Why ‘Unlimited’ Web Hosting Isn’t as Good as It Sounds

As you start to look for hosting providers, you might notice that many advertise “unlimited” hosting. While they might sound amazing—and often for a very inexpensive price!—unlimited hosting isn’t as good as it sounds. Here is what you need to know.

What Is Unlimited Hosting?

Think of unlimited hosting like an all-you-can-eat buffet. Most people get full after just one or two plates, which means the buffet owners are still making a good profit margin on you. Unlimited hosting providers think the same way. They know you will likely only use a certain amount of resources, and just in case, they will set limits, so you don’t go too far.

When a hosting provider offers unlimited hosting, they will provide features like unlimited bandwidth or disk space. Many times, the hosting providers will only offer unlimited plans on their shared hosting plans, because they know anyone who needs more resources will choose a VPS, cloud, or dedicated hosting plan.

What Does Bandwidth Mean In Web Hosting?

Bandwidth is the amount of data that is transferred between your website, visitors, and the Internet. How much bandwidth you have depends on how quickly the data can be transferred back and forth. You’ll notice that some companies offer a variety of bandwidth in their hosting plans, with it usually ranging from 1GB to 100GB. Typically, the more bandwidth you have access to, the faster the website will load.

The average blogger or business only needs shared hosting. Because web hosting providers know this, offering unlimited hosting is a great way to entice website owners to choose their hosting service over another one.

Having access to unlimited hosting makes you feel like you are getting a great deal. Instead of having to worry every time you upload something to your website about how much bandwidth you have used up, you don’t have to monitor your bandwidth with unlimited hosting. And as your site grows, you don’t have to worry about deleting older items to make room for new things.

Unmetered vs. Unlimited Bandwidth

You might have noticed that some hosting providers will offer “unlimited bandwidth.” Just like unlimited hosting, there is often a catch involved, and you need to make sure you read the fine print carefully.

Unlimited bandwidth means that you are free to use the first 10 GB for free, but after that, you are required to pay. The reason why many hosting providers offer this perk because they know that many small businesses and hobby websites might use just 1-5 GB of bandwidth each month. However, because of these additional hidden costs that come with increased bandwidth use, you might find that it doesn’t become very cost-effective if you aren’t careful.

On the other hand, unmetered bandwidth will be a little more clear and less confusing. The unmetered bandwidth hosting provider says that it will not measure how much bandwidth you use, and instead will just charge you a set amount each month.

Unmetered disk space is very similar. The hosting provider won’t carefully watch how much you are using, but you are expected not to be using the website to host some huge photography files, streaming videos, or something similar. You will still be kept to a certain amount of disk space, but you won’t have to worry too much about how much disk space you use as long as you are using the site as someone typically would.

Unlimited Inodes Hosting

In website hosting, an inode is a data structure that keeps the information about a file stored within your hosting account. How many inodes you have will correlate with how many folders and files you have, including account, emails, and anything else stored on your hosting account.

In most shared hosting, you’ll get between 100,000-250,000 inodes, which is likely more than enough to last the average shared hosting user for years. When you see a hosting provider that offers unlimited inodes hosting, it will have similar restrictions. You are allowed to use your fair share of inodes, but if you are hogging on the resources, then the hosting provider will require you to pay more.

What’s The Catch To Unlimited Website Hosting?What’s The Catch To Unlimited Website Hosting?

Before you sign any contract with a website provider, make sure you are reading the fine print of the contract carefully. For unlimited hosting plans, they will clearly state in the Terms and Service (TOS) that unlimited hosting doesn’t

Finding The Right Unlimited Hosting Provider For You

Unlimited hosting can be a good choice for you if you have a small or medium-sized website. As long as you use a reasonable amount of resources, it can be the right choice for you and your website. By checking out the TOS before making a commitment, you can ensure you are finding the right unlimited hosting provider for you.

Lindsey Conger
Author:
Lindsey is a freelance writer based out of Chicago who specializes in technology, business, finance, and real estate. Her work has appeared in Forbes, Dwell, and Stackstreet.

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"Why ‘Unlimited’ Web Hosting Isn’t as Good as It Sounds"

Why ‘Unlimited’ Web Hosting Isn’t as Good as It Sounds