Thursday 22nd November 2018

InMotion Hosting Review

Variable and typically average uptime; they place relatively strict control on server resources but they offer SSD drives and free SSL.

  • They’ve maintained uptime as high as 99.98% but as low as 98.80%;
  • Unlike other hosts, their uptime guarantee only applies to more expensive packages, not the cheapest package (the one we reviewed);
  • Their money back guarantee is better than most but we have concerns (see below);
  • Unlike most they also offer free daily backups (with caveats);
  • They offer SSD drives and free SSL;
  • Their restrictions on server resources aren’t as good as other comparable web hosts.

InMotion Hosting Review

Variable and typically average uptime; they place relatively strict control on server resources but they offer SSD drives and free SSL.

  • They’ve maintained uptime as high as 99.98% but as low as 98.80%;
  • Unlike other hosts, their uptime guarantee only applies to more expensive packages, not the cheapest package (the one we reviewed);
  • Their money back guarantee is better than most but we have concerns (see below);
  • Unlike most they also offer free daily backups (with caveats);
  • They offer SSD drives and free SSL;
  • Their restrictions on server resources aren’t as good as other comparable web hosts.

Latest rankings

We performance test the world's biggests hosts on a second-by-second basis. The top 3 performers for July 2018 are listed below.

Host Uptime Response time
HostGator 100% 390
Bluehost 100% 502
Hostinger 100% 513

Latest rankings

We performance test the world's biggests hosts on a second-by-second basis. The top 3 performers for July 2018 are listed below.

Host Uptime Response time
HostGator 100% 390
Bluehost 100% 502
Hostinger 100% 513

Overview

We like InMotion; however, its service has a few drawbacks and other comparable hosting packages provide better value and performance.

The first problem is uptime – for July 2018 InMotion posted an uptime of 98.80%, which equates to 8 hours and 45 minutes of downtime.

While that appears to be a particularly bad month, its other monthly uptime results are 99.91%, 99.98%, 99.95% and 99.93%. Over the same timeframe (March to July 2018), some web hosts maintained uptime of 100% over successive months.

Its server response time is at best average and at worst poor, and ranges from 1,323 milliseconds to 1,595 milliseconds.

In other words, InMotion is far from the best performing web host we’ve reviewed.

There are more downsides:

  • Its server resource limitations are stricter than many of the top performers;
  • It doesn’t offer an uptime guarantee for customers on entry-level packages;
  • Its introductory annual pricing is significantly more expensive than some of the best performers (however, its annual pricing for subsequent years is cheaper than many of the same web hosts).

That said, it’s not beyond praise: it offers free daily backups (with caveats), free SSL, a free domain, SSD storage even for entry-level customers and a strong money back guarantee (90 days). It also supports HTTP/2.

Overall, like A2 Hosting, at this level its package is what we would deem at worst “acceptable” and at best “good”; it just doesn’t particularly standout relative to the competition.

Latest uptime

Month Uptime Response time
January 2018 99.53% 1160ms
February 2018 99.77% 1232ms
March 2018 99.93% 1394ms
April 2018 99.95% 1478ms
May 2018 99.91% 1323ms
June 2018 99.98% 1404ms
July 2018 98.80% 1595ms

Key data

Click on a metric to compare the performance of all 18 hosts, or learn more.

N/A = Not applicable NS = Not specified RBNS = Restricted but not specified

Annual price2

$83.88

Bandwidth/data transfer

Unlimited

The not-so-small small print

1Many web hosts advertise monthly prices but don't allow you to pay monthly. If you can't actually pay monthly we don't display a monthly price.

2This metric lists the annual price for packages paid 12 months in advance. It doesn't calculate the cost of packages paid monthly for 12 months.

3This is what it costs to renew a package paid annually in the second year. Most hosts increase prices for the second and each subsequent year.

4A "free domain" may sound like an enticing offer but keep in mind its costs will often be subtracted from a refund and some web hosts charge significantly more for renewals than registrations.

5Most web hosts display their uptime guarantees to one decimal point e.g. 99.9% is actually 99.90%. While some uptime guarantees look more attractive e.g. 100%, it's the compensation terms - how much they pay you if they fail to honor it - that matter.

InMotion Hosting alternatives

Excellent uptime and response time but offers poor customer service and lacks essential features.

Annual price

$59.88

Uptime

99.99%

Nothing spectacular, nothing truly terrible. They're expensive relative to other web hosts.

Annual price

£94.99

Uptime

99.93%

1&1

Solid uptime but limited customer service, excessive legalese and overbearing restrictions.

Annual price

$11.88

Uptime

99.97%

Good uptime, features and value for money but no free domain and response time is average to poor;

Annual price

$24.88

Uptime

99.94%

Pricing

Like many hosts, despite advertising their fees as “monthly” you can’t actually pay monthly for InMotion’s “launch package”.

The annual price for its “launch” package, payable 12 months in advance, is $89.52. That compares relatively unfavourably to other hosts, some of which offer better performance, or more or equivalent features for less, e.g. Siteground ($47.40), Hostinger ($39), Bluehost ($59.40), etc.

This said, its annual renewal rates are equivalent to, or less expensive than, some of the aforementioned hosts.

For example, InMotion’s “launch” package renews at $107.88, while Siteground’s StartUp renews at $119.40. Meanwhile, Bluehost renews at $95.88 and, best of all, Hostinger renews at $39 (the same as its introductory rates).

InMotion offers a free one year domain registration with its “Launch” package.

Some web hosts charge higher renewals rates than registration rates for domains, e.g. iPage and FatCow, however InMotion’s .com registrations are priced at $14.99 and domain privacy is priced at $9.99 (both per year).

That said, its domain pricing compares unfavourably to other web hosts – Namecheap charges $10.98 per year for a .com registration and offers free domain privacy “for life,” while Hostinger charges $8.99 per year for a .com registration and $5 per year for domain privacy.

Also, after talking about package specifics with a sales operator he offered us a significant discount on the Pro package ($89.88 over a 12 month term), so it may be worth talking to sales to see if you can get a discount.

InMotion offers a good money back guarantee of 90 days (while most hosts offer 30 days, Dreamhost offers 97 days and A2 Hosting offers “anytime”).

However, one concern is the inclusion, in their terms of service, of a $50 cancellation fee.

Their terms of service state, “This Agreement may be terminated by either party by giving the other party thirty (30) days prior written notice subject to a minimum $50.00 charge as an early cancellation fee payable by Customer”.

If the cancellation fee does apply then it as good as wipes away any money-back guarantee.

We would be reassured it doesn’t if there was a single mention of the money back guarantee in their terms of service (they even refer you to the terms of service for more information from their money back guarantee page) but there isn’t.

The terms of service also state that “InMotion may, but are not obligated to, refund some of the pre-paid amount”. It goes on to say you’ll only be refunded for full months i.e. partial months won’t be refunded and you must give 30 days’ notice.

Website migrations are free for up to 3 cPanel migrations however any additional migrations are charged at $10 per migration. Also, any migrations over 5GB may be subject to additional charges.

They state it will typically take up to 14 days to migrate your website (which is a lot longer than some hosts), however you can purchase a “priority website transfer” for an additional $29 (this means you website will be transferred in 1-4 days)

Key data

Click on a metric to compare the performance of all 18 hosts, or learn more.

N/A = Not applicable NS = Not specified RBNS = Restricted but not specified

Annual price

$83.88

Compare web hosts

We compare 17 web hosts against 56 metrics, including monthly and annual pricing and bandwidth, CPU, read/write, storage and database restrictions.

Technical

InMotion sets several restrictions on shared hosting accounts.

I/O (disk read/write speed) is restricted to 2MB/s. HostPapa and A2 Hosting restrict I/O to 1MB/s on their entry-level packages, while GreenGeeks restricts to 4MB/s and Namecheap restricts to 6.5MB/s.

Several web hosts don’t declare their I/O restrictions.

InMotion also claims to offer “unlimited” storage and bandwidth; however, according to its terms of service, “[if you] adversely affect server or network performance” you’ll be asked to upgrade to a virtual or dedicated server.

Under “Bandwidth Charges” in their terms of service they also state, “Higher levels of traffic will incur overcharges on a monthly basis”.

They provide no definition on what amounts to “higher traffic”.

They also state in their terms of service that, “Customer agrees that such bandwidth and disk usage shall not exceed the amounts set by Company for the Services (the “Agreed Usage”)”.

We don’t know what the “Agreed Usage” is, and when we asked live chat operators we’re informed the limit isn’t strict but it depends on overall server usage.

This isn’t unusual; however, it is slightly confusing when InMotion advertises “unlimited” bandwidth but then sets restrictions on usage in their fine print.

Likewise, we know it restricts CPU usage but we don’t know to what extent. According to their support centre, “going over the CPU limits assigned for you level of hosting could result in an email warning, or a temporary account suspension if the usage is severe enough”.

Other web hosts set more specific – albeit still ambiguous – restrictions on CPU usage. For example, Heart Internet restricts at 5%; A2 Hosting restricts at 10%; Siteground, Namecheap and GreenGeeks restrict at 20%; and HostGator, GoDaddy and Hostinger restrict at 25%.

Then again, not all CPUs are created equal. GreenGeeks is one of few hosts that proclaim they offer customers on their entry-level packages access to two CPU cores.

When hosting with InMotion, you’re also restricted to hosting a maximum of 2 domains and 2 databases. It also restricts entry processes (simultaneous script executions) to 20, which compares unfavourably with GreenGeeks, Hostinger and GoDaddy, all of which restrict at 100.

Key data

Click on a metric to compare the performance of all 18 hosts, or learn more.

N/A = Not applicable NS = Not specified RBNS = Restricted but not specified

CPU usage restriction?

RBNS

CPU usage restriction

NS

Number of CPU cores

NS

Bandwidth

Unlimited

Storage restriction

Unlimited

RAM restriction

1024MB

Database size restriction

NS

Free SSL?

Yes

No. of websites restriction

2

Compare features

Annual price

Compare all 18 hosts by what it costs if you pay 12 months in advance.

Host Annual price
SiteGround $47.40
Bluehost $59.40
Hostinger $39.00

Free domain?

Compare all 18 hosts by whether they offer a free domain with new hosting subscriptions.

Host Free domain?
FatCow Yes
A2 Hosting No
HostGator Yes

Offers HTTP/2?

HTTP/2 was the first update to the HTTP protocol in 20 years. See which hosts support it.

Host Supports HTTP/2?
Just Host No
GoDaddy No
SiteGround Yes

Entry processes

Learn more about, and compare 18 hosts by, limitations placed on entry processes.

Host Entry processes
InMotion 20
GreenGeeks 100
Namecheap 20

Service

Unlike most web hosts, InMotion doesn’t offer an uptime guarantee for customer on their entry-level packages. Rather, the uptime guarantee – 99.90% – is only available to customers of their “Business Hosting Pro” account ($18.99 per month).

To be clear on why this matters: 99.90% uptime is 8 hours and 45 minutes of downtime per year.

On a page on their website they discuss “reliability” and state, “99.9% uptime is the reliability you need”; however, as confirmed by their chat operatives, this isn’t codified in an SLA for customers of their “Launch” package.

They’re a bit sneaky with this.

There’s no mention of their uptime guarantee on their package comparison pages except under a tooltip contained in a content box dedicated to advertising the merits of the Pro package i.e. they aren’t emphasizing the lack of an uptime guarantee in their comparison between packages.

Within the content box they also refer to their uptime guarantee by the far less conventional term “pro level support”.

Their chat operative also told us, “there is no guaranteed uptime in terms of an SLA. We are around 99.9% it is just not an SLA,” which is slightly misleading. There is an uptime “in terms of an SLA,” it’s just doesn’t apply to customers on cheaper packages.

It states in their TOS that “Pro” customers “not within” the 99.999% (on their sales page they declare the uptime is 99.9% but in the TOS it’s 99.999%, which is significantly better) uptime range will be compensated with one month of free hosting.

This is similar to the guarantee provided by, for example, HostGator and for a significantly cheaper package (HostGator only promises uptime of 99.90%).

InMotion offers a free daily backup service which facilitates a backup restore if required. However, you’re only allowed on restore every four calendar months and any additional restores will be subject to additional costs.

It’s also worth noting InMotion doesn’t backup websites larger than 10GB.

InMotion’s live chat support is fairly responsive, however from our experiences with them it can take a great deal of time to get an answer they don’t want to give.

For example, we asked about their uptime guarantee 3 times, and we were passed between two different representatives, before someone just said “yes, it only applies to the Pro account”.

While the chat operators are helpful we can’t help but get the impression they are under resourced relative to other web hosts.

Moreover, 15 hours after submitting a support ticket we still hadn’t received a response.

Key data

Click on a metric to compare the performance of all 18 hosts, or learn more.

N/A = Not applicable NS = Not specified RBNS = Restricted but not specified

Uptime guarantee

No

Live chat support

Yes

Ticket/email support

Yes

Phone support

Yes