InMotion Hosting is a huge web hosting provider serving over 250,000 customers, with data centers in Los Angeles and Washington D.C. It offers shared, WordPress, VPS, and dedicated hosting with 24/7/365 technical support and a 99.9% uptime guarantee.
For our InMotion Hosting review, we tested its performance over two weeks to see if it should be considered one of the best web hosting services on offer today.
InMotion Hosting review: Snapshot
InMotion Hosting offers a wide range of different hosting products. It has great support, and prices are competitive. But if you choose the cheaper plans, you’ll find the limitations on the service quite restrictive. Even on more expensive plans, we found the performance to be relatively poor.
Read on for the full review.
InMotion Hosting’s competitors
|Pros||- 90-day money-back guarantee - Wide range of services||- Easy for beginners - 24/7 support||- Excellent performance - Many hosting solutions and options|
|Cons||- Pro support requires higher tier - Stingy email address allocation - Relatively slow speeds||- Poor performance - Big jump from introductory prices||- Complex pricing - Difficult to install SSL certificate|
|Verdict||Offers useful plans for a wide range of customers, but shared hosting performance could be improved.||Bluehost is a reliable host for WordPress websites let down by poor speeds.||Fast performance and feature-filled plans make Hostwinds a top choice.|
|View deals||Visit site||Visit site||Visit site|
InMotion Hosting: Key features
With so many hosting products, InMotion Hosting can be a lot of things to different people. Small sites can get started with shared hosting via an introductory $2.49 a month plan, whereas enterprises can get VPS or dedicated hosting plans for projects that require more processing power.
With shared web hosting, the more you pay, the better performance you get. But even on the cheapest Lite plan you get unlimited bandwidth, five subdomains, a website builder, and free SSL, while all sites are hosted on fast SSD storage.
You’ll use the AMP (account management panel) to perform administration on your website. AMP is a web-based administration interface that’s popular in the web hosting industry, and InMotion Hosting uses a slightly stripped-down version.
AMP looks quite dated today, but it gets the job done. Here, you can change billing details, manage your domains, submit support tickets, and change security settings. Each of your sites will be listed here too, and you can make website transfer requests, add and remove email accounts, and make backups.
InMotion Hosting: Key features and highlights
InMotion Hosting’s favored website editor is BoldGrid. This software runs on top of the popular WordPress content management system, while adding a drag-and-drop editor for easier website building.
You get a Premium key for BoldGrid with a hosting account, netting you access to over 200 page designs, premium support, and an automated backup solution. Installing BoldGrid is a matter of clicking a few buttons, though you’ll have to search for your activation key in the administration panel.
BoldGrid is quite a good website builder. It doesn’t have the versatility or the gorgeous templates of the best website builders like Wix or Squarespace, but its designs are modern, responsive, and well optimized. You can access your website code (something not all builders allow), and the interface is intuitive. But BoldGrid doesn’t have support for ecommerce, which limits its usefulness.
To access some of InMotion Hosting’s more complex features, you'll log in to cPanel, another popular hosting management tool. cPanel offers a lot more control and tools than AMP. Here, you can administer email addresses, spam filters, and autoresponders. You can manage your domains, subdomains, and redirects, and set up Google Analytics to monitor how users are engaging with your website.
cPanel offers a wealth of stats on how your site is performing, including CPU, disk, and database usage. At a glance, you can see whether you’ll soon need to upgrade to a bigger plan. You can administer MySQL and PostgreSQL databases here too, and install PHP and Perl packages. Git version control can be used for code management. There’s a file manager, terminal, and security administration.
cPanel may initially look intimidating, but it’s extremely useful to have all these tools available from one interface, and most users won’t need to delve into its every menu.
You can also speed up software deployment with Softaculous. It’s a one-click install application for popular apps, so in a matter of minutes you can have a fully functioning website without worrying about any of the tedious setup. Softaculous supports over 400 apps, from CMSs like Joomla to project management apps like Kanboard.
InMotion Hosting: What’s new?
InMotion Hosting keeps on top of software updates, and in September 2021 upgraded to WordPress 5.8.1. This is a security and maintenance release of WordPress that patches some security bugs.
In August 2021, it revamped its support center with a new WordPress design that makes it easier to browse through more than 5,000 support articles. It has a larger search bar, new navigation, and breadcrumbs so you can better find the information you need.
InMotion Hosting: Pricing
InMotion Hosting’s most inexpensive shared hosting plan costs the equivalent of $5.99 a month if you pay two years in advance. After your first term, this almost doubles to the equivalent of $10.99 a month. Only the high-end Pro plan can be paid monthly, with the cheaper plans requiring a 12-month or 24-month contract.
|Cost per month*||N/A||N/A||$27.99|
|Cost per year*||$143.88||$191.88||$299.88|
* After introductory offers expire
Testing InMotion Hosting
Three things you need in a good website host are reliability, responsiveness, and speed. To test these metrics on InMotion Hosting, we bought a Pro shared hosting plan and deployed a basic WordPress website using it.
Using Uptime.com over the course of two weeks, we performed thousands of automated tests to see how quickly InMotion Hosting responded.
What is InMotion Hosting’s uptime?
InMotion Hosting offers a 99.9% uptime guarantee, which sounds good, but that still allows your web host to be offline around 43 minutes each month. Some competitors go further, such as SiteGround (99.99% uptime guarantee) and DreamHost (100% uptime guarantee).
In our testing, our site was up 100% of the time. While we would need to perform testing over the course of a year or more to get more accurate results, InMotion Hosting got off to a good start here.
How fast do InMotion Hosting websites respond?
Response speed measures how quickly a website will begin to load. If your site doesn’t start to load immediately, your visitors are going to notice, and potentially take their business elsewhere. A slow response speed will also have a detrimental effect on your search engine rankings.
We averaged the response speed of our website after taking over 2,000 measurements from Los Angeles, Dallas, and New York. InMotion Hosting responded within 163ms on average, which is OK. Looking more closely at the data however, response times weren’t consistent.
Each day saw most responses around the 120ms mark, but with frequent spikes to 250ms and sometimes up to 1600ms. Whatever the underlying reason for this inconsistency, it certainly means your site will feel less responsive for visitors from time to time.
How does InMotion Hosting’s page load speed compare?
How fast a website’s pages load in their entirety comes down to several factors. Poor networking, oversubscribed servers, or unoptimized software can cause sites to load slowly. To test page load speed fairly across providers, we use a newly installed WordPress website and perform speed tests from a single US location.
InMotion Hosting’s page load time averaged 739ms. This is pretty slow. To put the results in context, the same website hosted on DreamHost loaded in 139ms, Amazon Lightsail in 171ms, and WordPress in 473ms.
This makes InMotion Hosting the slowest host we’ve reviewed in recent tests, and this was when using the most expensive Pro plan. However, it may be possible to improve results by installing WordPress plugins designed to speed up your website.
Alternatives to InMotion Hosting
Disregard all the flashy introductory offers, and the entry-level plans from InMotion Hosting, Bluehost, and Hostwinds aren’t so different in pricing. Still, both competitors undercut InMotion Hosting while offering similar or more features.
It has the poorest uptime guarantee of the bunch, and it’s only applicable on shared hosting if you choose the most expensive plan. However, long-term testing has shown that InMotion Hosting websites rarely go offline.
We asked Bluehost twice about its uptime guarantee on shared hosting accounts. Technical support first said it was 99.99%, and later said 99.5%. There is no mention of a guarantee on the Bluehost website. It doesn’t offer any plan where you can pay monthly, and our performance testing showed it lagged far behind the competition in response time, which means your sites are likely to load slowly for visitors.
Hostwind's technical support said it too offers a 99.99% uptime guarantee on all its plans, and 99.9999% uptime on its fully managed services. Overall, you get more with Hostwinds despite its cheaper price—unlimited disk space, databases, email accounts, and subdomains are all included on all plans.
|Uptime guarantee||99.9% (high-end plan only)||99.5% on all plans||99.99% on all plans|
|Free domain||Yes, on most plans||Yes||Yes, on high-end plans|
|Support||24/7 live chat and phone||24/7 phone and live chat||24/7 live chat, email, tickets|
|Basic plan*||$11.99 a month||$9.99 a month||$8.99 a month|
* Based on the non-introductory price of the cheapest plan when paid annually
InMotion Hosting: Final verdict
InMotion Hosting scores relatively well on most fronts. With cPanel administration, Softaculous one-click installs, and SSH access, its shared hosting plans offer a lot of flexibility. BoldGrid, a website builder for WordPress, is also an excellent inclusion you won’t typically find elsewhere.
But it’s undercut by newer competitors that offer better performance for a similar or lower prices, and its plans have quite limited quotas on things like email addresses.
Our experience with InMotion Hosting’s support team has always been good, so if support is the most important thing to you then we can recommend this service. Otherwise, it's still a fine web host, but it doesn’t offer much more than its cheaper competitors.
Further reading on web hosting
Check out our top five mistakes to avoid when choosing a host. If you want to avoid the nitty-gritty of web hosting altogether, we’ve listed the easiest website builders that streamline website creation, or, if you think you need something beefier, we’ve outlined the best VPS hosting options available today.