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Starting an Online Business All-in-One For Dummies®, 3rd Edition by Joel Elad, Shannon Belew

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Determining What Makes the Difference for High-Performance Hosting

When you're gearing up for a high-performance Web site, you must decide how much horsepower — 'er, hosting power — you really need for the site. Horsepower translates into fast loading speeds, video and sounds playing without interruption, and images loading quickly. Consider these hosting options:

  • Disk space: The size of your Web site files dictates how much disk space, or storage, you need from a host. If you use Flash, or plan to have a lot of pictures or graphics, count on needing more storage space. Typically, disk space is measured in megabytes (MB), and 500MB is enough for a basic commerce site. Most Web hosting companies offer a minimum of 5 to 10 gigabytes (GB) of space, but consider the value of adding at least 150GB of space. It's a cost-effective way to mitigate future space issues.
  • Bandwidth: This capability controls how much data, or information, a server can send and receive at any given moment. The higher the amount of bandwidth your host's server has, the more traffic (visitors) your site can support at one time.

    To give you an idea of how important bandwidth can be, consider this real-life example. When pop artist Lady Gaga launched one of her singles from her third album, she made the MP3 version available for sale on Amazon.com at the special limited price of 99 cents. Her fans rushed to take advantage of the midnight offering. The result? The site's available bandwidth was exceeded, and Amazon's ...

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