InMotion vs HostGator Hosting – A Side-By-Side Comparison For 2019

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Hosting providers are so numerous it’s tough knowing which service to trust. Given that a hosting provider is a bedrock upon which you’ll be building your website, it only follows that you want to choose the right provider the first time.

It can be a real pain in the neck trying to transfer your site from one hosting provider to another, and in so doing, risk undesirable downtime when your audience can’t access your content.

To help you make the most informed decision – and to avoid getting stuck with a provider you dislike – I’m going to pick apart two of the industry’s leading services for comparison: InMotion vs HostGator.

I’d like to start by saying that I think both services are commendable and high quality.

However, different users have different needs, so we must break down each aspect of these services to see which one is best for you.

Let’s get started with a pricing comparison.

Price Comparison

HostGator does a great job of keeping its prices inexpensive and affordable. Its Web hosting packages are priced lower than the WordPress hosting packages on account of the extended features with the WordPress options.

I did find it odd that the Baby and Business Web hosting packages were priced the same. After all, why would anyone get the Baby Plan if they can get the next highest package for the same price? It’s like throwing money away.

Typically when I see any service use pricing tactics this way, I see it as a marketing gimmick.

Instead of perceiving the higher level package to be discounted, I think the marketing department intentionally overpriced the second-tier package to make the third-tier package more alluring.

I’m typically not fond of marketing gimmicks, but in this case, I think it’s innocuous because the prices are so low.

The following outlines HostGator’s WordPress hosting packages:

  • Hostgator hostingStarter Plan – $5.95 per month
  • Standard Plan – $7.95 per month
  • Business Plan – $9.95 per month

The following outlines HostGator’s Web hosting packages:

  • Hatchling Plan – $2.75 per month
  • Baby Plan – $5.95 per month
  • Business Plan – $5.95 per month

Alternatively, InMotion offers a total of five different service tiers, and each separate package has different features depending on your needs.

The following outlines InMotion’s WordPress hosting pricing plans for Freelancers and Small Businesses packages:

  • InMotion HostingWP-1000S: $7.26 per month
  • WP-2000S: $11.38 per month
  • WP-3000S: $15.50 per month
  • WP-4000S: $31.10per month
  • WP-5000S: $62.24 per month
  • WP-6000S: $119.28 per month

As you can see, HostGator offers the superior pricing plans, allowing customers to save anywhere between approximately $2 to $7, depending on which plan you choose.

There isn’t a direct comparison for InMotion’s service at tiers four through six, however, though it is obvious that those plans cost a great deal more than any comparable HostGator package.

To put things into perspective, note that the most expensive HostGator plan is only $5.95 per month, while InMotion’s WP-6000S package costs a whopping $119.28, which is nearly 20 times the cost of HostGator.

I don’t think InMotion offers exorbitant pricing or that it’s unfair in any way. To the contrary, I actually think InMotion is fairly priced.

But for the sake of this comparison, it cannot be denied that HostGator’s prices are more inexpensive than Inmotion's.

If the price is your primary motivator, I recommend opting for HostGator.

Before we dig into the heart and soul of any service – the features – let’s take a few moments to discuss the availability of free trial accounts and money back guarantees.

Overall Winner = HostGator

Free Trials

Sadly enough, yet not surprisingly, neither InMotion nor HostGator offers a money back guarantee.

I wasn’t really expecting either provider to have a free trial, because most other services lack free trials and because hosting services typically want to make sure their precious resources and server capacity are reserved for paying customers.

That said, both providers offer a rather boring and typical method of mitigating risk for new customers: money back guarantees.

InMotion has a 90-day money back guarantee for its Business and VPS hosting packages, which is phenomenal.

You’ll find that most services only offer a 30-day money back guarantee, which I think is more than an adequate amount of time to test out a service and jump ship if you’re unhappy with any feature or quality of the service.

Though InMotion offers a 90-day money back guarantee for VPS and Business plans, all other services offered, including WordPress Hosting, come with 30-day money back guarantees.

In an effort to remain competitive, HostGator also offers a money back guarantee. I was pleased to see that it offers a 45-day money back guarantee because it’s two weeks longer than the average policy.

Be aware, however, that the money back guarantee covers only the subscription fees.

Ancillary and additional costs that are not covered by the money back guarantee include dedicated servers, installation fees for custom software, administrative fees, and domain name purchase.

And while the lack of coverage for the preceding items may sound like a wholly rotten deal, consider that it partially provides the customer with flexibility.

If you’ve built a site and still want to keep it up and running, only with a different hosting provider, the fact that you’ll still have your domain facilitates a migration.

So, even though neither provider offers a genuinely free trial, which is better?

I’d have to honestly say there really isn’t much difference one way or the other, and that the money back guarantees are so close to each other they won’t affect the vast majority of prospective customers’ choices.

Nevertheless, if you twisted my arm and forced me to split hairs, I would have to say that HostGator wins my a small margin, simply because the money back guarantee lasts a little bit longer.

Now, let’s move on to something much more interesting: features!

Features and Benefits

Oddly enough, I discovered that InMotion’s first three tiers of packages are the same between the Small Business and Freelancer hosting packages.

Basically, the only difference between the Freelancer and Small Business services is that the Freelancer services offer three higher-level service tier packages, which I found to be a little confusing.

After all, wouldn’t you imagine that a small business would have more demanding needs than a freelancer?

Nevertheless, given that the first three packages, while not as inexpensive as HostGator, are still admittedly affordable, I was pleased

InMotion Features

The following outlines InMotion’s Small Business WordPress Hosting packages:

  • WP-1000S – free domain, one website, 40GB SSD storage, unlimited bandwidth and email, and free SSL
  • WP-2000S – free domain, two websites, 80GB SSD storage, unlimited bandwidth and email, free SSL, and Jetpack Personal
  • WP-3000S – free domain, three websites, 120GB SSD storage, unlimited bandwidth and email, free SSL, and Jetpack Personal

Overall, I was pleased with the features included in the first three tiers, especially for how little they cost. Most specifically, I was pleased with the quantity of memory included in the packages. I’ve seen some entry-level packages from other providers that only offer a mere 10GB or 20GB of space, which is laughable at best. Furthermore, I pleased to see that the storage is solid state, which is faster and more efficient than older hard drives that utilize spinning platters.

Let’s take a look at the Freelancer packages, keeping in mind that the first three tiers are exactly the same as the Small Business packages. The key difference here is the additional service tiers level four and higher, which all come with a collection of extra features, described in the next section.

The following outlines InMotion’s Freelancers WordPress Hosting packages:

  • WP-1000S – free domain, one website, 40GB SSD storage, unlimited bandwidth and email, and free SSL
  • WP-2000S – free domain, two websites, 80GB SSD storage, unlimited bandwidth and email, free SSL, and Jetpack Personal
  • WP-3000S – free domain, three websites, 120GB SSD storage, unlimited bandwidth and email, free SSL, and Jetpack Personal
  • WP-4000S – free domain, six websites, 160GB SSD storage, unlimited bandwidth and email, free website migration free SSL, Jetpack Personal, and extra features
  • WP-5000S – free domain, 10 websites, 200GB SSD storage, unlimited bandwidth and email, free website migration free SSL, Jetpack Personal, and extra features
  • WP-6000S – free domain, 20 websites, 240GB SSD storage, unlimited bandwidth and email, free website migration free SSL, Jetpack Personal, and extra features

The extra features associated with the WP-4000S and higher level packages include the following:

  • Access to 300+ WordPress themes
  • Access to a CDN (Content Delivery Network)
  • Social media integration
  • Daily backups with unlimited archiving
  • Security and malware fixes
  • Premium support

With exception to the extra features, which I’ll discuss in a moment, the only real differences with the higher level packages are the allowance of more websites, higher amounts of storage, and free website migration.

The extra features do add a lot of value, however, and I think the most important extra feature (bar none) is the security, malware & Antivirus fixes.

I wouldn’t recommend being so naive as to think that this security feature is all you need, and would highly advise you to consider third-party security packages for more comprehensive coverage.

But given that the lower-tier packages omitted any security features at all, I think it adds a lot of value.

HostGator Features

The following outlines HostGator’s WordPress hosting packages:

  • Starter Plan – one site, 100K monthly visits, 1GB backups, free SSL certificate
  • Standard Plan – two sites, 200K monthly visits, 2GB backups, free SSL certificate
  • Business Plan – three sites, 500K monthly visits, 3GB backups, free SSL certificate

The following outlines HostGator’s Web hosting packages:

  • Hatchling Plan – single domain, one-click installs, unmetered bandwidth, free SSL certificate
  • Baby Plan – unlimited domains, one-click installs, unmetered bandwidth, free SSL certificate
  • Business Plan – unlimited domains, one-click installs, unmetered bandwidth, free SSL certificate, Positive SSL, dedicated IP, free SEO tools

In contrast, HostGator’s features seem a little watered down. HostGator doesn’t offer anywhere near the same level of features as offered by InMotion, and I was disappointed to see the lack of any security features. Furthermore, I wasn’t very impressed with the scant amount of backup storage. I suppose 1GB to 3GB of backup storage is fine for a small site, but do be aware that such a small amount of storage space probably isn’t going to backup all of your multimedia.

A 1GB memory card can store approximately 280 photographs at 5 megapixels. If you’re going to be uploading any higher quality photos, you’ll be able to backup even fewer images.

Let’s also not forget that there are other components to your website apart from photographs, such as code, theme data, text (which is generally pretty lightweight), and other types of multimedia.

To be blunter, I think HostGator needs to increase the backup storage threshold.

I was pleased to see HostGator offers a free SSL certificate, however. But all in all, I think there is a little to be desired. InMotion clearly has more to offer in two mays. First of all, InMotion has higher service tiers to meet more people’s needs.

Secondly, InMotion simply has a greater number of features, as well as higher quality features like security.

All things considered, InMotion has superior features, and it’s priced slightly higher. It seems to be a “you get what you pay for” type of situation.

Overall Winner = InMotion

Security, Privacy, and Company Headquarters

Unfortunately, InMotion is based in the United States. Likewise, HostGator is based in Houston, Texas, which doesn’t give cybersecurity-conscious users and those paranoid about the federal government an adequate option.

Why are these locations unfavorable, you ask?

Well, a significant quantity of consumers of digital services fear that domestic US services are, have been, or will become compromised by the powers that be.

You see, some people distrust services based in the United States after Edward Snowden blew the whistle and uncovered the US National Security Administration’s domestic wiretapping scandals.

The NSA had once claimed it was only tapping communications that were one end domestic and one end foreign in the name of combating and thwarting terrorism.

However, the NSA was caught red-handed tapping domestic US communications through its PRISM program.

The PRISM program operated by forcing US-based services into federal compliance under covert and highly invasive governmental coercion.

Essentially, the domestic companies had no choice, say, or options in the matter, and the NSA installed backdoors and surveillance capabilities into many well-known digital services that the American public uses on a daily basis.

Businesses, sites and services like Yahoo!, Google, Microsoft, Skype and more were tampered with so the government could capture data like video conversations, audio conversations, texts, email, phone records, metadata, and so much more.

In fact, the NSA even has the capability to copy image data sent through text messages, which I think we can all agree is a frighteningly heinous invasion of privacy.

Because of the past wiretapping scandals, some people, just for the sake of surety, have completely sworn off the use of services based in the US. If you think that’s bad, just wait; things get even worse.

Some people, in an effort to minimize the risk of another invasion of privacy, extend their wariness to countries participating in the FiveEyes intelligence sharing agreement, which includes the US, the UK, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia.

Overall Winner = InMotion

Customer Sevice Comparison InMotion vs HostGator

Both providers offer 24/7 customer support, and it should come as no shock that both providers created an online knowledgebase to help give users nearly instantaneous solutions to their problems without having to reach out and contact the support department.

InMotion Support

InMotion Customer Support

InMotion has well-stocked knowledgebase with typical guides for troubleshooting processes, product guides, configuration tutorials, domain name setup guides, and other similar types of information.

And, unsurprisingly, InMotion allows users to contact a support representative via a phone call, an email ticketing system, or (my personal favorite) live chat.

I do also think that, while it is fairly well organized, the support page and knowledgebase feel a little too busy.

It just feels a little overwhelming being presented with a million-and-one links to click, and think that adopting the “less is more” mentality would provide for a better user experience.

HostGator Support

HostGator Support Portal

That said, I wasn’t a huge fan of HostGator’s support page for different reasons. It just felt very underwhelming and old, as though it needed to be updated.

I was pleased, however, to see that HostGator offers support departments around the world in both Houston and Austin Texas, and in Brazil in Florianopolis and Sao Paulo.

Some companies like GoDaddy offer support departments in just about every major region of the world, while others have only one global support center.

HostGator seems to split the difference by offering a handful of support centers. However, even though HostGator has 24/7/365 customer support, I was surprised to see that they still receive faxes (who uses fax anymore?).

Regardless, there are other options for contacting support such as by phone, live chat, direct mail, and an online ticketing system.

I especially loved the wealth of video tutorials, but I absolutely loathed how poorly organized they were and the video narrator’s false robotic voice.

I suppose the videos are useful in a pinch and better than nothing, but there is plenty of room for improvement.

To be perfectly honest, I think each support page needs an update or complete overhaul to make the content easier to find and more accessible.

In HostGator’s case, the website looks like it was written during the .com bubble, and could be freshened up.

That said, I do favor HostGator’s support department over InMotion’s for several reasons.

First, I did like the fact that HostGator offers multiple support centers with different native languages.

And secondly, I think the HostGator knowledgebase has a slight edge over InMotion’s due to the vast library of video tutorials.

Humans are very visual creatures, and people often say “seeing is believing.”

In a support context, I think most people would find it easier to follow along with a video instead of reading the steps of a configuration process, even if there are images to look at.

Granted, I know I said the videos were tough to digest because I have trouble relating with the narrator, but I’d feel better about using a service when I know I can watch a video that will show me how to do just about anything.

It’s nice having a safety net of video tutorials to fall back on should I need any extra help, and would rather watch one of those videos than suffer through the agony of a support queue on a telephone.

Overall Winner = HostGator

Conclusion and Editor’s Opinion

So, now that we’ve analyzed the major components of each service, which service wins the competition? Each provider has its own merits and areas where one is stronger than its competitor, but overall, I think there is one clear victor: InMotion.

That may surprise you because it isn’t as inexpensive as HostGator, but I felt InMotion offered a much more well-rounded and complete service than HostGator.

I did award HostGator the pricing and customer support victories, but honestly, the slight edge in its support department isn’t going to persuade me to opt for one of the HostGator packages.

Why? I’ll tell you in a word: value.

Overall I thought that InMotion provided better value, primarily with the trade-off between a nominal increase in price and a wealth of greater features.

What is two, or even three US dollars per month worth in light of a wealth of advanced features?

Isn’t security more valuable than an ever so slight edge within a support department?

Really, I think both providers are sound and just; and it may perhaps be that each provider’s pricing plans will change in the future.

But for now, I think that InMotion is the more valuable provider.

Certainly, some things are subject to change, but InMotion – currently – beats HostGator…hands down.

Overall Winner = InMotion

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