How often have you stumbled over the statement “Unlimited Disc Space and Bandwidth?” Almost every web-hosting site offers this on their shared hosting plans. But what does this mean for you? Is this a real offer or just an advertising trick marketing strategists have concocted to attract you as a callow newbie.
If the rest of the features of the hosting companies are written in proper English, the word “unlimited” can only be understood as “Humpty Dumpty” English.
The Language of Humpty Dumpty
In Lewis Carroll’s “Through the Looking Glass,” Humpty Dumpty redefined the meaning of the word “glory” to mean “a nice knock-down argument.” When Alice, to whom he was speaking, protested that this was not the correct meaning of the word, Humpty Dumpty replied:
“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in a rather scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”
This is also the case when a website hoster promises you unlimited disc space and unlimited bandwidth. The operator of the hosting sites is the only one who knows the meaning of the word “unlimited.”
Let’s translate the word “unlimited” from Humpy Dumpty into real English.
The power of God is unlimited, and if you take look at the world these days, you sometimes have a doubt about this unlimited power. The universe has historically been believed to be unlimited, but here most astrophysicists have their fair share of doubts
According to a well-known web hosting company, upon purchasing their package, you will be offered unlimited storage. But if you read the fine print in the TOS:
“You can add as much content as you want, but maybe not all at once” (unmodified quote).
So you rather than having the ability to upload unlimited content all at once, you can only do so piece by piece. And who determines what size the individual slices should be? Take three guesses: The web hosting company.
Which is exactly what the next statement taken from the web hosting company’s site confirms: “The vast majority of our customers’ sites grow at rates well within our rules, however, and will not be impacted by this constraint”. Most are, therefore, not covered by this rule, but some are nonetheless. But when?
At Bluehost, they explain in detail what they mean by “Unlimited”:
Unlimited Is Only For Cheap Shared Hosting!
You may already know that unlimited storage and bandwidth are only offered through cheap “shared” hosting plans.
For Reseller, VPS (Virtual Private Server) or the expensive dedicated servers, the space and the bandwidth for the customer is specified exactly.
The way Bluehost writes in “shared server” in small print is for bloggers, self-employed small business owners, etc. Only the successful ones will reach the unlimited offer in a timely manner.
The Honest Way To Offer Affordable And Reliable Web Hosting
But why not specify the storage space and bandwidth as some “honest” web hosting sites do?
Let us analyze from a so-called starter plan that offers 1 GB (1000 MB) of storage and 10 GB of monthly bandwidth.
What does this mean for a normal blogger, small business owner or Internet Marketer?
A normal WordPress page with two to three pictures takes about 0.5 MB.
With one GB of storage space, you can easily store about 2,000 pages or posts.
Let’s assume that the average visitor visits two pages, so he uses 1MB bandwidth. That gives us approximately 10,000 monthly visitors for your site without getting into trouble.
And the web hoster who offers you unlimited bandwidth and disk space makes the exact same calculation. Due to the average space used by their customers, they can gain benefits without offering you real unlimited space and bandwidth.
But what happens when you get on the fast-track to success with your website? The storage capacity is usually still sufficient, but the bandwidth can be exceeded. When using web hosts who specify clear conditions, you can usually see through the cPanel your space and your monthly bandwidth. It also informs you if you reach more than 80% of capacity. In this case, you can reduce or optimize your website, switch to a plan with more capacity, or purchase additional bandwidth or disk space.
Conclusion[Tweet “There is no “unlimited” web hosting. This is a myth, a fairy tale, and a marketing trick.”]
You should be aware of this when subscribing to a web-hosting plan. Your web hoster should tell you the exact capacity they’re offering you. So if you are running a site which hosts many forms of media such as videos, music, or a site where you store files for download, clarify this with your web host so that you don’t run straight into a trap. It is in any case better to know from the beginning what you get and what it will cost if you exceed the capacity. If you want to have clear conditions, affordable and reliable web hosting, read my post titled “How to find the-best hosting for WordPress,” or go straight to WP Hosting Club.
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