unlimited web hosting truth

The Truth About Unlimited Web-Hosting

If you’re new to web hosting, you might have come across the term ‘unlimited disk space’ or ‘unlimited bandwidth’ more than a handful of times. In fact, a good majority of web hosts are already offering, or trying to offer, unlimited resources for web hosting.

Before you sign up for one of the plans, it’s best if you understand why unlimited doesn’t exactly mean infinite. The following article will elaborate on the real meaning of this term with examples. Take a look at the common terms and their meanings in unlimited hosting policies to pick the right hosting services for your website.  

Disk Space vs Bandwidth

Disk space is the space offered by the web host for storing your website content. By using the term unlimited to describe the magnitude of disk space offered, the web host permits you to host unlimited files and data on your website. Uploading hundreds of high-resolution videos or images becomes seamless with an unlimited disk space plan.

Bandwidth is the total data you can send or receive via the website within a time-frame. With unlimited bandwidth, your website will find it easy to cope with surges in traffic without crashing.

What Does "Unlimited Hosting" Mean?

Unlimited hosting typically refers to the countless resources offered to host one or more websites. However, the web host limits the CPU and RAM usage when they offer unlimited domains. 

When the feature is unlimited disk space, the total disk space limit is restricted by quoting gigabytes or inode, otherwise known as index nodes. Typically, it includes two limits: a soft limit and a hard limit. For example, when the inode limit is 40k/140k, 40k is the soft limit and 140k is the hard limit. After uploading more files than the soft limit, the web host discontinues the backup of excess files. User accounts that cross the hard limit will face account suspension or dismissal.

For unlimited bandwidth, the web host often implements moderations such as restricting usage to 2 Mbps per month.

How Does it Work?

Unlimited web hosting works when hosting service providers re-sell the unused resources on a server. It is essentially overselling when the company does not have the capacity to meet the limitless demands of the users.

However, offering unlimited resources often works in favor of large web hosts with sizable resources given these resources are almost never depleted by one site. In addition, unlimited here does not mean infinite. This is because almost all the unlimited web hosting plans come with a catch.

For example, A2 hosting offers unlimited websites and SSD storage on its shared and reseller hosting plans, but the company specifies that resource usage must be equivalent to or lower than similarly situated customers in its TOS. They will actively delete cPanel, backups and CMS backup logs upon excess use of disk space.

What Do You Need To Know?

Just like unlimited drinks on a bar menu doesn’t actually translate to a lifetime supply of drinks, unlimited domain hosting does not translate to limitless hosting as the resources required to create bandwidth or disk space are finite too. To avoid missing the catch, it is always best to cross-reference the Terms of Service of the web host separately.

Take a look at the following examples to understand the true scale of limitlessness when a website uses the term ‘unlimited’ to refer to its features.

1. Hostgator​

This is a web host that offers unlimited disk space and bandwidth under its sharing plan with a warning that spiking server resources will lead to suspension. However, there are many other limits included in this hosting plan.

  • The user account will be terminated upon uploading more than 250,000 files as the iNode limit is 100k/250k.
  • The maximum resource usage should not clock more than 25% of the total system for over 90 seconds.
  • All MySQL queries should be limited to 15 seconds.
  • Bandwidth usage is reset at the start of the month.

2. Bluehost

While Bluehost offers unlimited options for hosting space, file transfers, emails, and domains, there are many restrictions imposed which are elaborated upon below.

  • You cannot send more than 200,000 files as the iNode limit is 50k/200k.
  • Site owners will be penalized for using maximum CPU usage for more than 5 minutes in an hour at any time.

Unlimited Hosting Policies​​​​

To determine the true nature of unlimited features, it is wise to understand the following terms specified in unlimited policies on most web hosts. 

  • Unlimited Domains: The ability to install multiple websites on one hosting plan is offered with unlimited domains. For example, if you need multiple domains as a small business, choose unlimited domains.
  • Unlimited Databases: The feature that lets admins store and use limitless data in an organized manner is an unlimited databases feature. For example, in order to integrate forms on your WP platform, you will require more than one MySQL database and an unlimited database will help you.
  • Unlimited FTP Users: This is a function that lets you create unlimited FTP user accounts to avoid sharing the original user account information with others. For example, you can create FTP user accounts when outsourcing website development work to a new agency.


For small to medium-sized businesses, choosing unlimited web hosting plans helps to mitigate the risks that come with limited resources. While unlimited literally means limitless, in the world of web hosting, it denotes ‘a larger than average number’. Simply put, it doesn’t translate to infinite hosting services.

Ultimately, unlimited is merely a marketing term that web hosts use to lure-in customers. Overselling is why they can advertise such lucrative plans. Hence, always crosscheck with the TOS of the web host offering unlimited features to ensure you are not crossing any limits inadvertently. Alternatively, choose Verpex™ web hosting for a seamless experience.

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