How Much Space Does Your Website Need?

j.m. raymond By j.m. raymond, 4th Aug 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Business>IT & Ecommerce

How to determine the correct hosting package to purchase when setting up your website.

As a rough calculation, a novel of 150,000 words, at an average of six letters per word will equal about a megabyte (1Mb) of space. In other words, unless you are as prolific in your writing as Isaac Asimov or William Shakespeare, you will probably never need more than one gigabyte (1Gb) of storage for just text.

Obviously websites today, especially corporate sites and those with electronic product catalogs, are not just text. They have PDF files, pictures, databases, video and much, much more. Each of these types of files will require more space than just text, with video and databases being the largest gobblers of disk space.

In addition, if you use a webmail or browser based interface to your email, those emails that you leave on the server will be figured into your total disk space used. A bigger impact from email is usually in terms of traffic, or bandwidth used, and you may find, if not now, in the near future, that the bandwidth costs you more to maintain than the hard drive space. Bandwidth is expensive; the more you use, the more you can expect to pay. Hard drive space, on the other hand, given advances in storage capacity and access speed, has become negligible in terms of costs.

The best advice for determining necessary space requirements would be this: if you're not doing ecommerce, start with whatever entry level site your chosen hosting company provides, but avoid the free hosting packages. These are generally cluttered with ads that you have little or no control over. If you find this is too small for either your content or traffic, move up to the next level. This can usually be accomplished with nothing more than a phone call or an email.

There are several places on the net where you can find web hosting for less than $5 US per month, and if you pay for a year at a time, you can generally find an entry level hosting package for around $3.99 US per month.

If you are doing ecommerce, you should be more concerned with traffic and bandwidth usage than disk space. You need whatever size hosting package will allow you to install an SSL Certificate for processing credit cards and customer data securely, a shopping cart, all the images and descriptions of your products, etc., plus give you some room to grow. Most likely, something mid-tier range from your host will be sufficient for years to come. And if not, that's good news for you!

Ask your host about uptime of their machines and their network. Ask them about backups for data. Ask them about frequency of updates to their systems and their software. All of these questions - and their answers - will mean more to your ecommerce venture than the size of your disk.


Ecommerce, Web Development, Web Hosting, Website, Website Creation

Meet the author

author avatar j.m. raymond
Satire, humor and fiction are my primary interests, although occasionally, I make forays into the worlds of technology and small business management.
You can also find me on twitter: @rentedfingers , my website at micha...(more)

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author avatar pixelcrayons
5th Aug 2010 (#)

great article with good information. I think one must know all these basic steps before starting a website.

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author avatar j.m. raymond
5th Aug 2010 (#)

Thank you, pixel. You're right - a bit of planning never hurts.

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author avatar smoothoperator
11th Aug 2010 (#)

I have tweeted this article for you.

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author avatar j.m. raymond
11th Aug 2010 (#)

Thank you very much, smoothoperator.

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author avatar Rohith Sajja
13th Jun 2014 (#)

Can anyone please give me an idea about how much space does youtube require ???

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