Every website has to be hosted by a web hosting service provider in order to publish it on the Internet. Web hosting works on the concept of hiring storage space for websites on the servers owned by web hosting providers. Success of websites to some extent depends upon the web space it occupies and how fast it loads.
The content of your website determines web space which is required for your website. Your website consists of files such as HTML files, images, videos, flash files, databases etc. It can also contain email accounts, access logs and installed programs or scripts.
Unless you have huge audio video files on your website you might not need unlimited data space.
There are many web hosting providers with unlimited web hosting plans which would allure you with their prices, but it is always wise, to identify the space requirement of your website and get the host appropriately.
The Disk Space and Bandwidth
Although these two terminologies are pretty confusing, they are easy to understand once explained in depth.
A disk space is the amount of storage space which is required for your website. The disk space is offered in different ways by web hosting provider, it can primarily be on the dedicated server or on shared server or you can also opt for virtual private server (VPS).
Bandwidth is the amount of data which is transferred through the website at one time.
Bandwidth has a user attribute attached wherein the disk space requirement is solely based on the website owner’s perspective.
Calculation of Disk Space
All the data for your website will get stored on the hard disk space of your system, if you are building your website on Windows operating system.
This was a guess work to an extent; let us make an effort to arrive at approximate disk space.
Before guessing or working out on the disk space the following questions should be answered in order to understand the basics of your website.
- Know your website falls in which category (Personal blog, Company blog, ecommerce etc.)
- The size of your webpage
- Types of files you will be having on your website.
- What is your future plan regarding website.
- Number of individual pages you are going to use for your website.
Category of your website
Websites are primarily categorized as:
- Simple websites having HTML, text files and having static content
- Having minimal data, simple static websites do not require much web space.
- Websites having dynamic content with image files, audio video files along with scripts in the programming language.
- These types of websites need optimal data space due to presence of dynamic content, images, audio, video files along with scripts.
- Personal blog kind of websites
- Blogs mostly have content in terms of text and sometimes may have images or video files
- E-Commerce websites
- E- Commerce websites are hub of information exchange wherein the products can be seen by the consumer displayed on the website. This needs high resolution of image files in place which may in turn increase the data space usage of the website.
- Websites which are exclusively for music or videos
- Websites dedicated for music or videos are different genre of web pages and have huge data space requirement.
Approximate size of your webpage
Having a rough idea about approximate size of your web page is a good idea while designing the website. Know what you are planning to put on your website. Decide whether it is going to have text only or the combination of text and images. Understand the page structure of your website. It is beneficial to decide upon the looks of your website before designing the same.
In order to know the exact size of your fully developed website, you can check out website folder on Internet explorer and have the size checked going the properties.
While deciding on the size of the web page it is necessary to consider future scaling requirement of your website.
Types of Files
Websites may contain simple text files if it is meant to be a simple blog or a static website. In case of simple text files, the page size of your website may be relatively small. If the website is meant for having text files with images it is important to know whether the images are of high quality. The web hosting plan requirement applicable for having high quality images and videos is entirely different than website with simple text files.
Future plans for your website
Today, you might be hosting a website with minimal space requirement, but you might have a strategy of expanding your business in near future thus increasing the scope of your website. While estimating the limit of the web space, it is necessary to consider the future scaling options. Otherwise, it may happen that you will have to resort to a new hosting plan quitting the earlier one.
It is always better to quantify the growth of your website. Quantification helps you to arrive at a figure which can be used as a benchmark while deciding upon the web hosting plan.
Multiplying your webpage size by 4-5 times can be used as a thumb rule for estimating future requirement of your website.
Number of individual pages in use
For blogs, number of pages you will be using at a time will be less as compared to E-Commerce website. In order to reach to the exact size of your website, you need to first arrive at the number of individual pages you are going to need for your website.
Factors Affecting Web Space Requirement
In particular, there are two factors that affect your web space requirement:
- Email accounts: Web space can be greatly affected if email accounts are also offered as an addition. These email accounts can occupy huge disk space, especially if you are getting a lot of spam.
- Databases: Connectivity of your website to large databases can increase the space usage of a website.
The Unlimited Mania
Almost all the web hosts are hysteric about offering unlimited disk space to users saying that they are offering it at the lowest ever rates. It is basically, your own judgement whether to fall prey to the word “unlimited”. It is always good to know what lies in your goodie bag, rather than shopping for what you don’t require. Hiring a web host for unlimited plan even when you do not really require it is waste of monetary resources. It is always good to be prepared with your estimate of web page size before actually choosing a web hosting plan.
Website design and development is a process which is based on the requirement of the stakeholders involved in it. The most important stakeholder for your website and for your business is the user. As the history goes, websites which are made and hosted keeping user’s requirement in view has been successful to the core. There are many aspects of a website which need to be considered when deciding on a web hosting plan. These parameters are discreet and can be calculated knowing some basic information about the website’s content. Namely, bandwidth requirement and data space requirement of the website can be calculated knowing its content. In the explanation above, the method to arrive at the approximate disk space calculation has been deduced with an example. It holds true with every type of a website unless your website content is vague.
Web hosting plans offered by an array of service providers are useful but at the same time they may have many clichéd conditions. It is always good to be prepared in terms of your requirement before actually purchasing any web hosting plan. Unlimited web hosting plans offered at minimal rates may attract you, but it is necessary to identify what is the exact meaning of the word unlimited in the web host’s language. On a positive note, there exist genuine web hosting providers as well but in order to understand unpretentious web hosting provider it is always advantageous to know website’s requirement.
Last but not the least, it is necessary to keep some threshold for your web space in order to use it for future scaling.