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  1. #1

    Small sites which have larger downloadable files

    I am planning to create a site for use as a portfolio site, containing a blog (Wordpress), info about me, and work I've done. Fairly standard fair I presume, and of course these few web pages wouldn't end up taking up much space/bandwidth. But, more specifically, I am a software engineer who is working in game development and my portfolio work contains various games I've made over the past few years. At the moment, these games seem to take up around 100 MB of space total if I were to put them up for download.

    Now, storage space isn't an issue. I know I'd want at least 500 MB of space, if not a gig or more (likely expanding to other plans the more I needed), but bandwidth concerns me, as well as whether the hosts allow for hosting of semi-large files in their TOS.

    On services which don't seem to oversell, such as medialayer and precision effect, I see that bandwidth usage is about 20 times more than storage for shared hosting. This in my mind sounds small. Since that means if I get a few people who are really interested in my games in a month, or a bunch interested in a single game I've developed (such as a semi-popular gaming site linking to one of my creations) I could easily get pounded over that limit.

    On the other end of the spectrum, there are the oversellers such as hostgator, which advertises bandwidth limits 10 times over the storage limits, but the storage limits are outrageous for people's needs anyway. Bandwidth "visually" looks like it could easily suit my needs, but I suppose that's their plans with overselling, and that there are really more hidden methods of how they would limit me if I was getting a fair stream of downloads in a shared hosting plan to protect the rest of the users. I don't even see how to judge different plan levels on a site like hostgator, where their shared plans range from "hatchling" to "swamp" but the differences between the plans are imaginary limits anyway (3 terabyte bandwidth vs unlimited? unlimited would be a pipe-dream anyway, and it's really things like the 25% CPU usage over 90 seconds that could be your downfall).

    So my question is, are either of these viable options, or both? Or should I be aiming to host my large files in some other manner entirely, keeping them on another service/plan which deals more with file hosting than with web pages? This is not a plan to create a large site, but a personal one, so I am trying to keep my costs for plans in the low range.

  2. #2
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    You'd probably be happy with a host like Crucial Web Host, Steadfast, or iMountain. Look into them.

  3. #3
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    Well it all comes down to how much you want to gamble here.

    A cheap option would be a high risk as using a lot of bandwidth won't make any host happy. Also you might encounter speed issues, suspension, etc.

    A higher end option would require a bit more $, but can save you from some serious headaches and give a better overall quality.

    Now it all comes down to your budget. And the saying "you get what you pay for" and webhosting have a lot in common.
    Cheapest Multiple C Class IP Hosting

  4. #4
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    RoadM,

    Ever considered to take two accounts, a smaller one for your site, and one for your downloads, if then your downloads are going over bandwidth for whatever reason (you should have been warned upfront, but you never know how the ball rolls) your main site is still online.

    You could easily create the second account on a subdomain of your initial site. i.e. download.yoursite.com and www.yoursite.com

    Also you are able to host your files at a complete different provider without risking your main site to go off-line when things go bad.

    Hope this advise helps you.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by 040Hosting View Post
    RoadM,

    Ever considered to take two accounts, a smaller one for your site, and one for your downloads, if then your downloads are going over bandwidth for whatever reason (you should have been warned upfront, but you never know how the ball rolls) your main site is still online.

    You could easily create the second account on a subdomain of your initial site. i.e. download.yoursite.com and www.yoursite.com

    Also you are able to host your files at a complete different provider without risking your main site to go off-line when things go bad.

    Hope this advise helps you.
    Great advice.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by 040Hosting View Post
    RoadM,

    Ever considered to take two accounts, a smaller one for your site, and one for your downloads, if then your downloads are going over bandwidth for whatever reason (you should have been warned upfront, but you never know how the ball rolls) your main site is still online.

    You could easily create the second account on a subdomain of your initial site. i.e. download.yoursite.com and www.yoursite.com

    Also you are able to host your files at a complete different provider without risking your main site to go off-line when things go bad.

    Hope this advise helps you.
    Not really true. Do you think any cheap hosting provider will let you host just files for download, and loose money on bandwidth? The best option will be to go to a host that has reasonable prices for bandwidth if you go over your monthly plan. And reasonable is 0.20-0.40$/GB. At the end of the day, if a host is making money if they host you, they will try to make you happy.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by borghunn View Post
    Not really true. Do you think any cheap hosting provider will let you host just files for download, and loose money on bandwidth? The best option will be to go to a host that has reasonable prices for bandwidth if you go over your monthly plan. And reasonable is 0.20-0.40$/GB. At the end of the day, if a host is making money if they host you, they will try to make you happy.
    A big overselling host, probably not.. you are right, lucky there are other hosting providers who do not go with this hype.
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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by 040Hosting View Post
    RoadM,

    Ever considered to take two accounts, a smaller one for your site, and one for your downloads, if then your downloads are going over bandwidth for whatever reason (you should have been warned upfront, but you never know how the ball rolls) your main site is still online.

    You could easily create the second account on a subdomain of your initial site. i.e. download.yoursite.com and www.yoursite.com

    Also you are able to host your files at a complete different provider without risking your main site to go off-line when things go bad.

    Hope this advise helps you.
    I am not sure how hosts operate regarding this issue, otherwise one can even have two domains in the same account. This method can only work if in the worst case the host disables the domain concerned and not the primary domain.

  9. #9
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    I had a dreamhost account before and I sucked up 200gb bandwidth...

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by edunetter View Post
    I am not sure how hosts operate regarding this issue, otherwise one can even have two domains in the same account. This method can only work if in the worst case the host disables the domain concerned and not the primary domain.
    If the two accounts are separate packages the host will never disable both, or you should find another host, besides i also suggested you may even host this second (subdomain) on a complete different host.

    Of course you need to arrange your DNS at the host less likely to suspend you (i.e. on the site where you do not offer the downloads). Or even better at a DNS managed company like easydns.com or many of the other providers, or you could even ask your host to set it up for you, which probably means you have to go away from the big-main-stream companies and to the more specialized web hosts.
    Last edited by 040Hosting; 01-11-2008 at 04:11 AM. Reason: typo
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  11. #11
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    RoadM - the best advice i can give you is to chat with prospective hosts' sales department and let them know what you are planning to do. this should help you narrow down your search.

    i'm not sure how they would handle the file hosting request, but if reliability and quality support are concerns, i would continue to take a look at precision effect.

  12. #12
    Thanks for all the advice. Lots of good suggestions on how to handle this and possible hosts.

    I do like the idea of splitting between two servers (likely with 2 different web hosting providers), but probably will not do this right off the bat. I'd likely at first look into using a single host to at least get an estimate of my normal usage in terms of space/bandwidth before expanding in this manner, but do really like the idea of my site staying online even if my downloads go over. One concern in this matter is how such subdomains would be achieved. I presume it would be done through manually changing the htaccess file to forward that subdomain to the other host's IP range. Most host's control panels seem to only specify subdomains as remappings of normal directories which is why I assume the solution is lower-level.

    I'll also be contacting the prospective hosts to ask about their policies on file-storage, since most TOS will mention specific instances of files they disallow, but can often be ambigious if files overall are allowed, and to what extent.

    Thanks again for all the assistance!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoadM View Post
    Thanks for all the advice. Lots of good suggestions on how to handle this and possible hosts.

    I do like the idea of splitting between two servers (likely with 2 different web hosting providers), but probably will not do this right off the bat. I'd likely at first look into using a single host to at least get an estimate of my normal usage in terms of space/bandwidth before expanding in this manner, but do really like the idea of my site staying online even if my downloads go over. One concern in this matter is how such subdomains would be achieved. I presume it would be done through manually changing the htaccess file to forward that subdomain to the other host's IP range. Most host's control panels seem to only specify subdomains as remappings of normal directories which is why I assume the solution is lower-level.

    I'll also be contacting the prospective hosts to ask about their policies on file-storage, since most TOS will mention specific instances of files they disallow, but can often be ambigious if files overall are allowed, and to what extent.

    Thanks again for all the assistance!
    You would create a A-Record in your DNS zone for your domain that forwards to the other server's IP address.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by RoadM View Post
    .. but I suppose that's their plans with overselling, and that there are really more hidden methods of how they would limit me if I was getting a fair stream of downloads in a shared hosting plan to protect the rest of the users. I don't even see how to judge different plan levels on a site like hostgator, where their shared plans range from "hatchling" to "swamp" but the differences between the plans are imaginary limits anyway (3 terabyte bandwidth vs unlimited? unlimited would be a pipe-dream anyway, and it's really things like the 25% CPU usage over 90 seconds that could be your downfall).
    I think you need to check out with them how many concurrent apache connections and FTP connections they allow. 25% CPU usage over 90 seconds looks quite generous to me for low priced shared hosting.

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