My Web Hosting account was suspended: Fraud or legitimate action?

One thing that is often complained about regarding shared web hosting plans is the suspension or cancellation of an account. Some day you may receive an email from your hosting company stating that you exceeded certain limits and for that reason they had to switch off your site. But the company advertised “unlimited” plans, didn’t they? Well, while it’s certainly not nice to pull the plug, suspensions are neither fraudulent nor scam. Actually, they can be explained, understood – and AVOIDED. How?

It’s easy to explain that you won’t get plans without any borders for a handful of dollars a month.

First off, it’s physically impossible. There are tens – sometimes hundreds – of shared hosting plans on one server that has to handle them all. No matter how powerful this hardware may be, it has its physical limits. If one user consumes all possible bandwith, disk space and cpu load, other webmasters on the same server won’t be happy as all sites will be slow or down.

Second off, web hosting companies do have to earn money if they don’t want to become bankrupt. Servers cost a lot of money, sometimes way more than 100$ per month. If one single user utilizes this server to the full, it’s definitely a bad deal for the web hoster: Spent 100$, got – say – 5$.

I hope this makes it easier to understand why even “unlimited” has its limits these days. Of course it’s not right to promote 100% unlimited plans, as it’s neither serious nor true.

In the end, average webmasters will still get outstanding value for their money spent. Let’s say you run a personal blog with 1000 users per day on a WordPress installation. A shared hosting plan will suit your site perfectly. A second and third website that big will still be handled for a few dollars a month.

Once you become a big Web Rockstar, things will get harder for you. It would not be a good idea to run a world famous blog on a shared hosting account. The more visitors you get, the more important becomes your hosting infrastructure. You may need a single server on your own or even several load balanced servers to keep your website up. But not until you earn more than enough money to afford all of that.

How to avoid suspensions and deactivated accounts

To avoid account suspensions, there are technical steps to take, for example

  • caching of your website. If you run WordPress, I’d recommend the WordPress Super Cache Plugin to you. This will help a lot to keep the bandwidth and CPU load below the borders of your plan.
  • Sometimes, fancy plugins, galleries and apps cause excessively high server load and website traffic. Is it really important to have javascript or flash-based gimmickry on your website? Does this bring in just one single visitor or dollar more? Or is slowing your site all it does? Keep in mind that function and useful content are way more imporatant than all the bling bling.
  • Too high disk space consumption is often caused by Email accounts containing tons of old emails. Do you really still need them? My advice: Don’t create E-Mail-accounts with your shared hosting plan, simply create forwarders. Let all emails be forwarded to an online E-Mail-client like gmail or yahoo mail. They offer you GB’s of storage space for free, and you may keep all emails you ever got for your whole lifespan, if you will.
  • Then take a look into your statistics and itentify posts that attract lots of visitors but are of no value and/or use in terms of monetization. Sometimes, one post alone causes 25% and more of all cpu load and traffic. I’ve had lots of outdated information that was actually useless for my visitors (+ me), but caused lots of website traffic. As visitors were disappointed with the old content, they soon jumped off, causing a high bounce rate, which in turn may have harmed website rankings, and was bad for the website reputation. Focus on high quality, profitable and up to date content, and forget the rest. In turn, getting rid of your old, useless content will make everybody happy – even your web hosting company.

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Written by Joe on Jan 19, 2011 | See also: , , , , , , , , , , ,

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