Guide to Unlimited Storage: Find the Cheapest Hosting Options

The demand for storage is growing quickly. With all the videos, audio files, photos, and documents we download to our computers these days, the more space we need to accommodate all of our “stuff.” That’s where unlimited storage comes in. Click on the links in the table of contents to jump directly to any section.

What is Unlimited Storage?

Unlimited storage, also known as unlimited disk space, allows you to add as much content and pages to your website as you wish without any extra fees from your web host provider (although it’s always a good idea to check the fine print). Unlimited storage is common among web hosts, but not universally offered.

When choosing a hosting provider, you can look for providers that offer unlimited storage plans. This way you can create a website, or websites, as large as you like, with hundreds or thousands of web pages without being penalized.

So how does one determine storage needs? Obviously, the amount of space needed depends on the size of your website but a few other factors influence storage needs as well, such as:

  • Size of your site files: Simple static websites do not require much web space but websites with dynamic content (image files and video files along with scripts) need optimal data space.
  • How many email accounts you have: If you have several active accounts, you might need more room for them.
  • How many databases you depend on: Databases take up space, and if you depend on more than one, you’ll need additional storage.
  • Number of individual pages you on your site: Blogs or personal websites typically have fewer pages compared to E-Commerce websites.
  • Future plans for your website: If you plan on expanding your website, you’ll likely need more space.

It’s also helpful to know the file types that take up the most space. While video and audio files are often the largest, the files that take up the most space are images and developer files due to their sheer numbers:storage capacity
Bottom line: The larger your site, the more space you need, and the more images, videos or audio files your site contains, the more space you need to store those files.

Does Unlimited Storage Really Mean Unlimited Storage?

Well, yes and no. The term “Unlimited Storage” refers to web hosting offers that provide unlimited disk storage, data transfer, and addon domain name capacity. HOWEVER, hosting providers sometimes restrict what you can use the disk space for.

While bits and bytes are both units of data, they are not the same thing. Bytes are eight times bigger than bits. To get an accurate picture of your bandwidth, make sure that your web host company states their bandwidth in terms of bytes per second rather than bits per second.

And if your site grows too fast and impedes the performance of a server, you might be face penalties like bandwidth throttling where the host slows your upload and download streaming speeds.

This is similar to cell phone carriers that offer unlimited data plans. While you can continue to surf the internet (or Facebook) with your phone perpetually, once you have used a certain amount of data for the month, many carriers will switch you to a slower connection.

Do your research before you choose a hosting provider that offers unlimited storage to ensure uninterrupted operation.

Choosing Between Storage-Based and Unlimited Storage

So you need to decide between storage-based and unlimited storage, and you’re not sure what route to take. The decision basically comes down to what you want to do with your website. Let’s discuss both options in further detail:

Storage-Based Plans – The Basics

Storage and bandwidth are not the same. A site’s bandwidth determines how much data your visitors can view over time, while storage space refers to how much content you can store on our servers.Storage-based plans typically require you to pay for a limited amount of storage space so you’ll need to determine an appropriate amount of storage for your website. These plans are fairly common for small-to-medium-sized companies, as this route offers cost savings since you pay for only the storage amount you need. However, some might argue that the amount of information you store will only increase so why not purchase an unlimited storage plan to avoid a pay-as-you-go system. And depending on the provider you choose, adding additional storage can be a tedious and expensive task.

Unlimited Storage Plans – The Basics

If you want to avoid a pay-as-you-go plan or just want the ease of storing and recovering all your data without any hassle (especially if your site expands), unlimited storage offers some piece of mind – all your stuff is stored in one convenient location at one consistent price. You’ll also avoid having to remove old data to make room for new when you’ve reached your storage limit.

If you’re unsure what your immediate needs are, here’s a useful checklist to help you determine the amount of your storage your website needs:
Streaming video takes up a lot of storage and bandwidth. Fortunately, StarDot has an excellent tool for calculating your needs if you plan on streaming video on your site.

  1. What is the average page size of your website? If you’re unsure, design a typical page and measure it. You should do this for every type of page, including product pages, image galleries, marketing descriptions, etc.
  2. How many webpages will you need? The number of webpages you’ll have depends on the type of website. For example, a simple blog will likely have less than ten pages. For an e-commerce site, consider how many product pages you’ll have and the type of files that will be on each page.
  3. How many monthly visitors does your site get? As your site grows, you’ll need more space so you can add features and functionality as needed to accommodate your visitors.

Recommended Hosting Plans with Unlimited Storage

Have you determined you’ll need a hosting plan with unlimited storage? Or perhaps you’re still unsure but want to research your options anyway? Below is a list of hosting providers that offer unlimited storage, in addition to a wealth of other services to help get your site up and running. We’ve also included links to additional information and a few helpful tutorials.

Hosting Provider Provider Overview User Resources
HostGator HostGator takes pride in making web hosting easy for their clients with 24/7/365 support, 99.9% uptime, and 45-day money back guarantee. They offer a myriad of hosting packages, each of which offer unmetered storage and bandwidth.

BlueHost Bluehost offers equally secure Shared, Dedicated, Reseller, and VPS Hosting plans, many of these plans come with 100 or more email accounts and 24/7 support, as well as optional add-ons like spam protection, SSL certificates, and SiteLock.
Just Host Just Host offers unlimited disc space, email accounts, and unlimited domains in any of their Shared or VPS web hosting plans along with a variety of free website scripts, project management, social networking, and blog support scripts.
iPage iPage users can take advantage of a secure infrastructure, budget-friendly plans, and 24/7 US-based customer support via phone and online chat with NO cap on the disk space.
A2 Hosting A2 Hosting offer fast SSDs and Turbo Servers with loading pages up to 20 times faster than standard hosting along with a 99.9% uptime guarantee, the latest security patches, and unlimited space with every web hosting solution.
FatCow FatCow offers a variety of features including, cloud storage, email perks, marketing credits, eCommerce and other website tools, and plenty of storage, if not unlimited, for all hosting options.
GreenGeeks GreenGeeks is a green and clean web hosting provider with a 99.9% uptime guarantee with all-inclusive web hosting plans, meaning that they come with unlimited web space, data transfers, and domains along with free marketing tools, free website, and domain transfers.
PowWeb PowWeb offers unlimited disk space, bandwidth, and hosted domains along with Google and Yahoo! advertising credits, a point and click site builder, and a free domain, all with their 30 day money-back guarantee.
IPOWER IPOWER provides 100% wind powered web hosting to all of their Shared, VPS, and Dedicated plans, with many packages offering a free domain name registration, unlimited space, personalized email, and free marketing credits for Google, Facebook, and Yahoo!
Web Hosting Pad Web Hosting Pad offers hassle-free hosting with a code-free website builder, free website transfers, and WordPress hosting plans for bloggers along with unlimited space, 24/7 support, a 30 day money-back guarantee, and a 99.9% uptime guarantee.

Additional Resources About Unlimited Storage

There’s a lot of information on the Web about storage space and how to choose the right hosting plan based on your storage needs. We’ve sorted through many of these resources to help you find accurate and reliable information so you’re not left with buyer’s remorse.