What does hosting 'unlimited' domains really mean?

Hello all!

Recently I registered and hosted two domains, one for my girlfriend and one for me.

I used GoDaddy, paying around $130 all together at a rate of $5 monthly.

Doing research tonight for a new domain I want to host, I come across “HostGator” which offers Unlimited Domain Hosting. (At around $7 a month)

Does this mean, if I am not mistaken, I could have payed $84 and placed my girlfriend’s and my domain on the same hosting server, thus using the same bandwidth and storage space, thus saving a bit of money?

Assuming I am correct up until now, what happens if I get a hosting package that has unlimited storage space, unlimited bandwidth, and unlimited domain hosting? That means the only additional cost I’d be paying for hosting a new site would be a basic $10 per year domain registration cost?

I am quite ambitious and have plans for about 3 new domain projects, and I figured I would have to purchase a new hosting account of $60+ yearly for each one. If I could combine these into one hosting account, it would save a lot of money and grief.

Please inform me if I am mistaken in any area. Thank you so much for your time!

Unlimited hosting refers to unlimited domain hosting with unlimited disk space and unlimited bandwidth.

As we can logically understand that it is not feasible to provide unlimited in any way. Web hosting providers that provide unlimited hosting trickily limited the resource usage.

  • Unlimited domains hosted. (They limit CPU usage, RAM usage, processes owned by your user account, etc. If you exceed this limit, you account will be suspended automatically for certain interval)

  • Unlimited disk space(They provide unlimited disk space in GB, Unlimited GB. Still, there is one thing that can limit the disk space usage. They will set the limit to the number of inodes that your account can use. HostGator provide 250000 inodes I think. If you exceed this, your disk space quate is over)

  • unlimited bandwidth (mod_bwlimited apache module will limit the amount of bandwidth to your user account. They can limit the usage to 2 mbps or so.)

So you are saying, although they advertise unlimited everything, they still limit it in other ways, correct?

Also, what is an inode?

If I have domain1.com, domain2.com, domain3.com, I can host all 3 on one hosting package right? And each one will have access to a different FTP using the same bandwidth/same storage space?

There is nothing unlimited.

Inode is the data structure in UNIX system that is used to save the file information, directory information,etc. In general, you can assume, 1 inode equals to 1 file.

Refer http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inode

All your domains can be accessed directly with separate websites. They can have their own FTP username to upload the website files. Can use emails under all domains you host. But, all domains will shared the same number of inodes, same bandwidth, same disk space and all other hidden limits.

GOTCHA! So, to finalize, you’re saying that as long as I don’t have websites that take up a large portion of space and as long as the bandwidth isn’t that of a mainstream website… basically, everything low key, hosting several domains wouldn’t be an issue. But if traffic and storage usage picked up I would want to consider dedicated servers for each?

Makes so much more sense now. Thanks!

If you do not have too many websites to host and do not need to use plenty of disk space and bandwidth, then you should really avoid the unlimited hosting. Because, there can be a large amount of domains hosted on the server with unlimited hosting plan. Your websites may run slow. Moreover, they also need to monitor the server 24/7 due to more domains on it. If they fail to do it and server becomes unstable, your websites may go down.

So, I recommend going to the company that does not provide unlimited disk space and bandwidth. However, you can still have multiple domains and so to host in a single account.

In your experience what is a cost effective way to host multiple domains with a very light load?

You should go with the companies that offer multiple domain hosting (3,5, etc domains). How many domains do you want to host? What is the disk space and bandwidth requirements?

3-5 domains sounds right.

Ideally 100-300 visitors a day would be desired. But it would take awhile to get to that point, and when I’m there I’ll be more eager to commit more finances to web development.

No picture or movie downloads, just mostly text and blogging. wordpress installed, etc.

Specifics? Each site would need probably 5-19 gigs max storage. The blog I’m running now hasn’t even hit 1 gig yet!
So with low load size, bandwidth would be low too. I’m less knowledgeable regarding bandwidth, but I’d assume that 300 gigs monthly would do it (thats a huge guess!)

You can have ~5 domains hosting with ~15 GB disk space and ~50 GB hosting at ~$6 to ~$7 max.

Excellent! Exactly what I’m looking for. Is there a company or two you know of that would offer that package?

You’ve been a tremendous help.

I believe that simply mean that you can host there as many domain names as you need to. But in any case you will be limited by space and bandwidth

Ideally 100-300 visitors a day would be desired.
Just about any host worth its salt would be able to cover those needs, unless each visitor views thousands of pages. :slight_smile:

I don’t know how your experience with Godaddy has been thus far, but in my experience, for hosting services, Hostgator leaves Godaddy in the dust.

Most shared hosting providers offering unlimited domains/space/bandwidth can easily handle a few billion visitors a day to a few thousand static web pages without and issues at all.

Most limits these days relate to number of files and CPU usage and some shared hosting providers don’t even limit CPU usage (of course you still can’t use more CPU than is available but it means that your site just slows down rather than producing error messages.

One thing you do need to consider is whether the company you are getting your hosting from is in the hosting business or in the domain business. Those in the domain business have very basic hosting setups compared to those whose main business is hosting since each put the most effort into their main business. For best results buy your domains from a domain registrar business and your hosting from a hosting business. For worst results buy your hosting from a domain registrar and your domains from a hosting provider. Buying both from one place gives intermediate results with buying both from a hosting provider giving better results than buying both from a domain registrar (since the need to access domain features is a lot less than the need to access hosting features).

GoDaddy is a domain registrar who does hosting as a side business. Any hosting provider will provide a better hosting option than GoDaddy does.

Thanks immensly!

So it is possible to register a domain at, let’s say, GoDaddy and then host it at, let’s say, HostGator? Or some other Multiple Domain Hosting service?

So it is possible to register a domain at, let’s say, GoDaddy and then host it at, let’s say, HostGator? Or some other Multiple Domain Hosting service?

Perfectly possible, and it is IMHO the safer approach. The host will give you a set of nameservers to use. You can change nameservers via the admin panel at your chosen registrar, or you can contact the registrar and have them do the change for you.

Okay, awesome! I will do just that.

Also, a silly random question …

What is the diff. between Windows hosting and Linux hosting? I’m running Windows, so do I have to use a Windows hosting service? Or

Yes, most of the hosting providers offer hosting packages on which you can host unlimited domains, however, there is a limit of disk space and bandwidth.

Unlimited disk space or bandwidth is not possible in the hosting industry and this is just a statement given by some hosting providers to attract customers.

Windows and Linux are 2 different operating systems.

If your websites are developed using ASP, ASP.NET, MSSQL datases etc. then you should choose Windows hosting package.

Otherwise, you can also choose Linux hosting packages to host your websites.

I’ve been happy with hostgator. I host several static domains on a baby account.

Hostgator has a very friendly and knowledgeable forum. Since you are asking here you are probably a forum type of person and should check out your prospective hosts for support forums. I manage a site on a host without a forum and I really miss it.

There are several Hostgator forums open to the general public with more available after you become a customer. Go ahead and ask for advice on the forums about your needs. They will probably give you advice on whether you want add-on domains (baby account) or separate cpanel domains (reseller account) and tell you to email sales for definitive answers since the forum is peer to peer. Actual staff do regularly contribute to the forums though.

The main difference between windows and Linux hosting is what languages that they most commpnly offer for server side processing and what price they charge.

Most big corporations run on windows hosting while almost everyone else go for the more popular and often cheaper Linux hosting. Since it is running on a different computer to the one you are working on it doesn’t have to (and usually doesn’t) run the same operating system.