Finding the right web hosting solution for your website can be quite a challenge. From assessing your website needs and identifying the right plan, to finding the right hosting provider itself is an overwhelming task. In the process of major operations, one often tends to miss out on the smaller aspects of hosting. Take bandwidth, for example. Whether you are on a Shared Hosting environment or a more advanced Cloud web Hosting or VPS Hosting platform, your need for bandwidth is not going to change. More often than not, site owners underestimate or overestimate their bandwidth need and end up either under allocating resources or overpaying for the same. While more resources can mean unnecessary cost and wastage of resources, underestimating your site bandwidth can affect the performance.
Unlike storage, assessing bandwidth requires more detailed calculation and assessment. Calculating the right bandwidth for your server is critical when developing an application or adding functional resources to your server. If you can manage to get the calculation right, it will only help you balance your budget and server operations.
Calculating the server bandwidth is not so essential when you are have just launched your website, but at a stage when it is growing, and you know how far you are going to scale. At the start, the best thing to do is go with the provided bandwidth offered/provided by your hosting provider, observe your site performance for a few months, and then determine the monthly usage. Once you see a trend, you can increase or decrease the number.
However, for more established websites, there is a need to get into a few calculations. Here’s a step-by-step method to get the right figure.
- Start by estimating the average page size in KB. You can also use online tools to test the load time of your web pages to find this number. Run a test on a few web pages and take the average of those tested pages as your base testing number. Thereafter, also take an average of the monthly site visitors.
- Then, multiply the average size by the average value of visitors.
- Find out the average page views per visitor. Multiply this by the result of above.
Remember, if you have multiple sites hosted on the server, there is a need to consider all the accounts and not just a single website.
But that’s not all. While calculating, you also need to keep room for sudden traffic spikes (for e-commerce or banking) or heavy user download (for media sites). Typically, people keep a 50% scope for increase. Here’s a standard calculation for bandwidth with and without user downloads respectively.
Without user downloads
Required Bandwidth = Avg. Page Size x Avg. Page Views x Days in a month (30) x Avg. Daily Visitors x Redundancy Factor
With user downloads
Required Bandwidth = [(Avg. File Size x Avg. Download per day) + (Avg. Page Views x Avg. Daily Visitors x Avg. Page Size)] x Number of days in a month (30) x Redundancy Factor
Assessing the right number is important when comparing hosting plans. Finding the right bandwidth for your site is no different than finding the clothing size for yourself. Just like a smaller shoe won’t work, similarly, adding lesser bandwidth to your server will be of no use. However, you should always seek scalable options with your hosting provider who can increase the bandwidth when required, so you don’t have to purchase up front.