The Truth about unlimited hosting accounts!!

Well you’re ready to get that hosting account for the website you’ve been planning now what? How do you decide on a company to use for hosting? There are so many companies that if you put website hosting into Google you get over 79 million page listings for it. Well you might choose based on a local company which can be a good thing because you can always drive over to their office and talk to them.

You could also choose the way most people seem to choose for their web site. They choose based on price and what the offerings are from the hosting company and many choose these so called unlimited hosting plans. So what does an unlimited hosting plan really offer?

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Let’s start with the definition of the word “unlimited”:
Definitions of unlimited on the Web:
having no limits in range or scope; “to start with a theory of unlimited freedom is to end up with unlimited despotism”- Philip Rahv; “
outright: without reservation or exception
inexhaustible: that cannot be entirely consumed or used up; “an inexhaustible supply of coal”
source: http://wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn
 
Well after viewing the terms of service of from numerous companies I found a few issues with the unlimited plans. While allot of the companies Terms I looked at and read (yes I have no life) read the TOS (man that’s some dry reading). Anyway many companies do not even reference the unlimited aspect in their TOS most likely an oversight they probably haven’t had to deal with it in a while.

While most of the companies did have a reference to the unlimited aspect of their hosting business these references often spoke on the same subject and what they all said when you distill it out to English is the following.

While we (hosting company name here) do not place any restrictions on bandwidth or storage space we do expect that you will fall into what we consider normal usage for a web hosting account. Yes we are offering you an unlimited account but it does not really mean unlimited what it means is that by saying we will give you an unlimited account you think your getting a better deal. But try putting it to the test and really maxing out the service by offering up videos and lots of pictures and we will shut you down.

My favorite of all the TOS I looked at was the one that really spelled it out “The use of more than 250,000 inodes on any shared account may potentially result in a warning first and if no action is taken future suspension. Accounts found to be exceeding the 50,000 inode limit will automatically be removed from our backup system to avoid over-usage. Every file (a webpage, image file, email, etc) on your account uses up 1 inode.” This pretty much tells it all although one of the biggest issues here of course is the contradiction can you see it.

Yes, there is it first they say 250,000 will get you a warning then they say 50,000 will get you removed. So how many TOS contracts did I read for this article? Well I read 20 from what is considered some of the largest hosting companies going. I was tedious but I put myself out there so you don’t have to, nothing is too good for my readers.  Now granted since I only read though those TOS there may well be companies out there that offer real unlimited service but I cannot see how since there is eventually a limit on how much bandwidth or space someone can even use. So they don’t really meet the true definition of the word.

Do you need an unlimited account? You probably do not especially since they don’t really exist if you refer to the definition of unlimited above since almost all companies place some sort of limit on it in some form or another. This is one reason we do not offer unlimited accounts for hosting since your goal for hosting your web site is to bring in business to your company, you want the best service you can get that will provide the resources you need to do that. How is the best way to do that?

Often your best bet is to contact the hosting company and ask for some domains they host and then contact the owners ask a few questions and you may want to even do a check on how many web sites are hosted using a tool like this http://www.yougetsignal.com/tools/web-sites-on-web-server/ why is this important. Well the reason it is important is that the more sites hosted on your server the more adverse your site will be affected by either the other guy’s usage or in severe cases it may even be impacted by the type of sites they host (that is another article).

One good thing that comes from having a limit on your account is that you will make plans on how to use it most effectively. You might realize you do not need to upload every picture you have and choose only the best ones; you might remember to delete those files that are a couple of years old and no longer representing your company.

So to sum it all up, there is no such thing as a free lunch, there is no true unlimited hosting and you could get stung by it all. We do however recommend our servers www.firedragonhosting.com where we not only offer accounts that have limits but we also limit the number of hosting accounts per server. Many other companies will host thousands of sites on a server while we limit ours to 700 per server and they are usually a good mix of both small and larger accounts to allow for best server performance.

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This article copyright©2009 John Overall Smart Bomb Enterprises
You may link to it quote it but do not copy entire article without my express permission.

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