Originally Posted by mamadaan
I am looking at different options for hosting a blog/website. I would like to know what 1 GB (or 2GB or 5GB) meaning in practical terms. I would expect each post to be fairly long (600+ words) and have 2-4 small photos (200 by 200 pixels). I would like to add a pdf with the text and sources for each post. I would not expect that many people to download the pdf.
Can you show me your blog and let me know how many GB it uses each month?
In practical terms: it really is going to depend on your content, and how often any person will be accessing or reloading that content.
Straight text itself uses very little bandwidth. Text inside of HTML (like on a blog) uses more due to the associated formatting information but how much more is really variable. Clean HTML will barely increase the size of the download, but I've seen HTML generated by Microsoft products which has tripled the size of fairly basic text.
200x200 pixel images are also not really going to be a bandwidth concern.
If you were going to add video or streaming audio to your site, that is when you need to be concerned about your content and the bandwidth usage. Video and audio files are large, thus someone downloading them uses quite a bit of your bandwidth allowance.
The problem with bandwidth + blogs is the discussion/comments aspect. Say, your blog has a post that's 100k to download altogether, and a discussion gets going in the comments section. If the comments section is attached to the post itself, each time someone posts and then reloads the page to read the ongoing discussion, that's another 100k + some additional number for comments in bandwidth used. That's why message boards like this one, although they are just straight text+formatting HTML, are absolute bandwidth hogs.
If you think your blog is going to have people come, read, look, maybe comment and then leave without ongoing, long conversations occurring regularly in the comments, 1GB/month is probably fine. What I would really be more concerned about is the host's response to what happens if you exceed your bandwidth allowance for the month. Some will take your site offline until the next month. Some will charge you a set charge for another full 1GB of bandwidth (even if it's the last day of the month and you only use 100K of that bandwidth, you still get charged for it all). Some will force you to upgrade to the next highest package. Look at that and decided if you're comfortable with their terms should that issue ever arise.
(My qualifications: I've been running/hosting websites since 1995, including a large text archive that was quite popular back in its day. The server we currently run hosts a copy of that text archive--which currently averages about 5GB a month in transfer--and a couple of smaller sites that have discussion forums.)