Is an Unlimited Hosting Plan Truly Unlimited?

When you compare web hosting companies, you see all kinds of claims and assurances of why one company is supposedly the best. One feature that some web hosts offer is “unlimited hosting“. This is sometimes phrased as “unlimited disk space and bandwidth“. While this certainly sounds impressive, what does it really mean? More importantly, is it even true and accurate? Let’s take a closer look at the reality behind so-called Unlimited Hosting.

Why there’s no such thing as Unlimited Hosting

The truth for unlimited web hosting

Even if you’re not familiar with the technical aspects of running a website, common sense will tell you that unlimited hosting cannot be literally true. Just think about anything that you have at home where you store files or information – your computer, iPod, MP4 player, smartphone, etc. All of these devices have a finite amount of memory and storage space. The same is true for hard drives, flash drives and anywhere else that you store anything. So it would be physically impossible for a web host to offer an infinite amount of storage space!

So how do web hosts get away with offering something that isn’t actually real? It has to do with wording and technicalities. For example, disk space and bandwidth might be unlimited, but if you read the fine print, you’ll find that there are in fact limitations on server performance resources. In fact, your web hosting account can be suspended if you exceed CPU resources.

For greater resources you need more than Shared Hosting

Aside from common sense, another indication that basic hosting plans are not really unlimited is the fact that more costly plans are offered. Large commercial websites, for example, typically use dedicated servers, cloud hosting or VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting for their sites. These are all options that offer greater resources than basic shared hosting. In fact, if you look at these costlier plans, you’ll see that there are usually multiple levels for these plans.

Bluehost VPS hosting

For example, if you take a look at Bluehost’s VPS hosting plans, you’ll see that they offer 4 different options: Standard, Enhanced, Premium and Ultimate. Each of these levels offers greater resources and your monthly cost reflects this.

What does “Unlimited Hosting” really mean?

When you sign up for a low cost, shared hosting plan that advertises unlimited space, what it really meant is something like “all the space the average webmaster will need”. In reality, this will probably be suffice for most purposes. If you’re starting a personal or even a small business website, chances are a shared hosting plan, whether it calls itself “unlimited” or not, will indeed provide you with all of the disk space and bandwidth you’ll need.

Which Web Hosts offer the Best Value?

Now that we’ve exposed a common myth about web hosting – that it can ever be truly “unlimited”, let’s look at 3 web hosting companies that offer excellent value.

  1. IX Web Hosting

    IX Web Hosting

    This company, like many others, does actually claim to offer unlimited disk space, bandwidth and domains. Even if that’s not literally true, this company does in fact provide good value. It’s also one of the most experienced web hosting companies out there, having been in business since 1999.

    With IX Web Hosting, you get features such as:

    • 99.9% guaranteed uptime.
    • Free website builder -useful for beginners and anyone not familiar with coding.
    • One free domain registration.
    • Access to many one-click script installs.
    • 24/7 support.

    IX Web hosting offers 3 shared hosting plans, starting at $3.95 per month. The best deal (for most people) is Unlimited Pro plan for $7.95 per month, which provides you with up to 3 free domain registrations and up to 15 dedicated IPs.

  2. Bluehost


    Bluehost is a very popular and highly regarded web hosting company that serves more than 2 million websites around the world. Some of what they offer include:

    • Money back guarantee with no contracts.
    • Over $200 in advertising credits, including Google and Facebook.
    • Free site builder with templates.
    • Optimized hosting for WordPress (costlier than their regular hosting, but still reasonable starting at $12.49 per month).
    • Shared hosting plans starting at $3.95 per month.
    • 24/7 support.

    Bluehost also has other types of hosting, including Reseller, VPS and Dedicated Servers.

  3. iPage


    iPage is another leading web hosting company that is definitely worth checking out. They are a good choice if you want quality hosting at rock bottom prices, especially if you take advantage of their introductory offers. Some of their benefits include:

    • Introductory web hosting starting at $1.68 per month.
    • Anytime money back guarantee with hosting plans.
    • Marketing tools, including Yellow Pages listing and free U.S. toll-free number.
    • Template-based site builder.
    • Blog Setup Wizard.
    • Free domain name.
    • Photo Gallery Setup Wizard.

    iPage is a good choice for either beginners or experienced webmasters. They offer many tools and resources to help you build, manage and market your website.

Choosing the Best Web Hosting Plan

When shopping for a web host, it’s important to know which features and benefits matter most to you. It’s also good to learn how to see through jargon such as “unlimited hosting”, that doesn’t actually mean very much.

While many web hosts, such as the there we have just discussed above, are very good, there’s no one right choice for everyone. When selecting a web host, you should look at a variety of factors, including cost, the company’s reputation, features and technical specifications and customer support. You can then decide which company appeals to you most.