InMotion hosting is an American hosting provider, established in 2001 and going strong ever since. Independent and not belonging to any major corporation, this host values the community it has amassed during the years of operation. With hundreds of thousands of clients in the US and data centers in both coasts of the continent, this is a force to be reckoned with. In this InMotion review I will see if nearly 17 years of experience have made this company a terrific one to host your website in. Let's check them out:
InMotion Hosting Services
- Shared web hosting
- VPS hosting
- Dedicated hosting
- Reseller hosting
- Domain names (reseller of Tucows)
As it is common with most of the major providers - InMotion offers a solid lineup of services. One notable missing thing is Cloud hosting - although it is fairly understandable. GoDaddy fiasco in Europe just this year was a great example that Cloud hosting is not something a host must have. I do expect InMotion to release some Cloud plans in the future but for now, this omission isn't extremely problematic.
Therefore, let's talk about extra features of InMotion hosting. This is what this company provides in order to distinguish themselves from the rest:
Website Design Services
This is a service that's caught my eye. It's being advertised as a "4 Step Process", which includes an interview, content sending, overall review, and publishing. Consultations and assessments are done via phone or live chat, with no obligation to buy before the website is made. If the page is published, a client is charged for it and is given a hosting plan. Overall, I found this a very interesting service. By making cookie-cutter but easily adjustable websites, InMotion saves its clients a lot of time and ties them up to a contract. This could be a great option for the people who want a website but don't trust themselves to build it.
BoldGrid Website Builder
Of course, getting your website done by a professional is going to cost extra. Besides, website creation is a very important skill that may come in handy. If you want to learn how to make your websites using WordPress - there are not many tools better than the BoldGrid website builder.
But what exactly is BoldGrid and how does it work?
InMotion cashes its chips on WordPress. Instead of using a separate website builder on a custom platform, this host created a perfect WordPress learning curve. Combining the simplicity of drag-and-drop and a powerful CMS, BoldGrid is a great starting point for website development novices.
So here you are - big emphasis on website creation and personal improvement points to InMotion hosting being very user-oriented. Yet despite having an interesting WordPress builder and a website creation service, this provider offers enough advanced services for power users as well. There is a lot of balance in everything this host does. In order to see if that balance also comes with great service quality, I decided to purchase the "Business" hosting plan to do my own InMotion review.
What's included in InMotion Hosting packages?
You are given a choice of 3 plans:
- Launch - a regular hosting plan, capable of hosting 2 websites and providing a free domain as well as plenty of unlimited resources.
- Power - a 6-website plan, offering extra performance, also more subdomains and parked domains.
- Pro - fully unlimited shared hosting plan, also including pro-level support.
If you want to see the differences between the plans more clearly, here they are shown in table form:
|Disk space limit||Unmetered||Unmetered||Unmetered|
|How many domains allowed||2||6||Unlimited|
|SSD or HDD used in servers||SSD||SSD||SSD|
|SSL||Supported, included in the package.||Supported, included in the package.||Supported, included in the package.|
|Anti-DDoS protection||Included, server level (Corero)||Included, server level (Corero)||Included, server level (Corero)|
|Assisted Website Transfer||Included||Included||Included|
|Money back guarantee||90 days||90 days||90 days for plans longer than 6 months, otherwise 30 days|
|Customer Support||24/7 live chat, email, ticket, Skype||24/7 live chat, email, ticket, Skype||24/7 live chat, email, ticket, Skype|
|Choice for server location||Included||Included||Included|
|Free Automated Backups||Included, every 24-36h||Included, every 24-36h||Included, every 24-36h|
As you've probably already seen, most hosting providers tend to show their prices as "monthly". InMotion does that as well - so it is important to find out whether you actually get charged once a month. Or instead, you pay for the whole contract at once. Here's how it is:
No surprise here. Although you see "monthly" fees, you pay for the entire period in advance. The prices change, depending on the plan and the duration you choose. Here's what the real price in the cart would be - for all plans and all available durations.
|Payment Period / Plan||Launch||Power||Pro|
|1 month||Not available.||Not available.||$18.99|
|6 months||Not available.||Not available.||$94.80|
|24 months||$153.36||$203.76||Not available.|
*In my case - taxes were already included in the price. Your experience may vary.
Special InMotion Promo Discount!
What you've seen above was the basic pricing that most users will receive. However, we also managed to get a special deal just for Hosting.Review readers. By purchasing the services using the link in the sidebar, InMotion hosting is going to become considerably cheaper.
That's a big discount compared to the usual pricing!
Let's have a quick look at a 12-month plan, just to see how much you'll save by using our link
- Launch - Previously $89.52, with our link $35.40 (Save $54.12!)
- Power - Previously $114.72, with our link $53.88 (Save $60.84!)
- Pro - Previously $176.52, with our link $89.88 (Save $86.64!)
However, this offer doesn't last forever, so make sure to check out the link below for a fantastic deal!
InMotion doesn't skimp on features - even the cheapest plan includes multiple pages, SSD disks, free domain, and website protection. This is a great feat, as some hosts have their cheapest plans virtually unusable for anything more than a basic website.
This leads to another thing - the differences between the three plans are actually quite minor. The biggest bottleneck is the number of websites you can have, with entry and medium-level plans offering 2 and 6 respectively. This pretty much indicates: "you want to host a lot of projects? Go with the "Pro" plan!"
With a discount applied, InMotion goes from "premium" to "good value". Compared to many other providers, you get a lot of features for a price that looks quite fair.
The renewal prices are applied for the same period you've purchased earlier. You have to pay the full price - with no discount. The host is pretty transparent about it, as you can see everything right on the main dashboard. So the hosting prices will increase after your plan runs out, but at least it won't come as a surprise.
So that is good. But lack of plan flexibility may be a problem for some of the users. Paying once every month is something many users would genuinely like. But now it's only possible in the "Pro" plan.
To sum it up, InMotion hosting puts long-term clients over immediate financial gain. With a special promo, the prices become genuinely low - but you're expected to stick around for a bit longer. Maybe that makes sense. Who needs a website for only one month anyway?
InMotion Hosting Customer Service
It comes without saying that good customer support is a very important part of a great hosting product. After all - problems simply tend to happen, even for the best of providers. In the problematic moments like this, the hosts with terrific customer support are the ones who manage to help their clients - and receive love as well as loyalty in return. In other words - good customer service equals success. Let's see if InMotion values its.
Before we even talk about the classical ways of customer support, I must praise the very strong InMotion community. Every major topic or software has its own "education channel", which is basically a place for all popular articles and tutorials.
If that isn't enough - you can contact the Community Support message board. It has InMotion employees going through it and publicly answering the questions, so someone with a similar problem could find the answers without even asking.
If that didn't work, there's always professional InMotion customer support. The host itself offers a big selection of options right in its panel. They're all easily accessible from one screen.
Everything: from user guides, to live chat and Skype call-to-action buttons is available in the same place. Some hosts tend to hide its support channels - i.e. make chats available only when the client is about to buy. InMotion hosting makes all phone numbers and other customer service options available immediately and that is really good.
At the end of the day, person-to-person customer support boils down to 3 main types:
- Live Chat
Let's see how they do:
Phone/Skype Service Evaluation
As you can see in a picture above, you are given a plethora of numbers and accounts to call to. This allows you to get connected to an expert in a specific field.
Personally, I think this is a better way than a long in-call interactive menu. In most cases, I know exactly what I'm looking for and a long menu is just wasting my time. With a dedicated phone number, it always took me less than a minute to connect with an agent. In most cases, 20 seconds or so.
From what I've gathered so far in this InMotion review, it seems that InMotion doesn't hire amateurs. In the chats that I've had, all of the agents left me an impression of being knowledgeable and approachable. For example, take David Sim from Sales. During our chat, I've decided to pitch a curve ball and ask him about InMotion worldwide performance. Is there a CDN network? What are the speeds?
In a swift 100 seconds, David not only explained to me how good they are. He's also compared InMotion performance to the competitors and offered me to ping the servers myself so I can see how quick they are. Then, upon inquiring what exact service would interest me the most, he's given me his email and promised the best fitting server and the best price. If you can last 2 minutes with David without giving him your full bank details, you are a strong person.
Throughout all this, I've been impressed by how genuinely knowledgeable not only David but also many of the other customer support agents were. Although the numbers and channels are separated by the topic, agents in each of the departments had enough knowledge to talk about pretty much everything. Overall, a very solid showing from InMotion hosting.
Ticket/Email Service Evaluation
If you don't feel like talking to someone on phone - or just that your issues are better solved in writing, there's ticket/email service. As it is common with many hosts, these two support options are merged into one. That means, that by sending a ticket request, you'll get your answer via email and not a dedicated zone in the panel. Although it has its benefits, like not having to log in to see the response, it's not all beautiful.
For example, the ticket history is not displayed and when you get your answer, you can't see to which question it refers to. While these hiccups are small, they tend to be a little bit frustrating, as many competitors have more advanced ticket support systems.
The community appears to be quite angry about that as well. In message boards, there are plenty of complaints about it. In early 2016, InMotion revealed the ticket service improvement being a feature "long in the works". Now we're nearing 2018 - it's still not there!
Regardless of that, the ticket support system isn't all bad. The response times are actually more than reputable, with 80%+ of the requests being answered in 3 hours or less. Considering that this is one of the main factors when determining how good ticket support is, I'm quite happy. It's just that I wish for InMotion hosting to improve some of the things.
Chat Service Evaluation
Of course, there's the third main customer service option - and rightly so, the most popular one. Combining the quality of ticket requests and speed of phone calls, live chat service is the way to go. In this part of the InMotion review, I will look into the quality of the live chat - and judge it by three main criteria.
- Wait times. Sitting is a proverbial line is awful, especially if you are experiencing serious problems. Good hosts should have no or completely minimal waiting times.
- Knowledge of the agents. This one's obvious - if you wait for 5 seconds and then get connected to a dog with a keyboard, it's no good. Every chat service representative has to be knowledgeable in several fields, regarding the company's web hosting services.
- Human factor. Most of the time, people going to the live chats to solve their problems tend to be angry and disappointed. This is where an emphatic and charming customer support agent can save the day. I will evaluate whether the chat agents act like human beings or emotionless robots
This is how InMotion hosting did here:
There are plenty of things worth noticing here. First things first, I'd say that this interface needs renewing - it's has nothing to do with the quality of the services, it simply looks bad to me. Good thing I didn't need to look at this for too long - in only two cases (out of 10 attempts) it took me more than 1 minute to get a chat. In those 2 attempts, the wait times were about 5 minutes. This is a great result and in that regard, InMotion gets a check.
Let's look at the knowledge of the agents now. In the picture above, you can see that Austin M. has been pretty impeccable with his responses. It is also worth noticing that the responses were really quick. Therefore, I have every reason to think that he didn't need to contact anyone else - Austin knew everything himself. When he felt like he doesn't know something entirely, I simply got transferred to Jacqueem - the local tech guru who then continued to explain everything in-depth. In terms of knowledge - InMotion is doing well.
Finally, the human factor. Personally, I haven't noticed anything that would make me feel uncomfortable. The representatives were smart but also managed to hold a decent conversation. The only problem that I have once again goes not to the agents but the company itself. During every chat, the agent has given me his or her e-mail which I was supposed to mention as I hand-write my email review to InMotion.
That is so weird! A simple screen with a rating and a comment at the end of the chat would be way more convenient and help gather more feedback. All of this points to InMotion using an outdated live chat system that needs to be improved. Apart from that, I have no issues with its speed or the agents. Still very good.
First Impressions During and After the Purchase
InMotion allows paying for services using either a credit card or a U.S purchase order/check. However - by contacting the live chat, you may also be able to pay with PayPal.
In the cart, you can also purchase a domain (free for the first 12 months) and additional domain privacy ($9.99, one-time payment). Before paying, you can already choose which CMS would you like installed and where do you want the website to be located in. You can pick between West and East coasts of the US.
After the registration process, I was told to wait for a phone call.
I made my purchase at around 7:45AM Eastern - so 15 minutes before their peak working time. Interestingly enough, around 30 minutes later I have received an email that everything is fine and I am ready to go. No phone call has been required. Perhaps it's only an additional security measure that is not always prompt and this time, I got away? Who knows. Either way, that was fairly quick, everything was activated and I finally got to see the InMotion dashboard.
This dashboard is powerful on its own - there's plenty of information as you log in. For more advanced users, there's immediate access to the cPanel - here's how it looks like.
I'll have to admit - I love the design. It's the classic paper_lantern cPanel template, common with many different hosts. If you've used some other provider previously, chances are you'll feel right at home. That's about it - the entire process - from payment to panel was quick and everything looks pretty good.
So far, this InMotion review is leaving me quite satisfied. The prices, although slightly big, are very flexible. The panel is easy to use and customer service, even if using criminally outdated software solutions, is doing its job and then some more.
As usual, however, the final verdict is going to be decided by testing the host's performance. By stacking it up with the competition we will see where it stands in our best web hosting rankings. Here are the criteria I was using:
- Host's speed during low upkeep (HTML website)
- Host's speed during high upkeep (BoldGrid website builder)
- Server's overall uptime
- Anti-theft security evaluation
The test will go on over the course of many months - we will update this as we go!
IMPORTANT - no website testing tool is 100% correct. The results you'll see below are also affected by the access points of the tools we use. Here, however, we use a highly-reliable Bitcatcha website tester and do several trials in quick succession. What we post here is the average result that we get. As we use the same tools to test all the providers, it is best to compare the hosts' BitCatcha results with one another.
Host Speed During Low Upkeep
In order to evaluate the "ceiling" of the hosting provider, first I tested how it handles an uber-simple HTML website. in theory, this should yield the best result, as a website uploaded contains only around 20 lines of code. Here's what the page was:
Here's how it did all around the world:
This is actually pretty good. Considering the server I picked was on the East coast of the US, it was expected of either Singapore or Bangalore to do pretty badly. However, it rarely ever exceeded 1 second in response time, which is reputable. On top of that, results all around the world were actually very decent, mostly going under or just over the coveted 200 ms mark.
Host Speed With BoldGrid Website Builder
Earlier in this InMotion review, I spent quite a lot of time praising the host for choosing WordPress as a base for its website builder. The idea is great - now let's see how it performs. Here's the website that I made:
And here are the performance results when the servers have to handle more than 20 lines of code:
As expected, they're a bit worse - but still really decent. Once again, servers appear to be fairly well optimized, unless you're from Singapore. In other cases though, response times go around 200 ms.
After the tests of the two websites, I can say with confidence that InMotion has done a decent job optimizing its American servers for worldwide users. Plaudits have to be made for making servers in Japan, London, Brazil and Sydney respond just 83 ms between each other.
Server Overall Uptime
NOTE - this part of the review will get constant updates as well. Click on the link to see the current status.
InMotion Hosting Performance Update - June 2018
I set up a simple, basic WordPress website - the most popular option for casual web users. Then, our advanced uptime tracking tool tested the server's response once every minute. This helped us to see the host's overall availability. Here are the results live, as they were in the first week of June, 2018.
This is really, really good. After several hiccups there or there, InMotion hosting has hit a new stride - the speeds their server put out now are genuinely really good.
Website response times of slightly under 200 ms aren't the absolute best in the business - but it's incredibly close. Need a speed comparison?
200 ms is how long it takes for you to do one blink. This is how fast InMotion websites can be.
However, there were some concerns about the downtimes. In the week of testing, the server was reported down for 11 minutes. That is a lot! For many weeks in the row, our website kept being plagued my something that could only be described as "micro-downtimes". Here, have a look at how the second half of May looked like.
Nothing tragic, isn't it? The site is only down for a minute or two. However, those things are genuinely common.
If you decide to purchase InMotion hosting, you will get brilliant performance - but it will come together with some downtime issues. However, you can easily fix those issues, if you want to - thanks to a content delivery network (CDN). In that case, the best option is Cloudflare, about which we talked about here on this website as well.
Anti-Theft Protection Evaluation
Another important part of this InMotion review is anti-theft protection. For our final test, I'll be donning my black skiing mask and attempt to steal my own hosting account. After all, the host is no good if someone can just break into your account and take it! This evaluation will be conducted in two parts: a brute-force break-in and a test of the how live chat agents handle sensitive user information.
At first, I imagined a scenario of someone simply trying to guess your password, either using a script or by hand. So, I changed my IP as well as browser and tried to guess my own combination - incorrectly, of course. Here's what happened:
Eagle-eyed readers may have already spotted my problem. A reCAPTCHA security system was enabled by default. This meant having to select a lot of images with street signs on them. As you may imagine, this would be a problem for a script - it was also a problem for me. At the end of the day, I was unable to log in - it's good to know that InMotion takes its security seriously.
In the second test, I attempted to lure my own password out of the unsuspecting customer service agents. One more IP change and I was connected to Edward:
So here you have it - people won't be able to lure your password out. Some hosts only ask for 1 security question but InMotion asks for your credit card code. That is pretty robust - usually, you have your credit card details with you. If you actually forgot your password, this wouldn't be a problem.
It's a bit more difficult if someone actually got hold of your accounts, as the last 4 digits are easily seen on many other platforms, such as iTunes or Netflix. That being said, if someone already has access to some of your accounts or a credit card number, don't worry about your hosting - and cancel your card immediately.
NOTE - keep your personal information safe! Use different, difficult passwords and make sure your credit card info is secure!
InMotion Review - Conclusion
InMotion hosting definitely has something going on for itself. It's a great platform with a terrific community and a lot of great people ready to help. Services combine amazing performance, quick customer support & an easy-to-use interface. All of that is being done for a really fair price.
Not everything is perfect though - the small downtimes are pretty common and it's quite disappointing. Also, the bespoke customer support software used by InMotion feels outdated and is in need of some improvements.
Overall though, InMotion is a very good host to choose. It's powerful and with a discount, it's a great deal. If you can live with some of its quirks, InMotion hosting may well be one of the best available right now.
- Great worldwide response times. Servers hold their own in pretty much every continent.
- BoldGrid website builder is a very smart option for inexperienced users.
- Knowledge of customer support representatives is top-notch - and you may get discounts while talking to them.
- A very strong community - complete with message boards, and in-depth tutorials.
- Downtimes may feel like a bit of an issue.
- Customer support software feels outdated.