Just how important is space and bandwidth to your needs? This is an important question, and you will probably need to think about it before you decide to purchase a hosting package. You will firstly have to examine the content that you are planning to host. Is it mostly plain text or are there any photographs? Also, do you plan to host audio and video files?
As you might already know, text takes the least amount of space; whereas photographs and graphics take considerably more; and audio and video files take the maximum space. This fact applies to both storage of data and transmission of data.
One of the reasons why hosting services tend to offer you so much space is that they know that you will never be able to use it. For example, one host might offer you one Gig of bandwidth at particular price, and another host might offer 500 Megs at the same price.
So what you need to do is to assess what your storage needs are. You will also need to assess how much traffic will be likely to flow through your website. Basing yourself on this, you will need to decide what your space and bandwidth requirements are.
This can be done through the use of the industry thumb rule that two MB of space is enough to host ten pages of content and four to five photographs. If you base yourself on this idea, you will be able to decide how much space is required.
You can also calculate your bandwidth requirements in a similar way. Nevertheless, to do so you will need to understand what the difference between bandwidth and data transfer is. Bandwidth is like the diameter of the water pipe whereas the data transfer is the water that flows through it. If you expect to have a very high amount of data transfer then you should choose a high bandwidth pipe; otherwise you will be able to settle for hosting packages which will offer you less bandwidth.
You can also define data transfer as the data you received or transmitted during a given period of time. For instance, suppose your website has a web page whose weight is 50 Kb then every time a visitor accesses the web page 50 Kb of data gets transferred.
The best policy you should stick to is to keep your site simple. Try to avoid making use of large photographs or graphics, and when you do, try to use compression software to reduce their weight. This will allow visitors to download the pages more easily, even if you are using a smaller bandwidth pipe.
If you are an internet novice then you should seek the help of a software professional in order to decide what your space and bandwidth needs will be.
James Reid is contributing editor at WebDesignArticles.net. This article may be reproduced provided that its complete content, links and author byline are kept intact and unchanged. No additional links permitted. Hyperlinks and/or URLs must remain both human clickable and search engine spiderable.