chris wagner

Chris Wagner

“We have been a paying customer for InMotion hosting since April 2017.

We are monitoring Inmotion’s shared hosting servers for Uptime and Performance through our website hostingpill-im.website.


This review of InMotion Hosting is based on actual testing done on their servers.”

This InMotion Hosting Review was revised and updated on November 06, 2019.

If you’re like me, you love underdogs.

I’m talking about the characters in books and movies who are somehow disadvantaged compared to the big, powerful “top dog.”

But despite their disadvantages and the dominance of the rival, the underdog works hard and manages to make a name for themselves, sometimes even rivaling or beating the traditional winner.

I LOVE those stories, so I’m gonna tell you one right NOW. Let’s welcome our underdog:

InMotion Hosting was founded in 2001, which puts it on the older side for an internet company.

Compared to Bluehost, HostGator, GoDaddy, Hostinger, 1&1 IONOS, etc—major hosting providers with MILLIONS of users, sites, or domains—InMotion is an underdog with just over 300,000 domains supported.

Now, that’s not a small number, but compared to the millions, and tens of millions, that its rivals claim…well, you get the idea.

So the question is begged: how has InMotion SURVIVED?

Are its customers all unknowledgeable about hosting? Are they hyper-knowledgeable, and is that the niche InMotion fills?! Is InMotion good for ME?

This is what I’m here for. I’ve used InMotion informally and formally, and I want to share my experience with InMotion after formally testing it for three months.

Ready? Great. Let’s get started by looking at one of the most important factors you should consider:

Uptime

When you get hosting, there’s something SUPER important to look at—

THE QUALITY OF THE ACTUAL HOSTING!

I know, it sounds simple, but remembering the basics is essential when it comes to hosting. Ask yourself: if I get hosting with X company, will my site be up most of the time?

Now, everyone has different standards for an acceptable amount of uptime. Some businesses may need the BEST uptime they can get. And others? Some people don’t mind an hour of downtime a month.

But with so many choices in the hosting world, you shouldn’t settle. It’s still gotta be one of the most important items you look for, even if you don’t think you care much.

And InMotion? It’s good, but I have mixed feelings. Here’s why:

inmotion uptime

Here’s the average Uptime:

  • Oct 2019: 99.40%
  • Sep 2019: 99.57%
  • Aug 2019: 99.77%
  • Jul 2019: 99.99%
  • Jun 2019: 99.78%
  • May 2019: 99.91%
  • Apr 2019: 99.59%
  • Mar 2019: 99.80%
  • Feb 2019: 99.80%
  • Jan 2019: 99.59%
  • Dec 2018: 100%
  • Nov 2018: 100%
  • Oct 2018: 99.99%
  • Sep 2018: 100%
  • Aug 2018: 99.98%
  • Jul 2018: 99.94%
  • Jun 2018: 100%
  • May 2018: 100%
  • Apr 2018: 100%
  • Mar 2018: 100%
  • Feb 2018: 100%
  • Jan 2018: 99.82%
  • Dec 2017: 99.97%
  • Nov 2017: 98.55%
  • Oct 2017: 99.76%
  • Sep 2017: 99.98%
  • Aug 2017: 99.98%
  • Jul 2017: 99.98%
  • Jun 2017: 100%
  • May 2017: 99.98%
  • Apr 2017: 99.98%

    InMotion Uptime Score: Last 31 months, detailed data you can see here.

    Notice how the first three months of this year haven’t made 100% or even 99.99%.

    This trend is unfortunate, but the jury is still out as to whether this will continue.

    Here’s why I’m optimistic:

    Notice how the scores for the VAST majority of the months were 99.95% or higher.

    …But here’s why I’m frustrated:

    Despite OVERALL solid uptime scores, there were TOO MANY months with below-average scores.

    January last year had 99.82%, October 2017 had 99.76%, November 2017 had 98.55%…and so on, and so on.

    The disadvantage of this is that I can’t COUNT on InMotion giving me 100% uptime on any given month.

    However, many other hosts I’ve tested will have great uptime one month (100%, for example) and then the next month drop to a poor score (99.9%).

    So the ADVANTAGE of my InMotion scores is that there’s less a risk of really poor uptime.

    Plus, even though the response times are not super low, they’re at least below what I consider average. And, they’re CONSISTENTLY below average times, meaning my site is generally faster than a lot of competitors’ sites.

    So I’ll admit it’s a mixed bag, but my overall take is that InMotion has GOOD uptime and GOOD response times. Don’t worry though—InMotion has more to offer you…

    See InMotion’s full plans here…

    Ease of Use

    Yep, ease of use. User-friendliness. Onboarding, installation, etc. The biggest hosts, the top dogs, tend to excel at these things, which is part of their popularity.

    Being a much smaller competitor, it’s reasonable to expect InMotion isn’t super easy to use. But the good news is…

    This isn’t the case AT ALL.

    Let me show you an example. This is the account management portal (the AMP):

    inmotion ampThis is one of the interfaces you’ll be using a lot if you’re a customer.

    Let me be upfront. I DON’T like the design or user-interface. But, even I have to admit that it’s useful, and best of all, EASY.

    I find it looks a little too outdated for my tastes, but that’s such a minor concern. I much prefer this to modern-looking portals that have basically no controls or make it difficult to find the different tools available for you.

    Notice how the bottom section is essentially a mini-cPanel for quickly accessing advanced site management options, whereas the top section lets you take care of most account management basics.

    This is a REALLY efficient portal. Everything you need is on one page, and half the time, you won’t even need to take extra time to get to your cPanel.

    But obviously, if you need to access more advanced options, you can quickly get to the full cPanel quickly:

    inmotion cpanelI especially like that you’re not hit over the head with upsells. The toolbar up top has more of the pushes to upgrade and bonuses, but it’s kept mostly out of your way.

    This is so much better than most hosting portals/account areas, which sometimes look nicer but are full of upsells and ads for this or that add-on.

    So overall, my take is that InMotion is really easy to use. It’s not AS easy for beginners compared to some of the platforms that especially target beginners.

    This means that onboarding and getting started with InMotion may be a little more challenging if it’s your first time getting hosting.

    But, if you’ve gotten hosting before, InMotion should be fine. It’s not difficult at all, just less beginner-focused. Plus, that account management portal is one of the BEST I’ve seen.

    This isn’t all. InMotion also has various features here and there with certain plans that make life as a customer easier. What features? I’m glad you asked:

    Pricing and Features

    Something I like about InMotion is that it’s comprehensive. It has lots of different features, and best of all, lots of different hosting options.

    Let’s start with the most common—shared web hosting, which InMotion describes as “business hosting”:

    inmotion shared businessNow, look, on the face of it, the entry-level plan (Launch) starts pricier than usual at just over $6 a month. But, the second tier is pretty affordable at first, and the third tier is also pretty reasonable.

    If you sign up using our link, you will get up to 50% off on Business Hosting plans. (See below screenshot for the discounted price)

    inmotion pricing discount

    But what’s better is that the renewal prices:

    They’re actually a little LOWER than normal. When you take the two together, InMotion Hosting looks a little pricier upfront, but in the long run is pretty normally priced.

    And then once you take into account what you get for those prices, I really can’t complain.

    A free domain, which is normal, but also no formal restrictions on disk space, bandwidth, or email, plus some extra marketing and security tools thrown in.

    I also like that the first tier gets 2 websites: this is pretty unusual, as an entry-level plan usually only does 1. But I guess it’s a good thing.

    Now, there is something a little unfortunate. You’re limited in how many databases you can make, more limited than is usual:

    inmotion shared business mysqlThe limit’s understandable, as you’re working with only two sites websites for the entry-tier anyway, and 50 databases is plenty for a second-tier shared plan.

    I just think the first tier should allow a little more. But it’s not the end of the world, especially as the exact number of databases isn’t always as important as it sounds (you can do a lot in a single database, though you may need a tech-proficient coworker to help out).

    And as I’ve noted, all the other resources are really good. These are practical things, too: email storage and accounts, disk space, the amount of data you can transfer each month.

    I’m also impressed by the free security tools available for all shared plans:

    inmotion shared security suiteSo the shared web hosting plans (also known as the “business hosting” plans), are all great options in my opinion, with really solid features, resources, and decent pricing.

    Next,

    We have thoroughly reviewed WordPress hosting, VPS hosting, Dedicated hosting, and Reseller hosting so if you want to skip that information then you can jump to Customer support section.

    That’s FAR from all InMotion has to offer. InMotion also has two types of VPS hosting available:

    inmotion vpsInMotion’s managed VPS options are a little pricey, but they pack a punch:

    inmotion vps managedThey’re secure and high performing. Plus, they have good resources, considering you START with 4GB of RAM and 4TB of bandwidth.

    I dislike the renewal fees, but it’s a managed solution, so you’re combining ease of use/maintenance with power and performance. If you need a managed VPS option, these are as good as any.

    If you’re more advanced, I think you’ll find InMotion’s cloud VPS plans are also pretty good:

    inmotion vps cloudAgain, I really dislike their high renewal fees on already-higher-quality hosting, but the first-term prices are pretty great.

    Plus, paying per-half year or per-month is pretty affordable in my opinion, so it’s good for people who explicitly have shorter-term projects.

    It’s essentially similar to the managed VPS options: good specs, good resources, and good features.

    Honestly, the cloud VPS options are still pretty easy to manage, as you’ll still be running stuff from the Account Management Portal I showed you earlier.

    Anyway, InMotion’s VPS options are decently priced despite their unfortunate renewal fees, and they have good resources and features. I consider them pretty solid options.

    InMotion also has a whole set of WordPress hosting plans. These start at $4.99 a month:

    inmotion wp1And they range to MUCH more than 5 bucks a month:

    inmotion wp2Yep. Suffice it to say that InMotion has a TON of WordPress plans available. Now admittedly, there’s a HUGE gap between the last two tiers compared to the first four tiers.

    Nonetheless, the prices scale appropriately with the amount of websites, and are meant to progressively handle more stuff on WordPress. So it’s all fair here.

    Of course, you can also install WordPress on the “normal” shared web hosting plans I showed you earlier. But the thing that’s great about InMotion’s WordPress plans?

    Great features.

    Some of them come with dedicated IPs and some amounts of dedicated server resources.

    They’re designed to accommodate more visitors, and as you can see, the higher tiers could accommodate roughly hundreds of thousands of monthly visitors.

    Plus, most of the WordPress plans come with some level of the paid JetPack plans included, which itself saves you money.

    Plus, ALL of them come with BoldGrid.

    inmotion boldgridBoldGrid is a plugin that’s great for making WordPress easier to use.

    It lets you use the power of WordPress but gives you a little more control over direct design changes, useful if you don’t know how to code. Plus more stuff like SEO, backups, etc.

    So InMotion is pretty great for WordPress. It’s got a lot of plans to choose from, great included features and resources, and good prices.

    In fact, I consider InMotion to be one of the best hosts for WordPress.

    InMotion’s reseller hosting options is similar to its WordPress options in that they start low:

    inmotion reseller1And keep going to a high price for a total of 6 tiers:

    inmotion reseller2Now in my opinion, these are pretty good reseller packages. The prices scale appropriately with the uptake in resources.

    Whether or not the resources are good enough for YOU—well, that really depends entirely on how you would use your reseller account.

    I think there’s plenty of potential and room to grow with InMotion, so I’ll say it’s a solid reseller program but not exceptional.

    Last but not least, let’s check out InMotion’s big guns:

    inmotion dedicated The starting prices are honestly not that bad! Yes, I find InMotion’s renewal fees unfortunate, but overall these are still decent prices.

    Worried you won’t be able to pay InMotion more? Don’t worry, my friend:

    inmotion dedicated I’m not gonna lie to you. These are some heavy-duty solutions.

    I can’t go over EVERYTHING, so speaking generally, if you’re interested in good dedicated servers, I think InMotion has what you need.

    The servers have good specs, and in my opinion, appropriate pricing.

    For example, the starting server gives you 8GB of DDR3 RAM, 4 cores, and 500GB of SSD space (or 1TB of HDD space if you prefer) for just over $100 a month.

    On the far end, you have the servers with the latest specs, tons of RAM, great security, tons of IPs and data transfer capacities…I mean, basically everything you’d look for in a high-end dedicated server.

    Plus, these servers are pretty open to customization and there’s support available.

    So InMotion definitely has some great dedicated servers plans.

    Alright, I know I threw a lot of info at you. Here’s a short recap of the pricing and features:

    InMotion is pretty good on everything. Good resources, good features, and decent prices. Best of all, InMotion has a TON of options to choose from.

    However, InMotion MOST excels at shared hosting and WordPress hosting.

    Obviously, though, features aren’t everything. This leads us to our next item:

    Customer Support

    If you’re a beginner, you’ll need good customer service to help you onboard.

    Even if you’re a pro, and purchasing the most complicated plan on InMotion that you can, you’ll still need customer service to help you with unexpected technical difficulties.

    Fear not, friend. InMotion has some great customer support. For starters, InMotion has a lot of managed solutions available.

    inmotion managedThis doesn’t just mean the managed VPS I showed you. You can contact InMotion to get special support for other plans. Of course, there’s a price tag.

    Luckily some plans (like some of the dedicated plans) include a short amount of managed hosting time, which can help you get situated.

    Similarly to the managed hosting support, you can get web design services from InMotion:

    inmotion web design servicesIt’s not free, but at least the consultation is.

    Now aside from this extra layer of support, the more basic (and free!) support is also good. InMotion as on-site resources you can browse or search at your convenience.

    I’m mostly talking about the support center:

    inmotion support centerThis is a useful knowledge base that basically has several different support resources collected into one center, like FAQs, product guide, tutorials, etc.

    There are even some free tools you can use for quick checks and easy fixes, though they’re not crazy useful:

    inmotion tools and resourcesNot all of InMotion’s on-site material is gold. Take this, for example:

    inmotion infographicInMotion has a page of infographics that just explains the different types of hosting.

    Sure, if you’re a beginner this might be useful. But if you’re a beginner, you should do more thinking and researching than reading an infographic.

    So this is a nice resource for everyone unfamiliar with hosting, but not super useful to existing InMotion customers.

    Anyway, OVERALL the on-site information is GREAT. There’s plenty of information, in a variety of formats, and it’s well organized. Plus, everything goes into one support center.

    You can also, of course, contact customer service representatives.

    inmotion communication channelsThere are quite a few ways you can do this, but the most common and accessible are of course the phone, live chat, and email support.

    You can also contact people via Skype, and there are quite a few numbers. In fact, there are lots of Skype IDs, phone numbers, and email addresses for different kinds of support.

    This is a great investment and makes sure you can get to the right people relatively quickly.

    The phone and email support has been pretty good in my experience. Representatives are to the point and helpful. Response times vary, but I’ve never had to wait too long.

    The live chat is okay:

    inmotion chat Yeah, I HATE the look of the chat. It’s outdated-looking and ugly. But anyway, that’s not what’s important. As you can see:

    inmotion chatIt took 5 for the representative to give me a straight answer. Granted, I didn’t have priority support, but even if you don’t have priority support, this is a simple question.

    And everyone should be able to count on good service anyway.

    Nonetheless, it’s not the end of the world. You’ll still get your answers in a relatively short amount of time. At least it’s mostly the live chat that is sub-par—phone and email have been reliably good in my experience.

    So what’s the verdict on InMotion’s customer support? The representatives are decent at the default level, but nothing stellar. Once you start paying though, they get really good.

    And the on-site resources? Fantastic.

    But there’s one last thing we’ve gotta look at, something that, if done right, will minimize your interactions with customer service. And yeah, that’s a good thing:

    Security

    Yep. What’s hosting without quality security?

    First off, remember that even InMotion’s most affordable plans come with some free, decent protection. Plus, some of the higher-end plans come with upgrades security and better specs.

    I’ve talked about that, so instead I want to focus on what InMotion does on its end to protect you. Here are the basics:

    inmotion west-east coast datacentersLook, I kind of want to know more. BUT, at least they told us the essentials, and from what they’ve told us, this is pretty solid.

    In plain English, InMotion monitors the data centers 24/7, with continual performance reviews. Plus, the data centers are fully redundant, which means there’s always a backup.

    InMotion claims that even in the event of a major natural disaster, a backup would keep your site up, and the data centers are guarded with armed security, “hand scanners, and locked vaults.”

    InMotion has less data centers than a lot of the bigger hosts, but in my opinion, it’s better to have a small number of high quality, well-maintained data centers than a large number of centers with poor security and little redundancy.

    Being independently owned means a conglomerate isn’t stuffing InMotion’s servers next to a bunch of other hosting companies’ servers in a single center, and skimping on redundancy. So that’s good.

    So the overall take?

    InMotion has pretty good security. Nothing screaming stellar, but certainly strong and reliable enough to count on.

    I think it’s time, my friends. Let’s go over all that other stuff about InMotion that can be called “good.”

    Pros

    THIS is what InMotion does well:

    • My uptime never dropped below 99.5% and was usually on the higher side. Plus, the response times are on the faster side.
    • InMotion is overall easy to use, though maybe not for 100% beginners.
    • On that note, its account management portal (AMP) is unique and one of the best hosting portals I’ve seen.
    • This is unrelated to much of what I’ve talked about so far, but InMotion is eco-friendly:

    inmotion go green

    • OVERALL, InMotion’s plans provide good returns on investment with lots of resources and features for pretty decent pricing.
    • Specifically, some of InMotion’s lower-end dedicated servers still have great resource allocations for decent prices.
    • And InMotion’s shared hosting and WordPress plans are especially GREAT options, loaded with stuff for normal prices.
    • InMotion has a lot of extra support available if you pay.
    • There are a variety of ways you can contact InMotion support, and multiple lines for each method (e.g., many telephone numbers for phone support).
    • InMotion’s security appears to be pretty strong and reliable.

    Cons

    Thought that sounded nice? I’m sorry. Nothing’s perfect. Let me rain on your parade:

    • During my time formally testing InMotion, my uptime never got to 99.99% or 100%.
    • Customer service can be mediocre at times, but a lot of people seem to like InMotion’s customer service, so maybe I’m just unlucky. Luckily, it’s mostly only the live chat that suffers.
    • I wish InMotion talked a little more about its security measures, though what they already say is decent.
    • If you’re very new to hosting, InMotion might be a little difficult to get started with. It’s overall easy to use, but not as beginner-focused as some of its larger competitors like GoDaddy or Bluehost.
    • While InMotion isn’t expensive, it’s not exactly a “budget” host. Some of the plans are steals, but not everyone needs great features or tons of server resources—just a decent price for quick and cheap hosting. InMotion isn’t really meant for that.
    • Most hosts have higher renewal fees for shared hosting, and sometimes cloud hosting. But as the quality of the hosting gets higher, to VPS or dedicated server hosting, renewal prices tend to stay the same as the initial registration. InMotion does NOT do this. Basically ALL plans have high renewal prices.

    Conclusion: Do I Recommend InMotion?

    Okay, I know, I know. Let’s wrap this up, right? Here’s the verdict:

    InMotion hosting is UNDERRATED. It’s not nearly as popular as most of the hosts you’ve heard of.

    But having said that, those who are familiar with hosting have definitely heard of InMotion. And that’s because it’s stayed competitive for YEARS, consistently.

    The gist is that InMotion’s pricing is decent, its performance is overall pretty good, and it offers a ton of different hosting plans. And some of its plans are LOADED with features.

    If you need perfect or near-perfect uptime, but you don’t want to invest in dedicated or VPS hosting, I’m not sure if InMotion is best.

    If that’s NOT you though, InMotion is a fine choice, and I recommend at least TRYING it.

    Most of its flaws aren’t too consequential, so the uptime is probably going to be the biggest factor for those of you are on the fence. If so, fair enough.

    But if you’re okay with overall good uptime, average prices, and tons of features and options to choose from—InMotion is an excellent candidate.

    If you ARE still on the fence, you’re in luck: you can try InMotion risk-free for 90 days, THREE TIMES as long as most other hosts’ allow.

    InMotion FAQs

    Wait, why do I want 99.95% uptime?

    I’ll admit, it’s NOT a hard rule. BUT, it’s useful because it guarantees a more acceptable amount of uptime.

    99.9% uptime sounds high, but it REALLY means close 43 MINUTES of downtime over the course of a month.

    If that occurs during Black Friday, or just at the moment you’re getting a ton of traffic because your posts when viral—sorry, you’re TOAST.

    99.99% uptime means about 4 minutes of downtime during the month. So 99.95% is a pretty reasonable intermediary, in my opinion, as it’s about 21 minutes of downtown over the course of a month.

    But again—some businesses will need guarantees of 99.99% uptime. I think for people who don’t place such importance on uptime, 99.95% is a fair enough mark.

    If you still want more information, you can check out our uptime tool here.

    Can I get a free domain or domain transfer?

    Yes! But there’s a catch:

    It’s only free for the first year. It renews at $15.99 after that (as you may have seen from my live chat screenshots).

    Yeah, this sucks, but I’m sorry to say it’s really common to most hosts, not just InMotion.

    90 days is a long time for a money-back guarantee. What’s the catch?

    “What’s the catch” is a much safer question than “IS there a catch?”

    InMotion’s refund policy does have a catch, but it’s not too major, luckily. So here are the qualifications for the 90-day money-back guarantee:

    • The policy only applies to the business/shared hosting plans.
    • Domain names DON’T get refunded—which is important because the business plans include one “free.” Well, as you get ownership of the domain for a year, you won’t get a refund for registering one.
    • If you’re using a monthly contract (meaning paying per-month, rather than per-year), your guarantee is not 90 days. It’s just a month. Which, you know, is completely justifiable.

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    Summary
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    InMotion Hosting
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