Website owners often have a difficult time deciding how much space they need to host their website. If you opt to get the minimum amount of hosting space it may not be enough to allow for expansion should you add more files. If you ask for unlimited hosting space it may be more than you need and the web hosting provider may be cramming as many websites as possible onto the server to cut costs.
What is hosting space?
This refers to the amount of space given to websites on the server. It’s also called disc space or web hosting space. A shared web host will store several websites on the same server. Each website is given a certain amount of space to store the files. You pay a monthly fee for the space, bandwidth and features associated with your hosting plan. Hosting space is usually divided into megabytes (MB) or gigabytes (GB).
How much hosting space do I need?
This is determined by the total size of all your website files. To find out how much space you need, simply right-click on the folder containing your files then select properties. Look at “size on disk.” For example the total file size of a WordPress folder is 9.10 MB (9,547,776 bytes) so you will need at least 10 MB of space. It’s best to purchase at least twice as much space to allow for e-mail accounts, log files, scripts, images and the future content you will be adding on a continuous basis.
If you anticipate hosting lots of video, audio or downloadable files you’ll need a lot more space. Ask your hosting provider if you can easily upgrade your hosting plan should you suddenly need more space.
Do I need unlimited space?
Beware of hosting providers that offer unlimited space. They’re going on the assumption that most websites will only use a small amount of space on the server while a few will contain large files and need a large amount. It may cut costs for them however it may jeopardize your website performance because they are cramming as many websites as possible on one server. This will slow the loading of your web pages. If a visitor can’t view your website within a few seconds they will go elsewhere.
If your web hosting provider offers unlimited space cost them what this means. For example will you be charged additional fees if you suddenly need a huge amount of extra space?
How do I choose a web hosting provider?
The most important features you will need to host your website include:
- CPanel Access
- Fantastico Deluxe
- MySQL Databases
- FTP Accounts
- Domain Pointers
- POP3, SMTP, IMAP Email
- Email Forwardings, Auto-responders, Aliases
- Mailing List
- FrontPage Support
- CGI-Bin Access
- Perl, CGI
- PHP scripting
- Server Side Includes (SSI)
- FREE Shared SSL
- Site Backups
- Password Protection
- Site Statistics
Speedy, knowledgeable, reliable technical support is also necessary should you ever have server problems associated with hosting your website.