InMotion Hosting: A Budget WordPress Web Host That Does the Business

Posted on July 12, 2017 by in Resources | 54 comments

InMotion Hosting: A Budget WordPress Web Host That Does the Business

One of the most heated debates in the WordPress community is over the ‘best’ available web host. Things get even more complicated when you talk about budget options, since there’s much more competition at the lower end of the spectrum.

The short answer is that no single host is perfect for everyone. However, there are plenty of options that should meet your specific criteria. In this article, we’re going to introduce you to InMotion Hosting and discuss its features, pricing, and more. By the end of the piece, you’ll have a clear idea about whether it’s a good fit for you. Let’s get started!

An Introduction to InMotion Hosting

The InMotion Hosting homepage.

Let’s kick things off by stating the obvious – InMotion Hosting is a budget WordPress web host. Its starter Launch plan will set you back $7.99 per month, and the top tier – the Pro package – is $15.99 per month. However, InMotion often runs big sales on all of its packages, meaning you can snag a better deal.

With prices in that range, you’d be forgiven for expecting little from their service. However, InMotion Hosting defies those expectations by being one of the most popular providers for WordPress users. They even deliver when it comes to performance, so the question is: how do they manage to pull this off at rock-bottom prices? Before we find out, let’s take a look at what the Launch plan offers regarding features.

Key Features:

  • Supports up to two websites.
  • Offers unlimited traffic and storage space.
  • Includes the WordPress Command Line (WP-CLI).
  • Provides automatic WordPress installation.
  • Includes a free site builder tool.
  • Supports PHP 7.
  • Provides free backups (albeit with only one restoration every four months).

Price: Starts at $7.99 per month | More Information

An Overview of InMotion Hosting’s WordPress-Specific Features

Many hosting providers often make a big deal out of features that don’t live up to expectations. For example, it’s all too common for them to offer unlimited traffic, but starter plans often stumble when you try to put those claims to the test. If you’re a WordPress user, you need to pay attention to the small print and keep an eye out for features that’ll actually be useful for you.

When it comes to InMotion Hosting, they offer a small but decent set of WordPress-specific features:

  • Support for the WP-CLI. This is one of our favorite tools for managing WordPress, but not all hosts provide it given its base requirements. InMotion Hosting does, which easily earns them a point in our book.
  • PHP 7 support. WordPress is a PHP-based platform, which means you benefit from any improvements to the base language. The jump in performance from PHP 5 to 7 is astounding, so you’re doing yourself a disservice if you haven’t updated to it yet.
  • One-click WordPress setup. You can pre-install WordPress during the checkout process for any of your hosting plans. It’s a simple feature that will save you a little time if you want to get things up and running as soon as possible.
  • Access to the BoldGrid site builder.  InMotion Hosting offers its own site building tool free of charge for all customers. It’s not the most powerful option available, but if you’re new to WordPress it can help you create a functional website even if you lack development experience.

Overall, this is quite a decent set of features for beginners to WordPress. It’s certainly more than some other web hosts at this price point offer, which makes InMotion Hosting an attractive option. However, there are two key aspects we haven’t explored yet – the quality of their performance and support services. It would be irresponsible to subscribe to a web host without knowing these things, so let’s check them out!

How InMotion Hosting Holds Up from a Performance Standpoint

For this section, we’re going to test InMotion Hosting’s performance using two different methods – Pingdom Tools and Load Impact. For each test, we’ll use a website created on the basic Launch plan.

Testing with Pingdom Tools

First up is Pingdom Tools. This service enables you to test how fast a website loads under normal conditions from various global servers. Once you begin the test, it takes a few seconds for Pingdom Tools to measure our site’s loading time:

A Pingdom Tools test.

Keep in mind the testing server you choose will definitely impact your results. In this case, we tested our speed from a US server, and our website loaded in under one second consistently:

InMotion Hosting's Pingdom test results.

InMotion Hosting does very well when it comes to speed. In most cases, if your site loads in under one second, you’ll be way ahead of the curve when it comes to performance. However, the further you slide towards that two-second mark, the more you’ll need to optimize your site if you want it to succeed. Furthermore, according to Pingdom’s statistics, our test website is faster than 91% of all sites on average. That’s a pretty good score for a budget web host.

Testing with Load Impact

Moving on, we’ll be using Load Impact to ‘stress test’ our website. This tool enables you to see how your website fares under a heavy load by simulating multiple concurrent visitors over a short period. As with Pingdom Tools, simply enter your site’s URL and click a button to kick off your test:

A Load Impact test.

In our case, we set it for 25 users over five minutes. Once the test is underway, you’ll see a graph such as this one:

InMotion Hosting's Load Impact results.

As your test progresses, the graph populates accordingly. The blue line represents the number of active ‘visitors’ on your site, and the green one shows how long it takes for your site to load throughout the test. As you can see, there are a lot of small spikes in loading times, but overall, InMotion Hosting holds up well under load and it never strays too far beyond the one-second line. Here’s a recap of our test results:

  • Test Server Location: Ashburn, US.
  • Minimum Loading Time: 0.34 seconds.
  • Maximum Loading Time: 1.42 seconds.

Looking at this chart and the spikes in loading time, we can extrapolate that the Launch plan would stumble if you doubled the visitor load, but 25 visitors over five minutes is a pretty decent level of traffic anyway.

In short, if you’re having second thoughts about using InMotion Hosting due to performance anxiety – don’t. This web host holds up well, and it should be more than enough for small to medium sites.

Our Experience With InMotion Hosting’s Support Service

As far as support goes, InMotion Hosting offers several options. You can open a ticket, email them, make a phone call, or use live chat. For simple questions, you’ll want to use live chat since it’s the fastest way to get an answer without picking up the phone:

InMotion Hosting's support service.

In our experience, getting hold of a support agent never takes more than a couple of minutes. We tested multiple agents with a few simple questions on registering a domain, adding a new website to our plan, and installing WordPress:

A conversation with InMotion Hosting's support team.

In each case, we got satisfactory answers quickly. As you can see, InMotion Hosting’s support has a tendency to link you to their knowledge base whenever appropriate, but we can’t fault them for it. Considering the number of tickets they probably get, linking out to tutorials probably saves them hours every day. Plus, the guides themselves are very good, and if you need more advanced help, their agents are always willing to lend a hand.

If you’re new to WordPress and you’re looking for a web host with a reliable support system, InMotion Hosting is a good option. They’ll answer your questions quickly, and they definitely know their stuff when it comes to WordPress.

Conclusion

There may not be one perfect WordPress host, but picking the right one for you isn’t complicated. All you have to do is compare some of the top options around, and find one that suits your needs in terms of features and budget.

As far as InMotion Hosting is concerned, they’ve exceeded our expectations regarding performance and the quality of their support. If you’re looking for a budget option to set up a WordPress site, you should definitely consider giving them a try.

Do you have any questions about InMotion Hosting in general? Ask away in the comments section below!

Article thumbnail image by Panda Vector / shutterstock.com.

54 Comments

  1. I don’t know about other countries, but in India we get much better prices mentioned for InMotion Hosting, we get multiple-domain linux shared hosting by providers like hostgator and services are awesome and with awesome features! 😀

    • John Hughes

      Hi, thanks for your comment! Your location does play a significant role in what services are available to you (and how much they cost).

  2. Hi John, do you know how their service compares to Siteground? I’m currently using Siteground and used BlueHost before that, (who I wasn’t particularly happy with). Siteground seems to offer great security options and so far, great customer service! Thoughts?

    Cheers!

    Rich

    • Inmotion support is very good. But siteground support is much better, at least their live chat is always available. I used inmotion sharer hosting, google search console tends to report site issues due to slowness for divi sites.

  3. I’d like to see you run the load and performance tests using an Elegantthemes site. Something like the Divi sample site.

    The default WP 2017 theme is very light as far as content is concerned.

    I’ve signed up with Siteground on the low tier VPS account. It’s $80 a month but my Divi site, fully developed with plugins and all, comes in at 1.1 MB and loads in under 1 second and also scores a 95 on Pingdom.

    Hard to beat in my eyes.

    • John Hughes

      Thanks for your input, Adrian. 🙂

  4. Hi John,

    Thanks for the nice review.

    However, in your first test case (barebones WordPress install), in my opinion would have been better to test out how a more robust and heavy site would load.

    It is just that I do not believe someone runs that clear and lightweight installation as stock. Thus, this becomes an edge case, which doesn’t really do justice on the hosting provider. I’m sure you will agree that most sites have at least 3-5 plugins and will inevitably be reasonably heavier and so slower in loading.

    Thanks,
    Kostadin

  5. Shouldn’t this say “Sponsored Blog Post” somewhere, haha. 🙂

    • Totally agree. In my opinion, this is going the wrong way. Keep away from these sponsored items OR include at least 3 other products / services in that same category.

      • Yup

  6. OMG! I guess you weren’t a part of their problems last December! Wow, we moved to them from Hostgator when their service fell off the board.
    Experienced even worse trouble with Inmotion.
    It was impossible to get help and we had 100 sites down for long period of time along with spam problems.
    Sorry to be a Debbie Downer, but proceed with caution!
    We ended up doubling our cost and moving to Liquid Web. Part of the motivation was local service and support, as they are here in Michigan.
    Their support has blown us away. Well work a few extra bucks.

    Hosting is a necessity, but it sure can be a pain when things go wrong – and they will!

    • Thank you for that real-life info! We ran into a similar thing with A Small Orange. They had great reviews in the past, but now are a complete nightmare. Over a month — 33 days — for a simple tech request. We later found they’d been bought by a competitor who, it appears, is mostly trying to ruin ASO as competition, and they’re reputation (it worked!).

      We still find *great* service with Midphase, and went back to them, although increasing performance constraints — Divi takes some resources, as do the constant barrage of hacking attempts — now have us researching running our own server. We got gigabit broadband, and are hoping we can somehow make the free/easy Uniform Server WAMP install more reliable.

      I really wish Elegant Themes offered a working WAMP package — or put some of those millions of subscription fees into supporting Uniform Server, who has a fantastic package but lacks time to really support it. With the fast internet available to everyone increasingly, coupled with many flawless & free dynamic-DNS services, there isn’t much reason to be paying so much for worse and worse service/performance from hosting companies.

      This is the number one problem facing every WordPress designer/developer/website owner, and will undermine and eventually define ET’s success (or failure) in the future.

  7. My experience with InMotion Hosting was less than optimal. After having trouble with Host Gator’s load speeds after they got sold, I went looking for other companies. (I addressed this with HG but they kept insisting that it was our fault even after tracing the signal and showing them it was their problem. I do not have the load time problems any more….) InMotion was one that I tried out and quit after a few days. We were spending so much time buttoning up the security on it, with loads of attacks. We spend up to an hour a day taking care of those security issues despite using all the security precautions. We are not newbies. We finally landed on GoDaddy. Problems like we had with InMotion disappeared. We also tried SiteGround, was slightly better. It was a lot of work moving all of our sites. While the site load time sped up and the features you mention in this post are true, the drawbacks had us hightailing it out of there…..

    • Yep, that’s one of the reasons I’m looking to move from them. However, if you’re running a store/shop, you shouldn’t be using LE anyway, you should be buying a certificate. LE is great for basic site, but for anything where security is paramount (financial transactions) then paid is better. That’s InMotion’s argument against it, but I don’t need SSL for that, I need it because people will see the “not secure” and freak out.

    • Yes. This is the main reason we choose to move out to a hosting that gives free SSL.

  8. Yes, it should say sponsored post :), better if you would have compared with other hosting companies like site ground, a2hosting and few others.

  9. I see all the time clients who get features and hosting plans that are way above what they need.

    Thanks for the article.

    • John Hughes

      You’re welcome! 🙂

  10. personally, I don’t see much of the advantage of having a managed WordPress account. I think it’s limiting.
    I like the regular account where you have more control on your work.

  11. How much did InMotion pay you for this puff piece? They have been my host for over 5 years. For the most part, I’ve been satisfied enough not to bother to change. But over the past few months, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m going to have to. My last encounter with Support involved a 20-minute wait with terrible hold-“music”. The main reason is that, despite customers’ pleas, they still do not offer free/low-cost ssl (not even allowing 3rd party providers). If they do make it available, I’ll stay. Otherwise I’m switching to another provider at the end of this month. (I’ve found a highly rated one for less.)

    • Nathan B. Weller

      We were not paid anything for this piece. We don’t accept any kind of payment or trade for content on our blog.

    • Would you care to share what hosting company you are moving to?

  12. I agree with the general feeling that when you don’t compare services, the quality of the article decreases… And specially the content and the title lead to think that this is sponsored, even though it may not be.

    In any case, let me tell the reasons why I bought inMotion Hosting and regretted it so much that I left that same week:

    – I’m from Spain and 99’99% of my possible future clients will pull up the website from Spain and the closest data center to have my project hosted in with InMotion Hosting was New York (they only have servers in the US).

    – This apparently cheap prices are not so when you realize it is 99 bucks per year to have SSL with Inmotion Hosting. The alternative solution to not pay their own SSL: pay 24$/year extra to get a dedicated IP and pay a 25$ extra for the installation. If you sum that up: 97 unexpected extra dollars for the three years I had bought. The price I was going to be paying for three years was no longer 161,64$ (plus around 6$ for international transaction) but 258,64$ (plus around 10$ for international transaction).

    – The two above were straightforward reasons for me to want to run. But to make it even worse… My ways of reaching support were very very crappy. I started contacting them via chat – which I do not particularly like – and it was EXASPERATING how long they were taking to respond to my questions. It is pretty obvious that the agents are answering many people at the same time and sometimes they take 5 minutes to answer something back… You spend a good half an hour every time you want to solve some doubt. Oh and sometimes I was the 15th in the line before they could write to me… After realizing this was not working for me I decided to contact them through Skype. I could have never expected the calls to be so low-quality. Most of the time I could barely hear the agent and I believe it was not because of my computer because I normally skype with other people and I can hear them well. A couple of times I was prompted to wait between 20 and 40 minutes before I could be assisted. And one of these times when they finally picked up the phone they couldn’t hear me at all and they hung up. Another message that I would often hear when I was contacting Support was “the person you’re trying to reach is currently unavailable” and I cunningly had to call Customer Service or Sales so they could pass my call to Support… As I explained the lady of Sales before I got the account canceled, I cannot imagine the consequences if my website goes down and something like these happen and I’m unable to fix the problem fast.

    – To mention a last point: I also felt very alone during the process of bringing my project from localhost to InMotion Hosting. I had only done that two times before with other two host companies and I really needed someone to guide me during the process. The guy behind the phone was rather rude and said he would not do it for me and gave me the links to their online tutorials on how to do it. After sweating with it, I was able to upload my folders to InMotion Hosting, but I do not thank that to the tutorials, which were partially incomplete, rather to the two previous experiences that I had had before (in both of these old cases the agents helped me do it by phone). One thing that I absolutely did not know how to do was to bulk change old urls from localhost to the new path so I contacted them again and I almost had to begged them to do it for me. They only did it because they do not have any tutorials showing how to do it.

    All in all, a very deceitful experience.

    I’m hosting my website now in Siteground. They offer support in Spanish and I can contact them by phone right away. They offer SSD drives as well, free SSL and the data center will be in Europe. And for those three years of hosting I will only be paying around 30$ more (I would even be saving a lot in comparison to InMotion Hosting if I would have bought them with their Black Friday offer), and I do prefer to pay a bit more but have a quality Support to solve problems fast. To be all honest – I’m no Siteground guy – I have also seen a problem with Siteground regarding the CPU limit. If you have a blog with high peaks of traffic, then careful with the GrowBig plan, you should go for a better one.

  13. DO NOT USE INMOTION HOSTING! I was with them for many years, then suddenly last year all hell broke loose. My sites were going down daily multiple times a day!! They admitted they were having severe server issues with the west coast. They claim they did upgrade everything – not true. My sites were all going offline multiple times a day. yes, you can call them for tech support but when their equipment is constantly failing, there is nothing the tech support guys can do. I gave up and moved to another company. I left two sites on inmotion that I hardly use and every week, I get the warning from my monitoring plugin that my sites are down.

    • May i know which hosting site you moved to? Any tips?

      • Our same experience over the last year – nothing but problems with InMotion Hosting.

  14. I had looked into InMotion a few months ago as a colleague was using them. After doing some due diligence I’m so glad I passed! The server response times were horrible on the colleague’s site. I know IM has multiple plans – it would have been a more helpful article if you had tested ALL of them or at least been abundantly clear about which plan you were testing.

    But the real deal breaker for me was the Terms of Service and content policing. I’m fine with not allowing illegal content of course, but “..or nudity of any kind” is not cool. And not something many of my photographer clients could abide by.

  15. Current IH client here, I guess I’ve been on the lucky side of the business. While I got hit with the connectivity issue back in december it got solved in a couple hours for my sites. Support has been average for me, have no complaints so far. All said, the lack of Let’s Encrypt has me thinking about switching at the end of my current term.

    Just yesterday got some downtime, less than 2 minutes, no big deal to me. But I saw something interesting, one client has a Windows based VPS on Godaddy that went down at the same time as my sites on IH. Can’t tell if it’s coincidence or they are using the same Datacenter.

  16. Site is overloaded, it loads only html without css after 2 minutes…

  17. I don’t know this company – but this article sucks since there in to comparison tests.

    Please keep your blog free of this subjective kind of posts. Your reputation will decline Elegant Themes.

  18. Bad biased post. Certainly not what I would expect from your blog. Tried most hosts over the years. Found Liquidweb to have the best support but for cost heart internet in the UK have provided a very cheap reliable service with ok support.

  19. I don’t understand why someone would use shared hosting instead of a standard VPS/dedicated server. What are the benefits?

    • John Hughes

      Hi Brian! The primary benefit of shared hosting is that it’s usually the cheapest option you can find. So it’s great for small blogs and start-up websites. Plus, you can always upgrade later if the need arises.

  20. 8$ per month is not that cheap as you think…

  21. Hello.
    Great Post. What about Liquid Web. I would like to see a post about Liquid Web’s Managed WordPress Hosting from you.

    It’s very expensive starting from 119$/Month.

    Thanks

    • John Hughes

      Thanks! We’ll keep that in mind. 🙂

  22. Skimmed the article as I prefer in-depth hosting comparisons, BUT I can tell you this…

    I have been with InMotion Hosting on a VPS server (entry level one) and the only issues that I have had were due to misconfigured WP plugins on my part and a scheduled maintenance. I pay $430 a year for my VPS and haven’t seen another host that isn’t equal or better to them beat that price.

    Now you may say SiteGround Go Geek is $30 a month which technically beats it, but their website says this is suitable for around 100,000 monthly visitors. That doesn’t cut it for me as my site averages 70k is off months and 400k in peak months. InMotion VPS has handled this without any issue (when cached properly).

    I feel like the people who complain are the ones going for $5/month shared hosting. Cheap, shared hosting will always fail you. If someone on here has a VPS or private server company that is on par with price and can handle decent traffic, I’m all ears. Everything I’ve seen tends to want to nickel and dime *cough* price gouge you once you gain traffic (i.e. WP Engine and SiteGround).

    For reference, I mange one “high traffic” site and 15 normal small business sites on my VPS.

    • John Hughes

      Hi Andy, thanks for your input! It’s always useful to hear about people’s real-life experiences with the various hosting companies. 🙂

  23. I have been using InMotion for over a year now. According to Google Pagespeed they always have poor server response time. The west coast data center often experiences problems. – I started using SiteGround recently and their server response time is always 1/3 of InMotion.

    If you use the Professional hosting package, they only allow one SSL certificate per account. LAME. They do not support Let’s Encrypt – LAME!!!

    I do appreciate their support blogs. Lots of good stuff there.

  24. I have not used this hosting before. However, after reading your explanation, it is worth considering
    Thank you for the information

    • John Hughes

      You’re welcome! 🙂

  25. I just need a web host that will give me a larger space

  26. I would highly advise against using In Motion Hosting. At one time we had both a VPS and Reseller Account – lots of problems. The load times for the VPS were the same a the reseller account – finally found out they had both accounts on the same server – which caused dns problems as well. Canceled the VPS and over the last few months we have spent hours on the phone with tech support because of sites being down, database connection problems, problems caused by their upgrades to servers, databases, and CPanel – absolute nightmare.

  27. Well, I have to vehemently disagree. First, since when does ElegantThemes promote ONE specific web host? I am dismayed!! How much are they paying you??

    I’ve been making my own sites since 1995. WordPress since 2006. It takes a lot for me to change web hosts. Cos I have enough issues in my tech life. I’ve been with some terrible companies. I could list it, but let’s say many of us have been there, done that.

    I met someone from InMotion a few years ago at a big Santa Monica/LA WordPress Meetup. I actually followed up. NO response. Now they might have changed, but I ain’t gonna give ’em a second chance.

    I am in LOVE with SiteGround! It’s taken off in many solopreneurs, entrepreneurs, ppl who are online 24/7 all over the world. We need RELIABLE, updated software and support. Some users making BIG bucks. I never ever read anyone having an issue with them.

    SiteGround LIVES for and on WP. They offer FAST email ticketing support! I prefer that cos it’s a paper trail. I’ve done Live Chat too. Their support and courtesy, as well as knowledge, is SUPERB!!

    I am totally 100% satisfied with SiteGround. I’d write more, but you’d think I was gushing.

    InMotion is DOA.

    Will take a lot for me to change again!

    Again, is this a paid ad or what?? NOT cool, Nick et al. YOU all are better than that. #amirite

    • I’ve also created sites for others. I hated the experience, so I rarely mention it. Gosh, this post really is upsetting me. NOT what I expected from Elegant Themes. I can see others agree. Not really the result you expected? Now you know. Be VERY careful promoting something which might anger and/or disappoint YOUR market and loyal customers.

      • I could not agree more. I have always had a great deal of respect for Elegant Themes but much that respect was lost when I read the one-sided review of InMotion Hosting yesterday. I have the same questions as others – how much money did InMotion Hosting pay Elegant Themes to get that favorable review?

        As I submit this post, I am on the phone with InMotion Hosting for the second time today – all sites are down – database connection problems again. Earlier this week, they did an update and lost every domain assigned to our CPanel – hours to fix the problem. Moreover, this is about the 10th time in the last 30 -60 days – one problem after another.

        I the future, I will be less likely to read the posts on Elegant Themes because I now cannot trust the articles to provide unbiased information.

  28. I really hope the ET blog doesn’t continue to post advertorial content like this. I know Nathan said no fees were paid, and I believe him, but come on. This is promotion, plain and simple.

    I’m also irked by the testing methodology. Using a default theme instead of Divi makes no sense for this audience, and of course putting load on a default theme with no content is going to perform acceptably. Even the worst hosts can usually handle that. It’s a test setup to make a host look good, not to provide an objective analysis.

    We’ve got clients on hosts all around the world and have had a lot of experience with InMotion. We have migrated nearly every client off of them on to other hosts. Their servers simply can’t handle any kind of real-world load and often crash when simply applying updates. We monitor uptime for each of our clients and InMotion has some of the worst uptime numbers out there.

  29. Hi,

    Nice review. I have used Inmotion hosting and can say it is one of the most trusted in the community. Especially since the time they have launched BoldGrid, it has become even more feature rich.

    • John Hughes

      Thanks! We’re glad to hear you’ve had a good experience with this particular host. 🙂

  30. Last year I was researching hosting for reseller. Inmotion Hosting was the most professional and with the best price, I attach great importance to technical support, and they are very good. If you read well and thoroughly investigate inmotion Hosting, you will know that it is more than what people imagine. I highly recommend them.

    • John Hughes

      Hi Agustin, thanks for your input! 🙂

      • Problems again today with Inmotion Hosting – today Divi does not work because version of php being displayed in Inmotion Hosting CPanel (7.0) is not correct – actual PHP version running on server is 5.3.29.

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