One common challenge most website owners face is figuring out how much server bandwidth their website needs. When you are comparing the various hosting plans available, bandwidth becomes very important.
When you try to buy a hosting plan from a website hosting services company, you will see two memory-related features. One is the server bandwidth and the other is the storage space. You will have full control over the storage space and you can simply delete or offload old content. However, things get tricky when it comes to the bandwidth.
BTW, What does Server Bandwidth mean?
Bandwidth is the amount of traffic a website can handle. In simple terms, you can call it the ‘Data Transfer Rate‘. It is the level of traffic and the total amount of data being transferred between the users, the website, and the internet. As the bandwidth of the website increases, its speed, as well as connectivity with the users, also increases.
Bandwidth is determined by the number of visitors to your website and the page size. There is no way for you to control the incoming traffic to your website. If the bandwidth is overused, then the website becomes inaccessible or very slow until the bandwidth is restored.
This inaccessibility to your website will eventually drive your visitors away from your website. This negatively affects your rankings as Google treats this as a ranking signal.
A word of caution…
Most of the webs hosting services use a lucrative marketing model in order to attract more users into buying the deal. Hosting services offer to host websites with unlimited bandwidth at a low cost.
However, you should always remember that nothing in this world is ever free. With the demand for bandwidth being so high, it is simply impossible for someone to offer such an expensive service at a low price.
These companies just create an illusion of unlimited bandwidth. However, there is always an upper limit to the bandwidth that they offer. Usually, the bandwidth offered by these hosting companies is only a little over the average bandwidth used by your website.
If you are hosting a new website, then it is better to try out lower bandwidth plans for the first few months and then deciding whether to opt for a higher bandwidth plan or not.
There is no point in buying an unlimited bandwidth plan when you don’t get an extremely high number of visitors. Instead of paying a higher amount for getting an unlimited bandwidth plan, you are better off buying a limiter bandwidth plan as per your needs. You can figure out the amount of bandwidth required by spending some time to calculate the bandwidth of your website
If you are launching a new website, there is no way for you to predict the amount of bandwidth you would require. Your only shot would be to closely monitor your website for the first few months and then go on to calculate the server bandwidth that you would need.
If you already have a website up and running for several months, then this process is pretty straightforward.
- First, find out the average page size of your website. If this is not known, then you can use this tool to figure out the load time of a page. Then find out the average load time of each page.
- Multiply this number with the average number of monthly visitors to your website.
- Multiply the result from the previous step with the average number of page views per visitor.
If you have multiple domains on a single web hosting account, then you will need to do the same process to all the other domains and add the end result.
Remember that the above calculations are purely based on your website usage in the past. However, nothing can keep the server ready in case there is a sudden increase in traffic. To avoid this, it is always better to allocate a little more bandwidth than what was calculated. This additional bandwidth is going to account for the growth of your website.
Factors to consider when choosing the Bandwidth
- Media files: Web sites that host media files usually require a lot of bandwidth. If you are not going to host any media files, then a modest amount of 10 GB per month should suffice. All these are just estimates and will apply for the time being. However, planning for the future is always a clever and efficient thing to do.
- Website layout: Your website might need a change in its page layout in the future to make it more appealing to the viewers. This will increase the need for more bandwidth.
- Website visitors: The number of visitors to the website will not remain the same. If you continue to post quality articles on your website, then it is destined to grow every day. Having a bandwidth enough for today’s usage will not be able to cope up with the future growth of the website.
- Room for growth: Once you host a website, you will be adding more pages very often. So, you would want your bandwidth to account for the increase in the number of pages. You will also want to create new domains on the same hosting account.
- Sudden spikes in traffic: You would also need your website to handle the sudden increase in the number of visitors due to the outbreak of a viral post on your website. This sudden spike in traffic can use a lot of your bandwidth. Crossing your bandwidth limit would not only make your website extremely slow but will also attract a huge penalty for the overuse of bandwidth. So it is better to be ready than be sorry later on.
Choosing the bandwidth is one of the most important things to consider while hosting a website. You don’t want to lose visitors because of loading issues. No one would like to keep changing the hosting plan every time their site experiences more traffic. Hence, it is advised to get a higher bandwidth. This will keep you prepared for the future increase in traffic. Also, you get great offers when you buy it for the first time.