Bandwidth matters in connection speed and page loading speed, so it is important to have sufficient amount of bandwidth allocation for your website. However, do you really know how much bandwidth you may need on a monthly basis?
Web hosting companies usually provide different packages which include different amount of bandwidth. If you go beyond the limit, you have to purchase additional bandwidth or transfer to a higher level plan with more allocation, or your website could be suspended or even shut down. Therefore, knowing clearly how much bandwidth you need will certainly help achieve a balance between your budget and bandwidth.
To calculate the bandwidth usage of your website, you need to take the following factors into consideration.
How much bandwidth does your website use for a month?
If you have already had a website with your host and don't know how much bandwidth your website usually uses, there is a way to calculate your estimated bandwidth. Before the calculation, you should be clear about several things, including:
The average page size of your website, in KB (If you do not know, you can use some tools like Pingdom to test a few pages and take the average.)
Average number of visitors on a daily basis
Average number of page views per visitor
Now the total bandwidth your website uses for a month should be:
Total = average page size x average daily visitors x average page views x number of days in a month
Working out the result, you will get a rough estimation on the bandwidth needed for your website.
Let's take an example. If your website has pages with average 100 KB in size and 300 visitors a day with average 4 page views per visitor, the bandwidth your website is using is:
100 KB x 300 x 4 x 30 = 36,000,000 KB = 3.6 GB (When defining 1 GB = 1,000 MB)
In this case, this website requires a minimum of 3.6 GB bandwidth a month. Of course, if you have several websites on 1 account, you should calculate the bandwidth of each of your websites and then get a total number.
Note that this amount is only that your website is using, but not that you should ask your host to allot for your account.
How about a website allowing downloads?
While simple web pages don't use up much bandwidth, the situation can be totally different with a website offering downloads. If you own a website allowing people to download music files, pdf files, videos or flash files, you will need a large amount of bandwidth even with a relatively small number of visitors.
For example, if your website has a music file that is 4 MB in size, with 2 GB bandwidth, you are only able to serve 500 downloads. Videos always use much more bandwidth because a video file could easily be over 100 MB in size.
The calculation for this kind of websites is almost the same as the way mentioned above, except that you need to consider the extra bandwidth for the download process.
Total = [average page size x average daily visitors x average page views + average file size x average daily downloads] x number of days in a month
Therefore, what you plan to do with your website has the major impact on the monthly bandwidth you need.
When deciding how much bandwidth you need, you should arrange 30% - 80% redundant bandwidth to leave the room for the website to grow. The more redundant bandwidth you have, the more capable your website is in dealing with the following cases:
Traffic growth. As you add more posts and pages, your website will eventually grow, and the traffic, at the same time, will increase significantly, especially in the case that you add more domains to the website.
Traffic spikes. It is inevitable that your website suffers unexpected traffic surge brought by things like social news sites and good search engine rankings. Sufficient redundant bandwidth will keep your website online.
How much bandwidth do you really need?
If your website only comes with simple web pages, you can simply sum up the bandwidth you need by adding a certain amount of redundant bandwidth to the bandwidth that your website is consuming. Usually, a shared web hosting plan is enough for your website, but once you find that your website is consistently slow, it is the time to switch the website over to a virtual private server (VPS).
Or if your website includes the download of lots of multimedia like music, video and flash, you may need a fairly large amount of bandwidth. In the case your website needs success, we would like to recommend you considering hosting your website on a dedicated server which always comes with several TB bandwidth a month.
In case that you are looking for a reliable web host to build a new website, we recommend BlueHost – a leading web hosting company with a series of products ranging from shared web hosting to dedicated server hosting. If you are interested, read BlueHost review here.