Monitoring and managing your disk usage at Pressable

Category: TroubleShooting | Last modified: November 25, 2020

All Pressable accounts come with a high level of available storage to be used by sites on the account.  While this storage is often more than sufficient for most accounts, occasionally some find that their sites are using more storage space than expected and want to find ways to optimize their disk space usage.  What do you do when you want to look up the overall size of your website, and how do you mitigate over-usage?


Checking your site’s size

When it comes to determining the overall size of your website, there are a few options available to you.

Through the WordPress Site Health Page

Did you know that the built-in WordPress Site Health monitor includes live stats showing your site’s directories and their sizes? Simply log into wp-admin and navigate to “Tools → Site Health” and then select the “Info” tab. From there you can toggle open the “Directories and Sizes” area for a breakdown on your site.

WordPress Site Health Tool | Pressable

Using a Plugin

There is a simple and easy to use plugin called My Simple Space, which will add a summary of your site’s details to the dashboard when activated.

My Simple Space Dashboard Widget | Pressable

This summary includes the size of your files, database, and the memory usage.

Ask the Customer Success Team

If you have a large number of sites on our platform and do not want to check each one manually, or if you simply want assistance pulling this information for a single site, feel free to reach out to our support team. They can generate a report for you detailing the overall size of each site in real time, along with the top directories for each site so that you know where the storage is coming from.


Solutions

What can commonly create a high level of disk usage and how can they be mitigated?

Large debug.log files

On occasion you may enable logging for debugging purposes on your website.  If this logging is left enabled, however, your debug.log file may continue to grow in size until it becomes quite large. In fact, we have seen debug.log files grow to become multiple gigabytes in size.

The solution: disable logging and remove any unnecessary debug.log files.

Backup plugins/folders

Backup plugins are also common culprits for using too much disk space and can fill backup folders with multiple gigabytes of files.

The solution: frequently remove unnecessary backups.  Alternatively, you can activate Jetpack Premium (it comes free with your Pressable account) which will take automatic backups for you, saved to your WordPress.com account.  These do not count towards your Pressable storage limits.

Also please note that Pressable takes daily backups of your site as well, and retains those backups for 30 days.

A large number of image sizes

When you upload an image to the media library of your site, that image is stored in the /uploads directory on the server.  Some themes are also programmed to generate multiple different sizes of that same image to be used throughout your theme.  For example, it might create a thumbnail size, a medium size, and a large size.

Uploads Directory File Sizes | Pressable

While potentially useful from a development standpoint, these various image sizes present an unnecessary usage of your disk space.

The solution: remove the extra image versions. Because of how Pressable servers are configured, you only need the single original image file.  Any other image size that you want to display will be auto-generated on the fly by our servers.  For example, an original image:

https://pressable-site.mystagingwebsite.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/computer-2982270_1920.jpg

You can append any image size that you want to this image, and it will load properly:

https://pressable-site.mystagingwebsite.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/computer-2982270_1920-500×500.jpg

https://pressable-site.mystagingwebsite.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/computer-2982270_1920-100×100.jpg

By taking advantage of this function, you can significantly reduce the overall number of images stored on the server.

To remove extra image sizes: the plugin Stop Generating Unnecessary Thumbnails will allow you to selectively disable different image sizes for your site. You can then regenerate the thumbnails through that plugin, and disabled image sizes will be automatically removed.

Alternative solution: rather than store media on Pressable servers, you could offload that media to an AWS S3 bucket using a plugin such as https://wordpress.org/plugins/amazon-s3-and-cloudfront/

Video and audio files

Video and audio files are often quite large in size and can quickly use up available storage space.  If you have a site heavily using this type of media, how do you best manage it?

The solution: Rather than store media on Pressable servers, you could offload that media to an AWS S3 bucket using a plugin such as https://wordpress.org/plugins/amazon-s3-and-cloudfront/

Alternative solution: for your video files, consider taking advantage of Jetpack’s video hosting. Videos served from Jetpack are served without ads, without branding, and are stored within your WordPress.com account and do not count against your available Pressable storage space.  We have also found that Jetpack videos tend to load quite a bit faster from other traditional players and can help in the overall performance of your website.

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