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Unlimited Domains

There are thousands and thousands of web hosts, making it hard for one hosting company to set themselves apart from another. In the process of trying to outdo each other, many hosts began attaching "unlimited" to several hosting features, such as unlimited bandwidth, unlimited disk storage, unlimited email accounts and so forth.

The Unlimited Truth

It's important to understand that the web hosting industry has a jargon all its own. What a term means to you can have a different meaning to the hosting company.

Using the industry jargon, many hosts lead you to believe that you can build websites to your hearts content, hosting them all for one low cost under a single account.

In the first place, no host has an unlimited amount of any resource, be it disk space, bandwith, or whatever.

Secondly, the fine print in the Terms of Service, which most people don't bother reading when they open an account, always places limitations on things like CPU usage, RAM usage, individual file sizes, and so forth. All hosts do it to protect the integrity of their services. Those restrictions are on your master account, not each domain.

The likelihood of exceeding critical server resources such as RAM and CPU usage grow with each site you add to your account. One person may have 50 sites with no trouble because they only get a few visitors each day. Another person may have 5 popular sites that use up their allotment.

When your account exceeds these limits too often or by too much, it affects other websites on the same server. The host will do what they have to do to protect the integrity of all their customers. And so, you might not have a single website available let alone multiple webstes if you try to host too many domains under one account.

If you get too greedy by having too many web sites under one account you may find unlimited domains really translates into a greater risk of having your sites shut down . . . all of them at once.

Other Unlimited Features

It's similar with other "unlimited" features. You simply can't have unlimited disk space or unlimited bandwidth (data transfer) because the host doesn't have unlimited disk space or unlimited bandwidth.

The overwhelming majority of hosting clients never discover that unlimited doesn't really mean unlimited because very few approach the level where it becomes an issue. For them, unlimited means they can have all the disk space and bandwidth they need, because they just haven't built their websites into the kind of success where usage becomes an issue.

Unlimited Domains Are a Different Story

While you can cram a lot of small, low traffic sites under one hosting account, I don't recommend it. There are too many things that can go wrong that could cause all your sites under that account to be shut down.

For example, before I learned the hard way to use multiple hosts, I had all my sites with one host. When that host was hit by a major storm and went offline for about a week, all my sites were down too. Some of my sites weren't working right when they finally came back on line, so I spent another day or so fixing broken things.

All in all my sites were down for eight or nine days, which means I was out of business for that long. Since I earn my living online, I was without income too.

Another example comes from a friend's experience. His website was hacked and a phishing script was hidden deep in his directory structure. When the phishing scam was detected by the host, they shut his account down. Since he hosted all his sites under that account, all his sites were shut down. He too was out of business until he found the script and removed it.

Once his site was back up, a day later they were down again for the same reason. The hacker came back. So he had to find the script again, and research how the hacker was getting in so he could lock him out. All in all his sites were down for three days.

Be Practical and Prudent

Rather than hosting all your sites under one hosting account or under multiple accounts with the same host, which is just asking for trouble either way, I recommend you do what I do.

I divided my sites up between two hosts, and hosted 3-5 domains under each account, depending on how popular the sites are. Then I went to a third host when I started a new site and I felt I had enough on the first two accounts. Soon I'll be starting up with a fourth host.

You may think using that many hosts sounds excessive, but it's really not. If one account or host goes down, the majority of my sites are still up and running, still earning money for me. With the low cost of hosting these days, it's cheaper to pay for a few hosts than to have all your sites go down—assuming you're making money with your websites, of course, or at least hope to soon.

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