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Make sure you get the disk space and the traffic volume you need.

How Much Disk Space?

A small or medium web site will need between 10 and 100MB of disk space.

If you look at the size of HTML pages, you will see that the average size is very small. Maybe even smaller than 1KB. But if you look at the size of the images (button, gif, banner, jpg) used inside the pages, you will often find images many times larger than the page itself.

Expect each HTML page to take up between 5 and 50KB of disk space on your web server, depending on the use of images or other space consuming elements.

If you plan to use lots of images or graphic elements (not to mention sound files or movies), you might be needing much more disk space.

Make sure that you know your needs before you start looking for your web host.

Monthly Traffic

A small or medium web site will consume between 1GB and 5GB of data transfer per month.

You can calculate this by multiplying your average page size with the number of expected page views per month. If your average page size is 30KB and you expect 50,000 page views per month, you will need 0.03MB x 50,000 = 1.5GB.

Larger, commercial sites often consume more than 100GB of monthly traffic.

Before you sign a contract with a host provider, make sure to check this:

  • What are the restrictions on monthly transfer
  • Will your site be closed if you exceed the volume
  • Will you be billed a fortune if you exceed the volume
  • Will my future need be covered
  • Is upgrading a simple task

Connection Speed

Visitors to your web site will often connect via a modem, but your host provider should have a much faster connection.

In the early days of the Internet a T1 connection was considered a fast connection. Today connection speeds are much faster.

1 byte equals to 8 bits (and that's the number of bits used to transport one character). Low speed communication modems can transport from about 14 000 to 56 000 bits per second (14 to 56 kilobits per second). That is somewhere between 2000 and 7000 characters per second, or about 1 to 5 pages of written text.

One kilobit (Kb) is 1024 bits. One megabit (Mb) is 1024 kilobits. One gigabit (Gb) is 1024 megabits.

These are connection speeds used on the Internet today:

Name Connection Speed per second
Modem Analog 14.4-56Kb
D0 Digital (ISDN) 64Kb
T1 Digital 1.55Mb
T3 Digital 43Mb
OC-1 Optical Carrier 52Mb
OC-2 Optical Carrier 156Mb
OC-12 Optical Carrier 622Mb
OC-24 Optical Carrier 1.244Gb
OC-48 Optical Carrier 2.488Gb

Before you sign up a contract with any hosting provider, surf some other web sites on their servers, and try to get a good feeling about their network speed. Also compare the other sites against yours, to see if it looks like you have the same needs. Contacting some of the other customers is also a valuable option.

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