Overselling has become a huge problem in the web hosting industry. Web hosting providers are offering huge amounts of disk space and bandwidth as a part of their marketing plan to bait customers into signing up for service, knowing that it’s physically impossible for the customer to use those resources. When they use even 10% of the resources advertised, the trouble begins!
These web hosting providers target those new to web hosting, those looking for a “great deal” and those that are not as tech savvy and sell them on the fact that they will be able to use the resources so long as the usage is according to their Terms of Service, which is actually a limiting factor. The Terms of Service generally states that the customer may not use the disk space for personal storage, that it must be used to house an actual active website, that certain file sizes are prohibited and excessive usage may be billed or be cause for account suspension.
If you’re not able to use the disk space and bandwidth for what you want, so long as it’s legal, why offer it to customers?
DreamHost a Prime Example of Overselling
An example of one web hosting provider overselling their resources to the max is DreamHost. As of this entry, DreamHost is offering 500GB’s of disk space and 5TB’s (5000GB’s) of bandwidth per month for only $5.95, but there’s a catch! In order to get this insanely low pricing, you have to pre-pay for 10 years, running your total to $714.00 upfront! They’re so nice, they even offer $0 setup, unless you pay monthly (see below).
If you’re not able to pre-pay for 10 years, you have a few other payment options, you can pre-pay for 5 years for $417.00, 3 years for $286.20, 2 years for $214.80, 1 year at $119.40 or pay $10.95 on a monthly basis with a $60.90 setup fee.
In addition to the ridiculous pricing structure, they state that the disk space increases every month by 2GB’s (24GB’s per year) while the bandwidth increases 40GB’s per month (400GB’s per year). So, if you actually manage to stay with them a full 10 years, you’ll be able to add another 240GB’s of disk space and 4TB’s of bandwidth on to your already hefty resource limits.
It Sounds Good, But You Won’t Be Able to Use It!
While the offer sounds like a steal (sort of….ok not really), you won’t be able to use the resources given, period. It’s that simple. The above offer is for a shared web hosting account (as with all overselling web hosts).
Shared web hosting accounts are housed on servers with multiple other customers, each with the same ridiculous resources. Depending on the web hosting provider, there could be as few as 100 customer accounts per server or as many as 1,000!(believe me I’ve been there! ) We’re banking on the fact that Dream Host is probably on the higher of the 2, after all, they have to make up for costs somehow.
Now, a shared web hosting server isn’t truly capable of pushing 5TB’s (500GB’s) of bandwidth in any given month, let alone pushing 100-1000x that, however, DreamHost is banking on the fact that you won’t even come close to using the resources and if you somehow manage to, it’s time to review the Terms of Service and see what they can suspend you for.
The most common account suspension reason…Excessive Resource Usage, but wait, weren’t you sold on the fact that you could use 500GB’s of disk space and 5TB’s of bandwidth? It doesn’t matter. Their Terms of Service rule over your web hosting account and while this is true of any web hosting provider, those offering reasonable limits tend to work with their customers.
You won’t find too much forgiveness with one overselling their resources.
If I Can’t Use It, Why Do They Offer It?
Simple, they bait you in with what they feel is an incredible, awesome offer that can’t be refused and figure you probably won’t read much into it or you’re not too knowledgeable of the web hosting industry and limitations of shared hosting.
Once you sign up for service, they bank of the fact that you won’t even come close to using the resources and will just continue on your merry way with a support inquiry here and there.
If It’s Too Good to Be True…It Probably IS!
The age old saying has never been so true. This old saying applies to everything, however, it especially applies to the web hosting industry.
5TB’s of Bandwidth….Not Even With a Dedicated Server
Pushing 5TB’s (5000GB’s) of bandwidth on a shared hosting server is out of the question, but to give you a general idea of how much bandwidth this truly is, for those that are new to web hosting or questioning this entry, you would be hard pressed to even push this much bandwidth through a dedicated server where you’re the ONLY website using the resources.
So What About Disk Space?
Considering a 1TB (1,000GB) drive isn’t truly available for use at the moment, web hosting providers are left with the option of using 500-750GB hard drives.
Given that information, if DreamHost only housed 100 customers per server, they would need 100 750GB hard drives to actually be able to allow customers to use the given 500GB’s of disk space. The cost of such, even with bulk discounts far outweighs the money they are getting in return.
In short, 500GB’s of disk space isn’t going to happen. A few GB’s is more probable.
So What Do You Do?
TRY US! We have been in the webhosting industry for more than 5 years and we know our stuff. Instead of making ridiculous claims about our services, we are working to make sure your website is safe, hacker free, optimized and above all online 24×7. We are more intrested in going for a cluster/load balancing setup for our web database and emails then offer you disk space and bandwidth you will never need.
You probably won’t find “the deal of a lifetime” with us, you will however find resources that you can actually use and knowledgeable support staff that will be able to answer your questions and work with you to find the best possible solution for your website.
Quality isn’t cheap and cheap isn’t quality. In the web hosting industry, you truly get what you pay for and most Hosting Providers are setting a prime example and a bad one at that.