Thursday, March 27, 2014

The myth of Unlimited Web Hosting

There are a number of hosting services that in the bold print offer unlimited disk space and unlimited bandwidth. The reality is that absolutely no one is giving those services as unlimited because a single person could bankrupt the company. By the way, “bandwidth” is the sum of the file sizes that are uploaded and downloaded.

These are simply a few of the more common caveats that you’ll see in the fine print:

1.  You cannot use the disk space for offsite backup. Therefore unless you are serving all of that content over the Internet to site visitors, you are violating their terms of service.

2.  All hosting services monitor the amount of CPU usage and “hits” to the database. For most services, if you’re using more than some multiple of what the average user uses, they will block your account. This is a common problem for those whose content requires constant access to a database from a database driven content management system. We have seen many people who build their websites using these sophisticated programs designed for delivering a lot of changing content and then don’t update the content. What they end up with is a site that’s very inefficient.

3. Another old trick used by hosting services is that if you’re using a lot of bandwith, they simply slow the speed that they deliver the content of your website to visitors. If they slow it enough, they make their problem go away at the expense of your visitors getting slow response times.

Let me give you to reality of all of this. It’s very very very few websites that utilize more than minimal resources of disk space, bandwidth or CPU usage. If you put those large video files at YouTube (or similar services), don’t load a large MP3 file to play in background on a webpage, optimize your photos and just put online only what your visitors want to, you won’t have any issues.

The biggest scam of the Unlimited Web Hosting claim is that people think they are getting something by signing up for hosting companies that offer it. Then hosting companies that honestly put realistic limits on resources are losing customers because of their honesty. Does anyone really believe that they can get unlimited usage of anything for a few dollars a month?

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