How to Calculate the Bandwidth Needed of a Site

How to Calculate the Bandwidth Needed of a Site

A lot of factors need to be seriously considered before you purchase a web hosting plan. One factor to consider, and one that is the most challenging, is calculating bandwidth for your website.

how to calculate website bandwidth
Bandwidth of a site is the data that is usually transferred from the web host’s to the visitor’s computers over a given time. It is, therefore, more difficult to manage and, therefore, needs careful calculation. Unlike disk space that you can delete large files when you reach the limit, with bandwidth, your site might be shut down in the middle of the month should you exhaust allocated bandwidth. This could be the case if you have many visitors, or your visitors are downloading files from your site.

Given the fact that many web hosts offer different bandwidth options for different plans, it is now possible to choose one that will not get your site shut down for exceeding allocated bandwidth, or having to pay for more bandwidth than you can use. Determining how much is enough is, however, a difficult thing to do. We have however made the process easy for you in the sections that follow.

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How Much Bandwith do you Need?

Calculating required bandwidth is quite easy. All you need to do is collect data on your website’s activity and then solve a simple calculation. The data you need to have is:

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  • An estimate of the average size of your web pages (in KB)
  • An estimate of daily number of visitors to your website
  • An estimate of the number of pages each visitor views

Now multiply your findings by 30, which is the average number of days in a month.
While this formula is a straightforward method of calculating bandwidth, you should also remember to calculate bandwidth for all sites on the server should you be hosting several websites on one account.

Consider Extra Bandwidth

Bandwidth Calculation
The result from the above formula is just an estimate. It is, therefore, important for you to understand the difference between an estimate calculation, and results in a real world situation. For example, if you have a website that has an average page size of 45KB, and you have 1000 visitors each day, with each visitor viewing an average of 4 pages, you theoretically need 4.5GB bandwidth per month. In practice, however, this amount is still not enough because of the following reasons.

File Downloads
If you give your visitors the ability to download files from your website, you will need some additional bandwidth for the downloads. You should, therefore, calculate the average size of files that are downloaded from your website, and the number of downloads you expect. Multiply this figure with the result of your theoretical bandwidth requirement.

Multimedia
Your website will consume more bandwidth if it has videos, flash animations, music, and other multimedia that what it would have used if it only had HTML text and images only. For instance, a 200MB video that is available for download will only allow 22.5 downloads on the estimated 4.5GB bandwidth.

Growing Traffic
Should you have an authoritative website that offers readers high-quality content, it inevitable that your readers will grow by the day. It, therefore, means that the number of visitors, daily page views and downloads you previously estimated will also increase. This means that you will need to allow room for growth when doing your calculations.

Layout Changes
Once in a while, you will need to change you website’s layout. It could be because you don’t like the way it looks, or you just want to upgrade. Before you do this, you should be aware that doing this may increase the average size of your web pages and consequently, result in more bandwidth usage.

You should read: Web Hosting Types: Some Pros and Cons!

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Summary

You should view bandwidth as a highway. If you are the only car driving on it, you can drive faster since you have more space. In the same way, if there are many cars on the highway, you will have to drive very slowly. This makes calculating bandwidth and planning ahead crucial for your website.
Lastly, when choosing a web hosting company to host your website on, there are many more factors that you need to consider apart from bandwidth. You need to consider server speed, pricing, uptime, and support. We recommend GoDaddy Web Hosting, which is trusted by millions all over the internet.

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