Choosing a Shared Hosting Provider – Tip #2

by demtron on Wednesday, October 08, 2008 10:37 PM

Bandwidth and Storage Capacities

Bandwidth and drive space have become inexpensive in recent years.  Back in 1999, one well-known hosting company offered 100MB of storage and 1GB of transfer bandwidth per month for $44.95 a month.  These days, that same company now offers UNLIMITED storage and UNLIMITED bandwidth for $5.95 a month.  Some even offer hosting for free.  So, how do you choose?

In my opinion and experience, the good old adage “you get what you pay for” comes into play.  Offering a massive amount of space and transfer does cost something, and this capacity might come at the expense of other facets of the hosting experience such as tech support, add-on offerings, refunds, or other facets of the plans.  Especially if you’re a novice to hosting and web site maintenance, these other elements may be pretty important to you.

One question to ask is how much space you really need.  Some sites that I maintain that have thousands of pages need only a few hundred MB of space and a few GB of transfer bandwidth per month.  One site I maintain has hundreds of files available for download by visitors – its capacity is 300 GB, but the space used is around 18 GB, so there’s still plenty of room to grow.

For most sites, even those with a few hundred pages, 50 to 60 MB of space and 2 to 3 GB of transfer per month is plenty.  You’ll likely only need the extra space if you’re hosting downloads, videos, tons of images or podcasts.


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