How Much Hosting Resources Do You Need

 

When the time comes to pick a web hosting plan for your website, we usually examine a variety of criteria and look for reviews and personal recommendations. There are two critical components to have on top of the priority for the web hosting package to select; web storage size and data transfer. Learn more about the hosting resources that you need.

 

Transfer speed and Disk Space are Seldom the Limiting Factor. Most people who are searching for a web host is captivated over the amount of disk space and traffic bandwidth the site is allowed since it is featured eminently in almost all web host’s list of plans. However, with more and more websites moving away from static pages to dynamically generated pages, the biggest barrier that you will face is not the bandwidth or disk space anymore, but what the web hosts labeled as resource usage.

If you are not familiar with static or dynamic website terminology it is simply defined as:

 

Static Pages are simple HTML, CSS, Javascript, and images web pages. The web server only represents what the pages contain with no database attached with it.

 

A dynamic website is what you get when you use CMS -blogging scripts like WordPress. The scripts construct your web page from a variety of sources, such as your database and templates, every time someone visits your site.

 

What is the purpose of your current site?

 

Assuming the aim of your website is sharing stories, a blog, it will, for the most part, add in content and perhaps a few images. For the most part, an article with 500 words holds 22KB.  Considering this evaluation, you will require less than 1MB a month assuming you will have 30 articles per month.

 

Analyzing the example given above, your site will use 1MB a month of hosting storage at most. Assuming, you will have 800 visitors with 1MB per person, you will be facing 800MB worth of traffic every month for your site.

 

The Real Resource Limits in Modern Web Hosting

 

Let’s break down the resources by three parts. Two of these applies to all websites, while the third one is only for script-driven websites:

 

CPU Usage

 

The web server’s Central Processing Unit(CPU) is utilized to obtain and deliver the website page to your visitors in either static or dynamic constructed page. To make it simple, the CPU is the part of a computer that functions as its brain. Which – does all the computations, processing and initiates what is needed to be on a computer.  More CPU resources are used when a page is dynamically created by a script since it has to do a fair amount of processing to reconstruct your pages. It has to load the web template, get the information from a particular page from the database, executes the installed plugins and modules. And lastly, assembles the page to deliver it to the visitor.

CPU time is a limited resource shared by all websites hosted on the same web server. If any of the websites excessively uses the CPU, the other sites on that server will not have the convenience to deliver their pages in a timely manner and will appear either to be languid or non-responsive.

 

Web hosts monitor the amount of CPU the site uses on the shared web hosting plans. This is to prevent problems when a particular website uses too much of the CPU time which is affecting the other websites on that server. If this site uses “too many CPU minutes” most of the web hosts will suggest to the website owner to upgrade to a dedicated server where he owns the entire server space.

 

Ram Usage

 

Most of the web hosts let you know the amount of disk space that is allocated to your site. System RAM usage is another limit your site faces.  RAM is the temporary memory that holds your site’s scripts and the data while they execute. Contrary to the hard disk space, which web hosts can keep on expanding. The maximum amount of RAM a machine can have is fixed and that small amount is being shared by all website on the same server. This memory is required by all programs that are running on the web server, including the server itself. If your scripts are huge or requires a lot of RAM to execute, they will be competing on the limited pool of memory shared by sites and all programs.

 

Database or MySQL Connections

 

Dynamic websites’ data is usually stored in a special database on the web host. A database server e.g. MySQL manages the database and provides the information requested by the site’s scripts when they require it.

 

There is a limit on the numbers of connection the database servers can receive at any one time. When there are too many requests for data that are made concurrently, the database runs out of resources and are unable to service those requests. This typically arises when your site receives a large amount of traffic or you are using a script that is not very efficient like making too many requests for every page it delivers.

 

Sometimes, you will see this  “Can’t connect to MySQL server …” error message when you visit some sites. The error message means that a script on that site was unable to collect certain information from the database that is required to construct the web page. Very possibly, the database server was, in that instance, flooded with requests and could not service them.


 

Before you assume that you are unaffected by the above limits since you run a static site, think again. While you may not have any scripts flooding up the CPU and RAM usage on your site, a surge of huge traffic will still cause a CPU and RAM usage spike. Granted, it takes a lot more traffic for a static site to hit a resource limit than a dynamically-driven site, you will hit that limit sooner or later if your site is popular.

 

Knowledge of these resource limits can help Webmasters in at least two possible ways:

 

1.Evaluating Web Hosts

 

You should have undoubtedly seen some web hosts that provides a ridiculously huge amount of bandwidth for your website, some even offering unlimited data transfer. You will never be able to use up all of the bandwidths you are provided, long before you even reach the amount you’re supposedly allowed to use. Your site will have hit its resource limits.

However, this is not to persuade you to not use their services. Rather, you have to evaluate a web host to host your site and not give undue weight to bandwidth allocation, particularly if the bandwidth given is excessively large. While the amount of bandwidth provided also plays an important rule, if you compare web hosts in this criterion alone. you are probably deceiving yourself. Every shared web host has resource limits whether they state it or not. With those limits, your site will only grow so much on a shared hosting plan. Even if you place it on hosts with excessively large data transfer capacity or with more rational transmission capacity.

 

 

2.Planning Your Website: Static or Dynamic

 

When planning for your website always look at it in the long run. There are a lot of benefits to using a blogging script or a Content Management System (CMS), though in some cases, the dynamic site created by such system is too much. If your site rarely changes and has a set of pages such as typical selling only a specific product or service, it is better off as a static site. As mentioned, static sites run into the resource limits slower than a dynamic site.

However, you should not decide to make your website static just for this reason alone – there are so many factors to consider. If your site needs to use a blogging software or a Content Management System (CMS), then you must need to plan ahead for the time when you will no longer be able to use the shared web hosting, When this time comes, you will probably have to put your site on a virtual private server (VPS) or a dedicated server. This will enable you to use all the resources your site needs since it will be the only one on the server. Unless you’ve been hosting your other sites into it too. VPS usually gives you fewer resources to work with than the dedicated server, but it may be sufficient enough if your site is only just outgrowing shared hosting.

 

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