Our InMotion Hosting Shared Hosting Review
InMotion Hosting has been around since 2001 with a clear focus on business hosting with the ability and willingness to help businesses grow by offering custom managed hosting configurations by their experienced support team (at additional cost).
They also offer web design services in case you need some assistance getting your website up and running. From the examples given on their website, these are based on the WordPress CMS.
InMotion Hosting Shared Hosting Plans
They offer three different shared hosting plans. The main differences between the plans are related to the number of websites \ databases allowed on the account, the level of support, and the existence of one click shopping cart installs.
You can see a brief table of the differences (plus a couple of main features) between the three plans below, and following that we will summarize the features applicable to all shared hosting plans:
|Launch Plan||Power Plan||Pro Plan|
A summary of the features are as follows:
- SSD Storage – According to InMotion SSD’s perform about 20 times faster than traditional HDD’s, and allow a greater rate of data transfer (65% more according to their figures). SSD’s work particularly well when using disk caching, especially when using the settings in our W3 Total Cache tutorial. You can read more about the benefits of SSD Hosting here.
- Unlimited Disk Storage, and Bandwidth – You are only allowed to use storage space and bandwidth for purposes in connection with your website. Furthermore, they state that their services are for normal use only meaning that “any activity that results in excessive usage inconsistent with normal usage patterns is strictly prohibited.” If your use is excessive, then you may run into problems.
- Pro Support – This is a little misleading, as it does not relate to the speed or level of support received, although we suspect that it may indirectly improve that. Pro Support provides a 99.9% uptime guarantee that will give you one month of credit on your account should they fail to achieve this. You may request that your uptime is checked by InMotion just once per month, and things like planned server maintenance, DDoS attacks or other forms of hacking are specifically excluded. Unfortunately, there does not appear to be an Uptime guarantee for their other plans.
- E-Commerce Ready – In our mind a hosting account that is E-Commerce ready is one that comes with an SSL certificate and in many cases a free dedicated IP. InMotion refers to their E-Commerce ready feature as having a one-click installer only.
- Free Transfers – As with most other hosts running cPanel, InMotion will happily transfer up to 3 cPanel accounts for free. What we particularly like is that they go a little further and state that even if a cPanel transfer cannot be done, they will transfer up to 3 items for free (i.e. database, email, website). Further items can be moved for a very reasonable $10 fee per item (many other hosts will charge more, or simply not help you at all).
- Free Backups – While many companies will offer multiple points of backups, it appears that InMotion only offers one snapshot. This can be problematic as if you need a restoration, and you don’t initiate it before the next backup then you may be out of luck. There are a couple of other restrictions as well. Firstly you can only ask for a restoration once every four months free of charge, after which there is a $49 fee for further restorations. Also, sites larger than 10GB will not be backed up although there are options available at additional cost if this is the case. In any event, we recommend setting up your own backup system away from your web host no matter who you host with.
- 90-day money back guarantee – Most companies only offer one or two months money back guarantee. 90 days is more than enough time to determine whether you like a web host, and indeed shows a high degree of confidence from InMotion that you will be happy with their services. As with any guarantee, though, it will not include any add-ons such as SSL certificates or domain registrations.
- Developer features – You have access to Ruby, Perl, and Python as well as SSH access and WP-CLI (WordPress command line interface) for easy WordPress management.
- cPanel Control Panel – They use one of the most popular control panels giving you the ability to manage easily all aspects of your hosting account, including downloading backups on demand for off-site storage.
- Choice of Server location – You can choose between two datacenters. One is located on the East Coast (Ashburn, VA) which gives faster connectivity to Eastern US, Europe, Africa and South America. The West Coast data center (Los Angeles, CA) gives faster connectivity to the Western US, Asia, Australia \ New Zealand, and the South Pacific.
If you read up about InMotion Hosting on their website, you find that they take their Support very seriously. Here are the highlights of what they claim:
- Their Web Hosting experts average four years of professional hosting experience
- All support staff undergoes a “rigorous” internal training program with all staff being required to have at least 160 hours of internal training before being allowed to interact with customers.
- Their management team average over ten years of web hosting experience.
So with these positive vibes, how did their support perform?
While the few examples of dealing with their support relate to my VPS with them (you can read my InMotion VPS Review here), we found them very helpful, and fairly fast to respond.
For instance, on one occasion we asked via ticket for the PHP version to be changed so we can use PHP 5.6. The initial response came after just 40 minutes, and included some helpful advice on some potential incompatibilities of our request to make sure we did, in fact, wish to change PHP version:
Overall, resolution of the request came within 3 hours, although about 30 minutes of that was due to our delay in responding. When dealing with their support, we got the impression they cared about our site, rather than just going through the motions of responding to our request.
Equally, the dealings we have had over live chat had been great, especially when we had some lengthy discussions at the outset when quizzing them on their various plans to determine the most suitable solution for our needs.
There will always be isolated incidents that cause server downtime or work needing to be done on the server, not matter how great the web hosting provider is. InMotion is no different, but we do not see any specific issues on the web that indicate they have many complaints or a particular problem in providing fast support responses.
Also, our experience with their support has been very positive so far.
The only thing that gave us a little concern was some reports that customer accounts were being suspended due to excess resource usage. While this wouldn’t usually cause us concern, they are particularly vague about what resources you get with each plan (even in the terms and conditions). In one particular case, the users website wasn’t even live (in development) and InMotion Hosting asked him to upgrade to a dedicated server, and their support was not helpful in determining the cause of the high CPU usage. That being said, it was a glimpse of positivity with the customer saying:
We don’t believe this is a particular problem, but we thought it was worth a brief mention just in case it resonates with any existing customers looking to leave a review of InMotion Hosting at the end of this article.
Our InMotion Hosting Review Final Thoughts
InMotion is a host that has made us a little hesitant to recommend over the last few years, mainly due to lack of testing, and it is only with our latest update of this review (August 2015) that we feel happy enough to add them finally as one of our recommended hosting providers based on our own experience with them the last few weeks.
We do have a slight worry that some of their resource allowances are a little vague, but we will be keeping a close eye on this over the coming months. Also, they don’t offer anything special that particularly stands out (i.e. Nginx, Memcached, etc.) apart from SSD storage, but the price point they market themselves at for what they do offer is indeed appealing.
Overall we get the impression that this is a company that will be there with you as your business grows, even to the extent that they will build custom solutions to keep your site up and to run and fast.
InMotion Hosting FAQs
Does InMotion Hosting offer Windows Servers?
No, they only offer Linux based hosting.
Are there any hidden fees when signing up?
All fees are clearly displayed on the main pages of their website. There are additional costs for certain things such as dedicated IPs, SSL installation as well as for the restoration of backups if you exceed more than the one free backup allowed every four months. If your site exceeds 10GB in size, then you will need to contact them to arrange backup services at additional cost.
Do they offer a Free Domain?
Yes, they do offer a free domain with yearly of bi-yearly plans. However, we have negotiated a special discount that does NOT include a free domain. Our discount far exceeds the cost of any domain, so really is a great deal regardless.
Is there a money back guarantee?
InMotion Hosting offers a massive 90-day money back guarantee for new orders (not renewals). The guarantee does not apply to addons such as domains or SSL certificates.
What methods can you contact their support?
You can contact their support either by Telephone, Live-chat or by ticket. Also, they will help with general queries via their Twitter account @inmotioncares.
Support is available 24/7 in the English Language only.
What Control Panel does Inmotion Use?
All hosting packages use the cPanel control panel.
Does InMotion offer an Uptime Guarantee?
Their Pro plan offers a 99.9% Uptime Guarantee. You will get one month credit to your account should they fail to achieve this. Their other plans do not offer an uptime guarantee.
What Programming Languages does InMotion hosting support?
Their Servers run on Apache, MYSQL, and PHP. They support all the main programming languages such as Python, Ruby, and Perl. They do not offer Windows hosting, and as such programming languages based on that operating system such as ASP.net are not supported.
Will InMotion Hosting transfer your website from another host?
Yes, they use a credit based system with you getting three credits free with your hosting account. Each credit allows the transfer of an item. An item may be a cPanel account (includes all websites \ databases \ emails in that account), or if you do not use cPanel, a credit could be a website or database. Additional credits cost $10.
Do they offer an upgrade path if you outgrow shared hosting?
Yes, they offer some very affordable SSD based VPS plans, and if you outgrow those they have a selection of cheap dedicated servers as well as more powerful enterprise grade dedicated servers.