What is Website Bandwidth & How Much Do I Need For My Site?

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website bandwidth

When you’re choosing a hosting plan, one important factor to consider is website bandwidth.

That’s because your website likely contains large amounts of data, whether it’s in text, video, image, or another format. And, of course, you want this data to reach your visitors.

Website bandwidth plays a crucial role in transferring the data between your website and its visitors.

If you aren’t sure how much website bandwidth exactly you need, keep reading to learn all about it, including how to calculate how much bandwidth you need for your website!

What is Website Bandwidth?

website bandwidth

Website bandwidth defines the maximum amount of data you can transfer between your website and its visitors in a given period.

Typically, website bandwidth is measured in gigabits per second (Gbps) or megabits per second (Mbps). Most hosting plans include a limited amount of bandwidth you can use.

Put simply, website bandwidth determines the speed of interaction between your visitors and your server at peak traffic. This speed is largely affected by the number and size of resources (such as images and videos) on your website and the number of visitors.

If your website bandwidth isn’t optimized, the more visitors come to your website, the longer page load times they will experience. This, in turn, can hurt your business as every additional load time second can decrease website conversion rates by nearly up to 5%.

Why is Website Bandwidth Important?

Website bandwidth determines how quickly your website loads content to your visitors. This is especially important during peak times and unexpected traffic surges when more users visit your website at the same time.

If your website bandwidth is too low, it won’t be able to handle all of the incoming traffic. This can lead your website to crash and become inaccessible to visitors, which can damage your brand reputation and lead to revenue loss.

Essentially, having a higher website bandwidth allows you to:

  • Add more dynamic content to your website to attract and engage visitors.
  • Accommodate a large number of website visitors without compromising your website performance.
  • Optimize loading times, which is important for SEO and can decrease your bounce rate.

For these reasons, website bandwidth is crucial for growing your audience, sales, and business.

One thing to notice, however, is that a small-to-mid-sized website with around 100 pages will likely be fine, regardless of the website’s bandwidth.

On the other hand, if you are running a video streaming website, you will likely face issues without a high bandwidth dedicated server.

How to Calculate Website Bandwidth

Calculating your website bandwidth can help you determine how much bandwidth you need. This allows you to maintain a stable website performance and avoid overpaying.

Here are all the figures you need to calculate your website bandwidth:

  • Average page size.
  • Average page views.
  • The average number of daily visitors.
  • The average number of daily downloaded files (if your website contains downloads).
  • Average downloadable file size (if your website contains downloads)
  • Redundancy (to ensure your website can handle unexpected traffic spikes, set this value between 1.3 and 1.8).

Next, you need to add these figures into one of the two website bandwidth formulas below, depending on whether your website contains downloadable files.

If your website doesn’t contain any files that your visitors can download, use this formula to calculate your website bandwidth:

Website Bandwidth = Average Page Size x Average Page Views x Average Number of Daily Visitors x 30 (days in a month) x Redundancy

If your website contains downloadable files for your visitors, here’s how you should calculate your website bandwidth:

Website Bandwidth = (Average Page Size x Average Page Views x Average Number of Daily Visitors) + (Average Number of Daily Downloads x Average Download Size) x 30 x Redundancy

What Happens When You Exceed Your Bandwidth Limit?

website bandwidth

Generally speaking, if your hosting plan includes metered bandwidth, it comes with a specified amount of monthly website bandwidth.

Whenever a visitor comes to your site, they’re using some of your bandwidth. So, the higher your website bandwidth, the more visitors your website can accommodate over a month.

If you have lots of visitors coming to your website, you may eventually reach and exceed your website bandwidth limit.

Once that happens, you’ll have to pay expensive fees for more website bandwidth on top of your monthly hosting plan.

Depending on your hosting provider, they can also suspend your website for exceeding the website bandwidth limit, or automatically upgrade your plan to include more website bandwidth.

If you want to avoid going over your website bandwidth limit, consider choosing a hosting plan that offers unmetered bandwidth.

What is Unmetered Bandwidth?

If your hosting plan includes unmetered bandwidth, it means that your hosting provider doesn’t monitor how much bandwidth you use per month.

With unmetered bandwidth, only the maximum server speed is limited (e.g. 100Mbps, 1Gbps, etc.).

Essentially, this means that you’re paying only for the hosting plan regardless of how much bandwidth you use. As such, you won’t be charged any extra fees for exceeding your website bandwidth limit as it’s simply not monitored.

So, for example, if your hosting plan includes a 5Gbps dedicated server with unmetered bandwidth, you can transfer any amount of data you need at the maximum speed of 5Gbps.

The Difference Between Unmetered and Unlimited Bandwidth

Besides unmetered bandwidth, you might’ve noticed some hosting providers offering unlimited bandwidth with their hosting plans.

Although it implies that there’s no limit to the amount of data you can transfer, in reality, unlimited bandwidth doesn’t exist. Data transfers are always limited either by the Internet connection speed or by hardware limitations.

With unmetered bandwidth, on the other hand, you can transfer as much data as your dedicated server allows. The only limitation is how much data you can transfer during a given period, which depends on the network speed limit.

How to Reduce Your Bandwidth Usage

Two main factors affect your bandwidth usage: your website visitors and the resources on your website.

Of course, you want your website to be available to your visitors, so limiting the amount of incoming traffic isn’t an option. Instead, you should optimize the resources (videos, images, and other files) on your website.

So, here’s what you can do to reduce your bandwidth usage:

  • Use an external server to host your images, videos, and other files.
  • Compress images and reduce the size of videos and other large files on your website.
  • Use a caching plugin to enable HTTP, JavaScript, and CSS compression.
  • Reduce server load by storing content on a content delivery network (CDN).
  • Upgrade your hosting plan to dedicated hosting.

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Besides being lightning-fast and reliable, RedSwitches cheap dedicated server hosting comes with 100 TB bandwidth, which is ideal even for the most demanding applications.

And, if hosting without bandwidth limitations is what you’re after, you can always opt for unmetered dedicated server hosting.

Not sure which hosting option is best for your business?

Contact RedSwitches for a free consultation today to discuss your hosting needs and requirements!

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