How to Know the Amount of Bandwidth Your Website Needs
Posted by Paul Nesbitt on 14 July 2016 03:49 PM


How to Know the Amount of Bandwidth Your Website Needs

After setting up your website and growing an audience, the amount of bandwidth your website requires can easily add up. According to Hosting Manual, 99% of websites use no more than 5GB of transfer bandwidth per month, but there are various factors that can influence this.

Before we begin, let’s explain what bandwidth is. Bandwidth refers to the speed at which data is transferred from a web host to a visitor in a given period, and is measured in seconds. Transfer bandwidth, on the other hand, refers to the amount of data your website is allowed to send and receive as part of your web hosting package and is allocated monthly.

Here at PAC Web Hosting, we’ve rounded up some tips for working out how much bandwidth you will need.


The type of website you're working on

How much bandwidth you use will depend on the type of website you are working on. If you’re running a small blog, you are likely to use a lot less bandwidth than if you were running an online store, which requires more data to be transferred.

Typically, the more multimedia you use on a website, such as high-resolution images or videos uploaded to the server, the more bandwidth you will use. If your website offers direct downloads, such as software packages, expect this to use a significant amount of your bandwidth.

The traffic to your website

Your website traffic is another vital consideration when deciding on the amount of bandwidth you need. If your website has peak times or spikes, try to estimate when they will be and how many people will visit your website; will you run out of your month’s dedicated bandwidth if your blog gets an unexpected spike in traffic? For this reason, it’s important to overestimate, rather than underestimate the amount of bandwidth that you require.

The design of your website

If your website relies heavily on big images or advanced CSS, it may impact on the amount of data transferred to your visitors. To reduce the size of your web pages and boost your site's all-round efficiency, try open-source projects such as Bootstrap that offer free tools for creating stripped-back designs. This, in turn, will reduce the amount of transfer bandwidth that your website uses throughout the month.

How your website is optimised

Your website will use less transfer bandwidth if it is well optimised. Tools such as the W3 Total Cache plugin for WordPress reduce your page sizes, thereby decreasing the amount of bandwidth used.

If your website receives a significant amount of traffic, Content Delivery Networks such as CloudFlare and Amazon Cloudfront could be an option. By acting as a ‘third party’ between your web host and your visitor, they will reduce the time that it takes to serve a page, as well as the transfer bandwidth used when a visitor logs onto your site.

The size of your pages

Online tools such as Pingdom analyse your web pages to find out how much data they require. From this information, you can work out a rough estimate of how much transfer bandwidth you need.

Beware: "unlimited" bandwidth doesn't exist

When choosing the right web host for your site, beware of companies offering 'unlimited' bandwidth. It is impossible for any web host to offer truly unlimited bandwidth, as bandwidth is a costly part of the web hosting process. To avoid expensive add-on or 'overuse' fees, choose a web host that offers a set amount of bandwidth so that you can prepare your website for this. Here at PAC Web Hosting, all of our plans come with generous transfer bandwidth allowances to give you ultimate peace of mind.

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