InMotion Hosting is an employee-owned company that was founded in 2001. It is a privately held large domain name registrar and hosting provider that currently services hundreds of thousands of customers worldwide.
With offices in both California and Virginia, InMotion was ranked as the country’s 20th largest hosting company in 2015 in terms of market share. Although you may think that 20th isn’t all that impressive, it certainly is when you consider how many hosting companies there are in the US alone, and also the fact that InMotion is independently owned.
As a recipient of several official awards, a member of the Better Business Bureau, and a three-star CNET service provider, we expected nothing but good things from InMotion.
Did the company live up to expectations, though? Is InMotion worth considering hosting your website with?
That’s for you to decide. To make the job easier, though, we have outlined the pros and cons for you to weigh up.
What We Love About InMotion
As we come to expect with an independent hosting provider, there is a lot to like. Here’s everything summed up.
Great Customer Support… Some of the Best
InMotion boasts proudly on their website that they offer some of the best customer support in the industry. And, do you know what?
It’s not often that we agree with hosting companies’ boasting on their website, however, for once we do.
In all honesty, though, this statement isn’t an overly bold assertion. After all, there are plenty of hosting companies that offer sub-par customer support. The situation is so bad, in fact, that we expect most hosting companies’ customer support to not be anything special. It’s a shame, but that’s just how it is.
InMotion Hosting offers support through several channels:
- A live support chat;
- Over the phone;
- Through Skype;
- Through an email-based ticketing system; and
- An extensive knowledgebase that is full of in-depth guides.
All support channels are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and, in our experience, queries are answered almost instantly through the live chat and within an hour or two through email.
Positive Uptime Figures
As we have said previously, uptime is a very important metric. Arguably, it is the most important thing to look at when deciding on a host for your website.
Why? Because if your host has bad uptime figures (and by bad, we mean anything below a monthly average of below 99.95% uptime), your website will fail to rank well in Google. This is because Google recognizes when websites are on or offline and, unsurprisingly, it is quick to recommend sites that can’t maintain a strong level of uptime.
You may think 99.95% sounds like a whole lot. In the world of websites, however, it isn’t; with millions and millions of websites all vying for the top spots in Google search results, uptime needs to be as close to 100% as possible to stand a chance of ranking there.
So, how does InMotion Hosting perform in the uptime department?
Over the last 12 months, between April 2018 and April 2019, InMotion’s uptime figure stood at a monthly average of 99.97%.
This is a great figure, and one of the best we have ever seen. We like to see hosting companies with 100% uptime, however, we can appreciate this is a mighty feat. Most leading companies are in the 99.98% to 100% range.
User-Friendly Backend (and cPanel!)
Lots of hosting companies have backends and control panels that are cumbersome and difficult to use. Also, there is a very fine line between something that is too complicated and something that is too simplistic.
In our view, the best possible backend and control panel set up is one that uses the popular open-source software, cPanel. It’s basic, there are literally thousands of guides for it, and it is so easy to use.
This is what your regular cPanel backend looks like:
It has all the flexibility beginner-to-intermediate webmasters need to deploy and manage their websites. If you have ever used cPanel before, you will know what we mean.
Thankfully, InMotion uses cPanel… but there is a twist. Instead of having a separate account management dashboard and control panel, InMotion integrates them both—cPanel is available right from within your account management dashboard.
This makes the initial deployment and ongoing management of your account and website(s) as simple as can be.
Very Long 90-Day Money Back Guarantee
The majority of hosting companies offer some form of money back guarantee (and we would never recommend one that doesn’t). Usually, this guarantee lasts for 30 days. During this time, you can get a full refund simply by asking for it.
InMotion, however, has tripled this number and offers their money back guarantee for a whopping 90 days. It is often said that 30 days isn’t enough to truly get a feel for the suitability of a web hosting service. 90 days is more than enough, though.
InMotion is an Independent Company
Whether this is a “pro” in your view depends on what you value.
Personally, we think that independent companies that have not been bought out by large brands (such as Endurance International) provide a much better quality of service. This is because independent brands rely more on customer satisfaction, reputation, and word of mouth. As such, most will try their hardest to provide the best possible service and support.
In contrast, big box brands that are known simply because of their name don’t need to try so hard. The result is often an experience that works well… until it doesn’t, and then you are stuck trying to resolve your problems with a customer support team who couldn’t give a damn because they already have your money.
InMotion is an independently-owned brand and this becomes obvious when you look at their website, read about who they are, and use their service.
Lots of Apps, Integrations, and Freebies
Your InMotion account comes with lots of apps, integrations, and freebies.
Comodo SSL certificates integrated into cPanel for seamless setup, BoldGrid website builder, Google Ads credit, and Google Apps integrations are just a few of the many things that InMotion has to offer their new customers.
You can pick and choose between 300 one-click-install applications and integrations in the InMotion backend. This covers everything from WordPress to Drupal and PrestaShop to Magento.
So far as freebies are concerned, InMotion will cover your site transfer, domain name, and website backups.
If you are hosting a website elsewhere and are switching hosts instead of starting afresh, InMotion will move you over for free. If you are starting afresh, though, you can claim a domain name from them that is free for your first year. These two are pretty standard offerings.
One freebie that does stand out to us, however, is the free data backups. With many other hosting companies, you either have to i) do your own backups, or ii) pay extra for daily or weekly automated ones.
Not with InMotion, though.
InMotion Hosting offers free data backups for customers who request them, and these don’t have ridiculously low size limits that render them useless.
Although these free backups are great, we always recommend carrying out your own backups and not relying entirely on your hosting provider to do them for you. InMotion’s backups make great emergency alternatives but, in an ideal world, you will be taking your own ones and storing them in a safe location.
Things InMotion Can Improve On
There are a few things that InMotion can improve on to make their shared hosting service that little bit better.
Don’t Use Classic Pricing Tricks
We see it time and time again.
Hosting companies will advertise an ultra-low monthly price for their shared hosting plans. They’ll put it all over their website and social media, and this brings in a lot of interest.
Although this low pricing looks great (and it is!), everything is not quite as it seems. To get monthly pricing down to the lowest possible amount, you have to sign up for a long-term subscription. With some hosting companies, this can be as long as 36 months (or more!)
We will explore the way InMotion structures their pricing later on.
Also, Their Price Point Isn’t the Cheapest…
While InMotion has a lot of plans that are affordable, they aren’t the cheapest and don’t deliver the best value for money when compared to other hosting companies. Also, there are some limitations which we are going to cover shortly.
The plans are still decent value overall, however, when strictly compared to other companies’ plans, they come out as more expensive.
Still, independent hosting companies tend to be a little more expensive than your “big box” companies’ plans. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for in this world; we think that it is worth paying that bit extra for something that is of good quality and reliable.
Plans Have Limitations
Unless you subscribe to InMotion’s top-tier shared hosting plan, there are limitations on the number of websites and databases that you can run from your account.
We don’t like this at all—there are so many hosting companies offering unlimited plans (that are albeit subject to fair usage policies.)
We do understand why InMotion has these limits, however, we would prefer limitations to be “unlimited” usage of resources subject to fairness policies rather than hard limits applied across the board. It makes no sense to limit your customers to X number of websites and Y number of databases.
By having limitations in place, InMotion is able to provide a more reliable and consistent service quality. Still, the limitations in place could be executed better.
Provide Instant Account Activation
For security purposes, InMotion requires that all their new users go through an over-the-phone verification process. This means that you will have to wait after signing up to have your service activated.
While these security efforts are admirable, they are rather annoying and may be off-putting for certain customers.
InMotion Hosting Pricing
Finally, we come to one of the most important aspects—pricing. While we have already talked about InMotion’s pricing a little bit, we are going to cover everything you need to know here.
InMotion has lots of different hosting options:
- VPS hosting;
- Dedicated servers;
- Reseller hosting;
- Business (shared) hosting;
- Managed hosting; and
- WordPress hosting (which is just regular shared hosting under a different label).
In this review, we have been focusing on shared hosting and it is the pricing of their shared hosting that we are going to cover here.
Their shared hosting, also called business hosting, offers three different plans with varying features.
All these plans have two subscription options: 12-month; and 24-month. Unfortunately, there is no option to subscribe on a rolling monthly contract to the Launch and Power plans, only the Pro plan.
“Launch” Shared Hosting
Marketed as a shared hosting plan for webmasters of all skill levels, this basic plan offers you “unlimited” disk space, bandwidth, and emails, subject to fair usage policies, that you can use to run two websites.
You also get marketing tools (e.g. advertising credits), security tools (e.g. free automated backups and DDoS protection), and free SSL.
This plan costs $4.99 per month when you subscribe to the 12-month plan or $3.99 per month when you subscribe to the 24-month plan. The plan is paid for in full, up front.
The plan is paid for in full, up-front. No taxes are added on top nor does InMotion sneakily choose some add-ons for you automatically.
“Power” Shared Hosting
Power shared hosting is for small business owners. With it, you get everything that the Launch plan gets plus additional performance:
“As you grow through our Business Hosting plans, each plan is more powerful than the last in terms of the number of visitors that can be supported and how fast your content can be delivered. The Power and Pro plans can utilize a greater level of server resources like RAM and CPU, granting them at least 2X and 4X performance, respectively, compared to the Launch Plan.”
The plan costs $6.99 per month for 12 months or $5.99 per month for 24 months.
For a small business, this plan has everything that you will need and then some.
“Pro” Shared Hosting
Unless you are migrating to InMotion and have a website that is large with a sizeable following, you won’t need to purchase the Pro plan. The major difference between this one and the Power plan is that you get double the performance and can host an unlimited number of websites with it.
This plan offers the lowest savings (only 12%—the non-discounted price is $17.99 per month) and costs $14.99 per month for 6 months or $13.99 per month for 12 months. You can also subscribe to this one on a month-to-month rolling basis for $17.99 per month.
Again, this is a plan aimed towards bigger websites that need more power.
InMotion Hosting Final Thoughts
So, that’s the end of our InMotion Hosting review. We hope that you have found it useful.
Personally, we think InMotion is a solid hosting company that delivers a good service. They do their customers a solid by being reliable, secure, and trustworthy, and most websites will be well-served by them.
We are happy to say that we do recommend InMotion for anyone looking to host any type of site and is willing to pay that little bit extra for great performance, reliability, and customer support.