Holy moly! Can you believe it’s been over a year and a half since I’ve written anything?!? For the longest time writing felt like part of my identity. Then, I just couldn’t do it anymore. The biggest issue started several years ago when I ran out of room on my regular WordPress site. Even back then, it always baffled me that despite formatting the screenshots so that they should have taken up way less space, the space used went so fast. Eventually, I switched from a WordPress.com premium plan to a WordPress.org hosted site with Bluehost for a year at a discounted rate. But, even doing this I had to move older chapters to other “archive” free sites so that I had room to continue writing.
Then, my year with Bluehost was up and the fee to continue using them was waaay more than I could afford. I was already having so many problems that when I saw A2 had a deal for 3 years I jumped on it and had them migrate the whole site over. Surely, with 100GB of disc usage allowed, my problems would be over! Unfortunately, I immediately ran into problems. Unlike regular WordPress and Bluehost, A2 has a limit on the number of files. 300,000 to be exact. I couldn’t understand how I possibly had so many files! I went through them and deleted a bunch of stuff that I won’t bother to detail here but still I was constantly going over the 300,000 limit which caused a 504 error and so basically my blog was unreachable unless I constantly went into the file manager and deleted stuff.
I gave up and decided surely I would get the energy to find a solution “soon.” But, I eventually quit going on the computer altogether. (I was also having problems with the computer crashing… that was part of the reason as well to be fair.) Months and then a year and then more months went by and I never got the “energy” to try and find a solution. The thing is, I miss writing so much. Some days I just have this yearning. And finally, finally, I decided to delve into file manager and figure this out once and for all. You’re not even going to believe what I discovered!
Under web disk in cPanel, you can see what files are taking up the most space. I decided to start there with the 10/2019 file. I downloaded a copy and decided to use Gimp to compress the files and see if that helped anything. But, when looking at the screenshots within the file to try and determine what posts they were attached to, I was shocked! Every single screenshot had 7 versions! The original and then six different sizes! WPengine has an article that explains it much better than I probably will. Long story short, every time I uploaded a screenshot to WordPress it made four additional files… a thumbnail and a small/medium/large. Then, I can only assume was my theme made two more to fit things like banners and previews. The current theme that I’m testing out was set to do three!
I am just baffled by this whole thing. How could nobody know about this? A2 support had no clue what the problem was! I even tried a plug-in that searches the whole site for duplicate files. Obviously, it didn’t turn anything up because each file was named differently. And then I realized I was toting around files I don’t even use! For example these sample picture files from 2012:
This entire folder was useless and I’d been dragging it around from blog to blog for ten years!
Here’s where my files were at after deleting the usual culprits and fixing that 10/2019 file… still in the danger zone. So, I decided what the heck and downloaded each file from every year, deleted the excess screenshots, and re-uploaded it.
Here’s after I deleted the excess screenshots from 2016-2018. At this point, I also started tracking the Disk Usage.
Here’s after I deleted the excess files from 2019.
And finally, here’s after I deleted the excess files from 2020 to the present.
Truly, I am shocked. I don’t know how to feel. I’m ecstatic, relieved, and overjoyed… but also I feel so angry and frustrated. How could I go so many years and not realize this was a thing? I want to cry from joy but also from frustration. And now that I’ve finally found a solution and fixed it I’m caught in a quandary. What the heck do I do now?
For anybody with access to cPanel here is the path to check your own files: File Manager > Public_html > wp-content > uploads. There you will see folders with all of your uploads sorted into folders by year. Here’s another helpful article by WebHostingAdvices if your Disk Usage is high. I personally found that the slideshows that I made with the Smart Slider plug-in were taking up a huge amount of space! Good luck!