If you want to set up a website, you must obtain web hosting. There are many options available on the market, but the ones that catch the eye most often are the unlimited web hosting plans. On the surface, these seem like a great deal. You get all the storage space and bandwidth you want for just a few dollars per month. However, there are few things you should know about these plans to ensure you are making an informed decision.
These unlimited plans are typically offered as part of a shared hosting package. Your account will be placed on a shared server with 30 to 40 other sites. This keeps the price of web hosting low because the cost of managing the server is spread out among all the accounts on the machine. Instead of paying $100 per month for a dedicated machine, you’ll pay about $4 to $5 per month for an account on a shared machine.
The issue becomes apparent almost immediately. There is no way all the accounts on a shared machine can have unlimited storage and bandwidth. What the hosting company is banking on is that statistical fact that most of the people on the server will only use one or two gigabytes of disk space and a few gigabytes of bandwidth. A lot of sites on the Internet are very small and many are abandoned but the owners continue to pay the hosting fee to keep them up. With these two factors in mind, you can see how easy it is to offer unlimited web hosting plans.
However, logic dictates that a limitation exists somewhere and that limitation often comes in the form of usage restrictions. If an account does take advantage of the unlimited offer and begins using a lot of the server’s resources, then the account may be capped by the web hosting company. When this occurs differs between companies, but often you can find the information about usage restrictions in the terms of service or acceptable use policy.
For the most part, getting an unlimited web hosting plan is still a fairly good deal, particularly if your site is small. However, carefully read the service agreements to ensure you know what you’re getting for your money.