Bluehost vs. InMotion Hosting Comparison and Review 2020
Bluehost and InMotion Hosting are both US-based providers with excellent site loading speeds for audiences in North America and Western Europe. That said, one of the two has a slight advantage in terms of global performance, and its plans are also cheaper. Read on to find out which.
Decades after they were founded, InMotion Hosting and Bluehost continue to thrive in a highly competitive industry. The two companies may be at the forefront of affordable web hosting, but is either of them good enough to be considered a quality provider? Let’s find out.
If you’re a beginner looking for an easy-to-use, budget-friendly option, Bluehost makes more sense. InMotion trails behind Bluehost in both pricing and performance, but while it lacks some of the details that really make Bluehost shine, it does have its own advantages.
For example, InMotion is a great choice for North American audiences, while Bluehost is likely to offer better global performance. InMotion’s dashboard can be quite confusing for someone who doesn’t have a lot of experience with hosting. But on the other hand, Bluehost’s entry-level plans don’t include automatic backups, as is the case with its rival.
Both hosting providers have their strengths and weaknesses. You just need to dig a little deeper to uncover them. I did exactly that, but also took them for a test drive to see how they behave in real-life conditions.
After an extensive round of benchmarks, a winner emerged in the InMotion vs. Bluehost match-up. One of the services offered excellent value and performance, while the other struggled with both. Read on to find out more.
When experts discuss web hosts, one of the most important (and contentious) aspects of settling a dispute between two services is performance. The reason is simple – in the website industry, speed equals money.
The faster your website is, the more likely it is to rank higher in Google’s search engine results pages or SERPs. For online stores, this often translates into better conversions and improved sales.
Alternatively, when your website is slow, visitors are likely to bounce back to the search engine and look for your competitors. The more this happens, i.e. the higher your bounce rate, the more likely it is that search engines will rank you lower.
It’s a vicious circle you should avoid at all costs, because the lower your rank is, the less traffic you get. In the performance department, InMotion Hosting vs Bluehost was a close call.
To figure out whether InMotion Hosting or Bluehost is better in terms of page loading speeds, I took things to the next level. I bought the cheapest hosting plan on both and used it to host the same exact website. Over the course of several months, I ran speed tests on both Bluehost and InMotion Hosting.
Below, you can read all about the test results for the two hosts.
Bluehost vs. InMotion Hosting: Server Infrastructure
Bluehost and InMotion Hosting have a similar range of services, which include shared hosting, managed WordPress plans, and dedicated solutions. InMotion is slightly more versatile, with its reseller, managed VPS, and on-demand private cloud, but not a lot of website owners opt for these solutions due to the high price. Private clouds, in particular, are quite expensive and usually only used by big companies. You can learn more about private clouds vs public clouds by reading our guide on the topic.
In terms of server infrastructure, there are several common points between the shared hosting servers of the two hosts. Both run a custom LAMP stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP) with some form of Nginx caching. The storage is entirely SSD-based on both ends. However, this is where the similarities end.
On the one hand, InMotion’s UltraStack (they even gave it a name) features a PHP-FPM handler and Brotli compression. The handler greatly improves page loading speeds for PHP-based websites, such as those built with WordPress. Brotli is an algorithm that boosts website performance for first-time visitors, but it’s not compatible with all browsers.
For InMotion, Nginx is set up as a reverse proxy, whereas Bluehost also has Varnish. Both configurations are known to deliver substantial speed improvements to websites, but Varnish is considered to be the best-in-class proxy solution, which is why Bluehost’s performance is slightly better.
More importantly, Bluehost has Cloudflare’s Content Delivery Network (CDN) pre-configured and built-in the dashboard for ease of use. With InMotion, you’d have to do the complicated setup yourself. There’s a step-by-step guide for it, but it will take some time.
But enough talk. Let’s see some real-life performance from the two hosts.
Full Page Load Time
Fully loaded time is the measurement to look out for since it describes how much time it takes for your website to respond when someone visits it. I wanted to see what the baseline performance was from each server, so no CDNs were turned on for these tests.
Here’s how they did:
As you can tell, both websites were accessed from a US location and they loaded in roughly one second, which is good news. Studies show that you can expect almost half of your visitors to leave your page if it takes more than three seconds to load.
Keep in mind that the hosts’ data centers are all US-based, so it’s only natural that they’d load pretty quickly for anyone in North America. Visitors from more remote regions, such as Southeast Asia or Australia are likely to experience increased latency when trying to load your website.
This is where CDNs come in – these services deliver a pre-loaded version of your website from a location closer to your audience, while the origin server (where your website is actually hosted) sends the rest of the content. For good worldwide performance, turn that CDN bad boy on. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done with InMotion Hosting.
I did not expect the Bluehost vs InMotion Hosting rivalry to be so close in terms of page loading speeds, but there it is. If and when your traffic increases, both companies have a wide range of VPS and dedicated plans you can upgrade to keep up with the demand.
Time to First Byte (TTFB)
While TTFB doesn’t take the spotlight like full load time, it can be used to gather more information in terms of what you can do to improve your user experience. If your website has an unusually high TTFB, this can be an indication of poor server performance. Aside from slowing down your website, this problem can lead to you losing rank in SERPs.
So, how long does it take for your InMotion Hosting or Bluehost page to be sent to your visitors? In Google’s PageSpeed Insights, my Bluehost test site achieved a nearly perfect score of 99. That’s super-fast.
It would be easy to dismiss this as a one-time occurrence if not for the fact that we got the exact same results when comparing Bluehost to Pressable recently. These results also match the ones we observed while conducting tests for many of our previous comparisons, which leads us to believe that Bluehost websites are very consistent when it comes to TTFB.
With a score of 97, InMotion Hosting wasn’t that far behind. While time to interactive was 0.3 seconds better than Bluehost’s, the speed index was nearly 2 seconds worse. That’s worrisome. InMotion still comes out ahead of many competitors in this area, including the main rival DreamHost, but the TTFB isn't quite as good compared to that of Bluehost.
Together with the full-page loading time, TTFB indicates that your website is likely to load faster on Bluehost’s servers, rather than on InMotion’s. We’re starting to see some differences.
Load Impact Test
So far, I’ve been testing Bluehost’s and InMotion’s performance in terms of how their servers respond to a single user trying to access the test site. In real-life situations, however, your starter website is likely to have dozens, even hundreds of visitors at a time. It really depends on how useful and/or viral your content is.
It’s important to know whether your web host can handle traffic spikes, because you don’t want your site to slow down or, worse yet, become unavailable, precisely when more people are using it. This is where the load impact test comes in – it shows us how well InMotion Hosting and Bluehost handle concurrent visitors.
The simulation indicates that your InMotion website is likely to slow down quite a bit when accessed by 200 people at the same time. Before the site loaded in 1.1 seconds for one person. Now, it takes no less than 4 seconds.
How did Bluehost do? Well, it also slowed down, but it didn’t quite reach the 4-second mark. On average, the Bluehost site took 3.7 seconds to load this time around. Both servers were highly responsive during performance benchmarks, which leads me to believe 200 concurrent visitors would be a bit beyond what an entry-level shared hosting plan can handle.
Again, the company continues to be very consistent with these results, with the load impact time being very similar to what we saw during our Bluehost vs. WordPress comparison.
Still, given that I was using the cheapest shared hosting plan, the two providers did well under pressure. It’s not excellent, since times exceeded 3 seconds. However, when you regularly have this many concurrent visitors, it’s definitely time to upgrade to a higher-tier plan.
InMotion Hosting and Bluehost promise 99.9% uptime, but neither company has a service-level agreement to legally hold them to this standard. The only exception is InMotion’s Pro accounts, which come with a contractual 99.999% guarantee.
What this guarantee means is that you can apply to receive one month’s worth of hosting credit if your website is down for more than 0.001% of the time during a month. How much is that? Roughly 40 minutes, which is quite a bit. You wouldn’t want your website to be down for nearly an hour at any time. Fortunately, there’s no indication that this would ever be the case.
The good news is that both companies delivered fantastic uptime during a five-month testing period. InMotion Hosting and Bluehost had an uptime of 99.98%, which exceeds their respective pledges. I do, however, wish they’d both include their promise in the SLA. One months’ worth of hosting credit in case of excessive downtime isn’t that high of an ask.
Bluehost vs. InMotion Hosting: Which Host Has Better Performance?
Website performance is determined by numerous factors, many of which are out of your hands. The truth is that if you want to host a simple website with just a couple of pages, a contact form, and a small collection of relevant photos, it’s hard to distinguish a clear winner between InMotion Hosting vs Bluehost.
Given how much the company emphasizes its UltraStack, I was half expecting InMotion to have a sweeping victory. However, the benchmarks tell a different story. For US servers, there was just 0.1 second of a difference (in Bluehost’s favor) between page loading speeds.
That said, there will be a difference for more complex websites, i.e. if you have a lot of scripts running, or if your platform experiences a lot of traffic. In these situations, InMotion is likely to run slower than Bluehost, since its pages took longer to load in my tests.
Pricing and Value
As was the case with performance, pricing is another tough call since both hosts have great value offers. The only way to find out whether InMotion Hosting or Bluehost is better is to look closer at the plans and see which fits your needs the best.
One thing to watch out for is renewals – the attractive headline price is a one-time deal for both companies. Once your initial term expires, you’ll have to pay the regular fee, which can be up to three times more expensive in some cases.
It's worth noting right off the bat that only one of these companies made it on our list of top 10 cheapest hosting providers of 2020 so we already had a good idea of who would come out on top in terms of pricing. However, we still wanted to give both providers an equal chance so we compared all their most important hosting plans currently available.
Bluehost Basic vs InMotion Lite: Which is Best for Starter Websites?
Increased competition in the hosting industry has led to an overall decrease in hosting prices, which is good news for people who want to create their first website, but don’t have an unlimited budget to do so.
Bluehost’s Basic plan comes with everything you need to host a starter website. At an excellent price of $2.95/month (with this special offer), you’ll want for nothing. It comes with no less than 50GB SSD storage, unmetered bandwidth, and a free SSL certificate.
50GB might not seem like much for a PC hard drive, but it’s well beyond what a simple website will ever need. For scale, the majority of WordPress websites are under 5GB. You need it to load fast, so it can’t be too big. The unlimited bandwidth is a great addition, as it means you won’t have to pay extra if your site becomes popular and there’s an inflow of traffic.
Furthermore, Bluehost also includes 5 email accounts so you can create several customized addresses with your custom @ domain. The mailboxes are quite small on the Basic, so I’d recommend upgrading to the next plan if you really need this feature.
The Differences Between InMotion and Bluehost Shared
How does this compare to InMotion Hosting’s Lite? At $2.49, the starter price is a bit lower, but the savings are not that significant to be worthwhile. As is the case with Bluehost, you get a free SSL certificate, there’s no cap on bandwidth, and you can use the plan to host just one website.
Unlike Bluehost, however, InMotion gives you just 10GB of SSD space and just one email address. While 10GB might be enough for a simple website, one email address is definitely not enough. Aside from contact/info @ yourdomain.com, you’ll need at least several other addresses for yourself and/or your team.
InMotion does give you access to its proprietary Website Creator. It’s a powerful drag-and-drop editor you can use to create a custom site for yourself if you don’t want to rely on a Content Management System (CMS) like WordPress. But here’s a useful tip: if you’re a beginner, you should absolutely use WordPress.
The real advantage of InMotion’s side is automatic backups. Using cPanel’s backup manager, you can create and download to your local computer as many backups of the site as you want. If disaster strikes, it’s easy to recover your work.
On renewal, you’ll have to pay $7.49 with InMotion, and $7.99 with Bluehost, which is, yet again, too small of a difference to matter.
Bluehost Plus vs. InMotion Launch
This is where Bluehost raises the bar considerably with unlimited SSD storage, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited domains, and unlimited email accounts. On the other hand, while InMotion does offer unlimited bandwidth, the plan comes with just 50GB SSD, 10 email accounts, and no more than two websites. As is the case with the starter plans, a free SSL cert is included with both companies.
At $4.95/month, Bluehost’s Plus definitely offers more value than InMotion’s Launch, which is $4.99. Both hosts now include some form of marketing credit, which you can use to advertise your business through pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns. InMotion gives you $150 worth of credit, while Bluehost goes a bit higher at $200.
That said, InMotion Hosting is a bit cheaper on renewal, $9.99, while Bluehost jumps straight to $14.99. Over a long period of time, this can make a considerable difference, so which of these two is best comes down to your needs.
If you want the ability to host more than 10 websites, you should definitely go with Bluehost. Alternatively, if you want to publish one, maybe two websites at most, InMotion might be better.
Bluehost Choice Plus vs. InMotion Power
Bluehost’s Choice Plus plan is one of the most advantageous shared hosting offers you’ll come across. Don’t get me wrong: InMotion really steps up its game with its Power plan, yet it continues to lack Bluehost’s edge. But in terms of pricing, Choice Plus is $5.45 per month, while InMotion’s Power is $7.99.
Aside from what you get with the regular Plus, Bluehost adds domain privacy and protection, as well as one year of free automated backups. By comparison, InMotion continues to lag behind in terms of storage (100GB) and email accounts (50 aliases). To be completely honest, you’re highly unlikely to reach either limit unless you’re freelance dev or agency.
On renewal, Bluehost’s Choice Plus will cost you $14.99, while InMotion’s Power is $13.99. Since InMotion is actually cheaper than Bluehost on renewal, there’s a good chance you can make up for the difference in the initial price if you use the service for a long enough period of time.
Bluehost Pro vs. InMotion Pro
These are the top-tier shared hosting plans, the ones that benefit from premium resources and features. Fair warning, though, they do cost a pretty penny. On Bluehost’s side, you’ll have to pay $13.95/month for the initial term, while InMotion asks for $12.99.
What do you get? In Bluehost’s corner, we have everything that comes with Choice Plus, plus lifetime automatic backups. What’s more, you get a free dedicated IP and access to the anti-spam filter for two separate domains. Accounts are also hosted on special servers with fewer users, which means there’s more room for your website to grow.
If you want a high-performance shared hosting plan, Bluehost’s Pro customers are hosted on underloaded servers, which means plenty of room for your website to grow. The free dedicated IP is the icing on top of the cake, as it ensures improved security for your website.
Over on InMotion’s side, storage is increased to 200GB and you can host up to 100 websites. You can finally create as many email aliases as you want and you benefit from the pro-level SLA, which comes with a 99.99% uptime guarantee. Server-wide RAM has been upgraded to 1GB per user, which is substantial and will likely show in your website’s performance.
Bluehost’s Pro will renew at $23.99 per month, while InMotion’s Pro is $22.99.
Before we move on to the managed WordPress plan we would like to recommend looking into our top 10 best shared hosting providers list to get an idea of how Bluehost and InMotion stack up against other companies in this department.
Bluehost vs. InMotion: Which is Best for Managed WordPress?
What if you want one or more WordPress websites and you’d like some help managing them? Fortunately, both InMotion Hosting and Bluehost have dedicated WordPress hosting that comes with automated daily backups and automatic WordPress (core and plugin) updates.
InMotion’s highest tier plan, the WP-3000S includes 150GB SSD storage, 1GB RAM, enough bandwidth for 125,000 unique monthly visits, unlimited email accounts, and a built-in CDN. On the other hand, Bluehost’s Build has 4GB RAM per account, unlimited storage, no traffic limits, and access to the platform’s Marketing Center.
While you do get some marketing tools with InMotion, it doesn’t compare to the comprehensive dashboard offered by Bluehost. The latter lets you see traffic sources down to keyword selection, it gives you content improvement recommendations, and more. It’s a great tool to boost SEO to your WordPress sites, which doesn’t really have an equivalent on the side of InMotion.
Overall, Bluehost is a much better choice for managed WordPress hosting. That said, Bluehost is more expensive, as its plans start at $19.95 per month with renewal at $29.99, while InMotion’s highest-tier subscription is $10.99 for the initial term and $13.99 on renewal.
Which Is Cheaper, InMotion Hosting or Bluehost?
Bluehost and InMotion Hosting are neck and neck in terms of pricing, so it really comes down to the features your website needs. Bluehost’s plans offer unlimited storage early on, so if you expect disk space or resources to be a problem, you’re definitely getting more value out of it.
|Shared Hosting||$2.95 - $13.95||$2.49 - $12.99|
|WordPress Hosting||$9.95 - $49.95||$6.99 - $84.99|
|Cloud Hosting||Not Available||$17.99 - $94.94|
|VPS Hosting||$18.99 - $59.99||$5.00 - $160|
|Dedicated Hosting||$79.99 - $119.99||$99 - $539.99|
|eCommerce Hosting||$6.95 - $12.95||Not Available|
|Reseller Hosting||$19.99 - $45.99||$26.59 - $110.54|
Please note that the above prices are listed with the on-going 63% discount from Bluehost and the 67% discount from InMotion. Once the promotion ends, the prices are likely to go up for future customers.
InMotion Hosting might lack the edge that Bluehost has in terms of resources and performance, but it does offer automatic backups and access to its proprietary website builder on all plans. Unlike other free builders, you can export your site and transfer it to any other cPanel platform any time you want.
Ease of Use
Is it easier to build a website with Bluehost or InMotion Hosting? Since I had to set up my test site on both, I got a pretty good idea of what it means to navigate their individual dashboards.
InMotion Takes Time to Get Used To
From the get-go, InMotion bombards you with dozens of icons. It’s like opening my early 2000s PC – shortcuts all over the desktop. My advice? Take each option one at a time and figure out what it does. There’s no easier way, unfortunately. I got the hang of it, but someone who is completely new to hosting will likely be overwhelmed.
When you log into InMotion’s cPanel interface, things get even more cluttered. You can use the top-most menu to navigate around without having to scroll through everything, but finding the right sections is still a pain.
Bluehost Is Great from the Start
On the other hand, Bluehost’s dashboard is designed with a mind to help those who have never created a website before. Its page structure is clear and streamlined, and there’s even a tutorial to help you create and publish your website. It might seem trivial, but these kinds of tips are invaluable for new users.
The downside with Bluehost is that you don’t have a builder included aside from support for the free version of Weebly. You can, however, also install WordPress and, if its interface is still a bit complicated, also add a drag-and-drop plugin to help you out (i.e. Elementor). Once your website is ready, Bluehost offers a few tips on what to do to improve its performance and SEO.
Since InMotion Hosting takes some getting used to, there’s no doubt that Bluehost is the winner here. Beginners are likely to find it more accessible, while experienced users won’t be annoyed by it. What more can you ask for?
Below, you’ll find a list of the most crucial InMotion Hosting and Bluehost features, so you can compare them side by side. The truth is that Bluehost’s shared hosting plans offer more value overall. Still, InMotion can be a great choice for those who want to build their website without the use of CMS like WordPress.
Here’s what you can expect from Bluehost:
- Free domain name if you purchase at least one year of hosting,
- Unlimited SSD storage, websites, email, bandwidth, and domain on all plans with the exception of the entry-level one,
- Varnish caching pre-enabled on all plans,
- Free, auto-renew SSL certificates,
- Automatic backups on higher-tier plans,
- $200 worth of marketing credits on most plans,
- Integrated Cloudflare CDN,
- Advanced spam filtering from Spam Experts on most plans,
- Step-by-step tutorial for building and launching your first website.
You can learn more about each of these features by checking out our extensive Bluehost review.
And this is what you get with InMotion Hosting:
- Free domain name when purchasing at least 12 months of hosting,
- Unlimited bandwidth on all plans, limited disk space (10 to 200GB SSD), and unlimited email aliases only on the highest-tier plan (1 to 50 otherwise),
- Free auto-renew SSL certs,
- $150 worth of marketing credits on most plans,
- Automatic backups on all plans,
- Website builder on all plans,
- Easy Google Aps integration.
Given that both hosts’ data centers are US-based, visitors from more remote regions will experience increased latency when trying to load your website. This is where the CDN comes in.
With InMotion Hosting, you’ll have to configure a CDN yourself, while Bluehost has one built into the dashboard. All you have to do is click on your Bluehost site, go to Performance, and then select on Cloudflare. It’s that easy.
Overall, Bluehost has more features than InMotion Hosting. Its only downside the lack of automated backups on entry-level plans.
InMotion Hosting and Bluehost have 24/7 customer support through live chat and phone. In addition to this, InMotion also has email and ticket channels, which I recommend using if your problems are more technical.
To compare the usefulness of each customer service platform, I’ve attempted several live chat conversations with both hosts. It’s not enough to claim you have expert support standing by, you have to actually deliver it.
Every time I tried the live chat option, I was put in touch with a live person in less than a couple of minutes. This was the case with both InMotion and Bluehost. My questions were answered in full and I was never pushed into buying additional services.
Most of my inquiries revolved around specific details about plans, i.e. how much RAM/CPU you get with each, whether database caching is available, and so on. When the solutions were a bit more complex, I also received a link to a knowledgebase article that provided more information alongside a step-by-step guide to solving it.
Advanced Tech Support
Both companies also have add-on support services. On Bluehost’s side, the service is called Blue Sky and it’s limited to WordPress. With InMotion, you can get access to IT professionals who will help you with a variety of issues, from custom server architectures to firewalls and more.
Both Blue Sky and InMotion’s Managed Hosting support are pricey, so I wouldn’t use them unless it’s absolutely necessary. Taken on an hourly basis, you can expect to pay up to $75/hour to get help from an InMotion expert. Bluehost is much cheaper, but its scope is also quite limited.
One area where InMotion dropped the ball is the reseller platform. There are a number of disappointed (real) customers whose main complaint is that their websites take up to 10 seconds to load. We’ve yet to hear a serious answer from InMotion on the topic, other than the standard “the problem is with your code.”
|24/7 Support||Via Phone||No|
InMotion Hosting vs Bluehost is too close a call when it came to customer service, so I’ll have to settle it with a draw. InMotion Hosting is one of our favorite Bluehost alternatives for advanced tech support. That's saying a lot given that quality customer service is one of Bluehost's main selling points. Still, for the purposes of hosting a small website, either company will do just fine.
Search Engine Optimization
A big part of any website’s Search Engine Optimizations (SEO) is performance. If it loads fast, you’re already halfway there. But SEO is much more than that. For example, you have to keep track of things like bounce rate and how much time people spend on your page.
Fortunately, InMotion Hosting and Bluehost deliver excellent page loading speeds, as the performance benchmarks already showed us. What you have to do next is make sure that your hosting plan matches the size and traffic of your website. If your site is getting over 500 visitors a day, it might be time to consider upgrading to an entry-level VPS.
Some shared hosting stacks might be able to handle up to 1000 visitors per day, but this is rare. Bluehost did perform slightly better during load impact testing, which means it’ll likely handle traffic spikes better than InMotion, so that’s something to keep in mind.
Built-In SEO Tools
Although neither InMotion, nor Bluehost have SEO tools in their basic shared hosting plans, you can use various free SEO scripts and add-ons for your website. If it’s a WordPress site, there are tons of great plugins to help you out (i.e. YoastSEO). Otherwise, you’ll have to use cPanel’s Softaculous to install SEO Panel or SEO Toaster for ecommerce.
If you don’t mind paying extra, Bluehost does have a series of add-ons in its Marketing Center that can help you get started with SEO. Prices tend to run high, though, so unless the SEO kit is included (as is the case with WP Pro plans), I’d recommend going about it with cPanel scripts, since most of them are free anyway.
Last, but definitely not least, both companies offer a sizeable amount of advertising credits. Although PPC advertising isn’t the best way to grow organic traffic to your website, it will help new businesses get acknowledged quickly.
Bluehost has a series of built-in marketing tools to help you improve your website’s SEO, but there are also plenty of free plugins and scripts if you want to save some money. This can be of great help when you're just starting your first website and you've got no other source of traffic set-up.
If we’re talking default security with no additional upgrades, InMotion Hosting vs Bluehost is won by the former.
Both web hosts give you free SSL certificates on all shared hosting plans. Spam filtering is available on most Bluehost plans, while InMotion includes it even on the entry-level subscription. Both companies monitor their infrastructure 24/7 for suspicious activity, and you can rest assured some form of DDoS protection is included by default.
That said, InMotion offers hack and malware protection for free. If the company’s firewall detects a suspicious file or process on your website, it will contain and/or eliminate it immediately. With Bluehost, you’d have to pay for the SiteLock add-on to get the same level of protection.
Another plus on InMotion’s side are the automatic backups, which are included in all plans via the cPanel Backup Manager. With Bluehost, only higher tier plans have access to this feature.
One security tool that Bluehost’s top-tier plans include and InMotion doesn’t is domain privacy and protection. What this means is that your contact information as the owner of a domain will be protected by a proxy. This greatly limits the number of identity theft attempts, not to mention spam, that target you.
It’s not that Bluehost doesn’t offer good baseline protection. It does. However, Bluehost also asks you to pay extra for advanced security, whereas InMotion gives you most things for free.
As also discussed in our Bluehost vs. SiteGround comparison, security is one of the few areas where Bluehost falls short of its rivals. Hopefully, this is something that can be improved moving forward.
Shared hosting might be alright for a starter or small website, but you need to make sure that your web host of choice also gives your website plenty of room to grow. While some services include free migrations, transferring even a single website from one host to another can be a great pain unless you know how to do it yourself the easy way.
For this reason, it’s best to choose a company with good scalability, to begin with. This way, you can talk with support and seamlessly upgrade to a better hosting environment when your traffic picks up. Given the range of VPS and dedicated plans available with both Bluehost and InMotion, scalability isn’t a problem on either end.
Unlike Bluehost, however, InMotion Hosting also has managed VPS plans, which means that a tech team will take care of complex server configuration and management on your behalf. It costs quite a bit more than its unmanaged infrastructure, but it’s really worth it.
Managed services are not available with Bluehost, so you might need the help of an expert to properly take care of all the tech details associated with hosting. You can DIY, and I wholeheartedly recommend this option, but you’ll be taking a significant risk in the process and you might fail… several times.
Bluehost vs InMotion Hosting isn’t a straightforward comparison. There are a lot of pros and cons on both ends, which makes it all the more important to have a clear list of your priorities. This will enable you to figure out which of the two providers best suits your needs. Here’s a short summary of the key differences between InMotion Hosting and Bluehost:
- Marketing Tools. What InMotion tries to brand as “marketing tools” is nothing more than some email features (such as auto-responders), marketing credits, and the ability to check your email accounts from a mobile device.
- Beginner-friendly experience. InMotion Hosting isn’t more difficult than an average host, but it lacks the beginner-friendly interface of Bluehost. It’s the equivalent of someone throwing you into the water and expecting you to swim.
- Security. Aside from basic DDoS monitoring, all of InMotion’s shared hosting plans come with automatic backups and malware scanning. Unfortunately, there’s no option for domain protection or a built-in CDN.
- Bluehost has real, advanced marketing solutions, including a comprehensive SEO dashboard, and professional marketing services for hire, in addition to email marketing tools. And all of these come at no extra cost for you.
- Bluehost’s dashboard is created with beginners in mind. It doesn’t just give you a regular web management control panel: it guides you through the process. This aspect should definitely be advertised as a main feature.
- If you want malware protection and automatic backups with Bluehost, you’ll have to go for the higher-tier shared hosting plans. The good news is that these plans also include domain privacy and protection, as well as a CDN.
InMotion Hosting vs. Bluehost: Our Pick
Both companies have a reputation for their longevity in the web hosting industry. Given how similar their prices are, it can be difficult to decide whether Bluehost or InMotion Hosting is better. While this is a close match-up, Bluehost ultimately wins. Here’s why:
- Performance: Bluehost’s loading times are better when your site experiences a traffic spike. This might have something to do with the fact that all plans come with Varnish caching pre-activated.
- Pricing and Value: Although many plans are similarly priced, Bluehost offers more resources across the board.
- Ease of Use: Having used both hosts for several months, I can safely say that Bluehost is more beginner-friendly than InMotion Hosting. It’s not that InMotion is that difficult to use, but the interface can be a bit overwhelming to begin with. Since there’s no beginner checklist, newbies can easily get lost.
- Features: Both hosts include things the other doesn’t, so this is pretty much a tie. If you want to host a lot of domains and need lots of storage for your websites, Bluehost is definitely better.
- Customer Support: The live chat platform is responsive and helpful with either host. I used it repeatedly with both Bluehost and InMotion and I can’t complain of a single bad or incomplete interaction.
- Search Engine Optimizations: Bluehost has a series of SEO-specific services you can use to improve your SERPs, while InMotion Hosting does not. Bluehost’s tools are not free, though.
- Security: Bluehost will make you pay for extra security early on, while InMotion just gives it to you. This is one aspect I’d like to see improved on Bluehost’s end.
- Scalability: Although there’s plenty of room for your website to grow with either provider, InMotion has a slight edge with its managed VPS plans.
While Bluehost is the superior choice in most cases, InMotion Hosting is a viable solution for those looking to host fewer (and smaller) websites. I just wish both services would also have servers in the EU and Asia-Pacific region.
Don't hesitate to check out our dedicated Bluehost hub if you want to learn more about the company and its services.
Meanwhile, you can find out more about InMotion Hosting by reading our in-depth review right here.
It wasn’t an easy choice, but Bluehost came out on top in terms of features, ease of use, and search engine optimization. The best part is that Bluehost’s stack handles traffic spikes better thanks to the fact that Varnish is activated by default, so your website has some room to grow before you have to upgrade.