On the NameHero website, you see that all the web hosting plans have the words “Unlimited Storage” next to them. What’s more, this refers to SSD storage. So it’s not only unlimited but also fast. But is this a realistic promise? If the storage is unlimited, does it mean that you can host websites of any size on NameHero’s servers? The answer is no. In this article I’ll explain the limitations of “unlimited storage”, and the importance of transparency.
Inodes – The Trickery of Marketing?
In reality, not a single web host allows for truly unlimited storage, even though they all claim to have it. The catch lies in a more technical term called “inodes”. An inode is nothing but a file or a directory. Web hosts don’t have restrictions on the size of files, but they impose restrictions on the number of files and directories on your site.
NameHero’s terms of service already preclude file storage sites and the like, so you’re not going to have humongous files on your web hosting site all the time. However, you’re not allowed to have more than 250,000 inodes on our Starter/Plus packages, and 500,000 inodes on our Turbo/Business cloud packages. This imposes a cap on the kind of things you can – albeit, quite a high one.
Implications for Backup and More
So why this focus on inodes instead of raw storage space? The reason is that over the years, storage space has become cheaper – even SSDs are not as costly as they once were. However, other resources like I/O limitations continue to exist. CPU cycles are still a scarce resource as well. The number of inodes has a huge impact on the speed of backups for example. A site with lots of files and directories will take much more time to compress and backup compared to one with a few large files.
Have you ever tried to migrate a site file by file via FTP? It takes a very long time. And if your site has anything close to 250,000 inodes, it can feel like forever. Luckily backup systems like DropMySite only transfer modified files so this keeps the raw number of transfers in control. But when NameHero backs up your site on their servers every day and every week, it puts an enormous strain on the system.
A Common Culprit is Unattended Mailboxes
Did you know that your account has a default e-mail address to which all undelivered e-mails to your domain are sent? Unsurprisingly, these are mostly spam – people sending e-mails to common usernames for a domain. You’re probably unaware of this, but over time these e-mails can build up and your catch-all e-mail ID can be home to thousands upon thousands of e-mails. So either clear out your catch-all e-mail address regularly or simply delete it entirely. The account won’t hold so many e-mails if it doesn’t exist in the first place!
More Than 500,000 Legit Files? Maybe You’ve Outgrown Shared Hosting!
There could be some situations where you legitimately need more than 500,000 files on your website. It’s a generous limit, but a limit nonetheless. So what happens when you cross it? Sad to say, it might be time for you to upgrade to either a VPS or a dedicated server. With these, you get the entire allocation of resources to yourself with no sharing. So you can do with it as you see fit, including keeping as many files and folders as you need. VPS hosting is a natural extension to shared hosting on NameHero. So check it out!
I’m a NameHero team member, and an expert on WordPress and web hosting. I’ve been in this industry since 2008. I’ve also developed apps on Android and have written extensive tutorials on managing Linux servers. You can contact me on my website WP-Tweaks.com!