Rant about website hosting companies, false advertising, and costs.
Since the mid-1990s I have been involved with both developing and hosting websites. The hosting industry has, of course, greatly evolved over the decades into what we see today, a huge number of companies offering 'no brainer' tools to 'build a website in a few minutes'. Along with the ability to quickly build a website, they all also offer various hosting plans with discounts reminiscent of the old phone carrier long distance battles. Virtually every website site hosting company attracts and entices customers with 'unlimited' or 'unmetered' disk space and bandwidth. For example;
But talk about a bunch of BS. NONE of these companies actually provide a paying customer with unlimited or unmetered disk space or bandwidth. When you dig deeper into their Terms and Conditions it says that you have to comply with their 'Fair Use Policy'. Digging down into the 'Fair Use Policy" you will find that they absolutely will limit hard drive space and bandwidth. In fact, the Fair Use policies basically says that at any time and for any reason they might have, they can pull the plug on your website. So if they do not like your content, they can shut down your website. If they think they you have 'too many files', they can shut down your website. If they think your site is using too much bandwidth, they can shut down your website.
The plan that Stamp Smarter uses is a more expensive 'Pro' plan which the hosting company describes as 'unmetered' disk space but when you get your account it allocates only 100Gb to your account. They say, "if you need more hard drive space simply send a request for our customer service department". So Stamp Smarter site started with 100GB hard drive space. A few weeks ago the site content reached 95GB in size. There are a lot of files, over 1 million images files for example. There are a lot of PDF files (40GB) which are only accessed (downloaded) a few times a year in the Library. I contacted their Customer Service Department and inquired about getting another 20GB or so in disk space. Instead, they contacted me and told me the site is in violation of their Fair Use policy and unless I removed any of the 'old, archived email files' that were on my site they would shut down the site.
Huh? There are only two email accounts and no mail is kept on their servers at all (it is all automatically moved to my local computers and devices). After going back and forth it turned out that they meant the 'postal history' files in the Stamp Smarter library. I described to them what the site was and why these files were a part of the content of the site but they were firm, reduce the size of the site or they were taking it down. So I have moved some of the Library files to other servers at another company (at additional cost).
To be honest, there is no good solution for websites like Stamp Smarter; as a very large non-commercial website it does not fit any of the hosting plans. It could be moved to a dedicated server plan if I want to suck up $2k-$3k per year. If I am going to incur that kind of cost, I might as well build and implement a server in my house.
End of Rant.