Article #2: Time to Clean Up the Old Server by Eric Price

Cleaning Up Server Space

Time to Clean Up the Old Server

Is your server running sluggish? It's probably because you have too many files taking up large amounts of space. Recently, I've been dealing with a client that has almost a terabyte of space on their server and they keep having issues with their backups constantly failing. Typically, this wouldn't be an issue until you need a recent backup and the last successful one was over 4 months ago.

In my experience, images play a major role in the consumption of server space. Why images? Well, I'm glad that you asked! You see, we live in the age of information and cameras literally lie in the depths of our pockets and purses. Digital photos are a great tool when showcasing a product or a recently completed project, but there is one downfall. Did you know that a 12MPx camera takes a photo that averages around 5MB of space? This is just one single photo. Add 20 photos to that ever-so-growing photo gallery and you'll use over a gigabyte of space in no time.

But, why is this so important? Another great question! Most of the time, a screen resolution doesn't need an image greater than 1024px by 800px. Your 5120px by 4000px may look great projected on the side of an auditorium, but is it really needed for someone to view on their laptop? What about their tablet and their smartphone? You could lower your space consumption by up to 80% by cropping or resizing a photo and using compression software before you upload it.

Another common mistake I see clients have is saving backups from months ago. If you are active with your website and constantly making adjustments and blog posts, you shouldn't need any backups dating over two weeks ago; four weeks at the most. For the sake of legacy, if you wish to maintain history of your website, store these archives locally or on a DVD or USB and you'll be amazed how much efficient your server will run. I've seen occurrences of folders called "_old" that has a backup of "old1" that has a backup of "old" that has a backup of "backup"... I'm sure you see where this is going.

You could always go and purchase more server space and memory to balance the running process of your server, but this is not exactly correcting the issue. You are simply just trying to evade the inevitable. What about in a year or two from now? You'll just be in the same situation. Not to mention the size of your backups, but it will just keep growing until it becomes completely unmanageable.

Lastly, spam and emails can be huge space killer, but we'll cover that another time. Feel free to contact me if you ever have any questions, comments, or suggestions.

Thanks in advance,


Eric Price

Eric Murray Price (born January 21, 1986), better known by his nickname Ricky and by his alter ego Daerik Khan, is an American software engineer and marketing specialist. In addition to his web design career, Eric is a member of numerous fellowships dedicating his time and participation for the betterment of himself and society.

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