Today, we’ll be looking at Inmotion vs Bluehost. Which Web-host is the best? We don’t know, but we are willing to find out. So what do we know? We know that both Web-hosts have a certain reputation among users.
Bluehost is partly popular because of its partnership with WordPress (they are one of the three recommended Web-hosts by WordPress).
Inmotion Hosting, on the other hand, stands out with a wide variety of plans, great support and a tiny rare something called independence. (We’ll get back to that later). On the surface, both Web-hosts are more or less evenly matched. Both are sufficiently popular, both have great and bad reviews on the internet, and both are decent Web-hosts.
But you wouldn’t be here if you wanted to know about a decent Web-host. You’re here because you want to make the best choice. And we are here to help you.
Bluehost vs. InMotion Hosting Overview
The founders of BlueHost are Matt Heaton and Danny Ashworth and the company was founded in Provo Utah. Founded in 1996, Bluehost is probably a very old company (even when compared to giants such as HostGator). At least by web standards. The internet revolution didn’t properly kick off until at least the late 2010s. With a staff of 750 working around the clock and over two million hosted websites, there are not very many hosting companies doing as well business-wise as Bluehost.
The fact that they are the number one Web-host recommended by WordPress must also mean something, for sure. Decent performance and great ease of use are some of the things that Bluehost tries to stand out in. We’ll see shortly if they are as outstanding as they seem on the surface. Besides Bluehost, only two other hosts are recommended by WordPress, the second-best option being Siteground (feel free to check our Bluehost vs Siteground comparison) and Dreamhost (We also have an in-depth comparison between Bluehost and Dreamhost).
Inmotion was born roughly five years after the birth of Bluehost. That doesn’t mean they aren’t pretty old too. The company began operations in 2001 and hasn’t looked back since then. Hosting over 300,000 websites on their servers, Inmotion is also doing great numbers. Although not as successful as Bluehost, any host with 300,000 websites deserves respect. A lot of Web-hosts try to be cool and nerdy, but very few actually imbibe technological advancement or “snobbery” in their infrastructure.
Inmotion is one of those few Web-hosts that are so “snobbishly” high tech, and it is little wonder that several thousand websites have chosen their servers as home. Another thing that stands Inmotion out from the rest probably has little to do with their actual hosting performance and has all to do with their ownership. Inmotion is one of the few Web-hosting companies left that isn’t owned by EIG, so they are independent, in that sense. If the competitive nature of Capitalism is something that makes you sleep well at night, you should probably just pick Inmotion regardless of whatever we discover in our review of both Web-hosts.
The numbers are clear, really. Not that it matters one byte. Bluehost is far more popular than Inmotion. Is this something that we care about? No. Is this something that you should care about? No. Then why is there a section on it?
Let’s get into the nitty-gritty of Web-hosting. Performance. How quick are their servers and how reliable are they? These two important variables will be measured with loading speed and uptime. It goes without saying that one of the things that makes a Web-host good is great speed and reliability. For without that, it is possible that our entire civilization may just fall into chaos.
Bluehost Uptime vs InMotion Uptime
Where would we be without uptime? Probably down, in the gutters of time. Reliability is one of the products that Web-hosts sell, and the confidence that your website will be up come rain, come sunshine is the core of that product. It’s obvious that the more reliable Web-host is better than the less reliable one.
|2019 (up to date)||99.95%||99.8%|
To check out Bluehost’s uptime, we purchased a basic Bluehost shared hosting plan when we wrote our Bluehost Review. Over the course of our testing period, we recorded an uptime of 99.99% uptime. In an industry saturated with DDoS attacks and failing or subpar infrastructure, it is comforting to have a Web-host that can provide a negligible level of downtime each year.
This means that business or traffic won’t be lost as a result of your website being down because of failing servers – at least 99.99% of the time. That is as much as any Web-host can provide over a long enough period of time.
Unfortunately, in spite of great uptime, Bluehost fails to deliver in one critical sector. Bluehost doesn’t have an uptime guarantee like most of its alternatives. This means that if Bluehost stops doing a great job regarding uptime, there is precious little you can do about it. Of course, you can place a call to their customer support system, but how likely is it that they would all of a sudden get their act right because of the threats of one customer? Not very likely.
Using the same methods of infiltration, we also measured its Uptime when we did the research for our comprehensive InMotion Review. 99.95% might seem like a great percentage on a lot of things and it ordinarily would be difficult to say bad things about that such a high percentage. But that is exactly what we are going to say.
Over the course of a year, downtime minutes add up and having a Web-host that keeps your website up 99.95% of the time can affect conversion rates in a big way. Additionally, unlike with many Web-hosts, you cannot check for yourself the uptime of your site via service logs. You have to phone the technical support of Inmotion to actually confirm whether your site experienced downtime or not. However, unlike with Bluehost, there’s a path of redress.
Inmotion provides one of the best uptime guarantees that we’ve seen. Which is kind of ironic because of the kind of uptime that we recorded. In any case, if you’re on the Pro Plan or higher and you get an uptime lower than 99.99%, you get one free month of service. Amazing, right? Well, not entirely. Terms and conditions apply; downtime experienced because of external attacks or maintenance do not count. So you’re only entitled to compensation if Inmotion fails to provide the bare minimum uptime. Does that look like a fair deal? Not particularly, we don’t think so.
Nietzsche once said there are no facts, only interpretations. However, we do not see how the facts could even be remotely interpreted to favor Inmotion in this case. No matter how we look at it, Bluehost is far more reliable than Inmotion.
We are in a digital world, and people want to get things done faster than ever— and more than ever, they have the ability to. 40% of online shoppers won’t make use of a site that consistently has speed problems. Amazon would lose 160 million dollars if it loaded any slower. All these points to the fact that the speed of a Web-host is extremely important and a fast Web-host is better than one of average or unremarkable speed.
Both Web-hosts that we are looking at today don’t have a reputation when it comes to speed, but that doesn’t mean that we should give them a free pass, does it?
Bluehost Speed Tests
We monitored Bluehost’s speed for a while and measured an average response speed of 461mms. Bluehost, in the US, is much faster than that, even comparable to WP Engine (one of the fastest all-around Hosts). The only reason their average went this high is that we took response speeds from other locations into consideration. Like we said earlier, Bluehost probably wouldn’t make a top ten list of the fastest Web-hosts available, but the good news is that the hosting service would probably make top twenty. While not especially remarkable, an overall TTFB of 461mms is comfortably above average.
InMotion Speed Tests
Inmotion recently developed a technology (we told you that technology was Inmotion’s thing) called Max Speed Zones™ that is, in theory, supposed to deliver the same loading speed across the world.
We measured Inmotion’s response time and arrived at an average figure of 781mms. Were we impressed? No. Maybe this is because Inmotion only has datacenters in the US?
While Inmotion’s speed isn’t the worst on the market, it is decidedly stuck in the average zone. The loading speed of almost two seconds makes things even worse for Inmotion. Thankfully, Inmotion doesn’t get much worse under a lot of traffic, so that’s one positive to take from all this. This is important because there are a lot of Web-hosts who clock great speeds, but once under load things tend to find a way to go awry.
Both Web-hosts do not have remarkable speeds for sure. However, Bluehost is comfortably above average, while Inmotion is comfortably in the average zone. The data speaks for itself— Bluehost is the faster Web-host.
Bluehost or InMotion for Ease of Use?
Not all Web-hosts have the same level of usability, and some are easier to use than others. Users don’t want to waste time figuring out the backend of a Web-host, and many would rather just opt for a Web-host that is easy to understand.
Bluehost is really easy to use. They have a user-friendly panel that is based on cPanel but has been customized to be more user-friendly than the traditional cPanel interface. The layout is very easy to understand, and you just need to drag and drop to accomplish most tasks. Bluehost’s cPanel also has some novel features like My Sites, a feature that allows you manage your websites via the account you’ve logged into, Marketplace where you can find new add-ons, WordPress themes and professional services if you’re looking to purchase them. You can also access your domain manager from Domains, a feature that allows you to monitor the registration status of your domains, discover and register new domains, set up redirection, and update information.
Under an advanced section, the more complex commands are hidden but still available through the click of a mouse. It is very easy to install and start-up WordPress too. People who would rather not do that can call on the services of Weebly or Drupal (these are third-party Bluehost website builder tools that make Bluehost comparable to Wix for Ease of Use) to start with an easily customizable template.
Bluehost and WordPress users have something like an assistance highway prepared for them. Immediately after onboarding, Bluehost guides green WordPress users through every part of building their own websites. This feature includes WordPress installation, and you’re even told what sort of plugins to add to your site. In addition to this, Bluehost offers free domain names and SSL certificates with their shared hosting plans so beginners have fewer things to worry about.
Sign up process? Pretty easy too, with a simple two-page sign-up process. However, Bluehost doesn’t offer free site migrations. To migrate your website from another Webhost to Bluehost, you will be required to pay a one time fee of $149.99 that allows you to migrate up to five websites and 20 email accounts and other database files that may be needed.
Inmotion makes use of the Boldridge website builder which is really easy to navigate through. The builder is built right on top of WordPress so it is the best of both worlds. It also has an innovative staging area. A staging area is somewhere you can see the changes you have made on your website before going live. That way, you don’t affect a change that you wouldn’t like on your website. The website builder also brings drag and drop functionality to the CMS. What this means is that you can create and update your website without having to deal with coding— or have any knowledge of it whatsoever. This doesn’t stop you from exploring WordPress to its fullest extent, though. Users can still reach thousands of WordPress plugins. Inmotion also supports around 310 applications and over 200 templates. If this process sounds too tedious for you, you can contact Inmotion directly and can get your website built for you in two business days. Although the service isn’t free, it certainly wouldn’t cost you a fortune. Like Bluehost, Inmotion makes use of cPanel but with some serious customization work done on it. They added new and helpful features like the Softaculous installer that gives you an easy route to installing as many as four hundred apps. This includes content management systems like Joomla, Magneto, and WordPress. Cron jobs, a unique feature of Inmotion’s cPanel, allows a user to create scripts that can perform repetitive work. This feature is probably of better use to web developers. Users of Inmotion also have access to multiple databases like MySQL and PostgressQL. They also have the opportunity to manage site files via a command line. So basically, Inmotion’s cPanel isn’t just optimized for beginners. It also has a lot of advanced features for users with more programming knowledge. InMotion provides free site migration but it takes about 1-4 days— however, if you want your migration to be at the top of the queue, you can pay for a premium migration.
Both Bluehost and Inmotion make use of cPanel, which is great. But Inmotion edges this one because of more functionality and flexibility. The fact that they have a proprietary website builder is also important.
Making use of a Web-host can be discouraging once, after migrating to its services, some flaws are discovered. However, the main issue here is in respect to cases where you want to cancel bought services after payment is made for months or years in advance as the case may be. Is the money refundable? Most web hosts have a policy regarding this.
Bluehost provides for 30-days money-back guarantee policy. This means if payment is made for an annual plan, a maximum of thirty days is given to decide if you want to continue using Bluehost services. If you find the services unsatisfactory after thirty days a refund will be granted under three conditions. The first, is that you can only get refunds on the web hosting cost, not on other domain products or add-ons. Secondly, cancellation made after thirty days will not be refunded. Thirdly, since the domains given by Bluehost is not free, a fee of $15.99 will be deducted if a free domain name is received.
It is important to be familiar with these conditions before signing up with Bluehost.
InMotion Hosting has a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you are purchasing a VPS, dedicated or a reseller hosting package on a monthly basis then a refund is assured within your first 30 days. However, if the purchase is that of a shared business hosting plan a 90-days full refund is guaranteed. This gives enough time to explore the services of the web host without any risk.
This service provided by InMotion hosting hows that they have a level of confidence in their services.
Since Bluehost money-back policy features a maximum of 30 days and that of InMotion host provides for a maximum of 90 days, it is clear that InMotion hosting wins this round.
InMotion Hosting vs. Bluehost for Customer Support and Reliability
Even the most seasoned website developers need help sometimes. There is little chance that a user would become so self-sufficient that they would never have a need for the customer support service of a Web-host. So the customer support efficiency of a Web-host is a good way to measure the quality of a Web-host. Because, frankly, when things go wrong, who you gonna call?
Bluehost offers basically everything regarding customer support from 24/7 live chat/phone support to a very up to date knowledge base. But the availability of these different channels doesn’t mean much if it is difficult to get a hold of a live rep, or if the help provided isn’t of high quality. So we tried out their live chat channel, and we had negligible wait time. It was about 3-5 minutes each time we connected. The reps that we spoke to were knowledgeable, although it was clear that they weren’t exactly technical experts. The delay time between questions that do not need cross-checking made that obvious to us.
Bluehost divides their customer support into three, which we think is quite efficient. The Sales team takes care of complaints/questions about general inquiries which are mostly from potential customers or people new to Bluehost. The Technical support team takes care of support related questions while the Account management team deals with questions concerning billing, terms and conditions and account verifications.
Because our opinion is hardly enough when it comes to deciding the quality of a Web-host’s customer support, in addition to trying out Inmotion’s customer service for ourselves, we went online to read trusted reviews. To avoid exaggerating, let’s just say we liked what we read. Like Bluehost, Imotion provides the important customer support channels and some more; knowledgebase for self-support, ticket service (Bluehost doesn’t have this), live chat and phone service. All new Inmotion users get a free one-time twenty-five-minute consultation session with an Inmotion representative. This representative gets you started on your hosting plan, thereby limiting that feeling of confusion that one often gets after purchasing a new hosting plan.
There is also premium support for those with more expensive plans. Inmotion’s knowledgebase is useful because there is a community forum where you can post questions and they will be answered by other users or, if you’re lucky, by Inmotion employees who periodically go through the message board. Inmotion’s wait time is shorter than Bluehost’s. Wait time rarely exceeded one minute and we were attended to by representatives who knew everything themselves. Unlike with Bluehost, representatives answered our questions quickly. However, for people very concerned with the aesthetics of things, we don’t think Inmotion’s platform would be satisfactory. For a company that boasts of high-tech gear, Inmotion’s live chat platform is terribly outdated.
While we did not have any problems, Inmotion customer support was easier to contact and we got more complete Information from live support than we did with Bluehost customer support. Inmotion wins this one for us.
It is the general assumption that most web hosts have adequate security measures put in place for easy access and usage for customers. It is, however, a fact some are more effective than others which makes security infrastructure an important tool of consideration in choosing a satisfactory web host. However, you need not bother to go through pages of reviews we are here to help.
Bluehost has put effective measures into providing good security mostly by default which includes free SSL certificate from Let’s encrypt, and a domain privacy feature that keeps private information used in signing up for domain private. This feature helps to prevent hackers from obtaining and using customer’s private and sensitive information for mischievous attacks.
Bluehost offers the added security feature of Codeguard for provision of backups and protection from any form of external attack in cases where the site is hacked to enable easy restoration of information. A security tool from Google called Postini is featured in Bluehost security for email spam protection.
Inmotion host, on the other hand, has its own security feature that helps with safeguarding websites from unforeseen attacks. Inmotion host provides for some features like free SSL through cPanel which is signed by Comodo, one of the most trusted SSL brands in the industry. The convenience in activating the free SSL cannot be overstated— new users are spared the struggle of getting their own SSL certificate. Hack protection is put in place using Patchman, an internal tool which searches vulnerabilities on websites and fixes it before any sort of hack occurs.
Inmotion host helps in relieving the stress of manually backing up data by providing security features free automatic backup. Inmotion hosting has DDoS protection provided by Corero, one of the leading brands in cybersecurity and has been built into infrastructure to inspect traffic and block attack by protecting sites without interruption in consumer traffic.
Both Web-hosts have great security infrastructure, but Bluehost Codeguard was more impressive for us.
Plans & Pricing
One of the most, or if not the most, important things that people consider when purchasing anything is the price. Why should it be any different with a Web-hosting plan? It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that cheaper is always better— but that is rarely ever true. Of course, no one wants a hole in their pocket, but the fact that remains that you have to pay for value. The difference, then, is in the value offered for the price. Dollar to dollar, which deal holds more value?
Bluehost has a lot of plans, but we are going to be particularly looking at the shared hosting plans they offer. Why their shared hosting plans? Because most websites on the internet are hosted on shared servers, and most people are going to buy a shared hosting plan, anyway. And the voice of the people is the voice of God.
Bluehost has four shared hosting plans. which is good news for people who are looking to scale or grow. Most Web-hosts offer only three shared hosting plans. We are glad to see this sort of nuanced approach to pricing structure.
The first plan is the Basic plan which goes for $3.95 (although discounts can push the price down as low as $2.75. The renewal price is $7.99). It comes with the following:
The second plan, which is the Plus plan costs $5.95 initially, and $10.99 for renewal. It comes with all the features of the basic plan plus unlimited websites, unlimited SSD storage, unmetered bandwidth, free SSL certificate, unlimited domains, unlimited parked and sub-domains, and standard performance.
The third plan is the Choice plus plan and it costs $5.95 initially but $14.99 upon renewal. It comes with all the features of the Plus plan but with Siteguard – Basic and domain privacy.
Bluehost’s highest shared hosting plan is the Pro plan. It’s also the most expensive too at $13.95 and $23.99 for renewal. It comes with all the features of the Choice-Plus plan and what Bluehost calls high performance. We presume this means a higher capacity for visitors and better speed. In any case, it represents a very unjustifiable hike in price. The deal that we would recommend is the Choice-plus plan. It has almost everything you would want in a shared hosting plan, and it doesn’t cost a lot if you pay for an annual plan or better still three years in advance.
|SSD Storage||50 GB||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Backup||No||No||CodeGuard Basic||CodeGuard Basic|
|Spam Prevention||No||Spam Experts||Spam Experts||2x Spam Experts|
Bluehost’s deals, if one doesn’t renewal prices into account, sound a bit too good to be true. That’s why we have to look at their renewal fees. In addition to that, the fact that you only qualify for those sweet discount prices if you pay for an annual plan makes us a bit wary. But the value provided for these plans, most of them unlimited, cheers us up. In terms of getting great deals/best prices, it hardly gets better than Bluehost’s shared hosting plans.
InMotion Hosting Pricing
Inmotion has three basic shared hosting plans which are the Launch, Power, and Pro plans. The Launch plan costs $7.99 (however, the price can be brought lower if coupon codes are used/or if you purchase annual plans). Some of the features of this plan include a free domain, two websites, unlimited disk space, unlimited bandwidth, free SSL certificate, and unlimited email. The Launch plan has the same renewal price with Bluehost’s basic plan but packs better value. To be fair to Bluehost, though, the Basic plan has a way lower initial price than the Launch plan. Inmotion’s second plan is the Power plan and it comes with six websites, free domain, unlimited disk space, unlimited email, and a free SSL certificate. This plan costs $9.99 per month (although you can pay $8.49 if you are paying for a two-year plan). Compared to the Choice-plus and Plus plan, the Power plan comes second. The fact that Bluehost second-tier plans have unlimited websites while Inmotion’s doesn’t, is perhaps the most deciding factor. However, Inmotion can be comforted in the fact that their plan costs less.
Inmotion’s most expensive plan (although decidedly less expensive than Bluehost’s most expensive plan) is the Pro plan. It costs $15.99 ($18.99 for a single month, $15.80 for six months, and $14.19 for one year) and comes with a free domain, unlimited websites, unlimited disk space, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited email, and 4× the power and capacity of the Launch plan. Strictly speaking in terms. of value, Bluehost’s most expensive plan packs more quality than Inmotion’s Pro plan. However, the distance in price is too high to be negligible, and in terms of value per dollar, Inmotion’s plan is better.
Inmotion cheapest and most expensive shared hosting plans are better than their Bluehost counterparts, but these are not the plans that most people flock too. The medium plans are perhaps the most subscribed to, and here Bluehost plans are far superior to Inmotion. In any case, Bluehost deals have the best value, so they win this round too.
Unfortunately, all the aspects of hosting cannot be covered under dedicated categories. Some Web-hosts have features that simply cannot be categorized, and in the same vein, they have cons that cannot be categorized.
- Bluehost has a special customer support feature called Blue flash. Ran by WordPress experts, It is for WordPress users who need help with plugins, themes, and templates.
- In case you need to manage your domains through them, Bluehost has a domain manager
- One-click installations for over 100+ apps from MOJO
- Bluehost supports both MySQL and PostgreSQL databases and you can use either phpMyAdmin, Remote MySQL, or phpPgAdmin to manage your databases.
- Bluehost has CDN access
- Bluehost is an officially recommended web host by WordPress
- Bluehost supports the use of PHP PEAR packages, Perl modules, Cron jobs, and Apache handlers.
- Bluehost offers the services of website builders like Drupal and Weebly
- Bluehost offers hotlink protection to protect your data
- $200 Marketing Offers
- Automatic WordPress Plugin and Theme Updates
- A SmartWall threat defense solution that is a product of Inmotion’s partnership with Corero. This system is put in place mainly to stop DDoS attacks. The tool identifies, mitigates, and eliminates DDoS threats in real-time.
- Inmotion provides free site migration
- BoldGrid staging area allows you to see first hand the effects of the changes that you might want to make to your website. This ensures that users make little or no mistakes.
- Inmotion provides new users with free site migration
- Users get a specifically tailored NGINX server optimized for WordPress performance.
- Inmotion provides its own catching tool to enhance WordPress performance
- Inmotion is one of the few Web-hosts that has invested heavily in eco-friendly and ever-green datacenters. Their Datacenter in Los Angeles is one of the world’s earliest green datacenters.
- Inmotion has a proprietary technology called MaxSpeed Zone. It is only available to VPS and business class users. It allows you to choose the datacenter to use manually.
- Inmotion makes use of SSD drives
- $75 – $100 Google Adwords Credit
It is difficult to compare extra features because of their different nature. A useful guide, though, is to pay more attention to the feature that will make the work of users easier. Bluehost special customer feature called Blue flash comes to mind. Bluehost wins this one for us.
Major Differences between InMotion Hosting and Bluehost
Just to recap, let’s look at the major differences between these two Web-hosts.
- Inmotion has free site migration, while Bluehost doesn’t.
- Inmotion has a 90-day Money-back guarantee while Bluehost’s is 30-days
- Inmotion provides free private SSL certificate while Bluehost doesn’t
- Bluehost is recommended by WordPress, while Inmotion isn’t.
- Bluehost has guided WordPress creation protocol, while Inmotion doesn’t.
Bluehost vs InMotion Hosting: Our Pick
This was a close one as both Web-hosts acquainted themselves well. In fact, we could be bold enough to say that the final verdict could have gone either way. According to our findings and the data we have, though, Bluehost has better performance, security, and pricing than Inmotion. Inmotion isn’t so bad either, having better customer support and money-back guarantee than Bluehost.
Unfortunately, in the end, we need to have a winner and in the case of Bluehost vs. InMotion, Bluehost comes out the winner.