For the past couple of years, I’ve been a Dedicated Server customer of Inmotion Hosting for Yakezie.com and FinancialSamurai.com. Previously, I was with MediaTemple for a year and a half with a Virtual Private Server until I got fed up with the number of downtimes and lack of service. MediaTemple definitely has its positives. I just felt they got too big, too fast and therefore fell off in terms of attentiveness to customers.
Inmotion Hosting and I have certainly had our ups and downs over the years, but what I realized is that no matter what hosting service we use, there will always be datacenter outages and hacks (GoDaddy’s hack is a recent example) at some point in time. The only thing that a data service company can 100% control is their customer service and responsiveness. This is where Inmotion Hosting excels.
LET’S DO SOME MATH TO ILLUSTRATE A POINT
You see hosting companies claim 99% uptimes or greater as part of their advertising. 99%+ up time sounds fantastic and something all of us bloggers and business owners need in order to receive traffic and generate sales.
In a 30 day month there are 43,200 minutes. With 99% up time, you get 42,768 minutes of uptime but 432 minutes of downtime! 432 minutes of downtime equals 7.2 hours a month where your site says “Error Establishing Database Connection” or simply doesn’t come up. On a weekly basis, that’s roughly 1.6 hours of downtime for your site which can get quite aggravating if it occurs during high traffic periods such as Monday morning.
Let’s take the step further and see what happens if there is just 0.1% downtime based on a 99.9% uptime claim. 0.1% downtime means that your site is down 87 minutes over a two month time period. If your site so happens to be down for 1.5 hours right after a product launch or during a major consumer holiday, you are going to freak out! Yet, 99.9% uptime is an incredible feat with all that needs to go right!
After I understood this point and accepted the ways of the hosting world, I began to relax and look on the positive side of things. Web hosting has never been more affordable, and I’m doing what I love.
WHY I’M A INMOTION HOSTING CUSTOMER
1) Customer service is excellent. It doesn’t matter when I call Inmotion Hosting (1888-321-4678), there is always someone to pick up the phone to help me trouble shoot if my site is down. I’ve called at 3am when I was jetlagged and in the middle of the day and there is always someone who gets on the line within 5 minutes of waiting on average. I cannot stand being re-routed through a maze of option buttons and when you call their number, it’s either Press 1 for Sales or Press 2 for Support. Easy.
2) Online support on the go. If you so happen to be traveling overseas and don’t want to pay the exorbitant international voice charges, you can easily log onto inmotionhosting.com and open a Chat Session on the upper right hand corner. I didn’t discover this option until early 2012, but it is awesome! When I was about to board my ship in Amsterdam at 11:30am (2:30am PST), I noticed Financial Samurai was down. I used the ship terminal’s free wifi and immediately got a tech representative to live chat with me, trouble shoot, and reset the server within 25 minutes!
3) Comprehensive support e-mails. After each conversation or online chat, per your request, Inmotion will send you an e-mail highlighting the issues they’ve found during the trouble shooting process so you can optimize and fix the problems. They’ve pinpointed which database and tables of mine have errors, the number of MySQL connections being hit, and where any attacks are coming from. This information helps me root out any bugs to increase uptime. I can also send them an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org for questions, and go to http://www.inmotionhosting.com/support/.
4) They aren’t the biggest webhosting company. In fact, I don’t think Inmotion Hosting is even in the Top 25 webhosting companies as measured by the number of domains in the world. As a result, there is a much more hands on, concierge type service to its customers. I left MediaTemple because I felt like just a number and could not get a response.
5) They are reasonable when things go really wrong. When Inmotion Hosting got hacked by Tiger M@te, there was a lot of pandemonium. Everything went back up the same day and they could have chosen to ignore all customer requests for credit. Instead, Inmotion gave me a month’s worth of free hosting credit, apologized, and invested more money to optimize and protect their company. Better to go with a company who has experienced some downs and are doing everything they can to make sure it doesn’t happen again, than a company who has never had anything happen to it.
THE INTERNET IS A DANGEROUS PLACE
The ideal situation is for all webmasters and online business owners to never have to speak to their hosting company since their sites are always up. Unfortunately, the internet is full of hackers and spammers who are figuring out ways to implant trojans, steal identifies, and cause havoc.
We have to realize that 100% uptime is impossible. 99%+ up time is fantastic, but we should also expect our sites to go down. The main differentiating factor is getting someone live to help you out and resolve your problem as quickly as possible. In my two+ years with Inmotion Hosting, they’ve consistently proven they are willing to do whatever it takes to resolve my issues. I’ve sent them unpleasant e-mails before and spoken in a terse voice, and they’ve never once responded in kind. They’ve been helpful all along the way, and I can tell they are really trying to make things as good for their customers as possible.
From a pricing perspective, they’ve got competitive packages for VPS ($29.95), Dedicated Servers ($119.95), and Small Business Hosting ($5.95). But, the main reason why I recommend trying Inmotion Hosting is because of their service. If you like a hosting company that is responsive and solutions oriented, they are worth a shot.
Readers, if service is a key differentiating factor in a commoditized product, why don’t more hosting companies provide better service? What are some of the things that frustrate you about your hosting company. Any thoughts on other dedicated server pricing you’ve seen?