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InMotion Hosting review: Cost-effective, flexible hosting for advanced users

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £5.77
/mth starting price for three year plan, renewing at £14.77/mth

A generous, flexible hosting package that’s got plenty to offer more ambitious developers and online publishers


  • Extremely generous quotas
  • Uncapped bandwidth and storage
  • Plenty of follow-up support


  • No data centres outside US
  • Full cPanel experience may not be for everyone

Now in its 22nd year, US-based InMotion Hosting provides hosting and domain registration services to more than 570,000 customers. Alongside the Linux-based shared hosting we’re reviewing here, it offers WordPress hosting, reseller plans, virtual private server hosting and dedicated servers. However, it has servers in only two locations: Los Angeles and Washington DC.

We’re taking a look at its Power plan, the specifications for which are outlined in full below but, elsewhere, the InMotion offering starts with a Core tier, at $2.29 (£2.05) per month for the first year. This lets you host two websites and ten email accounts on 100GB of storage.

Above this, Launch ($4.99 (£4.12) per month for three years) is almost identical to the Power plan that we’re reviewing, and has the same first-term price. However, speed and performance are half what you get with the Power tier and you also lose access to advanced caching. Although this may initially look less appealing, the savings kick in when you renew, at which point the three-year deal is around 25% less for Launch than it is for Power.

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InMotion Hosting review: What do you get for the money?

As with other hosts, the best prices are reserved for customers committing to three-year deals. The Power plan I’m testing here costs $6.99 (£5.77) per month if you sign up for a year but drops to $5.99 (£4.95) and $4.99 (£4.12) on two- and three-year commitments respectively. These rates give you total first-year costs of £69.24, £59.40 and £49.44 respectively, with renewals at higher prices. At the time of writing, a 12-month contract is showing a discount of $132 (£108), which would make year two renewal equivalent to £177.24, or £14.77 per month.

While InMotion Hosting’s more expensive Pro plan is available on a monthly basis, Power isn’t: one year is the minimum term. Pro is broadly the same as Power, but with enhanced performance and an SLA for support.

Opting for Power means you can host an unlimited number of websites and subdomains while benefiting from both unlimited space and uncapped bandwidth. You also get a free domain with SSL, and advanced caching, which is missing from the Core and Launch offerings. Your account has 2GB of memory to call on, and you can create as many email addresses as you require, each with 10GB of storage, plus as many MySQL and PostgreSQL databases as you need. That’s a truly impressive, not to say tempting offer, and the price is very similar to SiteGround’s renewal price for its StartUp hosting (£14.39 a month), which lets you host a single site using up to 10GB of web space.

When signing up, the cart automatically adds Backup Manager at $2.50 per month, billed for the full length of your term up front – that’s $30 (£24.72) if you’ve opted for a year. It’s easily removed but, if you stick with it, it buys you 10GB of space for automated daily backups. That isn’t bad value for peace of mind, but it’s worth remembering that some hosts bundle daily backups as part of their regular package and, if you’re going to use WordPress to manage your site, you can implement your own backup to cloud services including Dropbox or Google Drive using a tool such as BackWPup.

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InMotion Hosting review: Is it easy to set up?

When you first log in, you’ll encounter your Account Management Panel (AMP), which centralises a lot of common administrative tasks, such as registering or transferring domains, managing SSL, setting up email accounts and forwarders, and logging in to webmail. If you need to go further, there’s a link from here to cPanel, which gives you access to the expected full range of features, including MySQL and PostgreSQL administration, and file manager, plus advanced controls such as cron, terminal access and Git Version Control.

When setting up a new domain, you can either use it to host a new website or link it to an existing document root. This is a neat way to park your web properties, or to point multiple domains to a single site for SEO benefits or domain protection.

If you opted for InMotion’s backup service, cPanel is also where you’ll find a link to the Backup Manager, where you can specify which directories and databases should be secured, and on what schedule. The default setting backs up everything every three days. It may be tempting to change this to daily, but if you don’t have a very busy site that might be overkill, as InMotion only retains the ten most recent backups, thereafter deleting the oldest the next time the schedule rolls around. That would give you only ten days to spot that something needed restoring before it was lost. The default option gives you a month.

If you didn’t opt for Backup Manager, you can perform manual backups through cPanel itself and download the results to your computer.

For website administration, two special FTP accounts are set up by default for accessing logs and administering your account, and can’t be deleted. No other FTP logins are pre-configured but you can specify up to 2,000 of your own. In many ways, this is a good thing. The fewer routes there are to access your files the better, since it minimises the number of accounts and passwords that could be lost. Plus, in many cases, it’s now possible to administer a site entirely using an app installer and the resulting web app’s own built-in tools.

In this instance, the installer comes courtesy of Softaculous, through which you have access to more than 400 apps and scripts, including the usual suspects – WordPress, MovableType, Drupal and so on – and a wide range of business-specific, administrative and database tools. There are also Perl and JavaScript libraries and scripts.

The WordPress installer is pre-configured, with quick and custom setups. If you prefer to implement changes within WordPress itself, you can amend the login password (the default fails as it’s not strong enough) and leave everything else as the installer has set it. However, there are also options to tweak your username, site title and so on, so everything is how you want it from the off. Four plug-ins are preselected for installation: Jetpack, BoldGrid’s backup and page builder tools, and a server-side cache enabler.

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InMotion Hosting: What extra features do you get?

InMotion’s WebPro feature is an additional dashboard for web professionals who work with multiple clients or accounts. So long as they’ve been authorised by the account owner, it gives them access to the site’s back end, through which they can perform whichever administrative tasks they’ve been delegated without having to chase the client for access every time.

You can also add a dedicated IP address to your account should you need it, at $72 (£59) a year and, if you want to have an expert keep an eye on your hosting, InMotion will handle it for you, starting at $48 (£39) for one hour a month if you sign up for a year. The service includes application optimisation, security checks and migration services.

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InMotion Hosting: Should you sign up?

InMotion Hosting’s Power tier is extremely generous. Even at the renewal price, which doesn’t benefit from the first-term discount, you’re getting an awful lot for your money, which makes it a cost-effective option for users who need to host multiple domains.

All the features you’re ever likely to want are here and, if you’re already familiar with cPanel, you’ll be right at home. There’s plenty of follow-up support, too: I received emails after my first day of using the service and two days later as well, checking I wasn’t having problems and linking through to support, which is available around the clock by phone (US numbers only), chat, email or Skype. That said, less experienced users might still be more comfortable with a control panel that breaks out the most commonly used features as, for instance, SiteGround’s does, so they don’t need to navigate the full cPanel interface.

That very minor point aside, InMotion’s offering is as cost-effective as it is flexible, and a definite one to shortlist if you have multiple sites in need of a home.

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