A Guide To Excess Usage Fees On Your Video Hosting Plan12/31/2012
In recent years, video content has become an important element of many successful websites. Allowing your visitors to stream high-quality video is a fantastic way to showcase your products, explain complex ideas, and make your entire website feel more personal. At Certified Hosting, we use video to communicate with our customers in an immediate, friendly way.
But the reason video is only now becoming so popular, is that as a resource-intensive medium, videos require more computing power than a static web page. Since ultra-fast Internet connections have become more widely used at home, webmasters are better able to serve large video files to customers and visitors.
Video content is attractive and interesting to your customers, and now, it is accessible to virtually everyone. The problem is that storing and serving your videos places additional strain on your web hosting plan. Even if you find a video hosting service at an affordable price, going over your allocated hardware resources can lead to unexpected charges at the end of the month.
To help you avoid excess usage fees on your video hosting plan, video hosting expert Certified Hosting has put together the following information about the fees some web hosting providers charge for excess bandwidth, CPU, and disk space usage. We also reveal how some hosting providers find ways to charge their customers overage fees even on so-called “unlimited” video hosting plans. Finally, we tell you what to look for when you choose a video hosting plan to ensure excellent performance with no surprising fees.
Why does video hosting require additional hardware resources?
When you order a web hosting plan, you are paying a regular fee in exchange for using someone else’s hardware resources. In the case of shared hosting, you are sharing an entire dedicated server with many other websites, reducing the overall cost of operation.
However, the type of content you have on your website will affect the amount of hardware power your website requires. Let’s compare a few content types on file size alone:
- Static web pages – The size of an average web page has increased over the years, with home Internet connections becoming capable of downloading large files. However, according to recent studies, the average web page is still just under 1MB in size.
- Image files – The file size of an image depends on several factors, including the file format and the resolution of your image. A high-quality, high-resolution JPEG file can be bigger than 5MB.
- Audio files – Again, the size of audio files depends on quality, but three minutes of 192kbps audio would take approximately 4.5MB of disk space.
- Video files – Video combines potentially thousands of images and sounds, making it the largest type of file most webmasters will serve. If you encode your videos at a 500kbps bitrate, a three-minute file would be around 11MB.
From the averages given above, you can see that a video file is particularly large, taking up more space on your server than images or audio. Streaming video requires more data to be sent from your video hosting plan to your visitor every single second. If your traffic increases and you are streaming video to many visitors at once, it is easy to use large amounts of bandwidth.
Fees for excess usage on video hosting services
Many hosting providers charge excess usage fees if you exceed any of your resource allocations. This may include disk space, RAM, and CPU, but bandwidth is the leading cause of surprise charges at the end of the month. After all, although you can gain some control over your bandwidth by examining the overall size of your files, you cannot stop thousands of visitors from accessing your website without notice.
Fees for bandwidth overages vary among different hosting companies, but it is not unusual to be charged anywhere between $1 and $3.50 for every extra GB you use. Some web hosting providers will have two different rates, one for pre-arranged bandwidth, and a much higher one if you go over your allocation without notice.
In addition, hosting providers often reserve the right to disable your hosting plan entirely if you exceed your permitted bandwidth.
As a result, you could be left with your website offline for weeks on end, or an expensive bill you have not accounted for in your budget.
Is your video hosting plan really unlimited?
If you want to get an accurate estimate of your web hosting fees and be able to plan consistently from month to month, an unlimited video hosting plan promises to give you infinite resources at no extra charge. However, not every unlimited service is what it seems.
It is not unusual to find that your hosting company includes a range of limitations on how you can use your plan and to which resources the term “unlimited” applies. In some cases, the unlimited part of unlimited video hosting only describes static HTML pages, not your video files. Any supplemental bandwidth you use when serving video remains subject to a surcharge.
In addition, a few unlimited hosting plans include unlimited disk space, CPU usage, and RAM, but not unlimited bandwidth. Since bandwidth is the resource you are most likely to overuse, this is a significant problem for popular video streaming sites.
As you compare different video hosting services, an unlimited plan is a great way to reduce your ongoing expenditures and maximize your revenue. But before you commit to any unlimited video hosting solution, check the specific terms that apply to your plan.
Unlimited video hosting plans from Certified Hosting
After more than 13 years in the web hosting business, Certified Hosting has seen the popularity of video content grow and grow. In years to come, this trend looks set to continue – to stay on top of it, make sure you are giving your visitors the exciting content they want, without increasing your costs.
Unlimited video hosting services from Certified Hosting are unlimited in every way. We include unlimited disk space, unlimited bandwidth, and unlimited MySQL databases with our video hosting plans, giving you complete peace of mind that you will never receive an overage bill at the end of your billing cycle.
We also include full support for major video streaming and tube site applications, including PHPMotion and ClipShare.