How much hosting bandwidth do you need?

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After reading my previous article on web hosting bandwidth, one might ask “how much bandwidth do I need?” Indeed, Bandwidth is often the major concern for most web owners when it comes to web hosting shopping. With that being said, it explains why web hosting companies are racing to provide better bandwidth offer in order to win market segment. In fact some web hosts are doing more than just offering large bandwidth capacity – they offer “unlimited” bandwidth.

Calculating A Website Bandwidth Usage

Let’s not argue how is unlimited bandwidth possible for a moment and focus on the user side – just how much bandwidth do we really need?

Here’s a simple way to do the  calculation.

Bandwidth needed = Average Page Views x Average Page Size x Average Daily Visitors x Number of days in a month (30) x Redundant Factor

  • Average Daily Visitors: The total number of monthly visitors/30.
  • Average Page Size: The average size of your web page.
  • Average Page Views: The average page viewed per visitors.
  • Redundant Factor: A safety factor ranged from 1.3 – 1.8.

Work out on the numbers and you should come to a rough estimation on the bandwidth needed for your website.

How about websites that allow file downloads?

The calculation for websites that allow large file downloading are more or less the same with above. The only different is that you’ll need some extra bandwidth for the download process. Thus, summing up the bandwidth used for website usage and downloads should bring you to the answer.

Bandwidth needed = [(Average Page Views x Average Page Size x Average Daily Visitors) + (Average Download per day x Average File Size) ] x Number of days in a month (30) x Redundant Factor

  • Average Daily Visitors: The total number of monthly visitors divide by 30.
  • Average Page Size: The average size of your web page.
  • Average Page Views: The average page viewed per visitors.
  • Average File Size: The total file size divided to the number of files.
  • Redundant Factor: A safety factor ranged from 1.3 – 1.8.

A few words on redundant bandwidth

Still following me?

Now in case you’re aware, there is a factor of safety, ranging form 50% – 80%, added in each bandwidth calculation. The reason behind this is that a redundant bandwidth (extra unused bandwidth) is crucial to allow for sudden peaks in traffics.

The higher the redundant (safety) factor, the more capable is your web server to cope with sudden peaks in traffics; which can make all the difference between a pitiful and successful site advertising campaign.

Imagine your article rise all the way to the front page of Digg.com but the server fails to cope with the sudden traffics surge – that’s how a good publicity campaign turned sour.

How can I know that my site needs more bandwidth?

If your site is consistently slow and busy, then it could certainly benefit from having more bandwidth.

High chances are your web host does not have enough redundant bandwidth to deal with normal demand; the direct solution on this will be ask for a bandwidth capacity upgrade. Switching your hosting to dedicated server might be another option as it avoids sharing your website connections with others.

Also, disabling your users to download files directly from your website might be a good option. Hosting large download-able files via a third party file hosting service often makes more economical sense.

To learn more, read my list of top 10 free file hosting services.

Hosting is more than just about Bandwidth!

Cheap Web Hosting Price

Apparently when it comes to choosing the right web hosting plan, there’re a lot more to be concerned than just bandwidth. So hey, next time when you’re looking for web hosting services, remember not to limit your eyeballs only on the bandwidth offers. Put an eye on other factors such as server stability, web host uptime record, server load time and so on – without sufficient these server resources – unlimited bandwidth are plain meaningless.