Q. What do you mean “unlimited” shared web hosting?
A. It means that if you’re running a legitimate website then you don’t need to worry about storage or data transfer. Similarly, you’re able to use an unlimited number of MySQL databases - but in the interests of performance and stability you’ll need to keep them optimised and no larger than 1GB or so in size.
You do have to worry about keeping your site optimised and up-to-date with the latest patches - a website requires continual maintenance to ensure it is secure and performs well for your customers/visitors. Ask us if you don't have a good web developer, we'll be happy to recommend a few.
Shared web hosting does of course have its limits - if your site is poorly optimised, continually gets hacked or is causing issues for others on the shared server (using too much CPU, RAM or a huge amount of disk I/O) then we’ll probably ask you to move your site to a virtual or cloud server. Shared hosting is cheap because it allows many different customers to make use of the same underlying server platform; it's in everyone's interests that we make certain no one site is adversely impacting the performance of other sites on the platform. While shared hosting is suitable for the vast majority of websites out there, if your site becomes problematic then we'll ask you to move it to a more suitable hosting platform - such as a virtual server.
This certainly isn’t a bad thing; if your site is getting popular and you’ve outgrown the capabilities of shared web hosting, having greater control over the software stack and being able to assign more resources to your site means you’ll be able to continue to provide a great experience to your customers/visitors as your business grows.
Q. What is not considered "unlimited" in the plan?
A. Email accounts, Email storage*, Databases and other extras (like Add-on domains, etc). You may be able to increase the number of these add-ons at any time during checkout or during the period of your service.
*Email storage is limited to 5GB per email account AND 20GB for all the email accounts combined.
Q. What’s not allowed in “unlimited” shared web hosting?
A. Essentially, any sites or services whose purpose is to use a lot of disk space or network bandwidth. Shared hosting is suitable for the vast majority of websites out there, but if your service requires an inordinate amount of storage or bandwidth then it's more appropriate that you consider a service with dedicated resources - such as a virtual or cloud server. Here’s an example of the sorts of things we won’t allow on shared hosting:
- File upload, sharing, archive, backup, mirroring or distribution services
- A site created primarily to distribute large documents, images or videos
- A site created primarily to drive traffic to other sites
- Excessive websites that may overutilise bandwidth or resources (RAM, CPU, etc)
- Spam cannons; shared hosting is not suitable for automated, mass emailing services
- Distribution of content for which you don’t hold usage or distribution rights
- Sites that continue to get hacked or suffer repeated security breaches.
- BitTorrent software
- Proxy Software
- IRC Bots/Bouncers
- Network Daemons
- Abusive scripts, processes
- Adult Thumbnail Galleries / Banner Exchanges
- Spamming, Excessive Mass Mailouts
- Fraudulent activity of any kind
Q. How do you know if you've outgrown Shared Hosting?
A. Shared web hosting is ideal whether you’re starting out or an established business. It does an excellent job for the price, especially for those with relatively standard requirements. But as your site starts attracting more traffic, or when your email list starts climbing into the thousands, you'll start feeling the performance limitations of shared hosting and will need to consider upgrading to a virtual or cloud server. Having your own server gives you far greater control over performance, as you'll be able to control the level of resources (memory, CPU, disk I/O, network speed, etc) dedicated to your site.
Data security or PCI compliance is another reason you'd move away from shared hosting. If your business deals with confidential data, you will want the added security afforded by a virtual or cloud server. By isolating your data from other users of the same server, you’re minimising risks of unauthorised access to your business information. By no means is it guaranteed to ward off all attacks, but it’s certainly a whole lot safer than shared hosting.
Another common reason that businesses outgrow shared hosting is due to a need for greater control over the configuration of their software stack. If your website or web application is heavily customised, you may find that the needs of your developers can't be accommodated on a shared web hosting platform. Again, it will be time to upgrade to a virtual or cloud server.
Q. What happens if my web site gets hacked?
A. These days, it is widely agreed that it’s not a matter of if but when - so it is important that you have a plan for just such an eventuality. The first thing you should do is to contact Anchor’s support team and your web developer. Your website should be taken offline while it is being assessed and fixed - Anchor’s support team will be able to assist with this. This is critically important because if Google notices malware on your website it will drop you from Google’s natural search results — which is obviously a disaster for a digital business!
If desired, you can engage Anchor’s technical team under professional services to help get to the bottom of what led to or caused the attack on your site. We will work with your developers to get your site restored, secured and going again as a matter of urgency.
Please note that Anchor reserves the right to disconnect any website deemed to present a security threat to Anchor’s customers, servers, or network. We’ll do our best to notify you before the fact but may need to notify you once the site has been disabled.