InMotion Hosting Review : Pros, Cons, Features, and Pricing
In my experience, InMotion has made it easy and affordable to port my web content over to their drag-and-drop WordPress site builder. With a phone-team knowledge-base that’s second to none and VPS uptime of 99.999%, I am scratching my head as to what company might be better out there for hosting than InMotion.
- Great Uptime – 99.95% Shared & 99.999% VPS
- Top-Notch Customer Support
- Amazing backup tools with daily auto backups
- Complimentary AutoSSL & SSD For All Plans
- 90-day Money Back Guarantee
- Knowledgeable 24/7/365 Support
- cPanel back-end GUI
- Drag-and-Drop Website Builder
- No 2FA For Admin Login
- Only U.S.-based Servers
- High Renewal Rates
- 1 What Is InMotion Hosting?
- 2 Why should i buy Inmotion Hosting?
- 3 InMotion Web Hosting Pros
- 3.1 1. 400 Back-End Apps
- 3.2 2. Flexible Plans
- 3.3 3. Complimentary AutoSSL & SSD For All Plans
- 3.4 4. NGINX Cache
- 3.5 5. Daily Backups
- 3.6 6. 90-day Money Back Guarantee
- 3.7 7. 99.99% Uptime Guarantee
- 3.8 8. Knowledgeable 24/7/365 Support
- 3.9 9. Seamlessly Imports WordPress
- 3.10 10. cPanel back-end GUI
- 3.11 11. Drag-and-Drop Website Builder
- 3.12 12. Value
- 3.13 13. Built-In Web Design
- 4 Cons Against InMotion
- 5 InMotion Pricing Plans at a Glance
- 6 Do We Recommend InMotion?
If you’re looking for a web hosting provider like I was, the first feeling you may come across is one of being overwhelmed.
There are just so many providers to choose from globally and lots of flashy ads for companies that may not have my best interests truly in mind. The first thing I noticed about InMotion, actually while perusing a competitor’s website, was this fact:
The InMotion support team has the reputation of being the industry leader.
That got my attention, because knowledge is power, and having the ability to call an expert means the world to a business owner trying to get things done on time. I am definitely prone to tinker and break things, and it’s been easy to rectify my mistakes with the support team thus far in my experience.
What Is InMotion Hosting?
InMotion was founded in 2001 and is focused on the U.S. market where I live. Their ecologically designed bank of servers and HQ is in Los Angeles, and they have offices in Denver and Virginia Beach, as well as an east-coast server bank.
InMotion hosting hangs its hat on all-star level support. With a minimum training-hour count of 160 for new support staff, it’s clear they are serious about helping us when we call in. I appreciate that as a person always trying to up my tech literacy.
Why should i buy Inmotion Hosting?
1. Great Uptime – 99.95% Shared & 99.999% VPS
Overall, the past isn’t the best indicator of the future, so take these with a grain of salt. For me shopping for a web hosting company, as long as it was above 99% uptime, I wasn’t especially concerned.
InMotion reports 99.95% uptime for blog-size websites (like mine, where the call-to-action is a “Contact Us” button) and for bigger or e-commerce VPS websites, 99.999%.
That’s a truly stellar figure where it matters most. It seems as though InMotion has prioritized their uptime resources to helping their busiest clients and the ones that are earning money – who can blame them for that? I think it’s nice to know that if and when my business grows, InMotion will be able to easily scale up with me via their VPS plan.
Average Uptime 2018 – (Overall: 99.94%)
- August – 99.98%
- September – 99.99%
- October – 99.98%
Average Uptime 2019
- January – 99.9%
- February – 99.97%
- March – 99.98%
- April – 99.98%
- May – 99.97%
- June – 99.80%
- July – 99.94%
- August – 99.93%
- September – 99.90%
- October – 99.86%
- November – 99.61%
- December – 100%
Average Uptime 2020
- January – 99.99%
2. Average Speed
- Decent Response Time – 0.58s (11th)
- Slow Fully Loaded Time – 1.19s (14th)
- Quick Under Load – 0.70s (5th)
I’m not a big geek when it comes to loading time. I’m just happy as long as my customers are happy. I also realize that the user’s device is going to have way more to do with loading time than anything on the server-side, which is the faster side.
Typically people are also running other background apps or programs which could draw down your page loading time, as experienced by the end-user.
With that in mind, these figures above show that InMotion servers have a full-loading time of 1.19 seconds, plus whatever delays your user’s machine may add. Overall, 1.19 seconds is fine with me for my needs as someone who just has a shared hosting plan.
InMotion excels with the back-end speed, which is very important for me as a business owner in terms of consistency. The 0.70s response under load time is impressive and is one of the fastest in the industry, which is something I care about a great deal.
I don’t care about my loading speed being faster than 1 second, but I do care about not being slower than 1 second. My users have a second or two of patience as the website loads. It’s key to not load so long that the user thinks the website is broken and leaves, but also it’s not important to me to pay top-dollar to squeeze out those last few hundredths of a second – that is the geek level that I can’t get to when it comes to average page loading speed. I just care that all my pages load consistently and not slowly, and in my experience, InMotion delivers.
Average response time 2018:
- October – 0.59s
- November – 0.53s
- December – 0.61s
Average response time 2019:
- January – 0.61s
- February – 0.55s
Fully loaded page 2018:
- October – 1.11s
- November – 1.16s
- December – 1.08s
Fully loaded page 2019:
- January – 1.23s
- February – 1.01s
Response under load 2018:
- October – 0.58s
- November – 0.59s
- December – 0.71s
Response under load 2019:
- January – 0.57s
3. Top-Notch Customer Support:
No matter who you talk to, you’re going to find that InMotion has the best customer support in the web hosting industry.
Within minutes of submitting a support ticket, InMotion gets you talking with a well-trained live representative who is informative and helpful.
It’s easily possible to break certain things (badly) with your web server. Lord knows I have.
Rather than step back in fear and not tinker at all, I need to be able to hit the “easy button” and have someone come in and rectify my website when the proverbial “undo button” doesn’t work.
I need to be able to have the freedom to edit my site, knowing that if I make a mistake that it won’t be the end of the world, and I can call into support and be treated with respect and feel smarter afterward – their agents are very educational as well.
This is important because the quality of your support people makes the difference between you feeling regret versus feeling satisfied with your decision.
If you start getting the cold shoulder from a service support team, that is one of the most helpless feelings you can have in business. Short of contacting a lawyer, there’s not much you can do aside from driving over and marching into their office (as if that’s realistic).
The average response time from the InMotion support team is 5 minutes, and their online help portal is also the best in the business. It’s a veritable education center of its own, with so much relevant information you can use for your website and business. It’s something I encourage everyone to learn as much as possible about their server back-end because there are so many hidden gems waiting for you to use them to power up your website. It’s so nice to have the tech support with InMotion to be able to have the confidence to go out there and experiment with which apps are right for me knowing that if the experiment goes wrong, I can have support fix me up easily.
InMotion is my go-to partner on the back-end, and they do a great job. They make it easy for me to be the front-end designer and content creator and do what I do best.
InMotion Web Hosting Pros
InMotion does get a bad rap in the marketplace – PC Magazine docked points from InMotion for not having Windows servers: “InMotion’s lack of Windows servers and a few other minor issues prevent it from reaching the heights of DreamHost.”
Yet, according to Dreamhost themselves: “DreamHost, for instance, doesn’t offer Windows hosting since most of our users prefer to run Linux.”
My question, though, is who truly cares about this except for Microsoft and their payees? Not me, that’s for sure. I mean, who honestly cares about what language machines are using to talk to other machines as long as my site works fine?
PC Magazine is reaching hard to find a critique of InMotion, and they still couldn’t do it.
Overall, InMotion web hosting has been amazing in my experience. They do a good job, and the pros list is longer and more relevant than the cons, to me, and what I care about. Let’s start with the reasons in favor.
1. 400 Back-End Apps
There lots of tools in the toolshed with InMotion’s back-end. From their control panel, you can easily click and install robust different applications to handle all kinds of tasks. No other company in the industry has this many options for your back-end team. I was particularly relieved to see that one of the apps they support on the back-end is Python, which not all hosting partners will offer. Python is an incredibly powerful and easy-to-use computer programming language that is a whole rabbit hole unto itself, but knowing InMotion lets you install Python onto your server is like finding out your hotel offers free wifi. It’s huge, and it makes you feel like not having it is unprofessional at this point.
2. Flexible Plans
For a small-business user like myself with a CTA as a “Contact Us” button, the “shared hosting” plan was perfect for me. I don’t get a ton of traffic or handle financial transactions, and my website is mainly for communication purposes. They integrate WordPress into my plan very well too.
For larger websites that handle financial transactions, and thus have much higher security protocols, the InMotion VPS option is available and will be perfect as you scale up your business and grow. InMotion also has a dedicated IP server option, but I just honestly don’t ever see myself having the need or desire for that level.
3. Complimentary AutoSSL & SSD For All Plans
SSL certificates are the basis of the new web, as now everything we use has HTTPS rather than good ole’ HTTP. Google actually has started drastically penalizing websites that don’t have SSL, so this is now a prerequisite to get your website to the table. SSL helps us stay safe from hackers online, and it’s an industry standard. You need SSL, or your website will get blocked by Google (if it doesn’t get hacked first). Not every hosting company offers free SSL, but thankfully InMotion does.
SDDs are the industry-leading “solid-state drive” technology and are much faster than their counterpart older technology, HDDs. SSDs use energy more efficiently and operate faster. I’m not huge into this distinction, but a lot of people out in the marketplace care a lot about SSD, and InMotion gives it to you, complimentary, no matter what plan you choose.
4. NGINX Cache
With their VPS or WordPress Hosting options, InMotion allows you to use NGINX caching, which enables the best performance of your servers and contributes to why InMotion has such solid page loading speeds. NGINX was made to outperform competitors and is a great caching language for your servers to be using, so your website can load its basic elements as fast as possible.
5. Daily Backups
InMotion can back up your website once per day. This is a key security protocol and enables you to always rest assured that your website is here to stay, and not at risk of a hacker deleting it. Each day’s backup overwrites the previous, so you are sure to have the most recent version updated.
6. 90-day Money Back Guarantee
30-day full-satisfaction warranties are commonplace in the web hosting world. So why does InMotion’s guarantee go for 3x as long? It seems they are signaling heightened confidence in their customers’ expected satisfaction. That’s kind of the business equivalent of saying, “Don’t believe me, just watch.”
7. 99.99% Uptime Guarantee
For their VPS and Dedicated Server Clients, InMotion offers an uptime guarantee, where they credit you for free hosting if your site goes below 99.99% uptime. This is a key risk-mitigator for the higher-paying clients who can’t handle drops in uptime at all. It’s worth noting that this guarantee doesn’t cover attacks, or if you wrote weird code that took down the site accidentally – though you can call in and have their support help you fix it.
8. Knowledgeable 24/7/365 Support
Being stuck with your website at 3 in the morning is no longer an issue – or Christmas morning, or new year’s eve. InMotion has support available around the clock and calendar via Skype call, and they are the most tech-savvy in the industry. This could have been pro number one for me.
9. Seamlessly Imports WordPress
InMotion allows you to easily import your WordPress site via the XML file. This makes switching hosting companies over to InMotion very easy if you have a WordPress site. Ease of switching over is a key factor because it affects how expensive and worthwhile the endeavor will be.
10. cPanel back-end GUI
On the back-end server-side, InMotion lets you use the familiarity of cPanel to set up which apps you want to use to power your website. Having run cPanel for over ten years now, it’s no secret that proprietary versions typically are meant to hide some deeper weakness, while cPanel itself exposes everything to the true light of day and allows people to gain insight via open-source knowledge.
11. Drag-and-Drop Website Builder
This one helped me with my onboarding a lot with InMotion. Being able to drag and drop design elements into my website easily was the perfect thing for my skill level. I felt like I had full control over the final product.
I am a small business user, focused on functionality and professionalism, so this feature suited me very well. I don’t like getting into coding if I don’t have to, and the InMotion website builder made it seamless for me to re-create my website quickly.
While InMotion may not have the lowest introduction rates in the market, their long-term cost is a solid value and is competitive with anyone in the industry. Lots of web hosting companies are glad to operate at a loss for the first year just to buy your business, because they know it’s difficult to change hosting companies once you’re locked in.
It’s like a storage unit facility offering a free month of storage, in the hopes that once you move all your stuff in, you’ll be too tired or busy to want to move it out and just keep paying their storage fees.
Overall I’m not one to sweat over a dollar or two per month here or there. I’m paying just over a few bucks a month for their basic “Launch” package, and I feel like I’m getting a lot for my money.
13. Built-In Web Design
I thought this was great for the more serious large business users, but for those who don’t want to drag-and-drop or create their unique design, you can drop a one-time fee of $99 and within a turnaround of two days, be the owner of a new, branded website with good outbound links and SEO practices.
In terms of the cheapest option being to just not be online in the first place, it’s great to know this professional backup option is available through InMotion, in case I need it when my business grows. I always love supporting and working with web designers!
Cons Against InMotion
InMotion is a great option, but it’s important to be aware of the risks going in, so you can best mitigate and protect yourself – in any city, there are some dangerous neighborhoods, you just have to know where they are.
1. No 2FA For Admin Login
Bring those strong passwords, folks!
Seriously, with InMotion (or any hosting service I’ve tried, to be fair), you don’t get two-factor authentication optionality when logging in.
Two-factor authentication (2FA) is where two items are needed to log in: there’s your standard password, and then the second factor has to be something like an email or phone verification, where they send you a code, and you have to go check back, and then enter in their code. This is a key security step that can save your business.
2FA is a login standard for serious industries like the financial industry.
Isn’t it time the internet and telecommunications industry caught up? Even Gmail makes me use my phone to log in pretty much every time at this point. I can’t even expect to hope to log into my bank without my phone for the second factor of authentication.
Though they use SSH as an admin security feature, I’m not sure if InMotion will block a bad actor who has tried to log into your admin account and failed repeatedly. Lord knows DreamHost won’t – this is actually what permanently took down my old DreamHost site back in the day, forcing me out of DreamHost years ago. I recall seeing numerous repeated login attempts from abroad, and though I changed my password, my site still got hacked and taken down. Thanks, Dreamhost.
Without two-factor login authentication, it means that anyone who is motivated enough could eventually guess your password with a brute-force attack and succeed in hacking your site. This is why it’s more vital than ever to have a strong password, over 16 characters, with numbers, punctuations, and symbols. I also wish hosting companies would lock someone out from attempting to log in if they fail the password too many times because even my phone company locks me out if I have a few wrong attempts at my password.
This is a big security issue, and I will keep an eye on it.
2. Yearly Payments at Minimum
With someone like myself accustomed to paying for things monthly, it is something to behold to talk about a company with the audacity to charge for something up to two years ahead of time. InMotion does make it worth your while and gives you a discount if you buy two years at once.
A bold move indeed, but the folks at InMotion are confident that their 90-day money-back guarantee will offset the risks felt by those wondering if this is a real drawback. Again at this point in business investment, the cheapest option is just to not have a website, and the most expensive option is to do things wrong and waste money. Having to buy two years at once is a pretty petty gripe, as you *can* sign up for their highest tier (PRO level) shared hosting is available for a monthly buy-in.
3. Only U.S.-based Servers
While this one wasn’t as much of a complaint on behalf of myself, this is a frustration I’ve seen echoed around the web by international users wishing InMotion had a server in Asia or Europe. The small differences in page loading time experienced on InMotion sites between the U.S. and Asia are so minuscule (a matter of microseconds) that it would be nearly impossible for a human being to tell the difference.
However, the SEO algorithms do take into account how many microseconds are needed for a server to deliver a webpage to a part of the world. If your website is down too often or too slow, Google will start penalizing you in page rank. Google loves fast-loading websites, and while perhaps that’s contributed to the erosion of patience in the marketplace at large, I think it’s also a good thing to be on-point and not lagging behind the competition in aspects like page loading time.
InMotion Pricing Plans at a Glance
InMotion has a range of hosting plans which can get a bit overwhelming. As they say in business, it’s cheapest to buy quality – InMotion’s prices aren’t the lowest or the highest out there, but they have competitive rates when you do the math. The first three options are for InMotion’s shared hosting.
LAUNCH – Easy Shared Hosting with 1-click WordPress Integration
$7.99/mo. This is the plan I chose for myself with InMotion, and it’s been working great for me. Compared to the 99 cents a month I was paying to get hacked out of Dreamhost after 2 years, I feel keeping it down to the price of a good sandwich per month is affordable to give my business a professional online presence that I know will last longer than a couple of years.
The InMotion LAUNCH Package comes equipped with the potential to support two websites, two MySQL & PostgreSQL Databases, six parked domains, and 25 sub-domains. A solid value for those not needing any e-commerce help. But for those who do:
POWER – Business Shared Hosting
$9.99/mo With this option, you get six websites, and the security features needed to be able to run e-commerce transactions and properly protect your customer’s financial data without being penalized by Google SEO. This is the most cost-effective way to get your online store up and running.
PRO – Top Tier Shared Hosting
$15.99/mo: Ironically, perhaps their cheapest option in terms of one-time cost, the PRO Shared plan with InMotion, comes in a one-month option for $15.99. Not bad to be up and running with an industry leader for under $20. With this option, you get priority support and an unlimited number of websites supported – huge potential to build your online presence.
Virtual Private Server Hosting
$29.99/mo and up Throw that extra nine on your uptime percentage because the performance upgrade that comes with VPS is huge. You go from 99.9% uptime to 99.99% guaranteed uptime with actual figures, more like 99.999%. You get unlimited SQL databases and access to the servers of one of the world’s foremost leading hosting companies. If you are doing any legitimate amount of e-commerce on your website, you will want a VPS, to keep your customers happy and loyal, and project security and professionalism to the marketplace. InMotion also offers a dedicated IP server for enterprise clients, which costs over $100 a month but looks like a good value for what it provides (that’s just not my market segment).
Details At A Glance:
|Storage:||Unlimited with all plans!|
|Domain names:||2 – Unlimited|
|Software installation:||400 apps, 1-click installs|
|Migration:||Easiest with WordPress but also seamless with other CMS|
|Payment options:||Credit or debit card|
|Account setup:||Slow – manual process and highly secure|
|Upsells:||Dedicated server for enterprise clients|
Do We Recommend InMotion?
InMotion is a reputable company with industry-leading support staff and solid performance data. Though they charge two years upfront, they truly deliver and provide great value. For this, I would indeed recommend InMotion to anyone starting their website or online presence. I’ve tried plenty of different options out there, and InMotion gives me the best blend of value and quality that I’ve seen.
Yes, some free providers can supply something nice, but not as robust as InMotion, and they provide it for free so they can upsell you when you need to grow. There are also more expensive companies out there that would be happy to rip you off, triple your bill size after the first year, and leave you feeling stupid for not changing hosting companies immediately. It is key to find that balance where your value is maximized.
Overall, I like InMotion because they ultimately leave me feeling smart and well-informed about my website and internet presence.