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Q: Restructuring site and compressing images
by Mike Slocombe
Q: A year ago I built my second Web site, and I've recently restructured it. After uploading several revised pages, it dawned on me that paths to some pages reflected my hard disk, so would have to be changed to the correct server address, and re-uploaded.
While doing this, online, I found the 'new' pages would not upload. I changed to another FTP client without success. I emailed my host and it told me to delete history pages and so on, but again, without result.
My hunch is that I've exceeded my host's site allowance of 20Mb, and the server software is blocking uploads, especially pages with graphics. The current size of the site is 11.9Mb, but the 'dead' pages after restructuring must be many megabytes. Is my hunch correct? Should I restart from scratch? How do I do that?
A: It certainly sounds like you've run out of server space. It's important to keep a close eye on your space usage as running out can cause catastrophic problems.
Always keep an exact copy of your site on your hard drive (and a backup too) and make any changes there before uploading - that way you'll always know how big the thing is.
Seeing as you seem to have lost track of what's there, I'd suggest downloading the entire site and deleting any out of date files you find.
You'll also be able to regain significant amounts of server space by resampling your images, which have been scanned in at 200 dpi. For most Web work, this is resolution overkill as 72 dpi is sufficient for the majority of screens. See ScanTips for more information.
Using the appropriate format for your images will also help save server space. As a rough guide, use JPEGs for photos and GIFs for flat colour and line art graphics. There are some useful tutorials at: Webreference.com and Projectcool.
Once you've trimmed down your images and lobbed out the duff files, check how big the entire site is on your hard drive (hold down Alt and left click on the site's folder).
If there's now enough space, delete all the old files on your server and upload the new slimline version. But don't forget to make a backup first.