YOUR WEB HOSTING PLAN is based on several components: disk space, traffic, number of email boxes, and other services. Why pay for more than you need? If you ever need more, you can upgrade to the next web hosting plan.

The question is, what level of these do you really need for your website?

  • Disk space:
    • If you have the files for your website on your hard disk, use Windows Explorer Folder Listing to look at the folder(s) containing the files. You may need to do this for several folders to include all the website files, and add up the totals for each folder. (You can also do this at the MSDOS prompt).
    • If you do not have a copy of your website on your hard disk, then you can either download it all with you browser (File -> Save as…), or use an FTP program to view the files and folders on the remote server.
  • Traffic:
    This the volume in kilobytes of your files that are being downloaded to visitors screens.If your website is live, then your host can provide summaries through traffic analysers like Webalizer or AWStats to show how many kilobytes of traffic your site has.But if you are not yet at that stage, once you know the total size of your files, you can estimate your monthly traffic by multiplying that size by the expected number of visits per month. This can be a little complex, because all visitors may not look at all files on your site.

    • Small websites:
      Say you get 1,000 visitors per month (33 per day) looking at web files totalling 300 Kb. That equals 300 Megabytes (300,000 Kb) of traffic per month.What could make up 300 Kb of files? Well, an A4 page of text can take 6Kb. Adding a picture averaging say 50Kb on each page makes 56Kb per page, multiply by 5 pages equals 280 Kb. Add 20Kb for some javascript and style sheets and you have 300 Kb for 5 pages. If 1,000 visitors looked at 300 Kb of web pages your traffic is still only 300 Mb per month.
    • Larger websites:
      Our own website averaged 17,000 visitors per month over the last 6 months, but the traffic averaged only 1,075 Mb per month for that period. That is because most of our 100 or so web pages are text only with no graphics.
  • How to optimize file sizes:
    • HTML text files are very small, although we have seen files created in MS Office programs four times the size they need be.
    • Image files can be large in terms of kilobytes. Check their size in Windows Explorer. Our image files average less than 50 KB. If yours are larger than 100 Kb then try optimizing them by compressing with a graphics program like Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro.
    • Websites with a large number of images optimize for traffic by displaying thumbnail files which click through to the full sized image file. Then only the image required to be viewed in full will add to the traffic.
    • A 150 Kb image viewed by 1,000 visitors adds 150 Mg to your traffic. Compress it to 50 Kb and you save 100 Mb traffic.

Only a very small percentage of our clients need more than 100 Mb of disk space for their websites, but most need more than 1,000 Mb allowance for traffic, due to graphics, sound, video or flash animations. If you do not need the traffic or disk space allowances of your current web hosting plan, you could save money by shopping around for another plan.

These articles were first published on and have been re-published on many other websites and ezines over the years. New readers are still finding them to be of value and up to date with today’s conditions. We believe they illustrate common sense and the value of thinking through situations. Please check out the other articles advising on small business, web design, search engine optimisation, web hosting and domain names