So you’ve created a website, but you’re not sure how to choose the right hosting plan for your needs. You wonder about the disk space and how much you’ll need for your site.
Disk storage (or disk space) is one of the most important aspects to consider when selecting a web hosting plan. You use whatever storage you have to store all the files, images, and databases associated with your website.
In this article, you’ll learn what disk space is, how’s it different from bandwidth, how much you need, and more:
To put it simply, disk space is the physical space on a server that’s allocated to you for your website. Web hosts measure this in megabytes (MB) or gigabytes (GB). The more disk space you have, the more data — such as images and videos — that you can store on the server.
Most hosting plans offer a limited amount of disk storage, which is why it’s good to know what you need before signing up for a plan. Different hosting plans offer different amounts of disk space — from as little as 1GB up to unlimited disk space (more on this later).
Some of the best web hosts offer two types of storage: Hard Disk Drives (HDD) and Solid State Drives (SSD). HDD is the traditional type of drive, which stores data on spinning disks. SSDs are newer and faster but more expensive than HDDs.
The choice between HDD and SSD dedicated servers all comes down to speed, cost, and reliability. On one hand, HDD servers store data on spinning disks, so they offer more space at a lower price. However, they’re slower than SSDs when it comes to data retrieval as the disks need to spin physically to access the stored data.
At the same time, SSDs offer faster read/write speeds and are great for sites that require a lot of data processing. However, they’re more expensive than HDDs because they use flash memory instead of spinning disks.
When it comes to security, both HDD and SSD dedicated servers offer a high level of protection for your data. However, there are some key differences that you should consider when making a choice.
HDD servers tend to be more vulnerable to data theft and malicious software than SSDs. This is because HDD drives use spinning disks which can be accessed by anyone who knows how. On the other hand, SSDs are faster and more secure since they don’t use spinning disks, which makes them less vulnerable to external threats.
When picking between these two options, consider your website’s needs first. For instance, suppose you want to create an e-commerce store. That means you have to upload images about your products, video demos, and even blog posts. You’ll also need to think about secure payment options. In that case, you’ll need more disk space and faster loading times, which might point you toward an SSD hosting plan. For everything else, an HDD server might be the more cost-effective choice.
People often confuse disk space and bandwidth, but they’re two different things. Disk space is the storage capacity of your hosting plan — how much data you can store on it. On the other hand, bandwidth is the amount of data that can be transferred between your website and its visitors in a given period. Think of bandwidth as a monthly data limit and disk space as a storage limit.
Suppose you have a 50GB disk space hosting plan with a monthly bandwidth of 100GB. That means you can store up to 50GB of data in your storage and download/upload up to 100GB of data each month. If you run out of disk space, you won’t be able to upload more files or images. But if you exceed the given bandwidth on your hosting plan, you’ll have to upgrade to a higher plan or pay extra for the overage.
When deciding how much storage space you need when selecting a web hosting plan, there are several factors to consider.
First, consider the size and complexity of your website. How many images and videos will you be uploading? Do you have any large databases that you need to store? All these things require more disk space and should be taken into account when picking a hosting plan.
Plus, you’ll also need to think about the CPU and RAM your website requires. If your website is resource-intensive, you’ll need a hosting package with more of these resources.
Next, as your website grows, you’ll need to add more content. More content means you’ll add more media and more features, which means you’ll need more disk space. To offset media storage, you can host them on a third-party site (like embedding YouTube videos in a blog post) or a cloud storage service (which is a separate expense).
In addition, file storage is essential when keeping website access logs, which will undoubtedly expand over time. Logs aren’t just critical for development teams or security reasons. But having these thorough records can also boost your SEO efforts – for example, allowing you to spot crawler traps or gauge how quickly any content changes are picked up by Google.
Whether you have a rough idea of how heavy your website is or just starting out, here’s a quick formula to determine how much disk space you need:
Let’s say you have an e-commerce site that has 300 pages. Since you need to post media about your products and unless you’ve hosted them elsewhere, each page may be around at least 10MB. Using the formula, you should get a plan with at least 3GB worth of disk space.
Many web hosting providers offer ‘unlimited’ disk space. But in reality, this is never the case. All hosting plans have a limit on their resources, even if they advertise themselves as ‘unlimited‘.
In most cases, web hosts will impose a fair usage policy on your account so you don’t abuse their unlimited promise and put too much strain on the server. In a way, this is like a safety net for them. If you do exceed their fair usage policy, they’ll likely charge you extra or suspend your account until you upgrade to a higher plan with more disk space.
The takeaway here is that if a provider offers unlimited storage space, it’s only true to some extent. Always check the fine print to avoid any unpleasant surprises down the road.
Different hosting providers have different methods for checking how much disk space you’re taking up. Usually, the simplest way to do this is by logging into your hosting account and viewing the “Disk Usage” report. This report should provide details on all of the files stored on your server, including their sizes and locations.
You can also use a tool like File Transfer Protocol (FTP) to monitor the data that’s being transferred between your website and its visitors. This tool should give you a better idea of how much bandwidth you’re using and help you anticipate any potential issues with disk space in the future.
In addition, many hosts offer a “resource monitor” that gives you an overview of the resources that your site is consuming, including disk space and bandwidth. The resource monitor can help you decide whether it’s worth upgrading to a higher hosting plan or not.
No matter how much disk space you get with your hosting plan, optimizing this resource is critical because disk space is finite. Optimizing disk space can help you better manage your website’s data and performance and save money on hosting costs. Here are a few tips to help you do that:
These simple tips should help you optimize and get the most out of your hosting plan’s disk space.
While disk space is certainly an important consideration when picking a web host, it’s not the only thing that matters. You also have to consider speed, security features, cost, and customer support.
For instance, if you’re hosting a large website with high traffic volume, then a Virtual Private Server (VPS) or dedicated server plan might be your best bet. On the other hand, shared hosting is usually enough for small websites with low traffic volume.
Ultimately, picking the right web host comes down to understanding your needs and doing research on the different hosting plans available. With this article, hopefully, you now have a better understanding of disk space and how it relates to web hosting.
Juan is an editor-writer from the Philippines who loves exploring the great outdoors through his camera lens. You can also find him savoring local cuisines or reading about films.