If you are a startup or may have some new idea popping into your head, you might be thinking about opening a website for it. Though there are many companies now a days who provide easy to use website builder without worrying about any technical things, but if you want a more custom website with some unique design or feature exclusively tailored for your needs, you might consider having a self-hosted website build using extraordinary CMS like WordPress.
But with self-hosted websites, the first problem that all users have to face is choosing a good hosting company to host their website securely and extremely fast. Now here the problem comes, most techy nerds will get their own VPS server and then do all the management by themselves but most common people neither familiar with all those linux command gibberish stuffs nor have the extra time to spend of fixing server management issues, installing patches etc. So, most of us end up with the choice of Managed Hosting.
Now, initially most people go with shared hosting as they have very little budget and small need for their website but overtime if they gets thousands & thousands of daily users they might consider upgrading to a VPS.
If you are very new in this webmaster arena and may be creating your very first website, you might make a mistake of getting your hosting with big name companies like GoDaddy, Hostgator, Bluehost, Justhost, Hostdime, Namecheap etc. Initially you might not understand what a blunder you have made until you use them for a few months, which I will explain below.
Most people opt for these companies because these are well-known brands. We see ads of these companies on internet, on TV and many other places. Moreover people opt with these kind of hosting companies by seeing their UNLIMITED EVERYTHING marketing gimmick. Without even understanding how they are getting fooled by these companies just by some marketing gimmicks. Don’t believe me? Well keep reading, you will find it out by yourself.
What’s the story behind Unlimited hosting?
Before telling you the truth about these UNLIMITED hosting companies, let me ask you one simple question, what is unlimited in this world? Let’s take the example of sunlight a very common object we see every day and think it will be there forever. But the truth is it’s not gonna be there forever. Sun is dying everyday by lighting us and one day it’s gonna run out of fuel and we all die.
This same story gets applies for everything in this world whether it’s sunlight or web hosting. Now to understand this UNLIMITED marketing gimmick first you have to understand what a web server is and how does it works.
A web server is just another computer just like your home PC but build much more sophisticatedly so that it can run a long time without getting rebooted and provide key services. Now if you have a superfast internet connection in your home you can make your own PC a server too and host your website there. So, in short web servers are also just like any other computer you see everyday.
Now when it comes to your PC hard drive have you ever seen any company selling a hard drive with unlimited space? No. You can get TBs of hard drive but it still has a limit and not unlimited. Now you might say they hosting companies are keep adding new hard drive whenever one gets filled. But think this, every single hard drive any company purchase (no matter what kind of deal they are getting) still they have to spend money on that and they are not charging you more, so do they give this money from their own pocket? Of Couse not. Also there is always a limit of how many maximum hard drive you can attach on each motherboard. So, again they are not keep adding a whole new server with new motherboard and hard disk to give you the unlimited space. It’s utterly ridiculous.
Then how these companies provide Unlimited hosting?
Well, it’s not that hard to create the illusion of unlimited. They basically achieve the UNLIMITED marketing gimmick just by following 4 simple steps:
- Use 3rd graded server with disgusting hardware
- Have dumber support staffs
- Oversell the server till it’s last processing power
- Have very strong unlimited Terms & Condition stating how you can use the unlimited feature and what things you can’t do.
Now-a-days hosting industry is so competitive that companies didn’t get much chance to keep a large profit cut on the shared hosting plans. Because people purchase shared hosting as they are cheap. But they keep their profit high by following the four key points I’ve stated above. Let me explain each of them briefly.
1. Using 3rd graded server with disgusting hardware
If you are creating your first website, you might not understand the importance of blazing fast hosting server. But overtime you will understand it as fast website is not just important for a good user experience but also for good SEO score and search presence.
Most of these big brand companies uses extremely low grade server with ancient hardware, physical hard drives (not SSDs) and they barely do maintenance on these server. Which end up having many security flaws in the server and even the change of getting your site hacked. These companies only care and maintain their VPS and Dedicated server clients as they are paying a huge amount of money every month.
Do you know?
The most big brand hosting companies you see or hear names everyday like GoDaddy, Hostgatore, BlueHost, BigRock, JustHost etc. are basically part of one single company named Endurance International Group uses the same resource all together but uses different brand name just to fool you.
A pure SSD based server (not SSD caching) can make your site load 4 times faster than normal physical hard drive based servers, but they are costly and these companies cannot make the amount of profit they are currently making. Here is an honest review of a Godaddy hosting user.
2. Dumber Support Staffs
Now, quality customer support is one of the most important aspect of web hosting. But as these companies needs to make their huge profit from their shared hosting account, they support people they hire are dumb and has zero technical knowledge. The only thing they can guide you with is if you are looking for some icon in their website. That’s it. If you ask them anything technical they will either put you on hold or then say that they can’t help you or will ask you to hire a developer as they have no idea about the issue. Often if you have a WordPress site the only support they will provide you is “disable all your plugin and then try again”. 😀 Completely hilarious.
The support of these companies are so bad then you will get agitated in minutes and by providing this kind of worst service, they keep their profit margin high enough. If you have to hire a knowledgeable support guy, the salary needs to be higher too, but they can give low money to dumb people and keep the profit high.
3. Oversell the server till its last processing power
As these companies only care for your money and not about the quality of service you get, first they will lure you with their gimmicky UNLIMITED fake plan and keep overselling the server till it’s maximum processing power. By doing this they server always stay at a bottleneck situation and no one can use anything.
Initially you will feel like a winner as you have an unlimited plan but then you will realize that your site barely loads and you can barely use the resource as most of the time it will show you error and crash if you install any heavy plugin. After this when you gets frustrated they customer care will ask you to upgrade to your own VPS with limited space and bandwidth – this is where you will realize there was never anything unlimited, it’s just an illusion to sell more.
4. Strong Unlimited Terms & Condition
Now, what these companies actually do is they create a very low quality server with extremely slow speed and capped resource and then tell you that you are getting everything unlimited. But in reality you are not. Each of these companies has a unlimited usage policy page where they clearly state that you cannot use to server resource to put anything that is not owned by you. So, let’s say you wanna upload a movie, you can’t and if you do, they will suspend your account for violating the policy.
Also these servers are so badly maintained that often time a very simple site will take minutes to load and if more than a few people start visiting your site at the same time your site will get down and you will see service not available notice. So, in reality UNLIMITED is just a psychological trick to make you purchase their service. Moreover these companies uses low graded physical hard drives instead of SSD as they are cheaper to purchase and they don’t care about your website’s speed.
What if I follow all of their terms?
That’s a really good question, even if you follow all of their terms and starts upload bunch of images in the server, often time you will be greeted with the connection times out error. That’s because the servers are so overselled that they always remain at a bottleneck situation and if you try to perform something heavy it just crash your account.
But still let’s say none of these happens to you and you are still upload a lot of files in your server, what will happen in this case. Well, after you cross a few gigabyte of storage the hosting company will either cap your account more so that you can barely use it and forced to upgrade to a VPS or they will directly contact you to upgrade to a VPS.
This same story applies to bandwidth too. The only reason these companies can provide unlimited bandwidth because on these shared servers they use extremely slow network speed which always remain congested with a bottlenecked server. So, no matter what your bandwidth limit is, you can barely take advantage of it. Also if you keep eating more and more bandwidth the hosting company will shut down your bandwidth eating script showing some security reason.
In short there is NOTHING called UNLIMITED HOSTING.
What should we do then?
If you are looking for a blazing fast hosting packed with extraordinary support here are the few things that you should look for while purchasing hosting account:
- Make sure that company doesn’t provide unlimited hosting. Because all of these unlimited companies walks the same path.
- Make sure they provide PURE SSD based server and not SSD cache or mechanical hard drive.
- Make sure each server has a dedicated 1 Gigabit or 10Gigabit internet attached to it.
- Make sure the server uses DDR4 RAM. (DDR3 is also ok, but DDR4 preferred)
- Check if they oversell their server (read user reviews)
- Get feedback about their customer support (read user review)
If you follow these simple steps, you will get a brilliant hosting account. But to me honest it’s really hard to find an honest hosting company now-a-days who provide blazing fast server packed with extraordinary support and who really cares for your website like you do. Most hosting company out there is just trying to suck out your money by telling as many lies as possible and may be giving your some worthless coupons which you will never use.
Which hosting company do you prefer?
All of my site and my client sites are hosted with BigScoots. BigScoots is a small company run by some talented people who cares about their user’s site and it’s speed first and the money later. The best part is their support. The support of BigScoots is completely mind-blowing. The support staffs not only has extreme technical knowledge but also they keep providing support until the user is completely satisfied. Really awesome.
Though they do provide SSD Cached hosting account – which I will never suggest anyone to purchase as they are waste of money, go with their pure SSD based hosting account. They are blazing fast, connected with 10Gigabit Ethernet and makes your site fly. Also the thing I like about BigScoots is that they only sell 60% of their server resource for shared servers and keep the 40% unused in case some user needed a boost for some time.
I’m pretty sure if you use BigScoots hosting once, you will never look for any other hosting company in your life. I guarantee you that. They are that much good.
Now if you see any company selling unlimited hosting account, I hope you will now know how do they do it and is it really UNLIMITED. People believe the advertisements because they are not aware of the truth. But now I hope you will be.
So, next time you think about purchasing an unlimited hosting, ask yourself do you want a quality hosting or pathetic hosting full of lies. The choice is yours.
What is your experience with this kind of unlimited hosting companies? Have you ever got frustrated with them? Have you used BigScoots before? What is your experience with them? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below. I will love to hear them.
You can also connect with me via twitter @iSaumya. If you like this post, please don’t forget to share it with others who might enjoy reading it. Also if you have any other ideas or request about future posts, you can let me know in the comment section below or via twitter.