Disk Space Explained

A certain amount of disk space is allotted to each and every hosting account. This space is used to keep all the files which form your web site – including, HTML files, graphics, scripts, as well as multi-media content. Most often, the more money you pay for the hosting package, the more disk space and bandwidth you will get.

For a basic web site containing just a few pages you will need no less than 1 MB of disk space. Once you begin to add more content and/or include things such as downloadable files, pictures, music, and video you will need more disk space. Bear in mind that Email also takes up some of your disk space. If your account was given to you with a small disk allotment you may find that unsolicited Emails, or SPAM could be eating away at your disk space. Therefore, it is not a bad idea if you go through your inbox now and again in order to delete any unnecessary emails.

If you wonder what will happen if you use too much disk space, in fact, each web host has their own policies and regulations about this but in most cases, you might be charged for the extra space. Sometimes this penalty is a lot higher than regular rates for disk space so it is important to bear in mind how much space you are using. And, when you find that you are near to the limit, you must either buy yourself some more space or delete some files.

How can you tell how much space you are already using? In most hosting packages you get a control panel where you can make adjustments to almost any aspect of your account. These control panels often tell you how much disk space is being used and can also rate it against how much you were initially allotted so that you can quickly see if you have reached, or are approaching, your limit. If your hosting account doesn’t have this feature you can judge the amount of space by downloading your entire site to a folder on your personal computer so that you can verify how much space it takes.

As an approximate guide, estimate that the average web page (3 graphics and 2 screen lengths of text) takes about 20 kb (maximum). So at this rate, a hosting package with 10 MB can have approximately 500 pages. Since most of the small sites are less than 50 pages, about 10 MB should be more than enough for you to get started. If you are wondering about databases, they are habitually calculated separately from your disk allotment. But do check with your web host to see what their policies are.

If you add music or video files on your website your need for disk space (and bandwidth) will start to increase. A regular 3 minute MP3 file takes about 2.5 to 3 MB of disk space. A short video (poor quality) can take 1 MB. So a good rule for those wishing to host multimedia is to guess the total size of the files and get an account with double that space in order to allow for future expansion. You must always check with your web host first though, before placing sound or video files on your website. Some web hosts have policies against this sort of content due to the fact that it puts a strain on the allotted bandwidth – which is a serious consideration if you have a shared hosting package.

Michael Beattie 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.

Dedicated Web Hosting: Managed vs. Unmanaged

If you have a website which is rather large and complex and which gets lots of traffic, you might come to the conclusion that shared hosting is limiting your expansion and as well as the aptitude to better assist your customers. Now might therefore be the right time to move on towards dedicated hosting. Shared hosting entails placing many websites onto a single server. Then, all sites share the resources of that server for things such as disk space and bandwidth. Dedicated hosting signifies that instead of renting space on a server, you will rent an entire server for your only use.

Unfortunately, dedicated web hosting is a lot more costly than shared hosting due to the fact that the cost of operating the server is not divided between several different accounts. The advantages of dedicated hosting comprise the freedom to use the resources of the server entirely as you like. You can also choose from many different dedicated hosting packages. The prices depend mostly on the physical setup of the server computer. The same as with your home computer, faster processors and bigger hard drives will cost more.

Another element that will influence the price is whether the server is managed or not. It can take a lot of time to keep a server running in the best condition. A managed hosting service will provide you with the support and know-how to uphold your server and to carry out routine repairs such as software upgrades. This kind of service can be a practical alternative to hiring your own staff to take care of your servers. Managed hosting, however, can be a lot more costly than unmanaged hosting. Whether the price is warranted will depend on the complexity of your website and whether or not you already have people in your staff who can take care of the daily operations of a server.

Despite its name, unmanaged hosting doesn’t really leave you entirely to your own devices. The majority of hosting companies will offer a certain level of support for all their dedicated hosting packages. This support will of course include hardware maintenance for things such as hard drive failure and extra technical support, which may be available if you need some help with configuration or with the installation of software. This extra support might cost you but hiring a tech per hour from time to time could be a cheaper alternative to choosing a full managed package.

If you think unmanaged hosting is for you, first check to see how much control you can have over the server hardware. If your server becomes hopelessly locked you should be able to restart your computer or to expect someone to do it for you in the least time possible.

Just like with any hosting package, the value of a dedicated hosting service will depend on the reliability and integrity of the hosting company. If your website is big to the point where you need dedicated hosting, you will need a hosting provider that you can rely on to keep your site online for as long as possible.

Whether you choose for your hosting to be managed or unmanaged will depend on your site’s technical requirements as well as the ability for you or your staff to manage a server so that it runs at peak efficiency. If you prefer to have the re-assurance of having highly trained professionals taking care of the server, choose managed hosting. If you or your staff feel able to handle most of the upkeep chores, you would be better off choosing a server which is unmanaged.

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.