So the boss put you in charge of buying the hosting for the company website.
Many of us are completely confused when it comes time to buy a hosting package. Megabytes here gigabytes there, unlimited over there; how can you possibly choice the best plan? The truth is the vast majority of site owners buy far more space and bandwidth than they will ever use.
The choices can be confusing but armed with a little bit of knowledge you can make the right choices. Even if you make the wrong choice no real harm is done because as long as you keep full back-ups of the site changing plans or even hosting companies is no big deal.
But let's concentrate on making the best choice possible the first time around. Not everything discussed in this article will apply in your situation so you will need to decide what does.
The first thing to determine is how much disk space and bandwidth you will really need. If you read the hosting ads offering gigabytes of everything you have to assume bigger must be better and that is what you need. You could be really wrong about that.
How many pages will your site have? Ten, twenty, or maybe a 100? Most business sites that are not involved in e-commerce probably have 20 pages or less.
Very few web pages exceed 100kb of disk space even if they include several optimized images.
Just for the heck of it, let's say your site has 100 static pages, that each page is 100kb and does not reuse any of the same images. 100 pages at 100kb each would consume less than 10mb (9.8 to be exact) of disk space.
To your page storage requirements you must add the space that might be consumed by mailboxes. Personally I would not want my employees receiving videos and personal pictures at work so I would be more restrictive than the 10 megabytes per mailbox that I suggest you allow. Twenty-five employees at 10mb per mailbox equals 250mb.
You also need some space for the log files and misc. This can be maintained to 50mb or less even with poor log management.
You never want to use more than 80% of your allowances or you starting getting mail from your control panel so a 500mb account would be more than adequate for this site 100 page, 25 employee site.
Bandwidth. From reading the ads you would think you need 100 gigs a month minimum. Wrong! Here you have to make a few educated guesses as to the amount of traffic you will receive. Most sites get no where near what they estimate. Here is how the math works out. Let's take those 100 pages at 100kb each and serve each and every one of them 1000 times per day. You would use just under 1GB per day or 30GB per month.
At 1000 page views per day you would have a very popular business site.
I think the math clearly indicates that that buying more than 1GB of space or going for some outlandish bandwidth is a waste of money. More to the point; do you want to be on a shared server where a few of the sites are using that kind of resources?
Sever uptime is another factor to consider. A small percentage can make a huge difference. A sever with a 99.9% uptime still means your site might be down 43 minutes per month. While a 99.0% uptime means your site could be down 438 minutes per month. The figures are based on the average 30.5 day month.
We have some sharp people around here. Join if you haven't and ask questions.