When it comes to finding hosting for your sites you may have come across companies that offer “unlimited” hosting plans. These plans often seem too good to be true, and in many cases they are. In this article we will explain why we do not offer unlimited hosting to our clients, and why it might not be the best option for hosting your clients’ website’s.
What do you mean by unlimited?
Generally speaking, people mean one of three things when talking about “unlimited hosting”:
- Shared/virtual hosting with no limits on disk space and bandwidth/data transfer
- Reseller hosting with no disk space and bandwidth/data transfer, and sometimes no limit on the number of accounts
- Dedicated/virtual servers with no bandwidth/data transfer limits
There are other places where you may also see unlimited e.g.
- Unlimited domains
- Unlimited email accounts
As with most things in the world of hosting websites, there’s no industry standard.
The elephant in the room
It’s right there, the elephant in the room and you’ve probably seen it already on our virtual hosting, we offer “as many as you need” on:
- Email accounts
- Domains in an account
Why do we do this? We do it because there are governed by:
- Your disk space limit
- Your bandwidth/data transfer limit
- Your CPU limit
- Your memory limit
Meaning that if you add 1000 websites to your hosting, they’re all going to be sharing your own, account limits – so in effect you’re over-subscribing your own account, not our server and you’re going to cause speed issues with your sites, and why would you do that?
This isn’t what most people mean by unlimited hosting though.
What stops you offering it?
Ultimately nothing stops us from offering what people usually mean – unlimited disk space, unlimited bandwidth. The only thing stopping us our own values and ethos and we’ll set out below how unlimited hosting conflicts with that.
It’s not possible
First and foremost, it is important to understand that nothing is unlimited and that web hosting is no exception, even the major cloud providers such as AWS and Azure have limits on services and limits on the amount of new resources they can provide quickly. There is always a limit somewhere.
If something isn’t possible, we don’t offer it.
It’s not honest
The fact that there is a limit somewhere is usually buried away in the terms and conditions (T&C), terms of service (TOS) or acceptable use policy (AUP), which is quite often hidden away as well. The limits come in many forms, depending on the type of hosting you’re buying:
- Restrictions on file sizes and types e.g. “no files over 1GB in size” or “no video files”
- Restrictions on file usage e.g. “all files must be used as part of the website”, meaning you can’t use it for file storage
- Restrictions on code execution e.g. “no code can run for more than X seconds”
- Restrictions that are artificially low for database connections etc.
- Restrictions on WordPress plugins you can use e.g. No WooCommerce etc.
So it’s only “unlimited” in a limited and defined way, which isn’t what the dictionary says.
Here at KDAWS we believe in transparency and honesty when it comes to our hosting services.
If something isn’t honest, we don’t do it.
It can affect performance
Some providers claim to not limit CPU or memory for websites, meaning you can use as much as you want (check that TOS/AUP though!). What does that leave for other websites? What if you’re the “other” websites? How fast and consistent do you think your sites will perform?
If something isn’t fast, we’re not interested.
It relies on a large volume of customers
If you’re selling more resources (“unlimited” remember) then the only ways to make money when people take advantage of that are:
- Put the price for each hosting account up
- Put more websites per server to bring the average usage per account down
Quite often companies offering unlimited hosting are on the lower end of the pricing spectrum, so we’ll let you decide what that means for how many websites there are per server.
If you’re putting more websites per server, then that means you’re in effect giving everyone less resources – there’s only so much CPU, memory, disk space (and disk performance) to go round.
Some companies will try and combat this by moving customers around between servers, but ultimately this requires a large volume of customers to balance the ones taking advantage of “unlimited” vs. those not.
If something means losing the personal touch with our customers, it’s not for us.
Whilst “unlimited” hosting plans may seem appealing they are not always the best option, we see evidence of this every day on social media and web forums. If you are looking for a web hosting provider for your customers then we encourage you to chose a company that is upfront about the limits of their hosting plans, even if it isn’t us!
We hope now that you’ve read this that you understand why we don’t sell unlimited hosting and how it can affect your web site. If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch on our social channels, email or phone.