Do I Need A Host With Unlimited Space?
When first getting started with setting up websites it is easy to be drawn in by big promises made by the many different hosting providers all competing to host your sites. One of the increasingly popular terms used by some hosts to entice new customers is 'unlimited' space to host an unlimited number of websites with an unlimited number of pages and media. At the outset this can sound good to a newbie to web hosting as operating without space restrictions must be good, right? Well, as is outlined in the rest of this article, having unlimited space is not necessarily the great benefit that it is made out to be. Furthermore, it can distract you from paying close attention to the hosting features that really do matter and making sure they are present with the host you intend to sign up to.
Unlimited Often Doesn't Really Mean Unlimited
When hosting firms make the claim that they offer unlimited storage packages they are often rather vague about what this actually means. When you chisel down the detail from the small print of most of these "unlimited" storage hosting packages it quickly becomes apparent that certain restrictions do apply. Common restrictions include limits on how much content you can add at any one time, not being allowed to use the space to back up offline data and discovering that there is a fair use policy applied to the so-called unlimited package.
Unlimited Can Mean Slower Performance
It stands to reason that, from a financial perspective, it would be impossible for a web host to continually spend more and more money on hard disk space for customers spending to accommodate the needs of customers paying a low monthly fee and using unlimited hosting to the max. There has to be a catch somewhere. In a nutshell, the catch is that "unlimited" shared accounts usually involve far too many customers being put onto one single fixed storage space server, meaning that if even one user uses a lot of storage it can seriously slow up the performance of all users' websites.
Unlimited Accounts Can Be Closed Down
It is rare but not entirely uncommon for accounts hosting unlimited accounts to be closed down by the host company. If you are an extremely heavy user of an unlimited package, then the company may ask you to upgrade to a package offering more bandwidth and storage. If you refuse to upgrade, then you may find your account is shut down.
More Important Things To Focus On
In most cases the more important hosting features to focus on are uptime, disk speed and customer support and not on whether it is marketed as being "unlimited" or not. For most users even a small hosting account will provide enough storage, especially considering how common it is to host videos with YouTube and large files with Amazon S3 which greatly reduce your storage needs. Also take some time to read impartial third party feedback on potential hosting companies you are interested in to make sure you sign with one that has a good reputation.
You categorically do not need to go for a host that offers "unlimited" space. As long as the package offers enough storage and bandwidth for your needs it is better to focus on speed, uptime and customer service.