Every business today needs a website to sustain in the competitive market and to ensure that customers can access their services 24/7. This growing need to go online has forced business owners and SMEs to navigate the world of technology which might not be their primary expertise. Even for the technologically savvy ones, understanding different technical aspects can be easier said than done. With hosting companies offering a range of options, it is essential for businesses to understand the nuances of the services offered.
There are several factors from the hosting server to the bandwidth available that may impact the performance of the website. One such crucial factor is bandwidth provided by your hosting service provider.
What Is Web Hosting Bandwidth?
Among several important parameters influencing the performance of the website, such as speed, storage space, etc., bandwidth is the most difficult to understand. Web hosting bandwidth can be defined as the rate at which data can be transferred between your website, users, and the internet, in a given amount of time.
We can use the analogy of a highway to understand bandwidth. Traffic is the number of bits that are transferred. The number of lanes is the bandwidth which determines how many bits can be transferred in a said amount of time.
Bandwidth can also be compared to a water pipe. The water flowing through the pipe is the data that is being transferred, while the width of the pipe is the bandwidth that determines the amount of data that can be transferred.
A restaurant setup further illustrates the point. Higher the number of tables, higher is the number of diners that can dine at any given point in time. So, to put it simply, the higher the bandwidth, the better the speed, connectivity, etc.
Higher bandwidth will ensure that a greater number of visitors will be able to use your website at the optimum speed and completely enjoy the experience that you have created for them.
What Is Bandwidth Usage?
The website bandwidth usage will depend on a number of factors, including the media files on your website, web design, the code of the website, and to an extent, even the content on your website.
The number of visitors and the pages visited by each user also plays an important part here. So, if all your users exit the website after checking say, only one page, the bandwidth usage will be less compared with an instance when users load multiple or even all the pages on the website.
To further use the analogy we used earlier, the number of lanes on a highway is the bandwidth, and the traffic at any given moment is the bandwidth usage. If the highway has the capacity of 40 cars passing a certain stretch at any given moment, then that is the maximum bandwidth available.
Suddenly, if there are more cars on the highway, there would be a traffic jam and no one would be able to move anywhere. Similarly, if your website has a certain bandwidth, and if the usage increases beyond that limit, your users will not be able to load your website.
How Much Bandwidth Do You need?
It is vital for you to purchase bandwidth that suits you best. If you purchase a plan with lower bandwidth, your users will have a negative experience impacting your brand equity and sales. On the other hand, if you purchase a plan with higher bandwidth, you will end up paying more for something that could have been avoided.
So, how do you calculate the bandwidth that you need?
While it is impossible to determine the exact bandwidth that your business will need each month, you can derive an estimate based on historical data. You will need:
- Average Page Size
- Average Number of Visitors per Month
- Average Page Views per Visitor
|Bandwidth = Average Page Size * Average Monthly Visitors * Average Pages Viewed Per Visitor|
E.g., Your website gets 5000 visitors per month, with each visitor viewing about 4 pages. Let’s assume the size of each page is approximately 5 MB. This results in your per month bandwidth being:
5MB * 5000 * 4 = 1,00,000MB (100 GB).
This is one of the basic methods that will give you a rough estimate of the bandwidth you might need.
However, these estimates do not take into account the spike in the number of visitors that might occur as a result of your marketing activity or one of your social media posts going viral. If such a thing were to happen, your website would slow down. You would have to purchase additional bandwidth to deal with such a situation immediately.
While traditional hosting options may not be easily scalable, you can opt for Cloud Hosting to deal with such unexpected eventualities. With Cloud Hosting, you can easily scale your web hosting bandwidth with a click of a button. It does not require any additional physical hardware or any complicated setups, one click and your new users will experience the website the way it was meant to be.
Types of Bandwidth Offered
Web Hosting providers offer two types of bandwidths with their hosting plans:
- Metered Bandwidth – There is a pre-specified limit to the bandwidth offered, and overages are charged. Once you buy a plan with Metered Bandwidth, you get a bandwidth limit, for example, 30TB. If you exceed this limit, the company will charge you for the overages.
- Unmetered Bandwidth – This means that your hosting provider does not measure the bandwidth used by you. You pay the cost of the hosting plan and use as much bandwidth as you need.
Hosting service providers offer a range of plans from 1GB bandwidth to unlimited bandwidth. Every website has specific bandwidth requirements. If you have a new website, you may track your usage over a month before the site goes live to get an idea.
An eCommerce website with dynamic traffic will require high bandwidth as compared to a static blog. Let’s see some approximate numbers, shall we? A medium-sized eCommerce website with a 100kb page, close to 1000 daily visitors will need a bandwidth of at least 8.5GB per month. Now consider a good blog with a page size of 50kb, close to 20,000 visitors per month, and average 5 page views per visitor. Having 700 visitors daily means this is a popular and active blog and will require a bandwidth of 5GB per month. On the other hand, a small and static blog can run efficiently with even 1GB bandwidth per month.
Once you deduce your bandwidth needs (either with a test run or with the formula), select a hosting plan that best suits your needs.
It is also crucial to understand whether the plan offers metered bandwidth or unmetered bandwidth. ResellerClub offers Cloud Hosting plans with Unmetered Bandwidth. We do not measure the amount of bandwidth you utilize, which gives you the freedom to use as little or as much as your site requires. Couple that with the one-click scalability of our Cloud Hosting plans, and your site will always be up and running, with minimum downtime. If you have any queries or suggestions, please comment below.