Web-Space, Data Transfer Costs and Bandwidth
Think carefully about your present and future needs here. You will be paying for space on a web-server, and most hosts charge for this space. How much space do you need for your online store now – 20 MB, 40MB, more…? How much space will you need one year from now? Hosts charge for this space, so -- to realistically calculate your ongoing costs -- you will need to know how much space you will be using, both now and in the future.
In addition to web-space, you need to consider the bandwidth data transfer demands of your store: that is, the amount of data (including graphics as well as web pages) which will be regularly uploaded and downloaded from your site. Most hosts charge for bandwidth transfer on a monthly basis.
[Note: Some ecommerce hosts offer "unlimited bandwidth , but this claim should be regarded with some suspicion. Hosts have to pay for their bandwidth, so they may try to cut costs elsewhere in order to be able to promise this unlimited bandwidth – for instance, by taking on too many customers and overloading their servers, thus slowing them down. Keep a watch out also for fine print clauses which penalize “excessive use of bandwidth”.]