WP Hosting

InMotion Hosting Review 2021: The Good & Bad (Honest Thoughts)

Considering using InMotion Hosting for WordPress hosting?

InMotion Hosting is a popular independent web host that offers a range of different hosting plans and services. In this review, we’re specifically focused on InMotion Hosting’s budget WordPress hosting plans and whether they’re the best option for your website(s).

Overall, we found that InMotion Hosting had surprisingly good performance for its price, which makes it a great budget pick for WordPress hosting. It doesn’t quite compete with the performance and support of higher-priced alternatives such as WP Engine (our review), Kinsta (our review), or Flywheel, but it does get close for a surprisingly low price.

Keep reading our full hands-on InMotion Hosting review to see the data for yourself and learn more about what this web host offers.

Here’s how we’ll divide our review:

How We Tested InMotion Hosting – We Bought Our Own Account

With all of the WordPress hosting reviews that we publish here at DesignBombs, we always want to make them as objective and useful as possible.

To achieve that, we purchased our own hosting account with InMotion Hosting so that we could run our own tests and experience the product exactly like you would if you decide to purchase InMotion Hosting.

We then put our account through the paces, including running multiple types of performance tests to see how InMotion Hosting performs in different scenarios.

For reference, we’re testing InMotion Hosting’s managed WordPress plans. More specifically, we’re using the entry-level WP-1000S plan – more on pricing later. 

⚙️ InMotion Hosting Key Features

InMotion Hosting’s WordPress plans include all the core features you’d expect from web hosting, as well as some unique goodies for WordPress users such as free access to the paid Jetpack service on certain plans.

Let’s kick things off with the basic features:

  • cPanel dashboard for server/website management.
  • Unlimited bandwidth.
  • Unlimited email accounts.
  • Free SSL certificates.
  • Malware scans and hack protection.
  • DDoS protection.
  • Web application firewall (WAF) to proactively stop threats.
  • Automatic backups (excluding the cheapest plan).
  • Staging sites.

In terms of performance, you get some useful features such as:

  • SSD storage.
  • Server-level caching via Nginx.
  • Brotli compression (which performs a tiny bit better than the Gzip compression that many hosts use).
  • Most recent PHP versions, including support for PHP 8+ (as of May 2021).
  • Dedicated opcode cache pool (on higher-tier plans).
  • Clear PHP worker limits.

In terms of unique WordPress features, you also get:

  • Access to the BoldGrid website builder. Beginners might find this appealing, but most experienced WordPress users will be better off using their own theme.
  • Free access to Jetpack Personal or Professional plan (excluding the cheapest tier).

Overall, it’s a solid feature set for the price and it goes above what you’d get from a lot of budget shared WordPress hosts.

🚀 InMotion Hosting Performance Tests

How quickly your website loads is a key metric because it affects everything from your site’s user experience to your site’s SEO, conversion rates, bounce rates, and more.

As your site’s foundation, your web hosting plays one of the biggest roles in how quickly your site loads, so it’s one of the most important factors to consider when choosing web hosting.

To assess InMotion Hosting’s performance, we ran our own tests using two different performance analysis tools:

  • WebPageTest – this lets us see how our test site performs in a one-off test.
  • Load Focus – this lets us simulate a high-traffic situation by hitting the site with twenty visitors in a single minute. Basically, this tells us whether InMotion Hosting can maintain the same performance from the one-off WebPageTest analysis when in a high-traffic situation.

To create a realistic test case, we set up our test site using the popular Astra theme and a full demo site (the Sierra Industry site).

In WebPageTest, InMotion Hosting performed quite well, with a Largest Contentful Paint time of just half a second on a full demo site:

More impressively, though, InMotion Hosting also nailed the Load Focus test with a 435 ms average response time and a 90th percentile time of just 492 ms (90% of results were faster than 492 ms). Most other cheap web hosts that we tested failed in this test, which is why it’s notable that InMotion Hosting did so well:

Overall, InMotion Hosting’s performance was very impressive, especially when considering the price of the plan we’re on. If you go to our full collection of the best WordPress hosting, you can see that InMotion Hosting’s performance is similar to other more expensive hosts such as WP Engine and Kinsta.

Additionally, we only tested the entry-level WP-1000S plan, which InMotion Hosting claims has “4X performance”. The highest-tier plan advertises “12X performance”, which suggests it might be even better. Of course, we didn’t actually test that plan so we can’t confirm if it really does offer improved performance over the plan that we tested.

🤗 InMotion Hosting User Experience

InMotion Hosting’s user experience is pretty standard for a host at this price point. You’ll use a custom dashboard to manage billing and other account-level settings. Then, you’ll get cPanel to manage your actual hosting and your websites.

The whole interface experience looks a little dated, but it’s still plenty functional because you get cPanel access.

If you’re not familiar, cPanel is the most popular server/website management tool and it’s what most WordPress hosts offer, excluding managed WordPress hosts which usually build their own custom dashboard experiences.

Account Management Panel

When you sign into InMotion Hosting, you’ll first see your Account Management Panel. At the top, you can manage your account-level settings, like changing billing or submitting a ticket.

Below that, you’ll see the admin areas for your individual sites. You get some options to help you jump to specific areas. Or, you can click the cPanel option to open your site’s cPanel dashboard:

cPanel

If you’re ever used another host that relies on cPanel, you know exactly what to expect.

You’ll get a bunch of different tools, divided by sections. You can use cPanel to:

  • Add domains or subdomains.
  • Install new software packages.
  • Manage DNS details.
  • Set up redirects.
  • Manage files from your browser.
  • Manage and create FTP accounts.
  • Block IP addresses and set up other security rules.
  • Manage and create databases.
  • Install the free SSL certificates.
  • Etc.

Overall, there’s nothing uniquely good about InMotion Hosting’s dashboard experience, but it gives you full cPanel access and gets the job done, which is what most people are looking for in a WordPress host.

📞 InMotion Hosting Support Review

InMotion Hosting offers 24/7/365 US-based support on all of its hosting plans. You can get help via a variety of channels:

  • Phone
  • Live chat
  • Email/ticket

InMotion Hosting also makes it very easy to use these channels – you don’t need to jump through hoops like some other hosts make you do. Instead, you get every channel listed directly on the page – you can’t see it in the screenshot below, but they also list the phone number lower on the page:

In terms of support quality, InMotion Hosting is above average for the price, but not “blow you away” good. The support that you get is a step above other budget hosts like Bluehost and HostGator, but it’s still not quite as good as the premium support you’d get from a pricier host like Kinsta, WP Engine, or Flywheel.

If you really value support, you might want to go with one of those premium hosts. Otherwise, InMotion Hosting’s support should be fine for most people.

💰 InMotion Hosting Pricing Review

InMotion Hosting offers a range of different hosting plans, but we’re specifically focused on the WordPress hosting plans in this review.

InMotion Hosting offers four different pricier tiers for its core managed WordPress hosting service, as well as higher-tier WordPress VPS plans for people who need more power.

You can choose from four different billing durations:

  • Month-to-month (only available for the highest-tier WP-4000S plan)
  • One year
  • Two years
  • Three years

You’ll get the best prices if you opt for longer durations, but you’ll need to pay everything upfront.

Another important consideration is promotional prices vs regular prices. Like many budget WordPress hosts, InMotion Hosting offers cheap promotional prices that apply to your first billing cycle, but you’ll need to pay full price when you go to renew, which can be anywhere from ~1.6X to ~2X higher depending on the plan.

If you can afford the upfront cost, you’ll get the best deal if you pay for three years upfront so that you can lock in the promo price for all three years.

Each plan differs when it comes to:

  • Website limits.
  • Storage limits.
  • Performance.
  • Features – higher-tier plans get free access to Jetpack and Opcode caching.

You can view the limits and feature differences below:

And here’s a full comparison table of InMotion Hosting pricing for both promo and regular prices:

Monthly1 year2 years3 years
WP-1000S PromoN/A$6.99$5.99$4.99
WP-1000s RegularN/A$10.99$9.99$8.99
WP-2000S PromoN/A$6.99$5.99$4.99
WP-2000s RegularN/A$14.99$12.99$10.99
WP-3000S PromoN/A$11.99$10.99$8.99
WP-3000s RegularN/A$19.99$17.99$14.99
WP-4000S Promo$25.99$20.99$18.99$17.99
WP-4000s Regular$44.99$36.99$33.99$30.99

👍👎 InMotion Hosting Pros and Cons

As we get to the end of our InMotion Hosting review, let’s go over some pros and cons…

Pros

  • InMotion Hosting offered excellent performance in both our one-off WebPageTest analysis and our load testing with Load Focus.
  • For the price that you’re paying, InMotion Hosting’s support is good quality and available via a variety of different channels.
  • The plans are pretty cheap, especially if you lock in the promo prices for three years.
  • You get some nice goodies like free access to Jetpack, as well as useful features like staging and automatic updates.

Cons

  • InMotion Hosting’s dashboard experience isn’t as nice as other hosts. You do get cPanel, which makes it functional, but the whole dashboard experience feels quite dated.
  • The WordPress hosting plans don’t offer unlimited websites – you’d need to use InMotion Hosting’s shared hosting for that (but the performance wouldn’t be as good).

❓ InMotion Hosting Review 2021 FAQ

Here are some common questions you might have about InMotion Hosting…

Who is InMotion Hosting?

InMotion Hosting is an independent web hosting provider that offers dedicated WordPress hosting plans, along with other types of hosting, domain registration, and email hosting.

Is InMotion Hosting fast?

Yes – InMotion Hosting performed very well in all our performance tests. In fact, it was the fastest budget WordPress host that we tested.

Is InMotion Hosting good?

Yes – for the money, InMotion Hosting offers very good value. It offers performance that can compete with much more expensive providers, which is impressive given its sub-$10 per month pricing.

Is InMotion Hosting good for beginners?

InMotion Hosting is simple enough for beginners to use, but it’s not the most beginner-friendly host that we’ve tested. That honor would go to Bluehost thanks to its streamlined onboarding process and website builder (though Bluehost didn’t perform nearly as well).

🤔 Should You Use InMotion Hosting in 2021 and Beyond?

Now that we’ve reached the end of our InMotion Hosting review, it’s time to make some recommendations. InMotion Hosting is a quality budget host, but it’s not necessarily the right host for everyone.

So to help you decide, let’s go through some situations where you should pick InMotion Hosting, as well as when you should pick a different host.

Use InMotion Hosting If…

InMotion Hosting makes a great option if you’re looking to host a small number of sites and you’re on a budget.

The low website limits on the WordPress hosting plan means you can’t benefit from “unlimited” websites like other budget hosts offer, but the upside is that you get very good performance for the price.

In our full WordPress hosting roundup where we tested all the popular hosting options, InMotion Hosting had by far the best performance of any budget web host. This makes it a great option from a value perspective, as long as you fit within the website limits.

Go to InMotion Hosting

Use Another Host If…

There are a few situations where you might want to choose a different host.

First off, if you do have lots of small, low-traffic sites, you’ll probably want a host that offers unlimited websites. InMotion Hosting does offer this on its shared plans, but DreamHost could be another option here. DreamHost didn’t perform quite as well as InMotion Hosting, but it had “ok” performance and the prices are very low for unlimited websites.

Second, if you’re a total beginner and you feel overwhelmed by making a website, you might want a host with a more user-friendly experience. In that case, Bluehost does the best job of making it easy to create a WordPress site. However, Bluehost does not perform as well as InMotion Hosting, so there are definitely trade-offs to achieve that beginner-friendliness.

Finally, if you want the absolute best performance and support and you’re willing to pay for it, you might want to go with a true premium managed WordPress host. Here, your best options are WP Engine (read our review), Kinsta, or Flywheel.

To see even more great options, check out our full post on the best WordPress hosting.

Do you still have any questions about InMotion Hosting or our review? Let us know in the comments!

Dev

Dev is the co-founder of DesignBombs. He runs multiple businesses & has been featured in top publications like Forbes, Inc, Entrepreneur, HuffPo, and more.

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