InMotion Hosting vs BlueHost  – Which Hosting Provider is Best?
The web hosting industry is changing every day. New companies are popping up offering exciting new hosting opportunities for big-idea websites like the one you’re planning on building. The key to making sure you pick the right one is to stay informed.
There’s a huge amount of information out there for all the different hosts, and it can be hard to sift through, so we’re going to take a look at a couple of hosting companies and see how they stack up side-by-side. In this article we will be comparing two of best hosting providers out there: InMotion and BlueHost.
Let’s begin with a quick overview of BlueHost.
BlueHost – Hosting Industry Leader
BlueHost was founded in 2003 by Matt Heaton, and they’re one of the largest names in web hosting today. Along with its sister companies; Hostmonster, FastDomain, and iPage, they host a total of over 2 million domains.
There’s a lot that can be said about BlueHost, they’re a big name fish in a lively pond. So how do we figure out if they’re right for us? Well, let’s take a look at some things I consider advantages and drawbacks to working with BlueHost.
Pros of BlueHost
BlueHost offers a respectable range of features with big-name resources and support options for all of their client’s needs:
- For 15 years, BlueHost has built a name for themselves as a reliable hosting service. They offer a wide range of quality services for which they are well-known. Having a big name also means there’s a lot of information out there on how this company has worked out for others in the past. Take a look at what others are saying about BlueHost, and see if you can’t come to a conclusion yourself.
- Good learning resources. Onboarding new users is an integral part of a good hosting company, and BlueHost has a font of excellent learning resources to get new users acclimated to the service. BlueHost also uses industry-standard cPanel, and can teach you important skills that will help you going forward with your website.
- Special offers. Like any good hosting company, BlueHost has frequent special offers for discounts on their various hosting services. Check out their sister companies as well and see if you can’t get some good deals.
- Customer Support. Making sure your customers have the support they need is one of the most important factors for a good web hosting company. Especially when you’re just starting out, the support resources can make or break your hosting experience. BlueHost offers 24/7 phone support as well as live chat support.
- Money Back Guarantee. BlueHost offers a 30-day money back guarantee for their services. If you cancel your hosting service within 30 days you receive a full refund on the hosting services. There is some fine print though, so it’s a good idea to check it out on their website.
- Big-name resources. Being one of the big guys means BlueHost has enough resources at their disposal to really focus on customer satisfaction. A good web hosting company is only as good as their customers are satisfied, so this is an important factor.
- As I stated before, BlueHost uses the industry-standard cPanel interface, and offers an extensive knowledge base for new users. The cPanel interface is widely known for its ease-of-use, and these factors combine to make BlueHost very user-friendly. A really attractive quality for newer developers of business owners looking to expand online.
- Excellent service. BlueHost has spent 15 years sharpening their skills to bring you the best web hosting services possible. There have been some bumps along the way, but their reputation as one of the leading web hosts rings true. Websites hosted with BlueHost are very fast, and the range of available features is very reasonable for the price range and structure.
Cons of BlueHost
Obviously, there must be something that BlueHost doesn’t do better. Here are a few areas where the competition tends to pull ahead of BlueHost a little bit:
- Although BlueHost offers excellent speeds for their price range and feature structure, some other services tend to outperform them in this category. BlueHost is, however, very honest about its services, and transparently provides accurate information on the specs of all of its servers and features.
- BlueHost has a reasonable pricing structure which tends to stack up favorably against its competitors, but it can sometimes fall short. Some plans and extended features are more expensive than similar concessions from their competition, and it seems almost like you’re paying for the support and brand recognition, rather than the features.
- Limited storage plans. Unlike most other hosting companies, BlueHost doesn’t offer unlimited data storage with its hosting plans. Although the rates are very reasonable, this is a glaring drawback compared to some other hosts with unlimited capabilities.
- Big-name problems. Having a recognizable brand can be a big advantage for the company; it attracts business and builds confidence in your potential clients and investors. That being said however, there are some problems associated with being a big company, as well. Being a big name can make you a target for cyberattacks, as we’ve seen in the past with BlueHost. This can also make a huge difference in the level of quality control and customer service quality.
For BlueHost, some of the disadvantages can seem like huge red flags, but overall, they are a solid hosting company whose robust model and wide range of resources and features make them an attractive option for a wide range of websites.
So next on our itinerary is to take a look at InMotion.
InMotion Hosting – Stability & Scalability
InMotion is another big-name brand, comparable to BlueHost. They’ve grown their customer base to over 300,000 domains since 2001, and they make extensive claims about having the best performance out of all the hosting companies.
That being said, a lot of these big-name companies can talk the big talk with their brand recognition, and then fall apart under serious scrutiny. Let’s take a look at what InMotion brings to the table before we see how the two companies compare side-by-side.
Pros of InMotion Hosting
- Customer service. InMotion puts a huge emphasis on their customer support for their marketing. They offer US-based support by phone, email, ticket, or live chat. Most of us have dealt with customer service, and we know how it can seem like companies don’t care. InMotion seems to be vehemently dedicated to dispelling this idea, however, and many satisfied customers happily report excellent service from their support venues.
- InMotion boasts a 99.926% average uptime. This is on the lower end of the best averages, but it is still a very good average. Their actual uptimes have sometimes performed better than this, as well. Another good standard to judge by is the Time to First Byte (TTFB). That is, how long it takes the server to respond after a request has been made by a visitor. InMotion has been tested with a basic WordPress website on a shared hosting plan around 0.528 seconds for TTFB.
- InMotion offers a 90-day money back guarantee, which is significantly longer than BlueHost’s 30-day guarantee. This can be the make-or-break factor for some clients, especially those looking to drop the fee for a whole year at once to save some money, without maximizing their risk factor.
- Special offers. Like many companies in the industry, InMotion has a host of special offers and free features available. It’s always a good idea to do some research into what each company is offering at the moment, to see if you can’t get a better deal somewhere else.
- Free data backups. Reliable data backups are a very important part of a good hosting service, as most people aren’t too keen to lose all of their data. The backups done by InMotion are free to retrieve, which is attractive compared to some other companies which charge to retrieve the backed up data.
- Free website migration. This is a big plus for people who find themselves jumping around a lot, or who might find themselves dissatisfied with the host company they’ve selected for their website. InMotion offers a free website transfer service with zero downtime for the site while they perform the transfer.
- Good support community. Being another big name in the industry, InMotion has a faithful community of clients and followers who form a robust knowledge and support base for anybody looking to get started with InMotion. InMotion is also one of the few truly independent brands in the industry, which allows them to really focus on their community of clients and their customer support satisfaction.
- Like BlueHost, InMotion uses the industry-standard cPanel for its interface. The control panel is easy to use, and there’s plenty of information and literature out there on how to use it effectively. InMotion also integrates the cPanel interface directly into your dashboard, meaning you won’t need separate login accounts for your cPanel and your billing.
- BBB accreditation. Unlike BlueHost, InMotion Hosting, Inc. has been accredited by the Better Business Bureau since 2003. They have an A+ rating, meaning they scored very high in terms of service performance and customer satisfaction.
Cons of InMotion Hosting
- Pricing structure. Finding the right service for the right price is the name of the game here. Nobody wants to be paying more than they need to be for a service which might not even be worth it. InMotion has very low advertised prices for its plans, but these are annual-plans where you would need to buy the whole year at once. They have affordable plans, but there are extensive limitations which I will discuss further below.
- Website limitations. The number of databases allowed on your website will determine which apps you can run and how your website will perform in general. The number of websites you can have on a single domain, as well, is an important selling point for many hosting services. InMotion, unfortunately, places strict limitations on these capabilities, limiting the number of websites and databases even with their more expensive plans.
- Brand focus. InMotion offers a wide range of services specialized for a variety of different website types. This can be good if you find something that fits your website perfectly, but it can also be a pain if you don’t quite know what you want. Even if you do know what you want, having the company spread its focus across so many service models can spell trouble for some clients who can get more specialized attention from a more focused company.
- Slow verification. InMotion takes a lot of care in its security, and requires phone verification for all new clients. There’s no option to instantly access your account, and it can take a long time to go through the process of verifying your identity. Some customer have even reported being required to send a picture of their ID. While this is a good thing for security, it can be a turnoff for many potential clients.
- Big name problems. Just like with BlueHost, InMotion is a well-known company with a large number of established clients. While this provides a number of distinct advantages, it can make certain aspects of dealing with the company into an unwarranted headache.
So as you can see, there’s a lot to look at between the two companies. Both have distinct advantages and disadvantages, and their performance and reputation are very comparable. So, how do we choose which one is right for us?
How do they stack up?
Deciding which hosting company is better can be a challenge. There are a lot of different points to cover and each company offers a vastly different range of services and special deals. It really depends on what you’re looking for, but if we want to take a closer look, e can break it down into three categories: functionality, support, and price.
Both websites boast impressive speed and uptime stats, unlimited disk space, free domain name for one year, and money back guarantees on their service. InMotion’s guarantee is three times as long as BlueHosts, though BlueHost boasts industry leading hardware and uptime.
Overall, BlueHost seems to perform marginally better, but the price difference and structure is what is really going to make or break this factor. BlueHost offers a free site building tool with templates, along with free Cloudfare CDN, and a myriad of discounts depending on who refers you to the service. InMotion also offers a range of free options with their discount hosting plan, including free building tools and templates, free migrations, free SSD storage, &c.
The unlimited bandwidth even on discount plans for InMotion makes it attractive in the low price range, although BlueHost arguably offers higher performance and support capabilities with their cheaper plans.
InMotion starts to pull ahead when you look at the more expensive plans, though, with the performance and feature upgrades tending to outmatch BlueHost’s as you go up in price.
The customer support and learning resources offered by a hosting company are some of the most important factors for a lot of customers. Even if you don’t plan on ever needing customer support, having knowledge and expertise available in case you run into trouble is an invaluable asset.
Both companies have extensive knowledge centers where new users can learn how to use their hosting services effectively, and both companies offer live chat support for their clients. While both companies offer phone support, only BlueHost offers this 24/7. On the other hand, InMotion also offers customer support through a ticket system or Skype calls.
InMotion is a bit smaller than BlueHost, and it shows in their dedication to customer satisfaction. While their features can seem a bit lacking by comparison, their customer support reputation is phenomenal. You would be hard pressed to find somebody who has been consistently disappointed by InMotion’s customer support options.
That being said, BlueHost’s 24/7 phone support can be very helpful for those customers who don’t want to go through an automated service or ticket system to receive support, and BlueHost’s team of support experts also has a very good reputation for resolving issues.
In the end, this will depend on how much support you need, and what kind. Both companies offer very reliable customer support that should be enough to keep you satisfied with your web hosting.
As you can see, both services offer a wide range of functions and support. These differences show some obvious advantages and disadvantages, one of the most important factors for most customers will be the price. How much does each service cost, and how do the prices compare?
- BlueHost offers Shared hosting starting at $3.95 per month, VPS hosting starting at $19.99 per month, and Dedicated server Hosting starting at $79.99 per month. Their range of options seems rather limited, but their plans are very versatile, and can be used effectively with a wide range of website models.
- For people just starting out, their shared plans are probably your best bet, and they start at $3.95 per month (normally $7.99) for a basic plan with limited SSD storage, subdomains, email storage, and no special offers or features. The plus plan is $5.95 per month (normally $10.99), and offers unlimited websites, SSD storage, subdomains, and email storage. The plus plan also has $200 in marketing offers available. The choice plus package is also $5.95 per month at the moment (normally $14.99), and offers all of the features unlimited with all of the extra packages and offers.
- InMotion offers an extremely wide range of differently priced options, designed to be tailored to whatever your website needs may be. Their plans range from $3.99 per month for basic shared business hosting, all the way up to their dedicated server plans which start at $95 per month
- Their shared business hosting, which is 50% off at the moment, comes with free SSD storage, one-click install with 400+ applications, and a free domain.
- They have specialized WordPress hosting starting at $4.99 per month. These plans are designed to be optimized for WordPress-based websites and provide excellent speeds and reliability. This is what you’re looking for if you’re looking to start a WordPress site.
- Another interesting option they have is the reseller package, which is specialized for those interested in reselling domains. These start at $13.99 per month, and allow you to host your own clients and resell domains with unlimited websites.
So as we can see, the price ranges for both services are very different. InMotion has a much more versatile structure, with specialized plans for WordPress or domain resale. BlueHost, on the other hand, offers unparalleled performance and a huge amount of resources for their clients to use to their advantage. BlueHost plans are also a tad cheaper.
In the end, it will depend on the type of website you want to make. People just starting out will probably prefer BlueHost for its simplicity, while more specialized clients will probably opt for InMotion due to its versatility and options.
The Verdict: InMotion or BlueHost?
Both hosting services have decades of reliable service under their belts, and neither has had any hugely major hiccups in their business. BlueHost is a bigger name, and while this can sometimes mean lackluster customer service and satisfaction, BlueHost really steps up to the plate when it comes to supporting their client base.
Performance, as well, is quite evenly matched, with InMotion only really becoming the more attractive option if you’re looking for a specialized plan. Customers looking at these two companies will probably end up being satisfied no matter what they go with, but it’s always a good idea to make an informed decision rather than a hasty one.
That being said, it will make a difference to think hard about the type of website you’re looking to design, and how you expect the various features of both services to work to your advantage. My recommendation is to look into both companies independently, maybe even talk to a representative, and see if you can’t find something that’s right for you.