What is web hosting bandwidth, how to know how much you would need ?

September 22, 20129 Comments

What is web hosting bandwidth?

Bandwidth is the amount of data that is being transferred across the Internet under a specific circumstance and during a specific period. In relation to web hosting, bandwidth refers to the amount o

f data that visitors to your website can download each month before that access is cut off. Bandwidth is important because the basic act of viewing a website requires the visitor to first download the information that makes up the page.

How much web hosting bandwidth do you need?

The pedantic answer is that you’ll need at least as much bandwidth that is needed to support the visitor traffic to your website. Unless you are somehow able to predict the future with superhuman accuracy, the best answer that you can calculate is an estimate. You must take care to err on the side of overestimating rather than underestimating the bandwidth that you’ll need, because spending a bit extra is preferable to running into the dreaded problem of insufficient bandwidth. Said problem can both alienate your visitors and potentially bring your search engine ranking crashing down.

How to calculate how much web hosting bandwidth you’ll need

Here are some methods you can use to figure out how much bandwidth you’ll need for your website:

  • You can calculate the amount of bandwidth you’ll need if you are familiar with the formula and can compile the statistics. The basic formula is the average bandwidth used per day multiplied by 31 for the maximum number of days in a month and multiplied by an allowance factor. Average daily bandwidth consumption can be estimated to be the average number of visitors per day multiplied by their average page views multiplied by the average size of your pages plus the average number of daily downloads multiplied by the average size of downloaded files. The allowance factor is used to give you room for error and can range from 1.5 to higher numbers depending on how confident you are about your estimates. Over time, as you gain more data, you can make adjustments to the allowance factors to better reflect reality
  • Consult your web hosting service provider for help with calculating the amount of bandwidth that you’ll need if you cannot do so on your own. Not only does your service provider possess easy and ready access to the information needed to calculate the figure, but they are also the people with the most suitable expertise. However, be warned that your service provider has the economic incentive to manipulate numbers so that you’ll be persuaded to buy more bandwidth from them. This doesn’t mean that you can’t trust their calculations, only that it’ll be smart if you take the time and effort to confirm them.
  • Approach a computer expert or someone who is familiar with setting up websites. You might be out of luck if you don’t know anyone who matches the description, but don’t hesitate to talk to people that you might know online or who are friends of a friend. Make sure that their credentials make their opinions worth listening to before you take their advice, unless you are once again willing to take the time to check their numbers either personally or with someone else.

 

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