Sensible Hosts
Find web hosting plans
with realistic offerings.

You're looking for a good home for your web site. Don't be taken in by unrealistic hosting plans offering bandwidth and disk space they can't really provide! (You can read more below about this widespread problem of overselling and the criteria used for this page.)

SensibleHosts lists only plans within a reasonable range of what is offered for the price, to help people avoid common mistakes and hopefully choose a better place to serve their web pages to the world.

If your web site is important, then so is your web host. See featured hosts below:

(Plan details subject to change, check for current offerings at host web site)

Pair Networks
50 GB of bandwidth and 5 GB of disk space for $10
Daily backup, redundant network
Also offers: High volume, Dedicated, Co-location 

Cartika Hosting
20 GB of bandwidth and 2 GB of disk space for $10
Free setup
Application hosting, clustered setup
Also offers: Dedicated

120 GB of bandwidth and 5 GB of disk space for $14.95
Free setup
100% uptime guarantee
Also offers: VPS, Dedicated


Other notable hosts and previously listed plans:

HostGator was previously listed, but increased bandwidth from the accepted range. In my experience this host has been notable for very responsive customer service and support.

HostGator 25% off coupon code: GATORBYTHETAIL

WestHost: Previously listed, now offering very high bandwidth plans.


   The dangers of overselling   


Web hosting advertisements are full of dazzling numbers. Bandwidth, storage, hundreds of GB, even Terabytes, all for an entry-level price. The bigger the numbers, the better the host must be, right?

Don't count on it!

The illusion is that you might get more for your money with these huge numbers or with "unlimited" bandwidth hosting. The problem is that you can't get more of something if it isn't really available! Recently, web hosting has been transformed by a trend of offering plans with bandwidth and disk space that range far into the realm of fantasy. In other words, the extra bandwidth is often imaginary, nothing more than a marketing gimmick.


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The poor overworked, overloaded server


It takes money to serve web pages. Your pages sit on a special computer (a server) that sends them out whenever they are requested. And of course, your site shares that computer with a number of other sites. If you start dividing the cost and capabilities of a server, you'll see the problem with these huge plans--they are offering as much as or more than a whole server can provide, for a small fraction of the cost.

In the case of "unlimited" bandwidth or disk space, it gets even worse--no number of servers would ever be enough to provide what the company is claiming to offer a single customer.

If there are too many sites on a server, or if any of the sites uses too much bandwidth, disk space, or other features, the server will start to experience problems, and so will the visitors to your site and every other site on that server. These oversold, overloaded, poorly-managed servers are the cause of much downtime, sluggish page loading, technical issues, and grief.

Web site owners have been surprised to buy a hosting plan promising lots of space and traffic and then have their account suspended or be forced to make a very expensive upgrade when they started actually using a significant portion of what was offered. In the fine print, most hosts have a clause that no account can utilize more than a certain percent of system (server) resources. So in the end, customers unfairly get the blame if they try to use the resources that a host offered.

Meanwhile, typical customers (who don't actually use much bandwidth or space) expect to put their pages on the internet and have no problems. Too often, that's not the case. If servers are overloaded or improperly maintained, or support personnel are underqualified or overextended, there will eventually be trouble.

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   Sensible hosting plans   


It's impossible to have a zero risk of trouble in hosting, but a sensible hosting plan may increase your chances for a good experience. It also allows you to support honest companies, and you can feel good about that.

If a host doesn't offer more than it can provide, then what you pay for is actually yours to use, and your web page won't suffer for other sites using more than the server can handle. That's the ideal situation.

Having responsive and competent support is also a must.


These are the criteria for the hosts listed in the chart above:

1. The host does not offer more than a reasonable amount of bandwidth and disk space. Currently I am limiting this to around 100 GB of bandwidth per $10 USD.

(This is not a magic number, only an arbitrary upper limit I've used as a dividing line to try to help separate fact from fiction in hosting. What is above that line is usually fiction, but what is below it is not always fact. Also, there are a variety of factors to consider when looking at the numbers.)

2. The host has a monthly payment option, so that people aren't locked in and stuck with annual plans, and have freedom to move without losing money if there are problems or if hosting needs change. This suggests a different approach to the customer relationship versus the "lock-them-in" annual system.

3. I was able to contact sales or support and get a coherent answer to questions within a reasonable amount of time.

Customer feedback about hosts is another important consideration. It isn't always possible to find enough feedback to make conclusions, and user experiences and opinions vary, but they will play a role in selecting hosts for this page.


Obviously, these measures alone can't guarantee great hosting, but they are useful indicators that a host may be following a sensible plan, just as enormous numbers and yearly contracts, or extremely low prices, are warning signs that something may be wrong. Choose carefully.


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Good luck finding a home for your web pages!


(Disclaimer: This site represents considerable time and effort in the attempt to provide reliable and helpful information, but nevertheless the author make no guarantees of any kind concerning the hosts listed here, or about the accuracy of the information about hosting plans. If you use this site or the information here, you must assume full and complete responsibility for your decisions and actions. The author disclaims all responsibility and liability whatsoever. By using this site you indicate your acceptance of these terms.)


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