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Does Unlimited Really Mean Unlimited?

A LITTLE PRIMER
All web sites on the Internet run on a computer sitting somewhere that is attached to the Internet. Those computers -referred to as servers- are the backbone of the Internet itself.

Since it costs money for the computers, the Internet connection, the power, and everything else that goes into keeping that server running and hosting web sites, it is necessary for most hosting companies (that are not advertising supported) to charge a fee to cover their costs and earn a profit.

THE EYE-OPENER
So, this beckons the question: "If a computer doesn't have unlimited storage nor an unlimited connection to the Internet, how then can any web hosting company offer me either of those for less than $10-$20 per month?"

Well, in a nutshell, all web hosting firms know that 90% of all websites use less than 250 Mb of storage space and a small amount of "data transfer" each month. So, this allows them to oversell quite a bit. That is, they can sell based on an "average usage" rather than what they offer to their customers.

This really isn't an issue except in the cases that a web host -especially with smaller hosting companies- cannot afford to add on another server or mis-calculates their oversell. If either of these situations occur once a server has reached its maximum, then all the customers on the server will begin to suffer slow load times and possible downtime. This is why it is good to research a little bit about a company's reputation before taking the leap with them.

However, in most cases, a web host can claim to provide you with unlimited storage space, unlimited bandwidth to the Internet, unlimited this or unlimited that, because they know you won't even come close to using up even 1% of their server capacity.

So, unless you are looking at a very low budget or "free hosting" plan that offers less than 250 Mb, it really doesn't matter at all how much storage or bandwidth a hosting company offers. That only matters if you know you require a certain minimum for your project or site.

Otherwise, the more relevant issues at hand are uptime (how often do they go down), pricing (can you afford it), and support (are they quick and helpful). These last few factors are the ones we discuss in "How To Choose a Web Hosting Company."

Do your homework and you should find a web host that you can keep for years to come! Best wishes!

 

Article By: Brandon Elliott

Brandon Elliott has a wide range of design experience using Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Illustrator, Bryce, 3d Studio Max, and other software to create aestetically pleasing web designs.

Visit Brandon's Design Portfolio at: http://www.imagion.com/web_design.htm

 

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