How Much Bandwidth Do I Require on My Web Server?

July 26, 2007 / Dedicated Server Hosting

When choosing any web hosting package, you will find that one of the major factors of a web hosting service. That you will want to consider is the amount of bandwidth that is provided along with the web hosting package that you are interested in. The amount of bandwidth that your website requires depends mainly on two different factors. The average size of each web page and the number of visitors. That your website receives in a given time period, with most web hosting providers this period normally being a month.

Choosing a web hosting package that provide you with the correct amount of bandwidth is an important move. Since if your website uses up all of the bandwidth that is assigned to your web hosting account then the chances are that your website will cut off by your web hosting provider.

The amounts of bandwidth available will depend on the type of web hosting service that you choose to use with a dedicated server being able to provide you with a greater amount of bandwidth than a shared web hosting package, although most web hosting companies will allow you to purchase additional bandwidth as you require it.

The size of the web pages that your visitors are trying to load will greatly influence your monthly bandwidth consumption since it is these that will be transferred from your website to your visitor’s computer when they are requested.

Several different factors can affect the size of individual web pages although the main one is going to be the amount of content the web page contains; image and video-heavy web pages the biggest in terms of file size since a lot of data will need to transferred in order to make them presentable and high-quality videos and images aren’t too conservative on file size.

The popularity of your website will also affect your monthly bandwidth usage and the overall amount of bandwidth that you will require since the more requests that are made to your content, the higher the amount of data that will downloaded from the server that your website is hosted on to your visitor’s computers.

The more popular your website is the higher end the form of web hosting you will need to choose for your requirements because bandwidth-heavy websites tend to be resource-intensive in general. If you are predicting that your website is going to grow substantially within the next year then you may wish to consider a form of web hosting that can deliver you a large amount of bandwidth such as dedicated server hosting.

The HTML structure of your website can save greatly on your bandwidth since websites that are based on more modern web standards and technologies such as XHTML and CSS are automatically optimized to use less bandwidth than older websites that use more traditional table-based layouts.

When developing any website it is recommended that you reduce your use of multimedia content, including images, and instead use CSS where possible as this will not only provide you with a higher-end final product capable of working with all modern web browsers, but it will also offer you a package that won’t be too bandwidth-intensive.

XHTML and CSS based websites are also better favored by search engines during the indexing process which benefit you in the long term if you are looking at maximizing your website’s visitor count

If you are running a small website then it is recommended that you develop something that uses little bandwidth as this will allow you to choose a low-end shared hosting service that can be very cost-effective for you. Low bandwidth websites generally minimize the use of images and other multimedia content, instead favoring the actual content of the website over the design and layout.

By starting off with a low-end web hosting service you also have the benefit of only paying for what you need; if the time does come when you start to run out of bandwidth or any other resource that forms the backbone of your web hosting package, you can simply purchase extra resources or upgrade to the next highest web hosting service available.

As the webmaster of a busy website as well as considering how much bandwidth your website will require, it may also beneficial to consider how this bandwidth is going to delivered, or in other words, the speed at which your website will delivered to those who request it.

It is a good idea to consider a web hosting company that can provide you with a bandwidth that will allow your website to be delivered via several different connection/backbone providers. Since this will allow you to guarantee a fast loading speed from any computer anywhere in the world.

Another way in which you can reduce the amount of bandwidth that your website requires is to disable ‘hot-linking’. Hot-linking is the practice of linking to an image that hosted on another website from a web page. When the web page is loaded the image will requested but because it hosted under another website. The bandwidth of the other website will used when the image is downloaded.

By disabling hot-linking under your web hosting account you will able to ensure that no one else will able to link to the images hosted under your website hosting account, thus reducing the need for any large amounts of bandwidth.

In conclusion, the amount of bandwidth that your website will need is dependent upon the number of visitors. That you will receive each month as well as the amount of multimedia content contained on each web page. Steps taken to make sure that the overall amount of bandwidth used each month isn’t too great as this could cost you a large amount of money if it isn’t measured correctly.

Your chosen form of web hosting should able to provide you with an amount of bandwidth that is proportional to your website in general.