Traffic and Hosting

Traffic and Hosting 

One of the biggest queries and points of interest with regards to web hosting is how the traffic through a site affects the hosting package that you are on. Obviously sites with more traffic will require more bandwidth to be able to support all the people that go through them, and what this means for a consumer is that they may need to change or upgrade their hosting package depending on the amount of traffic that they get.

When you talk about web hosts, there are many things that you should expect from your hosting provider: these include their reliability, tech support services, cost, customisation ability, coding and programming strength and the ease of implementation for certain scripts and databases. Without ticking all of these boxes depending on what kind of site you have, problems can quickly stack up with the functionality of your hosting package and the success of your site.

High amounts of traffic through a site will inevitably result in the need for a higher bandwidth threshold to keep them up. Bandwidth itself is a measurement for data, and at what speed it flows through whichever medium it is being used for to transfer information between your computer and the website that you are looking at. This could be a variety of things, usually through the phone line or cable lines.

When contextualising bandwidth with regards to the web hosting package that you are on, bandwidth denotes the flow of data through your site (in other words, the higher amount of site users at one time the higher the bandwidth usage and by extension the greater your need for a higher bandwidth hosting provider.

How many users your website can handle will depend on the hosting package that you are on and the host that you are signed up with? Very few providers will provide unlimited bandwidth for the hosting of a site, as it can become very costly for them and make it harder to cover costs. There will usually be a bandwidth limit and a time-based fee for this amount of bandwidth. You should look at how many images, embedded videos and functions that your site has before considering how much bandwidth you will need, as basic static sites with low traffic will need almost none when compared to larger corporate sites with millions of unique visitors per day.

 A graphic intensive site will usually require at least 5GB of bandwidth per month, whereas ones with online stores and exponential amounts of traffic may require anything up to 20GB of data to stay functional, and sometimes more for multinational entities such as Facebook that has tens of millions of users log in every day to use their service, and have a bunch of implemented coding and large files to support.

From most providers they will offer you a variety of scaling amounts of bandwidth depending on what your site specifically needs to remain fully functional. Therefore, you as a consumer can judge which package you will need and therefore can balance between what you can afford and whether or not you are going to max out your bandwidth in a month. It is of the upmost importance that you choose wisely, as either way can lose you money.

Those companies that limit your bandwidth can charge additional fees for when this is exceeded, and so it is important to overspend if you need to in order to avoid any unnecessary and large extra costs. Most hosting packages aren't that expensive to upgrade to, and so be sure to get quoted from a number of providers but also ask their advice on how much bandwidth you will need when you tell them how many visitors you get and the nature/makeup of your website.

If you are lost in the woods and have no idea how much traffic your site will get (especially if it is a new site) you should probably start with a lower web hosting package to start with. This means that you can always upgrade your package at a later date when your site traffic increases, and allows you to be in complete control of your site and hosting without having to pay unnecessary money.

A good idea of a timescale for upgrading is between 3-6 months depending on how popular your site becomes. This will be a result of whether or not your site has a unique selling point, is brand new and interesting or receives a lot of referrals from other customers who have used it and enjoy it. Your host should be able to help you in working this out, but make sure to get statistical data from them to ensure that you know that they are trying to increase your hosting package to help you out rather than embezzle you and take extra money off you. For this reason, we recommend that you take as much of an interest as possible in your hosting requirements, as it is your future and your money that will be spent on additional bandwidth.


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