InMotion Hosting: Great For Small Business? We Asked 554 Users
Is InMotion Hosting for You?
InMotion Hosting is one of the biggest hosting companies around. But hosting is a very personal thing. Is it right for you? In what follows, I try to answer that question for every kind of person who needs web hosting.
An Introduction to InMotion Hosting
Ask any web developer about web hosts, and InMotion Hosting will be one of the first that comes to mind.
They’re old, but have continuously invested in innovation to stay at the top of the field.
That’s not to say that they’re perfect, but they have solid plans for every size of business, with a few unique features that set them apart from other hosts.
This is a thorough review of InMotion Hosting — including what I consider its most exciting parts. I’ve used this host as a customer, and I’d like to share the parts, both good and bad, that will help you decide if InMotion Hosting is right for you.
Background Information about InMotion
InMotion Hosting homepage screenshot
InMotion Hosting, sometimes referred to as IMH, has been in operation since 2001, pretty much the infancy of the modern web.
Since then, they’ve grown a lot, and customers host over 300,000 domains on their servers.
They offer several plans, covering:
- Shared business hosting
- Reseller hosting
- VPS (virtual private servers)
- Dedicated servers
- Managed hosting.
The plans are not the cheapest, but they’re competitive with other hosting companies. Regardless, in most cases, I don’t think you should look for the cheapest host. The cheapest hosts often provide poor quality.
With InMotion Hosting, you get mature infrastructure, with redundant datacenters and automatic backups. You also get great support and environmentally friendly servers.
If that sounds promising, read on. Let’s start digging into specific notable features on IMH.
Shared Hosting for Your Business
Shared hosting is the most popular type of hosting for small businesses.
What Is Shared Hosting
You share a server’s resources with other customers, and split the price. Since most small businesses have small and simple sites, they don’t need the full resources of a server themselves.
InMotion Hosting offers three shared hosting plans, in their business hosting section. The highest tier plan, the “pro business plan,” comes with the most resources and features of the trio.
The biggest plus of these shared hosting plans is that you benefit from InMotion Hosting’s other hosting services. They have invested a lot of money into creating servers and services to attract customers.
You may not need managed dedicated servers, but you still get to benefit from (some of) that technology, even on shared plans.
Here are the most interesting and important features to me:
- Free data backups — backups are available on most other shared hosts, but you have to do them manually, or pay extra; they’re free and automatic with any of these plans.
- Free website transfer — while there are some conditions, InMotion Hosting’s support will transfer up to 3 websites from other hosts for you for free.
- 90-day money back guarantee — that’s about the longest trial you’ll ever find.
- Free SSL — many hosts still charge significant fees to add SSL to your sites; it’s free on all shared hosting plans.
- Free domain name — a nice little bonus. it’s also cheaper when you need to renew it than on most other hosts that offer domain registering.
There’s one final aspect of these plans that is of note. These plans come with “unlimited” disk space and bandwidth.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you truly get unlimited resources.
In regular terms, it means that you get unlimited resources as long as your sites don’t affect the performance of other sites on the shared server.
The Good and Bad of Unlimited Resources
The good part of that is that InMotion Hosting cares about how customers are using their shared accounts. They won’t let other customers affect your sites if at all possible.
The bad part is that your site can run slower than expected at certain busy times of the day. If you’re using too many resources, it will affect the loading speed of your site, and may cause it to not load at all in some cases.
This is why I dislike “unlimited” shared hosting that many hosts offer. You need to monitor your website performance to see if it’s being throttled. If it is, you’ll have to upgrade to a more expensive plan.
WordPress Hosting in All Shared Plans
Screenshot of InMotion WordPress Page
While you can install WordPress on any shared hosting plan, InMotion Hosting also offers 6 specialized WordPress plans.
The plans include the following features:
|Number of websites||1||2||3||6||10||20|
The more expensive plans can support more monthly visitors, more websites, and have a few extra valuable features.
On these plans, WordPress comes pre-installed.
Special WordPress Features
There are a few features that these plans offered that are tailored specifically towards WordPress users.
InMotion Hosting offers BoldGrid and other premium plugins. You can get access to a library of premium themes and plugins at no extra cost (built into the plan cost).
Additionally, you get specifically configured NGINX server to optimize WordPress performance.
Finally, they provide a proprietary cache manager tool. InMotion Hosting created their own caching tool to speed up WordPress site performance.
WordPress is known to developers for being bloated and relatively slow. These features go a long way to minimizing those negative aspects of WordPress.
Reseller Hosting Packages
Screenshot of InMotion Hosting Reseller Page
Reseller hosting is used to manage anywhere from a few to hundreds of websites, all from a single account.
Since you’re packaging up someone else’s hosting resources and selling them, it’s important that you’re dealing with a good quality host in the first place.
I think you can be confident doing that with all the technology that InMotion Hosting has behind them. The hosting you’ll be providing for your customers will have everything mentioned above in the shared hosting packages, and more.
There’s 3 reseller hosting plans to choose from and these are almost identical with the main differences in the amount of resources available.
On top of the solid hosting infrastructure that InMotion Hosting has to offer their resellers, there are other valuable features on offer including:
- A free dedicated IP address
- Additional IP addresses available for purchase
- Free domain reseller account from eNom to earn even more
- Access for customers to Softaculous and all other applications like BoldGrid
- SSH access.
You’ll be given WHMCS – Web Hosting Automation Platform for free to manage your sites and billing.
Screenshot of InMotion VPS hosting page
Speed might be the most important part of hosting. If your website loads slowly, you lose visitors.
The best hosts invest in high-quality servers and other technology to improve how fast their customer’s sites operate. I feel that InMotion Hosting fits well in this category.
There are 4 aspects of their services that I find particularly impressive:
Solid-state drives (SSDs) are about 20 times faster than standard HDDs for certain operations.
In the case of hosting, they help servers handle requests faster and more reliably. They particularly help under high visitor loads.
All plans, even the cheapest shared business hosting plans, incorporate SSDs.
99.9% Uptime Guarantee
Part of being able to load pages quickly for visitors is being able to display them at all, which you can’t do if your website goes down.
InMotion Hosting offers one of the best uptime guarantees. It’s outlined in their terms of service.
Basically, if you’re on the pro plan or higher, and you have an uptime lower than 99.9%, you’ll be credited with one month of free service.
Now, there is some fine print here. Your site going down for server maintenance or someone’s attack on it does not count. The guarantee basically covers the basic expected service on InMotion Hosting’s side of things.
I highly doubt that this guarantee is implemented often, I’ve never needed it myself. However, it shows that InMotion Hosting understands that uptime is important, and are confident in their ability to achieve a relatively high uptime.
MaxSpeed Zone Technology
This is one of the most unique features that InMotion Hosting offers.
They have 2 datacenters, located on both the east coast and west coast of the United States. This means that when someone accesses your website, they can request the site information from either one of those datacenters.
In general, the closer a visitor is to a datacenter, the faster the page will load for them.
The “max speed zone” is a feature available to VPS and business class customers. It lets you select which datacenter to use manually.
This is particularly useful if most of your visitors come from one specific area.
Environmentally-Friendly “Green Server” Technology
Sitting where you are now, the environment isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when picking a host.
I think it’s good to understand what a host’s datacenter actually looks like. For a host like InMotion Hosting, datacenters are massive, with thousands of servers that consume huge amounts of electricity.
They have a significant carbon output.
InMotion Hosting is one of the few hosts which has invested in eco-friendly policies and technology.
Their datacenter in Los Angeles was the first-ever green datacenter, to the best of my knowledge. It reduced their typical cooling costs by about 70%, plus lowered carbon output by thousands of tons each year.
This doesn’t necessarily affect your hosting performance, but if you’d like to support a company trying to reduce their harm to the environment, this is a big plus.
InMotion Hosting offers a lot of other features that you will likely find helpful.
InMotion Hosting Features: cPanel
Screenshot of InMotion Hosting Tools page
Once you create an account and sign up for a plan, you’ll be given access to an account panel.
This is what my account panel looks like on a shared hosting plan:
Screenshot of InMotion Hosting Account Panel of Shared Hosting Plan
This is where you can manage your SSL certificates and domain settings.
Most importantly, there’s a link to cPanel, where you’ll spend most of your time.
Screenshot of InMotion Hosting cPanel Main Sections
InMotion Hosting’s cPanel Alterations
Yes, that cPanel that you’ve seen so many times before.
But there are some differences, as InMotion Hosting has done some serious customization to make cPanel more useful.
Basic cPanel Functions
It has all the main sections that you’d expect including:
Plus you can see stats about your website usage and FTP accounts (you can have up to 1000) on the right side panel.
At first it looks the same as any cPanel, but if you look closer you’ll see options that you probably haven’t seen before including:
- Softaculous installer – Admittedly, many other hosts have it, because it’s great. It gives you an easy way to install over 400 applications, including content management systems (CMSs) like WordPress, Joomla, and Magento.
- Cron jobs – Having access to Cron jobs let’s you create scripts that automatically perform some repetitive work. If you ever learn web development, or hire a developer to add custom site functionality, this may be useful.
- Multiple database options – Most hosts only support a single type of database. You have access to both MySQL and PostgresQL in your cPanel.
- Custom error pages – You can customize what your website’s error pages display when something goes wrong for visitors.
- SSH access – This lets you manage your site files through a command line, which may or may not be useful for you. It’s a feature that not too many hosts offer.
In short, your cPanel has everything that other hosts offer in their cPanels, plus a handful of advanced options that gives you more control over your website and server resources.
InMotion Hosting Features: BoldGrid Premium Sitebuilder
BoldGrid is a plugin specifically built for WordPress that enables all sorts of customization functionality.
Basically, it makes it easier to customize and edit your WordPress site.
This is a valuable product if you plan to use WordPress and you don’t like digging around in its code editor.
Its primary function is to let you edit your pages through a drag and drop editor.
It’s intuitive to use and saves a lot of time if you regularly customize the design of pages.
There’s also a few other features worth mentioning.
First, BoldGrid comes with over 200 themes:
Screenshot of BoldGrid Themes
Personally, I’m impressed with the designs, and themes are divided into categories to make it easy to find an appropriate one.
The themes are all responsive.
Next, BoldGrid has a staging environment included as well.
In simple terms, a staging version of your site is a duplicate that search engines and visitors don’t see. You can make changes on it, and then when you’re happy with the results, you deploy those changes to your actual site. No more panicked editing needed.
With BoldGrid, it’s a simple radio button that indicates which version of your site to save changes to.
A final potentially useful feature is that most BoldGrid themes come optimized for the basics of SEO. This includes better than average coding practices, XML sitemaps, and automatic canonical URLs.
Small things, but they can save you time from having to configure other plugins to take care of them.
One concern you might have is how will you migrate your site if you choose to leave InMotion Hosting in the future.
Excellent Customer Support
InMotion support options animated gif
If I had to pick one thing that InMotion Hosting is known for, it’s customer service.
To start with, the availability is as good as possible.
There are four different ways to get support:
- Live chat
- Submitting a Ticket.
These options are all available 24/7, and available for customers on every single hosting package. Many other hosts only offer their support for higher paying customers.
On top of that, InMotion Hosting is also renowned for their knowledgebase, filled with support articles and tutorials.
The quality of the content is good, even though I believe it could be improved in some cases.
What’s really the impressive part, is the depth. There are hundreds of articles and guides.
Screenshot of InMotion Hosting Support Page
You can search for almost any topic, and you’ll find a specific article that will help you.
They’ve even created guides for using other applications like Prestashop and WordPress. Yes, they’ve created help documents for other products that they do not own, just because it might help you.
This is the best evidence of going above and beyond for customer service that I’ve seen in any host.
Vital Statistics and Information about InMotion Hosting
Below you will see the most important information about InMotion Hosting. It is a handy list to have as you make your decision about which hosting company is right for you.
Hosting Up-Time over 6 Months
Caveat: this data is taken from one test URL and should serve as an indication only.
As measured by network statistics tool Pingdom over the last 6 months:
- Downtime 55 minutes
- 30 outages
- Uptime 99.98%.
Average Site Response Time over 6 Months
As measured by Pingdom over the last 6 months:
- Average: 564ms
Other Statistics and Information about InMotion Hosting
|Migration Policy||Up to 3 sites migrated for free. Small fee for each additional website, cPanel account, or database.|
|Available Datacenters||Los Angeles, Virginia, USA|
|Quality of Support Materials Available on Website||Excellent|
|Money-Back Guarantee or Trial Period||90-day Money Back Guarantee|
|Lowest price for Shared Hosting or other Cheapest Plan||$3.99/mo using this link|
|Backup Policy/ Fees for Cheapest Plan||Backups are provided for free on all plans|
|PCI Compliance||Support will help your site pass PCI compliance scans, but only on VPS or dedicated hosting accounts.|
|Site Builder||No custom site builder included. The BoldGrid WordPress site builder is included for free.|
Unique Feature Provided
- Support: 24/7 help is available, in multiple forms (email, chat, phone). Knowledgebase has guides for almost any topic imaginable.
- Scalability: InMotion Hosting has plans for sites of every size and complexity. As your site grows, you can upgrade your plan accordingly.
- Speed: Servers have SSDs built-in to improve speed. You can also select your datacenter on VPS or business class plans.
Pros and Cons of Using InMotion Hosting
Every hosting company has good and bad points. Here are the main pros and cons of hosting with InMotion Hosting.
- Plans for sites of all sizes with innovative technology, including green servers and max speed zones
- Great live support and documentation.
- The wide variety of plans can be difficult to choose from
- Datacenters are only available in North America; Visitors elsewhere may not get the best load speeds.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions. To find more questions and answers, see below.
Question: Do I have to use a CMS on InMotion Hosting plans?
Answer: On many hosts, your only option is to install a major CMS like WordPress or Joomla. It’s an option on InMotion Hosting, but far from the only one.
All hosting accounts support PHP, Ruby, Perl, and Python. You also have SSH access on most plans. Put these two factors together, and it’s easy to host many custom built sites as well if that’s the path your developer chooses.
Question: How many websites can you migrate for free?
Answer: InMotion Hosting will migrate your website for free with close to zero downtime. However, they will only do this for a total of 3 websites and databases. Each site or database on top of that comes with a small fee.
Alternatively, if you’re already using cPanel, you can do the migration yourself fairly easily. There’s even a guide to doing it in the knowledgebase.
Question: Will InMotion Hosting help me get visitors to my sites?
Answer: Hosts almost always just focus on hosting your website as well as they can, while getting traffic is on your shoulders. However, InMotion Hosting has put together a great guide full of around 100 links to small business resources.
It covers many areas of marketing, from conversion rate optimization, to email marketing, to the best marketing tools to use. These will help get you started in the right direction.
More Questions: Keep reading for more frequently asked questions and answers.
How to Migrate to InMotion Hosting
Since InMotion Hosting really likes to highlight their migration services, but never show exactly what it involves, I thought it’d be nice to show what the process looks like.
Once you login to your account, you click the “website transfer request” option on the main page.
That will give you a form to fill out, it doesn’t take very long:
Screenshot of Website Transfer Request form
You will have to enter your old host’s password, so make sure it’s unique and not one you use anywhere else, just to be on the safe side.
You have the option of paying for priority transfer, which puts your migration at the top of the queue. In most cases, you can just wait the 1-4 days that a free migration usually takes.
What Can InMotion Hosting Do Better?
I’ve yet to come across a host that is perfect, and that includes InMotion Hosting.
Here are my biggest gripes:
“Unlimited” hosting is unclear – You don’t get a specific minimum amount of resources on shared plans. You’re simply told that if your website consumes too many resources, it will get slow. You may have to upgrade to a higher plan than you thought you needed because of this.
There are so many hosting plans – I think this can be overwhelming for anyone without much experience buying and using hosting. I’d like to see InMotion Hosting offer clearer support for this, or even a tool that gives you specific recommendations. Or, they could reduce the number of plans.
Datacenters are only in the United States – Datacenter location can have a significant impact on website load speed. If your visitor is halfway across the world, your pages will load a bit slower. This is really only a big deal if you have a high traffic site and you’ve already optimized every other aspect of page load speed.
There can be a few unexpected costs – Having to upgrade because of resource throttling is one way you might face a rising cost. Additionally, if you migrate sites to InMotion Hosting, they will migrate up to 3 websites or databases, but charge you a small fee for any additional ones. I don’t think they are malicious, but keep them in mind when purchasing a plan.
None of these negatives are deal breakers to me in most situations, and they won’t always apply to your specific needs. Just be aware of them when comparing InMotion Hosting to other hosts.
Is InMotion Hosting Right For You?
Overall, I think InMotion Hosting offers a great amount of value for the cost of their plans.
In particular, I really appreciate the scalability. If you work with sites of different sizes, or growing sites, you know that you can always find an appropriate plan for them on InMotion Hosting.
Just to reiterate, the support is about as good as you’ll find anywhere, and you don’t pay any extra fee for it. It’s reassuring that if you run into an issue, there will always be a guide or way to contact support immediately for help.
Don’t forget to use our special InMotion discount coupon to get the best deal!
InMotion Hosting Reviews by Our Community
Overall Rating from 554 Reviews by InMotion Hosting Customers
Most Helpful Reviews
Kristy LeBlanc newworldartisan.com
Jan 27, 2017
Malcolm McKay crafthouseimages.com
Sep 01, 2016
MaryAnne Nestor badgesoup.com
May 15, 2015
Sharon Boggon pintangle.com
May 20, 2014
Michael Buller vbjaycees.org
Jun 23, 2016
Allyson Cataldo hostmarkconnect.com
May 19, 2014
Most Popular InMotion Hosting Plans
|Business Launch||WP-1000S||Business Power|
|Price||$3.99 / mo||$4.99 / mo||$5.99 / mo|
|Visit InMotion Hosting||Visit InMotion Hosting||Visit InMotion Hosting|
|80GB||Unlimited||$8.99 / mo View|
|120GB||Unlimited||$11.99 / mo View|
|Unlimited||Unlimited||$13.99 / mo View|
|80GB||800GB||$13.99 / mo View|
|75GB||4TB||$19.99 / mo View|
|120GB||1200GB||$19.99 / mo View|
|160GB||1600GB||$27.49 / mo View|
|150GB||5TB||$49.99 / mo View|
|260GB||6TB||$74.99 / mo View|
|1TB||6TB||$99.99 / mo View|
|1TB||10TB||$159.99 / mo View|
|1TB||8TB||$229.99 / mo View|
InMotion Hosting Frequently Asked Questions
- Does InMotion Hosting offer shared hosting?
Yes. InMotion refers to it as Business Hosting.
- Does InMotion Hosting offer a reseller package?
Yes. InMotion Hosting has several reseller plans which come with WHM, cPanel, a dedicated IP address, and an eNom domain reselling account.
- Can I buy managed hosting?
Yes. You can purchase hosting for an hourly rate whenever you need help with your server. Alternatively, you can subscribe to a managed hosting package for discounted rates.
- Where is InMotion Hosting based?
InMotion Hosting has offices in El Segundo, CA and Virginia Beach, VA, in the United States. The company has two datacenters: one in Los Angeles, and one in Ashburn, Virginia.
With shared hosting and VPS hosting plans, you can choose which one you’d like your website to be hosted in.
- What programming languages are supported?
InMotion’s servers support Python, Ruby, Perl, and PHP.
- Will InMotion Hosting help me to migrate my website?
When you buy a new InMotion Hosting plan, you can request a free site transfer. Your site will be assessed by its technical team, and they’ll tell you if you need to pay.
InMotion’s support center offers good quality migration tutorials if you want to migrate your website yourself.
- What one-click installers are provided?
Shared hosting plans come with more than 300 one-click installer scripts. You can also ask the technical support team to install WordPress, Joomla! or PrestaShop for you.
- Can I host multiple websites on one shared hosting account?
The first two levels of InMotion Hostings’s shared hosting plans allow you to host 2 or 6 websites, respectively.
The lowest-level WordPress plan only allows you to host one domain, but all other WordPress plans include the ability to host more.
The reseller, VPS, and dedicated plans included unlimited domain hosting.
- Does InMotion hosting provide a free site builder?
Yes. It provides BoldGrid, a website builder tool built on WordPress. It has a drag-and-drop interface to make site creation simple. You can use one of its predefined HTML5 themes, or create your own layout from scratch.
If you want to use BoldGrid, be sure to check the appropriate option when you buy your hosting package.
- Will I get a refund if I cancel?
InMotion Hosting offers a 90-day money-back guarantee for shared, VPS, and reseller hosting packages paid for 6 months or more.
It offers a 30-day money-back guarantee for dedicated servers, as well as reseller and VPS hosting that’s paid monthly.
The refund is for hosting costs only, and does not cover domain purchases. If you got a free domain, the cost will be deducted from your refund.
After the 90-day guarantee period ends, InMotion Hosting may refund you for unused months, providing you haven’t violated its terms.
- Does InMotion Hosting offer SSL certificates?
All of InMotion’s shared hosting plans come with access to a shared SSL certificate. You can purchase a private SSL certificate through your Account Management Panel.
- Which control panel is provided?
cPanel is included free of charge with all its hosting plans. Reseller plans, VPS packages and dedicated servers also include WHM.
- What payment options does InMotion Hosting accept?
InMotion accepts payment via Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, check, and money order.
- Is there an uptime guarantee?
InMotion has a 99.9% uptime guarantee for their top level shared hosting plan. Customers with this plan can contact InMotion once every 30 days to check for physical downtime.
If InMotion finds that there has been downtime that exceeds 0.1%, you may receive a one month credit to your account. There are some restrictions, so be sure to check the policy for details.
- Does InMotion Hosting accept monthly payments?
InMotion offers monthly billing for all hosting plans except for the two lowest-priced Business plans. On plans that are available monthly, substantial savings are offered for longer contracts.
- Will my website be backed up?
InMotion Hosting automatically backs up data for customers on shared hosting, VPS, and reseller hosting accounts providing the account uses 10 GB disk space or less. Backups are made every 24-36 hours.
InMotion stresses that these backups are only intended to cover emergencies. If your data exceeds 10 GB, or you have a dedicated server, you will need to pay InMotion for the service or organize your own backups.
- Are there special hosting plans for educational users?
Yes, but only if you attend school in the US.
Students with a valid .edu email address get a 50% discount on shared hosting, while educators can get shared hosting free. These discounts are only available to new customers, and can only be renewed once.
InMotion Hosting does not offer any discounts for non-profits.