One of the biggest challenges site owners often face when opting for a web hosting plan, is how much bandwidth they need for their site. You can use the most advanced hosting platforms like Cloud Hosting or VPS Hosting, but without the right amount of bandwidth, none of the hosting features will make any sense. Usually, site owners either end up opting for more or less, thus resulting in extra costs and unnecessary resources or slower site speed.
Assessing the bandwidth for your server requires detailed assessment and proper calculation. A well-calculated bandwidth only yields better site performance and helps you manage your hosting budget.
Calculating the bandwidth
You might not need to worry about the bandwidth when you have just started your website. Since there is very little activity in the initial days/months, you can go with whatever your hosting provider is offering you. But as soon as your marketing activities start bringing results, and your site traffic, along with the data volume increases, you will need to reconsider the bandwidth limit. This is when you will need a serious calculation and get the right estimate. The best way to go about it is to analyze your site performance for a while and determine how much bandwidth it is using up. You can also add or reduce your bandwidth need as per the site behaviour.
Here’s standard practice for calculating server bandwidth. Follow this step-by-step method to get the right number.
- Estimate the average page size in KB. Many online tools can help you with the page size and the loading time that it takes.
- Run a speed test for all website pages and take the average of the total as your base number.
- Follow it with an average of monthly visitors on your site.
- Once you have both the numbers, multiply the result of 2 by 3 (average page size X average visitors).
- The result of the above will be your gross number.
However, remember that if you have multiple web pages/sites on the same server, you will have to take all those into your calculation to get a comprehensive figure.
Another important thing to consider when calculating the server bandwidth is the sudden traffic surges. This is more applicable for transactional sites like e-commerce or banking, or sites where there is increased downloads and uploads, as in social media or movie streaming sites. In such cases, you cannot just take your standard calculation, since the numbers will be dynamic. Hence, keep a 50% buffer on the bandwidth result.
To make it easier, here’s a formula, by taking into account downloads and redundancy of your site.
With user downloads
Bandwidth = [(Average Page Views x Average Page Size x Average Daily Visitors) + (Average Download per day x Average File Size)] x Number of days in a month (30) x Redundancy Factor
Without user downloads
Bandwidth = Average Page Views x Average Page Size x Average Daily Visitors x Number of days in a month (30) x Redundancy Factor
Just like finding the right hosting solution, finding the right bandwidth is also important. No matter which web host you choose, you must determine the bandwidth that your website needs and demands, so it can continue to perform well. Always seek plans with scalable options and a reliable hosting provider who can provide you with the same.