How to Save Web Hosting Space and Bandwidth for Free

Posted on April 20, 2016 by

It is always easier to upgrade to a more capable web hosting plan when your site is attracting a lot of traffic. You get a nice performance boost, more disk space for your files and of course more monthly bandwidth to deal with the increase in traffic. You can even find web hosting plans with unlimited disk space and monthly data transfer – especially cloud solutions. Unfortunately, these options are not available to everyone. If you are on a tight budget and you want to save web hosting space and monthly bandwidth, here are a few tips you can use.

Free Cloud Services

Whenever you need to offload some of your files, free cloud storage services are always the first options to consider. Google Drive, Dropbox, Mega, Box and various other cloud services offer anywhere from 5GB to 50GB of free cloud storage space for you to use; you don’t have to spend a dime to get them too!

These cloud services have different features. Some support direct linking while others are strictly for storage and sharing. Regardless of the features, you can use free cloud services to save web hosting space and bandwidth:

– Move backup files to the cloud. Hosting companies will count stored backups towards your web hosting space allocation. As you add more content to your site, and more backup files are created, you can lose more than 70% of your web hosting space for backups alone. Moving them to free cloud storage services will definitely help.

– Cloud storage services with direct linking capabilities can actually be used to offload static files. I still use Google Drive to store large images. I can display the images directly using a standard tag, but the files are no longer stored on my web hosting account. This will not only save precious web hosting space, but also server bandwidth.

– Are you sharing eBooks, multimedia files and other resources on your site? Mega is a good cloud storage service to use in this case. It supports file sharing and direct downloads. Plus, it offers 50GB of cloud storage space to free users. Similar to the previous tips, you can save both disk space and monthly bandwidth by sharing files this way. Just make sure you are sharing files that are legal to share only to avoid future problems.

Free CDN

CDN or content distribution network is a good way to conserve bandwidth and help speed up your site. Since CDN have nodes placed around the world, your visitors can always access your site quickly no matter where they are.

CDN works by capturing static portions of your site and automatically distributing them when the page is loaded. If you have a page with a lot of images, for example, the images are uploaded (or pulled) to your CDN’s server and will be distributed from there accordingly.

Since these static resources are no longer streamed from your web hosting server, you can save a lot of bandwidth immediately. Depending the content you are serving and the way your site is designed, the amount of monthly bandwidth you save can be as high as 80%.

Sounds complicated? Implementing a content distribution network is really not as difficult as you think. CloudFlare, for instance, is a good free CDN service you can use to speed things up and save bandwidth – You can find more info here. It is natively available on cPanel and can be integrated in just a couple of clicks. Other free CDN services such as PageSpeed work well with CMS platforms through the use of plugins and extensions.

Offload Emails

A lot of site owners don’t realize this, but the size of your mailboxes are actually counted towards the allocated web hosting space in certain circumstances. Yes, some web hosting companies do offer unlimited email storage for free, but there are quite a lot of service providers who don’t.

There are two things you can do to save space and still have a large email archive maintained properly:

– First, you can pull all emails and store them offline. This is very easy to do. Simply configure your email client to automatically delete emails from the server once they are downloaded, and you’re good to go. You never have to worry about large email attachments taking up valuable web hosting space ever again.

– The second method is to actually forward emails to free email services you are familiar with the most. Gmail, for example, can be configured to accept emails from third-party IMAP and Pop3 services. It can even handle sending emails using an external SMTP service or your personal email address (i.e. [email protected]) as an alias.

Whichever method you choose to use, you will be surprised by how much disk space you can save on your hosting account. I used to let all emails sit on my web hosting server. Transferring them to Gmail saved me more than 5GB of web hosting space.

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