Posts Tagged "disk space"

How Much Web Space Do You Need?

For the average layman who just wants to get his web pages hosted, it can be confusing to have so many web hosting packages to choose from. Just about all of them offer a competitive range of packages based on at least two areas—web space disk size and bandwidth. Prices for similar packages differ from one hosting company to the next. You could end up with a package that is short of your needs for a very attractive price offer.

Determining your disk space needs

Text in a web page eats the least amount of file size, so that even an all-text 100-page site may require no more than 5MB of web space storage. It’s the multimedia content that creates large file sizes.

Photos can go up to hundreds of MB each if you make high-resolution images available for download.

Sound files in MP3 format also take up space so that a 3-minute pop tune can easily require 7 MB at the format’s highest audio bit rate of 320 kilobytes per second.

Video files require a large amount of disk space. A 30-second video could eat up 25 MB of web space depending on the format and video resolution. Some site owners simply embed videos from a separate provider such as YouTube to save on their own hosting costs.

Estimating your bandwidth needs

Each website is unique, and estimating your minimum bandwidth or data transfer usage will depend on several elements. A rough formula to follow is:

[average file size of your web pages] * [number of visitors you expect each day] * [number of pages each visitor will view] * [30 days in a month] = total monthly bandwidth or data transfer usage

For instance, if you have 20 web pages each averaging 10 KB of text with around 100 KB of images per page and a best estimate of around 100 visitors on average per day who would view around 5 pages, using the formula above, you can compute: [10 KB + 100 KB per web page] * [100 visitors] * [5 pages per visitor] * [30 days in a month] = 1,650,000 KB, 1,600 MB, or 1.65 GB per month. You need to find a hosting package that a monthly 1.65 GB can safely fall into. Hosting packages with 2 to 5 GB of bandwidth per month would be just right with some room for a near-term expansion in traffic.

Weighing your options

Personal websites with a few pages of text and images can often be satisfied with free hosting topped at 2 GB of bandwidth and around 100 MB to 150 MB of disk space allocated for you each month. Just be aware that your site could be littered with ads that can annoy your site visitors, and problems in your hosting may not be met with good technical support that a paid hosting company can provide.

For business usage, it’s best for you to look into professional web hosting providers. They usually start with 5 GB monthly bandwidth and 200 MB of web space from $3 per month, with significant savings if you sign up for long-term hosting. In most cases, a startup or small business website can benefit from the minimum paid hosting packages if it rarely uses more than 1 GB of data transfer per month, at least in the early months. Even if you sign up for a year’s service. professional web hosts won’t mind if you step up to a higher package should the growth in your traffic and website sophistication warrant a higher bandwidth and web space.

However, there’s a better alternative. Because disk space and broadband telecommunications have both gone down in cost, unlimited disk space and bandwidth are now commonly offered in many hosting solutions priced above $3 per month.

For a growing business, it makes good sense to avail of these unlimited offers. This allows you to grow your business without worrying about whether or not your web host can support you. It also helps you in case of large spikes of traffic. You don’t want your website to be down just when a lot of visitors are coming in.

At the end of the day, it’s always better to get as much as you can for your money’s worth. There are plenty of affordable web hosts that offer unlimited disk space and bandwidth, so this is definitely recommended.

Top 5 Web Space Myths

Finding a perfect web space provider can be a difficult task, especially with the number of options available on the market. Everyone wants fast servers with perfect uptime, plenty of disk space, and lots of bandwidth. A free domain thrown in would be nice to have, and all this must either come free or at a very low price. While these requirements seem ideal, there are a few common misconceptions about each of these specifications.

Myth 1: Website uptime of 100% is possible.

Many web hosts advertise a server uptime of 99.9% or more—but never 100%. This is because the server needs to be maintained regularly in order for it to run smoothly the rest of the time.

Also note that even if the server is running, the website won’t be accessible if the network is down at the data center. A 99.9% server uptime doesn’t guarantee a corresponding website uptime.

Myth 2: Unlimited disk space and bandwidth are a must.

Many people feel that and unlimited disk space and bandwidth are an absolute must for a website to meet future growth needs.

First of all, web space and bandwidth are finite. There is a limit. However, most websites will never come anywhere close to this limit.

Second, unlimited disk space and bandwidth doesn’t mean you can have a bandwidth-intensive website on a shared server. This will adversely affect the performance of the server and other websites hosted on that network. Web hosts are quick to detect such disproportionate resource usage and will ask you to upgrade to a higher package or take the site elsewhere.

The reality is that site performance is likely to be better on a shared server, which has restrictions on web space and bandwidth, since the web host discourages users with resource-intensive websites from hosting there in the first place. Most new sites won’t need a lot of disk space and won’t have enough traffic to really need high bandwidth. If the traffic increases, it’s only a happy problem to have, in which case it would be possible to upgrade.

Myth 3: You can get a free domain for life.

Many people think that an offer for a free domain for life means that the web hosting company will keep renewing it every year, no matter what.

Remember that the free domain is part of the web hosting package—and it will be renewed only if you continue to be their customer on a hosting package that includes a free domain.

Myth 4: All web hosts are suitable for all websites.

Some people are under the impression that once they purchase a web hosting package, they can use it in any way they want.

Most web hosts, even the paid ones, have restrictions on what kind of sites you can host. Some web hosts don’t allow streaming media, file storage services, or adult content.

Myth 5: The fine print is unimportant.

Most people don’t read the fine print before they sign up for free or paid web hosting. But it’s important to see what you’re signing up for. This is especially true if it’s a low-cost or free web host. There could be possible file type restrictions, maximum file sizes, email sending limits, and others. These technical aspects may be crucial to the functioning of your website.

The ideal web host isn’t necessarily the one that offers the most disk space and bandwidth. It’s also important to check whether your website can be hosted comfortably within the resource limits and technical platform. We’ve found that these recommended web hosts have all the features that a typical website needs.

Buying Web Space: A Beginner’s Guide

Would you like to expand your small business? Show off your artistic work? Share your ideas with others? Having a website can definitely help you grow your business, showcase your talent, express yourself, and meet new people. If you feel overwhelmed by the technical issues of starting your own website, this guide is for you. Buy Web Space Today was created to help beginners learn the basics of buying web space, building their website, and growing their online presence. The first thing you have to do is buy web space. You can accomplish this in the following 5 steps.

Step 1: Learn how it works

Websites are made of data—computer code, images, audio, video, databases, and more. If you’d like your website to be accessible to people around the world 24/7, you’ll want to store this data in a computer that’s connected to the Internet permanently. A web server is a type of computer that’s suited to this purpose. You could buy and maintain your own web server—which would be expensive and time-consuming—or you could sign up with a web space provider, also known as a web host. This is a company that hosts your website, i.e., lets you rent space on their web servers for a monthly or yearly fee.

In addition to web hosting, you’ll want to register a domain, which is your address on the Internet. If you owned a business called Sarah Jones Bakeshop, for example, you might want your domain name to be sarahjonesbakeshop.com. So while web hosting provides you with “land” on the Internet, domain registration provides you with an official address. Most web hosts offer packages that include both web hosting and domain registration.

Step 2: Determine your needs

Before you choose a web host, think of what you need. Here are some things to consider:

  • Disk space. How much disk space you need to store your data will depend on the nature of your website. If the website will be mostly text, you will likely need less than 10MB of disk space. If it will contain music, videos, or high-resolution images, you will need a lot more.
  • Bandwidth. Bandwidth is the amount of data transfer that your web host will allow you to have every month. Every time a visitor loads your website, the data transfer is subtracted from your total bandwidth. If you go over the limit, your web host might suspend your website until next month. When considering bandwidth, think about the size of your files as well as your anticipated number of visitors each month.
  • Customer support. Are you comfortable figuring out technical issues on your own? If you are, then this won’t be a huge requirement. But if you think you won’t be able to fix your website yourself if it malfunctions, good technical support is a must.
  • Email accounts. Most web hosting plans include email accounts, but some offer a limited number. Make sure to check. If you own a business, remember that you’ll want to give @yourdomain.com email accounts not only to yourself but also to your employees and business partners.
  • Programming languages, database systems, and other technical issues. If you’re looking to have a simple static website, you won’t need any server-side languages and databases. But you’ll need them for dynamic websites—blogs, forums, social networking sites, or basically all websites that you want to be able to update without having to edit and upload files from your computer. PHP and MySQL are the most popular programming language/database system pair, but there are many others available.

Other things to consider:

It would be useful to create a comparison chart to help you see the features of different web hosting plans.

Step 3: Decide on the type of web hosting

There are different types of web hosting:

  • Free hosting is generally unreliable in terms of server uptime, bandwidth, and company longevity. They also often place unwanted advertisements on their hosted websites. This is not recommended, unless you only have a personal website whose reliability and professionalism aren’t too important.
  • Shared hosting is the most common kind of hosting, where your website shares server space and computing resources with a few other hosted websites. This is recommended for anyone with regular needs.
  • Virtual private servers provide more guaranteed resources and better performance than shared hosting. It’s the middle ground between shared and dedicated hosting.
  • Dedicated hosting allows you to have a web server all to yourself, but still maintained by your web host. This can be very nice, but it’s expensive and difficult to set up. This is recommended for advanced users and websites which need a lot of computing resources.

Most individuals and small businesses choose shared web hosting. It’s an affordable solution that includes all the typical features websites need. You could always upgrade later if you want to.

Step 4: Choose your web host and hosting plan

There are lots of web hosts to choose from, and each web host usually offers several web hosting plans. Assess your needs and consider whether your potential web host and hosting plan will meet each of them. Look at the web host’s reputation, uptime, and customer support. Look at the plan’s disk space, bandwidth, performance, and additional features. If you’re not comfortable with manual configuration, choose a web host that will also do your domain registration for you. Compare, contrast, and choose carefully. If you’re in doubt, sign up for a month and try it out before committing to a long-term contract.

Just Host is a great choice; they have a good technical platform, uptime, and customer service. But there are many other good providers, and you can check them out here.

Step 5: Register your domain and get your web hosting

Register the domain you want for your website. Sign up with your chosen web host and pay for your hosting plan. If applicable, configure the domain and web hosting so that they work together. Congratulations! You now have a home on the web.