Monitoring Your Storage Space

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The storage space used by your files is usually more than adequate in current hosting packages, unless you have an exceptionally large number of images or files. Many hosting companies' cheapest packages allow from 500MB of storage to as much as 4GB. Some offer considerably less. I would steer clear of those.

As a rough guide to how much space you might need, WordPress itself, including the built-in themes and perhaps a couple more themes, is unlikely to be more than 2MB. But if you have a lot of images, photographs, product images, maps, charts, and so on, this amount can soon increase. My main web site uses just over 150MB for around 1,800 images, 70% of which are high-resolution photographs. If you were to store high-quality MP3 music files, then 350 such files might use up 1GB. If you stored lower-quality speech files, 350 of them might take only 400MB.

The space taken by your database is significantly less. For example, my main blog with 1,100 posts and 58,000 comments uses just 21MB of storage space.

You will need to monitor your storage space usage regularly. The way you check exactly how much space you are using is different from one hosting company to another. Generally, you can expect your administration pages, or control panel, to have an option to calculate the space you have used. How often you should check depends on how quickly your blog grows. That growth rate is something you will need to judge for yourself. Start by checking once a week and make a judgment after a month or two. If you are allocated, say, 1GB, and after a month, you've used 10MB, then you don't really need to check too often. A monthly check should be enough to give you plenty of warning before you start to run out. If, after a couple of months, you've used 400MB, you will need to monitor it more closely, perhaps on a weekly basis.

If you do find yourself running low on space, or at least heading that way, you have several options. If you have a lot of high-resolution images, you should consider replacing the older ones with lower-resolution versions, if that won't detract from the value of your old posts. Similarly, if your community blog is a support site for your software and you offer downloads, you could consider removing the older versions. But make sure any old posts that link to them are updated. You don't want to leave bad links in your old posts. I'll show you how to check for bad links later in this chapter, in the "Checking Your Links" section.

With regard to your database, there isn't really a lot you can do to reduce its size. The bulk of your database is your content: your posts and pages, your visitors' comments, and your links. You don't want to get rid of any of that because it is the lifeblood of your blog. However, the spam comments can go, as described next.

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