Do you remember when domain names were free? Then you had a domain before I did! Yes, they were free before 1995.
Do you remember paying $100 for two years of domain name registration? Then you’ve been in the domain business as long as I have, since the late 1990s. And over the course of twenty years, you have likely wound up using many different hosting companies. If you recall, in the late 1990s and early 2000s, it was most common to host your own on your own servers on your own DSL line.
Nowadays I’m a big proponent of cloud services. Find yourself a good “As a service” vendor, and host there. And yes, sometimes it is finding a “good enough” hosting vendor.
My last vendor of many years went out of business, so I was left with a dozen personal sites that I run — and no host. Out went proposals, and Inmotion Hosting came up on top of my list.
I’ll be writing more about my experiences with inmotion hosting. It has been three days, and my account is not fully functional. The company does have 24×7 chat support.Powered by InMotion Hosting: Inmotion Hosting
In the beginning
Establishing an account with InMotion went very smoothly. Cody Murphy in sales set everything up perfectly.
The documentation provided is extensive, and support is available 24×7 via chat and phone.
However, there were technical issues with establishing the package. The first day, I was informed that there was a database platform problem that would not be resolved until the next day. Okay, these things happen. So I waited 24 hours and started again.
Then there were problems with AutoSSL. At the time of setup, InMotion is using COMODO. Truly, in the day of free SSL through LetsEncrypt, I was surprised to see Comodo. InMotion is set up to auto renew SSL though, so it really doesn’t matter to the end user.
But the problems persisted. For four days. While the help desk is available 24×7, it was difficult to get anyone to do anything other than change passwords and tell me to “wait 24 hours”. Finally, through the course of so many chat sessions it felt like I was social engineering myself into a solution, I wound up with someone who was actually able to fix the problem. According to the representative, there was a queuing problem on InMotion’s Cpanel configuration that was affecting all users, including his own accounts. He explained that earlier in the week there was a Cpanel update on their servers that appears to not have gone smoothly.
Since the beginning
Since that first week, InMotion services have been working smoothly but erratically. Specifically, uptimes have not been perfect. Seven day average for one WordPress domain was 90%, with 30 day uptime around 97%.
To put this in perspective:
- There are 168 hours in a week. Uptime at 90% is 16 hours DOWN in one week. That is two full 8 hour working days down in a five day work week.
- There are 720 hours in 30 days. Uptime at 97% is 21 hours DOWN in 30 days. That is three full 8 hour working days down in a 20 day working month.
Here’s a stat clip:
To note, these are WordPress sites. In the coming weeks I’ll keep these monitors up, and I’ve added an index.htm test file as well. We’ll see if the server itself is replying, just not with the response rates necessary to server WordPress.
Thoughts after one month
At the moment, I would recommend Inmotion. There were some technical issues in configuring the account, but everyone was professional — including the help desk fellow who kept trying to get me to call back to someone else. Eventually the services were created (about a week), and I’ve been running on those servers for a couple of months.
I have not tested email capabilities. Google Domains is my domain registrar, and one of the services available through Google Domains is actually email hosting. If your web host goes down, you want to continue to send and receive emails!
I’ll check back in at the end of summer and provide a report on how Inmotion is working out.Powered by InMotion Hosting: Inmotion Hosting
In my opinion, logging in and managing sites was made more difficult than necessary.
Login to management site
Logging into the main site (or Management Site) Login page works as one expects. Go to inmotionhosting and click Login.
Login to cpanel site
To login to a cpanel, go to https://yoursite/cpanel
But of course this requires yoursite to already resolve in DNS. It is unclear whether you can create a site name in inmotionhosting before actually resolving DNS properly.
Speed and responsiveness
Websites seem to have periodic issues with speed tests. Going to the inmotionhosting main web site is always very fast, but the hosted sites are not necessarily. Let’s take a look.
Resource constraints seem to be a common occurrence. For example, I use (and recommend) Duplicator for backups. However, the sites under test on inmotionhosting aren’t easily backed up with Duplicator.
Google’s Pagespeed Insights is an invaluable tool for identifying poorly performing sites. Why Pagespeed Insights? Because Google is going to judge you on the speeds they experience!
Here are a couple of clips of this page with PSI
Adding gzip compression in .htaccess did not materially change PSI.
A common error message obtained was a server response timeout in Lighthouse. Trying the test several times eventually bypassed the problem.