Nowadays you see so many web hosting providers offering so-called unlimited web hosting. Unlimited bandwidth here and unlimited disk space there. It seems like the only limit is the sky. Well, the truth looks differently of course. There is no such things as unlimited bandwidth or unlimited disk space. Unless you have seen a hard drive with unlimited disk space somewhere on sale – I haven’t. The same is true for a network switch that could handle unlimited traffic. And then of course there is the web server hardware which has limitations – even though those boundaries really go high up quadruple quadcore CPU configurations and memory levels of 128 GB and more (there is more to this to say, but you get the idea).
So, what does unlimited really means? It’s a numbers game and a marketing game. Web hosting is a business often based on average values. The average website never uses more than X GB of bandwidth and on average only uses X amount of disk space. A web host – based on his/her experience – can now work these averages into a business model and create web hosting plans around it. A web server with 8 GB RAM and 1 TB disk can hold many more websites under this business model than the same web server where only the available physical disk space can be sold. This process is called “overselling”. This is nothing bad as long as the web host monitors the server closely and makes sure the physical limits never get reached.
Now, when it comes to unlimited web hosting you always have 1% of the users taking these offers by the word. Initially you would think this is more an accident, but most of these users know that they need a dedicated server and not a shared web hosting account. So, these users grab every available resource of a web server with their websites and that ruins the experience for everyone else. The server slows down and eventually crashes. The user gets suspended and complains in a public forum how bad this particular web host is . So, web hosts have recognized this problem and put a limit on unlimited into their terms of service. Unlimited means web hosting within certain limits and those limits are usually CPU and RAM of a server. Most users will never even come close to these limits and so it is a non-issue. However, it is an issue for those 1% of web hosting customers that take the web hosts by their words.
Conclusion: Unlimited web hosting does not exist even though it is advertised all over the place. It is a marketing gimmick and should be treated as such. For you, the normal web hosting just take it as it is – you get a web hosting account with huge allowances for a really low price. Do not expect unlimited resources though, because there is a reason why dedicated web servers exist. And unlimited web hosting is just one of them …
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