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will work for bandwidth

Well, I have statistics on spacefem.com now, and can start to examine why my site is so intensive in the bandwidth department. I know this will probably make me sound like a total idiot, but honestly I have never really thought much about bandwidth. I'm one of those average internet users who just does whatever needs done and doesn't stop to consider the wires and fibers and servers that make it happen. I should think more about it, but I don't.

So now I've got this somewhat scary page that tells me exactly what I'm using and what it's for. Facinating! And helpful. Like two days ago, when I realized that most of my bandwidth was actually caused by useless quiz images, I went in and re-optimized them all to be 24 color GIFs instead of 255 colors, which cut their file sizes almost in half, and kicked that directory down a notch. Phew! But I'm still using 1.3GB a day, which is bad. I'd like to keep it to 10GB a month. 20GB a month would be tolerable. 40 is not.

So I'm writing here asking for ideas... if you were running my site, how would you save bandwidth? I love my forum, I don't want to erase it, but I could ask the users to, um, post less or something. I love the hits I get from the quizzes (just I like used to love the hits I got from the blobs... sigh), but some of the smaller ones could go. I feel like I've transitioned into the real world of Internet... just like kids grow up and get jobs and learn that they can't buy everything they want, I'm learning that spacefem.com is a site that can't have everything I want.

Oh, and I replaced the blob page with an explination of how to locate my PayPal account, and have made $10.81 in the last two days! Yay! I'll see how much I have by the end of the month... it'd be nice to send it on to my old host person in chunks rather than have her dealing with little dollars here and there. If you'd also like to support the blobs, you can read about it here. I realize most of you never adopted any so don't need to be funding the evil that occured, but it's a just in case thing.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 23rd, 2002 01:23 pm (UTC)
That's what everybody says. There are two things that are bad about it though:

First, a lot of the people are too stupid or lazy to figure out how to accomplish this.

Second, a lot of the images are posted on Neopets pages, which don't allow users to upload images, and since the free servers don't allow remote linking these days I'd be leaving the neopets hippies in the dark. This isn't a huge issue since I don't really like them anyway, but that's how over 60% of my visitors are referred to my site now. It's a give and take thing.
Dec. 23rd, 2002 02:06 pm (UTC)
Hmm, for the images, don't allow outside linking to them. It's a simple bit of code in one of the apache .conf files. IF you're on a control panel-based hosting, you should be able to edit it somehow, or at least set that up for your domain. If not, talk to your provider.

There's also the ability to completely re-optimize ALL your images. Instead of gifs, use .jpg with a pretty high compression. Rather than use 24 color gifs, you may actually be able to get smaller files by running a high compression .jpg. On quiz pics, it should be fine.

Also, get rid of any amusing - though pointless - icons, images, etc... on your pagews (especially forums, etc...). Turn off the extra spiffy stuff like any icons, no pics in sigs, etc.. etc..

Images will make up a good chunk of bandwith. You can always try to find an outside hosting provider, though that is a pain in the ass.

For the rest of it, check the specific directories and/or pages and figure out what is and is no longer needed/wanted on the site. Or, optimize the code. I've managed to cut file sizes by 25% fairly often when I optimize my xhtml code.

Hmm.. okay, this may not help, and it's a lot of work, but still.

Hey, one question =) What's the point of posting the link to your stats page if it's password protected? The amusement of seeing people like me actually ask? *grins*
Dec. 23rd, 2002 02:18 pm (UTC)
it's password protected? well that's retarded, I guess it just remembers me with cookies or something, sorry. I'll edit it out.
Dec. 23rd, 2002 02:24 pm (UTC)
rofl. It's not so retarted if you link to it through your control panel (like I do, mine).
Dec. 23rd, 2002 02:17 pm (UTC)
Your somewhat scary page is password protected ! ;)

I agree with cnik - cut down on the remote loading of images. If people can't be bothered to find out how to host their own images then perhaps they are not responsible enough to adopt a blob? >weg<

Seriously though: Reducing the number of colours is always good, as is reducing the resolution, plus the number of frames in an animated gif.
Dec. 23rd, 2002 02:24 pm (UTC)
Oooooh - I almost forgot, there's a Gzip module that zips your page before it's sent (providing the browser can cope) and that can cut bandwidth by loads. Livejournal uses it... asking around in the development forums might prove useful...
Dec. 24th, 2002 07:57 pm (UTC)
How much is DSL where you live? How much does your cable company charge for Internet if you have a server? Obviously both of these solutions would require you to host your own machine, but it could provide a route to both higher-speed home Internet access as well as a way to host spacefem.com without being liable to someone else's contract.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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