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
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
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.
Commercial web sites often use CGI scripts to provide user interfaces
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.
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
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