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Web Hosting Requirements

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It's often quite difficult to predict what your web hosting requirements are, especially in terms of data transfer (bandwidth) and disk space. Hopefully this page will give you some idea as to what your site will require.

Space

On average, most web sites take up very little space, especially for the site itself. It's quite feasible to have a web site containing 100 pages that uses less than 5MB of web space. It's always a good rule of thumb to make sure you allocate at least double your initial web space requirement to allow for future growth. Web sites which use a Content Management System (CMS) will require at least 200MB of space.

Email also uses space on your web hosting account and it's worth allocating a minimum of 20MB of space per email account, more if you intend to use webmail alot. Email attachments are encoded in such a way that they take up roughly 20% more space within the email than they do once downloaded and this is worth bearing in mind if you expect to receive large attachments. If you have not allocated enough disk space for email within your web hosting account, your emails will be bounced back to the sender.

Data Transfer (Bandwidth)

Data transfer or bandwidth is the term given to usage. When someone downloads anything from your site whether it is a single web page, several pictures or music files, this is counted as data transfer. You also use data transfer when checking and downloading email or uploading (publishing) your site.

It can be very difficult to predict how much data transfer a site is likely to use. If your site is new, then you will generally not have a great many visitors using up your data transfer allowance. However, if your site contains many pictures or music, you need to choose a web hosting package that will allow you plenty of flexibility.

Imagine that your site used 1MB of disk space including all your graphics and html files. If a visitor were to load every page on your site, they would have used 1MB of data transfer. If your web hosting package allows 1GB (1024MB) of data transfer, this will be enough for 1024 visitors to view your site in one month. Obviously most visitors will not load every page on your site (unless you only have one page) so this is a rather extreme worst case scenario.

Picture Files

Pictures can take up large amounts of space and data transfer on a web site. First of all, you should NEVER use .bmp pictures as these are not compressed and take up far more space than is required. If a picture contains many colours, consider using the jpeg format (.jpg). If you're using jpeg pictures, make sure that they don't use too much file space. As a rough guide, a picture taking up 25% of the space on the screen shouldn't use more than 60KB of data. If a picture only contains several colours (such as a logo or diagram) consider converting these to the .gif file format and reduce the number of colours in the palette.

There are ways to cut down on data transfer used on your site. If you have a gallery of pictures, you could provide a page showing thumbnails (small versions of your pictures) so that the visitor to your site can choose which pictures to view. This not only cuts down on data transfer but also speeds up viewing for your visitor. Make sure you don't put too many pictures (or large pictures) on your home page as this will generate a larger amount of data transfer for every visitor.

If you plan to have a picture gallery or plenty of pictures on your site, we would recommend that you look initially towards our home web hosting package which has pre-installed picture galleries available for you to use.

Music Files

Although it's possible in theory to upload and use .wav files with our hosting, you will very quickly run out of either disk space or data transfer. You should consider converting such files to mpeg (.mpg) files which take up roughly 10% of the original size for CD quality and sound the same. A typical song recorded at high quality lasting for 3:30 minutes will use 35.3MB as a .wav file. As an mpg file, this will be reduced to roughly 3.5MB which is still fairly large. If you have 10GB (10240MB) of data transfer, this allows roughly 2800 such songs to be downloaded from your site in one month. This doesn't take into account any pages visited on your site or any graphics used which may also be downloaded by the browser. We recommend that if you plan to have .mpg music files on your site, you should be looking towards our advanced hosting or premier hosting packages.

Please note that you MUST own the copyright of any files placed on your web site.

 


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