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So I'm wondering this: Is it better to just squeeze out as many bytes and as much time out of throughput as you can from the content, or is it better to just start paying for higher-end hosting services? And is one processor/one machine going to be enough to handle it all? I'm sort of lost as to what the best option is because on one side I don't see a simple collection of things being as important as, say, IBM or Microsoft's websites. So it seems strange to have to move to something like a cluster system, but I know there may come a day when my server won't be able to handle all the requests alone.
What are your thoughts? Should I just start to gradually simplify the website until it can't be simplified any further? or should I shell out my money for something more advanced? Or should I start using something like Flash to cut down on server processing and lose my every growing search engine rankings?
Try to get a behind the scenes look at what's taking up space and bandwidth.
Some things to try:
1. Optimize images, the larger images like maps that are large and popular suck more bandwith than txt. Html pages are typically much smaller.
2. Try disallowing the image bots and link walker bots in your robots.txt. This won't affect traffic.
3. If you're html pages are too big, try dividing the information up on multiple pages.
4. Purge logs after a certain time limit. This can be a big space sucker. Take the important info each month and print it out or transfer it into a excel tracking spreadsheet. Then have it deleted every 90 days... if that's more than you need, do it every month.
5. Check your mail logs. I noticed I had a large collection of mail multiplying from accounts I never set up. Make sure any email that you aren't using is being deleted to a blackhole.
Hosting can be really cheap once you streamline these main parts. Good luck!
That would mean each server is only doing half as much work ... and you can add as many servers as your load balancer will support.