MotoCMS Hosting Review: Simple Hosting for Simple CMS Sites

MotoCMS

MotoCMS is a full-featured website builder and content management system (CMS) aimed at business owners looking to develop their online presence or get started with e-commerce. Its products are designed to get you up and running in no time, even if you don’t have design experience or technical knowledge.

Features

All MotoCMS packages come with a professional-looking, responsive, SEO-optimized template of your choice, a built-in admin panel to make it easy for you to manage your site, a drag-and-drop editor so that you can make changes to your template, widgets to add functionality to your site, and social media integration tools so that your customers can share your products and their experiences with your site.

Licensing and Purchasing

To begin the sign-up process, you’ll be asked to pick the theme for your website. Prices vary based on which type of theme you’re buying, and the price you pay is a flat fee that you pay once. This process is different from most other website builders, where you pay a monthly fee for access to multiple themes, allowing you to change yours regularly.

Different themes offer different functionality and come with different “packages.” This can be quite confusing, so pay careful attention to what you’re purchasing. MotoCMS 3 templates get you full access to the website builder, while MotoCMS HTML and MotoCMS Flash templates get you full access to the content management system (CMS). These differences are the reason why themes vary in price.

If you want to build an online store, there’s a separate set of templates for this purpose. However, you don’t have to purchase what MotoCMS calls an eStore template. You can easily purchase a template to build a website and purchase the (optional) e-commerce plugin to add the required features to sell goods, services, and downloadable files.

Once you’ve selected your theme, you’ll be asked to select the add-ons you want on your site. There are quick deals, where you can bundle your template with installation or web hosting. If this doesn’t meet your needs, you can create a custom order by adding any of the following features/services to your template purchase:

  • 1 year of web hosting service (MotoCMS provides with InMotion Hosting to provide this option)
  • Installation service, where the MotoCMS team will install your template onto your web server
  • Template customization, where the MotoCMS team will customize and install your template (if you opt for this option, you do not need to pay for installation service as well)
  • E-commerce plugin, which turns your site into an online shop by adding functionality such as tax and shipping calculators, payment options, customer and order information, and so on
  • Google AdWords Banners, which are custom created for your business

The base price for the template grants you a single-use license, but you can purchase a developer’s license, which grants you rights to use your template on three sites. MotoCMS also offers a buyout license, where you are the last person that can purchase the template you’ve chosen — essentially, MotoCMS retires the template so that no one else can purchase the design you have.

If you’re in need of a logo for your site, MotoCMS offers logo design services.

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Web Hosting

MotoCMS templates do not come standard with web hosting, though you can add a year of service via InMotion Hosting during the checkout process. InMotion is the provider most commonly chosen by MotoCMS customers, but the company partners with Bluehost as well. If you already have a hosting package, you can use that to serve your MotoCMS template as long as it meets the prescribed hosting requirements (or you can purchase a package from the vendor of your choice).

Web Developers

In addition to targeting small business owners looking to build their web presences, MotoCMS targets web developers by offering discounts to those who purchase multiple templates. If you’re a developer, you can easily begin your design with a MotoCMS template, customize the site to meet the needs of your client, and sell it for a profit. The more templates you buy, the greater your discount will be.

Affiliate Program

MotoCMS maintains an affiliate program that guarantees you a 30% commission that’s based on the new customers you refer. Those who refer high numbers of new customers can up their commission to 50%.

Support and Customer Service

MotoCMS offers a robust knowledge base you can refer to if you ever have any questions or concerns. If your question exceeds the scope of the knowledge base, you can crowdsource an answer via the MotoCMS Community or by submitting a support request to the MotoCMS team. All purchasers of templates get one year of technical support free of charge; you can purchase additional support if necessary.

Guarantees and Refunds

MotoCMS offers all new users 14 days to try out their template, and you get access to all available features. At the end of your trial, you’ll be asked to purchase your template — if not, MotoCMS deletes your customized template and closes your account.

MotoCMS does not offer refunds under any circumstances.

Summary

MotoCMS offers a website builder and content management system that’s designed to get you up and running in no time, even if you lack web development experience. They offer only the platform on which you build your site, so you’ll have to register a domain and purchase a hosting package from another vendor (though MotoCMS has partnered with InMotion and Bluehost for these purposes). MotoCMS is a good option if you want to pay a one-time fee for a theme that you don’t plan on changing or for developers who want a scaffold, so to speak, on which they can build their business.

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Katie Horne

About Katie Horne

Katie is a C# developer who became a technical writer. She is a lifelong bookworm and all-around nerd with a soft spot for gimmicks and packaging. She judges books by the cover, and she's not sorry about it. In her spare time, she likes to swim, knit, and do the New York Times Crossword Puzzle.

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