Bandwidth in its simplest terms refers to the amount of data that sent to and from visitors across your website during a period of time, usually measured in a month. As many website newbies are confused about how network bandwidth works and many of them asked me many times about how much bandwidth will his/her website need, in this article, I will explain this technical term plainly.
What is bandwidth?
When you visit an online website, you are actually downloading a file, which can be an HTML web page, a gif image, a video files, a flash files or a combination of all of these. With the download of these files to your computer via web server, users are able to view your website through web browser. Any time when a user downloads a file, it can be translated into the data is transferred via the server. And according to the size of your web page, the data being transferred various. For instance, the size of your homepage is 1 KB, every time people view this particular page will cost you 1 KB data transfer. If there are 100 visitors get through your homepage every day, then 100 KB of data will be transferred per day, 3000 KB per month. Of course, calculate how much bandwidth will your website requires is not that simple.
How much bandwidth will your website need?
When comparing different web hosting packages from different web hosting companies, you may notice that the allotted bandwidth various greatly, from a very small amount of bandwidth to large or even unlimited bandwidth. Therefore, it may be difficult for you to choose the right solution with the appropriate bandwidth. How much bandwidth is most suitable for you anyway? Well. I think you should take these following three factors into accounts: a. how many visitors will visitor your website? b. How many webpage will the visitors view? c. The size of your web page files, especially if there is big images file or video file in your website. For example, if an average size of a web page (images included) is 50 kilobytes and each visitor to your website viewed an average of 4 pages per month, 5,000 unique visitors to your website every month, then the total amount of bandwidth will be 50KB*4*5000 about 1GB. This figure is reasonable, however, it is also a wise choice to go for provider who offers at least 2 GB and prepare for any eventuality. And this is also a rough estimate, i.e. it is not required to download images every time the visitor make a hit to your website, since the browser will store the repeat images in the computer. You should think carefully about your situation, if you expect to launch a forum, then it will cost your more bandwidth than the ordinary websites.
Website offering files download is most bandwidth consuming
Although 2GB bandwidth may be enough for average personal blog website with simple content, it will be not sufficient you are going to allow file downloads on your website. If you are planning to provide music files,.pdf files, flash files or even video files for visitors to download then you are required to provide extra bandwidth for the download process. You can calculate the bandwidth needed with the following formula: Bandwidth needed = [(Average Page Views x Average Page Size x Average Monthly Visitors) + (Average Download per month x Average File Size)] If the provided files are of huge size, then you will run out of bandwidth in a very short period of time. Take 2 gigabyte of bandwidth for example, if your website offers a video file that is of 4megabyte in size, you will be only able to serve up 5 hundreds times of download, which does not take the HTML file into account. And a video file of 4 megabyte only shows a short period of time. So you should make sure that your monthly bandwidth will be able to meet your anticipate requirements.
Hosting is more than just about bandwidth
If you are looking for a web site hosting plan, you have to consider a lot of other factors than simply bandwidth. How about the usage of the other resource, such as CPU, RAM, as well as database connection? These are also as important bandwidth capacity. As a matter of fact, without sufficient resources on these aspects, unlimited bandwidth is mere facade. In addition, you should never overlook the server stability, server uptime, and server speed etc and also put your eyeball on complete guarantee of 30 day money back to safeguard yourself if you are not completely satisfied with the service.
Knowing what you expect to accomplish will allow you to know what you will need. It is crucial to get an idea of your website future development before shopping around for hosting packages. By knowing what you plan to do with your website, you will have a good understanding of how much bandwidth you’re going to use. If you expect to establish a much more complicated and huge website with many video, music and large flash files, then you can be a good choice to go with a reliable dedicated server and have more control over your server as you may be charged a lot if you overuse the bandwidth provided by shared web hosting companies. If you are going to create a new small website that does not requires much bandwidth, then you are advised to sign up with some inexpensive web hosting packages offer enough amount of bandwidth to meet your websites.