These days most of the web-hosting companies market themselves with unlimited webhosting, and its working out great. Couple of years back (And even now), many webhosting companies have limited hosting. Now, when we talk about unlimited webhosting, that usually means unlimited disk space and unlimited bandwidth. While shopping for a web-hosting, you should definitely look out for these two features, as it will save a lot of headache in near-future. Though, there are few things that you should definitely know about unlimited Web-hosting. Before we move ahead, let me explain what we meant by unlimited disk-space and bandwidth.
- Unlimited disk-space: This feature will let you host unlimited files on your server, and is very important for any dynamic website. Specially if you are running a blog, or a web-service which requires users to upload files, you will be needing a hosting company, which allow either unlimited disk-space or have a very high limit for number of files you can store on your server.
- Unlimited bandwidth : Also known as unlimited data-transfer, this feature will ensure that your website will not be affected when you are getting a very high number of visits. For example, if any of your website content went viral, and you getting millions of traffic, your server bandwidth will not become a reason for your website downtime.
What one thing no one will tell you about Unlimited Web-hosting?
Now, think about ” Is there anything that could be truly unlimited“?. The planet we stay in, have limited resource, and only known unlimited entity is Sun, which will also die after 5 billion years from now. The fact is, none of us (You and me) will be alive to see the death of sun. Most of the web-hosting companies rely on the same manner as Sun, when they call themselves as unlimited webhosting (unlimited disk-space, unlimited bandwidth).
The value for number of files you can store on your server, and bandwidth which you can consume on your hosting is relatively so high, that it feels like unlimited. Most of the unlimited hosting company have strict TOS and rules to backup their unlimited plan, so that no-one misuses it. Majority of hosting users, never reach to that high-limit defined by these hosting companies, and it feels like we are on an unlimited hosting space.
Unlimited hosting has a very little to do with the number of traffic your website is getting, it has more to do with the resources you are using. Specially, when you are on shared hosting, your website from server management point of view is seen as, CPU or ram you are using, stress your website is putting on entire server and so on. Which can easily be controlled by optimising your website or using caching on your website. For example, any WordPress blog can take advantage of cache plugin and CDN to lower down the server load to a great level. You should also consider adding Cloudflare CDN to block bad bots, and this reducing your server usage.
For any individual who is planning to host a website, it’s important to have a hosting with unlimited bandwidth + storage, but at the same time they should know what are the fair usage policy defined by these hosting companies. In this post, I will discus some of the popular hosting companies, and their limit for unlimited hosting usage.
Dremhost unlimited policy:
I checked Dreamhost unlimited policy, and they haven’t put any numbers on amount of bandwidth and file-storage, but they have mentioned stuff that are not allowed on their unlimited hosting policy. To be clear, they have not specified any numbers, and this unlimited policy may impact a very little number of Dreamhost users.
Your database should not exceed few GB in size.
Following stuff are not allowed on Dreamhost unlimited hosting:
- Copyrighted content to which you do not hold usage or distribution rights.
- File upload / sharing / archive / backup / mirroring / distribution sites.
- A site created primarily to drive traffic to another site.
- Making your account resources available (whether for free or pay) to the general public.
Apart from aove things, unlimited hosting is unlimited for Legitimate Website Owners.
Hostgator Unlimited policy:
Of all the shared hosting company, Hostgator offers great resources for hosting your website on a shared hosting environment. Their shared hosting is as good as resources offered by any level 2 or level 3 VPS server. Here are few things which you should know about Hostgator unlimited hosting packages:
- If you spike the server too hard or for too long, you will be suspended for taking the resources from your fellow shared server users.
- Inode limit: Hostgator have an iNode limit of 100k/250k . 100k is the soft limit, that means when you have uploaded 100,000 files on your server, you will still be able to upload more files. But new files will not be included on backup. When you reach the limit of 250,000 files, your account will be terminated. Again, these numbers are very high and you don’t have to worry much.
- Resource limit is using 25% or more of system resources for longer then 90 seconds.
- Can’t not use Hostgator as file-sharing or any peer-to-peer activity.
- Your MySQL queries cannot run longer than 15 seconds. MySQL tables should be indexed appropriately.
- Hostgator bandwidth limit is not known to the public, but they reset their bandwidth usage at the first of every month. As they offer unlimited bandwidth, the bandwidth resource is usually very high.
Bluehost Unlimited Plan limit:
Bluehost is a popular choice for WordPress shared hosting, and here are the limits for Bluehost unlimited plans.
- Inodes limit of 50K/200k. 50k is the soft limit, and 200K is the hard-limit.
- I also contacted Bluehost for finding the bandwidth limit, and they said there is no set limit until-unless you playing fair.
- You can’t throttle CPU usage for more than 5 minutes in any given hour.
Other Hosting Unlimited Terms you should know:
Unlimited domain hosting:
This is one of the thing that most of the newbies miss out. When you buy an unlimited domain hosting, that means you can install multiple website on a single hosting package. Most of the popular shared hosting companies offer unlimited domain hosting. This is also popularly known as unlimited website hosting. When deciding any webhosting company, ensure that you opt out for unlimited domain hosting package. If you are planning to host only one website, in that case single domain hosting is appropriate choice for you. Hostgator Hatchling plan offers single domain hosting, and all other plans (Baby and business plan) offers unlimited domain hosting.
Most of the static website doesn’t need database, but all the self-hosted blogging platform like WordPress requires MySQL database. Now if you are on a hosting which allows only 1 or 2 MySQL database, it will be an issue when you planning to integrate forum, membership site or more with your website. So look out for unlimited database or at least more than 1 MySQL database hosting.
Unlimited FTP users:
This is again useful when you are outsourcing work on your website. Instead of giving away main FTP account, you can create an extra FTP user with custom access permission.
Do remember, these unlimited hosting companies are not scamming or cheating you by calling themselves unlimited. Usually these unlimited size are in Tetrabytes, and you will not be able to consume all of it, if you are playing fair and not indulging yourself in any illegal activities or violating their Terms of services. Do remember, it’s a good idea to opt out for unlimited hosting instead of limited hosting while purchasing a hosting for your new website.
Don’t forget to share this guide with your friends to educate them about the truth of unlimited hosting companies. This information is always good to know for every shared hosting users.
Note: This post was originally published on our WordPress hosting blog, and republished here because it’s awesome and useful for bloggers. Feel free to share this with your friends via email or Facebook.