InMotion Hosting vs Bluehost: which web hosting veteran is better?
In this article, I will go over the key differences between InMotion vs Bluehost, as well as the best use cases for each hosting provider. Pricing, control panels, performance, security, and support – I’ll cover it all, so that you know exactly what’s better and when.
Both Bluehost and InMotion are veterans of the hosting arena. Each offers an all-encompassing list of hosting solutions and secondary services, and each is seemingly competent at what they do.
It all can look splendid on the surface, but the abundance of things under the hood can easily cause ‘decision paralysis.' Some people tend to get so overwhelmed that they even consider abandoning the idea of launching a website altogether!
But worry not. You don’t need a lot of info – you just need the right info.
That is why I performed a comprehensive analysis and conducted real-life testing for both Bluehost and InMotion. In this comparison, you’ll find all there’s to know before picking the right provider.
InMotion vs Bluehost: general info
Both Bluehost and InMotion offer a wide range of services: shared hosting, VPS, and dedicated included. No matter the needs, you’ll find a fitting solution with both providers. InMotion is a reliable option, with its strong side being the server power. It’s more of an enterprise solution, but small projects will find decent options as well. Meanwhile, Bluehost is focusing on WordPress, and here you’d be picking a smooth and well-designed experience.
Here's a short summary of findings, however, you can also jump straight to conclusion to find out which provider is the better one.
|Pricing:||from $3.95/mo||from $2.49/mo|
|Ease of use:||Modern native dashboard with the classic cPanel integration||cPanel control panel|
|Performance:||99.99% uptime and 361ms response time||99.98% uptime and 759ms response time|
|Security:||SSLs and server monitoring||SSLs, malware and DDoS protection, WAF|
|Support:||24/7 live chat and phone||24/7 live chat, tickets, and phone|
Neither InMotion Hosting nor Bluehost is a cheap-cheap kind of host. However, Bluehost prices start a little lower, at $3.95/mo. Meanwhile, the standard packages for InMotion begin at $5.99/mo.
But wait a second.
We are always on a lookout for the best discounts possible. InMotion, for example, gives our readers a secret plan that’s available by clicking on this link. It unlocks the Lite that lowers the price to $2.49/mo and discounts the other plans as well.Check InMotion Pricing Now
This makes InMotion cheaper than Bluehost, helping it to suit the needs of smaller websites.
In any case, both providers are limiting their cheapest plans to just 1 website, although bandwidth is unmetered. Additionally, you’ll get free SSLs with both of them. But that’s where similarities end:
- InMotion Hosting Lite ($2.49/mo) offers 10GB SSD storage and 1 email account. A domain is not included.
- Bluehost Basic ($3.95/mo) includes 50GB SSD, 5 email accounts, and a free domain.
So at a little bit higher rate, Bluehost provides more server resources and a free domain. And while the free domain is worth just around $10 a year, it’s still an extra expense. For beginners getting their first website online, it’s always best to get all-in-one packages.
There's one thing to note though. Both of the contenders offer the best prices with 3-year in advance payment. But after the introductory term, the prices will increase:
|Provider||Plan||Total initial||Total renewal|
At the same time, the cheapest plans are catered to the smallest websites. Choose them if you know that you won’t need to add a second one anytime soon.
As for others who might need more than one thing, I analyzed the rest of the plans.
In total, InMotion Hosting has 4 plans that range from $2.49/mo to $12.99/mo with a 3-year subscription.
Almost all plans are quite logically priced, each including more and more server resources. So that’s immediately a good sign if you know what you need.
However, Launch looks like a good option if you’re on a budget. 2 websites with generous 50GB storage space, and a free domain is a very inclusive package.
Meanwhile, Power will give you the flexibility that 100GB storage and 50-website limit can add. Just keep in mind that renewals will be significantly higher.
As for Pro, I’m always a bit skeptical about shared hosting plans that cost more than $10. At this price point, you should be looking at VPS or a managed service.
For a regular user, the Launch plan is offering more than enough for a really good price. $4.99/mo rate initially puts your in advance payment at $179.64, and you have peace of mind for 3 years. It renews at a $9.99/mo rate.Check InMotion Pricing Now
Quite similarly, Bluehost has 4 plans ranging from $3.95/mo to $13.99/mo with the same 36-mo pre-payment. The difference is that all plans include free domain registration.
Right of the bat, I can see that Plus plan has one of the best deals. It’s not limiting the number of websites you can create or storage that you can use. This is a dollar extra to what InMotion is offering, but you're not limited by just 2 websites.
Choice Plus also looks nice, with domain privacy and free backups for a year. However, its renewal is more expensive.
Meanwhile, Pro is quite overpriced for shared hosting, similarly to InMotion’s package.
For long-term value, pick the Plus. Its $5.95/mo rate initially makes a manageable $214.20 payment. The $11.99/mo renewal rate is also not too big.Check Bluehost Pricing Now
So even though from the initial impression InMotion seemed more expensive, the offered discounts make it cheaper. The renewal rates are slightly lower too. At the same time, Bluehost’s plans are way less limiting.
But one more thing that separates these 2 is the money-back guarantee.
InMotion Hosting extends its money-back period to 90-days, which is one of the longest refund periods available. Bluehost sticks to the standard 30-days for credit card purchases.
All in all, InMotion Hosting prices are lower if you catch a discount. At the same time, Bluehost’s plans are less limiting in terms of resources, and you get a free domain even with the cheapest one.
Hosting management: ease of use
When it comes to ease of use, both providers are great, but Bluehost has a slight edge. It has a custom-built user interface that’s completely beginner-friendly and also a powerful cPanel integration for more advanced tasks. At the same time, InMotion uses cPanel to manage every little detail of your hosting.
It is important to understand that if you’re new to web hosting, any panel will take a bit to get used to. After all, it’s a management system – and systems are comprised of many elements, some of which are not easy to understand.
Thankfully, cPanel is the staple of the industry, well-liked by beginners and pros alike. Bluehost native dashboard also helps new users to get familiar with the rest of it easily. Even more, if you need a website yesterday, website builder integrations offered by both providers can be used to quickly set up something nice.
Main account dashboard
Both providers offer easy-to-use dashboards. Although Bluehost’s panel is certainly more functional, the one from InMotion holds up pretty well, too. With both options, you will have little trouble finding the necessary options and settings.
InMotion offers an effectively designed dashboard called Account Management Panel (AMP), which is meant for account-related tasks such as billing and support. But you’ll find some cPanel shortcuts here too. Weirdly enough, this is the place to set up SSL as well.
When it comes to actual hosting management, this dashboard is not meant for it. Rather, it’s a navigation area. And with the exception of the SSL, you’ll mostly use the cPanel login button here.
On the other side, we have Bluehost with a slick and elegant dashboard which serves as a prime example of effective design.
No ads, no clutter, no useless information - only the things users actually need. Personally, I think the cleaner the design, the better. It isn’t surprising that navigation through the panel was smooth. I was quite surprised that Google Ads, plugins, useful caching settings, and even Cloudflare integration were just a few clicks away.
In fact, you can use Bluehost’s dashboard for all essential website setup tasks – installing WordPress, adding domain, and activating SSL. The Advanced button that hides cPanel is certainly not essential here, and as suggested by the name, is reserved for more advanced management.
Moreover, the provider has such tools as WordPress staging and Google Ads integration, making it even more convenient.
Overall, unless you are a nitpicky design purist, both Bluehost and InMotion will be equally comfortable to use. At the same time, Bluehost is way more functional.
Control panel comparison
With both InMotion and Bluehost, the control panels are convenient and functional. Each offers a custom version of cPanel that is matching their brand.
While InMotion matched the control panel branding to its own, all the functionalities are standard.
Most of the management modules you’d expect from an advanced tool are present here: easy one-click installs, email settings, file manager, and databases – you have all the toys you need.
As for the other competitor, Bluehost’s cPanel also matches the provider’s branding with soft blue hues. It also added a convenient menu on the left for easier navigation.
As for the settings, they include most of the things a default cPanel does: extensive email and database configuration, phpMyAdmin. Everything from file and FTP management options to things like Git version control is in place and easily reachable.
However, you won’t find the domain management category. It’s one thing that Bluehost decided to throw out and integrate its own tool into the main dashboard.
So the difference is clear. InMotion Hosting uses cPanel as the main tool to manage web hosting and websites, while Bluehost keeps it for more advanced users, with the essentials easily available in the main dashboard.
Website builder integration
For some quick results, there’s almost a no faster way to build a website than a website builder. Both InMotion Hosting and Bluehost have builders based on WordPress, so not only will you be able to set a website up quickly, but turn it into a permanent one easily.
With InMotion Hosting, you get to use BoldGrid. It’s a WordPress plugin-type of a website builder – it comes with its own themes and templates as well as additional tools to create new design elements that are custom to your website.
The theme selection is not the biggest one, but you’ll find a couple of dozen choices. However, they all are professionally made and responsive. Plus, you’ll be editing them to look unique.
As for the builder itself, it can get quite complicated. Changing the demo content into your own is easy, but designing new templates requires some practice. That is, you’ll need to surf through a couple of different plugins to set everything up.
However, this is the reason that makes BoldGrid more powerful than a regular builder. Additional features add more design freedom.
As for Bluehost, everything starts from a very simplistic Buzzfeed-type quiz. Based on the answers, the provider designs a theme for you, combining different design elements that it has. This means you don’t get to choose the theme itself, rather specify your needs and choose colors/fonts.
Once you reach the editing interface, it’s also quite simplistic. Each design element has its place on the website and several different looks that you can choose. This makes it incredibly easy to quickly have a professional website published.
However, Bluehost website builder is also designed as a WordPress plugin. When you’re ready, you can take all of your design and use the regular WP Admin panel to implement additional functionalities.
So while quite different initially, both builders are very powerful and well-made. InMotion’s BoldGrid might be a little bit more complex to grasp, but it equips you with powerful tools. Bluehost, on the other hand, is very simplistic but not restrictive – you can customize using WordPress later.
All in all, both hosting providers are very easy to use with quite modern and intuitive hosting management tools. Bluehost native interfaces, however, are significantly more functional, while InMotion Hosting uses the classic cPanel for the majority of the tasks.
InMotion Hosting vs Bluehost performance
The product you’re actually paying for when buying hosting is the performance. That’s why I do 3 separate tests to determine which provider is better: reliability, speed, and stress. In this InMotion vs Bluehost comparison, both hosts showed good results, although InMotion was faster and handled more traffic.
Uptime and response time
For the first test, I monitored the reliability of both providers for 2 months.
InMotion Hosting scored 99.98% uptime. That’s the result of just 3 outages over 2 months. That’s very reliable, considering that the standard uptime guarantee is 99.9%, which would result in almost 2 hours of downtime over the same time.
As for response time, InMotion averages 759ms which is slightly above the market average of 600ms. While it could be faster, there’s no major issue here.
Bluehost showed even better reliability over the same time period. It was up for 99.99% of the time with 6 outages that were shorter – 11 minutes in total, compared to InMotion’s 16 minutes.
Response time is also better, averaging at 361ms. This puts Bluehost way ahead of the competition.
Nonetheless, both providers proved to be reliable when monitored over the long term. And that is what’s important as you want your website live and accessible at all times.
In the speed department, InMotion leaves Bluehost biting the dust. I’ve created identical websites and put them through the speed test to see which has the faster setups and servers.
There are 3 important measures here:
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP). It shows us how long it takes for the majority of content to load. It should remain lower than 2.5 seconds.
- TTFB – the first server reaction to the request to open the page. Up to 200ms is the best result.
- Fully Loaded Time – as the name suggests, the website is fully functional at this point. Up to 3 seconds is the golden standard.
InMotion Hosting nailed the test with LCP at 663 ms. This puts it among the fastest shared hosting providers. Plus, there’s no much further delay until Fully Loaded – it stands at 825ms.
As for TTFB, I have no complaints, 140ms is one of the fastest results I’ve seen.
Bluehost, on the other hand, is slower. The Largest Contentful Paint and Fully Loaded Time are both 1.8 seconds. Looking at the result alone, it is very fast. But when InMotion is by the side, Bluehost needs to speed up.
The reason for such a result is quite obvious. Bluehost server took a full second to react to the request. If not for such an initial delay, we might have seen it beating InMotion.
Both InMotion Hosting and Bluehost have servers located in the US. That's why these providers will be the best for those websites that are targeting North American audiences.
Regardless, both providers are showing speedy website loading results. And while Bluehost's server tool longer to react, it still managed to load the website quickly.
Stress testing results
For the final test, I decided to see these hosts working in real-life conditions when a big surge of traffic comes in. For that, I’ve sent 50 Virtual Users (bots) to each website over 5 minutes. If needed, I lowered the number until they handled the traffic.
50 bots was an easy task for InMotion Hosting.
3 key things here – no red line that would indicate failures. The blue line (speed) jumps up and down but does not follow the grey one (masked by the purple one – requests and number of visitors). This means that the provider does not slow down depending on traffic.
The big peaks in ideal scenarios wouldn’t be there, but InMotion is strong enough for traffic this big.
Bluehost, unfortunately, did not handle the 50 VUs test. It managed to pass it with 15 visitors on.
While the red line is not there, the blue one follows the increasing number of visitors. This means that Bluehost slows down as more and more visitors join in.
Is this a bad result?
The scenario is similar to speed testing. In itself, Bluehost handles a lot of traffic for a cheap shared hosting plan. But when put together with InMotion – it definitely looks quite weak.
All in all, both hosts are good when it comes to performance. And while Bluehost showed a little better reliability, InMotion was both faster and more powerful.
Security features concerned, both providers cover the ultimate basics, with InMotion actually offering more. At the same time, they’ll both charge extra for important stuff such as automatic backups.
With both providers, server monitoring and free SSLs are covered. But that’s where similarities end.
For example, InMotion Hosting also includes:
- Hack and Malware protection that works in the background.
- ModSecurity as a basic web application firewall that protects websites from some unwanted traffic.
- DDoS protection managed by Corero is automatically on.
However, daily backups cost an extra $24/year to get full-rounded security.
Meanwhile, Bluehost is a bit skimpier:
- You can enable Cloudflare via 2 clicks in the main dashboard and it will work as a basic layer of DDoS protection.
Other features, such as malware protection ($1.99/mo) and daily backups ($1.99/mo) are paid unless you pick the most expensive packages.
So InMotion is a clear winner on this one. It has a more comprehensive security suite, even if it’s on the more basic side of things. Meanwhile, Bluehost charges extra for similar features.
InMotion offers more well-rounded 24/7 customer support via live chat, phone, email, and even a ticketing system. Bluehost has fewer options – 24/7 live chat and phone. At the same time, you can search for help yourself in the knowledge bases of these two.
Customer support might seem less important than performance, but even the savviest veterans often run into problems that require a qualified specialist to solve them. As the issues and/or questions are inevitable, I can’t emphasize the importance of customer support enough.
Now, to create a proper real-life impression of each provider’s customer support, I have paid some ‘visits’ to their virtual help desks.
As far as my experience with InMotion goes, the agents are very helpful. I contacted support because I couldn’t locate the SSL tool in the control panel. The agent joined in immediately.
At first, we bumped into a miscommunication; the agent thought I bought an SSL with a third party, while in fact, I was looking for the free option. Quickly enough, I got my instructions typed out with a complimentary knowledge base article.
It took no longer than 5 minutes to get my question resolved. It was a very efficient interaction.
As for Bluehost support, I didn’t actually have any technical issues, so just interviewed the support about the security. Which actually shows how beginner-oriented this provider is.
Again, I was immediately connected to the agent. I was assured that the servers are secure, but for extra security, there’s SiteLock package.
It required some back and forth to get my question fully answered, and it felt like the agent was trying to dodge some questions or didn’t fully know the specifications of the service.
Nonetheless, they were very friendly, and the interaction was quick.
Altogether, I think I got better help from InMotion as I had a specific problem to tackle. Meanwhile, Bluehost agents are quick and friendly. Plus, the service is so good that you don't really need the support.
Other than interactions with the actual humans, other help options such as a knowledge base are available.
InMotion’s knowledge base is a giant library of structured and accessible tutorials and documentation. Really, if you want to work in the hosting industry, just reading through all the content should be enough to land you a job.
The community forum is a nice addition as well. Personally, I can’t picture a scenario where that would be a preferred choice, as generally, hosting forums are not very active. Although the option is there if you'd like to get some member feedback.
Bluehost also has a big knowledge base with many categories to choose from. However, with all the new tools added to its control panel, some articles are yet to be updated.
But hey, I’m nitpicking. It’s available, and it has a ton of articles that are very useful.
This is to show that overall, InMotion Hosting is a superior choice when it comes to customer support. Nonetheless, I didn’t even need to contact support with Bluehost in the first place. And for some casual interrogation, it did pass quite well.
InMotion vs Bluehost: final recommendations
Quite surprisingly, this InMotion vs Bluehost comparison showed how much different these two hosts are. While InMotion Hosting definitely excelled in performance and customer support departments, Bluehost showed some superior results in terms of ease of use and functionality.
This is how it all looks summed up:
|Pricing||InMotion's standard pricing is much more expensive, but the special discount and the Lite plan ($2.49/mo) allows it to compete with Bluehost, which has prices starting at $3.95/mo.|
|Interface||Bluehost’s native management area with cPanel integration is very functional and beginner-oriented. InMotion Hosting sticks to the classics and uses mostly cPanel.|
|Performance||While Bluehost’s uptime at 99.99% was slightly better than InMotions at 99.98%, the latter was both faster and handled more traffic.|
|Security||In terms of security, InMotion has more features included by default but they are quite basic. Bluehost covers the essentials as well, but more advanced tools are paid.|
|Support||Both InMotion Hosting and Bluehost have fast 24/7 customer support with friendly agents. Although InMotion got the chance to prove how good their agents are. Meanwhile, Bluehost support can be slightly hit and miss.|
It is really difficult to decide which provider is the better one as they are very different. Overall, I would say that Bluehost is much more pleasant to use with a bunch of extra functionalities. They are helpful both for businesses and beginner users.
At the same time, if you're looking for good performance results – InMotion Hosting is a great option. With an initial discount, it's also quite affordable.
Alternatives to InMotion and Bluehost
If you still have doubts about this Bluehost vs InMotion battle, you might want to consider other alternatives. For example, those on a hunt for the lowest prices will find Hostinger to be a great solution, while the rock-solid DreamHost might cater to the needs of businesses better.
Hostinger is among the cheapest providers out there - you can get a fairly generous plan for just $1.39/mo. You’d think it offers a sub-optimal service, but actually, no sacrifices to quality are made. Even the cheapest plans are very capable, coupled with superb performance and customer support. Really, we tested it and the value for money is great.
Also, there are options to scale - managed WordPress, cloud, and tons of VPS plans - Minecraft and Windows included.
DreamHost is a reputable provider with a straightforward approach. Although it isn’t as cheap as Hostinger at $2.59/mo, it’s definitely cheaper than both InMotion and Bluehost. DreamHost is also focusing on WordPress and business users, offering various useful features and an impressive 100% uptime guarantee.
Hosting options are powered by reliable performance, which is sure to satisfy the needs of most customers.
InMotion vs Bluehost FAQ
What are the main differences between InMotion Hosting and Bluehost?
The main differences between InMotion Hosting and Bluehost are pricing, perforrmance, and ease of use. Bluehost is more inclusive in its plans, while InMotion Hosting is more powerful. At the same time, Bluehost functionality and ease of use are way better.
Which provider is better for WordPress: InMotion or Bluehost?
Bluehost is a superior choice for WordPress websites, but InMotion is a great option as well. What makes Bluehost better is the interface that's designed around WordPress to make website management easier. Plus, Bluehost is officially recommended by WordPress.
Do any of the providers offer website transfer services?
Both InMotion and Bluehost can transfer your website to their platform. InMotion will do it for free if your site contains less than 3 cPanel users, databases, and/or websites. Bluehost offers a free WordPress website migration.
Can I register a domain name with InMotion or Bluehost?
Yes, both InMotion and Bluehost offer domain registration services. Domain Privacy is also something you can buy for an additional fee. Compared to InMotion, Bluehost offers a wider range of functionality when searching for domain names.
Which hosting provider is better for beginners: InMotion or Bluehost?
Both providers are good for beginners. With Bluehost, there’s an easy-to-use management panel and even a guide for setting up a WordPress website. InMotion uses cPanel, which is very standard for hosting management.