Bandwidth is the amount of data (files located on your
domain that are viewed by visitors, email, ftp) that can
be send/received by your web server. You can understand
how important this factor is when buying a web hosting
plan or leasing a web server.
Generally speaking, the more bandwidth you have, the more
visitors can visit your web site.
Determining how much bandwidth is
To determine how much bandwidth you need
per month, you will need to have a look at your web
site statistics. Visitors per month times avg. data
transferred per month per user = Amount of Bandwidth
used per month. Bandwidth is usually measured in MB
It is not very important to get the exact number of
visitors. An approximate number will be sufficient for
calculating the monthly bandwidth usage.
Whereas the accuracy of the numbers in the first part
of the calculation was a rather unimportant factor it
plays a big role in the second part of the calculation.
Finding the average files transferred can be difficult
if your web site is very large, since it has to be done
for every single page. To find the size, add up the
size of every image on the page and the size of the
page of every single page on your web site. To make
life a little easier for you it is recommended to use
the following loading
time test tool.
Once you've obtained that number add 33%-50% to that
number to give your web site room and allow it to grow.
Here is an example calculation:
Page 1: 15.000 visitors per mo. x 125KB of data = 1875000KB
= ~1875 MB = ~1,875GB / mo.
Page 2: 15.000 visitors per mo. x 100KB of data = 1500000KB
= ~1500 MB = ~1,500GB / mo.
Page 3: 10.000 visitors per mo. x 85KB of data = 850000KB
= ~850 MB = ~0,850GB / mo.
Total data transferred per month: ~1,875GB + ~1,500GB
+ ~0,850GB = ~4,225GB. Adding 33%-50% to that amount
will give us a result of 5,62GB - 6,34GB. So it would
be recommended getting a plan with 6GB or 6.5GB of bandwidth
per month or more.
Please note that: 1024 Bytes = 1 KB, 1024
KB = 1 MB, and 1024 MB = 1 GB
How can bandwidth be saved?
There are a number of ways to save bandwidth.
A general advice is to keep all files on your web site
as small as possible. (Sounds logic doesn't it?)
To reduce the size of your pages you have to remove
unnecessary tags from your code. WYSIWYG (What
You See Is What You
Get) programs like <link>Dreamweaver<link>
have a clean HTML function.
(Cascading Style Sheets) is also
an effective way to save bandwidth. It is designed to
reduce HTML file size by attributing values for any
HTML element/command at the beginning of the document.
Once that is done you have to go to the next step, optimizing
all graphics and pictures. It is important to know that
graphics (vectors) have to be saved as .gif files and
pictures as .jpeg files. If you don't own a picture
program like Fireworks or PhotoShop then you can optimize
your pictures for free at NetMechanic.com
Your dial-up visitors will thank you for
optimizing all your web pages.
Preventing bandwidth theft
Linking to images of another web site
in your img src tag without permission is considered
as bandwidth theft. As unethical as it may be, it is
a reality many webmasters have to deal with on a daily
The most effective and unfortunately
also very time-consuming method of preventing bandwidth
theft is scanning your web site logs. By analyzing your
logs you can find out who is using your images without
your permission. Once you have located the offending
party, you can either contact them or replace the hotlinked
file with a picture like the one below. This way all
their web site visitors will see the webmaster hotlinked
If you still have questions be sure to
visit the WebMasterWorld Forums:
Avoiding Hotlinking using .htaccess.
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