Bluehost vs. InMotion
Today, we'll be looking at InMotion vs. Bluehost. Which one of these hosting providers is the best? We don't know, but we are willing to find out. So what do we know? We know that both InMotion and Bluehost have a certain reputation among users.
Bluehost is partly popular because of its partnership with WordPress (they are one of the three recommended hosting companies 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. On the surface, both Bluehost and InMotion are more or less evenly matched. Both are sufficiently popular, both have great and bad reviews on the internet, and both are more than decent hosting companies.
But you wouldn't be here if you wanted to know about a decent hosting company. 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 quite an 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 over 750 people working around the clock and over two million hosted websites, there are not many hosting companies doing as well business-wise as Bluehost. The fact that they are the number one hosting provider recommended by WordPress must also mean something.
Decent performance and great ease of use are some of the things that Bluehost tries to stand out for. 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.
InMotion is one of those few providers 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 hosting companies left that isn't owned by EIG, so they are independent, in that sense.
Let's get into the nitty-gritty of 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 hosting provider great is speed and reliability.
Bluehost Uptime vs. InMotion Uptime
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%. In an industry saturated with DDoS attacks and failing or subpar infrastructure, it is comforting to have a hosting service 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 shared hosting can provide over a long enough period of time.
Unfortunately, in spite of a 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 pretty little you can do about it. Of course, you can place a call to their customer support system anytime in hopes of getting your problems fixed.
Using the same methods, we also measured InMotion's 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 would be difficult to say bad things about 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 hosting provider that keeps your website up 99.95% of the time can affect conversion rates in a big way. Additionally, unlike with many other hosting services, 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.
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 do so. 40% of online shoppers won't make use of a site that consistently has speed problems.
Both Bluehost and InMotion don't have a good 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 461ms. 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 hosting providers available, but the good news is that the hosting service would probably make the top twenty. While not especially remarkable, an overall TTFB of 461mms is comfortably above average.
InMotion Speed Tests
InMotion recently developed a technology 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. 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 providers who clock great speeds, but once under load, things tend to find a way to go sideways.
Both hosting providers 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 faster.
Bluehost or InMotion for Ease of Use?
Not all hosting providers 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 hosting provider, and many would rather just opt for a hosting service that is easy to understand.
Bluehost Ease of use
Bluehost is really easy to use. They have a user-friendly panel that is based on cPanel but has been customized to be even 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.
- A 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 a click of a mouse. It is very easy to install and start-up WordPress too. People who are not interested in creating a WordPress website can call on the services of Weebly (this is a third-party Bluehost website builder tool that makes 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 WordPress users through every part of building their own websites. This feature includes WordPress installation, and you're even advised on 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 steps? 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 provider 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.
|Free SSL||One-click instal||One-click instal|
InMotion Ease of use
InMotion makes use of the Boldridge website builder which is really easy to navigate through. 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 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 done on it. They added new and helpful features like the Softaculous installer that gives you an easy route to installing as many as 400 apps. This includes content management systems like Joomla, Drupal, 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 PostgreSQL. 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 one.
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 hosting provider can be discouraging if, after migrating to its services, some flaws are discovered. Is the money refundable? Most hosting providers have a policy regarding this.
Bluehost Money-back Policy
Bluehost provides for a 30-days money-back guarantee policy. This means if payment is made for an annual plan, a maximum of 30-days is given to decide if you want to continue using Bluehost services. If you find the services unsatisfactory after 30-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, if the cancellation is made after 30-days, the initial cost 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 Money-back Policy
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 you purchase a shared business hosting plan, a 90-days full refund is guaranteed. This gives enough time to explore InMotion's services without any risk.
This service provided by InMotion hosting shows 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 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. So the customer support efficiency of a hosting provider is a good way to measure the quality of the service. Because, frankly, when things go wrong, who you gonna call?
Bluehost's Customer Support
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 a 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 its customer support into three departments, 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.
InMotion's Customer Support
Because our opinion is hardly enough, 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, InMotion 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 25-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 switching to a new provider.
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.
|Time to wait||3-5 minutes||1-2 minutes|
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 hosting providers 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 provider.
Bluehost has put effective measures into providing good security mostly by default which includes a free SSL certificate from Let's encrypt, and a domain privacy feature that keeps the 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 the provision of backups and protection from any form of external attack in cases where the site is hacked to enable its easy restoration. 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 that 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 such as free automatic backups. 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 attacks by protecting sites without interruption in traffic.
|Domain privacy||Free or $11.88/year||12.99|
|Backup||No or Codeguard||Free and automatic|
Both providers 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 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 of the hosting companies 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 $2.95 (although discounts can push the price down as low as $2.75. The renewal price is $7.99).
The second plan, which is the Plus plan costs $5.45 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 $5.45 initially but $14.99 upon renewal. It comes with all the features of the Plus plan but with Codeguard – 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 even a better deal on the three years plan paid in advance.
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 $3.99. 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.
|Bluehost Basic||InMotion Launch|
|Domain included||1 (included)||Yes(Free)|
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.
|Bluehost Plus||Bluehost Choice Plus||InMotion Power|
|Sitebackup||No||Codeguard basic||Daily (free)|
InMotion'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.
|Bluehost Pro||InMotion Pro|
|Sitebackup||Codeguard basic||Daily (free)|
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 hosting providers 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 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 hosting companies 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 providers.
- 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 hosting providers 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 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.