Most Websites Are Not Resource-Intensive

I think many customers shopping for web hosting dramatically overestimate how demanding their website will be on a server.

Most individuals and small businesses create content-oriented websites that serve text and images. These websites usually only have modest numbers of visitors. They’re often built on content management systems like WordPress and Joomla. Neither system is particularly demanding.

Let’s use Confusopoly.com as an example. The hosting environment includes a WordPress installation, plugins, images, an email account with about 1,000 messages, and a few MySQL databases.[1] Total disk space used: under one gigabyte.

My homepage has a size of about 300 kilobytes. Let’s pessimistically assume that every page view requires all the content to be loaded (no files are stored in visitors’ browser caches). How many page loads could occur with 100 just gigabytes of bandwidth? Over 300,000.[2] Admittedly, my homepage is fairly lightweight. It’s not that unusual though. Wikipedia’s main page came in at a similar 350 kilobytes when I just tested it.

How about my Mobile Phone Service Confusopoly page that has a couple of images? It comes in at about 900 kilobytes. With 100 gigabytes of bandwidth and no caching, the page could be loaded over 100,000 times.[3]

Footnotes

  1. This is actually an understatement. I have staging environments with additional content management system installs.
  2. 100,000/0.3 = 333,333
  3. 100,000/0.905 = 110,497

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