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InMotion Hosting has been alive for a couple of decades. It has a fairly wide, if somewhat generic, array of services – including shared hosting, WordPress hosting, VPS hosting, dedicated servers, and even private cloud hosting.
With that range of products, plus the fairly affordable pricing, InMotion is targeting everyone from the hobbyist web designer to the medium-sized business. In theory, as long as you don’t actually need your own data center, the plans here should be enough for you.
Well, that’s the promise, anyway. The question, as always, is whether or not InMotion Hosting can match the expectations set on its homepage.
I ran a WordPress-based test website over the course of a few months to answer just that question. In the end, I can certainly say that InMotion Hosting is… a company. That does web hosting. It’s alright.
But is it alright for you, specifically? Let’s find out.
InMotion Hosting Looks Great on Paper (So to Speak)
InMotion Hosting’s features are (mostly) pretty standard, but I can say that the hosting plans are pretty solid. Where many hosts will lock all of the best features behind more expensive plans, InMotion Hosting maintains a pretty decent balance of features across the board.
All InMotion Hosting’s plans come with cPanel, unlimited bandwidth, 24/7 support, and free advertising credits. You can choose to have WordPress, PrestaShop, or Joomla preinstalled. Every plan also comes with free website transfers and a free domain name for the first year.
Also, and rather importantly, every plan gets free SSL certificates via LetsEncrypt. For the non-nerds, that means your website’s back-and-forth traffic is all encrypted, providing an extra layer of security against hacking and data leaks. Search engines can give your site a small boost for having SSL enabled, too.
The main differences in the plans come in the form of resource allocation: if you pay more money, you get more storage space, more databases, more addon domains, email accounts, and so on. (Yeah, email accounts are limited for some reason. The Launch plan gets 10, and the other two get 50 and 100 respectively.)
Also, both WordPress and regular shared hosting plans are available, and unlike with some hosts, they’re actually a bit different. The WordPress plans seem to be a better fit for WordPress websites (as they darned well should be), as they supposedly include some special server configurations. Unfortunately, I can’t back that up with facts, because no specifics are given by InMotion.
What I can attest to is that I went with the Launch (basic) shared hosting plan, and that it runs on Apache, the old web server technology that just can’t keep up with the speed of the newer players in town.
The Launch plan comes with 50GB of SSD storage and the aforementioned unlimited bandwidth, and it can support 2 websites. The two more expensive plans each double the allocated storage, and can support 50 and 100 websites, respectively.
The weird thing is that InMotion brags that the basic plan has “3x performance and speed,” the second one has 4x, and the third one 6x. 3x of what, exactly? We may never know. It’s a mystery, like “What happened to my other sock?” or “Why doesn’t Brandon Fraser return my calls?”
My point is, there seems to be no real metric used here, and I would take all these promises with a grain of salt. Is more RAM and CPU available with the advanced plans? Maybe. Maybe not.
The BoldGrid Builder
A while back, InMotion Hosting developed a revolutionary WordPress drag-and-drop builder that was all the rage back when it first came out. It was an easy-to-use but super powerful way to get a professional-looking website in no time, and with no coding knowledge.
It’s still available today, and isn’t a bad feature by any means, but there are better alternatives now. Elementor, for example, is a plugin that offers more even in its free version, and it’s easier to customize. Its premium (and not very expensive) version is just worlds apart in terms of options and features.
There’s a Daily Backups Addon
This is offered at an extra cost, but you can purchase automatic daily full website backups. This is the kind of premium feature that hosts like Kinsta, Liquid Web, and SiteGround offer (sometimes by default), but many basic shared hosts don’t have it.
It’s good to see that InMotion has it, even if it’s a paid add-on.
InMotion Hosting Can Build Your Site for You
InMotion is one of the few hosts that actually provide a website building service. That is, you can specify what you want your website to be, and they will go ahead and build it for you.
If you’re really looking to offload your whole website to someone else, this isn’t a bad choice at all. It’s offered at an extra cost, for sure, but it’s much cheaper than hiring a web developer or agency separately.
It’s also probably not on the same level, so there’s that to keep in mind. In web design, you really do get what you pay for.See full list of features
Ease of use
There’s Good and There’s Bad, of Course
Overall, InMotion Hosting isn’t going to make you jump through too many hoops just to get your site up and running. The signup process itself was simple and only took a few minutes.
The overall interface is mostly well-organized, but there are a couple of potential hiccups along the way. Let’s get into specifics:
Kind of Bad: Choosing Your Plan Can Be Difficult
When I was ready to choose an InMotion plan, I couldn’t really understand if I needed a Web Hosting plan or a WordPress Hosting plan. WhenI tried to consult with support, the agent said it didn’t really matter. I thought that was very weird, as these are different plans, or at least the marketing says they are.
Looks like it’s just another one of those mysteries, like “What exactly is Christopher Nolan taking, and do I need it to understand his movies?”
Also Kind of Bad: The Admin Interface Can Be Confusing
InMotion Hosting also made the choice – a foolish one, in my opinion – to design its account area (“AMP,” as they call it) to look fairly similar to cPanel. I sometimes had trouble figuring out which one was which.
The uses for these two control panels are very different: one is for managing your account – billing, support, and the like – and the other for managing your actual hosting. As a result, I wasted lots of time scrolling up and down just to realize that again, I was on the wrong page.
Good: At Least Getting Started Was Easy
Upon signing up for InMotion, I got plenty of emails and instructions as to exactly what to do next. I also had WordPress automatically installed. Connecting my domain was easy peasy, as nameserver addresses were included with the information I was sent.
InMotion’s Inconsistent Performance Could Hurt Your Site
Did you ever take a car for a test drive, and hear the salesman say, “Oh, that noise is totally normal”? Well, that’s why I run rather extensive tests when I’m reviewing web hosts. Specifically, I set up a test site with all the usual WordPress bells and whistles, as well as animation, big image files, and more.
I also usually ask the support team if they can recommend any optimizations for my test site, to allow the host to make a good first impression. This time, I didn’t even make it as far as asking the question, because the wait times for support were too long.
The end result of all my testing came down to this: The average complete page loading time was 1.97 seconds, global loading tests couldn’t actually be completed, but at least the server uptime was 99.964%. These results would be more encouraging if the loading times were consistent, but they weren’t.
If you want to know just how inconsistent my test results were, you’re in luck. I’ll be discussing that in detail below. If you’d rather just jump ahead to the Support section and see if InMotion’s support was worth waiting for, that’s okay, too.
I typically use GTmetrix to test average complete page load time, Sucuri to test international load times, and UptimeRobot to make sure the site actually stays up. Here are the details:
The fastest complete loading time was a fantastic 0.8 seconds, with the slowest being 5s. Again, that’s an average of 1.97 seconds of load time.
You generally want to keep load times under 2 seconds, to keep people from running off and doing other things because your page is taking too long to load. If your load times are regularly going up to 5 seconds, you’re going to lose potential customers as they stare at the blank screen and wonder what they’re doing with their lives.
Sucuri could not, for the love of God, test InMotion Hosting. There seems to be a firewall issue, which is alright, because that means Inmotion runs some kind of traffic filtering or server security. The agents seemed not to know the exact reason, or the way to solve the problem.
Attempts to whitelist the Sucuri IP addresses were not successful, so no data has been gathered.
In better news, my test site managed 99.964% uptime over three and a half months. That’s not the best, but it’s not bad.
There’s no uptime guarantee of any kind with InMotion, which is a bit worrying in itself. If the server’s performance was only a bit worse than this, you’d be dealing with site unavailability for your visitors and no accountability from InMotion Hosting.
My support experience started out well, with the service looking like true 24/7/365 support available through live chat, phone, and tickets.
The pre-sales chat was great, with the agent answering every little question in detail and being very honest. He also gave me a special discount and immediately activated my account, making my life a whole lot easier. (Compare that to a host like A2 Hosting, which had me sending identification for two whole days, waiting and begging to be activated because I was suspected of web hosting fraud… whatever that is.)
After signing up, the situation got worse. Waiting times for support were no longer immediate. 30-40 minutes waiting was the average, making it so that I usually just skipped support altogether.
In the few times where I did wait and get connected to an agent, they were good. The agent knew how to check my domain propagation situation when I wanted to connect my domain registered with a third party, and could definitely aid you in doing the same.
An agent also reset my WordPress password when I couldn’t log in (guess I forgot it), solving that issue on the spot.
When I wanted some help with enforcing HTTPS traffic, I was feeling that the agent took way too long to answer. Like long, long minutes, after I already waited an hour to start the chat. I complained, and was amazed that the agent not only agreed with me – but asked me to tell InMotion to hire more people. Well, InMotion – please hire more people.
What Inmotion does have is an excellent knowledge base, complete with detailed step-by-step tutorials on every aspect of the hosting experience. You can use it to do everything yourself and really become a hosting pro, but I would have preferred the live chat to be more available.
InMotion Hosting isn’t expensive. It’s not as cheap as Hostinger, but it’s definitely cheaper than other hosts I’ve tested.
The only payment periods are 12 or 24 months, which I find downright annoying (I prefer to pay monthly and I don’t see why I can’t), but the money-back guarantee is for a whole 90 days, which is 3 times the industry average. You’ll really have a ton of time to decide if you like the service.
You can pay through major credit cards, PayPal, or money transfers, and there are no hidden setup fees. There were some pre-checked items on my cart that I never asked for, so be careful and choose exactly what you need. Those automatic upsells can cost a lot.
A free domain is available with all plans, as is customary with one-year plans and longer (with every host almost), but the renewal price is steep: double what a domain costs with Namecheap, and without the WHOIS protection.
I bought the R-2000 Reseller for 2 year contract, first they limit unlimit cpanel to just 50 cpanel and turn SUPER SLOW HOSTING. Always getting the same answer from support, that my wordpress should be optimize, but my sites already optimize.
Support Is AMAZING - They earned a permanent customer.
OVERALL - 5 ( well 4.7 ) The tale below explains why InMotion is my choice for businesses. I'm going to start with the end result. I tried to leave and go cheaper and wound up with domain's stolen by a "cheap" web host. InMotion worked overtime and saved me. Seriously, they had to have spent more money on tech's helping me than I paid for space and service. They saved 8 out of 11 domain's from being transferred out, they recovered ALL of my data over a week time frame. ( some they thought they couldn't get but then did ). They are fantastic. I do most of my support via chat if anyone cares.. I will NEVER leave them unless they completely crater. They earned my loyalty. I am aware of when my new "introductory price" will go up and I do not care. I put the entire story at the end of this as a cautionary tale. Performance: Some of the issues I've experienced come down to ISP routing. I know because once I've connected, things get faster. You know that thing the govt. passed the first year of the Trump regime which allows ISP's to adjust bandwidth or tweak their dns to better serve the rich guys? ( I'm stuck with my ISP but when I can go to Netflix, Facebook etc but can't get to some of the little guys including Inmotion for like 20 seconds sometimes ) . This was tested by me going to a coffee shop where they were serviced by a company not available in my area. No issues what so ever, so I've concluded it's a where I'm at situation. My clients are happy so I'm happy. Quality - I'm a beginner reseller as I primarily do "reselling" so that my clients have better options than just being on my personal account. I've had no real issues at all. Security - Security is all in how you set things up. It's not InMotion's fault if accounts are not secured correctly. I'm NOW setup with extra codes, passphrases, SSH and a few other things to help reduce vulnerability. Their security team has worked with me in the past and I was totally satisfied with the results and have seen the improvements they've made over several years. Support: OMG Tech Support 97% of the time the support team is staffed by rock stars, the other 3 percent are newbies or folks who just don't understand anything not the "typical" question. I used to run my webservers from my house, I tend to ask some different questions. The Billing and Account folks are fantastic and really helpful. I've not had any uninformed folks there. Price - I learned the hard way that you get what you pay for. Thus - They are actually reasonable once you understand Introductory Pricing vs Regular Pricing. Considering that I've now met so many tech support folks ( see below ) They are very very reasonable. I will not be leaving InMotion. That's it period. For those who are curious - here is the gruesome story about CIS.NET I've been with InMotion for 8 years. In May I decided to get out of my reseller account ( I really just used it as a better way to organize existing clients and had no way for anyone else to sign on ) and transfer to a cheaper host who offered free migration. I made the grievous error of believing a CNET Review calling another company CIS.NET one of the top 5 out there and the least expensive. I was pushing a deadline and couldn't afford ( I THOUGHT ) to wait and search other places so I checked their domain name ( active since 98 ) and jumped there. BIG BIG Mistake. What followed was possibly the biggest nightmare of my life. Turns out CIS.NET was a front, I was a idiot, and after a late night call from someone else who'd been scammed warning me about them, I pulled out and ran screaming what follows is how I know it was a front. I paid up for a extra month at InMotion, made sure that everything was still intact (which it was ) but The minute I Canceled the account ( hoping that it was not a scam ) I CIS deleted my InMotion Account (Migration access... very very bad ) which was still active, and deleted all the data, reduced the account to a domain name only and started transferring my Domains away with PRIVACY LOCKS. How do I know they were illegally stealing my account? Well.. they changed the owner name to Jane Thompson, added a fake credit card number ( normally used for testing ) and changed the account email. It took longer than I would have liked for me to prove myself but at this point I couldn't receive new email because they had moved the nameserver. ( Fortunately my email is gsuite so nothing was lost other than the email that was sent/received during all this drama ) The overnight squad and supervisors, managed to rescue 8 of 11 domains, and helped me get back in control. The data team and the accounts team went above and way beyond and I will be forever grateful. One of my domains dates back to 2000 according to the Whois but I'm pretty sure I bought it in 1998. I've established it and it would have destroyed my business had we not gotten it back.
I recently recommended InMotionHosting's (WordPress Hosting - WP-2000s) to a few clients. I thought I was providing a superior product to what they previously were using (GoDaddy). Boy, I was wrong. Front-end performance is so-so, but nothing exceptional. BUT where I was flabbergasted was their back-end performance. I went to upload 11 images into WordPress. These images totaled 11.2 MB. It took over SEVEN minutes to upload those 11 images. The CPU usage in cPanel was maxed out. So while I was waiting for these to upload, I went to my personal website, logged-in, and uploaded the same 11 images in less than 60 seconds. (I'm using A2Hosting on a mid-level plan that is comparable "on paper" to the InMotionHosting WP2000s plan). I reached out to InMotionHosting support and in summary, was told that "Speeds Vary" on the backend. This translates "Sorry, You're Out of Luck, so pay 4 times as much for our VPS hosting". I wouldn't recommend them to anyone.
Hacked within hours of installing and SECURING Wordpress
We purchased a new Wordpress-specific hosting account with InMotion yesterday afternoon. Immediately I changed the password to a random, stronger one, activated SSL, installed, activated and setup the Shield security plugin, added several .htaccess security measures, AND hid the login page. Within hours after that, I got an email from Shield that there had been a successful admin login to the site from an IP that google indicated was in Indonesia. A hack-filled php file was added to the main directory called "zz.php". Called InMotion this morning, and their primary suggestion is that it was an issue with my machine (where security is setup and no other issues are evident with countless other managed sites), and then they suggested we "hire an outside security expert." Seriously? The right call seems to be to hire a different host that takes security on its servers more seriously.
Powerhouse With Experts in Support and Consistency of Service Performance
Inmotion Hosting has become my preferred hosting. I started with Shared Business Hosting, then VPS and now Dedicated Server Hosting. At every stage, before I moved to the next level of hosting, I have always gone out to see if I can find alternative hosting packages that can offer me more than what I can get from Inmotion Hosting Support and Technical Teams but I have always come back to rely on their availability, flexibility and reliability from their state-of-the-art data centers with their managed, custom dedicated servers which are extremely essential to run global eCommerce sites
I have been with several hosting but when I changed to InMotion hosting, I noticed the difference. No one has better technical support. They support 24 hours a day, that is, they always solve any problems. I've been with them for 2 years now and I do not change them for any other. Keep up and congratulations.
If you had asked me a few years ago, I definitely would have recommended InMotion Hosting.
Nowadays, I’d say you can still try out an InMotion Hosting plan without worry – the company still has the same 90-day money-back guarantee – but I’m not sure there is much reason to do so. Maybe, just maybe, if your main audience is on the US West Coast, where not many hosts have data centers, it could be a good choice.
But InterServer has a data center on the West Coast as well, and is also more powerful. The same goes for Kinsta. InMotion Hosting is not a bad host, but there are far better ones.
Brent is a freelance web developer who loves experimenting with new technology and sharing his experiences with others. While his career life can get hectic sometimes, he always makes time for the important things in life: good coffee, good wine, and quality time with his twin boys, Aiden and Sean.