InMotion isn't the first name that comes up when thinking about web hosting. They are a US company based out of California that offers a wide range of web hosting products and has been around for over a decade. They are one of the few US based hosting companies in our $1000 Web Hosting Case Study and we are excited to see how do.
They offer the standard types of web hosting (Shared, VPS, Dedicated) and in this review and test we will focus on their WordPress hosting option since our site gets a lot of visitors who are looking to set up their blog or transfer to a better host with their WordPress site.
InMotion uses a shared hosting model where your hosting resources will share the server resources with other accounts. This is done to reduce costs. Since WordPress only uses resources when a visitor is accessing your site, there is downtime in-between visitors. By putting multiple accounts (and websites) on a single server, you can utilize the hardware more which reduces the overall costs.
It isn't all good though. The downside of using a shared hosting model is what happens when enough websites have traffic and it overloads the oversubscribed server resources. At this point, you will see slower response time and possible inaccessible websites.
A lot of hosting providers have experimented with offering free domains, but not a lot have stuck around. If you purchase an InMotion hosting package, you won't have to pay for the first year of your domain (this can run around $12 from domain registrars).
If you are migrating an existing website that has a lot of subdomains or you plan on using that site architecture, you can use as many as you want with the HostGator shared hosting plans. Some of the other providers limit the number of subdomains unless you step up to a more expensive plan.
You won't pay extra regardless of how many visitors or cat pictures you want to store on your blog. Most hosting packages offer this option, but it is definitely something you want to understand since you might be in a position where you can't add new pages if you choose a web host that has caps.
InMotion offers free backups using their built-in backup tool and you can restore a full backup once every 4 months for free. Each additional restore within 4 months will cost you an additional $49.
Included in all of their packages is $250 worth of advertising credits that can be used to jumpstart your advertising efforts. Most advertising partners require a minimum spend first and then the ad credit can be used.
If you plan on using your hosting provider as an email client (instead of a third-party such as Google for Business), the HostGator Shared plans allow for unlimited accounts on your custom domain.
For the developers out there (or people with advanced use cases), InMotion offers ssh access and the wp-cli tool to easily manage your WordPress site.
1st Year $/mo
Total cost of ownership helps understand the total cost for hosting over more than a 1 year time period. This is important because most hosting providers offer introductory rates that are intended to get people in the door knowing that they will most likely stay. After the first year, the prices go up and you might be stuck with a higher bill than you expect.
The 3 and 5 year columns represent your total cost after that much time. The 1 year cost is what you will have to pay on day 1.
1 Year Cost
3 Year Cost
5 Year Cost
*InMotion only offers 2 years up front on the Launch and Power Plans and only 1 year up front for the Pro plans.
1 Year Cost
3 Year Cost
5 Year Cost
The launch plan is marketed as "Great for Small Blogs". At the lowest price point, you should expect to be able to handle < 5000 visitors a day without site downtime or too many performance problems.
Most of their features are standard across all of their hosting accounts so as you step up to more expensive plans you will likely get better performance, can handle higher traffic, and will be able to run multiple websites from the same host to save on costs.
The middle tier of the WordPress hosting packages is the most popular of the three. It not allows for up to six websites per host and can use up to 100 subdomains if your site calls for them. It doubles the amount of memory per host and doubles the number of connections that it can handle at a time. This should translate into roughly 2x the amount of traffic that the launch plan would be able to handle.
The Pro Plan is InMotion's top of the line WordPress hosting plan. Aside from stepping up the amount of hardware that your website(s) will have access to, their Pro Level Support. This is interesting because according to their terms of service, they guarantee a 99.9% uptime for Pro Plans. If you contact them (you can do it once every 30 days) and you are under that limit, they will give you 1 month credit.
They include what is called "Shared SSL" with all of their plans. If you opt to use this for your website your customers will actually be redirected to a subdomain of InMotion instead of your site with a https:// on the front. We recommend getting your own SSL certificate and asking InMotion for a dedicated IP address so you can use it.
Tucked into the ToS are limits on the usage of the shared server. If you are using more than they expect based on your plan level they will contact you and request to upgrade. This experience is a little opaque and most people won't run into issues with smaller sites, but still something to keep in mind.
9:30 PST Thursday
Time to 1st Contact
Time to Answer Question
4 minutes later...
There wasn't any ambiguity in the answer, although the support agent did offer to reduce my monthly hosting cost since the renewal price was slightly higher than usual.