When you are search for a web host for your website and doing research for selecting your web host, you may find that almost all of the web hosts are providing:
- Unlimited web space
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Unlimited domains hosting
Unfortunately it’s not possible for a web host to provide unlimited web hosting as every server and data center has limits.
As most people are using very less space for their websites, and as most of the websites are database driven the uses of web space is getting decreased.So if a web host provider have a space of 200 GB hard disk and 100 clients on that server; they should not offer more than 0.5 gb of space but they know that even that amount space will not be used. There will be a huge amount of free space if 100 general user clients use them.
A very common way to limit space is introducing the concept of inodes. If you check properly all unlimited shared hosting plan have limited inodes. And this inode is nothing but the number of files. Most CMS have almost 4000-10000 files and if you are using too many images then inode may be a critical factor while choosing a web hosting.
I have a website with 100 – 200 web pages and about 100 images which is using merely a 300 MB of web space.
This marketing tactic (which is what it is) has a name – overselling. Overselling simply means to sell more than you actually have. Due to the competitive nature of the web hosting industry web hosts have been increasing the amount of space advertised in order to gain more market share. Web hosts that offer advertise unlimited hosting are doing so with the hopes that the majority of people on the server won’t use much space. The truth is that the majority of people using shared hosting are not likely to use/need very much space so that’s another reason why it’s so common to sell unlimited offers.
How Do Companies Get Away With This?
Simple, these companies protect themselves with small print hidden in their terms of service/acceptable usage policy. For example a web host may say they offer unlimited bandwidth but in their acceptable usage policy they have:
“No client can use more than 3% of the total server resources at anyone time”
Not only does this make it impossible for the client to use much space but it also means the hosting company is not breaking any laws so there is nothing that we can do about it.
Why Do Companies Still Oversell?
To anyone new in the hosting world having unlimited of anything at $5/month is just too good to turn down. The majority of people using unlimited shared hosting will never believe that they are limited because only a couple of people will go over the limits.
What’s The Real Value Of Bandwidth?
To put it into perspective the most visited website on the Internet Youtube costs Google an estimated $1-3 million every month in bandwidth expenses alone, if unlimited bandwidth web hosting really was possible Google would be spending $5 a month on hosting.
Should, I avoid Unlimited Hosting?
This will greatly depend on your requirements. If you have a personal website you’re unlikely to face any problems in unlimited hosting but if you’re looking to host your business’s website it would be a good idea to look for a host with limits as the quality is more than likely to be higher.