Why shouldn’t I go for that unlimited plan? Beware overselling.

If you’ve been searching for a web hosting provider, you have probably seen some offers that look very enticing — at least on the surface.

While 500 gigabytes of space for WordPress hosting and 2000 gigabytes of bandwidth for $3.95 a month or unlimited space and bandwidth for $6.95 a month may seem reasonable to some people, you should know that when register domain name nearly all plans like that are marketing ploys meant to entice customers into buying them.

With website design the reason providers can offer such exorbitant limits is due to overselling. The companies know that most customers aren’t going to use very much space and bandwidth for cloud hosting. For those that do, the company is either large enough to afford it, or it isn’t.

You should be on the lookout for those in the latter category. If the VMware hosting company can’t afford for you to use all the space and bandwidth you’re given, you can count on them having some hidden terms that prevent it.

You may find some  sort of clause in their Terms of Service agreement that states that you may only use a certain percentage of your space or bandwidth, or something like that. They won’t allow you to get WordPress anywhere near the advertised limits before your account is suspended for “abusing” the limits given to you.

You may also notice poor service from hosting providers that are extreme oversellers. Websites and downloads will run very slowly, and you may experience frequent downtime even in the Equinix Sydney Data Center.

The industry hasn’t always been like this. Only in the past five or six years has overselling become an issue.

Over the years, the biggest hosting providers have been in constant competition with each other. That has driven the average space and bandwidth limits up exponentially, and made it harder for honest companies to compete.

It is true that hard drive and internet transit prices have gone down significantly, but at nowhere near the rate hosting offerings have gone up.

So, the most important thing to remember is that you should always carefully read the Terms of Service before signing up for any hosting account. Sign up with a reputable company that offers reasonable limits and you’ll be much better off than with a disreputable one offering high limits.

What happens if I exceed my space or bandwidth quotas?

That varies from hosting provider to hosting provider.

Some will suspend your account if you go over your disk space limit or monthly quota, while others will let you off with a warning.

You should be aware, though, that some companies will charge you expensive overage fees for exceeding their limits. When that happens, you may have a nasty surprise waiting for you when you open next month’s bill.

When in doubt, you should always carefully read over the Terms of Service agreement, as well as any other legal agreements offered to you at signup.

If you see that you are about to go over your space or bandwidth limits, you should immediately contact your hosting provider and ask about upgrading to a plan with higher limits.

Am I allowed to resell my hosting space?

In general, most hosting providers will not allow shared hosting accounts to resell space. You should check with yours, though; ask support or read through the Terms of Service and other legal agreements.

Reselling is when you give out space to other people for money. If you were to start your own little hosting company on a shared hosting account, that would be defined as reselling.

Most hosting companies would prefer that you upgrade to a designated reseller plan if you’d like to offer other people space. This does give a better experience for your customers, as they too will have their own hosting control panel; you will have essentially given them their very own shared hosting account.

If you want to resell hosting space, you should definitely consider upgrading to a Reseller account.

This is a screenshot of a hosting provider’s Acceptable Use Policy. Notice term #11. Particularly this part. “You may not make your account (including but not limited to web space, email accounts, bandwidth, storage space, or reseller rights) available to any third party in any way, including but not limited to the use of Sub Domains, Add-on Domains, Sub Directories, or by any other means.”

You should look out for similar clauses in your hosting provider’s terms.

What is a control panel?

Intro to Web Hosting series

What is a control panel?

The control panel is an essential part of any web hosting account. You wouldn’t be able to do very much without some sort of control panel — even just a basic one.

Among the most widely used web hosting control panels are cPanel (shown here), Parallels Plesk, and DirectAdmin. Some control panels only run on Linux, some are meant for Windows, and some will work with both types of operating system.

One important note: Just because your computer at home is running Windows doesn’t mean you need to find a Windows hosting account. You only need a Windows account if your website requires features that only work on Windows. Otherwise, a Linux account will work just as well, and with very few differences.

Most versions of Linux are free, whereas you can’t install Windows on a computer unless you pay for a license. Because of this, Windows hosting accounts generally cost a bit more.

Here is another control panel, Parallels Plesk

This is the end of the tutorial. You should now have a better understanding of what a control panel is

What do you mean when you say gigabyte, megabyte, GB, and MB?

Intro to Web Hosting series

What do you mean when you say gigabyte, megabyte, GB, and MB?

The smallest unit of measurement on a computer is the bit. There are almost always eight bits in one byte. These two terms are commonly confused with each other.

To compound the confusion, the abbreviation for bit is a lowercase b, while byte is abbreviated with an uppercase B.

Making things even more complicated, all the compound forms of bits and bytes — kilobyte (KB), megabyte (MB), gigabyte (GB), etc. — can refer to two different values. Sometimes you’ll see kilobyte and it means 1000 bytes, while it can also mean 1024 bytes.

In any case, a megabyte refers to roughly 1024 kilobytes, and a gigabyte refers to roughly 1024 megabytes. At the next level is terabytes, and hard drives really haven’t gotten any further past that at this point in time.

One other important thing you should know is that whenever you hear about the speed of an Internet connection, it’s almost always going to be referred to in bits, whether that’s kilobits, megabits, or gigabits.

Remember, whenever bits is used, you abbreviate it with a small b. So, kilobits = Kb, megabits = Mb, and gigabits = Gb.

So, the speed of a connection would be referred to, for example, in megabits per second, or Mbps. So, a 100 Mbps connection can transfer 100 megabits every second, which equates to 12.5 megabytes per second.