An Insiders Guide To Web Hosting (technical guide to choosing a host) – Part 1
First, as some of you may already know, I operate my own successful website hosting service, and have been within the web hosting industry for a few years. I’ve seen my fair-share of ups and downs, as well as a few rare do’s and don’ts. This guide will be a proper representation of my own personal experiences ‘on the inside’, and may not be based on facts or general knowledge.
Unlimited or Limited?
Choosing a valuable host that meets all of your consumer expectations can be equally as difficult as running your own hosting service from scratch. Hosting providers ‘provide’ services that they believe can be beneficial to the general hosting consumer, but what the host believes and what the consumer actually needs can sometimes be two entirely different things.
On one side of the table, you have the unlimited hosting provider that is trying to offer a service for all types of individuals, while the other side is trying to offer a more restrictive and realistic service with predefined disk space and bandwidth allocations. What does this mean for the general consumer? Honestly, not a whole heck of a lot.
Both the unlimited as well as the limited providers offer a seemingly identical hosting service, with no real changes in hosting infrastructure, other than how the host handles the consumption of disk space and bandwidth. For most consumers, an unlimited hosting provider such as HostGator or BlueHost would fit all of the consumers needs and requirements, and you would never run into any problems or issues.
However, unlimited itself is nothing more than a marketing term used to describe a service with no predetermined allocations in place. This does not indicate that the service is truly unlimited or infinite, simply that you can use as much of the service as reasonably possible.
Although some may argue that unlimited hosting does not and can never truly exist, and by the current literal dictionary definition of the term, they would be accurate in their assessment. That does not mean that unlimited hosting is a scam, as some of the largest web hosting services in the world are offering unlimited in some way or form.
Both of the hosting ‘sides’ share common restrictive similarities, including enforced restrictions on the percentage of processing speed or ram your website is permitted to use. This is normally outside of the unlimited coverage, and tends to be written in to the terms of service or usage agreement.
This is in no way a disadvantage to the unlimited provider, nor is it a disadvantage to the limited provider, as both sides provide nearly identical services in use and general functionality.
Having said the common differences and public opinions of the two hosting sides, we can now discuss which ‘side’ is better for your own personal website hosting services. Should you choose unlimited hosting, or something that offers predetermined allocations?
For most general purposes, choosing an unlimited hosting plan would provide you with more than enough disk space and bandwidth to host nearly any type of website or service. Most unlimited providers allow over 20 GBs of disk space to be stored on a single web hosting account, as well as a near infinite amount of monthly bandwidth.
However, because of the uncertainty with unlimited providers, they tend to offer services that they themselves are unable to actually provide, which results in the overselling of server resources. This could severely impact the performance of your hosted website, resulting in a website that loads extremely slowly.
Although most large and reputable hosting providers have advanced monitoring services in place, which normally ensures a fast and reliable service for all of their hosting clients, there are a few providers that do not have such monitoring services, and if these providers are not careful, it is highly likely that their servers are overloaded.
That is where the limited hosting provider has a major advantage over the unlimited, as they are selling portions of their web hosting server in equal amounts, which can then be monitored by the host to ensure a perfect service. They simply split up and divide their available resources into equal portions, while the unlimited host offers an all you can eat buffet.
So, to conclude this section of my article; if you are interested in hosting a small to medium sized website, and if you do not wish to be tied down to a certain predetermined disk allocation, unlimited is truly the only way to go in regards to hosting.
However, if you are instead looking to host a service that you are entirely sure can fit within a set predetermined amount of space, such as 2GB, a limited host is guaranteed to offer a reliable service that is sure to remain fast and stable.
To Be Continued
Part 2 of this guide will be written and published within the next week and a half. In the second part of this guide, I plan to write about the various ways that web hosting providers price their services, and which marketing strategies to be aware of.
My goal is to make this as informative as possible. I do hope that you enjoyed reading this article, and that you will subscribe to our email newsletter, so you can receive instant notifications as soon as another blog entry is published.
Also please consider writing a comment at the bottom of this article. I’m open to answering any and all web hosting related questions that you may have. Remember, I operate my own successful website hosting platform, and have years of experience within the web hosting industry. I’ve learned the lingo, and it would be an absolute honor to be able to pass my knowledge on to others, such as yourself.