Resource Saving Tips
This tutorial is focused mainly at cPanel users but is for everybody who would like to get a little extra bang for their buck. Resources are what it is all about in the webmaster world and conserving some resources is crucial in money management. Even if you think you may have pulled all measures to save resources this may be a helpful tutorial. Yet again you may already know everything here. Read on to find out.
Bandwidth is what is all about, do you have enough to get your visitors what they need with sufficient overhead? Too much overhead is a waste but too little overhead will make you lose customers, so how do you determine how much bandwidth you will use? How do you save bandwidth?
- A little known method of bandwidth saving tips (mostly because hosts do not want you to know) is a very simple one... using the control panel from your domain contributes to your overall bandwidth. Use your hosts domain instead
For example: instead of going to http://yourdomain.com/cpanel for cPanel go to http://yourhost.com/cpanel (switching "yourhost" with your hosts website)
- Disable HotLinking - HotLinking is where people will link from another website to your images or downloads and not give your website any credit. Basically the images are on your website and this website just links image tags to your website, Basically they are stealing your bandwidth. There is a tutorial on how to go about this if you are not sure how to accomplish this.
- Enable caching on your website if its not dynamic. Caching will allow the end users computer to read from your server once in a while, the rest of the times it will read from its own backup copies until they expire.
- Optimize your images for the internet and shrink their size, never use bitmap files (.bmp) and stick to jpeg (.jpg) or gif (.gif) files for images, these are optimized for the internet. There are conversion programs out there and there are optimization programs, be sure to get an optimization program that will be able to retain the images quality while drastically reducing its size. More than 50% of the bandwidth on most websites comes from images.
- If you run any forums or submission scripts on your website ensure that they are secured (require a validation code for submission or login) this will reduce the possibilities of people making bots to spam your website and will reduce bandwidth usage.
- Websites that have Large images, Videos, MP3's, and large files will use a lot of bandwidth. Some websites may need these but if you are sure your website doesn't need them then don't use them. It will save A lot of bandwidth
- Limiting robot scanning can help greatly, this includes bots by google, msn, and yahoo alike. All you have to do is create a robots.txt and tell the bots what and what not to index. You can also do this with .htaccess if you are experienced enough.
- Look at your logs of visitors, if you see any suspicious activity of what you may believe to be a bandwidth hog you can block these users from accessing your website via .htaccess or cPanel
Taking these measures Will save bandwidth but will not ensure you not to go over your limit. If you have a popular website be equipped with a lot of bandwidth respectively. Typically you should have 15% - 45% extra overhead on your bandwidth. You can calculate used bandwidth by how many hits you will be expecting by the average size of all of your files.
Storage is the second most important factor in web hosting with bandwidth in the lead. Storage is the amount of space you have to put files on the web server. Most websites generally do not use much storage, the most of what they use is bandwidth. However some sites make the exception and provide a multitude of things or just some big files. Either way here are some conservation tips on storage.
- Zip up all files meant to be downloaded - if you want to have a database of downloads or just offer a couple of downloads this will greatly reduce the amount of space and bandwidth you use. If you are offering big documents for download as well (over 250kb) you should zip these up as well.
- Optimize images - as said in bandwidth conservation, images play a majority in resources on the typical website. Optimizing images for the web is a rather crucial step in resource conservation.
- Avoid Duplicate files - Duplicate files do you no good, make your hyperlinks point to the same file rather than the same file in 2 places on your account. This also makes updating much easier as you only have to update only one file.
- Manage Backups - While backups are helpful they will pile up, Keep no more than 3 backups on your web hosting account simultaneously. Consider the fact that the backups are almost the size of your entire account, so 2 backups more than doubles your accounts disk usage in the typical scenario. Usually you should make the backup, download it, then delete it from FTP. However having a backup of the backup on the webserver will not hurt.
- File Management - Remove unneeded, unlinked files. These files will be serving you no good anyway.
- Use Dynamic Pages if you can, Dynamic pages do not require every page to be stored and can prove helpful. Instead of having multiple pages you can have one main file with a bunch of files that are included or generated via a language such as PHP. MySQL also helps in this as well, it is a further extent of space saving.
Saving space on a webserver is very easy and webspace isn't in as much demand as bandwidth, however the storage can be a deciding factor in your web hosting price. Be sure to not use any excess to save yourself hassle and bills. Whether you are a website offering many downloads or a website with no downloads conserving space is a very helpful practice.
Other Conservation Tips
Although the main conservation tips have been stated there are some you should know about...
- MySQL/PostgreSQL Management - Be sure that you do not use too many, you can put different scripts in the same database for compacting. This will allow for you to meet your limit without having to go over. MySQL databases are almost always limited due to the fact they may be resource strenuous, as a countermeasure webhosts limit these to provide a cleaner service.
- If you have severly limited e-mails use them wisely, instead of using a different e-mail for a different service or function try to mix them together and have a generalization mix. So instead of having email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com you could sum them all down to firstname.lastname@example.org
Resource saving is helpful, especially when you are tight for money. Follow these tips and you should be better off for a cleaner, more effecient web hosting experience.