What Is Unlimited Web Hosting Exactly?

Every shared web hosting company these days “offers” unlimited bandwidth, unlimited diskpace and unlimited databases. But is it really true? Unfortunately, not really. First of all, shared hosting means you are sharing a single server with many users. It’s physically impossible for your server to have unlimited anything really.

How did all this unlimited web hosting start? Basically, as the web hosting industry became more and more competitive, each web host had to continually one-up each other to standout and grab the most customers. Pretty soon, that 250MB of diskspace became 1GB, which turned into 100GB, which finally became unlimited diskspace. Since every web host had to keep up with what everyone else was doing, we soon got the standard unlimited bandwidth, unlimited diskpace and unlimited databases plans that we see today.

If your webhost doesn’t really offer unlimited resources, then what are your real limits? Unfortunately, with many web hosts, this is quite hard to figure out. You really need to read the fine print to find out. One common limitation though, is your inode limit. And inode (index node) is basically a fancy term for file. Most web hosts have some sort of limit on the number of inodes you can create on your server.

For example, our #1 rated best web hosting company Hostgator has a limit of 250,000 inodes. In comparison, Bluehost and JustHost only allow you to have 50,000 inodes. If your web host uses CPanel, then you can check how many inodes your account is using by looking at the Statistics on the sidebar.

inodes

While most typical users will never hit their web host limits, if you do, most web hosting companies will ask you to upgrade from your shared web hosting plan. So that means either going to a VPS web hosting plan or a dedicated web hosting plan. This will cost you more money, but if you’ve outgrown your shared hosting plan, that probably means your sites are doing well and you can afford it.

All this means is that for me, features are a distant third in the things to look for when picking the best web host. Since most web hosting companies offer the same set of features, look more closely at things like reliability, uptime, and customer support when deciding which web host to go with.

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