There are many ways to determine the size of a web hosting account. Some factors to count in are disk space, email accounts, allowed data transfer and the number of domains you can host with the account.

Disk space

The size of a typical web page is around 10 to 30 kb. And remember, most of the disk usage is graphics that are reused on several pages, so a moderately sized web site might well be under 1 mb in total size. However, if you throw in large image galleries, big databases, scripts, email and log files, the total size could easily be 200 mb or more. Luckily for the disk pigs, disk space is very cheap and 200 mb or more is included with some sub $10/month web hosting accounts.

Buying disk space over your allowance is normally not very economic. So if you think you will need loads of disk space, choose a package that includes big disk space. If not, you have to find some other way to separate your web hosting candidates.

Email accounts

Web hosts offer anything from one to unlimited number of email accounts. Even if only one person will operate the web site, it is convenient to have separate email accounts for different purposes. You could f.ex. have one account for general inquiries (general@yourdomain.info), one for more private mail (yourname@yourdomain.info) and one for business issues (business@yourdomain.info).

Also check if the web host offers web mail with your account. If not, you will have to download the mail to your computer with a POP3 compliant email program, or access your mail via another web mail account. Some free web mail accounts offers POP3 access. It is also nice to get a catch-all address. This means that email sent to anything@yourdomain.info will be forwarded to your main account.

Data transfer

Data transfer is the amount of data transferred to and from your web hosting account. This includes file uploads, email, and visits to your web site. Normally, visits to your web site will be the dominant factor.

If your average page size is 20 kb, 50 000 page views will result in 1 gb of data transfer. And since graphics normally are downloaded to a user only once per session, your actual amount of data transfer will be lower.

Most web sites use less than 1 gb per month, but popular web sites might need 10 gb or more. Unlike disk space, data transfer is quite expensive. Extra data transfer is normally priced from $3-$10/gb, so if you need to purchase extra data transfer, consider upgrading your account or switching web host.

Multiple domains

If you are running or plan to run many web sites under different domains. Many web hosts does not offer this, but it is very money-saving to host many domains under one account.

Some web hosts offer multiple domain hosting, but email is only included with your main domain. Or they only offer a catch-all address for your secondary domains. This means that email sent to anything@seconddomain.info is forwarded to something@yourdomain.info.

There is normally a limit to the number of extra domains you can host with one account. And the extra domains often comes with extra costs. Like a $10 setup fee and $2/month for every extra domain.

It could also be useful to have extra IP-addresses for your extra domains. Some web hosts offer a number of multihosted domains with a smaller number of IP-addresses. One IP-address is normally included with hosting packages that allow multiple domains.