In particular, we’re looking into InMotion Hosting’s e-commerce-optimized plans for online stores built on top of WooCommerce/WordPress, as well as Magento, OpenCart and other dedicated platforms.
Is InMotion web hosting the right choice for your business and store? Will it be able to run your e-commerce operation effectively? Let’s find out in this review.
This InMotion e-commerce hosting review is updated for 2016. It talks about all the features currently available at InMotion and how they play along with e-commerce. It gets into the ins and outs of working with InMotion for e-commerce hosting, reviews the pros and cons, the price, and gives you a quick how-to on the most important features.
Let’s start with the basics:
What makes a good ecommerce web hosting
Let’s just take a quick minute to explain what makes a quality e-commerce web host, so we can then compare the plans at InMotion against those parameters. That way we can tell if InMotion has the potential to work well as your e-commerce hosting of choice.
- PCI compliance. Having a PCI compliant server is required by law if you’re planning to process any credit card data of your customers. A must-have e-commerce hosting parameter.
- Dedicated IP and an SSL certificate. It makes sure that your site exists on its own IP address and that it’s authenticated on the web.
- Uptime / server tier. The best servers out there are Tier 4 – this means that they offer the best uptime. The opposite end of the spectrum are Tier 1 servers.
- Good server specs. For good performance and fast shopping cart operations you need SSD drives and good RAM.
- Data center location. The closer the server is to your audience’s physical location, the better.
- Good security mechanisms and policies. The more your web host is willing to share about their in-house security policies and security mechanisms implemented on their servers, the better.
InMotion ecommerce web hosting review: in a nutshell
InMotion offers a couple of interesting plans when it comes to e-commerce servers. Based on what software you want to use for running your e-commerce store, some of them may be more suitable than the others:
- Standard WordPress hosting. Those packages are optimized to work with WordPress, and also to handle WooCommerce as the script running your e-commerce store. There aren’t any WooCommerce-specific hosting plans, but the parameters of this package should be sufficient anyway (more on that in a minute).
- Specialized SSD shared hosting for e-commerce. Something a bit more optimized for e-commerce projects that are starting out small.
- Advanced SSD VPS hosting for e-commerce. A one-step-up from the shared e-commerce hosting. A solution for stores operating at a slightly larger scale.
Apart from running WooCommerce as your software of choice, you can also install OpenCart or even Magento on any of the e-commerce plans. InMotion provides some tutorials as to how to do so (1, 2), and promises good performance for those setups. That being said, I wouldn’t advise installing Magento on anything lower than the SSD VPS plan.
Looking at the plans, the fact that you can opt for the VPS plan right out the gate, makes InMotion a good alternative for other e-commerce web hosts out there (like SiteGround, for example – check our review).
Features in InMotion ecommerce web hosting
Here’s what you get with InMotion e-commerce hosting:
- Category A, PCI compliant data centers.
- SSL certificate available (although paid additionally; $25 installation fee).
- Dedicated IP addresses available free of charge on the VPS plans (for shared hosting, $2 / month).
- 60-200GB of disk space on the VPS servers.
- VPS server configuration optimized for speed: RAID6 disk space, SSD drives, 4-8GB of RAM.
- Free backups every 24-36 hours.
- 24x7x365 support with all VPS hosting plans.
- Multiple data centers utilized – get your site served from the nearest location. But only in the US.
- Custom advanced policy firewall.
- SSH and root access available.
- Set up unlimited websites, domains, and MySQL databases.
Who’s InMotion ecommerce web hosting best suited for?
Let’s start with the bad. Even though InMotion offers e-commerce hosting plans of all types, their cheap shared hosting options aren’t that impressive. For instance, even though you’re promised to have a PCI compliant server, the SSL and dedicated IPs are paid additionally. And there doesn’t seem to be any straightforward way of just enabling everything.
On the flip side, their VPS offer for mid- to big-size e-commerce stores really looks good. You get multiple dedicated IPs, the possibility to work with multiple domains, automatic backups, and really powerful machines. I mean, 8GB of RAM is more than you need to run GTA 5, not to mention handling e-commerce operations.
Finally, their main selling point when it comes to hardware – the SSD drives. This technology is even 20x faster than standard spinning drives. And the faster your store operates, the happier your customers are (and the more they’re willing to buy).
In the end, I recommend InMotion for business owners who need a fast, reliable and really optimized VPS server – a server that can grow alongside their business and will be able to handle everything that might happen during the store’s daily dealings.
That being said, InMotion seems to be more optimized to run WooCommerce, although they do provide you with installers for other popular systems, such as: Magento, PrestaShop, WooCommerce for WordPress, OpenCart, osCommerce and more.
InMotion ecommerce web hosting review: pricing
Let’s look into two types of InMotion e-commerce plans. First, the shared hosting options:
Second, the VPS hosting options:
Even though those cheap shared plans are tempting, I actually don’t advise you getting any of them. Shared plans force you to … well, share the server space with other users, and possibly also take part of the risk involved in being in such a setup.
A VPS plan will give you better scalability, clearly listed parameters and capacity of the server. Additionally, all of the VPS plans give you 2 or more dedicated IP addresses, SSD drives, and 4GB+ of RAM. This setup really is enough to run not only e-commerce stores that are just starting out, but also the ones that have some seed capital behind them.
Another cool thing is that you also get free setup as part of any of those VPS hosting plans.
If you just want to get started and test the waters, I advise you go for the $29.99 / month plan.
How to set up InMotion ecommerce web hosting
InMotion offers standardized installer scripts for all of the popular scripts and platforms, including WordPress (WooCommerce), Magento, OpenCart and others. Additionally, you can choose to have WordPress pre-installed on your server, which makes the job even easier.
Apart from that, there are also multiple tutorials on the site – a knowledge base along with extensive FAQ sections.
Lastly, with the 24x7x365 support that every VPS hosting plan offers, you can easily get some assistance with the technical stuff.
Is InMotion ecommerce web hosting the right host for your ecommerce store?
Pros of InMotion ecommerce web hosting
- Multiple installers available for all popular scripts and e-commerce platforms. This includes Magento, PrestaShop, WooCommerce for WordPress, OpenCart, osCommerce and more.
- Servers optimized for performance.
- Very fast SSD drives available by default.
- 24x7x365 support and automated backups every 24-36 hours.
- You get 2+ dedicated IP addresses on the VPS plans.
Cons of InMotion ecommerce web hosting
- SSL certificate not included out the gate. You have to install it manually (or ask for it to be installed).
- Data centers only in the US.