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Personal Web Hosting

Hosting your personal web site.

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Hosting requirements for a personal web site depend on the intended content and level of functionality. This article provides an introduction to personal web hosting, and explains the hosting requirements for commonly used features and content types.

Disk Space

First-time site builders often believe their web site won't require much disk space. However, due to the type of content, personal web sites often exceed the disk space requirements of business and commerce sites.

Personal web sites are usually intended for friends and family, and often include photos and video clips. A single photo appropriate for printing (i.e. 1024x768 at 150 dpi) would only be around 400 KB in size. However, the number of photos on a family site can rapidly increase, and 100 such photos would require around 40 MB of disk space.

Video clips are much larger. A relatively small (160x120) 2 minute QuickTime movie would be around 15 MB in size. Therefore it would only take a few video clips to to exceed the disk space provided with many entry-level hosting plans.


Each time content from your web site is accessed, it consumes bandwidth. This is in direct proportion to the file sizes of the content being viewed. Although bandwidth usage may be nominal for your actual web pages, figures increase dramatically when viewing photos or video clips.

A 15 MB video clip will use 15 MB of bandwidth each time it is viewed. While this does not appear to be significant bandwidth usage, if the clip is viewed by 10 people per day, this single file will consume 4.5 GB of bandwidth per month.

CGI Scripts

Commercial web sites often use CGI scripts to provide user interfaces for databases and other advanced functionality. While this may seem an unlikely requirement for a personal web site, CGI scripts are also commonly used for guestbooks, slideshows, and a multitude of other tasks that require server-side functionality.

A common CGI programming language is Perl, but you don't need to be a programmer to include such scripts on your site. Many useful Perl scripts are available for free, or for a small fee, and usually include simple instructions for configuring the script to run on your domain. Your web hosting plan must include CGI support for these scripts to function.

FrontPage Extensions

Microsoft FrontPage is an easy-to-use web site development package that makes designing your own web site as simple as creating an office document. FrontPage includes a multitude of design templates and layouts, enabling anyone familiar with office applications to create their own great looking web site.

FrontPage includes its own unique method for handling forms, shared page headers, footers, and other dynamic content, so your hosting plan must include FrontPage server extensions for your FrontPage web to function correctly.

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