The digital files that make up a website occupy space and, like paper files, they need to be stored somewhere. A web hosting service is a company that provides space on a server (a computer that is accessible via the Internet, used as a repository for web pages), allowing individuals and organizations to make their websites accessible to the public.
A web hosting service offers far more than just access to a virtual filing cabinet. Hosting services typically provide:
- physical hard disk space for the storage of your files
- an allotted amount of data transfer
- email accounts
and may include other goodies too.
There are many options out there for hosting your website. Cost varies depending on your needs, as the scope of hosting services varies widely. The following considerations will help you choose a range of hosting services that best suit your project.
How much disk space does your site require?
Expect each individual HTML page to take up between 5 and 50KB of disk space on your web server. The average size of HTML web pages is relatively small, but page size will vary depending on the elements included in your design. Images, sound files and movies require considerably more space than simple HTML. The more these elements are used, the more disk space will be required.
On average, a small, simple website will need between 10 and 100MB of disk space. A medium sized website will likely require a few hundred megabytes. Large, image-heavy sites will want at least 1 gigabyte of disk space, but likely more.
How much monthly traffic is expected on your site?
Data is transferred between the hosting server and the individual user’s computer every time your site is accessed. A small website will consume anywhere between 1GB and 50GB of data transfer per month. Larger, commercial sites often consume more than 100GB of monthly traffic.
The following calculation can be help determine the amount of data transfer you will require:
(average page size in MB) x (page views per month) = data in MB
So, if your average page size is 40KB and you expect 25,000 page views per month, the calculation looks like this:
0.04MB x 25,000 = 1,000 MB (or 1 GB).
Before you sign up with a host provider, make sure to ask these questions:
- What are the limits on monthly transfer?
- Will your website be closed if it exceeds the volume?
- What is the billing rate if the web site exceeds the volume?
- Is it simple to upgrade the monthly transfer amount?
Ok, so where do I get web hosting?
There is an almost overwhelming number of options out there for hosting your website. Check out our blog on Web Hosting Providers vs. ISPs for an in-depth look at the kind of services available and a checklist for choosing the best hosting options for your website.
Intoria offers a wide variety of website hosting packages. See our hosting packages