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When I first purchased the domain I decided to use JustHost and like most people went with a shared hosting plan.  The price seemed right and I didn’t find too many people complaining about them. They promise fast, reliable service and 24/7 technical support.  They certainly delivered on those promises.  They also claim to be “The last hosting plan you’ll ever need.”  This turned out to be a promise they would not keep.

The problem comes down to those pesky TOS or Terms Of Service.  Basically they state that to use “shared hosting”, you can’t use too much, but I’ll let them explain;

“It has come to our attention that your site is using an extreme amount of resources on our servers and network; consequently, your site has outgrown the Just Host shared hosting package.  It has become increasingly more difficult to keep your site online, and doing so now degrades the experience for the other users on our servers. Others who have experienced such growth with their site(s) and hosting needs have chosen to move their site(s) to a Dedicated Server or Virtual Private Server (VPS). Just Host does not currently offer Dedicated or VPS hosting. These alternative hosting services will include more resources and site stability, as well as better backup and server redundancy. Per conditions stated in our Terms of Service, we will no longer be hosting your account. 7.02. Just Host employs complex mechanisms to protect its Subscribers and systems from abuse.  Just Host’s offering of “unlimited” services is not intended to allow the actions of a single or few Subscribers to unfairly or adversely impact the experience of other Subscribers.  Just Host’s service is a shared hosting service, which means that multiple Subscriber web sites are hosted from the same server and share server resources. Just Host’s service is designed to meet the typical needs of small business and home business website Subscribers in the United States.  It is NOT intended to support the sustained demand of large enterprises, internationally based businesses, or non-typical applications better suited to a dedicated server.  Just Host will make every commercially reasonable effort to provide additional resources to Subscribers who are using their website(s) consistent with these Terms, including moving Subscribers to newer and bigger shared servers as necessary. However, in order to ensure a consistent and quality experience for all Subscribers, Just Host does place automated safeguards to protect against any one site growing too quickly and adversely impacting the system until Just Host can evaluate said sites resource needs. We ask that you move your site(s) from our servers within 14 days, after which we will delete your site(s) from our hosting service.”

It turns out that if you plan on having a big website or a popular website you’ll probably need dedicated hosting or at least a VPS (virtual private server) in order to handle the bandwidth demands that you will be creating.  The type and quality of your websites also play a major factor in the server load you create, but if you get a lot of traffic, a shared hosting plan probably is not for you. JustHost was happy to refer me to a very expensive preferred provider for dedicated hosting, however I already have other websites hosted by HostGator, and I have been happy with the service.  Host Gator offers dedicated hosting and VPS hosting.  They also offer the “unlimited” shared hosting plan.  I decided to go with VPS hosting.  The transfer process was quite smooth and the customer service has been outstanding. When you sign up for VPS hosting you choose how much storage and bandwidth you actually need.  It may feel better to be able to select “unlimited storage” and “unlimited bandwidth” but once you read the terms of service you learn that “unlimited” often has limits. VPS hosting provides many advantages.  My site loads faster.  Google seems to love my site more and more.  It is likely that I will need to upgrade my VPS package at some point in the near future but I intend to stay with HostGator.  They are easy to work with and provide top quality service.  I wish I had gone with them in the first place.  Sometimes names can be misleading, so before you go for an “unlimited” plan, make sure that you will be getting what you really need.