cpanel hosting

Total Usage Vs Allocation

Organisations that sell hosting reseller accounts will usually configure their systems to calculate their customers' space and bandwidth usage on either the true total usage method (sometimes referred to as 'reseller resources overselling') or the allocation method (sometimes referred to as the 'server resources overselling' method).

How a reseller accounts space and bandwidth is measured has the potential to hugely impact on your ability to host websites. It can be the difference between success and failure or making a profit or incurring a loss as a reseller. Therefore, understanding this difference is critically important to anyone thinking about becoming a hosting reseller.

The Explanation

True total usage is based on the total disk space and bandwidth actually used by all hosting accounts hosted within a reseller account, which is what Netports operates with. Whereas the allocation method calculates a reseller accounts usage upon what space and bandwidth is invented by the reseller for his/her hosting plans.

Therefore, one is based on real true disk and bandwidth usage, the other is not. Resellers can see the true total disk space used and bandwidth used by each of their hosting accounts by using the resellers' main Web Host Manager (WHM) control panel.

At this early point it is important to understand that neither method automatically determins whether the reseller hosting product is good or bad. They are simply two very deferent reseller hosting management models. Indeed, we are aware of hosts that use the allocation method that are still able to provide a good quality reseller hosting service.

To best illustrate the substantial difference between the two methods and how it can have severe consequences for your web hosting business lets have some fun and follow the fictitious journey of Chris who has just started out with a new reseller account ...

The Scenario

Chris is a web developer and has a "Alloy Reseller" account from a leading U.S. based webhost to host his clients websites. Chris wasn't iniaitally aware that choosing an overseas host can severly limit all his hosted site's positions in 'Pages From Australia' in leading search engines such as Google. Decent positions in search engines, such as Google, is now more critically important than ever before. Chris is already behind the eight ball!!

Chris has invented what turns out to be a popular hosting plan his customers like, called the Chris_2000 which he sells for, lets say, $250 per year. This hosting plan of Chris' offers 2GB space and 10GB monthly bandwidth, a reasonably attractive hosting package by todays standards.

Chris has done his homework and his Chris_2000 website hosting account @ $250 per year puts him in a good competitive position amongst the medium sized website hosting accounts available elsewhere with other high quality website hosting businesses.

Lets further assume Chris is hosting a total of 45 domains, so there are 45 hosting accounts in his reseller account, each using the Chris_2000 hosting plan.

It is a fact that the majority of hosting accounts won't use all the space and bandwidth they have available to them, and Chris's customers are no exception. The total disk space and monthly bandwidth actually used by all of Chris's 45 hosted websites, all combined, in his reseller account lets say is:

Reseller Account Total Disk Space Usage = 3,850MEG (3.8GB)
Reseller Account Total Monthly Bandwidth Usage = 14,850MEG (14.8GB)

Lets be clear about this, the host server hosting Chris's reseller account is actually using only 3.8GB of space on its hard disk and a little under 15GB of actual real inbound and outbound bandwidth to provide for Chris's reseller account usage. This is the space and bandwidth Chris's reseller account is actually using.

The Comparison

Chris uses the following great looking reseller account (nice and cheap) from a leading cPanel reseller host ....

Looks good doesn't it? It is advertising plenty of space and a big amount of bandwidth, and you can even host an unlimited number of domains and it seems cheap (even though Chris is paying in U.S. Dollars which is higher anyway). All in all it looks a very attractive cPanel reseller plan .... but is it the truth?

So the question before you is, can Chris host all his 45 sites on the above reseller account? You would naturally answer "yes, of course", because he is actually using well under every limit advertised by the host to sell that reseller account in the first place. However, in actual fact the truth is very different.

If space and bandwidth usage was based on allocation then no, Chris would not be able to host all his 45 Chris_2000 hosting plan sites, he would only be able to host a maximum of 25 and his reseller account would block him from adding any further domains. Chris would be livid and would be demanding his money back!!

However, if it were based on true total usage then yes, Chris could easily host all his 45 sites plus more.

The following compares the total number of Chris_2000 hosting accounts Chris can host in this great looking 'Alloy Reseller' account where usage is based on allocation compared to our AP-50 gernuine Australian cPanel reseller account where usage is based on the total usage method. There's a MASSIVE DIFFERENCE!!

Space & Bandwidth Based on:

True Total Usage

(Netports AP-50 genuiine Australian reseller account)


(ALLOY Reseller
Plan from U.S. host)
Maximum number of sites Chris can host:
45 (+ more)
25 (max, no more)
Chris's total yearly revenue:
$6,250.00 (max)

Actual True Total Usage Method:

When space and bandwidth is based on the total usage method and Chris is on the Netports genuine Australian AP-50 reseller plan he is earning near DOUBLE than be could with the Alloy reseller plan from an overseas host.

With Netports because the total of all Chris's hosted websites are actually using less than any of the maximum limits Chris can easily host all his 45 hosting accounts. In fact, he could continue to host more until all his sites in total reach one of the maximum limits.

If all of Chris's hosting clients started to use big amounts of space and bandwidth which pushes Chris's reseller account total usage up to any of the plan's limits, Chris simply upgrades to a larger reseller plan - easy. The advantage for Chris here is absolutely self evident - Chris is earning good money from his reseller account and has the potential to earn even more - and he is offering his hosting clients 100% Australian premium hosting!!

When a host bases their reseller account space and bandwidth on the actual true total usage method it usually means the space and bandwidth on the server is there ready and reserved for all reseller accounts. It also can mean there's not likely to be any short-fall in server resources if all resellers use all their space and bandwidth because server occupancy levels have been provisioned on the true usage method to start with.

In plain English this means you can generally host many more hosting accounts in your reseller account with the true total usage method - because you can actually use right up to the first limit reached of the reseller account. Reseller accounts based on the true total usage method are generally a little more expensive for obvious reasons.

Allocation method:

However, things are very different when space and bandwidth usage is based on allocation. Because Chris has invented 2GB space/10GB bandwidth hosting plans, the allocation method uses these to calculate Chris's reseller account 'usage', even though his hosting accounts actually use much less. Chris could invent smaller hosting plans with much less space and bandwidth but who would buy hosting plans offering considerably less than what is available everywhere else?

Unfortunately because the overseas 'Alloy Reseller' account usage is calculated on allocation Chris can only host a maximum of 25 domains, that's it, because the bandwidth Chris invented in his Chris_2000 hosting plan has already reached the limit with only 25 accounts (25 x 2GB = 50GB Spave - the maximum allowed). If Chris tried to add another Chirs_2000 hosting account it will be blocked. His 'Alloy Reseller' account when based on the allocation method will now block Chris from adding any further accounts.

Even though Chris is using well under the usage limits as advertised by that U.S. based host to sell the reseller account in the first place, it is now showing as 'full' and won't allow any further domains to be hosted. Chris could argue with his host until he turns candy-apple red, he can even show proof that his reseller account is actually using less than the space, bandwidth and hosted domain limits advertised by the host, but when the reseller account is based on allocation Chris has lost out big time.

There are many reasons why hosts may choose to operate their reseller accounts under the allocation method. Perhaps one could be that it enables the host to 'oversell' their server's space and bandwidth. This would enable the host to host a great many more reseller accounts in a given space because it is very unlikely resellers will actually use all the space and bandwidth they have paid for - which also means a host can then charge much less for the service.

The more reseller accounts crammed on to a server or VPS the less these reseller accounts can be sold for in the first place. Whether this could lead to a bevy of potential server issues such as performance degradation and increased chances of outages is something we can not comment on because Netports does not use the allocation method.

The advantage of a reseller account based on the allocation method is it can be cheap but expect to be severely limited in the number of sites you can host should you want to invent reasonably competitive web hosting plans, as the above example clearly demonstrates.


The true total usage method and the allocation method are two different reseller hosting models. Neither method alone can or should be used to judge the quality of a host or a reseller hosting service.

However, in real terms for the reseller account owner the difference is huge as it directly impacts on not only how many websites you can potentially host in a given reseller account but can also influence what your own hosting plans may have to be.

Netports does NOT and will NEVER base our reseller account space and bandwidth usage on allocation. All our reseller hosting services are based on the actual true total usage method. Not only do we hard-reserve space and bandwidth for each and every reseller but we also host reseller accounts directly on FULL DEDCIATED SERVERS (not in VPS's). This makes our reseller hosting exceptionally powerful and capable of generating a great deal more income for our resellers because there is every likelihood you will be able to host a great deal more hosting accounts.

Although our reseller accounts may not be the cheapest in town, the space and bandwidth and maximum hosted domain limits we quote with each of our reseller accounts is 100% truthful - this is what you pay us to use, this is what you are entitled to use and with Netports this is exactly what you get to use!

Its pretty fair to say that Chris is much happier earning $11,250.00 (or more) from his reseller account than he would be with only earning a maximum of $6,500.00 from it.

Search Engine benefits of being 100% Australian based

If Chris was with Netports as opposed to a U.S. based host all his websites would enjoy exceptionally low latency and they would enjoy the best chance of being delivered within the Australian search results in search engines such as Google - because they are all 100% Australian located websites.

But be careful, most Australian cPanel reseller hosts also base their usage on allocation, so don't get caught out just with the benefits of being 100% Australian and not have the huge advantage of having a cPanel reseller account based on the true total usage method.

With the likelihood of substantially better search engine positions for his hosted clients, much faster performance and the ability to earn a great deal more money from his reseller account Chris is heading over Netports way. He can then boast to be offering 100% genuine premium Australian hosting and at the same time earn much more money from it!!!

Choose wisely.

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