How Much Space and Bandwidth Do You Need for Your Site?

On October 14, 2010, wrote:

There are plenty of web hosting services out there that want you to believe that you need five gigabytes of space and terabytes of bandwidth for a simple WordPress-powered blog that you just started. In reality, most personal websites, even business websites, need nowhere near this capacity. Even so, bandwidth and space are becoming cheaper every year from web hosts and even E-mail services. It’s a feature which seems to take precedence over some of the more important aspects of finding a good web hosting service provider.

What could happen if you run out of bandwidth?

Running out of bandwidth is one position you don’t want to find yourself in. As a website matures and gains more users, it’s natural that your space and bandwidth requirements will grow. As such, you should keep an eye on the trends of your website and try to anticipate the need for more bandwidth or space before you run out or you will be faced with an ever increasing bandwidth bill, charged at a premium for exceeding the limits in your plan. Alternatively, your website may be taken offline until your bandwidth count is reset next month.

Even if you chart your bandwidth growth and try to anticipate the requirements, you should also factor in the possibility that your bandwidth will spike on occasion. What if you suddenly get popular? Social news sharing sites, such as Digg.com, Reddit.com, StumbleUpon.com and similar, link to websites that post interesting content or news. If your post gets popular and hits the front page, it’s not likely that you will be notified, and you can receive several thousands of hits more than you anticipated that month in a single day. Needless to say, that can be expensive if you haven’t factored that into your web hosting plan choice.

How much space and bandwidth do you need?

The space requirements for your website usually grow much slower than the bandwidth requirements. Just because you have a gigabyte of bandwidth for the month doesn’t mean that you need a gigabyte of space unless you’re storing videos or programs for download. Since you are the operator of the website, you will know if you’re going to add more content, so it won’t be a surprise when you’re nearing the limits of your plan’s storage capacity.

When you first start your site, just calculate the minimum amount of storage space you need for your website plus a little room to grow. For bandwidth, assess the average size of your web page and multiply it by the monthly page views you expect. That will give you a very rough estimate of your bandwidth requirements, and you can increase that number to accommodate any spikes you may have.

As you become more familiar with the growth pattern of your website, you can make better decisions about increasing space and bandwidth, and it will be easy to know whether or not you need to increase either.

About the author: Roko Nastic is a full time webmaster and blogger passionate in helping other webmasters and website owners create faster, better, and more profitable websites.


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