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Does your website hosting company offers different plans according to how much bandwidth you will use?
Are you wondering (like most “newbie” website builders) how exactly is that measured, and how on earth am I suppose to know how much I will need?
Well, I have a few easy to understand answers for you here, so hopefully you will not pay too much or too little for your web hosting plan.
Although there are several other factors that go into how much a hosting plan will cost you, the point of this post is simply to explain bandwidth usage. I’ll leave the other cost variables for discussion in a future post.
Many shared hosting plans come with unlimited bandwidth, so if you are not planning to have a virtual shared server or even a dedicated server then this topic should be of little concern to you.
However, if you are like me, and require a private SSL certificate for eCommerce on your website or your website has other reasons for needing to be secure, then you will NOT be able to take advantage of a shared hosting plan. Shared hosting plans are the least expensive and are great for basic portfolios or personal brand websites, but are not good for any kind of business website where security to the user is a concern. Dedicated hosting plans comes with many other benefits but one thing that is NOT a benefit is that the bandwidth is no longer shared and therefor more expensive.
Deciding how much bandwidth your website will use may help you keep your hosting cost lower.
Let’s look at a simply way to calculate bandwidth on your website.
First, you must figure out how much data is loaded on one of your web pages. I suggest using your homepage, or a page that is accessed the most. You can also just do an average of all your pages. This size is measured in KB.
To see the size of one of your pages I suggest using the free tool called Pingdom Website Speed Test Tool.
I loaded www.LoriJill.me and I got back 1.7MB (Yea… I have some work to do there obviously!!!)
Let’s look at an example:
If your page average size is 500KB and in one month you get 5,000 unique visitors to your site then you have used approximately 2.5GB. Now, you need to multiply that by the average number of pages each visitor views. So if they view an average of 5 pages then in one month you have used 12.5GB of bandwidth.
Unique visitors and page views can all be viewed from your Google analytic’s account.
For my website I have a VPS (virtual private server) with 1TB of bandwidth. I host with BlueHost and have been very pleased. My storage and bandwidth limits are not in excess to what I need nor at the present moment do I seem to need anymore. However, if my website traffic should grow (which is always our hopes), BlueHost has many upgrade options and it’s easy to expand for that growth without having to move my website to a different hosting company. One of the reasons I love their hosting services so much and I recommend it to anyone just getting started.
It’s easy to start with low costs and bare minimum hosting and grow your costs as your business grows. Their customer support will help you through it painlessly!
Once you are all setup and your website has been live for a few months BlueHost has a tool in the CPanel for viewing your bandwidth usage which makes double checking your usage super easy.
You can click the link below to get started with a shared hosting plan for only $3.95/ month.
I hope this helps you to better understand the bandwidth usage and how to calculate it for your website.