So, you decided to purchase some shared server space with a hosting company? Are you happy to see that they offer unlimited bandwidth? Happy to see that the traffic allowed to your website will be unlimited?

Sorry, there is no such a thing as unlimited bandwidth when it comes to shared server hosting. It will simply be too costly for the hosting company and make no business sense to offer free unlimited bandwidth. Although many hosting companies advertise their shared servers as having unlimited bandwidth, a bit of further scrutiny will reveal an acceptable usage policy. Although these policies are easily overlooked, you will soon realise the reality when you receive an email warning that you are abusing the “server rules” and are in breach of the “acceptable usage policy”.

Let us have a sober look at the reality of having your website hosted on a shared server.

Shared server hosting is the simplest and most cost-effective way to have your website online. Shared server hosting simply means that your website is hosted on a server that is used to host  a number of other websites as well. This, in turn, means that visitors (web traffic) to “website A” will make use of the fixed (limited) resources allocated to that server. This then implies that it will have an effect on the performance of “website B, C, D” etc. If all the websites hosted on a shared server have moderate website traffic (in- and outbound data) there will be no problems.

However, if one website (a dating website or a large e-commerce site) starts using most of the bandwidth it will have an adverse effect on other websites on that server. This will result in the domino-effect where one website has an impact on the next and the next and the next… This will most likely be addressed by the hosting company to avoid other websites from suffering low resource availability. This is when the “culprit” will receive a warning from the hosting company and will be reminded of the acceptable usage policy. Some hosting companies may even upgrade the “culprit’s” hosting package in terms of their policies (if so stipulated).

In our view, shared server hosting, is still a very viable option available to smaller companies/businesses and start-ups. It is however important to be aware that there are limits to bandwidth usage that you may not be aware of when you purchase hosting for your website.

At WebScripto we make sure that our clients are aware of the limited bandwidth allocated to our respective hosting packages to make sensible and well informed decisions prior to purchasing a specific hosting package. By indicating the specific bandwidth allocated to our different hosting plans, none of our clients should ever receive an unexpected notice of any abuse of the servers. In addition, when a client purchases a hosting package with WebScripto, we will enable the client to view/monitor the use of their bandwidth in order to empower them to exercise control over their website usage.

If you have any question or input on this article, please feel free to comment or drop us an email at info@webscripto.co.za

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