There seems to be a perception sometimes that for a website to reach its full potential it shouldn’t be hampered by any storage restrictions.
Whilst it’s true that there should be sufficient space for future growth, having unlimited storage is often an unnecessary expense.
It is also very rarely truly “unlimited”. Quite often, there will be a Fair Usage Policy which gives the provider the right to terminate service if the website is becoming too large. There could also be restrictions on exactly what the storage is used for. For example, it might only be for hosting files that are strictly necessary for the operation of your website. If you start putting all your holiday snaps up there then you may well run afoul of this rule.
You also need to bear in mind that letting a website grow exorbitantly in size can provide a poor experience to both you and your visitors. It could make it much harder for you to manage it, as you might have to browse through hundreds of files just to find the one you want to update. It could also load slower for website users, bogged down by the number and size of the files it is required to access.
In our experience, the majority of website storage originates from the following three items.
Let’s say you’re a photographer and you use your website to promote your work. Absolutely fine, but do you really need to display the original high-resolution image on the website? More and more people use smartphones these days, so they’re only going to be seeing the picture on a small screen anyway. As long as the image is of sufficient quality to be viewed adequately on a computer monitor or smartphone then that should suffice. If the viewer is interested in the high-resolution version (as a canvas print or poster, for example) then they can get in touch with you.
The same advice applies to videos. Ask yourself if there is a specific need for the video to be in 4K, for example. If there is, then consider embedding it into your website as a YouTube video instead, rather than directly hosted on the website.
This isn’t quite as common but does happen from time to time. Quite sensibly, many websites have a backup routine in place, which periodically backs everything up and stores it as a file somewhere. As each one of these files could potentially be as large as the entire website, it won’t take long to start burning through storage space at an incredible rate. Even with so-called “unlimited” storage, we’re pretty sure you’d be hearing from the hosting provider before long. Instead, consider storing only the last seven days of backup files, with a further backup file downloaded to your own computer (as an extra layer of redundancy).
Hopefully those three suggestions will help you to reduce your own website storage, as well as debunking the myth about the necessity of unlimited storage. By all means maintain a “buffer” zone – an excess of storage to cater for any unexpected or planned growth. That’s only sensible, after all.
But unlimited storage? Truly unlimited storage? We think you’ll find that’s a myth.