To find a suitable hosting package, one of the stickiest challenges is to estimate how much bandwidth is needed. Bandwidth is the amount of data that transfers to and from the website at one time. Different from disk storage that can be handled manually by removing unnecessary images, files, and applications, bandwidth has to be calculated wisely as the insufficient amount may hamper the page loading speed of your website, and make the site inaccessible online for visitors. Generally, the truly reliable hosting guarantees customers a large allocation of monthly data transfer like BlueHost, Arvixe, InMotion Hosting.
Calculating the needed bandwidth can help you select an appropriate hosting package, without the need to pay for extra allocation or worry about some penalties when your consumptions go over the distribution. So, how to calculate bandwidth usage to balance the needs and budget? We have listed the principals in the following.
Calculate Bandwidth Usage
Broadly, websites can be categorized into three types – small site, medium site, and large site. Small websites like personal blogs only contain a small amount of data with a few pages, while large websites has a lot of content with enormous traffic. Medium sized websites stand in the middle of the two extremes.
Before calculating, you’d better decide firstly which kind of website you are going to set up, and then search for a peer site on the web to do some recording activities with the help of a monitoring tool like Pingdom.
- Record the average number of people visiting the website each day.
- Record the average pages viewed by each visitor.
- Record the average number of readers visiting one webpage.
- Count the average size of each webpage.
- Record the average number of downloads each visitor is likely to make.
Generally, the bandwidth needed in your website can be calculated with the statistics of your page sizes, the number of pages, and the number of visitors for your website in a day. Thus, after getting the related stats, you can do a simple multiplication of the three key factors. If there are some files that are offered for downloading, you also need to multiply the number of downloads, download size, and the number of people for downloading. Here, we have come out the formula in below.
Bandwidth = (Visitors x Pages x Page Size) + (Visitors x Downloads x File Size)
Scale the Bandwidth
Note that this is a just an estimating result, and different website has the different situation. For example, if your peer site for referring has 4 pages, each of which comes to around 50KB. Besides, as monitored, there are 100 visitors go for that site in a day. In this case, the bandwidth needed every day is 40KB x 4 pages x 100 daily visitors = 16000 KB. However, you cannot regard this result as your daily bandwidth, but double or even triple the data due to the following aspects.
- Website Customization – To beautify the overall appearance of the website and extend the functionality beyond the core WordPress installation, you may install a well-designed theme and many other needed plugins for customization. This will increase the size of your website, thus affect the bandwidth usage accordingly.
- Room to Grow – If you are able to manage your website successfully with a large reader base that can increase unceasingly, then you’d better scale your bandwidth for growing traffic. Generally, the increased number of daily webpage views and daily file downloads can affect bandwidth greatly.
- Add More – The typical content types for websites are blog posts and images, but you may want to add something new to your site, such as videos, music, flashes and some multimedia files, resulting in more bandwidth usage. In addition, with the development of the website, you may also want to add more pages or even sub/parked domains to enlarge the whole site for better popularity.
- File Downloads – if you plan to add some files that are offered for readers to download, then you need the extra bandwidth for this process. For instance, if you have an audio file for downloading that is 100 MB, and have calculated the bandwidth need is 4.5 GB, then this file can only be downloaded for no more than 45 times. In this case, bandwidth scaling is inevitable.
- Sudden Traffic Point – Sometimes, you may encounter a sudden traffic spike in a single month, which is caused by various reasons like social media marketing. In this situation, your bandwidth usage needs to double or even triple to deal with an enormous number of visitors.
In addition to calculating bandwidth usage, selecting a cost-effective hosting package that offers a large amount of monthly bandwidth at a low rate is also important. In the following, we have listed the best options that can meet the two requirements at one time.