Unlimited Web Hosting

Unlimited Web HostingYou’ve signed up for unlimited hosting only to find out that your plan comes with a bunch of caps and restrictions  – not so “unlimited” after all. This isn’t a fun thing to discover in the midst of a hosting contract. Typically, those restrictions are buried in the middle of a massive hosting contract, and most people never bother to read those contracts. So, technically, the hosting company did warn you (not fair, I know).

What if you reach a restriction limit? What happens then?

Unlimited Web Hosting: What to do When Your Limit Has Been Reached

If that sneaky limit has been reached, you will get a notice from your hosting company stating that you have reached the cap. Once this happens, you will have to pay extra. But, it gets a lot more complicated than this.

Let’s look at the hosting jargon for “your account isn’t as limited as you think.”

User policy pages often state that “you can use all resources available to you, but you cannot cause issues to others that use the same server.” Hmm.

Here the word “unlimited” loses its shine.

You need to take care of website optimization, so that it does not pound CPU, hog RAM or do tons of I/O disk operations. No host is going to allow this whether its plans are limited or unlimited. Every host hopes from their customers to use minimum bandwidth, disk space, memory, CPU, and file system. That’s the reality of it all. It’s not a great reality, but it exists all the same.

Unlimited Web Hosting: Should You Know Better?

Hosting companies will argue that anyone using their services is aware of the term “unlimited shared hosting plan.” As such, those that sign up for this plan should know that many different clients use the same server. Companies will also argue that only 0.01% of users actually reach the limit and that any site that does reach this limit should be moved to a dedicated hosting package instead.

Websites that reach these very high limits are often generating a lot of good traffic due to a good site design and good content, or (and this is often the case) a site is set up as a spam site. Most hosting plans do satisfy 99.99% of customers, though.

Unlimited Web Hosting: Insurance Policies

Clearly, the term “unlimited” is used to a hosting company’s discretion. Some companies have caught onto the fact that a few clients will reach the limit, and, thus, are offering hosting insurance. These insurance policies state that a site won’t be suspended – even after a site has reached higher than permitted usage levels. This may give some users protection against unfair caps, but it will add onto your hosting bill.

Important Terms to Understand

Unlimited web hosting can be a really good idea for some companies, but there has to be an understanding between hosting companies and clients first. Some points that every hosting company should adjust or make clearer include:

  • Hosting accounts can’t be used for storage purposes. Using a hosting account for storage purposes can lead to packed disks. This is why some companies only allow clients to store files that are linked to a website. Or, a limited amount of possible storage should be set up.
  • Customers must be aware of hosting violations. Anyone that violates a hosting term can have a website shut down.
  • Copyright material should not be distributed without proper licenses.
  • Customers should have the right to put anything they see fit on a site – but it is a customer’s problem if a site is shut down.

Some companies already have these policies in place, but others do not. It is vital that you understand the terms set forth by your hosting company, and that you realize that some hosting companies are not going to spell everything out for you. I know it’s a hassle, but make sure to read that fine print. When a company offers “unlimited” shared hosting, know that this really means there is, in fact, a cap on an allowed amount – find out what that cap is, and try not to cross it.

A site that almost busts the limit is a good thing (if you are not spamming!), but just make sure that your site is moved to a dedicated hosting package when you start to get lots of hits – or, make it simpler on yourself, and start with a dedicated hosting option! Check out SiteGeek.com to see what kinds of stats the hosting company you have in mind showcases!

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