March 24, 2010

How Much Disk Space Do I Need for My Web Site?


Hostway Team

By Emele Maisey

Disk space (not to be confused with bandwidth) refers to the amount of hard disk space on a server that a Web hosting company gives you to save your Web site on. Your site is really just a collection of files including HTML files, images, videos, audio, Flash files, databases and so on. Your disk space must also fit your email accounts, raw access logs and any installed programs or scripts.

The amount of disk space a Web site need depends greatly on the type of site. A Web site that has hundreds of audio and video files will need a lot more space than a simple, five-page site. Unless you're thinking of becoming the next Amazon, Ebay or YouTube it's pretty safe to say you're not going to need unlimited storage space!

Calculate your Disk Space Needs

If you already have a Web site, and the files and folders are on your hard drive, it's easy to find out how much space you'll need. If you're a Windows user just go into your local disk, find the folder that holds your Web site, right-click on it and select properties. Look at the size.

Don't have your Web site built yet? In that case the amount of disk space you need will be more of a guessing game.

Generally an HTML page will have a file size of less than 30kb, so a 100-page site would be about 3 MB. Then add in 50 product photos saved at 100 KB per file giving us a total of 5 MB. Add another 5 MBs for CSS files, JavaScript, email accounts and space to grow, and you would need a total of about 13 MB disk space.

I myself have two blogs and two static Web sites. I don't have any video or Flash files, but I do have numerous HTML pages, hundreds of photos and graphics plus six email accounts which I rarely ever empty. I'm using a 94 MBs of disk space.

An ecommerce site I maintain has a Flash file on the home page, no videos, numerous product images, JavaScript files and less than 50 HTML pages. That site uses 15 MB of space in total.

Media Files

It's difficult to calculate how much storage you will need for audio, video and photo/graphics files as it all depends on the quality and file size. Here are some examples to guide your estimate.

Audio File Size Examples:

  • 1.5 hours = 42.3MB
  • 5.48 minutes = 8.02MB
  • 0.53 seconds = 263 KB

Photos File Size Examples: (Based on 640x480px)

  • 7990 photos = 1GB
  • 500 photos = 64MB
  • 122 photos = 16MB

Video File Size Examples:

  • 90 minute .avi movie = 703MB minimum
  • 1 minute .avi video from camera = 76.9MB
  • 2.5 minute .wmv photo video / slide-show = 51MB


Allow yourself some space to grow, but don't worry If you get it wrong. Most Web hosting companies will allow you to purchase more disk space.

About the Author

Emele Maisey is a Web site designer and small business owner. She first started her small ecommerce business selling handmade cards and gifts back in 2004. She then opened her own Web design and search engine optimization business in 2008 to help other small business owners succeed online.

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