There are numerous web hosts that offering shared hosting plans to customers. You will even find hosts offering multiple plans to suit different clientele. Some of these plans include: full e-commerce features, hosting for medium and small businesses and even “single page” hosting. That’s not all, come hosts provide unlimited shared hosting plans. If you’re interested in hosting plans, you might be wondering what exactly “unlimited web hosting” entails. Read on to find out what it is and its benefits.
Unlimited web hosting plans refer to bandwidth, unlimited disk space and unlimited monthly disk transfer. Competition has been intense in this industry and nowadays you will find more companies that offer unlimited bandwidth, unlimited space, and unlimited sub domain, unlimited domain hosting and unlimited email. Due to the competition, the plans are priced competitively. These plans are very lucrative and allow the webmasters to venture without restrictions. However, the unlimited plan packages are not always reliable and sustainable. There is always a catch that you need to be aware of.
It is important to think through and analyze what these plans purport to offer. Unlimited hosting would mean that the every webmaster can store infinite data and attract million of visitors. This in turn would mean that the hosting company would have infinite servers and data centers for such usage. Can they really provide such capacity? No, financial and technical restrictions cannot allow this. This then begs the question, why would they offer something they cannot provide?
The catch in the “Unlimited Hosting Plan” is that the host finds a way to restrict usage. The Fair Usage Policy and Terms of Service restrict usage, hence putting a limitation on the term “unlimited”. This means that webmasters cannot fully enjoy what is termed as “unlimited hosting plans”. Fair use is primarily dependent on what the company terms as fair use. This means the hosting company can out restrictions on any of the features.
To enforce restrictions, web hosts cite their Fair Use Policy and Terms of Service. The hosting company is at liberty to impose restrictions as they deem fit. However, there are two main ways they use to limit these unlimited plans.
In a shared plan, one server hosts numerous sites in the “unlimited plan”, however, if a website is seen to use up too much of the CPU memory or space then its action is restricted through CPU throttling. The activities are limited to what the hosting companies considers fair usage. This means that websites cannot really enjoy the unlimited nature of the plans because in actual sense it is not practical. What should be of concern to you as a customer is the terms of service and FUP. This is where the catch will be and this is what creates a loophole to justify any restrictions even if the plan is packed as “unlimited”.
The concept behind bandwidth restrictions is the same as CPU throttling. Hosting companies restrict bandwidth usage if it exceeds a certain limit. This is done monthly and it means that the webmasters are unavailable or have to pay extra to have access to more bandwidth.
The above mentioned methods are some of the ways that hosting companies use to place restrictions in their hosting plans. It’s easy to miss these restrictions if you do not look at the terms of service closely. This shows that there is nothing like “unlimited web hosting”. The word “unlimited” is used to draw webmasters and make them sign up for these plans. When choosing any of these plans, you must bear in mind that restrictions still apply. What you should be on the lookout is the type of restrictions imposed. This will depend on your business and what you cannot do without in-terms of carrying out your daily operations.
“Unlimited hosting plans” are not practical because no hard drive has unlimited storage capacity. Perhaps in future one can be created, but that has not happened yet. What this means is that there are restrictions to the data that can be served, stored and uploaded. This can be argued out by hosts who have Storage Area Network (SAN), where drives can be added as needed. However, this still does not change the fact that data storage cannot be unlimited. As you keep adding drives it will reach a point you cannot add any more.
In light of this fact, you can choose a plan bearing in mind that the term “unlimited” will have restrictions. To fully understand how a web hosting company operates, talk to a previous or current client. Never fall for the term “unlimited”. Always get the facts right and know exactly the terms of the hosting plans you settle on.