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 more than $100 for two years of domain name registration, and self hosting the sites on your own servers? 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 websites on your own servers on your own DSL line or some other self hosting configuration.
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.
This article last updated after a year of hosting with inmotion.
1. 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 was using Comodo. Truly, in the day of free SSL through LetsEncrypt, I was surprised to see Comodo. Accounts with inmotion are 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.
2. Since the beginning
Since that first week, inmotion services have been working smoothly but erratically. Uptimes have not been great. Seven day average for one WordPress domain was 90%, with 30 day uptime around 97%.
To put “uptime” 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, or of course it might have been three hours each night for five days when no one was accessing the site, but when dealing with uptime one should consider worst case scenarios.
- 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, and the test is against having a text artifact on the WordPress site completely load. In creating a monitor that loads a simple text file, the uptime response was much higher (not 100%), but testing a single file load doesn’t help identify “site uptime” when the site is hosted in WordPress. Think of it this way: If the first few bytes of your WordPress site load fine, but the WordPress engine itself cannot render your site because of server constraints, then your users and customers still cannot interact with your site.
3. Logging in
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.com 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.
4. 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 fast. 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 (PSI) 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.
I have not tested email capabilities. Since the uptime was not near 100%, I chose to not configure inbound email capabilities on the sties. Instead, the domain registrar (Google Domains) allows configuring the MX records to manage emails directly and independently of the web host. I also do not use inmotion for outbound emails. Instead I use a relay where I can add monitoring capabilities to my emails.
Remember, emails are important, and important emails are more important. You need as close to 100% email capability, regardless of whether your web site is alive. If your web host goes down, you want to continue to send and receive emails!
I’ve experienced no security issues with inmotion hosting.
Two factor is limited to specific carrieres for SMS and to Google Authenticator. No other 2FA is available. This is a limitation, especially in the current security world, since there are many authenticator apps available. If you are using one particular authenticator app that happens to not be Google Authenticator, you are forced to use Google just for this one company.
5. Concluding thoughts
I used the InMotion Hosting service for about two years.
- 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. Okay, maybe that one was not quite as professional as the rest! 🙂 . Eventually the services were created (about a week), and I’ve been running on those servers since then.
- Speed and resource constraints were common. Had to identify different methods to perform backups, for example.
- Uptime was poor. The InMotion engineers contacted claimed 100% “server” uptime, while running WordPress resulted in poor uptime results. If you are using WordPress, be aware of this limitation.
NOTE: I will not get paid for this endorsement, but inmotion will recognize that you’ve clicked through from my page. Thank you for clicking!