When you’re choosing a host for a web project, there are generally three considerations (outside of web server environment needed): storage space, server performance, and bandwidth.
Storage space is a no-brainer: if you’ve got a bunch of galleries, you’re going to need space to host all those images. Server performance generally relates to the amount of RAM you’re allotted for your site, and how many other sites on the same server are competing for processing power. Bandwidth is both the size of the internet tubes connecting to your site, and the amount of total throughput (or downloaded files) that you’re given as part of your hosting package. With Google’s new competitive pricing tier for Drive storage, web hosting just got a whole lot cheaper, by taking storage space and bandwidth out of that equation for a lot of people. Here’s how:
Let’s say I’m your average 19 year old baby web nerd, and I’ve got an idea about a better kind of app store. I want to test the idea out, but I’m on summer break, have all of my cash tied up into next semester, and can’t afford the chunk of change a dedicated server will cost. My favorite host’s pricing starts at around nine bucks a month for 2GB of storage, and 15Gb of throughput. For another $10 a month, I get 1Tb of storage on Drive. I create a publicly accessible folder there, and store all uploaded files there. Then I build a WordPress powered front end system on my web host account to manage the links.
For $19 a month, I can test out a mass consumer platform without spending dedicated server money, store up to a terabyte of files (the average Android app is under 100Mb, for comparison), and have the added benefit of the massive bandwidth of Google’s network. What’s more, while the throughput on Drive is not unlimited, it’s much higher than the 15Gb per month offered by my host, so in putting the vast majority of my file storage there, I don’t hit overages on my host (and always have really fast downloads).
The ability to do this has been in place for a while, but with the new pricing structure, it’s now actually a competitive option. Time to write that “store uploads to Drive” plugin.