Managing Bandwidth and Disk Space on Your WordPress Blog
Web hosting services provide two very important things for your WordPress blog account: Disk space and bandwidth transfer. Think of your web host as a garage that you pay to park your car in. The garage gives you the place to store your car (disk space). It even gives you the driveway so that you, and others, can get to and from your car (bandwidth).
It won’t, however, fix your rockin’ stereo system (WordPress or any other third-party software application) that you’ve installed — unless you’re willing to pay a few extra bucks for that service.
Manage disk space
Disk space is nothing more complicated than the hard drive on your own computer. Each hard drive has the capacity, or space, for a certain amount of files. An 80GB (gigabyte) hard drive can hold 80 GB of data — no more. Your hosting account provides you a limited amount of disk space, and the same concept applies.
If your web host provides you 10GB of disk space, that’s the limit on the file size that you’re allowed to have. If you want more disk space, you need to upgrade your space limitations. Most web hosts have a mechanism in place for you to upgrade your allotment.
Starting out with a self-hosted WordPress blog doesn’t take much disk space at all. A good starting point for disk space is between 3 and 5GB of storage space. If you find that you need additional space, contact your hosting provider for an upgrade.
Choose the size of your bandwidth pipe
Bandwidth refers to the amount of data that is carried from point A to point B within a specific period (usually, only a second or two). Every web-hosting provider offers a variety of bandwidth limits on the accounts it offers.
Bandwidth acts just like a plumbing system that delivers water to a home. When you want to view a website in your browser window, the bandwidth is essentially the pipe that lets data flow from a well to your computer and appear on your monitor.
The bandwidth limit is kind of like the pipe connected to a well: It can hold only a certain amount of water before it reaches maximum capacity and won’t bring the water from the well any longer.
Your bandwidth pipe size is determined by how much bandwidth your web host allows for your account — the larger the number, the bigger the pipe. A 50MB bandwidth limit makes for a smaller pipe than does a 100MB limit.
Web hosts are pretty generous with the amount of bandwidth they provide in their packages. Like disk space, bandwidth is measured in gigabytes (GB). Bandwidth provision of 10–50GB is generally a respectable amount to run a website with a blog.
Websites that run large files — such as video, audio, or photo files — generally benefit from more disk space (as compared with sites that don’t have large files). Keep this point in mind when you’re signing up for your hosting account: If your site requires big files, you need more space. Planning now will save you a few headaches down the road.