“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

The heavy images on websites and too many feedbacks from the customers waste bandwidth. Moreover, if the user tends to download heavy items from the web then he/she would be expecting heavy consumption of bandwidth as well. Therefore, if you want your website to be filled up with videos, graphics and information then make sure that the bandwidth provided by your web host matches with your requirements. Some of the web hosts promise to provide large number of such services but later they turn their faces. Hence, in this respect proper selection of the hosts is also demanded.

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:

Adding the sum of the amount of visitors per day times how may times a page is looked at times the size of the web page and adding it to the number of files that retrieved from your site by the average size of the file will give the first half of the equation. This figure can then be multiplied by the largest number of days possible and a fudged figure to get the answer.

Note: All these are measured based on average data.

Links between website traffic and bandwidth usage:

There is a strong correlation between bandwidth usage and the amount of traffic a website gets. The best judge of this is quite often the visitors to a website as they will have first hand experience of undertaking actions of the site. This can be seen if a visitor wishes to download a music track or a video from the site. This creates traffic between the visitors’ computer and the website. The bandwidth this takes up can be very low if the user has a rapid internet connection, which helps the file to download in a short space of time. The opposite can be said if the user has a very slow connection and this will result in a long download time and a large amount of bandwidth being used. This is very important if you are trying to keep note of how many bits are being transferred as this is what is classed as traffic.

Handy ways to reduce your bandwidth size.

Sometimes a bill can come out of the blue that leaves you catching your breath and the same can be said for your monthly bandwidth bill. If you have a pre arranged bandwidth limit, it is simple for your provider to state that you have went over your limit and charge you accordingly whilst requesting you reduce your usage. This request can leave many users not knowing what to do and what they should do for the best.

Each website is populated by a number of files and each file has a corresponding size. If a visitor comes to your site and accesses these files, there will be an impact on the amount of bandwidth that your site uses. Remember that it is your website and you can influence the use of by reducing or increasing the usage depending on the needs of the site. Given that it is your website, you can impose limits on the number of files or downloadable content that is made available on your site. Each individual file can have a large size by itself and if it is downloaded by a large number of users can have a great impact on the bandwidth that is being used. Anything that increases bandwidth use will increase the cost you incur. A simple example of this can come in a large graphic that is on your homepage which each visitor is required to download. If this happens a lot of times the amount of bandwidth being used will become excessive. Some people may decide to take this page away from their site but this is not always an option so it may be worthwhile trying to reduce the size of graphics or logos available. These changes may not seem a lot but it may make a noticeable difference when your next bill comes from your web host provider. Another opportunity to improve the amount of bandwidth you site uses is to take advantage of Cascading Style sheets as it is based around HTML files and these have a much smaller size.

Ways to improve your bandwidth use:

* Keep an eye on your website and organize a running total of how many visitors are using your site and make a prediction of how many will come in the next few months. Being equipped with a rough guide for your monthly use can reduce any shocks that come in your next bill.

* 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.

* When altering your website, ensure you make a note of the changes to allow your estimates to be up to date and more accurate.

* If you can, keep the number of visitors comments to a minimum. You may wish to allow only pre-approved or carefully selected comments onto your site.

* Have a conversation with your provider about being to improve your services. A rise in your usage may not lead to a rise in the amount of bandwidth being used. However, you may be able to benefit by eliminating any files that are no longer required.

* A better way to embed JavaScript may be to do it on an external site as opposed to having it placed on every page.

* Always upload resized images as heavy images consume bandwidth.

The final words:

There are many places to get advice on how best to use your bandwidth but the strongest advice would come from your web host. The advice that is offered by the firm should also be factored into the decision you make about provider to go with. There are many factors that will impact on how much your bandwidth costs you but the layout and content will have a lot to do with it. The amount of different factors that can have an influence on the cost involved means the support and advice from your web provider can be a vital factor in keeping your expenditure within budget. This support can be extremely helpful in combating in bandwidth theft. This occurs when other web users place links to graphics and images that are held on your site by linking to them from their site. This is an offense that carries a punishment and is not to be encouraged. This means that if you are advised of undertaking this activity you should always refuse. All decisions in life should feature some form of research and the same can be said for choosing which bandwidth provider to work with. Always be sure to communicate with your web provider to learn the best ways about the best ways to reduce how much bandwidth you use.

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