Our Expert InMotion Hosting VPS Review
It doesn’t seem long since we announced the launch of InMotion’s new SSD based VPS servers even though a year has now passed. It took us a while, but we have finally put their VPS Hosting through its paces, with extremely positive results.
Before we go through the VPS hosting plans, speed tests, support and various other things of interest it is useful to mention a little about the company, and its humble beginnings.
The current President of InMotion Hosting is Todd Robinson. He qualified from Michigan Technological University with a Bachelor of Science (B.S.), Mechanical Engineering in 1997. He has been President of the company for the last 14 years since co-founding the company in 2001 along with Sunil Saxena. Sunil studied Economics and qualified from the University of California in 1996. With both co-founders being at the company for over 14 years and it being one of the oldest and most established hosting companies around you know that your website will be in safe hands.
InMotion Hosting VPS Hosting Plans
|Base RAM||1.5 GB||3 GB||6GB|
|Burstable RAM Up To||4 GB||6 GB||8 GB|
|SSD Storage||60 GB||130 GB||200 GB|
|Bandwidth||2 TB||3 TB||4 TB|
|Price (yearly with discount)||$29.99 pm||$49.99 pm||$74.99 pm|
You can see the various VPS plans are all very similar, except for the scaling up of resources that are made available
What about CPU Usage Limits?
InMotion Hosting do not advertise CPU usage limits and instead choose to make available all of the CPU cores on the server to their customers. The main benefit is that when you have a sudden burst of traffic (it may only last 30 seconds or a minute) you are able to use the entirety of the 42 Cores that are on the server. Obviously, you have to have in mind that these are shared resources, but it can allow for a more responsive website when you have spikes of traffic.
The alternative is having a maximum CPU limit assigned, and being rate limited when you hit that limit. This can cause your website to be more sluggish when you hit that limit, even if you only hit that limit for a second or two.
We asked InMotion Hosting on their Support chat last year about the CPU limits and they had this to say:
[Robert H] There are no dedicated cores on the Shared and VPS plans
[Jonathan] what is the CPU usage policy on VPS?
[Robert H] As long as you are not running to the point that you are affetcing the other users we do not care how much you use
[Jonathan] So a VPS-3000S plan has same CPU usage as a VPS-1000S?
[Jonathan] And same priority?
[Robert H] No, the VPS3000 has higher priority and will be given more consideration in CPU usage
Since trying the InMotion VPS we are actually liking their approach to CPU. We still have a few niggling issues over the lack of certainty on the CPU limits assigned to each plan, with the terms and conditions simply stating that the “Customer shall not use excessive amounts of CPU processing”. That being said, we have not been able to find any complaints around the web of people being forced to upgrade arbitrarily, so we do not see this as a particular issue.
So Which Plan Is Best for You?
If you are new to VPS hosting, or indeed coming from another provider, it may be a little tricky to know what the best InMotion Hosting VPS plan is for your circumstances. Certainly, if all you have is a simple WordPress website, and make use of W3 Total Cache you will probably need less resources than you think. Equally, if you have an E-commerce site, or you wish to host multiple sites on the save VPS you may need a larger plan.
InMotion have very helpfully provided some basic guidance that should assist:
This plan is most suitable who are upgrading from shared hosting. It is a very well priced solution that gives you the opportunity to use cPanel and WHM, as well as use the command line. If you are a developer, then it will be suitable for “less intensive clients”.
This is, according to InMotion their most popular package. It gives increased performance with a boost in RAM and data transfer limits. This plan is best suited for those who are running more CPU intensive tasks, multiple CMS software installations. It is suitable for developers who are are reselling hosting to “more advanced users”.
This is their highest performing package that gives increased resources, and the last step before going to a dedicated server. InMotion says it “A great solution for large enterprises that run multiple large databases, host files, and needs to serve this to their employees and customers”.
One of the main differences between different web hosting companies offering VPS plans are whether Root access is offered. If you do not know much about web servers you most likely will not need \ want this, and instead prefer to rely on the InMotion Support to make any necessary changes. However, should you wish to modify your server configuration Root Access can be obtained via the control panel in a few clicks.
It should be noted that InMotion Hosting will not support any changes you have made, and that if any repairs to the configurations are required due to your errors, they reserve the right to charge a fee of $75 per hour. This is quite normal.
InMotion Hosting Nginx VPS Server Configuration
On advantage of gaining Root Access is that you can use InMotion’s own Nginx installation script to quickly install and setup Nginx on your server. With the script, Nginx can be installed with just 4 commands after logging into the server via SSH as the root user:
wget http://inmotionhosting.com/support/scripts/nginxcp.sh chmod a+x nginxcp.sh ./nginxcp.sh service httpd restart
This is something you might wish to consider setting up, as it will improve the responsiveness of your website if you do not intend to use a CDN such as Cloudflare or MaxCDN.
Get More Help Setting up your Server
If you require a specific configuration on your VPS server then you can use their Launch Assist service. This costs $99 for VPS servers (free with dedicated servers) and they will assist with setting up your VPS as per your requirements.
Alternatively, you can can sign up to one of their server management plans. This will allow you a set number of hours server admin time to help you manage your server, starting from just $40 for 1 hour per month with a minimum 1 month commitment.
Of course, if you do not wish to worry about server management etc, then you can use the VPS plans out of the box perfectly fine. The speed of the standard setup of WordPress using W3 Total Cache is very impressive (as we shall cover later in the article).
We have a very standard and specific test we carry out when testing Web Hosts for site speed. We have a standard badly optimized WordPress Theme that loads styles via a PHP file which we use, as this highlights the differences between hosts. The test uses our W3 Total cache settings. In practice you may find your website much faster.
Typically, our tests will show web hosts loading the site in 1.2 to 1.8 seconds. Arvixe Shared Hosting loaded the site in 1.58s for example (although this was shared hosting). Here are the results for InMotion:
As our VPS server was located in the West Coast of the US, we took the speed test result from the California Pingdom location. Very Impressive.
Summary of Inmotion VPS Hosting Features
All of InMotion Hosting VPS Plans come with the following features:
- SSD Storage – With SSD’s performing about 20 times faster than traditional HHD’s, along with greater data transfer rate and lower pings we wouldn’t recommend VPS hosting without it. Fortunately for InMotion, all their plans come with SSD!
- Raid 6 Fault Tolerant Disk – Raid 6 has its focus on Data Protection \ redundancy over performance, so whilst slightly slower than Raid 10 is much safer. In brief terms, it uses a Redundant Array of Independent Disks to increase fault tolerance, and allows seamless replacement of faulty disks. We would definitely recommend Raid 6 over Raid 10.
- 2 Dedicated IP Addresses – Whilst one will be reserved for the cPanel and any shared cPanel accounts, having 2 dedicated IPs will free one up for that E-Commerce store \ SSL.
- Easily Scalable – The great thing about their VPS plans is that if you ever find you need more resources you can easily upgrade to a larger plan.
- cPanel & WHM – cPanel is one of the best and most popular control panels, and our personal favorite for Linux hosting. With WHM you can easily resell hosting, or keep your own websites isolated on their own cPanel accounts (recommended when hosting multiple sites).
- 90 day money back guarantee – InMotion are one of the few web hosts to offer a money back guarantee on VPS plans (many only offer money back guarantees only on their shared hosting plans).
- Automatic Backups – Whilst many companies will offer multiple points of backups, InMotion only offers one snapshot. 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. Fortunately, with WHM you can easily configure your hosting to backup to Amazon S3 automatically each day and we would recommend to do this regardless.
InMotion is now one of our favorite VPS hosting providers, as we believe it offers very good value for what it offers. I.e. SSD Hosting with access to all the cores on the server so you won’t be limited for the rare occasion you have a traffic spike. Of course, the resources are shared but in our own tests we were very impressed.
The server was during our own speed tests significantly quicker than any other web host with similar server configuration, and we have been very impressed with their support (you can read about our experience with their support in our Shared Hosting Review).
InMotion Hosting FAQs
How does VPS Hosting differ from Shared Hosting?
With Shared hosting you will share a portion of the server with other users, which may affect your server speed if other users on the server are experiencing high traffic. The server configuration on Shared Hosting is usually set in stone, with root access unavailable. With VPS hosting, not only do you have the ability to customize your server configuration (with Root access), but you are granted your own section of a partitioned dedicated server with a guaranteed amount of RAM, storage and bandwidth. VPS hosting is easily scalable should you need more resources, and you have access to more CPU power.
Do you offer Root Access With InMotion VPS?
Yes, Inmotion allows you to have root access. Please note that they will not support any changes you make, so you should only make use of this if you know what you are doing.
Will speed or storage be affected by other people on the same server?
Unlike shared hosting where resources are shared, their VPS servers have less amount of users on the server and are carefully managed to ensure your websites are very responsive. Their own FAQ implies that CPU is dedicated, and this may be true in very loose terms (in that they don’t oversell their VPS servers). However, we believe that the CPU resources are still shared.
Is there a money back guarantee?
InMotion Hosting offer 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 InMotion support either by Telephone, Live-chat or by ticket. They will also 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, along with WHM.
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.
Does InMotion Offer NGINX on their VPS servers?
Yes, InMotion have their own installer so you can easily install NGINX on your VPS yourself. We summarized how to do this in our review above.