InMotion Hosting is one of the largest independent web hosting companies in the world. They’ve been around since 2001 (they are actually celebrating their 20th anniversary this year), and have developed a brand around being a transparent, reliable web hosting service for businesses and organizations.
InMotion Hosting Review Takeaways
What is InMotion Hosting?
InMotion Hosting is an independent provider of web hosting services in addition to complimentary website products such as hosted private cloud, domain names, website builders, web design, and email services.
InMotion Hosting – Shared Hosting Plans
|Storage||10 GB||50 GB||100 GB||100 GB|
|Bandwidth (per month)||unlimited||unlimited||unlimited||unlimited|
|Free Domain Name||1 year||1 year||1 year||1 year|
Is InMotion Hosting Legit?
InMotion Hosting positions itself as one of the few large, stable hosting companies that is not owned by one of the 3 large web services holding companies (ie, GoDaddy, Endurance, and Web.com) that also has the breadth, resources, and expertise to serve websites for businesses, organizations, and long-term projects.
They host websites ranging from enterprise to small bloggers. They’ve been around since 2001 with the same founder & CEO. They are transparent about their employees, data center locations, capabilities, and products. InMotion Hosting is a legit hosting option. They aren’t a fly-by-night web hosting provider.
What Is InMotion Hosting Used for?
InMotion Hosting is used to host websites and web applications. They have a specific marketing focus on businesses, organizations, and growing websites. They offer a full suite of website products ranging from domain names to hosting to email to even web design.
InMotion Hosting actually provides hosting for the website that you are currently viewing. Many of my own web properties have lived on InMotion Hosting’s reliable servers since 2015.
However, like I’ve stated in all my hosting reviews, finding a good hosting company is about finding the right fit based on your goals & resources. Here’s my pros & cons and overview of InMotion Hosting’s products as an InMotion Hosting customer.
Pros / Benefits of InMotion Hosting
No hosting company is perfect. And I’ve always maintained that there is no such thing as a “best” hosting company – it all depends on your goals and preferences.
Aside – In fact, I created a hosting quiz to help match goals/needs with the right hosting company.
That point understood – here are the 6 big advantages that I’ve found with InMotion.
Customer Service & Support
InMotion Hosting puts its customer service front and center in its marketing. They boast a 24/7/365 U.S.-based tech support team via phone, chat, email, and a ticket system.
Anyone who has ever run a website understands that customer support is something that’s easy to overlook and skimp on upfront…but you will always need support at some point, and when you need it…you really need it.
And the tricky thing about customer service is that it’s hard to judge it as a whole because you never know when you had an isolated incident or when it’s indicative of a company’s culture (i.e., does the company view customer service as a cost or as an investment).
For example, back in 2013, my very first chat with an InMotion Hosting rep was not encouraging…
I’ve also had readers write in over the years with poor customer service experiences with InMotion Hosting. It was a compelling story, though when I helped troubleshoot these, the underlying issue ended up being more very problematic on the reader’s side than the reader let on – like trying to bulk host copyrighted adult images for a forum in one case.
All my customer service experiences since then with my side-project and with setting up my VPS server have been outstanding – enough to make it the main reason that I switched to InMotion Hosting for my VPS server (which has more technical problems than running a shared server and what most companies need).
Either way – the whole point is that all these anecdotes are just that – anecdotes. With my other hosting reviews, I’ve tried to look for external indicators for what their internal service culture was really like.
The two best indicators that I’ve found are an investment in tools & content (ie, are they simple, usable & thorough) and support channel access (ie, are there multiple ways to get your problem solved depending on situation & expertise).
InMotion Hosting performs very well on both those indicators in addition to a couple of extra strengths.
First, InMotion Hosting has a ton of resources in their knowledgebase and in their comments. A knowledgebase isn’t uncommon among hosting companies, but what I’ve found useful is how a knowledgebase article kicks off a conversation so that users post their related problems to that thread, and InMotion Hosting reps respond within the thread. It makes self-directed troubleshooting a lot easier.
InMotion Hosting has a ton of unique, in-depth guides within their customer support base.
In fact, they rank in Google for a huge range of support queries from general Internet users. Their top-performing organic pages are almost all high ranking support pages.
It’s obvious that they put a lot of money behind creating helpful content.
Second, they have a wide range of support channels that are all highly responsive. They have a phone number, chat and email front and center everywhere on their site.
For some companies, you basically have to call because email isn’t quick. Or chat will be down so you have to email, etc. InMotion Hosting’s support channels (again, that I personally have experienced) all function well and serve the right purpose. I’ve sent email support tickets that have been solved very fast and had phone calls returned quickly.
Additionally, the reps that I’ve talked to seem to actually know what they are talking about, and aren’t just following a troubleshooting script. That’s allowed me to skip the “yes, I’ve already tried all the basic troubleshooting steps” to discuss the root cause problem.
I’ve had readers write in to let me know that InMotion Hosting was the only hosting company to get to the actual root problem of their issue (in one particular case, a conflict with their WordPress theme & their running version of PHP).
Over the Christmas break, I had to upgrade a couple of accounts to PHP7 – the fastest/current version. Even though the front-line rep couldn’t do the actual installation, he could tell me that the change would require a prerequisite upgrade to my Apache version – which would require a server reboot.
So to make sure the process happened smoothly, he sent my ticket up the chain to a server admin – who smartly scheduled the upgrade for 3 am. Very adept handling of a potentially tricky situation.
Lastly, InMotion Hosting has great “onboarding” – which is jargon for the process that new users go through to get up and running. Their email sequence is useful; they customize support articles based on how to plan on using your account (ie, WordPress users get WordPress related emails). The onboarding process proactively solves a lot of would-be support problems.
Since they serve a wide range of customers, this process could be very generic and unhelpful. But, they seem to put in a lot of effort into “triaging” customers to the right reps & right information.
Customer support, though, is not the point of having a web host.
A web hosting company’s job is to securely store your website files on a server, and serve up those files as quickly as possible to every single one of your visitors whenever they ask for them.
There’s a lot of ways to measure hosting performance – you really get deep into the weeds with server specs, and jargon that honestly isn’t particularly useful to a small business or someone looking to just put up a website. There are also a ton of variables that go into website speed.
One of the best quick metrics to look at for (cheaper-end) hosting is Time to First Byte – or TTFB – or how long does it take the server to respond after it receives a request from a visitor. I look at this because everything else afterward is highly influenced by how your particular website is configured.
I’ve been running a version of this test for years on all the hosts that I review. InMotion Hosting almost always trends very much above average for hosts, which is what you want. If you have a host that has consistently above average TTFB speeds, you can work with all the other website speed factors.
Here are my most recent TTFB tests with InMotion Hosting on an “out of the box” WordPress install on a shared hosting plan with basic caching or few plugins.
Again, for shared hosting accounts this number will bounce around some. TTFB is best viewed as a trend – and is only a starting point when it comes to speed.
But InMotion Hosting is definitely on the faster end of all shared hosts I’ve worked with. Some of this performance is due to the fact that they use SSD drives for all their servers, instead of the spinning-tape hard drives, which is a bonus for shared/business hosting companies.
According to their sales material, they also don’t overbook their shared servers with websites like many shared hosting companies do. In other words, some hosting companies will fill servers with websites at more than 100% capacity, and just hope that none of them have a traffic spike at the same time. InMotion Hosting says that they don’t do that, so even shared servers with some caching will be able to handle traffic spikes if necessary.
As far as reliability goes, they’ve always had a reputation for hitting their 99.9% uptime guarantee. They maintain a status page at status.inmotionhosting.com that reports on their real-time network and server status.
The problem with big downtime events is that, like customer service, you never really know if you are dealing with a true one-off situation that the company will learn from or if it has a root cause in underinvestment and poor planning procedures.
And with every host, the issue is not when they will go down, but how will they respond.
Compared to my experiences with GoDaddy’s outages, InMotion Hosting has been solid and transparent.
Control Panel & Usability
For hosting companies, there’s a fine line to walk with creating a backend that isn’t daunting to first-time users while still offering a flexible setup for once your customers have gotten their bearings and want to tweak things a bit.
To me, the best solution is to use cPanel as a backend and Softaculous with a one-click install. It’s common; it’s open-source (so there are tutorials everywhere), and it’s pretty basic – but in a good way.
The one thing that InMotion Hosting does differently though – and this is a recent change – is that they put cPanel access directly on your account management dashboard. This means that you don’t have a separate login for billing/domains and your cPanel. They also place the one-click installer within your account dashboard.
You have a single login on InMotionHosting.com where you can just click over for cPanel.
They also run the most recent version of cPanel which is not only cleaner and more accessible but also has a free integrated Comodo SSL certificate (ie, a brand name, free SSL).
And another issue that comes with the single Account Management Panel is that they have a lot of in-house upgrade options. If your site ever gets big enough that you need a developer-oriented solution like Managed Hosting, Virtual Private Server, or even a Dedicated Server – InMotion Hosting has all those options in-house, so you can upgrade fairly seamlessly.
Value Based Pricing
InMotion Hosting has a slightly higher price point than some hosting companies, and they don’t do the deep 1st Year discounting that others will do either. However, without breaking out a giant chart matrix, I can say that their plans all achieve very high value for their price compared to direct competitors.
In an industry where you often “get what you pay for”, InMotion Hosting strikes a solid balance between affordable pricing and quality products.
Additionally, they bundle a lot of guarantees and freebies with every plan that is usually upselling for competitors.
InMotion Hosting has an industry-leading 90-day money-back guarantee. The industry standard is 30 or maybe 45-day money-back guarantee. The guarantee is especially reassuring if you are pre-paying for an entire year to get better pricing.
InMotion Hosting has rolled out a free brand-name Comodo SSL certificate. They are fully integrated into their cPanel setup and make going HTTPS much more accessible.
And either way, you get plenty of useful freebies to match your InMotion Hosting plans. For example, all but the most basic business web hosting plans get free Domain registration/transfer, Google Ads credits, Free Site Transfer, Google Apps Integration, & BoldGrid Website Builder. All this in addition to unlimited bandwidth, data backups, high disk space on an SSD drive (though not unlimited disk space), and high limits on MySQL databases.
Their packages are also structured to make the most of your monthly pricing. For example, their second cheapest tier which rivals many companies’ intro option allows for 2 websites rather than the typical 1, so a new blogger or business website can run a primary website plus a complementary microsite on the same plan.
Independence & Community Support
I don’t think a companies’ size or form predetermines what quality service that the company produces. Oftentimes, a large company has resources that a small company cannot have. On the flip side, even with the right processes, a large company can create an unneeded distance from its actual customers.
The open secret in the hosting industry is that Newfold Digital and GoDaddy own nearly every brand that you’ll come across. InMotion Hosting is one of the few remaining large, independent companies in the hosting industry.
Additionally, InMotion Hosting is one of the few independent companies with significant size (the other one being SiteGround).
With this position, InMotion Hosting takes advantage of having the resources to compete on competitive features (like custom-built drag and drop builders) while still aligning their company according to their mission and values rather than Wall Street’s (or venture capital’s) demands for growth.
As a for-profit, I know that InMotion Hosting prioritizes good service…because of a profit motive – but I think that what a company does with their sponsorship money can say a lot about their internal culture.
For example, I’ve mentioned separately about how GoDaddy’s advertising and historical company culture is problematic. But it’s also true on the flip-side – a company that supports excellent industry and community initiatives can indicate a positive internal culture.
InMotion Hosting is a large sponsor of WordCamps and open-source software core development. They sponsor Joomla camps. They also do environmental initiatives. All of these are indicative of both smart marketing and meaningful company culture.
Either way, many customers are shopping for a non-big big brand-owned hosting company. InMotion Hosting is independent while still being big enough to provide competitive features.
Cons / Complaints of InMotion Hosting
No hosting company is perfect or “the best” – you’ll find plenty of InMotion Hosting complaints (and raves) around the web.
Some are justified (ie, see price point) and some are not justified (ie, they are hiccups that you’ll find at every host). Here are some big-picture cons/disadvantages that I’ve found with InMotion Hosting.
Broad Product Focus
InMotion Hosting strives to be a solid overall hosting company for all sorts of business use cases.
They maintain expertise & server compatibility across a wide range of code languages and server specs.
They do WordPress hosting well, but they aren’t a strict “WordPress-focused” host. Same with Joomla. Same with Drupal. Same with Ruby and every other website option from VPS to Cloud.
They recently rolled out a new unmanaged VPS hosting product for sysadmins and developers.
But they also have a robust unlimited email hosting offering along with a drag and drop website creator…while also selling Hosted Private Cloud and Kubernetes Container products.
All these products are great overall. InMotion Hosting is a true hosting company. However, their broad product focus means that they are appealing to a wide range of customers rather than settling on a single audience. This matters in a couple of ways.
First, it means that InMotion Hosting is usually an early adopter rather than a first adopter for new hosting features. That’s both a good and bad thing.
Same with their Reseller Hosting revamp. And the same way with “platform” features like a theme marketplace that they are just now rolling out. They aren’t a specialist early adopter in any category – but when they roll them out, they roll out the changes right…it just might not compete directly with the specialist in that category.
Second, InMotion Hosting has a harder time competing with the specialist in each category. Since InMotion Hosting isn’t a WordPress specialist host, it makes it hard to compete directly with Kinsta or WP Engine. Since they aren’t a developer-focused host, it makes it hard to compete with Liquid Web. And since they have all these developer-focused plans, it can scare away a lot of general website owners who gravitate towards Bluehost or HostGator, or GoDaddy.
The short version here is that InMotion Hosting makes an inherent tradeoff to be a solid web hosting company since that means it cannot be a boutique/specialist hosting company.
InMotion Hosting Pricing Structure
If you find a hosting company that fits your goals, I’m not a huge fan of counting pennies – but paying the right price for the right features is still important, especially if you are just starting out and on a budget.
InMotion Hosting has several very affordable plans (see them here), but they have limitations. For unlimited plans comparable to other shared hosting providers, their price point is a bit higher than other shared hosting providers.
They are still a good deal overall and are very affordable. However, they are more expensive based on an equal comparison of account features than competitors to call their pricing out as a con.
In fact, they have a separate brand called Web Hosting Hub (review) that focuses on “unlimited plans” at a slightly cheaper rate. They do some promotions but do not do as many hosting offers as direct competitors.
The other note/con about pricing is that you have to sign up for a full year – and the discount is only available for up to a 2-year lock-in.
Again, they do a money-back guarantee, but if you’re not sure about how long your project will be in place, InMotion Hosting can be a bit pricey for websites just starting out.
They run some discounts, but again, you have to sign up for a year or more to get truly deep discounts.
Additionally, beyond the 90-day money-back guarantee, there is no pro-rated refund. Pre-paying for a full year is not a bad thing or out of the norm. But if you are unsure about your project length, monthly plans such as those offered by HostGator can be worthwhile.
Beginner & Blogger Tools
Like I mentioned in the pros section, InMotion Hosting has excellent onboarding in that they quickly and seamlessly provide everything an existing website owner needs to get started right away. In fact, businesses and organizations, they even have a quick start web design service.
However, for beginners and bloggers, their onboarding can come across as a bit daunting and jargon-y, especially compared to hosts like Bluehost (plans) who do specialize in onboarding everyone setting up their first WordPress website.
I do like how InMotion Hosting bundles a JetPack subscription in their WordPress Hosting plans, and how they do provide auto-install and basic perks. But overall, I’ve found that beginners and bloggers have better success with other hosts who do focus on that market.
InMotion Hosting Plans & Packages
InMotion Hosting has a wide spectrum of hosting plans. Here’s a brief overview of each.
Shared hosting is the bread and butter of the website hosting world. They consist of individual accounts on a Linux server. They can run WordPress or any application on a LAMP Stack. It’s a cost-effective and reliable way to run most websites. Learn more about Shared Hosting in this guide. InMotion Hosting has three main shared hosting plans.
Even though WordPress can run on shared hosting, many hosting companies have WordPress hosting plans due to customer demand and the hardware demands of WordPress. Many hosting companies offer “WordPress hosting” that is *exactly* the same as their shared hosting plans.
InMotion Hosting’s WordPress plans are actually different. They use a different architecture and are actively managed, among other changes. Learn more about WordPress hosting in this guide. InMotion Hosting has several WordPress hosting plans depending on needs.
VPS hosting is a great way to get a specific allocation of server resources, without having to lease an entire server. Even though your website lives on the same server as other sites, you have total control over a set amount of resources. Learn more about VPS hosting in this guide. InMotion Hosting has several very competitively priced VPS plans that offer managed and unmanaged options.
Dedicated hosting is where you lease an entire server and get support, bandwidth, and other perks along with it. It’s the most cost-effective way to host a large site with predictable traffic (sites with unpredictable traffic usually go for cloud hosting). InMotion Hosting has a range of dedicated server options depending on your resources & expertise.
Reseller hosting is basically a shared, VPS, or dedicated server plan with 3rd party billing and management enabled. Reseller hosting allows anyone to basically start their own hosting company without actually starting a hosting company. Read more about Reseller hosting in this guide. It’s a great way for agencies to get recurring revenue and provide extra value for clients. InMotion Hosting has a range of reseller hosting products.
InMotion Hosting’s Private Cloud product is for businesses and organizations who need the benefits of cloud hosting for their internal IT use without the complexity of using Amazon, Google, Microsoft, etc or the costs of setting up their own architecture. Read more about cloud hosting in this guide. InMotion Hosting has a range of IT and cloud solutions here.
InMotion Hosting built the BoldGrid drag and drop builder for WordPress. Even though BoldGrid is now its own company, InMotion Hosting bundles BoldGrid directly into their WordPress hosting plans. The end result is many of the benefits of a hosted website builder (like Wix, WordPress.com, or Jimdo), but on a server that you totally control. I reviewed InMotion Hosting’s Website Builder here and you can read more about it here.
InMotion Hosting also offers a range of products that complement hosting services for businesses & freelancers such as domains, email hosting, design services, and more.
Is InMotion Hosting Worth It?
That’s the extent of my InMotion Hosting review. They are a solid, well-respected web hosting company. I’ve switched to them for this specific website and love it.
I think they are the best fit for someone who is only looking to host a couple of websites on their account and is willing to pay a bit of a premium for great support and performance. You can check out InMotion Hosting here.
If InMotion Hosting doesn’t seem like a good fit for your goals (ie, you prioritize pricing or you’re looking to do several small projects), check out my hosting guide here which will factor in your goals and preferences and provide some alternatives & ideas for other companies that might fit.