how much disk space does a wordpress site need

Maybe you’re choosing a new web host or simply curious about what’s “normal.” Whatever the reason, understanding disk space and how much you need for your WordPress website is an important consideration when choosing a hosting package or anticipating how much space you might need in future.

In this post, we’ll explore how much space WordPress sites need, including how much space they typically use, what you need to know about web hosting packages and the storage space they offer, and how running your site efficiently can ultimately help you save space and keep costs down.

How Much Disk Space Do Web Hosts Offer?

Disk space refers to the amount of storage space a web host allocates to a website and all associated files on a server. Basically, it’s the same as disk space on your computer’s hard drive.

Web hosts typically list how much disk space they offer on their sites along with details of their plans and pricing. You might see it referred to as “disk,” “local storage,” and even “web space.”

No matter what it’s called, space is space and not to be confused with monthly visits (i.e. traffic) or bandwidth (the amount of data that can be transferred).

So let’s take a look at some examples. WP Engine, for instance, offers 10GB of disk space with their basic Startup plan:

wp engine hosting plan

Then there’s Kinsta. Their basic Starter plan comes with 5GB of disk space:

kinsta hosting plans

Finally, Bluehost’s Basic plan offers a whopping 50GB of space, and when you upgrade you get unlimited storage:

bluehost hosting plan


You might be thinking “Kinsta’s basic plan doesn’t offer much space…” or “Wow, 50GB is way too much space!” or even “Unlimited SSD storage! 😍.”

It’s easy to be wowed by the promise of unlimited space. But really, do you need that much storage space? Without any context, it’s hard to comprehend the difference between 5GB and 50GB. For starters, how big is a typical WordPress site? And what is a typical website anyway?

How much disk space you think you need might be very different from how much space you actually need.

So let’s crunch some numbers and put it all into context.

How Much Disk Space Does the Average WordPress Site Use?

Just how much storage space your site needs depends on a number of things. For a start, there are your basic files (WordPress core, plugins, and themes), then you’ve got your database and media files.

And on top of that, there are other things that you might want to store on your server, such as site backups and email hosting.

Let’s break down.

Another factor you need to think about is email storage. If email is included in your hosting package, this will be included in your disk space. Thanks to email attachments, any email accounts can quickly occupy a huge amount of disk space, especially if you get a lot of spam.

Different Types of Website Have Different Storage Needs

Websites come in all shapes and sizes. A simple blog will have vastly different needs to a WooCommerce site selling dozens, or even hundreds, of products.

Here’s a look at what you might need to consider storage-wise depending on the kind of website you have.

Average WordPress Site Usage

Fortunately, Kinsta has published data on average disk space usage, taken from a pool of production WordPress sites that have been hosted on their servers for over four years.

On average, Kinsta has found that the typical client uses approximately 1GB of data for a single WordPress installation. But “sometimes this can swing in either direction,” according to Marketing Manager Brian Jackson.

“Some might have a much larger database, but smaller file usage, or the other way around. So on our starter plan, this leaves you with another 4GB (80%) of unused disk space for growth,” Brian explains.

In his post How Much Disk Space Does Your Hosting Plan Really Need?, Brian argues that in many cases, WordPress users severely overestimate the amount of disk space they need, and this, in turn, “impacts their purchasing decisions in a negative way.”

He points to three client examples:

As Brian explains, these examples are typical of their client base. Most users use much less disk space than what they’re paying for.

Working Out How Much Disk Space You Need

If you’re interested to know how much disk space your existing website is using, there are a few different ways to find out.

The easiest way is to install a plugin. The free My Simple Space plugin adds a simple widget to the WordPress dashboard that displays details about your site, including the entire size of your site, the size of your database, and a breakdown of each of the primary folders in your WordPress installation.

my simple space plugin

Alternatively, if you’re using cPanel, you can see a quick overview of your total disk usage in the sidebar, as well as your database disk usage.

cpanel disk usage

When you click on “Disk Usage”, it will take you to a page offering a more granular breakdown of your storage usage, including how much space each of the folders in your WordPress installation is consuming.

cpanel disk usage breakdown

For advanced users, you can also check disk usage by logging into your host via SSH (you’ll need to check with your host for details).

Taking Into Account Future Plans for Your Website

If you are in the process of launching a new website, chances are you won’t need a huge amount of space right now. But as your online presence grows—and your website with it—you’ll want to consider your options for scaling at some point in the future.

This is why it’s important to know how much space your site is currently using and ensure there’s enough room to grow in the short-term while taking into account any plans for growth.

If you’re anticipating your website will remain small, it makes sense to stick with your current hosting and disk space allocation. But if you are planning to expand your site in the not-too-distant future and you’re on shared hosting, you might want to look into other more reliable hosting options that provide greater disk space, such as VPS, managed, or cloud hosting.

Whatever your plans are, don’t put off thinking about scaling until it sneaks up on you—it’s best to plan for the future and know your options.

How to Save Disk Space

If you just checked your disk usage and discovered you’re almost maxing out your storage allocation, here are some tips to help you free up space:

Wrapping Up

Whether you’re trying to decide on a new hosting package or planning for your site’s future storage needs, it’s important to understand how much space your site actually needs versus how much you think it needs. Knowing how much you’re currently using, or estimating how much you expect to use if you’re launching a new site, will ensure you purchase hosting that’s appropriate for your needs.

Once your site is set up, don’t forget to keep an eye on your page weight to ensure your pages load fast. And you’ll also want to regularly clean up your database, so it’s always clean as a whistle.

Author's avatar

Raelene Morey is the Co-Founder of Words By Birds, a digital writing agency that helps busy WordPress with writing articles, content strategies, lead magnets and other word-related things. A former journalist and editor, Raelene has been developing WordPress sites for over 10 years.

4 comments
Hi, Alice Thanks for sharing this amazing article. This would definitely help me in deciding my hosting plan.
Good info!I recently used the Disk Usage Sunburst plugin to see why my WordPress site was so big - turns out there were some old backup files on the server that I could delete.
Hi, Alice Thanks for shairing this article.
I can’t express how much I appreciated this article. Incredibly insightful for new bloggers and very clear advice. Thank you!
Add a comment
Your email address will not be published. All fields are required. Comment policy: We love comments and appreciate the time that readers spend to shader ideas and give feedback. However, all comments are manually moderated and those deemed to be spam or solely promotional will be deleted.

Get a Faster Website in a Few Clicks

Setup Takes 3 Minutes Flat

Get WP Rocket Now What are you waiting for?

{"cart_token":"","hash":"","cart_data":""}