What is InMotion Hosting?
InMotion hosting is famous (or may I say, INFAMOUS) web hosting companies with over 300,000 hosted domains. They offer four different types of hosting solutions that include the all so famous (and yet, the least powerful of all) shared hosting, VPS hosting, dedicated hosting and WordPress hosting.
The offer many things like free SSL, free domain, drag-and-drop site builder, unlimited email accounts and more. However, all those freebies and features don’t really make up for the pathetic services they offer that span over awful server speed, terrible customer support and dozens of excuses to never honor their money-back guarantee.
The Verdict – AVOID AT ALL COSTS!
You will come across many hosting review sites that will tell you that InMotion hosting is great and they offer amazing features, fast servers, bla, bla, bla… They have some kickback benefits to enjoy. What benefits? Big affiliate earnings!
I will never recommend using InMotion hosting’s shared or WordPress hosting solutions. That suggestion also trickles down to VPS hosting and dedicated hosting. Shared and WordPress hosting solutions are terrible. VPS and dedicated hosting solutions are expensive and couple that with bad customer service – that’s a recipe for disaster, especially if you are not technically inclined.
Their server response time is terrible and their customer service that supposedly remains available 24x7x365 replies after painstakingly long waiting times that can be as long as 8 hours. Their phone support reps are all trained in a way that they will off-load their mistakes on you and deny taking responsibility.
About money-back guarantee – you can simply forget that! They will tell you stories of hidden clauses and at one point you will feel that binge-watching all Cinderella movies would have been less painful!
AVOID INMOTION HOSTING!!
IF YOU WANT A GOOD SHARED HOSTING, YOU BETTER SELECT GREENGEEKS.
GreenGeeks is one of the rarest shared hosting companies that I recommend to everyone looking for one. They have super-fast servers, provide personal attention to customers, and they have state-of-the-art hardware and software. Among other things, you also get CDN for free, nightly backups without additional charges, and advanced security scans to prevent malware injections.
InMotion hosting may offer a lot of perks that look great on the books, but at the end of the day, when your website load time sucks, you are going to hate yourself for selecting the host!
The Pros and Cons of InMotion Hosting
I don’t feel like writing this list, but I feel obliged to write, because you need to know. Here is what you should know…
- Free SSL (from Sectigo, and hence, no need to be elated about it).
- Free domain (many hosts provide that, nothing special).
- Free email accounts (almost every host gives that).
- Free website migration without any downtime (nothing unique).
- Unlimited bandwidth (not truly unlimited, and they don’t clearly mention at what point and under what conditions they consider your usage of their shared hosting as a violation of their terms and conditions).
- One-click installation for 400+ apps.
- Free drag-and-drop website builder (and it sucks).
- Horrible customer support.
- Very pricey even for a long-term plan.
- Slow servers.
- Backups aren’t free (you need to pay).
- Provides only Nginx server.
A Quick Look at Features
Okay, when you read through this segment of the review, you may feel that I have been unfair to InMotion hosting so far. Yes, some of the features look great and when you learn about them, they sound great. They may give you the notion that InMotion hosting is a great solution for hosting your website. I will allow you to stay in your bubble of assumptions for sometime before brutally taking it down like a house of cards.
Free, Free, Free…
Free SSL, Free Domain, Free Migration! That’s great! You get an SSL certificate for your domain without any additional cost. You can get a free domain by registering for a hosting account with them. You don’t need to pay a dime for that domain in the first year. They all throw in a free migration for your website with a promise of zero downtime.
There is something called the metal server (the actual machine with hardware), and then there is something called the web server (software that communicates with the hardware). There are various types of web servers with the most famous ones being Apache, Nginx, and LiteSpeed. There are more!
InMotion hosting says that they offer only Nginx server because it is open-source and that allows them to modify it for customers. Yes, LiteSpeed server is proprietary, but they also have something called the OpenLiteSpeed server – the open-source version.
The OpenLiteSpeed server is also superfast compared to Nginx or Apache, and I don’t see any reason behind claiming that Nginx is open-source and hence they use it! Even Apache is open-source. May be, they like Nginx more. But time and again I have shown in various reviews how a website hosted on OpenLiteSpeed server is much faster than a website using Nginx or Apache.
The company offers unlimited bandwidth, but there are conditions of fair usage. You need to ensure that you stay within those limits. Unfortunately, the limits aren’t exactly mentioned. Just how much traffic would be considered as violation of their condition? No one know except them. You need to very careful about that.
Their terms and conditions page doesn’t lay out any clear definition. All they say is that you cannot host large electronic files or you cannot use their storage as an online file storage service.
Don’t be surprised if one fine day you get a mail from them asking you to upgrade your hosting plan to a VPS or a dedicated hosting plan.
You get access to cPanel with your hosting account, which by the way, is proprietary unlike the open-source Nginx. I don’t get it! If they are unwilling to pay for the proprietary LiteSpeed server, they should be unwilling to use cPanel as well.
Anyway, you do get cPanel and that gives you access to 400+ apps through 1-click installation through Softaculous. Here is a quick snapshot of their cPanel:
InMotion hosting provides BoldGrid website builder, which is essentially a drag-and-drop builder. Such builders are infamous for adding enormous amounts of codes that eventually slowdown your website.
Even worse, if someday you decide to migrate your website to some other host that doesn’t support BoldGrid, your website will show weird codes on the frontend, creating a super-bad user experience. That should not happen.
They have a backup feature, but guess what? That’s not free. You need to pay $2 per month for the first 10 GB of backup. After that, you need to pay $1 per month for next 10 GB of backup.
Honestly, I have never seen a shared hosting company charging money for backups! That’s outright ridiculous.
They have something called UltraStack, which is supposedly the latest generation of data center technology that InMotion hosting created! It is supposed to give you 3x performance boost for their lowest level of shared hosting plan. If you opt for the next level, they will offer 4x performance boost. Finally, you will get 6x performance boost if you take their highest plan.
I will come to the efficiency of this supposedly next-gen technology shortly.
Free Advertising Credits
You will get $150 worth of advertising credits for any hosting plan you choose. These credits come from Google Ads. That means that you can spend that credit money to advertise your website on Google.
Ever wondered how it applies? You first need to spend a significant amount on those adverts to use those credits. That’s ridiculous!
Threat Defense System
This is something good, and I need to agree to that. The company has partnered with Corero Network Security to provide Smartwall Threat Defense System or TDS.
TDS detects, mitigates, and eliminates DDoS attacks in real-time. I will not go into the technical details. All you need to know that they offer DDoS protection that is comparable to Cloudflare.
In case of a massive DDoS threat, InMotion hosting is well-equipped to thwart the attack and protect your website data.
90-Day Money-Back Guarantee
They have a 90-day money-back guarantee for business, reseller and VPS hosting solutions. For shared hosting, they have a 30-day money-back guarantee.
The Problems with InMotion Hosting
Slow website speed
I didn’t have to create a separate website and test InMotion hosting. One of my friends already uses InMotion hosting and here is a screenshot of a live/production website on Google PageSpeed Insights:
This is the score achieved on a mobile device with CDN implemented. That’s not at all an acceptable score, especially when Google is focusing on mobile speed. I am scared to see what happens when CDN is removed.
Desktop results are better. Here is what I found:
Though the desktop speed is great, it should have been better, especially with CDN implemented correctly.
GTmetrix results weren’t great either. Here is what I found:
Your hosting server should respond within 200 milliseconds. If that is not happening, your website speed will take some hit. In case of InMotion hosting, the initial server response time was 290 milliseconds. That’s 90 milliseconds more than what Google recommends. Ideally, the server response time should be less than 200 milliseconds, preferably between the range 100 and 170 milliseconds.
So, InMotion hosting’s proprietary UltraStack is not really that fast as it claims. If this is what 3x performance boost is, I am worried what will happen when they don’t use the next-gen technology.
Low Price Isn’t So Low
InMotion hosting offers their basic shared hosting package for $5.99 a month only if you purchase it for two years. Compare this with GreenGeeks who will offer a 2-year plan for $3.95 a month!
When you renew the package, you need to pay $10.99 a month for a 2-year package!
Unfortunately, InMotion hosting will not allow a monthly payment plan for the ‘LAUNCH’ and ‘POWER’ plans. You get a monthly payment option only with the PRO plan that will cost you 19.99 USD per month for a monthly play and 14.99 USD for a 2-year plan.
Of course, InMotion hosting isn’t the cheapest option available.
The industry standard trick of offering lower prices with long-duration hosting packages sucks big time, but that is what you need to live with!
Forget technical support. Even their sales team is pathetic. They will not give you clear answers to your questions. I asked them about the bandwidth limitations on shared hosting plans to which the sales rep asked me about the type of website I want to build.
When I replied that I wanted a simple blog, he started suggesting that if I need 5 TB of bandwidth a month, I must buy a hosting plan with dedicated resources. He did not answer anything about the bandwidth limitations on shared hosting plans.
To probe further I stated that I wanted to migrate a blog with 600,000 monthly traffic and that it uses 20 GB of space. To this, the rep replied that I should buy a VPS hosting plan. That was totally disappointing. Here is the chat transcript:
The sales representative never gave any clear answers. He was more interested in selling a VPS plan with overly inflated prices. My cloud hosting server that costs me 15 USD a month can handle that traffic with ease. Unfortunately, the company tried to sell this:
That’s four times the monthly price I pay to DigitalOcean’s cloud hosting! I will buy their VPS-1000HA-S plan only when some crazy drunk raccoon bites me.
I didn’t even bother approaching their tech support team. My friend already told me that there were instances where he had to way for over 8 hours to get replies to his emails on weekdays!
Similar complaints are floating all over the internet, and that’s quite disturbing!
Forget Instant Setup
If you are a new customer, you need to be verified over the phone. That’s a security feature that they have in place. In rare cases, they may even ask for your photo ID card.
Well, I really do appreciate their security measures, but I did find it off-putting. I prefer instant provisioning of hosting account. Verifications can always happen later.
Unfortunately, InMotion hosting priorities verification over instant setup, and this is especially true for people who are located outside of U.S.
I don’t recommend InMotion hosting at all! I will suggest you settle for GreenGeeks or BlueHost. If possible, you should opt for a cloud hosting provider like DigitalOcean. InMotion hosting has tall claims, but it doesn’t really stand up to its promises. I don’t know what they mean by their proprietary UltraStack. Whatever it is, it doesn’t really lead to 3x or 4x or 6x performance boost. InMotion shared hosting is just like any random shared hosting company that you will come across!