Be aware of Unlimited tags in low cost web hosting

“I want to host my own site? Should I go for low cost shared web hosting or I will go for cheap dedicated hosting? What should I do? What hosting should I buy? Shared hosting… or dedicated website hosting services or may be a server of my own? Or should I go for cloud hosting or a virtual private server?…” Every one who runs a website on the internet has gone through these questions.  Often beginners make mistakes in deciding. And it is a fact that a good webmaster is one who is an experienced webmaster. You might want to check a horror story at story behind

Go to Google and search for hosting and you will be flooded with results of website hosting providers. Majority of the hosting service providers provide shared hosting service, many provided dedicated website hosting services/ dedicated servers or virtual private servers. Dedicated web hosting service or dedicate servers are much more expensive compared to shared hosting, but they are many a times worth the money.

Now, for beginners the offers, or rather the promises, made by the shared hosting service companies often sounds too good to be true.

What does it mean? well consider a typical offer below?

Host Multiple Domains  – UNLIMITED Disk Storage – UNLIMITED Data Transfer – UNLIMITED Sub Domains – UNLIMITED …. …. …and other mind boggling features.. all for  few dollars  a month. … with 99.9% uptime promise ( Remember: promises are meant to be broken) Now can you spot the catch above?

You might have guessed it right. It is the word “UNLIMITED”.  Before going further let us ask ourselves a simple logical question, It is possible for the richest of the rich of the planet to provide unlimited Disk Storage, Unlimited bandwidth for less to any one who buys it for less than $10 a month? The answer is a big no. No, because high speed, always available bandwidth aint cheap.

More over, maintaining datacenters to provide storage space of such scale is exorbitant. So back to the original question, how do these companies survive? Or rather doing well  with such business models? This is because the word “unlimited” they use is actually very closely related to “shared unlimited”. Which means, they will offer you good infrastructure, good bandwidth but you have to share it with other hundred or may be thousands of customers of theirs.

Now, one might ask, what’s wrong with that? After all we are paying less. This is surely right, but only if you know what you are going into. Remember, if 1 of those customers keeps on adding files to the disk and keeps on eating up the bandwidth to extreme levels (There are many webmasters who keep on experimenting, they flood their own websites with fake traffic (many times for Alexa ranking) that is going to affect rest of the customers who are hosted on the same box.

Now in such a scenario, other customers who, unfortunately share the same box, see that their website is taking 10 minutes to load a page or may be the page is not loading at all. An average webmaster can not monitor the website all day long.  And then what is your option, contact support.

Yes, you contact them once, twice, trice, 100 times. Your issues gets resolved, but temporarily. Then finally you get frustrated, you think of giving up your great business idea or think of shutting down your website. You certainly cant spend money on bringing traffic to your site as there is huge possibility that the money spent in traffic might get wasted if the site becomes terribly slow 10 times a day.

And other million issues accompany. Now, there are benefits of shared hosting as well. If you are running an experiment. And you do not wish to invest more money in dedicated servers or dedicated hosting. And more importantly you know what you are doing. Even if you are planning to go for shared hosting you should consider investing in a limited package (as opposed to Unlimited packages). This is because, if it is limited for you, it is limited for others as well.

So although you are sharing the hosting infrastructure and bandwidth. It is most likely going to be equally distributed. And the chances of your sites becoming too fast or too slow or completely unpredictable are much less. Low cost web hosting service the purpose sometimes. Cheap dedicated hosting in the form of cloud hosting is another consideration.There are even better alternatives than shared hosting  (one end) and dedicated servers (other end). It is called cloud hosting or cloud sites. These are of much better quality and sort of pay as you use. When you go for cloud hosting your sites are placed on infrastructure which are connected in a redundant way to keep your website available at all times from multiple redundant nodes.

Generally cloud hosting are medium priced, the offers are not very lucrative but they are a very good alternative for serious website owners. Also, another concept in cloud hosting is you pay for what you use, like the bandwidth, the disk space, the compute cycle of the cpu etc. This model makes sure, if your business grows you do not have any issues with scalability.  So in a way cloud hosting can be termed as cheap dedicated hosting or cheap dedicated website hosting.

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