 free domain 1 free domain 1 free domain
Support Regular Regular Pro
Storage 50 GB 100 GB 200 GB
Email accounts 10 50 Unlimited
Bandwidth Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Database 3 50 100
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 $6.99 a month $9.99 a month $15.99
Renewal price for 1-year deals $11.99 a month $10.99 a month $24.99 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. Monthly plans are available too.

The Launch plan is a good option for those needing a maximum of 2 websites and needing less than 10 email accounts. 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. It also offers 50 email accounts. 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 email accounts 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 $11.99 to $10.99 a month.

inmotion hosting tricky purchase

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.

Pros Cons

  • No bandwidth limitation: The traffic that your website can get isn’t metered either.
  • Easy to use: Even if their backend looks a bit outdated, I find their system easy to follow.
  • Good support: In my experience, their support was useful. However, at times I had to wait a bit.

  • No free backups: InMotion Hosting doesn’t offer a backup feature, instead you’ll need to get their paid add-on if you need backups, or use the tedious cPanel tool.
  • Uptime: In our last tests InMotion didn’t have great results.
  • Missing some advanced features: Some of the more advanced functionalities are missing. For example, you won’t have a server-side caching system or staging areas.
  • Could be faster: InMotion Hosting does need to improve their speed, in our tests it was the slowest host.
  • Limitations: The storage, email accounts and databases have limitations with each plan.

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 bandwidth 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.

InMotion Shared Hosting Details

Let’s now explore InMotion’s specifications in detail:

criterion rating comments

Ease of Use

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.

Domain Names

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.

Email Rating

The Lunch and Power plans are limited to 10 and 50 accounts, the Pro plan offers unlimited email addresses.

Databases

You’ll be limited to 3 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

InMotion comes with 1-click installs for the most popular applications (more than 400) like WordPress, Drupal or Joomla.

Webspace Limit

InMotion’s Business (shared) hosting comes 50 GB od storage for the Launch plan, 100 GB for the Power tier and 200 GB for the Pro package.

Monthy Data Transfer Limit

Bandwidth is not limited either.

FTP Accounts and Secure FTP

FTP (with unlimited accounts), SFTP and SSH access is provided in all plans.

Server Location

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

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

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

Their higher tier (Pro) will offer a 99.9% uptime, the rest of the plans don’t offer any warranty. Their uptime results were very disappointing (see the table below).

Backups

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

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

It’s possible to use PHP 7 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

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.

Overall Rating

3.7/5

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 Loading Time
5 GTmetrix test 3.1 s
5 Pingdom test 1.38 s
5 PageSpeed Insights (Google) 6.67 s

As you can see in the table above, InMotion wasn’t a top-performing provider, in fact, their average loading time (3.71 seconds) was the slowest of all the providers tested. Competitors like DreamHost, A2 Hosting and SiteGround (read comparison) were somehow faster.

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.

2019

(Percentage)

2020

(Percentage)

Kinsta (3 months test) No data 100
Cloudways (3 months test) No data 100
DreamHost 100 99.99
A2 Hosting 99.93 99.99
WP Engine No data 99.99
GreenGeeks (3 months test) No data 99.98
SiteGround 99.98 99.97
Bluehost 99.98 99.96
HostGator 99.94 99.91
GoDaddy 99.97 99.90
InMotion 99.97 99.73
Hostinger 99.62 99.48
iPage 99.66 98.45

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 a very disappointing uptime rate.

InMotion Hosting Review: Do I Recommend It?

Not really.

InMotion’s performance is not acceptable – the uptime and the loading speed have a lot to improve.

Its reliable support and affordable prices are a good perk. Its storage is also generous and they don’t meter the traffic you can get. So if you don’t care too much about performance, it could be a good option, but providers like DreamHost offer similar (or cheaper prices) and better performance.

But of course, InMotion is not for every project. And there are also some missing features:

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. And finally, advanced users may be missing some key features like Git repositories, server-side caching or staging areas for their projects.

> Check out InMotion for 90 days for free

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.

Review Updates

12 Jul 2019: General update and performance test
12 Jul 2019: First review

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