Having a website and cementing an online presence has become a prerequisite in today’s digital era. However, while researching and selecting the web host to house your website, you need to correctly gauge and evaluate the resources required to run your website seamlessly. Amongst resources like disk space, bandwidth, CPU, etc., determining the amount of website bandwidth required can get confusing. So, in this article, let us decode the meaning of bandwidth and learn to gauge the website bandwidth requirements.
Bandwidth is often confused with the speed of data transfer or the maximum amount of data transfer limit that is available. However, bandwidth is the maximum amount of data that can be transferred in a given period of time. Simply, compare bandwidth with the width of a water pipe. The maximum amount of water that can flow through it will depend on the width of the pipe. Similarly, the maximum bandwidth available to you will determine the maximum data that can be transferred at any given point in time.
The lesser the bandwidth you have, the more is the time required for your website to load depending on the number of users on the website. This loading time will be irrespective of the type of internet connection used by your users. If you do not have sufficient bandwidth, your website users will have to wait a long time for the website to load. Your website can even become inaccessible to your users if you have exhausted your total bandwidth.
One of the most challenging tasks for any organization is to determine the bandwidth requirement of a new website. Since there is no historical data to refer to, it is difficult to anticipate the number of users. A new business owner can look at the competitors’ websites to determine the monthly visits, then consider the extent of marketing activities that the company is planning to undertake which could result in increased traffic, and arrive at some basic number. These can then be used as a base bandwidth requirement to begin. How can you determine the web server bandwidth from the above numbers? You can use the same method that is used by established websites and the one that we are about to discuss.
Let us now see a step-by-step guide to determine your bandwidth requirements:
Step 1: Calculate the average page size of your website. This will be the sum of the size of each page divided by the total number of pages. The page size will vary based on the type of media hosted on your website.
Step 2: Multiply the number derived from step 1 with the average number of visitors per month. If you are a new website, you can take the closest competitors’ average visitors per month.
Step 3: Multiply the number determined in step 2, with the average page visits per visitor per month. This should give you the minimum estimated bandwidth that will be required to your website to at least function.
Bandwidth = Average page size x Average visitors per month x Average page visits per visitor
Website bandwidth usage depends on several factors and can change depending on the tweaks made in any of them. Growth in business over a period or an occasional spike in traffic will have to be considered while determining the bandwidth requirements for your website. Site owners allow a spread of 50% to balance the two.
Bandwidth can also be calculated with redundancy while not accounting for user downloads:
Bandwidth = ADV x APS x APV x RF x Days in a month
For calculating bandwidth while accounting for user download-
Bandwidth = [(APS x APV x ADV) + (AFS x ADPD)] x RF x Days in a month
ADV: Average Daily Visitors
APV: Average page visits
APS: Average Page Size
RF: Redundant Factor (generally between 1.3 to 1.8)
ADPD: Average Download Per Day
AFS: Average File Size
It is always advisable to add some extra bandwidth to the estimated requirement to compensate for additional visits. If your server hosts more than one website, then you need to follow the steps mentioned above for all the websites and then arrive at the cumulative bandwidth that would be required. You should always be on the safer side and opt for slightly higher bandwidth than required to ensure that your website is always available and loads quickly assuring the best user experience.
Based on all the factors we discussed above, you should arrive at a number that is the least your website will require. It is possible that you will never even consume the bare minimum bandwidth that you have purchased. However, basics, like changing the layout of your website, can result in altered page size. Your marketing activities will result in increased traffic, whereas there could be occasional traffic spikes which would consume your bandwidth. Therefore, you need to take into account the growing needs of your business and purchase more than what is required at that moment.
The bandwidth offered by most hosting service providers will cover the requirements of most businesses. You can also opt for an unmetered bandwidth plan. This essentially means that if your bandwidth usage were to go above the plan, your website would still get the required additional bandwidth. On the contrary, with metered bandwidth, your website can not even go a byte above the plan.
The unmetered bandwidth plans from Sulserv will give you peace of mind knowing that if you were to consume the allocated bandwidth, your website would not become inaccessible. Alternatively, you can purchase our Shared Hosting plans which offer seamless and one-click scalability to increase your hosting server resources as your website traffic and complexity increases.
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