Bandwidth: The quick definition
Your website’s host provides a certain amount of bandwidth with your hosting plan. The more visitors you have to your site, the more bandwidth you’ll need.
You can think of bandwidth like a road – the wider the road, the more people can travel to your website at once.
Calculating how much bandwidth you need
Most bloggers will find that the minimum bandwidth that their hosting plan starts at will be sufficient. However, when you start getting more traffic, you’ll want to make sure your hosting plan includes enough bandwidth so that you’re website won’t start lagging.
In some cases your host could even shut down your site because you’ve hit the bandwidth limit. Not good.
The bandwidth formula
Calculating the bandwidth your website needs isn’t an exact science, because you can never completely predict how many people will visit your site.
However, you probably have a decent idea of how many visitors you get (or will get) on average.
So to calculate the bandwidth you need for your website, I suggest using this formula:
Average Page Views x Average Page Size x Average Daily Visitors x Redundant Factor
Take a couple deep breaths and let’s break it down
- Average page views = the average number of views per visitor. So maybe each person visits an average of 3.2 pages on your site before they leave.
- Average page size = the average size of your pages (in KB), which includes all the stuff on them – videos, pics, ect. You can calculate that by using your browser’s toolbar and going to “Page info.” The exact wording will vary depending on the browser, use the Help search in your toolbar if you can’t find it. Take note of the size of several of your pages – including the ones with the most info, images, ect. In other words, your heaviest pages.
- Average daily visitor = the number of people to visit your site in a month divided by 30
- Redundant factor = this is precautionary. Choose a number between 1.2 and 1.8, depending on how big of a net you want to give yourself (as in, how sure are you that your views are steady and aren’t going to shoot through the roof?)
Calculate how much bandwidth you need (the lazy way)
If you really don’t want to do this yourself, there are web calculators that will do most of the work for you. Although you still have to gather the data (your page views, page sizes.)
I’ve included 2 because I think it’s a good idea to double check your numbers, just in case one site has a glitch or something.
That should give you a pretty good idea of how much bandwidth you need.
Thanks for reading!