Web hosting bandwidth Explained

This article covers the topic of bandwidth, and is intended to give you an idea of the amount of bandwidth your website might need. Often we see customers overpaying for packages with third party webhosting companies, they have been sold which are simply too large for their needs. Overselling typically means overpaying!

What is bandwidth

Bandwidth is the term used to quantify the amount of data that is transferred from your webhosting account to the end users / visitors device. This can be both web visitors and email traffic. It's usually measured over a period of time such as a month.

Web hosting companies themselves pay their ISP's a fee based on the amount of traffic they consume and this in turn is then passed to their webhosting users as part of the package price. If an excess amount of bandwidth is used over and above the package allocation then either the account will be suspended or an excess usage charge will be levied.

How do I work out my bandwidth requirements?

If you have 100 visitors per day and the average file size of your pages is 80kb then your website will consume 100 x 80kb x 31 days = 248,000kb per month.

The simply formulae to calculate this is visitors per day x days per month x average file size. This will give you a good approximation of your websites likely bandwidth usage, assuming that the files sizes are typical for your website.

You should also consider your plans for promoting the website, if you are active in Search Marketing then it's likely that traffic will grow significantly over a period of a year or more, this should be factored into your requirements.

If you add content regularly or are planning to add a lot of content, particularly files that contain larger elements such as images or videos then this can make a substantial difference to your likely requirements.

What is typical for a UK SME?

Often small business websites use around 600Meg of bandwidth per month, so typically a budget orientated hosting package will be sufficient for the most business needs. Smaller niche business websites can expect to receive around 6,000 or so visitors per month or 200 per day. Depending on how long they have been on the internet and the type of product or service offered.

How do I keep my bandwidth usage under control

We often see customers upload pages with large images, these consume a lot of bandwidth to download and also are slow to download, this results in a higher than desirable bounce rate for your web pages as visitors get frustrated with the time to download and click away from your pages.

Keeping your files sizes down to a few 10's of kbs per images is a useful tip. There are plenty of tools around that get compress files.

If you have videos on your site, consider hosting them on services such as YouTube or Vimeo as these are specialised services, you can include the video on your page, by using their embed html code. This transfers the load away from your webhosting company, and therefore saves the bandwidth which would otherwise have been used.

Upgrading / Downgrading your account

If you find that your current package is running out bandwidth you can always upgrade to the next package up and pay the difference. This way you can ensure that you only pay for the package when your traffic reaches the threshold between the packages.

We are also flexible if you need a small increase to tide you over a short term spike in traffic such as during a sales promotion or busy time.

If you need help or advice to understand what your site is currently using or discuss how we can assist with migrating your site to our hosting then call us today on 01952 898701 we are one of the UK's leading providers of domain registration and webhosting services. We have a helpful friendly UK based support centre in Telford Shropshire.


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