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Web Hosting Bandwidth – An Explanation

June 7, 2011 | Author: | Posted in Hardware

“Bandwidth” is a title that you may have heard many web hosts, including your own, discussing from time to time. A simple definition of this term is that is how much data is passed over an internet connection from one set to another. Bandwidth is one of the most important services that a web host can provide and is usually measured in how bits are sent each second. The amount of data being used on a website varies depending on what the the website is being used for. Sites where there is a lot of interaction and communication will take up a bigger bandwidth and this means sites like forums or blogs take up more bandwidth than a more common website. These sites offer far more interaction with the opportunity to load up content and add debate or opinions which is why they take up more bandwidth. These websites will have a greater amount of traffic in comparison to standard websites provided by firms which is another reason why in comparison, the amount of bandwidth that is used by communication or network sites will be much higher.

It may help to break down how you can calculate your monthly website usage and this can be done very simply. The first step should be determining how much bandwidth your website uses, for calculation sake, lets say 20KB. The next step is to work out how many visits your site has per day, which for simplicity sake we shall say is ten hits. This calculations means your daily usage equates to 20 x 10. To get your monthly usage, you simply multiply your daily usage by the number of the days in the month. An important thing to remember is that some providers may list the bandwidth in bytes as opposed to bites.

8 bits = 1 byte and 1024 bytes = 1 Kilobytes

It is easy to use bandwidth unnecessarily and the biggest culprits are large sized graphics and a lot of customer comments. It is also fair to say that if the end user seeks to receive a lot of images or large amounts of data that they too will use a fair share of bandwidth. This has to be borne in mind when you are constructing your website. It is common to want to add a lot of cool audio and visual treats to your site but doing so will greatly increase your bandwidth consumption. Knowing how much bandwidth you expect to use will help you seek the right package for your usage but beware of web host providers not living up to their promise. There are some providers who will not deliver what they guarantee and this makes choosing the correct supplier an important task.

Understand the amount of bandwidth that fits your requirements.

Is it easy to calculate how much bandwidth your website will need? There are different areas to consider but at the top of your list must be the mathematical and technological considerations. Other influences will also include your proposed content and hopes for future projects. Being able to have an excess amount of bandwidth to cover emergencies or expansion is vital to many web users. This is why it is very important to consider how much bandwidth you will expect to use before you meet with web host providers. This will give you a starting point before you talk to the provider but they will be able to offer you assistance with this topic also. Be aware that the vast majority of web providers bundle their bandwidth usage per month and knowing this can help you plan ahead. Most firms will total their bandwidth in this manner:

Average number of times a page is viewed multiplied by the average number of visitors to your site on a daily basis multiplied by a variable factor multiplied by how many days in a month, with 30 being a good average.

To ensure the best use of your site, many website owners decide to offer a larger amount of bandwidth and an equation for this would be:

[(Daily Visitors x Page Views x Page Size) + (Daily File Downloads x File Size)] x 31 x Fudge Factor

Note: The above calculations all use an average figure to obtain the most relevant return.

How traffic and bandwidth are linked:

There is a strong correlation between the amount of traffic a website has and the number of bandwidth it uses. There is no doubt that the users who will have the best opinion and reaction about the bandwidth on a site will be the users as they have the most interaction with the website. A simple example of this would be if a website user was to download a music track to their PC, then there is a sizable amount of traffic traveling between the website and the user. Depending on the speed of the connection of the users internet, the amount of time taken will vary largely. If the user has a quick connection, the faster the download time will be and there is a smaller amount of bandwidth used. Conversely, if the user has a slow internet connection, the longer the process time and there will be a larger amount of bandwidth used. The process of information being passed between connections is what is known as traffic and this also has an impact on the site.

Handy ways to reduce your bandwidth size.

It might happen suddenly that you receive a monthly bill for hosting that brings perspiration on your forehead. The hosting company justified the bill explaining that the monthly minimum bandwidth usage has been exceeded for your website and asks you to bring down the file size in your website. You are at a fix and simply do not know what would be your send stand.

Yours website has several files, each of these files have respective sizes of their own. Each of these files, when used by the visitors, consumes some of the website bandwidth. You have control on the bandwidth usage of your website and can increase or decrease these according to the requirements. Another easy way to cut down bandwidth expenses is to prevent the use of too many files, graphics, images and downloadable file son your website. These files themselves are heavy and when downloaded by multiple users, can consume lots of bandwidth thus increasing cost. Suppose there is a large image in the webpage that is downloaded each time a visitor views the website. Then also the same thing happens and unnecessary bandwidth expenditure takes place. If removing the web page images is not possible, then try to decrease its size and you can seen the dramatic change in the bill, next time, when the web hosting company hand it over to you. Cascading Style Sheets also help you to save bandwidth as they reduce HTML file sizes considerably.

Ways to improve your bandwidth use:

* Always keep an estimation of the number of visiting or can visit your page in future. A monthly estimation is always beneficial.

* It may be possible to purchase a meter free bandwidth facility. This facility may feature a higher than usual cost compared to a limited bandwidth provision but clearly there is no risk of going beyond a pre-set limit. The bandwidth rating is contained on your control panel but it will not be continually assessed by your web host.

* Be sure to keep a note of any alterations that are made to your website. Knowing the up to date size of your site will allow you to accurately forecast your bandwidth usage and bills.

* If there is an opportunity to limit the amount of comments a visitor can make to your site, this could be a good option to reduce excessive inputs.

* Be sure to communicate regularly with your web provider and seek their advice on how best to maintain or improve your website. Not every change will lead to a rise in the amount of bandwidth your site uses but there can be positive impacts as well. By removing any files that are no longer deemed necessary can free up bandwidth to be used for other purposes.

* Rather than hosting things like Java Script within your site, try having them hosted with an external agent.

* Bandwidth can be eaten up by graphics with a large size so always ensure to load up graphics that have been reduced in size.

Last remarks:

It is your web host that can guide you bets on bandwidth. Selection of the right web host can matter if your want a proper guidance on web hosting services. The structure and the content of the WebPages would definitely determine the bandwidth expenses. But the effective guidance from the web hosts can equally help you on this regard. Bandwidth theft is a common practice in which the people use other sites images by simply linking them with another page. Such practices, without notice, can be punishable and should not be practices. So if you are a novice, and your website owner advises you on this then always try to avoid. Before discussing with the web host regarding bandwidth and always better to make a study and some research on bandwidth. Your website developers can also guide you extensively in informing about the techniques to save bandwidth.

About the author: Sick and tired of over-hyped web hosting companies that have terrible uptime? Get the uptime reports and real user reviews you need to find the top hosting companies at www.webhostingmadness.com.

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