How much storage space and bandwidth will you need for your website? This is a question that you will need to answer before deciding on your web site hosting.
You’ll need to look at the content that you’ll be hosting on your site. Is it just plain text? Images? Audio and video files?
Plain text takes the least amount of space. Images take considerably more and audio and video files will need the most space. This applies to both the storage and the bandwidth.
Many web hosts offer what seems like a huge amount of storage space, assuming that you’ll never use it. If everyone hosting websites on their server were to use the maximum space allowed, the servers would likely not be able to handle it.
You’ll see a range of storage and bandwidth being offered. One host might be offering 1 gigabyte of storage while another could offer 500 megabytes at the same price. The quality of service is a key factor in choosing a web host, so don’t just look for the one with the biggest offer.
The rule of thumb in the hosting industry is that 2MB of storage is enough to host 10 web pages and 4 or 5 images. Using this as a guideline, you can determine how much space you’ll need to host your site.
You can calculate your bandwidth requirements in a similar way. Make sure you understand the difference between bandwidth and data transfer, however.
In non-technical terms, bandwidth is the diameter of a water pipe and data transfer is the amount of water that flows through it. If you’re likely to have a lot of data being transferred, you should look for high bandwidth plans.
If you choose a plan with high data transfer but low bandwidth, your site can slow to a crawl when it gets too many visitors. The amount of information you’re allowed to transfer is high enough, but the pipe it’s flowing through doesn’t allow enough to get through at once to keep up with all the requests.
The best way to manage your bandwidth and space is to keep your site as simple as possible. Don’t use large images – optimize them for viewing on the web which will decrease their size considerably.
If you’re not sure how to determine your needs, the better web hosting companies will be able to help you figure out which of their plans will best suit your website.