It is not hard to find out there web hosting companies who claim to offer unlimited hosting for mere dollars a month, but is it the real deal? Before you decide on one and make your way to the checkout, we unveil the truth about “unlimited” hosting plans.

There’s no free lunch in this world. We do not know if this old adage holds true for other things but certainly it does for web hosting plans. After all, web hosting companies are in the business to make money, so as a smart consumer, you should recognise that the word unlimited should not be taken literally.

How does unlimited web hosting exist?

In general, the term “Unlimited Web Hosting” refers to web hosting offers that provide unlimited resources such as disk storage and emails. In other words, you can have the freedom to host as many websites and / or email accounts you wish for a small fee.

This is possible as web hosting companies can have several servers amounting to infinite amounts of space available for web hosting. And as the average business owners only use a tiny, or maybe even negligible portion of space within a server to run their daily operations, hosting companies can resell the unused space as unlimited space, well knowing (or safely betting) that the average user will never use all the space allocated to them.

Unlimited hosting is like an all-you-can-eat buffet

Think of unlimited web hosting plans as going for an all-you-can-eat buffet. You are welcomed to eat all you can as long as you are not spotted gobbling down plate after plate of food. Otherwise, you will be seeing yourself being chased away by securities.

What happens if I do use too much?

If you are caught taking advantage of the unlimited plan, like how you are caught gobbling down plate after plate of food within minutes in buffet, chances are that they will disable your site, or deny you access to your email account. And if you have not backed up your site files, you will be in big trouble.

Therefore, to avoid all the trouble, don’t fall into the trap of unlimited plans. Instead, sign up for the right plan in the first place. Access how much resource you will need for your website and email accounts, and more importantly, look at details such as the service provider’s after sales service, software support etc. Web hosting features do not ultimately determine the quality of the deal.

In addition, malicious attacks towards a simple website on a shared server may spread problems throughout the whole user base. This is often referred to as the “bad neighbour” effect. It is completely unpredictable and almost impossible to plan for.

If you really can’t resist the temptation of an “unlimited” plan, do read carefully the Terms of Service stated by the service provider, which most of them will say that there’s no imposed cap until your site’s activity has compromised the server.

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