First time hosting account buyers, probably in the age range of 12-20 will see the promises of unlimited resources for a small fee of 3.95/month. It seems unbelievable and users hop right aboard that ship. For many users, they'll never need anything more. Their static HTML pages and 6 hits a day is perfect for these type of hosting plans. The company fits hundreds of clients onto the servers, in hopes for users like described above, who pay 4 bucks a month and do absolutely nothing on their servers. However, we do have clients who are purchasing a chunk of a server to host a blog or forum. Instantly, they are in danger. The company may promise unlimited, but lets examine some Terms of Service from some shared hosting websites.
User may not: 1) Use 15% or more of system resources for longer then 90 seconds. There are numerous activities that could cause such problems; these include: CGI scripts, FTP, PHP, HTTP, etc. 8) Run cron entries with intervals of less than 15 minutes. 9) Run any MySQL queries longer than 15 seconds. MySQL tables should be indexed appropriately. 10) When using PHP include functions for including a local file, include the local file rather than the URL. Instead of include("http://yourdomain.com/include.php") use include("include.php")
In a nutshell, say goodbye to fulltext mySQL searching for any forum with more than 10,000 posts. Real webmasters quickly realize that a VPS or dedicate server is more their avenue of research. I posted this because I asked for help hosting a mirror of a 80mb file. My server with around 200/downloads a day just couldn't handle it anymore. It was crawling quite slow. I didn't want to offset the upload to some cheap 3rd party option, so I asked for help. The amount of responses I got from shared hosting accounts was 100%. One of the responses was as follows:
Hello, I have unlimited resources. I can host all your files for you.
Granted, that you are allowed to host direct files on your plan and that your bandwidth can handle it. Most shared providers throttle the bandwidth per account so you cannot share a file at 1mbps (to prevent abuse). Users just didn't understand what shared hosting was. Shared Hosting was meant for very small personal portfolios or static HTML pages.