# Thread: How Much Space and Bandwidth You Need to Host Your Site

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## How Much Space and Bandwidth You Need to Host Your Site

There is lots of space and bandwidth talks going on these days with hosting companies trying to surpass each other, customer running after space and bandwidth, seems more of a fashion than any one really knowing what he/she needs in this area, May be this needs to be discussed:-

How much Space you need:

Think of your web hosting account as a sub-directory (or folder) on your hard drive. To determine how much disk space you will need, In Microsoft windows simply open explorer or my computer and click on the folder that contains your web sites files. Create a new folder for your web site if you don't have one and then move all of files you plan to host on the web server into that folder. All you have to do now is right click on your folder to check the size of that folder and now, you know how much disk space you will use on the server. This entire site is around two megs.

How much monthly (bandwidth)Data Transfer do you need:

Try using the following formula to estimate your site's monthly data transfer.

[Average size of your web page(s) + any graphics included within] * [number of visitors you expect each day * number of pages each visitor will view] * [30 days in a month] = Total Monthly Data Transfer Usage.

For example: if we had a site with 30 pages averaging 8 KB each, 50 KB worth of images in each page, and 50 visitors each day who viewed an average of 4 pages, you would have the following formula:[8 KB + 50 KB] * [50 visitors * 4 pages] * [30] = 348,000 KB So we would be using 348,000 KB, or approximately 340 MB, of bandwidth each month. Well within the limitations of our hosting plans.

It's hard to generalize how much data transfer a site will use without looking at it specifically, but in most cases it is very rare for a personal or small business site to use more than one gigabyte (GB) of data transfer in a month. Starting with a data transfer limit of one gigabyte per month is probably appropriate for most new sites. If your average web page is 20Kb in size. 1 Gig of transfer allows for well over 50,000 hits per month at that size! If your average page size is smaller obviously more hits per month.

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Moved to Web Hosting Tutorials.

Average size of your web page(s) + any graphics included within
Images are often cached by the browser, so if they're repetitive, only the first visit results in data being transferred.

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One of easiest way to know how much you need is testing it.

I would recommend getting a DreamHost account using \$97 discount coupon found in DreamHost forum or everywhere.
It would only cost \$22.40 for 1 year of hosting.
And you can put your site and test.

As DreamHost offers lots of bandwidth and CPU resources,
most site that can be hosted on average shared hosting account would have no problem, at all.
So, you can test without worrying, most probably.

Also, DreamHost provides CPU% log.
With it, you can know how heavy your site is, as far as CPU time goes.

Once you know what you need, you can choose another host,
and use the DreamHost account as a backup until the end of the term.
(You can cancel within 97 days. But I don't think it's fair to get an account with the intention of cancelling.)

Mor importantly, you should remember that CPU/memory are more precious resource than simple bandwidth.

Sure, bandwidth limit can be something to worry if you don't get an account with enough safety margin.
But it's more often other resources that dictate if you can stay within the limit of particular account/plan.

Also, by optimizing the site/script, it's often possible to use less expensive accounts/plans.
Agressive caching technique can really save your money and also make the site more resistant to traffic surge and potential attacks.
Last edited by extras; 12-09-2006 at 11:38 AM.

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Mathematical formulas could show how much you might need and that depending on the included variables (many more than I saw here) . Statistics do fairly show how much you need
Last edited by freeflyer; 12-09-2006 at 10:46 PM.

5. Disabled
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Good tutorial, with forums 30 gigs + of bandwith is more than enough for a member base of around 200 and around 15 - 20 gigs for homepages.

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thanks for the tut buddy

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## Needed Storage and Bandwidth for Web Hosting

If you are starting and currently run a site that is heavy on Multimedia files or will feature video/audio streaming than having 150+ gigs of space would definitely be desirable.

If you have a high traffic site (or plan on becoming a high traffic site) than a large alottment of bandwidth would be recommended so you can protect yourself from overages.

But for a small 10 page static html web site with a few pictures and a standard template or even a medium sized site or blog you would be more than fine with 200mb-1gig of space (to be safe) and 1-10 gigs of bandwidth.

What you won't ever be fine with no matter what the size of your website is, is going with a company who way oversells their servers and haven't made significant investments in their data centers. Also watch for companies that don't actively monitor their servers to keep out nefarious hosting accounts running scripts that will bring the loading of your site to a crawl.

If your site takes up to 10 seconds before it loads on someone's broadband connection, your website might as well not be there.

Last edited by cway; 12-13-2006 at 06:14 PM.

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But even if you do use half your account bandwidth usage most companies oversell so your account is suspended when your nowhere near your limited so theres no point uusung this formula

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Originally Posted by ickleweb
But even if you do use half your account bandwidth usage most companies oversell so your account is suspended when your nowhere near your limited so theres no point uusung this formula
That shall be bad selection of hosting service provider, nothing to do with working out your requirement.

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You are right in the context of some sites needing more, one can go on seeing what all he needs and this is just one food for thought.

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bro... the site need space upon there activite if u think your forum will have a lot of post u should think about good amount of storage and also bandwith

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Yes absolutely right.
The point is out of the total sites hosted globally how many are forums.
What in your opinion is average size of a personal or a small business.

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consider videos and other pictures, although do video's from sites like youtube take your bandwidth or is it a direct connect.5

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## Good tutorial!

Thanks for the great tutorial - it gives me some basics on how to determine (at least) the minimum amount of space I should be considering for my web hosting plan.

Lucille

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The first tutorial was really informative. But then I still see some clearly misleading posts talking about 200 to 1gig for personal websites and 30gigs for forums. That is just ignorance and it annoys me to see people post like that especially when there are lots of people who don't know any better.

One way to look at it is most websites (including forums) have mainly TEXT now how much space does a word use??? If you have a personal website and you are using up to 1gig of space, then i'll seriously want to see what you have on that site cause it's not easy to fill up 1 gig pf space. Unless you are hosting albums and albums of mp3s and full length videos, why should your personal site use up to 1gig. Also bearing in mind that a 12 song Album in mp3 format is about 50Mb so to fill up your 1gig space, you would need to upload 20 Albums. Now why would anyone want to do that??? It's illegal anyway!
On the subject of forums weighing 30gigs, i'll be suprised if this particular forum, which can be easily considered a very busy forum uses even anywhere close to that. Lets remember the forum is full of TEXT!! I have an article directory that has over 12k articles on it and it only uses 40MB of space. That is at least 12,000 pages of text only using 40MB.
I also have an account with 5 websites on it and in total they use 350MB of space.

Don't go telling people thinking about getting websites to get 1Gb space or go with some comapny that is offering 1Tb of space, it's misleading cause they could find out that all they need is just 50MB. but they a paying 14.95 or more to some company overselling them 100Gb of space.

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Montypaks is right a long way down the road. But if you have dynamic content or lots of complex calls to a database, its always better to be on the safe side.

Monty wrote:
Unless you are hosting albums and albums of mp3s and full length videos, why should your personal site use up to 1gig. Also bearing in mind that a 12 song Album in mp3 format is about 50Mb so to fill up your 1gig space, you would need to upload 20 Albums. Now why would anyone want to do that??? It's illegal anyway!
What if its your own band hosting their two albums. Only ten downloads a month a piece, but then suddenly you break through, get airplay, rotation and get on MTV... Sure would suck if the two days were 200.000 people want you album, they can't get it.

A backup plan is always good. Either host your music two or more places ie on myspace or if you host a download site, have a few packages on some filehosts.

Lucillef wrote:
Thanks for the great tutorial - it gives me some basics on how to determine (at least) the minimum amount of space I should be considering for my web hosting plan.
I think the point of minimum is crucial here. What if your traffic explodes and you have a dynamic page - depending what you are doing you need to be able to handle your site suddenly being a large succes. Maybe this is a more dominant point regarding hardware: RAM and cache if you have a dedicated server. But also watch out for fixed limits/caps and so on.

In general, and not being an expert, I'd multiply all by four. And then take into account what kind of money i really what to spend!

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Another things to consider, other than contents, are the logs, mails and backups.

If you want to keep track of visit patterns, you may want to keep raw logs,
as well as the data produced by awstat, analog, or other stats programs.

Many users are known to keep huge amounts of mails on the server ... it's not that I would recommend doing that nor I like seeing it, but many people do it, anyway.

And backup IS very important (Host may account it within the quote).

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## Good point!

Originally Posted by pj1s
I think the point of minimum is crucial here. What if your traffic explodes and you have a dynamic page - depending what you are doing you need to be able to handle your site suddenly being a large succes. Maybe this is a more dominant point regarding hardware: RAM and cache if you have a dedicated server. But also watch out for fixed limits/caps and so on.

In general, and not being an expert, I'd multiply all by four. And then take into account what kind of money i really what to spend!
This is a good point - you just never know when business is going to suddenly take off! I definitely want to be able to handle any surge in business. I will definitely consider this when I (finally) choose a hosting company.

Lucille

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## Re: Backups

Originally Posted by extras
And backup IS very important (Host may account it within the quote).
What do you mean by this? Are you saying that a host may want to charge you extra money to do backups for you? Or are you talking about the extra space that you may need to keep your backups separate from your hosting account?

Lucille

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Originally Posted by lucillef
What do you mean by this? Are you saying that a host may want to charge you extra money to do backups for you?
There are some hosts who offer that possibility.

Or are you talking about the extra space that you may need to keep your backups separate from your hosting account?

Lucille
A host may calculate the space needed for the backup (snapshots, for example) in the offered disk space.
They may keep past N days of snapshots, and it may reuire N times more than actual data, in these cases.

However, with a host who offer lots of spaces, we don't have to worry about these details.
You need to think all these if you want to use up everything your host offers, which isn't a good way, IMO, since you may never know how quick your need grow.
Operating on the edge is risky.

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You guys are now talking about two different things. If you have a business that has the possibility of suddenly 'taking off' then you wouldn't be on a 'cheap host' in the first place. A business doesn't just 'take off' like that!! The businesses that you have seen 'taking off' have all been as a result of the owners doing smthing.

Think about it, do u really think all of a sudden, 500,000 people, or lets even say 5,000 people would all of a sudden wake up one morning and decide - "oh lets go visit this business on the net and use their service all at the same time" That desn't happen in the real world my friend. A website suddenly 'taking off' would be as a result of something like maybe a successful PR, or a radio interview or smthing similar. And if the website owner cannot anticipate this sort of 'take off' and make appropriate arrangements to deal with it, then sorry they shouldn't be in business in the first place.

@ PJ1s,
A band that starts off with a 'cheap host' and myspace or smthing, and then has that sort of publicity and all and still remain with the same 'cheap host' instead of getting their vps or smthing can't be that good at managing themselves.

With regards to backup, the norm (which also applies to good/decent 'cheap host') is to have a separate backup drive or server. What's the point of a backup if it sits in the same drive as the original files. Doesn't make sense.

So far all the points I've seen in this thread to discredit so called 'cheap hosts' are all extremely short sighted and flawed!!
Last edited by Montypaks; 02-06-2007 at 11:57 AM.

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Originally Posted by srahman88
consider videos and other pictures, although do video's from sites like youtube take your bandwidth or is it a direct connect.5
I'm a newbie and I know almost nothing about website operation.
How exactly does an embeded video work (such as one from youtube)?
Does it take up your bandwidth?
Thanks for any help!

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@Montypaks

Funny you dont think surges in traffic takes down even large sites...

I guess it has never happened that CNN and Fox linked to or mentioned a product or news from a specific site and brings the host to its knees.

It has probably never happened that the local public transportation company got a surge in traffic due to high interest because of the blizzard og hurricane.

If this has never happened, then I guess no bands have ever had problems with a web host that advertises with unlimited bandwith for 3\$ a month when one days comes and national radio plays their track and says it free for download at www.onegreatband.info. and the site gets removed instantly.

And if this actually did happen, it was because they were idiots...?

-----

I'll stand by that if you host a filehost, audio/video streaming/downloads or the likes - you might have a problem on a very cheap host from the start. But no one wants to pay for a massive clustered solution if your never gonna use it. Point is you have to find a decent compromise to start with and read the small print.

And btw Monty. I like my webhotel, its cheap, easy, has great support, no problems with bandwith and up all the time. Very much

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The whole concept of the post is that most of us do not need what we pay for. The hosting companies with tetras and gigas may not apply to most web sites so know what you need and do not unduely get impressed with mega offers.

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thank you very much for this hepful information

best regards!

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@pj1s

You are missing the point. Muneer is right. I wouldn't think a local public transportation company site would host on a \$3 a month host. Nor would any major company or government agency.

However, in terms of a Band just starting out, if they decide to go for a \$3/month host, thats ok but they'll need to monitor their traffic and publicity. If suddenly they get invited to a major radio or tv station, then they'll be pretty silly not moving to a VPS or dedicated considering the surge of traffic they'll receive after their broadcast.

The whole point I'm trying to make is why would you want to make the rich richer by getting a service that you wouldn't be using anytime soon. Remember that upgrading can usually be done instantly and if it's between hosts, then in 2 days.

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i think i cant finish 1G space on the first year after all.
i only got 1 blog site this moment. :-)

thanks for the article

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Originally Posted by cindy_girl
i think i cant finish 1G space on the first year after all.
i only got 1 blog site this moment. :-)

thanks for the article
Hi Cindy, how much space does your blog use within your 1Gb space??

My Article directory (www.bylamoarticles.com) (13k+ articles) at this very moment uses 68Mb

For the average website (which covers over 90% of sites on the internet), your main priority should be server specs not disk space and bandwidth. But ofcourse, Common Sense is required as well. A government website or any main stream website that goes for shared hosting deserve to have their site offline 90% of the time.

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I rarely visit this forum but the actual TOPIC caught my eye!
There needs to be more discussion like this in the main forums. I wish they would do a "sticky" where users can post what they actually use and what they purchased.
People would start thinking twice then!

There have been a few threads here and there on this but they fade away quickly.

Montypaks, makes some especially good points that are KEY! 90% of the time users just do not know what they need but assume since the majority of hosts OFFER space/BW in the GB and up fashion then thats exactly what they are going to need and use. The reality is far from it.

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I couldn't agree more! I think the more we can do to educate people on what they really need, the better off everyone will be.

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My personal experience as a member of hosting company from last many years is that customer use 5 to 10 times less than what they purchase. Thats the key to all the overselling, lowering of prices and all the GBs flying around in Pennies, the customer does not know what he needs. So hosting companies are fooling around making money.
They (hosting comaies) know that if they can safely sell 5 to 10 servers at the cost of one server to them. Otherwise if you simply ask the same hosting compay offering 10Gb in dollar 3 that whats the cost of an 80GB server they will tell you something like \$150 and above. Just do a bit back calculation and find how the same company is selling 10GB in \$3 (80 GB shall be than in \$30).
Isnt it funny.

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Well that depends on what is "bandwith". ixwebhosting counts bandwith as everything that remotely checks your site. Like a backlink checker, it might check your whole site, well then ixwebhosting counts every page it checks as a view. I personally think ixwebhosting is a scam!

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Originally Posted by muneer
My personal experience as a member of hosting company from last many years is that customer use 5 to 10 times less than what they purchase. Thats the key to all the overselling, lowering of prices and all the GBs flying around in Pennies, the customer does not know what he needs. So hosting companies are fooling around making money.
They (hosting comaies) know that if they can safely sell 5 to 10 servers at the cost of one server to them. Otherwise if you simply ask the same hosting compay offering 10Gb in dollar 3 that whats the cost of an 80GB server they will tell you something like \$150 and above. Just do a bit back calculation and find how the same company is selling 10GB in \$3 (80 GB shall be than in \$30).
Isnt it funny.
Yeah that's funny! Came across a host that sells 150GB space for less than 6 bucks a month. That must be one uber server they must have!

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If you are a photo maniac and upload a gazillion of them I don't think 30GB is enough...

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thanks dear

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In all reality you can do as many calculations as you wish but do you really think sites like youtube and myspace ever expected to get to be what they are now?

The best bet is to talk to your hosting provider, any good provider will give you a reply that doesnt look like it was copy and pasted from a manual.

We offer unlimited bandwith but also operate a fair usage policy, not to say if you use too much we kill your site, but if you do overuse bandwith we will discuss the situation with you and come to an amicable agreement that suits both host and client.

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thanks for this article. i have never been able to accurately predict how much bandwidth a site may need, so thanks for the info.

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#1 rule of thumb when choosing a webhost

1. NEVER trust a site that says "unlimited bandwidth"

that is probably THE #1 rule, for any customer to keep in mind.

I actually have other such rules that I follow, which are more my own personal preferences then anything else, such as...

#2 NEVER trust a host that doesn't accept paypal.

Well, its not that I don't trust a host with my credit card number, well I don't but thats beside the point. The reason I think paypal billing is so important, you never know what the person on the other end is using your Credit Card # for. Maybe not the host, but datacenter, or a bad employee that works for the host, I mean you never know. I had my credit card number stolen from a host web before, and it was NOT fun getting all those charges off my credit card, especially when all I had was a debit card. With debit cards, there is no fraud protection, so once charges are made, its gone, end of story, so for that reason, I don't trust ANY host anymoore with my credit card. paypal or NOTHING in my book or pay by check with snail mail, but NEVER by credit card.

#3 always do your homework. Pick a host that is fairly close to your geographical location. If you live in Chicago Illinois USA for example, and the majority of your user base is located in the United States somewhere also, don't pick a european or russian or UK host, for example, because not only will your visitors complain about the speed of your site, but you won't like going to your own site either, so pick a host thats fairly close to your geographical location, who has the backbone speed that you need.

#4 and of course, this is my personal favorite, esp for newbies, since newbies generally switch hosts ALOT trying to find one that suits them best.. get a host that uses CPANEL, and Fantastico, and RVSkin. I absolutely cannot stress that enough. Reason being, cpanel has a very nice "site transfer" script that you can use to transfer your site over to a new host, just in case you run into problems, and have to switch hosts for some reason. It could be, the host goes out of business, or the customer support isn't what you expected. Whatever the reason, its always a good idea, not only to keep backups, but a way to transfer a host to a new server at any time. Even if you stick to the same host your entire life, its easier for the host to transfer your account to a new server if something goes wrong on their end, if you have Cpanel, so definitely get cpanel, I can't stress that enough.

#5 and lastly, pick a host you like. Talk with a represenative, ask him about the company, read reviews from others on what the customer service is like. I don't think its necessarily important to pick a host that has 20 minute guaranteed response times, or anything crazy like that, but at least pick one that gets back with you within the same day, who always lets you know whats going on, even if their working on the problem, its always a good idea to send out a quick email to the user to let them know the status, even if its not completed yet. that way the user isn't left hanging in wait, which usually ticks people off, especially if their site is down for any reason. People don't so much mind their site being down, so long as the line of communication is open.

those are my recommendations.

Tom

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#1 rule of thumb when choosing a webhost

1. NEVER trust a site that says "unlimited bandwidth"

that is probably THE #1 rule, for any customer to keep in mind. Unless your google, or a celebrity, or someone with a very large user base, chances are your not going to use more then a few gigs of bandwidth anyway, so don't ask for, or expect, what the web host probably cannot deliver. I like the idea of starting out with 1 gig. Even if you go over, at least you'll know how much you need, thats better then estimating anyday.

Most hosts do not suspend your account if you go over anyway. Most of the decent ones just charge you more for the extra bandwidth at the end of the month, and leave you a friendly email recommending you upgrade to a new plan, so its never a big deal.
If a host suspends your account for going over, I'd suggest switching hosts. As much competition as their is now, with consumers getting into the web hosting biz, its not worth it, you can always find someone better then that.

I actually have other such rules that I follow, which are more my own personal preferences then anything else, such as...

#2 NEVER trust a host that doesn't accept paypal.

Well, its not that I don't trust a host with my credit card number, well I don't but thats beside the point. The reason I think paypal billing is so important, you never know what the person on the other end is using your Credit Card # for. Maybe not the host, but datacenter, or a bad employee that works for the host, I mean you never know. I had my credit card number stolen from a host web before, and it was NOT fun getting all those charges off my credit card, especially when all I had was a debit card. With debit cards, there is no fraud protection, so once charges are made, its gone, end of story, so for that reason, I don't trust ANY host anymoore with my credit card. paypal or NOTHING in my book or pay by check with snail mail, but NEVER by credit card.

#3 always do your homework. Pick a host that is fairly close to your geographical location. If you live in Chicago Illinois USA for example, and the majority of your user base is located in the United States somewhere also, don't pick a european or russian or UK host, for example, because not only will your visitors complain about the speed of your site, but you won't like going to your own site either, so pick a host thats fairly close to your geographical location, who has the backbone speed that you need.

Also, make sure the host is an actual company, and not just some little kid playing "web hostie" with his dads spare computer lying around. Any decient web designer can make up a webpage looking like an actual web hosting company. An 11yr old could probably do it with frontpage 97 more the linkely. hehe. With routers and home networking, this pops up all the time, so remember to do your homework throughly. If its possible, call the websites number, talk to people over the phone, go visit the company, if possible, make sure the host is who they say they are.

#4 and of course, this is my personal favorite, esp for newbies, since newbies generally switch hosts ALOT trying to find one that suits them best.. get a host that uses CPANEL, and Fantastico, and RVSkin. I absolutely cannot stress that enough. Reason being, cpanel has a very nice "site transfer" script that you can use to transfer your site over to a new host, just in case you run into problems, and have to switch hosts for some reason. It could be, the host goes out of business, or the customer support isn't what you expected. Whatever the reason, its always a good idea, not only to keep backups, but a way to transfer a host to a new server at any time. Even if you stick to the same host your entire life, its easier for the host to transfer your account to a new server if something goes wrong on their end, if you have Cpanel, so definitely get cpanel, I can't stress that enough.

#5 and lastly, pick a host you like. Talk with a representative, ask him about the company, read reviews from others on what the customer service is like. Even if you talk to the host on the phone and visit the location, talk to others who have been with that host and ask them how their experiences are/were. I don't think its necessarily important to pick a host that has 20 minute guaranteed response times, or anything crazy like that, but at least pick one that gets back with you within the same day, who always lets you know whats going on, even if their working on the problem, its always a good idea to send out a quick email to the user to let them know the status, even if its not completed yet. That way, the user isn't left hanging out to dry, which usually ticks people off, especially if their site is down for any reason, they want to know whats going on. People don't so much mind their site being down, because problems always come up noone can guarantee 99.9 to 100% site uptime, thats just crazy, so long as the line of communication is open, customers really do understand. Personally, I think when customers do start yelling, or getting angry at the customer service reps, is almost always due to a lack of communication on the hosting providers part. it almost always is. I see it all the time.

those are my recommendations.

Tom

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## Thanks Muneer!

I have to say thank you Muneer for posting the following formula:

[Average size of your web page(s) + any graphics included within] * [number of visitors you expect each day * number of pages each visitor will view] * [30 days in a month] = Total Monthly Data Transfer Usage.

That will help many people including me determine my total monthly data transfer usage.

Thanks again!

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